Any rot in FG trailers? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2011, 07:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Alm View Post
13 ft Boler/Scamp weighs under 1200 lbs, OK. My problem is that I want at least 16 ft. It didn't cross my mind that with some 16-footers I could avoid having a truck. 16 ft Boler/Scamp weighs 1800 lbs dry weight.....
Towing Capacity Alfa Romeo,
A couple of things to keep in mind.

Don't know your thought concerning a full bath with shower and all the fixins, vs a Porta Pottie.

Generally speaking, trailers (campers) length are measured from front tip of tonge to rear tip of rear bunper.

In a nutshell, a 16'er has roughly 13 feet of living area inside the shell.
A front full bath uses about 30" of that space. Leaving roughly 10.5 feet of length inside for beds, appliances dinnettes and such.

A 13'er without front bath has approximately 10' of interior room.

Talked to a 17' Casita owner recently about weight. His fully equiped camper, with their gear, weighed in at 2800+ lbs. Weighed on a scale, ready to camp. Don't recall if that was wet or dry.

According to Casita's web site the 16' standard weighs in at 1970 and the Deluxe weights in at 2185. Major differences being the bath and AC. A furnace and awning will add a bit more weight to both. Hitch weight for the Deluxe models is about 40 Lbs extra. I would expect the Scamps with like equipment to weigh near the same.

Someone on these forums said that Scamp posted weights are for a naked trailer. Basically the frame and shell with necessary structural items.

So be careful and do serious research on weights, measures, and equipment, before purchasing.

Kip

A 13' Deluxe weighs in at about 1880 lbs plus Awning, furnace, etc..
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #16
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Thanks, guys. I'm close to the end of a learning curve - at least closer to understanding my needs.

Yes, I've realized already that official length is usually measured with hitch, and bath takes about 3 ft. With plans and needs that I have in mind, bath is necessary (at least, washroom for #1) , which brings me to a minimum 19-20ft long trailer, preferably - 21 ft or even 24 ft, preferably full 8ft width.

So I'm slowly drifting away from light-weight fiberglass trailers, and towards aluminum-wood units. It's difficult to find full-size fiberglass trailer older than 1995 - most of current brands do offer fiberglass versions on large units, but 20 years ago it was less common. When I checked Craigs in 200 miles radius ncluding both Canada and US, and Kijiji, and few other listings, only 1 or 2 were available in fiberglass, by some unknown brands. Oh, well... We'll see.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:42 PM   #17
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When I checked Craigs in 200 miles radius ncluding both Canada and US, and Kijiji, and few other listings, only 1 or 2 were available in fiberglass, by some unknown brands. Oh, well... We'll see.
The "unknown brands" are probably know here and someone I'm sure would be happy to enlighten you about them.

What brands did you find?
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:41 PM   #18
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My mistake, it wasn't even 16 ft FG - it was 15 ft. By Beachcomber Industries 1977 (probably no longer in production), 1800 lbs according to seller, asking price $3000. Which is about the price of a bit newer 1987 alu/wood 19ft-20ft unit - heavier, yes, but it looks like I will get a truck with 6000 lbs tow capacity anyway, and it will be towed very occasionally (mostly parked at some place), so 2000 lbs or 5000 lbs won't make a difference to me particularly...
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:37 PM   #19
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I can't speak for others but for me the difference is in the ability to repair said unit once water does set in. Its nice to think that trailers won't leak since perhaps they haven't leaked YET but reality is they WILL leak at some point and time... MY personal ability to fix my fiberglass trailer has been do-able. I did try my hand at a "sticky" when I opened up the unit to see where the water was leaking in I nailed it back shut and sold it the next day on craigslist talk about a disaster....





Quote:
Originally Posted by Alm View Post
My mistake, it wasn't even 16 ft FG - it was 15 ft. By Beachcomber Industries 1977 (probably no longer in production), 1800 lbs according to seller, asking price $3000. Which is about the price of a bit newer 1987 alu/wood 19ft-20ft unit - heavier, yes, but it looks like I will get a truck with 6000 lbs tow capacity anyway, and it will be towed very occasionally (mostly parked at some place), so 2000 lbs or 5000 lbs won't make a difference to me particularly...
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:45 PM   #20
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I did try my hand at a "sticky" when I opened up the unit to see where the water was leaking in I nailed it back shut and sold it the next day on craigslist talk about a disaster....
Hey I did exactly the samething and lost a few bucks in the learning experience too!
Fiberglass is way easier to deal with!
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #21
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Yeah I "lost" $300 but then again I bought my scamp for a smoking deal (probable $1500-$2000 under value at the time) If I had to do it over again I might consider a more "complete " unit for a larger fee. That said I really am a weird plethora of knowledge when it comes to repair of my scamp and that is invaluable.



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Hey I did exactly the samething and lost a few bucks in the learning experience too!
Fiberglass is way easier to deal with!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:57 PM   #22
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That said I really am a weird plethora of knowledge when it comes to repair of my scamp and that is invaluable.
It's all about the journey and the knowledge you learn along the way....the "destination" is just the carrot to keep you moving in the right direction.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:38 PM   #23
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... reality is they WILL leak at some point and time... MY personal ability to fix my fiberglass trailer has been do-able. I did try my hand at a "sticky" when I opened up the unit to see where the water was leaking in I nailed it back shut and sold it the next day on craigslist
Ok, ok, I'm still thinking .
"Sticky" (i.e. aluminum over wood) costs from 11K new in 19ft-20ft size, and at 6K it can be 8-9 years old and in a perfect shape. Though, I saw dealer's ads where 5 or 6 years old "sticky" was sold at half the price because of rotten floors around the door.

Fiberglass in that size group (from 19ft x 8ft) would be something like Bigfoot 17.5-21.5, costs 6K when it's 25 years old, and much harder to find than 19ft+ "sticky" (Bigfoot 21.5 probably won't be found for 6K of any vintage, unless a total wreck). Replacing plywood floors alone would've been a disaster to me, and most FG units have plywood floors.

Those "specialized RV centers" (or calling themselves so) - how thorough can they inspect an old trailer? If it's only under-carriage and electrical, and not the actual "barn" structure, then it's a toss a coin game indeed; and I'm not good at gambling, have never been...
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:28 AM   #24
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I do not think you need a bigger trailer. A 17' Casita or Egg is 14' usable space so picture a 7' by 14' room. The bath may take a corner- 2.5 feet and a closet in the other corner. You now have a nice sized 11 by 7 room for sleep, sit, and cook. You also have the biggest room available, outside. Just my .02$ worth
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:53 AM   #25
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Seems you are going through exactly the same thought process as we were a few months ago. The wife and I are wanting to get back into camping again after 20 or so years. Our needs and wants are likely different from yours, but there are certain facts that remain true, no matter the wants and needs.

In our current search, we found that a new conventional camper can be bought for about the same price as a used FG one. A used conventional camper can be found at considerably less than the same age FG one. That is pretty much "FACT" with few exceptions, such as AirStreams. For instance a new 18' Fun Finder (2011) was recently on sale at a local dealer for $12,999 plus tax. It was loaded with everything imaginable, including a TV and electric awning. also a side slide for more interior room, and tons of storage. That is about the same price as a 3-6 year old 16'-17' Casita or Scamp. And those FG units don't have anywhere near the room or aminities of the Fun Finder.

However keeping in mind problems from the past, the FF weighed about 1000 lbs more than the FG units. It sits taller, and that combined with the shape of the front pushes a lot more air. The flat rear "pulls" a lot more air, and the flat sides react more to passing 18 wheelers and cross winds, than the bubble shape of the FG units. Various forums we visited bore this out. Seems the average 18' FF MPG towing was in the 10-12 mpg range.

Also found that the resale value really sucked. Of course that result in used ones being great value items for the used shopper. Also found that their forums are no where close to the FG forums in the way of friendly and helpful.

All that to say this: We purchased a 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe. Reason is that there simply has to be something there for all these people to be so sold on FG, and the resale to be so high! I haven't towed something that large for many years and the thought of getting on the road with it was scary at best. To tow 200 miles, first time out, was almost more than I was willing to tackle. But there I went with my Honda RidgeLine, that had towed nothing larger than a 5X10 open utility trailer, and a Prodigy controler that I had just installed.

The WD hitch that came with the Casita was set way to high for my RL and a time factor dictated I use the Tow bar I keep in the trunk which was about the right height. No WD hitch and no sway bar added to the anxiety as those were absolute necessities with our conventional trailers. First few miles were a back road with no traffic.

Once on the X-Way, I was more comfortable but knew I would have to deal with passing 18 wheelers. I set the Cruise at 57 mph got a tight grip on the steering wheel and prepared for the worst. The 1st 18W passed at a speed much greater than mine. I felt nothing. It was almost disappointing! By the time I got home the Casita had proven it's road worthiness over and over again. Overall fuel mileage towing was mid 16s.

As we move our "Stuff" into the Casita, storage seems to be more than adequate for the two of us. Time will tell, but so far it seems we made the right choice.

Kip
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:56 AM   #26
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If larger size and initial spend is the biggest concern, then buy a sticky. If future resale value and far fewer maintenance issues is a concern, then buy molded fiberglass. The big difference is we are campers, not RVers. Our livingroom is HUGE and is right through the door. GENERAL STATEMENT: A typical 15 year old sticky is nearly a give-away. A 15 year old molded trailer is in it's prime. I know I could get 99.9% back of what I paid for my 23 year old molded trailer which I bought 10 years ago. It's ALL about maintenance. I could have parked it outside and let it disintegrate. I chose to park it under cover and take care of it. And I love it as much today as I did 10 years ago when I bought it. In the molded world, don't assume that OLDer is the same as rotten. It's simply not true. YMMV
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:28 AM   #27
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I can see your deligma and your certainly doing the correct thing in looking at your options. Maybe "youtube" trailer rot issues and see what an opened up "sticky" looks like just to give you some perspective. Yes the fiberglass rv floors have had some rot issues as well and no I am not so sure I could replace a floor (thou I might just try if I thought it would save me a buck) I think the difference is the amount of layers hiding the rot and keeping that moisture within the walls molding and the likes of that.

Donna is correct, I'm not living in my 13' trailer and the comforts that the larger ones have certainly makes my eye wander when its pouring down rain and I'm there in the bat cave. Bigger is nice but that also means you have all that "stuff" going along with it. Do you need a washer dryer, microwave? a shower and bathtub, Can you do basic repairs when the items fail?

Perhaps if money becomes an issue down the road knowing that a fiberglass has proven to sell at/near/ or better than the same value purchased is a nice little "just in case my life falls to pieces and I have to sell my beloved trailer".(back off trailer vultures I'm not selling yet) I have been lucky enough to be able to do some electrical, some fiberglass repair, re bytle this rebytle that, pull out the windows, put them back in, take off the door, put it back on, pull up the old carpet, put a new one in, pulled out the furnace, put that back in. I have even assited others in encouraging them to do certain repairs they thought they were unable to do.

The trailers are very basic in their set-ups and problems such as leaks (yes I found one the other day) are like a small kids puzzle and you only have so many leak points and when you connect the dots you can find the source. This makes for minimal cost to me rather than rushing off to the rv dealer asking for assistance for water leaking behind several layers and then dealing with wet insulation and potential mold issues if the 1 x 2's that make up the framing.

I have walked into my trailer and had a few inches of water sitting on the wood floor (keep in mind this is when I first got the trailer and it was in rough shape.) I dried up the floor *fixed the leaking window* and set a heater in there to dry out the floor. Its fiberglass infused and the fact that my trailer is 6 years younger than me (quick do the math) I am thankful my friends steered me in the direction they did. Now if you do buy a sticky don't forget to park next to me so i can come watch satellite tv
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:40 AM   #28
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ALL trailers, molded and sticky have vents, windows and some have rivets. Stickies (typically) have roof seams where the panels are brought together. Water intrusion can happen for both types. Both types require an owner to pay attention... there is no such thing as "deferred" maintenance without having problems. Other than welding, some propane and some electrical there isn't anything I wouldn't tackle fixing on my trailer. That includes fixing all plumbing and replacing of appliances, fiberglassing, resealing vents and windows. Sweat equity actually smells pretty sweet!
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