Burro owners - what to look out for & insulation ???? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-30-2009, 04:30 PM   #1
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I'm new to the Fiberglass RV and to the forum. This is my first post here.

I'm thinking about buying a Burro. I know very little about them, though.

Here's my situation:

I'm looking for a trailer that I can use for hunting this fall. I will be travelling around the country with 2 dogs to do some bird hunting.

I plan to live out the trailer full time while I am on the road. I may be staying at some campgrounds with hookups. Other times I will be on my own.

I will be in MT in the November, so I need to be prepared for cold, snowy weather.

Also, a lot of my traveling will be over gravel roads and I expect to blow some tires.

My tow rig is a 2000 F150 4X4, 4.9L V8, automatic. It's already set up to tow.

So what do I need to know? Will a 17" Burro WD be up to the trip? Will it be warm enough? If not, can I add insulation to it?

What about the gravel roads? I'm worried about rock damage to the fiberglass. Can I add a rock shield to the entire front of the trailer?

Should I consider other trailers?

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the help.


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Old 03-30-2009, 07:27 PM   #2
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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Hi Gregg! Welcome to FiberglassRV.com! We're glad you found us.

Burros were actually built in three locations... Plymouth MN, Sac City IA, and Escondido CA. The 17 wide bodies were only built in Iowa and California. Insulation in these trailers was a pink fiberglass batting backed with foil, and it was an option. I had an '87 Burro 17 with insulation and I stayed in some pretty cold places, but they're not a true cold-weather trailer. They have single pane windows and they're not terribly air-tight. The Sac City Burros also have a very small gray-water holding capacity... not really a tank, more just a large pipe.

That said, they're well built, and if you educate yourself about their abilities and shortcomings, could be a very good trailer for you.


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Old 03-30-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,010
I have spent a lot of time living in my 17, and in some pretty cold places as well.

It stays plenty warm if you have hook ups and can run your furnace/heater full time. Boondocking, it's good down to the mid 20s if you have enough battery life or a good cat heater. Mine is insulated.

I wouldn't depend on it for constant sub freezing cold tho. As roger says, the windows are the weak point there.

Trying to insulate it after the fact is near impossible, tho you could stuff the lower cubbies to help a little. Or put ensolite on the walls inside.. but that would be a ton of work.

I have never thought of mine as offroad worthy.. short runs of gravel, yes, but I wouldn't consider long runs of washboard roads or Jeep trails. Remember it is WIDE and it takes up a whole freeway lane.. consider this when you think of the roads you are going to travel.

It is great to live in, lots of space, very comfortable and the bathroom is really usable!
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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Name: Per
Trailer: 2000 Burro 17 ft Widebody towed by Touareg TDI
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I can only speak about the Escondido year 2000 model I have. We have taken the thing on some pretty rough roads, in fact we tested the "ride" on one particularly hair-raising stretch by alternating riding in the trailer to check things out.
One fact speaks well for its rough-road abilities: it has an unusually strong frame, made from full 2x4 inch box section stock and well gusseted and likely built by someone who really knew how to build frames.
The suspension is the ever-present Dexter Torflex, and it is fairly sturdy.
The propane furnace in mine is a small Atwood 9000Btu unit, pretty quiet and sparing on the 12v needed to run the fan. Handled mid-teens quite well (north rim of Grand Canyon). I added a 5000 Btu electric heater mounted in a cabinet (marine type) but that is only for when we have hookups or use it as a visitor's cabin at home. Keeps a minimum temperature also to help keep things dry and pipes not freezing.
Because of the double shell with insulation in between there is more mass for the heater to heat up initially, but the payback comes when it has achieved normal temperature. It then tends to keep the temperature more even than in a single-shell unit. This was dramatically demonstrated to me by the owner of a single-shell trailer who complained that the chill started as soon as the furnace went off. Quite a convincing demonstration on a cold Montana high-altitude evening.
The consensus in our family is that the wider body is very important for livability. As fiberglass trailers go it is a fairly roomy unit.
Water tanks are under the trailer and exposed, so they would freeze under really cold weather. The tubing used on mine in PEX, which is unlikely to burst, but the fittings are more vulnerable.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:03 AM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft (25B25RQ)
Posts: 278

The only truly four season trailer that is also molded fiberglass is Bigfoot. Models with the full winter package are well insulated, have douple-pane windows and heated plumbing and tanks. One of the main reasons I went to Bigfoot is for situations similar to what you are describing. Every year I end up in hunting camps in Wyoming or Colorado where it may be below freezing 24 hours a day. When I used my former trailers (Scamp and Casita) for that purpose, I couldn't always make full use of my plumbing. Like widebody Burros, Bigfoot models are wider than other fiberglass trailers which would be good for full-timing with dogs I would think. That being said, if it was just me and couple of dogs, I wouldn't care very much if the plumbing was always usable. Burros are very well-built trailers, much lighter than Bigfoots, and make great back-country camps. As do Scamps and Casitas and other fiberglass trailers. The best trailer for you may be what you can find for sale in your area.

As for gravel roads, rock chips in the fiberglass will be inevitable. Good mud flaps will help some. My old Scamp was already beat up when I got it, so I continued the abuse without much trepidation. Since buying more expensive trailers, I don't venture quite as far off the pavement as I used to. Camp a few miles in, and then drive the rest of the way to the hunting area without the trailer. Others on the forum have invented various forms of protective covers for the front of their trailers. Check some of the Alaska Highway discussions.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input and opinions.

I appreciate them a great deal.


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