General questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2014, 01:00 AM   #1
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General questions

Hey, a new member here. I am considering getting a 13' Scamp, a new one (seems a lot easier). Plan on towing it with a Subaru Forester, 2012 four cylinder, auto (it's a small SUV, as opposed to older model wagon). I am in Colorado, so trips over I-70 mountain passes are a certainty. I am prepared to take it slow though.

There are two adults and two kids. Most of the time it would be just the two of us, but some time we'd like to bring kids. I am a backpacker, so used to sleeping outside.

Would this work for us, based on your experience?

Then, there are all these options and questions. We have never owned or traveled with an RV (have slept in the car or tent or bivy, however, for dozens of nights).

Does the toilet and shower in 13' Scamp, being tiny ones, actually work? Say, compared to carrying a groover and a solar shower. Or is it better to have two extra bunk beds for kids?

What about AC and heater? I suspect heater may be more important, but easier to add. When it's warm can sleep outside anyway. However, a fan to create a flow inside the camper might be nice.

It seems at this point that I'd want minimum options and lightest weight. Even a fridge and stove seem like not really that important (I'd take shower and toilet before).

Is filling camper with water and dumping the sewage a big hassle? What's that "city water" option thing?

So, many questions, I am not even sure where to start. Is there a FAQ? Would somebody be kind enough to give some general words of wisdom?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. We have a 2012 Forester as well. Tow limit for that year is 2400 lbs. That's with trailer brakes. You will need to have the vehicle wired for brakes and a charge line to charge the trailer battery.

Ours is the manual. The vehicle has adequate power to pull a 13' egg but watch your tongue weight. There is a 200 lb limit. The automatic should do better than the manual. We gave up towing with ours because of the "hill holder" clutch. It and the gearing make hill starts with the extra weight difficult without burning the clutch.

All campgrounds have toilets and most have showers. We passed on the shower in favor of the extra living space but carry a porta potty. I doubt you can sleep four in the trailer with the shower anyway. Without a shower there are no waste tanks. We use a plastic jug outside the trailer to contain our grey water. We have a propane heater we seldom use. The stove heats up the trailer nicely when we make morning coffee. The fridge is fine for food, for cold drinks an ice chest is better. We bring a Coleman extreme.

I recommend the jalousie windows over sliders as they can be left open in the rain. Scamp now offers a larger bed ( 54") in the standard model. Two in the 44" bed is rather cozy. Happy shopping, Raz
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:59 AM   #3
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Welcome Solovam. Yea with four people I think I would go for the extra room also.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:59 AM   #4
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Good day Solovan. I can understand the desire to go small and light. Been there and done it. At 16 years old, my first camping trips were made with tent and a 3 speed CCM pedal bike. Going 70 miles in one day and pitching the tent at a country school yard was not very comfortable.

In your case with the 4 of you I see you in a larger egg with more room, more comforts. The Subaru's can make great TV when set up right but if you would consider a dual axle egg (ie bigfoot, etc) then perhaps a vehicle like a Ford Flex, or Minivan would best suit your purposes/requirements. Set up right with a WDH/sway control connection you will also get a very comfy, stable, and safe drive.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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The 13' Scamp w/bath is very, very crowded for 2 and even more so with kids/pets included. In addition, it can get very, very heavy on the tongue weight due to the bathroom being in front.

Good Luck
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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I've toured all over Colorado with both a 13' and 16' Scamp in my 07 Toyota Tacoma auto. trans. and 4 cyl engine.
Your Subaru should do fine.
I would not skimp on appliances as you will undoubtedly enjoy the new comforts of a TT and decide you want a bigger trailer.
I would forget the bath in the 13 and go with the bunks.
I used a solar shower when I traveled in my 13.
I would have a furnace, cooktop and 3 way fridge.
You will probably not notice the weight difference. The appliances will make the trailer much easier to sell and will net you more money.

John
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:24 PM   #7
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Solovam,

There are a lot of people who travel extensively in a Scamp 13 and do not find it too small, by extensive travel I mean for many months a year. As to the 200 lb tongue weight limit, that's partially understanding how to load your trailer. We have a Scamp 16 and have not exceeded the 200 lb tongue weight. If you're interested I'd be glad to give you a few tips in that area.

We have a Scamp 16 with side bath. We thinl the toilet is important, probably because we're over 70. As to the shower, campground showers do a better job than a wet shower.

Certainly if you want to take two children the front bunks can be valuable though the top one is limited to 100 lbs without strengthening.

In my opinion a Forester should be easily able to tow a Scamp 13 if you pay attention to the tongue weight.

As to air conditioning, it depends on where and when you camp. WE have a home style air conditioner and rarely ever use it.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solovam View Post
There are two adults and two kids. Most of the time it would be just the two of us, but some time we'd like to bring kids. I am a backpacker, so used to sleeping outside.

Does the toilet and shower in 13' Scamp, being tiny ones, actually work? Say, compared to carrying a groover and a solar shower. Or is it better to have two extra bunk beds for kids?

What about AC and heater? I suspect heater may be more important, but easier to add. When it's warm can sleep outside anyway. However, a fan to create a flow inside the camper might be nice.

Is filling camper with water and dumping the sewage a big hassle? What's that "city water" option thing?
You say you are used to sleeping outside, but what about your kids? A 13' Scamp with the front bath is a 2 person only trailer. When you have the kids with you, who gets the trailer and who gets to sleep outside?

The shower in the Scamps that put the bath in front is larger than the shower in their trailers (16' & 19') that are available with the bath to the side (really tiny across from the entry door). The front baths are exactly the same size no matter which size trailer you buy from Scamp (13' - 16' - 19') and are very serviceable, unless any member of your family is over 6' tall and/or 200 pounds. Due to the way the 13' design differs from the larger ones, the 13' does not offer a side bath.

In Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida, air conditioning is considered essential. In Colorado, not so much. A Fantastic-Fan mounted in a roof vent is basic and well worth it. Getting the factory heater or not depends on how compatible the blower motor is with your camping style. (Think noise and Battery life)

Dumping black water holding tanks for a plumbed marine toilet can be a hassle that some would rather do without... emptying a porta-potty is easier and faster. Some consider a plumbed toilet worth the hassle.

"City Water" is a connection for a white hose when you are in a campground that offers a personal spigot at your campsite. It bypasses the onboard fresh water tank and pump (manual or electric).
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Good day Solovan.
In your case with the 4 of you I see you in a larger egg with more room, more comforts. The Subaru's can make great TV when set up right but if you would consider a dual axle egg (ie bigfoot, etc) then perhaps a vehicle like a Ford Flex, or Minivan would best suit your purposes/requirements. Set up right with a WDH/sway control connection you will also get a very comfy, stable, and safe drive.
hummm if they tow with a Subaru I would suggest they read the manual carefully, Subaru does not support the use of a Weight Distribution hitch.

As far as the 200lb tongue limit on the Subaru goes - it should not be an issue with a 13' Standard Scamp. In fact it would probable work well with a 13' Standard Scamp. I towed with a Subaru Outback for 6 years a standard 16' and unlike Norm although I pack fairly light and worked hard at getting a balanced stow I had a real tough time keeping the tongue weight down to 200lbs and could not get a solid tow without the use of a sway bar at that weight so I typically towed with the tongue at 240lbs for a more solid tow. To composite for the extra weight on the rear of the car I didn't normally load much in the rear of the car and only 1 passenger (in the front) max. But again the 13' is a lighter trailer on the axle so 200lbs on the tongue would probable work out much better than it does with a 16' which is typically about 2400lbs on the axle.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
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Dumping a black tank is easy to do.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:10 PM   #11
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13' and Subaru is a good combo. Definitely get jalousie windows and a vent fan; I would advocate one with a Maxx Air cover (or a fan with built in cover, like the Turbo Maxx) so you can leave it open in any weather, with or without the fan running. When not in use, a tightly closed egg can develop mold inside, so either leave vent and a window cracked, or keep a drying agent inside.

If you have not been in a 13 yet, you can see one by calling Scamp and asking for a referral to a nearby owner who has agreed to show his/her trailer. You definitely want to get inside one and see how it feels to you.

For your purposes, I would say seat/bunks instead of bathroom. Having a place to sit besides the bed can be very comforting at times. A porta potti can be stowed under the seat, I believe.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Ours is the manual. The vehicle has adequate power to pull a 13' egg but watch your tongue weight. There is a 200 lb limit. The automatic should do better than the manual. We gave up towing with ours because of the "hill holder" clutch. It and the gearing make hill starts with the extra weight difficult without burning the clutch.
I tow with a 2010 manual forester and I've had no real issues with it or the hill holder system. I primarily tow in the mountains and I'd rather use a manual transmission than worry about an automatic transmission over heating. That might be personal preference though as I don't own any automatic vehicles.

However, I do find it somewhat gutless, but for my slow lazy towing it's worked out ok. Just wish it could tow uphill a bit better.

There are no factory towing mirrors for Subaru's, so you'll need to find something else if you want proper visibility. This is actually my biggest issue with the Forester, especially considering how Subaru like's to brag about safety. I tried a number of different mirrors and ended up using this:

Amazon.com: CIPA 11650, Deluxe Door Mount Towing Mirror: Automotive

They have no vibration like most of the other clip on styles, but still add some extra time when prepping to leave town.

The new foresters had their towing nerfed so I expect they don't really care about what these things can town anymore. I'm hoping the Tribeca replacement will have a beefier tow rating but I'm not holding my breath.
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