Help with looking at models - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #15
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Trailer: 1972 13 ft Boler American
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I have a 72 Boler American - and we just got our 2008 Honda Element set-up for towing it. However - my advice, which is probably not the same as many people here - is make the rig the way you want it. I know many won't agree with me and say it ruins the resale of it - - but I say customize to yourself.

Myself, I removed the sink, the stove, the furnace, the icebox, the Propane, and 1 of the over head cabinets - - I am camping with a bare-bones unit....

We use our camper 90% of the time at a site that doesn't have power so I never really have a need for it. If I need power, I'll use an extension cord and power strip hooked up to an electric heater.

I, like you, use our camper strictly for sleeping and storing gear while away on climbing days... so keeping it close to real tent camping as much as possible.

I love the older ones, as you don't feel bad ripping out things that don't work for you, or that you don't have a need for...

I paid $750 for my unit, but it needed a lot of work - - I have about $500 invested in it so far, new tires/hubs/wheels/rhino LineX


Tim
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have a 72 Boler American - and we just got our 2008 Honda Element set-up for towing it. However - my advice, which is probably not the same as many people here - is make the rig the way you want it. I know many won't agree with me and say it ruins the resale of it - - but I say customize to yourself.

Myself, I removed the sink, the stove, the furnace, the icebox, the Propane, and 1 of the over head cabinets - - I am camping with a bare-bones unit....

...

I paid $750 for my unit, but it needed a lot of work - - I have about $500 invested in it so far, new tires/hubs/wheels/rhino LineX


Tim
Pulling out what you want is a fine idea for reducing weight, but just be aware that some cabinets and stuff need to stay in because they lend strength to the shell. We've seen some photos of eggs where the owners took out everything, and the roof sagged or caved in.

While we never want to tow more than our vehicle is rated for (to avoid liability at least!), the wind resistance is IMO a bigger factor than the weight when it comes to the strain on the drivetrain. Eggs are pretty round, which helps. Any 6.5' wide 13' long egg (or smaller) should be a candidate worth considering (either as is or after stripping down somewhat). Having a transmission cooler is valuable. Keeping a light foot on the gas pedal is also valuable. Years ago I towed a UHaul CT13 from Michigan to Colorado and back without incident or ill effect on my Dodge Omni; I kept it around 50 in 4th gear, faster going down hills, but going up steeper grades I backed off slower still and downshifted (I had a 5 speed manual).

Used FG trailers keep their value pretty well, so if you decide to trade later on for a larger tow vehicle and larger trailer, you'll only take a beating on the tow vehicle.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:59 PM   #17
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The Little Joe, I do believe, is made on the same molds as the older Lite House, you can look in the albums to see the Lite House and the similarities. As with many fiberglass RVs, companies come and go but the molds can resurface and the trailers reincarnate, sometimes with the same name, as was the case with Burro and now Trillium, sometimes entirely new as with the Lite House/Little Joe reincarnation. Maybe there are some Lite Houses out there.

There is also the older Play-Pac which might be light, but don't know how easy to find one.
Often with the older trailers, finding the exact weight is tricky other than taking it and having it weighed before purchasing. Though there are lovely examples in the albums on this forum of older bygone trailers, they can be hard to impossible to find.

As other's have said, I would encourage you to stay well within your weight allowance. Call the folks at Little Joe and ask if the weight they give includes, tanks, etc. Some companies are honest with their weight stats, Escape takes the trailers and has them weighed. You might be able to work with a manufacturer like Little Joe to see if you can have it weighed before buying with full tank, etc. Also, there might be some features that could be eliminated or changed to lighten the load. Just call, my experience having just done a lot of research before purchasing, is that FGRV manufacturers love to talk about their trailers, as do owners (you are finding that out on this forum! )

Remember,you can start with what meets your needs now, and if molded fiberglass eggs get you hooked, you might want a bit larger one down the road and it will be worth getting a bit bigger tow vehicle. Or you might find it's now your cup of tea.

If you lived closer you could come tow our little Burro around, (which happens to be for sale) and see what if feels like - it is simple, ice box 'frig', etc. and older so not a lot of extras. It would be good to 'practice' tow before buying to see how it feels, but knowing your weight is the bottom line.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:26 AM   #18
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"My issue is that I only have a 4-cylinder (2008 CR-V), so weight is a pretty big deal."

According to everything I can find on the net the tow capacity of your vehicle is 1500 lbs. I believe you stated your manual says 1400. I would go with the manual. Even if you can find a camper that is at or near the tow capicity of your vehicle I'd be careful. We were towing our Oliver with a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (tow capicity 3500lb) with the Oliver weighing in at about 3900 fully equiped and loaded for camping (the way you would actually use it.) The Jeep pulled it, but not well. On a trip out West last fall it struggled against the headwinds in Oklahoma and with the mountains in Colorado. Overall gas milage was a dismal 12 mpg or so (and that was when gas was 3.50+/gal.) Needless to say, we were not happy. I have since gotten rid of the Jeep and replaced it with a Tahoe. No trouble pulling now, and getting about 15-16 mpg towing. All that being said, I hope you can find a camper you and yours will be happy with, it is a great experience.

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Old 04-05-2009, 09:35 PM   #19
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Just a little more on trailer weight and towing. I have a 1985 13ft Uhaul. No restroom, no frills. It has an icebox instead of a refrigerator. I removed the original (non working) propane heater and (nonworking) swamp cooler from the roof. Uhauls have double walled fiberglass shells, and do not use the ratfur lining on the inside (don't know if this saves weight?). Everything in it is molded fiberglass.
I took it to a local truck scale, and unloaded, the dry weight is 950lbs.
I'm pulling it with a 6-cyl 2006 Chrysler van rated at 1,800 lbs tow capacity.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #20
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I would think that if anything, the double-hull would add weight. But probably not much.

Raya

PS: Thanks for the real-world info. I always wonder whether I can just pull into those highway scales (assuming no line-up of trucks, of course).
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:46 PM   #21
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It depends on the state and whether the scale is open or not -- Open scales are busy working and likely won't allow RVs -- Some scales, in some states, are left on, there's no gate or fence and the readout is visible either externally or through a window (I have found scales like this in Washington) -- This is great, because you can also get side-to-side readings to ensure that balance as well (Most truck stop scales are on a ramp with a fence, so side readings can't be done).

Also, check around your area for places like gravel pits, landfill/transfer stations that charge by the pound.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:27 PM   #22
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The scale that I weighed on was in a gravel pit. Essentially, you just get in line and pull over the scale - cost me $10. Its kind of spooky to be in a line with all those big trucks. I felt reeeeely small.
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