I have questions about the carpet - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-05-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2005 16 ft Scamp
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First off, why are casitas and scamps floor to ceiling carpet? Are they all like that? Is it for insulation? Is it hard to keep clean (dust)? Do you vacuum it regularly? What kind of vacuum do you take with you that is small enough, but large enough to do walls and ceiling? Are these stupid questions?

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Old 03-05-2009, 11:17 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2007 Casita
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Monica, I have heard its for insulation. When we purchased our 17 footer last summer, I took the carpet cleaner to it from ceiling to floor. I do not take a vacuum on trips! Just seems like one more thing to carry.. I figure I can always stop at a car wash if need be. On our longest trip last year, I did end up borrowing the resort owners vacuum, but since I put a plastic runner on the floor or throw rugs I can easily sweep out and clean the runner or shake out and wash the area rugs. We are going to have new flooring put in before summer, but as far as the ceilings and walls their pretty easy to maintain on trips and then after every trip I completely vacuum the trailer and clean. I suppose if you did a lot of back country camping you may need to vacuum during trips, I have just found that I didn't need to. Robin

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Old 03-06-2009, 02:08 AM   #3
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I am going to be living in it full time with my dog and have allergies. What happens if you take it off, can you take it off? Would that be stupid? I won't have a "home" besides that trailer...this is how I planned my retirement. Does anyone know of a vacuum that is small enough with hoses to clean the walls and ceiling? Please do inform me. I will have storage space in my TV, but I don't want a bulky vacuum...sure you all know what I mean.
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:46 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1970 Campster
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I am going to be living in it full time with my dog and have allergies. What happens if you take it off, can you take it off? Would that be stupid? I won't have a "home" besides that trailer...this is how I planned my retirement. Does anyone know of a vacuum that is small enough with hoses to clean the walls and ceiling? Please do inform me. I will have storage space in my TV, but I don't want a bulky vacuum...sure you all know what I mean.
We bought a 1983 Casita-carpet on the walls, ceiling-brown shaggy stuff-HATED it.
I have asthma so was planning on removing it but then found out it would be more work than I wanted.
I decorated around it-glad I did because it muffles the sounds outside. I haven`t had any problems with breathing while in the camper. I don`t vacuum -but have no pets either.
Maybe you could go to a car wash where they have the vacuums and vacuum it there.
Happy full time camping.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:15 AM   #5
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It's not really carpet, it's a marine fabric that resembles carpet (That is, the rat fur on the Scamp is, I'm not that familiar with the Casita rat fur). It doesn't shed like carpet, seems to made of some synthetic material and has curved or looped fibers like that of the Loop side of Hook and Loop stuf like Velcro (Although repeated use of Velcro will cause visible wear). If anyone knows the name of the fabric(s) used on the Scamps and Casitas, I hope they will add it to this thread.

The Scamp rat fur is glued to a material like Reflectix (I don't recall the name of the product currently used) for added insulation, which in turn is glued to the fiberglass. It's a double layer of foil, sandwiching bubble-wrap -- The R-value of this stuf varies by application, with horizontal being best, R4-R16, and vertical being less, R4-R7, according to a Reflectix PDF. The R-value is higher when there is either dead air or ventilated air space next to it, which is not the case in egg applications, because of the rat fur.

When Scamp builds their trailers, the rat fur-Reflectix is installed throughout all the walls and ceiling, then the various cabinets and benches are installed, so even the enclosed spaces resist condensation.

I don't know whether Casita has gone to anything like Reflectix yet, nor do I know what the new egg makers (Should we call them 'chickens' or 'hens'? One of the Yahoo Scampers has named his Eggy-Sue, the Pullet Surprise!) do for wall coverings, so some info on that would be helpful for our common knowledge.

I have found there IS a drawback to having the additional insulation -- If the egg is parked in direct sun long enuf, it will eventually become heat-soaked and the insulation will work against you in retaining the heat when you try to cool it down. Wouldn't matter much with a/c, but in high, humid night temperatures like Florida in Summer, cool-down can take a rather long time! So, there may be some logic in the Minnesota Scamp having the additional insulation than the Texas Casita.

The rat fur has at least two purposes, to cover the unfinished or rough side of the single-shell fiberglass (some eggs, like Burro and UHaul have double shells, with the gel-coat facing out on one and in on the other) and to provide a surface that doesn't promote condensation.

Previously, single-shell eggs used a closed-cell foam sheet called Ensolite, aka Rubatex, dubbed elephant hide, which was glued directly to the fiberglass. Reportedly, the Ensolite ceased being manufactured, so the egg manfs turned to the rat fur. A similar product is now available called Durafoam (See Ensolite URL above) -- I don't know which of the old Ensolite products was actually used, but I'd bet Kent Eveland at Scamp would remember!

Personally, I would be very cautious about vacuuming the rat fur, esp with a powerful car wash machine because it is possible to pull it, and the insulation, free from the fiberglass.

Also personally, I don't see it as such a big deal, requiring anything more than an occasional light vacuuming because it's on the walls and ceiling, not the floor, but I suppose some feel more is better.

Alternatives would be to rip it out and paint the walls, hopefully with an insulating paint in hopes of preventing condensation, or installing Durafoam.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:37 AM   #6
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Trailer: 1976 13 ft Scamp
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The older Scamp I am buying doesn't have it which is one reason I went with an older one verses the newer ones.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:31 AM   #7
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Pete, Casitas are carpet at least all the ones I have been in. The older ones are shaggy carpet, the newer are a low low shag-ish carpet. Robin
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #8
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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I shopped for an older unit for the same reason. Actually, the Casita Liberty layout would be my perfect layout, but I ruled them out because I don't like the carpet walls (Casita uses carpet, not "rat fur").

Scamps after about 1985 (not sure exactly when) use the "rat fur" marine fuzzy material, so I concentrated on pre-1985 models for myself (which use the Ensolite type material).

As far as I know, all of the older Triliums (70's and 80's) also used Ensolite, as did all of the Bolers. I think many of the 1970's Boler clones like Trail-Mite, Love Bug, and etc. also used Ensolite, although I am less certain.

Some people like the rat-fur or carpet and some prefer the Ensolite. It would be a big job to change from one to the other. Do-able, but big.

I wanted the Ensolite because I wanted to be able to wipe it down and clean it with a sponge, and also because if I want to I can paint it and "redecorate" that way. Also, buying used, I had fewer concerns about whether pets and /or etc. had been in the trailer in its previous life.

I should add that I would also have been happy with one of the "double-hulled" trailers that have shiny gelcoat walls in the inside. These would include Burros, U-hauls, and Olivers (not that a new Oliver was in my league; just mentioning).

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Old 03-07-2009, 04:40 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1982 Scamp 13 ft
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Since you have allergies, have you considered an Eggcamper, which has smooth walls? It might be a lot healthier for you. I have the same concerns as you about the carpeted walls. Our older Scamp has ensolite, which has its pros & cons, but at least it doesn't affect my allergies. Good luck!
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:09 PM   #10
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I would agree with Sandra, looking at trailers that do not have carpeted walls would be wise with a dog and allergies. I also have allergies and our double walled Burro is very easy to clean, just wipe with a sponge, no carpeting except the indoor/outdoor type on floor. If you aren't familiar with the various types, Burros, (which aren't made any more), have smooth fiberglass walls, you can find older ones for sale. The newer EggCamper (already mentioned) is made the same. Escape folks can say more about keeping them clean, but the walls are covered with a type of vinyl covering that is most likely easy to keep clean.

You might want to look at the pictures of different trailers in "Albums" on this site to see which ones are carpeted and which aren't.

Good luck in your search!
"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Enjoy our travel photos at: Turtle Travels
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:48 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1998 Casita Freedom Deluxe ('Eglyntine')
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I have an '85 Casita with original carpet, which is what they used to call sculptured. It has lived in west Texas since birth, according to it's previous owner.

Where we live is very, very dusty, especially when the wind blows - brown sky dusty. If the dust is blowing, I close the windows. That seems to be enough to keep the interior surfaces clean, so I don't think the walls are catching much dust. I have both dust & mold allergies and have had no problems with the carpeted walls, at least so far. I clean the floor & use a rag rug at the door to catch shoe-dust. I sleep on the side bed, so I have a pillow standing against the wall at my head to provide a barrier between my nose & what I inhale & the wall. I felt a pillow would be easy to clean/cheap to replace to keep my nose out of the carpet.

I think if your allergies allow you to live with carpet in a house, the wall carpet would be ok. It looks easy enough to vacuum, although I haven't tried myself. I wonder if some of the Febreze anti-allergy spray would work for you, to reduce frequency of vacuuming.

The carpet provides insulation from heat/cold and from outside noise. Our winters are mild - but the carpet makes it comfortable with only one of those tiny ceramic electric heaters down to 20 degrees - and I didn't get the heater up past 30% of it's capacity. In the summer I try to park in afternoon shade, but just this month I was parked with the long side to the sun on days in the 90's. I hadn't realized it was going to get hot [we had Texas-winter the previous couple of days] and just barely cracked a window while I was away from the trailer. When I came in at about 5 pm, the metal on the southern window frame was absolutely too hot to touch but the walls were only slightly warmer than air temp. I turned on the AC & had the trailer cool enough to turn the AC off in about 15-20 minutes.

As to noise insulation, several times now I've had neighbors arrive or leave during my read/sleep time without hearing them. I live on a busy rural road with lots of fast-moving pickups. One of the first things I noticed about the trailer was how quiet the road noise was!

Honestly, I've appreciated the carpet so much that I've hesitated on upgrading to a newer trailer because it doesn't have carpet on the walls.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:18 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2005 16 ft Scamp
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Thank you all for all the info on this. I am thinking that it won't be an issue, if it is I can get one of those hand held vacs for quick cleaning of dust.

Everyone has been very informative and I really appreciate it. Thank you.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:05 PM   #13
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A little more info on the Casita wall/ceiling carpet. When I installed a bathroom fan in our 2000 Casita I had to cut a 3+" hole through the outer shell and another through the bathroom shell. Between the carpet and the fiberglass outer shell is approximately 3/8 to 7/16" very dense sponge insulation. As Richard C has mentioned, sound is very effectively muffled and temperature/condensation are also controlled quite well. We too were apprehensive, when we first purchased our trailer. After living with it for 5 years (bought used), we have not found any negative qualities. In fact, if we ever replace "Nuestra Casita", carpeted walls and ceiling will be a feature insisted upon for another TT.

Kurt & Ann K.

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Old 03-20-2009, 07:21 PM   #14
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Trailer: X Casita Owner
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The carpet that Casita applies to the walls has Kangaback backing. This is premium padding already attached to the carpet which helps insulate the Casita.

Casita glues the carpet with Kangaback to walls, wheel wells, ceiling, inside cabinets and other surfaces. I have always just vacuumed exposed carpet after returning home from trips. It is easy to vacuum and take care of.

One word of caution you do not want to steam clean or apply lot's of moisture to carpet to clean it. Heavy steam or lots of water could have negative effect on the glue holding the carpet to walls.

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