Kiwi by Jayco - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2003, 12:13 AM   #1
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Kiwi by Jayco

During my quest for a fiberglass tt I came upon the kiwi made by jayco, a lightweight fiber-sided and roofed with aluimun framing, with canvas beds that fold down on each end. Looks interesting. I was wondering if anyone had see one or owned one or your thoughts in general. I would be interested in the 17' model. Thanks

:lol
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Old 02-10-2003, 06:12 AM   #2
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differences

The differences between those type of trailers and the molded fiberglass trailers;
^weight- it is heavier than the *egg*
^roof- not being one piece is more likely to leak in the non-molded
^walls- or more than likely two pieces sandwiched together so adds weight but not necessarily strength.
^and it's heavier. well that part is worth repeating, because in my case I couldn't pull a Kiwi.

There might be other things, but I none else come to mind right off. the appliances are probably the same. and no I have not had a Kiwi, did consider them enough to look them over. I did own a fiberglass RV with fiberglass roof that was all sandwiched together, and got a leak I couldn't find nor two different RV dealers. very nerve racking.
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Old 02-10-2003, 06:50 AM   #3
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Don't know

Don't know much about them Charlie ...

In the beginning, I know several of the "hybrid" type trailers (part travel trailer/part pop-up) had trouble with the extended bunks collapsing.

I'm 6"4', 210 pounds, and bounce around alot. I don't think the extended platform beds would be strong enough to hold me over time .... but in addition, you have to add your spouses weight!

Also, with the extended canvas bunks, you have the proverbial problem that causes most folks to migrate from a pop-up to a travel trailer ....

The problem? You have to set up camp, in the rain, wind and mud, pulling the bunks out. And then, more importantly, you have to break camp, in the rain, wind and mud, and push wet canvas back inside your rig.

Can be a messy, wet process.
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Old 02-10-2003, 08:02 AM   #4
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Hybrid vs. glass

We were seriously looking at hybrids when we first started looking at campers.

Our first assumption - was that we'd get a pop-up type trailer. The price was right, they're easy to store in the garage, easy to pull and yet give you lots of space when camping. That idea was killed by two things: First was watching the salesman set up a Jayco Quest. Took him forever, he wasn't really finished and I didn't like that the bunks pulled out and were AFTERWARDS covered by the tenting. All I could think of was the idea that my bed would get soaked if it were raining while I tried to do anything. The second killer was looking at the hybrid and having it pointed out to us that you could pull out at rest stops and fix a quick meal. That seemed like a real advantage to us.

In the end however, the hybrids lost out because they seemed to combine the worst features of the pop-ups (tenting over beds) with the worst features of the travel trailers (big, heavy, hard to store). Now if they'd have built a hybrid with a 10-12' box and made it weigh a fraction as much we'd have been more tempted. That being said - it seems that the people who have them are fairly happy with them. I think there is a Yahoo discussion group devoted to hybrids. You might try there for thoughts on them too.

For myself - I then discovered the glass campers. They were a definate compromise space-wise (smaller when camping), but put everything to shame weight-wise. My old Boler is lighter than every single pop-up camper out there (except maybe the ones built for motorcycles). That is what appealed to me. It is light enough that I'll likely never have to learn to back the darn thing up into difficult camp spaces. I just detach, lift the tounge (if need be) and walk it back into place (tounge weight is 90 lbs). I roll it around constantly at home (awkward driveway) and have done the same to roll it in and out of sandy campsites. It's always up so there's no awkward set-up (I DO have to set up an awning in front - soon to be switched to a screen room). But that's true on other trailers too. Another factor in my decision was seeing how many truely ancient glass trailers were still in very active service (with a nearly fanatical following). It says a lot for their durability.

mkw
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:30 AM   #5
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Good points Mike!

I will say one thing for Jayco ... and it's an old "joke" amongst rv internet folks:

Jayco must pay their customers to not write bad things about Jayco on the internet, because you rarely, if ever, read anything negative about them!

Lots and lots and lots of satisfied customers.

One last comment on the hybrid (and I'm glad Mike brought up the in transit bathroom stop or quick lunch) ... if you plan on pushing the camping season, like we do, camping early Spring, late Fall and also during the winter .... the canvas doesn't insulate worth a darn!

Also I've seen lots of extended canvas bunks, on both pop-ups and hybrids, collapse under the weight of an unexpected snow or hail storm ... in addition to suffering wind damage.

Might take that into consideration!
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:39 PM   #6
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This is the perfect topic! I'm shopping for a trailer. Love glass, but I'm not sure we can cram all four of us comfortably into anything we can pull. My husband's 6', the girls are both 5'8". And our minivan is only rated to pull 3500lbs-- a figure I want to stay well under.

I've looked at all the floorplans I can find for glass trailers and they have not been overly encouraging-- particularly because I want a toilet in the darn thing. .

I've also looked at a couple of hybrids, and think that the Bantam is probably the best-- and lightest of the lot:
http://www.trail-lite.com/bantamfloorfr.asp

There's also a non-egg glass trailer that seems light enough and has decent bunks.
http://www.sunvalleyinc.com/floorplans/roa...unner/rr161.htm

But I really like eggs. I've done a lot of fiberglass work, and I like the integrity of glass.

What are your thoughts about models that might work?

Thanks.

(hmmm... I wonder how I corral one of them cute li'l smilies...):wave
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Kitty McKoon-Hennick
This is the perfect topic! I'm shopping for a trailer. Love glass, but I'm not sure we can cram all four of us comfortably into anything we can pull. My husband's 6', the girls are both 5'8". And our minivan is only rated to pull 3500lbs-- a figure I want to stay well under.

I've looked at all the floorplans I can find for glass trailers and they have not been overly encouraging-- particularly because I want a toilet in the darn thing. . *

I've also looked at a couple of hybrids, and think that the Bantam is probably the best-- and lightest of the lot:
http://www.trail-lite.com/bantamfloorfr.asp

There's also a non-egg glass trailer that seems light enough and has decent bunks.
http://www.sunvalleyinc.com/floorplans/roa...unner/rr161.htm

But I really like eggs. I've done a lot of fiberglass work, and I like the integrity of glass.

What are your thoughts about models that might work? *

Thanks.

(hmmm... I wonder how I corral one of them cute li'l smilies...):wave
now this is a challenge, that 3500 lb limit is difficult. I have the same weight limit. I know of someone that pull a 16 Scamp with a Vehicle like mine and reports they have no problem. as yours is a van you would do better because of the wheel base length. longer is better.
Scamp has a floor plan with a bunk bed set up on the side and bath/toilet in the front. they say the bunk will hold 180lbs. we have been questioning why they can and Casita says 80. (I'm doing these weights by memory, so I could be off a little, so check me on it) I mention the Scamp 16 because the Casita isn't al tall so height would be a little close for you Hubby, even a lot of 6ft+ use a Casita 16 and are very happy. (now we'll wait and see how many people correct me. :lol)
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:41 AM   #8
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One more thing to factor in............

Our tow vehicles are rated at sea level. Automobile engines are ''de-rated'' by approximately 4% for each 1000' of increase in elevation.

That doesn't mean much if you live in the flatlands and tow occasionally up to 4000' or 5000'. But when you plan to travel to higher elevations, particularly mountainous areas, keep this in mind when you are considering a tow vehicle and trailer. At 7000' to 10000' that 4% starts to add up.

When we were considering what tow vehicles to buy, we were very interested in the really nice Toyota Highlander--but the local dealer said we wouldn't be happy with their tow, because of their 3500# rating and our home elevation of 7000'+. For once a dealer was honest and we're glad we went with a different tow vehicle for the 17' Casita that we later purchased.

Hope this helps in your decisions.
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:38 AM   #9
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What are you towing with George, I don't remember?
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:24 PM   #10
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The long and the short-- and also the heavy-- of it

Quote:
now this is a challenge, *that 3500 lb limit is difficult. *I have the *same weight limit. *I know of someone that pull a 16 Scamp with a Vehicle like mine and reports they have no problem. *as yours is a van you would do better because of the wheel base length. *longer is better. * *
Scamp has a floor plan with a bunk bed set up on the side and bath/toilet in the front. *they say the bunk will hold 180lbs. *we have been questioning why they can and Casita says 80. *(I'm doing these weights by memory, so I could be off a little, so check me on it) *I mention the Scamp 16 because the Casita isn't al tall so height would be a little close for you Hubby, even a lot of 6ft+ use a Casita 16 and are very happy. (now we'll wait and see how many people correct me. :lol)
Casita tells me they can't manage a bathroom and my tall daughters, so they're out. I took a look at an older 16' (I think) Bigfoot, and while it could sleep four of 5'5 me, I think everyone else in the family would be cramped.

Pity. It's looking like eggs are out of the question.

I've had some experience with the towing at altitude sitch-- our first mini was an '84 Caravan and it's poor little Mitsubishi engine had a devil of a time crossing back and forth over the Rockies. The Previa is pretty good, though. I just got back from Utah and-- unloaded-- cruised through their passes at a steady 70.

Thanks for all your input.

Kitty (reaching for one of the hidden smilies...):chatter
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Old 02-25-2003, 02:11 PM   #11
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Kitty......

Don't give up yet....ditch the minivan for a Ford Sporttrac and hook up a Scamp 5th wheel. Room for 4 in those plus the bath..........

yes yes, economics. I couldn't afford a new tow either.....but an egg(and a small one at that) is alll your mini will handle. Forget a Bigfoot unless you have a 1/2c ton or bigger truck. But for the price of a Bigfoot, you can buy an egg AND a tow!!!
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Old 02-25-2003, 02:18 PM   #12
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girls are 5'8" then they need a tent. :yep. someone says when the kids get big they want a tent of their own anyway. :)

or let them sleep in the van.
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Old 02-25-2003, 02:49 PM   #13
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Hi Kitty
Janifer is absolutely right on the kids being in a tent. Our girls are 14 and 16 and haven't wanted to sleep in the trailer with mom and dad for years. They prefer their tents and usually have friends with them anyways or they don't want to go.

Get the trailer you and your hubby want and don't worry about the kids. Buy them each a tent.
Nancy
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Old 02-25-2003, 03:17 PM   #14
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Tall girls and tow trucks

Phil,

I'm hanging onto my 92 Previa until I can get a 7 passenger AWD that matches its milage and guts. Not holding my breath. Hydrogen, anyone?

As for girls in tents, well, these girls are camp counselors who sleep outdoors sans tents all summer. They like to travel with the old folks, but tents are a dealbreaker after three months on the ground. We're rafting down the Colorado River this fall, and want some comfortable togetherness on the way.

I do have some thoughts about an egg with a screenhouse that might handle cots, though. Of course, a decent sized egg must place itself in my vacinity for that to get any further consideration.

Thanks for the continued input.:wave
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