What would you put in a 13 ft. shell? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2007, 11:39 PM   #1
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Periodically there are shells of trailers for sale. I am wondering what you would put in a shell if you were doing a complete makeover. I am thinking of a 13 ft. Compact shell. What would you install. I presently have a tent on wheels, have camped with very simple tent trailers for 25 years. No experience of what goes into a RV. Stove? fridge? hot water heater? converter? inverter? toilet/porta potty? gray water tank? black water tank? fresh water tank? water pump? furnace? I have heard about all these but my only experience was renting a motorhome for three days. What would you put in a trailer? Is it cost effective? I am really ignorant on this one and have to start some where in my thinking. Thanks in advance! Should I wait and purchase one that doesn't need much attention and learn by experience first?
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:00 AM   #2
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might suggest that you look for one of the rally, gatherings near you and go look at the trailers. Then think about what you want out of a trailer. For me it's closer to a hard shell tent on wheels with a few goodies. The most important of the goodies to me the furnace. We camp year around, in snow, rain, or shine. Being able to cook inside and the fridge are nice things. The sink with it's fresh water tank and gray water tank add to convenience.

I came into it from backpacking so my view is colored a bit, mostly about the things I don't need like:
Air Conditioning -- Have a fan I've never needed to use.
Potty -- I lived without it for a lot of years and it's just one more system to mess with.
Hot Water Heater -- A pan on the stove works very nicely.
Demand Water Pump -- The manual pump works a whole lot easier than my backpacking filter pump.
Generator -- One light is all that I have that need to runs on 120VAC. Fridge on propane, lights on battery. Plan on adding solar battery charging early next spring.
TV -- The best shows are right outside the door and windows.
Stereo -- Nature's music is too nice to cover up with man made noise. Save that for in town.
Shower -- Solar shower, campground showers, wet wipes, or a dip in the local lake work just fine.

Many have a need (read want) for a lot of these things and for them they become important. You have to decide what your preferred style of camping is. I weighed all this stuff and determined that for me the cost wasn't worth the benefit. Cost is not just the initial cost, but includes cost of maintenance both in time and money. The cost of the extra weight in fuel and space. There is no fits all formula.
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:18 AM   #3
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I am working on a total rebuild for my Play Pac. I am in the process of working out what is needed and what would be nice to have.

Already purchased:

Porta Potti
6 gal tote for grey water
5 gal collapable tote for washing/etc
Colman battery powered shower
5 watt solar panel
Tiny Microwave
Decorating bits and pieces.

I have a primitive tent camping background and have found the entire process of going fiberglass a bit overwhelming. With an empty shell, I can pick and choose exactly what I want and need. Plus, I can take my time doing so.

I also suggest reading the personal blogs from members of the forum, as they shed light on what works and what doesn't. There's as many ways to outfit an egg as there are people with ideas.

Bonnie
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Old 08-25-2007, 04:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Periodically there are shells of trailers for sale. I am wondering what you would put in a shell if you were doing a complete makeover. I am thinking of a 13 ft. Compact shell. What would you install. I presently have a tent on wheels, have camped with very simple tent trailers for 25 years. No experience of what goes into a RV. Stove? fridge? hot water heater? converter? inverter? toilet/porta potty? gray water tank? black water tank? fresh water tank? water pump? furnace? I have heard about all these but my only experience was renting a motorhome for three days. What would you put in a trailer? Is it cost effective? I am really ignorant on this one and have to start some where in my thinking. Thanks in advance! Should I wait and purchase one that doesn't need much attention and learn by experience first?
Kent, some folks are moving UP from tents etc.....some of us are moving down....I am not into primitive type camping....I am too spoiled....I camp in the warm areas mostly...AC is a must...Stove, heater,water, etc is also a must....I opted for the commode/bathroom, no shower......at my age, when I am, on the road, or it's late at night, I want the convience of going to a bathroom and using the facilities....that's just me, and I respect the others who don't need it..now I added some things....12 volt reading light(2) from the Scamp factory, outside 12Volt light, and 120volt OUTSIDE outlet,awning, TV with antenna, both regular and sat.............and some other goodies that just make life easier while camping....I am still self contained, so I can stop anywhere and just pull off the road and spend the night.....but the extra stuff makes like just a little more enjoyable, and by golly that's what I want out of life!!
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:55 AM   #5
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Hi
Because the Scamp is so small, we like to keep things simple, so it's cozy insead of crowded. What we can't live without:
1) A really comfortable bed. We topped our Scamp cushions with a feather bed. It's warmer in winter, and just plain nice.
2) A stove that works. Even though we cook outside 99% of the time, it's necessary to make coffee in bad weather...
3) Organization. Whatever works for you...its more pleasant when you can find stuff.
4) Propane furnace.
We never use the sink, or water tanks. But that would depend on the kind of camping you do. We haven't been away from a water source long enough to fill the tanks.
We never use the fridge. Ice and a cooler, or a cold stream.
We have a rechargable battery (charges at home or through the cigarette lighter while travelling) that we use for lights and a fan. Although, I think solar would be the way to go eventually.
Port a potty for emergencies....never used it.
That's it!
Marjie
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:16 AM   #6
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If it were me (and of course everyone's needs differ)

Topping the list:
- full bed w/ single bunk over
- furnace
- single wide dinette

and then the standard stuff, fridge, cooktop (2-burner), and bathroom w/ shower.

Can it all fit? Probably not. Might have to give up the bathroom.
I guess that's why I have a 17' now
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Periodically there are shells of trailers for sale. I am wondering what you would put in a shell if you were doing a complete makeover. I am thinking of a 13 ft. Compact shell.
This is exactly what I did for my 1st trailer, a 13' Compact Jr. Robert and I moved up from a tent. If you're rebuilding up from an empty shell, it is better (IMHO) to keep it as simple as possible. Let it grow over time, as you figure things out... what I call a trailer on the installment plan... when you get a little money, install something.

I would recommend concentrating on the structural soundness of the body first. Make sure the windows don't leak, and the door works properly. If you want, then install the inside wall covering, either reflectix/rat fur or ensolite. The bed/dinette, "kitchen" cabinet/countertop, and closet/storage would come next. Wire up a 12 volt lighting system and a deep cycle battery. At this stage, it will be a quite comfortable "hard tent". Take it out and use it. Figure out what you miss, and go from there.
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
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Fredrick, my additonal comments in blue

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I would recommend concentrating on the structural soundness of the body first. Make sure the windows don't leak, and the door works properly.

Working on that part. Structural comes first. This should also include brakes, bearings, wheels, frame and whatever else needs fixed.

If you want, then install the inside wall covering, either reflectix/rat fur or ensolite.

My walls are painted. They will need redone.

The bed/dinette, "kitchen" cabinet/countertop, and closet/storage would come next.

Moved the camp cot into the PP today. This stage is going to take awhile. I need to get the door braced. I'm still trying to figure out what I want where.

Wire up a 12 volt lighting system and a deep cycle battery.

Got the battery. Haven't come up with the 12v lights as of yet. Lantern and flashlight for now.

At this stage, it will be a quite comfortable "hard tent". Take it out and use it. Figure out what you miss, and go from there.
You made me feel so much better! I'm plotting doing just what you said. There are exceptions to my person plan of attack, but it's too tempting to just throw some stuff in the PP and 'tent' camp. If I can work out the critter sitting arrangements, I will probably make my first camping trip over Labor Day weekend.

Bonnie
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:38 AM   #9
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We already have a Scamp 5th wheel, which we are upgrading and changing around a little, but we've discussed getting a 13' egg as a second project somewhere down the road.

The main thing we'd do is convert the back dinette into a permanent bed with storage underneath. Up front we'd put in a small, 2-seat dinette with a porta-pot storage space under the curbside seat. (Probably in a pull-out drawer that rolls out in front of the doorway and somewhat hides behind the cabinet between the bed and the door.) The kitchen would likely land on the street side between the bed and dinette, and a storage tower would take up the space between the bed and the door. We'd also ring the whole trailer with upper cabinets.

Kitchen: Two burners, sink with a counter insert, small 'fridge.
Heat: An Olympic Wave catalytic heater for boondocking and a plug-in cube heater for days when we're plugged in.
Cooling: A Fantastic Fan.
Lighting: LED lighting like we've installed in our 5th wheel with a couple incandescent reading lights.
Entertainment: A flip-down under-cabinet 12v AM/FM/MP3/DVD/TV system.
Power: A 45w solar panel (or two) on the roof, solar charger, battery box & propane tank on the tongue, 120v converter/charger unit somewhere, too

Beyond that . . . no ideas!

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