Which one? Scamp/Casita/Burro/Boleta/etc. - I'm so confused! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-08-2008, 04:20 AM   #1
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I've got a little experience with travel trailers, I lived and worked in a 26' 1972 Argosy for the better part of a year, but this fiberglass travel trailer thing has got me stumped. I'd like to buy something small that I could live in while I'm on the road - I don't need a lot of space, but I'd like to have a shower, a fridge, and somewhere where I could set up my laptop without having to rearrange the bed to do it! I see a lot of posts out there by a lot of folks who have different brands, buying and selling, but I haven't been able to find any sort of comparative analysis or even opinions - what's the best/worst, what to stay away from, what tows better or worse than another, what are the advantages/disadvantages in the different sizes, what to look for in something that small. I don't want to tow anything bigger than a 16', though, but the 13' TTs that I've seen don't have anything in the way of bathroom facilities. Help!!

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Old 02-08-2008, 05:37 AM   #2
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In the case of the Casita, the bathroom is the same size in the 13' as for the 16'. I can't speak to other models.

There are many previous posts where people look for recommendations. No one that I'm aware of has owned all of them which would allow them to assemble some sort of table of comparisons.

Because it's so dependent on one's needs it tends to be a fruitless excercise. For example, the "how does it tow" question. So many combinations of tow vehicle, trailer, towing experience, etc.

Even so, some will make recommendations regardless. Take them with a grain of salt. (We seem to have a few manufacturer reps and others with vested interests on the board posing as unassociated owners.)

What does seem to work well is to attend a camping gettogether and walk through the trailers yourself. That would be my recommendation.

Quando omni flunkus, moritati
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:41 AM   #3
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what are the advantages/disadvantages in the different sizes, what to look for in something that small. I don't want to tow anything bigger than a 16', though, but the 13' TTs that I've seen don't have anything in the way of bathroom facilities. Help!!
Well, you're on a multi-brand fiberglass forum. You're not going to get an answer of what's [b]best here. Obviously the differences in sizes will be space... perhaps an additional seating area or maybe sleeping area, or a bathroom. We have a philosophy of "Love the one you're with." There are more similarities between the 13 footers than differences. You will need to decide what you NEED, what you can AFFORD and what weight LIMIT you have on your tug... then go from there. If you're looking buy new, on the left nav bar is the Helpful-Links and then click "All Current Trailer Brands" at the top. BTW: Scamp will build you a 13 footer with a full bathroom. It's called a deluxe. I think Casita also in the Patriot.

We have a terrific Search feature.. near upper right area of the forum. I'd suggest giving it a try.

On Edit: Better yet, go see some trailers!
Starting on Tuesday Feb 12, is the 10th Scamp Camp in Sebring Florida. Call Alice Vernezze 321-773-2676 for info

then the 29th of February, is the Orange Blossom Gathering in Umatilla, Florida

Check the Rallies, Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets for more gatherings too.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:57 AM   #4
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Hi: I thought the "Orange Blossom Special" in Umatilla FL. was cancelled due to lack of interest???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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Regretably, that looks true.


There was a ScampCamp about this time last year in Florida although I don't see it on the calendar yet. Also, whatever Rock Crusher morphed into was in Florida in the spring.

Plus Casita and I believe Scamp have programs to put one in contact with trailer owners willing to show their trailer in a buyer's area. Doesn't help necessarily with some of the other brands.
Quando omni flunkus, moritati
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:43 AM   #6
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"Best" is subjective. You've set yourself some parameters:
I don't want to tow anything bigger than a 16'
While there are a few 13' trailers out there with full baths, none will allow you to leave the bed made and still have a dinette. In order to have all of the amenities as well as leave the bed made and have a small dinette, you're looking at a 16' model and Scamp, Casita both have side dinette models. If you're willing to go to 17' trailers, Burro had both a front and side dinette 17' model (depending on year model) and Casita, Escape, EggCamper and Bigfoot are all in current production and all have models that would fit your requirements.

As to the "best" among them... there isn't one. There are differing price points depending on the level of fit, finish, and options you'd like. Some offer true four-season packages, but that comes at some pretty stiff pricing.

As far as towability, having probably had more fiberglass trailers than most of the members on the site, I can tell you that towability depends on the balance (ratio of tongue weight to trailer weight) and frontal area. The larger the frontal area, the harder the tow.

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Old 02-08-2008, 01:17 PM   #7
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Good luck on your quest for the right trailer to fit your needs! Having just finished that quest myself,
I'll share a bit of my thought process. I started from zero experience and my quest went something like this:

1st - What were my needs and how would I likely use the rv? I will mainly travel solo, with a small, 13 lb furry companion, Oscar. At times in the future we'll invite a grandchild along to share goodtimes with and build lasting memories.

2nd - Cost factor - what was my top limit? While I could to go up to the Airstream Bambi, I like to cosider my own personal cost effectiveness, or "bang for the buck" factor. I tend to be conservative in my spending patterns. I prefer function and quality over flash.

So I was leaning towards an efficient, quality product that I could easily see myself in for 1 to 4 week sojourns. While cruising the internet on my quest I discovered the world of the Fiberglass Egg Campers and fell in love with the non-pretentious, friendly community of travelers that seem to get so much pleasure from their Egg-wanderings. I feel that Oscar and I will feel right at home. The frontal areas of the Eggs and the gw is smaller than the Bambi, so I thought they'd tow better.

3rd - Basic needs - Indoor cooking and shower = mandatory! A/C a must have as well.

4th - Weight limit - My TV is a new Tacoma Double Cab, short bed 2x4 with a towing package factory installed. Towing limit 6500 lb. Being one who prefers an extra margin of safety, I imposed my own weight limit of 4000 lb.

So I saw myself mainly in the Casita - Oliver worlds. With the shower requirement, I felt a 13 footer would be too small for some of my longer anticipated trips. I eventually narrowed it down to the 17 foot models of the Casita or an Oliver. My initial favorite floorplan was the Casita FD with the captains chairs, but after realizing there would be no sleeping space for the grandchild, I settled on the Casita SD or Oliver with their similar floorplan and configuration flexibilities.

I requested brochures from both companies . . . I spoke to reps from both companies . . . had positive thoughts for both companies. Both families desire to produce a great product their customers will enjoy for many years.

5th -But I needed to touch and feel before I bought. Casita put me in touch with a proud owner in my area and an Oliver happened to be passing by my home over the holidays and Jim Oliver invited me over to see his trailer. I liked both, but in the end I went with the Oliver even though more expensive, for the following reasons . . .

1- Non carpeted walls of the Oliver, while not as warm and cozy as the Casita, would be better for my granddaughter's respiratory ailments.
2- My prowess with making modifications to suit specific needs is minimal. I'd hate to have a nice trailer interior interrupted with my "workmanship" if you can call it that.
3 - Oliver offered a more extensive list of options, and on top of that, Jim said he'd even add more option if I had any. I had a unique list, and he has accomodated every item.
4- I felt my personal "bang-for-the-buck" matrix was maximized with Oliver.

6th - Company and brand longevity. Will they be there in the future? While Casita wins out in the "How long have you been making trailers?" contest; but Oliver Technologies has a long manufacturing history which leads me to belive they will no be a flash-in-the-pan rv maker. I deemed them tied in this area.

ANYWAY..................that was my personal rv quest. I'll be picking up my "WONDER-EGG" on March 10th and bring it home to the Hill Country of Texas. I hope to be at the Bluebonnet Rally in Bandera, Tx early April so Oscar and I can start making new friends in the FGRG world.

Enjoy your quest, ED, and may your trailer of choice bring you much joy in the years to come.

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Old 02-09-2008, 01:52 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for their insightful comments! I've been mulling over all the comments, and they've helped me to further articulate what I'm looking for, and my particular situation.

The trailer will be for myself and a beautiful 6-year-old silver tabby named Princess. While I don't forsee spending more than a week or two at a time living in a trailer, it doesn't bother me to do so for longer, and so I wanted to plan for the minimal amount of space I'd need, considering my experiences living in a 26 ft. trailer.

The most important considerations for me are price, functionality, size, ease of towing, ease of repair, and parts interchangeability. I'm in the market for a small to medium-sized truck, so I don't have a set towing capacity that I have to stick with. For me, spartan is fine - I don't need carpeted walls, built-in TV and stereo, etc., but something functional that I can both work and live in while on the road. A/C and a furnace are a must, as is the minimal set of appliances (stove, fridge, sink, hot water, shower, toilet, and some storage capacity for canned goods and clothes). Since I write software for a living, I sometimes have to have software tasks that will run for 24 hours or longer, and so I have to have a place that the laptop can be set up and run while I get some sleep, so the idea of a work table that has to be converted into a bed to sleep in wouldn't work very well for me.

Also, something with a bit of insulation in it would be good - I'll be spending most of my time on the road in Colorado and northern Arizona - cold weather country - and having to refill propane bottles every day to keep warm isn't my idea of a good time!

I'd also be making a couple of minor mods - I'm a ham radio operator, and setting up radios while parked would be necessary. I realize that a fiberglass shell doesn't afford much of a ground plane for an antenna, so I'd be drilling a coule of small holes for bulkhead antenna couplers. Not a big deal.

Lastly, I don't need something brand new right off the lot - used is fine, as long as it's not so old or in such bad shape that it would require extensive reconditioning to be roadworthy. I'd also like to eventually go solar, so the quality of the internal wiring (or easy access to such, so that the trailer could be rewired if necessary) is relatively important. I am assuming that the trailer would be functional running off 12 volts, and only non-essentials would be powered from the mains (well, OK, it's debatable whether or not A/C is "essential", but it's hard to find an A/C unit that will run off 12 volts or propane!), so 12 volts could be budgeted for fans, lights (LEDs to replace incandescent 12 volt bulbs), water pump, and the laptop.

Did I cover everything? Again, I appreciate everyone's help and advice!! I'm in San Antonio, Texas, for the next week or so, so if anyone's close down here, I'd love to get together and chat!
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:47 AM   #9
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I'm not sure where your travels take you but if you ever get up to the Reading PA. Area (near Lancaster's Amish Country)....I have a 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe with the side dinette weighing in between 2200-2800lbs in case you would like to look at one.
Joe and Linda
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:38 AM   #10
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Ed, , as long as your tow vehicle has a 5,000 lb tow rating, you'll be able to tow any fiberglass RV 17' and under. A 3,500 lb tow rating will cover most of them, but won't leave much in the way of reserve for the tow vehicle. I'm glad that Pete mentioned Oliver. They're new in the past few months, and I just plain forgot them. You probably won't find an Oliver used, though.

Now that you've defined your "wants" a little more clearly, I can tell you that any of the trailers in the 16 and 17' range by any of the manufacturers with the two-dinette setup all offer trailers with the amenities that would suit your needs. They all have some sort of "interior wall treatment"; Burro, EggCamper, UHaul and Oliver have a four-piece fiberglass white gelcoat shell inside the exterior fiberglass shell. The rest have a single thickness shell with carpet, Ensolite, or some other material covering the raw insulation. Bigfoot has a single shell with insulation and paneling on the inside. Most are insulated, but that can vary from individual trailer to individual trailer.

My suggestion now is that you do your homework. Start with our FGRV brand albums and see what style appeals to you. Take a look at the various types of interiors that are available in the albums. That should help you narrow down what you're looking for. Some of these trailers are very rare and are seldom seen on the used market, some are plentiful. Make sure you look at the Buyer's Checklist and take it with you every time you look at a trailer.

Once you've narrowed your choices, watch the ads for trailers every day. When you find just what you're looking for, be prepared to drive some distance for it and take cash. Really nice trailers are seldom on the market more than 72 hours, and while I've been lucky and found some quite nearby, I've also gone half-way across the continent for one trailer I bought.

Happy hunting!

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Old 02-09-2008, 05:12 PM   #11
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I would also suggest you find a camp-out or gathering near you and plan to attend for the day. You'll likely find a lot of models to look at and stand inside for the feel.

In my Scamp 13, without bath (just a porta-potti for inclement weather use), I built a single bed across the back, with a pullout table underneath. Had I wanted to leave a lap-top running, it could have been on the kitchen surfaces or on one of the front bunks.

Keep in mind that if you are connected, unless you are using satellite, you will likely be camping in places with facilities. Personally, I see no need to carry a bath around with me (and all the attendant stuf implied, like water heaters and holding tanks) if the places I stay already have facilities. YMMV, of course.

In general, all the RV manfs use appliances and hardware from the same sources, and the FG egg industry is no exception -- Only the shell is different.

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