13' purchase advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-29-2014, 04:52 PM   #1
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13' purchase advice

My wife and I are new to the forum, new to RVing, and (happily) new to being retired. Formerly active tent campers we're ready to take a step up from packing a tent in the rain and considering a small (13') trailer. At the moment we're favoring the Casita - seems a bit better built and so far our interactions have suggested better customer service, but the lack of a screen door is a definite bummer. Scamp also definite option under consideration. Vermont is a long trek to either factory, so no preference there. Our tow vehicle is an '08 Toyota highlander.

Since we have no experience and so far all our information is from the web and phone conversations with factory reps we have no good basis for comparison. Any advice from owners? Any owners in Vermont or New Hampshire that might let us see their rig? If not a 13' looking at a 16 might give us an idea of the manufacturing quality of both brands.

Thanks for any help, advice.

david
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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If you call Casita they will provide you contact info for nearby Casita owners who have agreed to show their trailers to prospective buyers; those of who who do that get a $200 check from Casita should you decide to buy a new trailer.

Dunno about Scamp, but Casita has no dealers - they do it all direct.

Charlie Y
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks Charlie. I've requested contacts from Casita and hope to have them soon. So far as I know Scamp doesn't offer this service nor do they have dealers.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
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Both are well made trailers, Scamp has a wider options list which allows for a more custom fit for the buyer. They also offer custom oak or birch cabinetry.
The 13Scamp bed (now 54" on all models) is larger than the Casita.
Our 13ScampD will be 10years old this year and is still in great shape and has performed flawlessly with only scheduled maintenance.
While I vote for the Scamp when it comes to the 13, I'm sure the Casita would be a satisfactory choice as well.
I have had the best possible response from Scamp, from initial contact, through the ordering process and for support over the ensuing 10 years.
The first picture below was taken the first year when Our Scamp was new. The second picture was taken about a year ago, after about 9years and 60,000+ miles and hundreds of nights use....
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WB40023.jpg   DSCF0034.JPG  

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Old 01-29-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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nice pics. Does the little front bathroom window open - look like it in the photo. Good info on the bed size - I hadn't picked up on that. Smaller wheel size on the Scamp bothered me a bit, but if you've done 60k must be a non-issue.
thanks Floyd
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
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You really might enjoy checking out a FGRV rally, it looks like there are some possibilities in your area.Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Upcoming) - Fiberglass RV Take a look at the Google map link in the second post.

I own and love our scamp, and coming from a lot of tent camping it works well for us. We consider it our "hard sided tent" and still cook and spend most of our time outside the camper.

I also thought the Casita or two I saw at the Algonac rally were nice campers. The ground clearance was noticeably taller on the Casita. Possibly an advantage when camping in rustic locations, trade off is a step up into the camper and higher wind profile behind the tow vehicle, but that sort of depends on the TV. Scamp tucks in well behind our 2005 Ford Escape, not sure if Highlander is taller than Escape or not.

Hit a rally or two and you will be able to see many options plus the advantage of how the people are actually using the camper and how it's layout or features work for their camping style. Mountain biking and backpacking base camp vs Reading and cocktail hour accomadations.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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I travel solo in my little 13' w/bath. Truth be told, if there were another person with me, I would feel very cramped. While getting dressed in the morning, one person would have to go outside. It can be done, both Daryl and Floyd can attest to it. But, if you have any concerns at all about space, or the lack thereof, I would consider a 16' trailer at minimum. It would save you alot of trouble of buying, selling, and buying another. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:06 PM   #8
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Might consider headroom on both brands. If you're 6 ft or taller a Casita 17 footer has more headroom. I needed that and a king size bed, so I have a Casita 17 LD. Deluxe in Casita speak means you get a bathroom.

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Old 01-29-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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I travel solo in my little 13' w/bath. Truth be told, if there were another person with me, I would feel very cramped. While getting dressed in the morning, one person would have to go outside. It can be done, both Daryl and Floyd can attest to it. But, if you have any concerns at all about space, or the lack thereof, I would consider a 16' trailer at minimum. It would save you alot of trouble of buying, selling, and buying another. Just my 2 cents.
We don't get dressed at the same time, but then Cheryl tends to get up first so I'm still in the bed.... pretending I'm asleep and paying no attention

There is a lot to be said for purchasing what you really need or want when buying a new FGRV, used hold their value very well but buying new and selling as used you will take a loss. Might consider purchase of late model used 13 then if it is too small or lacking amenities you find you need your resale should recover most of your money to use on a larger model.

Bathroom does take up a greater percentage of space in a 13 than a 16 ft. model.

A family of four in a 13 requires getting ready for bed in shifts but people do it and have fun when the kids are young enough. A couple at the Algonac rally had done month long trips in a 13 and still seemed to like each other so it is doable.

I spent so much time camping in a tent where I was never hanging out inside that even when I camped in a 38 ft. motor home I was still outside for everything except sleeping, toilet, and showers. And in the national forest toilet inside was a 2nd choice for a stand up guy like myself. Wife not so much.

Really totally comes down to how YOU camp as to what kind of space and features you need. Cozy or cramped pretty much depends on your use and perspective.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:36 PM   #10
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Is your Highlander a 4 cyl or 6? Factory tow package??

I have an old Scamp 13 with no bath. Wife and I have tens of thousands of happy miles with it, and likely to have thousands more this year. I would be just as happy with a Casita, and I think a little happier with an Escape. If I "trade up" someday, it'll be to an Escape.

Do consider buying used locally; saves you the drive and the campers do not change all that much.

John
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:49 PM   #11
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Good thoughts - thanks
highlander is 6 cyl w/ factory package
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by John A View Post

Do consider buying used locally; saves you the drive and the campers do not change all that much.

John
Doesn't cost all that much to have a trailer shipped over the two-way trip to get it. I had mine sent on a flatbed trailer from near Denver to Portland Oregon for less than the cost of gas both ways and took zero driving time.
I've used Uship.com for shipping tractors, and they did a great job on my Casita in the dead of winter over the Rockies in 3 days.

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Old 01-29-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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Heck if you could find a nice used one in Florida it might be nice to leave Vermont to pick it up just for the balmy 40 degree weather they have down there right now.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:58 PM   #14
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Very helpful shipping advice and contact Charlie - thanks, I may do that when I make up my mind.
And Roger - with minus temps forcast the next several days, a pick up in FL is very enticing!!
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