Are fiberglass trailers hot in the summer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2013, 08:31 AM   #1
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 4500
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Are fiberglass trailers hot in the summer?

My husband and I are currently looking for our first trailer and have fallen in love with the Trillium/Boler/U-Haul trailers. Have looked a few so far and have noticed in postings there is often a fan sitting somewhere pretty obviously on the counter or table. Are these trailers like little ovens on a hot day? As a veteran tent camper I know a tent can get pretty steamy but we had all those screen walls to open up. Figure the Trillium might be cooler than a Boler because if the larger window size. Comments?
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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I can't speak about brands except my Scamp. Hot is relative term so I'll just give you our experiences. We've had our Scamp for 8 years and camp year around averaging over 100 days a year. The insulation seems to be quite good and trailer will stay relatively cool in warm weather. We don't have an Air Conditioner, but do carry a constant breeze fan. So far in 8 years we've use the fan 3 to 5 nights. The last time was in Death Valley when the night time temperatures dropped all the way to around 90F. Scamp has an over sized ceiling vent which helps.

The furnace gets more use than any cooling device would.

For comparison between the Scamp and a tent, the Scamp doesn't get as hot as the tent did.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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In my experience with my Casita, I can stay fairly cool without AC if I open all the windows, use the screen door, and open the roof vent. That really opens the trailer and heat doesn't build up. Barbie, you bring up a very good point that some trailers have more and bigger windows and that's definitely something you should take into account while you're shopping. And a screen door in essential.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbieB View Post
Figure the Trillium might be cooler than a Boler because if the larger window size. Comments?
That was my thinking as well. Not just larger windows but jalousie windows. They are less of an issue in the rain. I can't compare to other fiberglass trailers as this is our first but it is a big improvement over our previous trailer, a Chalet Arrowhead. We put an inexpensive O2cool fan (Walmart $15) in the window blowing across us on hot nights. Of course hot in New England can't compare to hot in the south. Raz
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:04 AM   #5
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Thanks to you all for your helpful comments. I don't have any concerns now....will let you know what we purchase! Looking at a Trillium 4500 tomorrow.....two U-Hauls......and an old Boler on Sunday! It's going to be a marathon trailer hunting weekend and hope to find our perfect first trailer by the end of it! I'm sure this forum will be invaluable to us in the future as we learn the ropes about trailering.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Barbara, a lot may have to do with the age and brand of trailer in regards to whether it is really hot in the summer or just hot. :-))) Many of the older bolers for example have wall coverings with very limited if any insulation value which I would suspect are hotter in warm weather than perhaps by Scamp that has the rat fur and a bubble foil under that. I get by with just a Fantastic Fan over the bed area in mine.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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IF you happen across one, the 13' Lil Bigfoot seems to have a lot better insulation that the similar sized Scamp. We have owned both and found the Lil Bigfoot cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
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Barbie, I have had both, a 13' Trillium and now a 4500 Trillium. I go to Florida for at least a month each winter where it can get hot and humid. I have never found the camper to be terribly hot (a little worse in humidity). I have a small fan, no AC. But with all the windows open, if there is a breeze the camper stays quite comfortable. Of course the jalousie windows are an advantage as even in the rain they can stay open.

Good luck with your camper hunt finding the right-for-you camper!
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BarbieB View Post
Looking at a Trillium 4500 tomorrow.....two U-Hauls......and an old Boler on Sunday! It's going to be a marathon trailer hunting weekend and hope to find our perfect first trailer by the end of it!
Download the buyers check list in the document center.
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List
Study it then print off enough copies to record each trailer. That will help in your decision.
Other points that might help are to note window size, type and location. Do they open, open in the rain? Bed size, layout, features. Original axle or replaced? (for torsion axles) etc.

Re the heat, we have one of these:
FanTastic Vent - Product - Endless Breeze
It will change the air in a trailer very quickly on high. It hangs off the jalousie windows nicely, you just need a short piece of plastic pipe to hold it off the screen. Blows air in or out.
Like others have said, we use the furnace a lot more than the fan.

Happy hunting.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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MOST fiberglass trailers have SOME insulation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbieB View Post
Are these trailers like little ovens on a hot day?
... but some don't have any. My 1978 Fiber Stream has no wall covering on the inside of the shell; the factory just painted the fiberglass. I have noticed in pictures that many Compact Jr. trailers aren't insulated either. If it is totally closed up, then YES it is an oven on a hot day, just like my car is when it spends all day closed up in a parking lot.

The most important thing for keeping a trailer cool is opening the roof vent to exhaust hot air by natural convection even without a Fantastic-Fan.

My Compact Jr. does not have a regular roof vent because the pop-top's screened openings in the canvas do the same thing. I have observed that opening just the side windows with the top down has nearly no effect on the heat . But raise the top and open the flaps over the screens and the trailer immediately cooled even with the glass windows closed.
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
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My UHaul stays surprisingly comfortable on hot days.
I use a fan, because I don't want to install AC.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #12
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We have a Trillium 13footer. Once, after a hot day (about 100F), it was a bit too warm at bedtime, but cooled quickly as the night cooled. We really like the jalousy windows that can stay open in bad weather. The trailer cools off easily after a day of driving with everything closed up - open the door, open the roof vent, then open the windows.

The furnace is a nice addition - just have to make sure it isn't set too high. Usually it is comfortable with just the pilot light on, only once was it cold enough to need the next setting warmer. We do have warm covers we can burrow under and prefer that to a hot bedroom.

For us the biggest delight when changing from a tent to a trailer was the fridge. I LOVE having one!
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:23 PM   #13
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Smile One reason we went with Trilliium

Trillium is the only brand, it think, that has opening windows on all four sides of the trailer, and those windows can stay open in the rain. There are accessories you can buy that cover a slide-by window with a louvered cover, but I don't see the area of an open window. We had our hottest experience this July in Southern Oregon when it got near 100F. While it was hot, we did have air circulation with a little fan, and it did cool off in the evening.
We have the Fantastic Fan on ours and this really moves the air.

What I like about the Trillium over a tent is it like a little house or home (thus "Homelet") and one doesn't have to contend with mosquitoes or sleeping on the ground.
If there was one thing I would change or add to our Trillium it would be a screened door. No window can compete with the sheer size of a door.

Good luck in your search.

PS: Check your state's unclaimed property website. You may have extra money to spend on your egg!
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