Is there one brand that's better quality than the others? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-03-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Name: JC
Trailer: in the market
Posts: 29
Is there one brand that's better quality than the others?

I tried using the search feature to no avail.

Is one brand of trailer a better quality (or more bang for the buck, options and features wise) than the others?

Been looking at Casita trailers on Craigslist and ebay however, I just found out about Scamp. Is one any more reliable than the other? Is maintenance about the same for both of them?

In buying a used trailer with absolutely no previous trailer experience, is there anything in particular that I should be looking at or looking out for?

I'm probably like anybody else, I want one with the axel reversed (higher ground clearence so as not to drag going in and out of gas stations, dirt roads, etc.) and all the bells and whistles. However, the pocket book along with the units available used will probably dictate something less. So aside from A/C (that's a definate must in Calif), what are the top five "must have" for each of you?

Thank you in advance for your reply......I really appreciate it!

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Old 07-03-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
There are features of build that may favor one trailer over another for the cognoscenti (folks who can recognize a mistake when they're about to make it again). For instance, you desire a high rise axle and ground clearance. Casita has it. A floor integral to the molded hull is often found desirable. Casita has it. Folks from cold climes desire insulation. Casita doesn't have it; Scamp has some; Bigfoot has adequate insulation cf. to the former two. You begin to see the problem?

As for reliability, I assume you mean life support systems inside the trailer as they all tow reliably as long as there's gas in the tug and no blown tires. It seems to me that most low and mid-end (is there a mid-end?) components (pumps, fridges, AC, furnaces, vents) are standardized and common to all so the quality of the installation is probably paramount.

Top five "must have?" Five systems that are working when you buy the trailer. Don't need? Stuff that ain't working.


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Old 07-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 2,866
I am by no means well informed on the differences but the different brands do have different features sometimes implemented using different floor plans.
The "Manufactures" tab at the top of the page may give you a better idea of what your options are. There are a lot more choices than Scamp and Casita!

Some things that I would consider are number of people, AC on roof or internal, am I going to cook and eat inside most of the time or outside (counter space and extra table in addition to table/bed combo) Oven and/or microwave vs additional storage.

Do I want to give up the space to have a bathroom/shower or is a port-a-potti in a closet enough. A subject of robust debate in the past.

Some of the campers brands are double wall EggCamper (current product) comes to mind, maybe U-Haul (I think out of production).

On getting the ground clearence, seems like most of the campers can take a new axle and get what you want for tires and clearence within reason, but that is a cost if the model you are considering does not meet your requirements. However if the existing axle is "shot" it may allow you to negotiate on price a little (pretty much a sellers market right now)

Oh and weight, how much can I tow, and is smaller camper that can be towed with less powerful TV an advantage or would you rather have more space and capacity that requires a larger TV be available even in the future. Son had big snowmobile trailer sold pickup could not tow trailer with mini van, oops.

How much repair or custom work can I or am I willing to do? Some really neat campers are for sale that have not been in production for years, but you have to accept that parts and repairs may be a challenge. People on this site are great about helping with the challenge but you have to be willing to accept you may not be able to just drop it off and have it fixed.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2007 Casita
Posts: 3,440
As a very wise fiberglass member here always says ( Donna D), Love the one your with!

It holds true, unless of course you can afford to have a customized molded fiberglass travel trailer made to fit your camping needs.

That being said, most can't afford to, nor would it be easy finding a manufacture to make it.

If your in the market for new of course Casita, Scamp, EggCamper, Escape, Trillium, Parkliner and Snoozy.

Best bet for high end customized would be Escape!

In the used market, you will find that different manufactures have different issues as far as, is one better than another question.......

Lets be honest, despite some brands having quality issues over the years you gotta look at the satistic's. There are tons of 30+ year old fiberglass travel trailers still on the road. So fiberglass is quality!

I think a better question than is there a brand that is better quality than another? Would be, What fiberglass travel trailers would fit my camping needs? Then proceed from there.

Your camping needs would be like how many people does it need to sleep (not all brands, models will accomodate more than two people) What type of tow vehicle will you be towing with? Tow capacity will play a factor in choosing a trailer. You need a AC (can't blame you!) Some brands don't offer AC so it would have to be after market. I think you get what I am trying to say, so give us a little camping info and hopefully we can steer you towards a few brands that would fit your camping needs......
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 2,785
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I personally think they all build with the lowest dollar stuff and rush to complete. The floor is one great example as it seams they do not use marine grade or treated plywood for the flooring or treat it underneath.

Our Scamp had the axle welded on (Quick to do vers bolting on) and the wood cabinet doors came unglued.

Our present camper came with molding screwed down where the screw does not go into anything, saw dust in all the overhead lamps and saw dust under the seats, etc.

They don't even take the time to do a PUNCH OUT inspection or clean up after them selves.

Go and look at the campers and pick the one you like best.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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Name: Dylan
Trailer: 2001 Scamp 13'
British Columbia
Posts: 798
Yep. I LOVE my Scamp, but as I modify, repair and generally work in it I'm constantly disappointed with shortcuts the factory took. Welded on axle. Top vent not installed even close to strait. Very cheap floor that is FAR from trivial to replace. On and on. But in I see shoddy work in really expensive coaches, seems the RV world just doesn't build like a mass produced German luxury car or a hand crafted home. Oh well.

Casitas seem a bit better built to me, but I haven't torn one apart either. And I think they are generally heavier than Scamps.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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Name: JC
Trailer: in the market
Posts: 29
The response has been great and I appreciate it. All of you have brought up some good points and are helping me to think about and consider things from a different perspective.

A little more info. from my's just the two of us. Once in awhile one of the grandchildren may be along. We would use the microwave from time to time however, I don't see us using an oven much. Most of our cooking, I believe, would be out on a b-b-q........I hope! I think we'd also want a toilet with a shower. Oh, the tow vehicle is a 2012 Nissan Frontier Kingcab SV V6 I believe it'll tow any of these fiberglass trailers easy enough.

And........I have to admit the Scamp 5th wheel is interesting. That would allow us to have a bed full time, as well as a dining area full time.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #8
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Name: Brooke
Trailer: U Haul CT13
Posts: 292
One thing I like about the uhaul trailers is that they were built to survive a different renter every week! They were built to be strong a durable not to return a profit at sale!

They are great trailers!
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 4,522
Check to see if all the appliances work. Look for any signs of soft spots (rot) in the floor; one can often poke around with a sharp object on the underside to detect such areas.

For probably under $1000 you can get a new torsion axle that is settable to the desired height.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
You might also consider that most 4 litre 6bangers are not going to exactly "run away" with a trailer over 3000 lb. They may be rated for 5K but the rec is to take 80% of that as a realistic limit (say 4Klb). A Scamp 19' 5er Deluxe might be pretty close to that 80% limit by the time you add your rubber ducky, Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples in 3 vol., etc.

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Old 07-03-2012, 06:57 PM   #11
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 5,032
My Scamp Deluxe is now eight years old and not only was it clean and near perfect on delivery, it has remained solid with every system properly installed and working to date,with the exception of the shore water inlet check valve which failed this year.
I did need to redesign the door gasket which was made from inferior material.
The flooring is treated with fiberglass resin and mine is as good as new so far, and I expect it to last a lifetime with very little attention.
My axle is securely welded in place as it should be. I was 52 when I took delivery so I may see one axle replacement in my lifetime (60,000 miles and 8 years so far). If it comes to replacement, it will be welded in place.
The Deluxe cabinetry is the best in the industry.
When I picked up my Scamp, it was a Saturday. They did not want to deliver on the weekend in case we found something with which we were not satisfied. I merely said that they should get someone to inspect it to be sure it was right, so I woudn't have anything to complain about...
They did, I didn't!
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:38 PM   #12
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Name: Gene
Trailer: Scamp
North Dakota
Posts: 599
If you go to the Casita factory and I would bet Scamp would be the same you can get a walk through and see exactly how they are put together. I was at the Casita "hatchery" last spring and got a personal tour by a salesman. If you know what you are talking about and ask for certain things during the build they might accommodate you for a price.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:14 PM   #13
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 478
For a wide interior look at Bigfoot more than an extra foot of width than the rest.
Build top of the line.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:21 PM   #14
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Name: Barry
Trailer: 1993 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 190
Scamp is the best! Everyone knows that ! Duh

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