Build a fiberglass body - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2016, 02:42 AM   #1
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Name: Attila
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Build a fiberglass body

Any of you did a research that how much would cost to mold a full body ? I have 2-3 different sized plan , what i thinking to build. But i need some ideas who can help , and how much would cost. It is ridiculous how much people paying for fiberglass campers specially those new companies based in california .. the happy camper cost base $17000 and the VW bus looking $26000.
I have a plan for a Bambi sized/ shaped fiberglass and a small teardrop sized. Also have one looks like from a 50's. I have a friend who runs a fibwrglass company in Europe but it would cost extra money to transfer. So iam looking ideas and Texas based businesses. Please let me know if any of you had/have a same planes and got anywhere with.
Thank You.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:58 AM   #2
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We have several owner/manufacturer of all-molded-towable owners here as members. Robert Johan of Nest, Reace and Tammy Harmatuik of Escape Trailers, Derek and Mike of Happier Camper and others.


If you look at all the trailer names on the front page, you'll see many, many manufacturers that had good ideas for all-molded-towables. Most are now out of business. All started with a dream.

I wish you well with yours.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:40 AM   #3
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There is a huge amount of information on one-off fiberglass in boating related forums, books, etc.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Atti View Post
Any of you did a research that how much would cost to mold a full body ? I have 2-3 different sized plan , what i thinking to build. But i need some ideas who can help , and how much would cost. It is ridiculous how much people paying for fiberglass campers specially those new companies based in california .. the happy camper cost base $17000 and the VW bus looking $26000.
I have a plan for a Bambi sized/ shaped fiberglass and a small teardrop sized. Also have one looks like from a 50's. I have a friend who runs a fibwrglass company in Europe but it would cost extra money to transfer. So iam looking ideas and Texas based businesses. Please let me know if any of you had/have a same planes and got anywhere with.
Thank You.
While I can't give specifics on our build I can tell you that whatever budget you set to triple it and quadruple your time and man hours . While building a fg trailer may look fairly simple I can asure you it will be much more complicated than a frame built trailer.You will first need to build a plug , than you will have to build all the molds to fit that plug, than you can build your parts and put it all together. Sounds simple but wait! now you will have to rebuild and rework a lot of those molds which will greatly add to the cost.
Now that you you have that resolved you can now put all the components and items needed together which you will have to find to work with your trailer , some will work great and many won't , a lot of the (wont works ) will again add to the cost.
Now that you have your trailer together you can now do the testing and additional twerking and refining which again will add to the cost.
Now the fun part begins where you can actually take that trailer to nice places for photo shoots and for marketing so that you can make brochures and manuals and everything you will need to advertise your trailer which will again greatly add to the cost..
Now that you have accomplished all that and you have done like us and built a trailer with 22 different molds , more than twice as many as most other fg trailers you will have to respond to some people with out a clue as to the cost of building one of these trailers and who think it is a ridiculous price. California or anywhere
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:51 AM   #5
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If you buy a $10000 equipment to cut grass you still charge $40 for an individual. Your investment and advertising etc is your business. You write it down in your taxes. To blame high cost of your design and make the customers to pay for it well it is not me... when you can buy a brand new car for $16000 a fg small size camper shouldn't cost more than $10000....
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:38 AM   #6
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If you buy a $10000 equipment to cut grass you still charge $40 for an individual. Your investment and advertising etc is your business. You write it down in your taxes. To blame high cost of your design and make the customers to pay for it well it is not me... when you can buy a brand new car for $16000 a fg small size camper shouldn't cost more than $10000....
Interesting comments Atti, I'll be watching to see what you decide to offer the public with a new trailer for 10K or less. I think the response from Mikmay on costs to start up was very good and true in the real world. Yup, you can buy a new car for the price you state but, well, I'm not ready for a Fiat 500 shoe skate. Might be dating myself but 5K, back in the day was a loaded Caddie. A Datsun PU was $1999.00 and a '65 Mustang was around $2400 and gas was 29 or 30 cents a gallon. Good luck to you with your project.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:55 AM   #7
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There already is an affordable family camper called Scamp starting at around $14K I believe for base model 13'...if you need more affordable than that there may be cheaper stick built models or there is always the used market. We bought our '71 Boler for less than 2K and the renovation materials alone has surpassed that same amount. I am considering making a fiberglass trailer myself after completing the Boler. I have a ski trailer frame that I planned to build a wood skeleton frame upon and hand lay fiberglass matte over the entire exterior...not intended for mass production but after its complete I suppose I could have a 1 piece mold made from it if I decided to go that way.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:21 AM   #8
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Build a fiberglass body

The Scamp 13 starts at $10K, or $11K with the basic option package. $14K gets you a fairly well-equipped unit. That's before shipping and local taxes, of course.

As Scamp's development costs have long been amortized, I think a start-up would be hard-pressed to undercut them.

Recent newcomers to the 13' party have all gone upmarket, perhaps to avoid going head-to-head with a well-established brand.

But anyone is welcome to try!
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:37 AM   #9
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...when you can buy a brand new car for $16000 a fg small size camper shouldn't cost more than $10000....
One factor you fail to consider is economies of scale. The cheapest economy cars are marketed globally and sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Here in NA, where larger cars and trucks are the norm, econoboxes are sold as loss leaders catering to first-time and credit-impaired buyers. There is little profit in the cars themselves, but plenty in financing and service.

There is simply no comparison between the vehicle market and the niche market for tiny travel trailers.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:41 AM   #10
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Thanks for clarifying Jon, I did not know they were price that low and budget friendly for people "making them affordable for average families not just the rich class"...

But there is nothing wrong with wanting a decked out up scaled version if you have worked hard, saved the money and can afford it...
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #11
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Bernie, Bernie Bernie!!!!
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:04 AM   #12
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lol let's not go political here I am sure the Wardens are watching
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:08 AM   #13
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lol let's not go political here I am sure the Wardens are watching
Political???

All I stated was my friends name!
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
One factor you fail to consider is economies of scale. The cheapest economy cars are marketed globally and sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Here in NA, where larger cars and trucks are the norm, econoboxes are sold as loss leaders catering to first-time and credit-impaired buyers. There is little profit in the cars themselves, but plenty in financing and service.

There is simply no comparison between the vehicle market and the niche market for tiny travel trailers.
I think it's more like millions for car and 400 to 500 for the trailer. My guess that total annual sales of molded fiberglass trailers is less than 1,000. Not much price leverage for materials and parts with that small number.
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