build your own? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-12-2014, 09:29 PM   #1
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Name: jon
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build your own?

I've had a 13' scamp, sold it, miss it, and now am considering building one. what do you guys think?

I would start with a 16' aluminum trailer frame with a 3500# torsion bar axle, build some sort of deck (probably marine grade plywood), and for the top cut the back part of a fiberglass shuttle van. I would have to engineer something for the front that would be low drag, maybe with a pop-out bed. I think i would build a super light aluminum roll cage for the inside, mainly so i can attach a roof rack and so the shuttle body would maintain its shape once i cut the font half off. For the innards id go super simple.

Anybody out there with experience building or modifying fiberglass camper trailer shells that can give me some good advice?
THanks!
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:40 PM   #2
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"Good Advice????"

Buy another FGRV so you can be using it, rather that spending all your time and money building something that will wind up costing more.

You might say "I'm not a dreamer, I'm practical'
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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You might have fun creating your own version of a fiberglass egg and if that's what you want, then I say go for it !

But for cost effectiveness, you might do better to get a 'fixer-upper' egg and them customize the heck out of it. Whatever you choose, keep us in the loop, because we love to watch modifications happen.
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:52 AM   #4
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These guys build everything from tear drops to standees. Go check them out to get ideas. That is where I got all the info for building my tear drop! Let us know how you make out and what you decide!!!!!
Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers € Index page
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:38 AM   #5
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I have had similar thoughts but not as modern as yours.I want to build a trailer like the plans were published for in the 1930s, 40s, & 50s in magazines like Popular Mechanics and such.I am really thinking about it and just may do it in a few years after I retire.That said, currently I am modifying an older (1988) Scamp 16 to meet my needs.What I would love to find is somebody selling a rolling egg shell and frame that I could finish at home.The compound contours of the Scamp for example are not really DYI friendly though.Something more squareish (and rear entry) would be the bomb.I am impressed with your plan for an aluminum frame and torsion axle.I already have plenty of steel and traditional axles so will probably go that route.But as others have said, this is really a labor of love.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
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i love the idea of building a trailer. I would search teardrops, as for building these sites provide lots of information. I am currently using the insulating boards you can buy at any hardware store to build a curved cover for the tongue, got the ideas by searching foamies, a light weight teardrop. This might provide a simple solution for the front of your trailer without the expense of forms.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, i agree it would not be the easiest or even the cheapest way to go about things. I occasionally see a fiberglass-bodied motor coaches with mechanical issues that can be had for about what the metal will scrap out at. Maybe a poptop chinook? I think I am going to keep my eyes out for the right materials at the right place, maybe have an exciting project to share with you all if i can put things together!
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado hick View Post
Thanks for the advice, i agree it would not be the easiest or even the cheapest way to go about things. I occasionally see a fiberglass-bodied motor coaches with mechanical issues that can be had for about what the metal will scrap out at. Maybe a poptop chinook? I think I am going to keep my eyes out for the right materials at the right place, maybe have an exciting project to share with you all if i can put things together!

You must be talking about about Class "A" coaches as I have seldom seen a molded fiberglass Mini motorhome that can be had for scrap value, regardless of condition. Even the rattiest Chinooks sell for relatively big bucks in CO, there is a nice one there right now for $7500. There is a Yahoo group for Chinook peeps where abandoned projects frequently turn up or are mentioned. I am known there as Sunrader Bob.

Good luck and let us know what develops.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #9
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check this site out for information and ideas! Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers • Index page
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by colorado hick View Post
I occasionally see a fiberglass-bodied motor coaches with mechanical issues that can be had for about what the metal will scrap out at.
Yep, friend of mine was GIVEN an older (1980's) FG Class A a while back. The previous owner even put a $100 in gas in it on the way over! That machine is a constant source of both amusement and frustration to me. It has more issues than I can count and everything is big bucks to fix. The (cracked) front windows (two of them) are well over a thousand dollars. Everything about it is strange, one-off, tight, etc. It was an impressive machine in its day, now it is a dinosaur (extinct).
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:24 AM   #11
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Hmmmm..

Is it true that all the older Class "A" behemoths go to Branson, MO to join the rest of the dinosaurs that gather there to die?????? LOLOLOL
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:52 AM   #12
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A friend who owns Superior RV MFG Inc in Vancouver,Wa is building a custom 17ft trailer for a customer. It has 4 inch walls and roof. Insulated floor and tanks. It must be warm at 25 below, make its own power, hot water heater and furnace are tied together. Something new. It has a cassette toilet, shower. It sits on 16" wheels and tires single axle. I will take a picture of it soon. They make custom trailers and truck campers.
Chuck
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