Euro Look interior - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2003, 01:47 PM   #15
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Next Step?

So I can gather from the answers here....then,

It'd probably be cheaper to get a used (post 90's vintage, if possible) Casita/Scamp//Burro/Boler/Trillium, then gut it completely and redo the cabinets/upholstery with better design/lighter weight/higher quality materials -- if I want a custom interior. Nice Three year project :). I'm stoked!

Interesting that the paper-covered fibreboard (MDF) used in the cabinetry of older Casitas/scamps are _WAY_ heavier than some newer materials used in the aircraft interiors industry (e.g. Honeycombed metalboard or High density foamboard with wood veneers). These advanced boards will probably reduce the GVWR by at least 150~200 Ibs. Even real wood will be a lot lighter than the MDF currently used.

Any gotchas when trying to match new RV appliances to older 'eggs'? I notice sometimes you can't match new hardware with older trailers.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 04-30-2003, 02:50 PM   #16
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I've gutted my '87 Scamp 13 bath, and am redoing it in mostly solid white oak. As you say, the kiln dried hardwoods are much lighter than MDF or other junk, so I'm getting a custom oak interior, exactly as I want it, with lots of extra cabinets, for very little if any increase in weight. I'm not doing fancy stuff like pictured above, but it is still a bit unusual to have cabinets of this quality in a 13' camper. I'm pretty excited -- first campout in 5 weeks! And I still have a lot to do! Haven't even started on the hardwood floor yet! I'm building 17 doors for all the cabinets now.
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Old 04-30-2003, 04:06 PM   #17
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You could import the Euro RV of your choice, get adaptors and/or swap out the metric fittings.

Its your time, your money, your tastes and your choice.

A chacun son gout.
Bon Sante.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:58 PM   #18
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euro cabinets

It occurred to me today, after gawking open-mouthed at the interiors on the
euro trailers, that some of the same techniques used to build cedar-strip
canoes could be applied to build the light-weight curve-front wood cabinets.

Basically, wood strips are glued to each other on a curved mold, then sanded
smooth and fibre-glassed inside and out. With clear resin, the result appears
as varnished wood, or you could paint it if you desired.

This site gives the general idea.
http://www-db.research.bell-labs.com/user/pfps/canoe/

Judging by the photos of the work numerous people here display of their work,
strip-building with wood would be a piece of cake for them.
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Old 05-01-2003, 05:00 PM   #19
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Bending wood for curved cabinetry

Thanks Rock for the link and ideas.

Strip-planking like the practice of canoe building is one way.

The other homegrown way is to take thin veneer sheet, wetting them then layering them (with casein wood glue like elmers) on the solid curved form. Three or five-ply depending on the strength one wants. That way the strips aren't needed. To each his own...

The production factories use a 10,000 KV electric curving process/machine to steam-bend wetted three ply (a lot quicker) but then it wouldn't fit in anyone's garage :)
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Old 05-01-2003, 08:05 PM   #20
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Another pic of compound curved cabinets

Just for the heck of it....:)

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3eb1c4670f021k3003e_interno_grande.jpg/>
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Old 05-05-2003, 10:11 AM   #21
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Euro Look Interior

WOW!

Judging by the cost of custom kitchen cabinets, I'd say the interior examples shown here must cost 20 to 30 thousand dollars. But what an interior!

We have seen a Dutch trailer at a campsite, as well as a Karmann motorhome on a Mercedes chassis, both Europeans travelling in Canada, and the interiors are even more spectacular in person.

The attention to detail and the choice of materials were astonishing. As well, the light but strong materials made a huge impact on vehicle weight. The Mercedes motorhome had only a 145 hp diesel engine, yet it seemed to pull just fine. It was able to maintain more than highway speeds.

The current crop of RV's, slapped together, using MDF plastered with photographs of wood, pale in comparision. For the price charged, the North American RV industry should be ashamed of itself. The need to have a Chevy 3500 dual wheel Heavy Duty pickup truck to pull this stuff is a crime. The Benz was able to get 10 litres per 100 km (30 miles per gallon) pulling straight and level.

My Trillium 5500's interior can be completely removed without affecting any of the structural integrity of the trailer. About the size of an Airstream Bambi (19 feet) we could redo the interior to match these photos for less than half of the cost of a new Airstream.

Now, if we only had the money..... the time..... the talent..... the tools.....

Shaun Browne
The Browne Family
Trillium 5500
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:12 PM   #22
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Dodge is bringing out the Mercedes Chassis!

<<<Karmann motorhome on a Mercedes chassis>>>

This vehicle is coming to the dodge line and will be called the sprinter.

http://www.dodge.com/sprinter/index.html?c...mepage&type=top

Three different chassis lengths to start (for van conversions). very nimble (for such a large van) and very frugal on fuel (diesel engine still has lots of torque).

The Karmann motorhome is based on a longer chassis but the front of it still is probably this vehicle (Mercedes' new van line).

<<<The current crop of RV's, slapped together, using MDF plastered with photographs of wood, pale in comparision. For the price charged, the North American RV industry should be ashamed of itself. The need to have a Chevy 3500 dual wheel Heavy Duty pickup truck to pull this stuff is a crime. The Benz was able to get 10 litres per 100 km (30 miles per gallon) pulling straight and level.
>>>

I empathize. However once competition is introduced -- American RV interiors will change as well. Only a question of time before the RV industry catches on....

BTW, have you noticed that ALKO(Germany)-made European Chassis (for trailers especially) are so much more advanced (Anodized Zinc and High tensile steel). Instead of ones for the Casitas/Scamps which haven't changed at all. The latter are quite crude, based on welded/primed 3" angle iron (heavy) !!

The axle on the alko uses a special hexagonal torsion housing. The shock absorbers and brakes are also specialized -- as are the ergonomic levers for the hitches, which anyone (even a seven year old) could set up.

BTW, can someone tell me if Europe uses the same trailer hitches as we do?

http://www.alko.de/fahrzeugtechnik/caravan...chs-system.html

<<<Judging by the cost of custom kitchen cabinets, I'd say the interior examples shown here must cost 20 to 30 thousand dollars. But what an interior!>>>

Well they might -- but judging by UK pricing it's not THAT bad.

Here's a UK dealer site (this is all their caravans [travel trailers] and most of them below 20 feet in length I think),

http://www.caravandeals.co.uk/range.asp?be...=&Submit=Submit
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:33 PM   #23
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Cabinets

While in summation European stuff seems to be a lot more advanced, the basic improvement over American RV's I think lies in the cabinetry, space utilization and interior detail (woodwork, indirect lighting or spot-focused lamps for example).

I think If American Manufacturers can duplicate that part (Maybe by importing quality inexpensive cabinets from overseas and importing the Euro tiny fibreglass bathrooms as well) -- then we should see a new resurgence in travel-trailering lifestyle with newer (younger) families with Children. Younger people have very 'set' ideas about RV interiors (not all of it positive) and it needs to be proven to them that there are differences in some. If people can spend $40,000 on a new SUV and not bat an eyelash then what's fifteen or twenty thousand on a nice new Casita/Scamp? The RV mfrs. need to address this.

Meanwhile I continue looking for a good/cheap local Casita/Scamp on e-bay and scour the internet for cheap light-colored birch from Finland :)
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Old 05-05-2003, 08:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Bill M.
If people can spend $40,000 on a new SUV and not bat an eyelash then what's fifteen or twenty thousand on a nice new Casita/Scamp? The RV mfrs. need to address this.

Meanwhile I continue looking for a good/cheap local Casita/Scamp on e-bay and scour the internet for cheap light-colored birch from Finland :)
:lol you had me going there for a minute. I was about to tell you to be quiet, they cost enough already. :lol
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Old 05-06-2003, 01:23 AM   #25
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Casita Cost

Ahem,

Hint noted and I _shall_ shut my hatch promptly :)
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Old 05-06-2003, 07:45 PM   #26
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Consider this:

All the sleek lines and nicely crafted wood are beautiful.

But, are they practical?

The cabinets the Casita (can't speak for the Scamp) are very square - or, as square as they can be when made of fiberglass and mounted in the curve of the roof. It appears that Casita has more storage space.

The other thing to consider is weight: how much engine does it take to pull these?

Also, what is the cost? A Casita or a Scamp can be owned by folks of fairly modest means -- many items that we take for granted in North America, such as a detached house (freestanding, not sharing walls with other homes), a car, and, yes, an RV, are not available to people of modest means. They are probably more accessible here.

It might be more appropriate to compare some of these rigs to something like a Chinook motor home -- spectacular design and beautiful materials, but at a cost.

Not trying to bash any of this - just thinking that Casita, Scamp, and other fiberglass rigs give incredible value for the cost - big bang for the buck.

Nathan and Daisy
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:58 PM   #27
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Nathan and Daisy Justus

All the sleek lines and nicely crafted wood are beautiful. But, are they practical?

The cabinets the Casita (can't speak for the Scamp) are very square - or, as square as they can be when made of fiberglass and mounted in the curve of the roof. It appears that Casita has more storage space.
I don't believe the curve or lack thereof on the cabinet door changes the functionality of the cabinet. Depending on the locking mechanism, you probably will get more stuff into a curved cabinet. I think one of the aspects of this discussion is Bill M's passion for curved cabinets. The cabinets shown are indeed attractive. However, I don't think of the motorhome cabinets as being in the same league as the cabinetry shown in travel trailers. Also IMHO, the open space under some of the cabinets, is not practical for travel.
Quote:
The other thing to consider is weight: how much engine does it take to pull these?
Teardrop
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3eb87d8908f5bminipod.jpg/>
Puck multiple sizes
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3eb87fe735592pucks.jpg/>
Vintage '70s Puck for scale.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3eb883bd43fa8vwpuck.jpg/>

The teardrop trailers in the third and fourth photos of this thread (Scandinavian styled square cabinets featuring dog) weigh less than 800 pounds. They are 10' 7' ' long by 5' wide by 4' 10' ' high.

The Eriba Pucks in the fifth and sixth photos of this thread are about the size and weight of the 13 -17 ft Scamp or Casita depending on which model you get. The Nova would prably be comparable to a 19-22 ft trailer.

One of the points Bill M was trying to make is the Euro trailers are lighter than their American counterparts. Most US components are heavier.
Quote:
Also, what is the cost? A Casita or a Scamp can be owned by folks of fairly modest means -- many items that we take for granted in North America, such as a detached house (freestanding, not sharing walls with other homes), a car, and, yes, an RV, are not available to people of modest means. They are probably more accessible here.
According to my Euro converter the English teardrops cost less than $3,000 on average. Even with import fees of about $1,500 added, the trailers in photos 2-4 cost from about $12,0o0 - $17,500 for the Eriba Puck and Eriba Nova respectively. (Can't be exact because I don't know what is standard and if those pictured have been dressed up with options.)

I'm not bashing the US product. Casita, Scamp and the smaller shops do a fine job, conscientiously. Just acknowledging that like minded folks elsewhere, in some cases, have found better ways to accomplish the same or similar goals. The one thing the global economy is teaching us is there is no place that does not offer us something to learn.
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:43 PM   #28
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Why European Trailers are lighter

Excellent post Benita.

The reason why Euro Trailers are lighter starts at the bottom of the trailer, the frame. The frame used in our Casitas and scamps (and most stick-builts as well is made using cheaper angle-iron steel (essentially 1930's technology) which although cheap is very heavy.

Al-Ko in Germany is the most common trailer frame manufacturer in Europe. Their trailer frames were well-designed to start with (starting in the fifties)-- using hydro-formed hot-dipped zinc-anodized High Tensile Steel. The torsion axle design is also different (hexagonal channel) and also made of high tensile steel. The latter costs more money (marginally) but because High tensile steel has more strength than 'angle iron' per pound (70% more these days, and also lighter by 20%), utilizing lesser components, the trailer frame can be quite light but just as strong. Essentially trailer manufacturers do it for cost savings but there is 'lack of technical foresight' and other issues too, such as,

"We've always done it that way" or, "Why change a good thing?"

Alko trailer details,

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3eb9565f515eaeuroachs_illu2.gif/>

Technical discussion concerning HT Steel here,

http://www.manufacturingtalk.com/news/ssa/ssa100.html

The other big reason for lighter weight is Real wood used in the cabinets compared to MDF used in Amer. Trailers.

MDF is cheaper but heavier (A 3/4-in. 4X8 sheet of MDF, for example, weighs about a 100 lbs.). Again - same issue.

The reason why Stick builts in the US weigh so much is primarily because of all the engineered wood boards used (MDF, Oriented strand board, particle-board etc.) because they use heavy formaldehyde based glues to hold the wood strands or particles together.

This is also the reason Casitas/Scamps (and the other FG eggs) weigh less than the stick builts -- because the framing is non existent (either heavy metal framing or the heavy boards). The shape of the trailers themselves contributes to the strength of the Fibreglass.

The lighter weight in European trailers is not a happenstance affair.

Most Europeans have compact cars (still do). They don't have SUV's by and large. So a small light trailer is a must for towing with a compact car. An Eriba Puck is a perfect example.

A and C class motorhomes are an American phenomenon. Most RV appliances in the US motorhomes tend to be bigger than appliances used in European homes.
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