My Brother's Dying Wish - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-01-2015, 02:10 PM   #1
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Name: Lynn
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Red face My Brother's Dying Wish

In hospice, I promised my brother, Bob, I would help keep his memory alive with his daughters, Lyla (10) and Logan (7) who is Autistic. He wants me to take them to all his favorite places he has been too sick to show them: Grand Tetons, Badlands, Yosemite, etc. At 55, my tent camping days with my nieces need to come to an end. To go on the road, I need a safer way to contain my autistic niece, who my 75 yr- old Mom now drives to the local campground to watch while I set up, make fires, cook meals, and break camp. I want a 17-foot molded fiberglass so I can pull it with my mini SUV. Logan loves the out-of-doors more than anything and I am determined to honor my brother's final request to take her to see this beautiful country! I am in Indianapols so please post lots of photos if u are more than 2-3 hours from me. My budget is $5,000 and I can handle redecorating but not renovating. Thanks, Lynn
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:23 PM   #2
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Lynn, what kind of SUV do you have? Best of luck in your hunt for the trailer.
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:37 PM   #3
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My Brother's Dying Wish

Lyn, a 17' molded fiberglass trailer likely needs a mid-sized vehicle with a 3000-3500 pound tow rating. Check out the thread "Trailer Weights in the Real World" in the General Chat section for some very helpful data on different makes and sizes (post #297 has a handy downloadable spreadsheet). You can compare it to your owner's manual to see what you can safely tow.

The (surprising) good news is that many 13'ers can sleep 4 people in reasonable comfort What you give up is a full bathroom. $5000 is on the low end of the price spectrum for camp-ready units, but it's just possible. Following the ads here and on fiberglass-rv-4sale.com will give you a better idea of what's out there and what they're going for.

Best wishes in your quest.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:08 PM   #4
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Thanks Jon and Charlotte. My leased Escape says it can tow 2500 lbs. I will check into the reality issue. I am willing to lease a bigger vehicle.

I have wondered if I could manage with a 13 ft that has a seat that converts to bunks in the front. I dont really even want a bathroom - just a portopotty in the closet will do. I am worried about storage though. If I have to put storage devices on top or behind, that just ads weight.

I don't want to pay the premium for one that has just been redecorated. I look forward to decorating it with the girls as therapy for the passing of their Dad. I would have to take out any propane stove. I do want it to have a fridge, sink, micro, heat, AC, and good electric capacity.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
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My Brother's Dying Wish

You're right, Lyn, storage is an issue in a 13'er. We are four and have a Scamp 13' with front bunks. Our solution is to keep our clothes in the back of the tow vehicle. Turns out to have an unexpected advantage: if you're on an outing away from camp and the weather changes unexpectedly, you can do a quick change. We just keep PJs in the camper. As for adding exterior storage, there's only so much you can do. The frames won't take much weight on the back bumper, and towing stability can be adversely affected. The fiberglass shells are not designed to accept roof-mounted cargo carriers, either.

Scamp makes a 16' model that has the same bed arrangement as the 13' bunk model, but adds more kitchen space and a small storage room (optional bathroom):
Click image for larger version

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You should be able to keep the weight below 2500 pounds if you're careful. This model has been around a long time, so you might find a decent older one. You'd have to be really lucky, though, to find one for $5000 that has everything working.

Last, I think you will find most trailers come with a propane stove and possibly other propane appliances as well. You would do well to leave them in place, even if you do not plan to use them. They would be important to most future buyers of the trailer. If you are concerned about safety with children around, you can always remove the propane tank and leave it at home. We don't use our stove, either, and we just put a tray on top to make more counter space.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:16 PM   #6
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Also have to add in, most of the older 13' FGRV's are not equipped ith a/c and do not have a roof strong enough to add one on top. It's a bit of a quandary I admit.


BUT keep in mind that almost anything decent that you buy you will be able to resell, often at a profit after using it for a year or two, so raising your limit might result in a better FGRV at little or no additional cost over a smaller unit. Just a thought...
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:26 PM   #7
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Welcome Lynn. Good luck with your search and with many adventures ahead.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:45 PM   #8
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More great wisdom. Thanks guys. I like the floorplan of the 16' scamp with the extra storage closet.

It is OK with me if fridge, stove, and heater are missing if the price is such that I can afford to add them. I dont want something that has been burned or trashed though. I don't care much about resale. I will probably never upgrade. Once I get it decorated and make it my own, I may have them bury me in it.

Airconditioning is not a must if the windows open. I could bring a small portable AC for the hottest, wettest conditions.

Any other suggestionsfor amod!l and floorplan that sleeps 4 with lots of storage?
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:56 PM   #9
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Careful... Some of those appliances come at a steep price. Furnaces = $450, 2 or 3 way refrigerators = $950 etc.


It's usually a lot less expensive to buy the very best rig you can afford up front vs. doing after purchase repairs and replacement of appliances, especially if you have to farm any labor out to others.
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