1-2 year Sabbatical in a FGRV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2014, 08:40 AM   #1
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Name: Lora
Trailer: Shopping for escape or Bigfoot
New York
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1-2 year Sabbatical in a FGRV

Hi everyone.

I'm in my early 30s, still single, but have recently been dealing with major health issues. This all brought into focus I may not have the retirement years to boondock and explore. Not to mention the four year struggle majorly interrupted grad school, love life and career. My mother recently widowed and retired had always planned on rving with my father and has some trepidation about going it alone. Over my chemo treatments we had begun to seriously discuss a year to two year vacation of traveling the states and Canada. So I guess we would be temporary full timers?

I have a few questions though.

1. 21 ft escape or 21ft/ 25 ft bigfoot?
There will also be 2 Airedale along for the adventure. I suppose we'd consider a fifth wheel too, but then that really seems to lead to question 2.....

2. How do you FT with a canoe? Kayaks seem to have better racks. Is FTiming with a yak better when towing a travel trailer? This issue had us contemplating larger stick built motorhomes with garages for the toys, but we'd rather not have to pull a toad or deal with mechanical issues on the bigger rigs. The smaller FGRV seem perfect (and something we would use for years after my "sabbatical" is finished) and will allow us to access more parks and better boon docking sites off road, I think. But I still worry about the paddle sports. I prefer canoeing but not sure how that would work towing all over the country for up to two years. Maybe I should just look into renting at certain stops?

3. I've noticed some people dislike the bike racks on the rear of the trailer, why? We will have two bikes. What do you think is the best solution?

4. Any vegetarians? How good or bad are the fridges at keeping veggies crisp? Any tips?

5. Does anyone have any recommendations on books to read/resources? I'm still pretty lost on understanding the maintenance issues in a TT.

Thank you all for your time and wisdom. I appreciate the help.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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Name: Huck
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Originally Posted by Lora B View Post
Hi everyone.

2. How do you FT with a canoe? Kayaks seem to have better racks. Is FTiming with a yak better when towing a travel trailer? This issue had us contemplating larger stick built motorhomes with garages for the toys, but we'd rather not have to pull a toad or deal with mechanical issues on the bigger rigs. The smaller FGRV seem perfect (and something we would use for years after my "sabbatical" is finished) and will allow us to access more parks and better boon docking sites off road, I think. But I still worry about the paddle sports. I prefer canoeing but not sure how that would work towing all over the country for up to two years. Maybe I should just look into renting at certain stops?
How about inflatable? That's the way I'm leaning.

Inflatable Boats, Inflatable Kayaks and Inflatable Boat Accessories from SeaEagle.com
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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It sounds like your health is on the rebound... good for you! We pull a 16' UHaul VT with a 2003 VW Eurovan. We can put our fiberglass Mad River canoe on the van with no problems (using Thule rooftop canoe supports). It's much lighter to load a fiberglass canoe and I can do it myself sliding up over the rear of the van when unhooked from the trailer. Before we got our folding travel bikes, we also used a rear bike carrier/hitch on the van hitch. It carried two full sized bikes just fine and had a ball for hooking up the trailer. You have to watch tongue weight a bit, but it worked well for us. We do not have a hitch on the rear of the trailer. We got the bike carrier/hitch from Cabella's, but I'm sure they're available elsewhere.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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On your Q's #1 & #3

You need to consider what you want to tow with. While FGRV's are called lightweight, the choices you indicated will take something a lot more than a compact for towing. This will also mean considering MPG's etc.

Bicycle racks on the back of trailers often pose two problems: 1) The added weight so far behind the axle can reduce hitch weight enough to make for unstable towing, mostly on smaller trailers. and 2) Many FGRV frames are just not strong enough to add that much weight that far back without some risk of frame damage.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:43 AM   #5
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Name: Lora
Trailer: Shopping for escape or Bigfoot
New York
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Thank you all so much.

Huck, thanks for the suggestion. I dont know much about inflatables. The one time I used one, I hated it. Didn't track well, inferior performance all around. Maybe it was just that particular inflatable. Worth checking out again.

Kevin- do you have dahons or other brand? How do multiple gears work when folding? I'm assuming the folding are best for cruising around the campsite or putting in some limited miles on the road?

Mary and bob- thanks for explaining your set up. I think the kayaks are looking like the better option. I'm not sure what I'll do concerning bikes and canoe or kayaks yet, but I like all the food for thought.

Bob miller- Nice succinct summary. I appreciate it. I currently drive a 2013 4runner(4700 towing i think?)but will trade up for something with better towing capacity if needed. Already considering the sequoia (7400# towing) or the f150 super crew (11000).

So many decisions to make over the next 6-7 months!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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If your tow vehicle is big enough, then you can put a canoe on the top of that, and it might actually cut down your fuel consumption. A F150, with a topper would be perfect for that. You can also get bike racks that attach to the hitch receiver, and either have their own ball for your trailer, or the stinger with the ball goes through a square tube that is the bike rack mount. We tried the later, but we have so much stuff on the tongue of the trailer that the bikes did not fit.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lora B View Post

I have a few questions though.

1. 21 ft escape or 21ft/ 25 ft bigfoot?
There will also be 2 Airedale along for the adventure. I suppose we'd consider a fifth wheel too, but then that really seems to lead to question 2.....



3. I've noticed some people dislike the bike racks on the rear of the trailer, why? We will have two bikes. What do you think is the best solution?

4. Any vegetarians? How good or bad are the fridges at keeping veggies crisp? Any tips?


.

As others have suggested putting bikes on the rear of the trailer will take weight off the tongue resulting in an unstable tow. Big problem for the smaller lighter trailers. But if you are considering the trailers you listed above it probable you may not have that issue especially if you go with the larger Bigfoot which are known to be fairly heavy on the tongue to start with.

I have found my 3 way fridge - whether running on propane or electrical power keeps my veggies as crisp as my home fridge. Or at least way better than having them float around in a cooler full of melting ice
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:38 PM   #8
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I'm new here so I have nothing to add to the full timing, but I have some experience with an inflatable kayak. I have the seaeagle 2 seater. I LOVE it. It's very very sturdy and so easy to use. It has a detachable fin on the back to keep it running straight and some other thing in the front. (Can't remember the term for it) Very stable too. I think it holds 700 or 750lbs. I have never felt like it would tip. I think they say you could use it for a paddle board. My husband doesn't have the time to go with me during the week so I fold it up and toss it in the back of my ford focus and my friend and I head out to the lake. We can get it set up in a little over 5 minutes and we're off. We will be taking it with us this summer when we camp. Anyway, just my two cents on that. Whatever you choose I hope you and your mom have a great time together.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:46 PM   #9
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Meet "Dimples", my 40 pound aluminum canoe. If you saw her up close you'd understand where she got her name! She's big enough for me, my Husband, and the dog you see in the picture, and light enough for me to load myself if need be.

And she fits the car profile so well that I like to think she improves the aerodynamics of the whole setup...visually speaking, anyway!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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I think taking a light weight canoe would be an excellent idea. But the bikes? Would you really get that much use out of them? Walking is a great way to explore your surroundings. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:56 PM   #11
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Welcome to the Form Lora and Jan.

Jan there is a Snoozy Owners Club if you haven't heard about it yet.
http://lilsnoozyclub-com.webs.com/
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:05 PM   #12
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Name: Jan
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Talking

Thanks Carl, I am a member of the lil snoozy group. Over there I go by the name Road Trip Rhonda. My husband thinks I'm a nut but I just like the way that sounds. It makes me smile.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:09 PM   #13
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LOL.................Now I know.
I like the name Road Trip Rhonda
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:16 PM   #14
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Name: Steve
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You want the canoe on top of the tug not the trailer. Most of the time you will want to park the trailer at a campsite and drive down to where you want to launch the boat. As for the bike rack I welded an extra reciever tube on top of the trailer hitch so I could carry the bikes on a rack there and not on the trailer. Same issue applies with parking the trailer there too. You want your toys with the car not the trailer.
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