New here! Looking to full-time - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #1
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: Still Looking
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New here! Looking to full-time

Hello! I've been researching the prospect of moving into a travel trailer full-time, and stumbled into your wonderful community while researching an Escape 19 trailer.

A bit about me: I'm 27 years old and live in the Pacific Northwest. I moved out here to go to law school but decided to take my career in a different direction, and currently run a web-based business in addition to my full-time job. I am an avid mountaineer, backpacker, mountain biker, camper, and all-around outdoorsy sort of dude, and I'm drawn to the freedom that full-timing will offer. I spend (on average) 3 nights/week out backpacking, and have been living in a small basement for some time now, so I'm accustomed to tiny living quarters.

I plan to quit my current job and focus entirely on my own entrepreneurial endeavors while living in the RV. Since this is a financial decision more than anything, I'd appreciate some advice. I drive an FJ Cruiser and need something that I can haul with the FJ. I love my car and want very much to keep it, as it has proven invaluable on the rugged mountain roads I frequent.

Ideally, I'll be parking my trailer at resorts (for long-term stays) and campsites, and using my car to get around and run errands, as well as drive where my trailer cannot go!

Specific questions:
  • Does anyone here use an FJ Cruiser to pull a fiberglass trailer? If so, what equipment do I need to add to my rig? (2013 TrailTeams Edition)
  • I've toured a few smaller trailers that seem suitable for living, but there is no substitute for experience. Is a 19' enough room for one skinny dude?
  • I really want to minimize my spending in anticipation of a very extended backpacking adventure. Is it realistic to expect to actually SAVE money while full-timing?
  • Am I missing anything that I SHOULD be asking?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Hi Jesse, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

There are lots of kind and help people here on the forums AND, several have all molded towables being towed by the FJ. I'm sure several will be along shortly!
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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Saving money while fulltiming? well maybe, guess it depends what you were paying for rent vs a spot to park your trailer. Some of the national parks do take people in to work their part time with a spot to park your trailer and electric and water hookups... so it is possible to do that and your entrpeneur job and live rent free...stay for as long as your allowed and move on to another park. would be an interesting lifestyle!
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Escape 19
New Mexico
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Greetings,

Here is a link to a young woman who is full timing in a 17 ft Casita. Very well done, she writes about everything from finding her rv to keeping money coming in.
Good luck

Interstellar Orchard | Lessons on the journey to full time RVing
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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Welcome to FGRV Jesse,
I have a FJ Cruiser, 2012 which I pull an Escape 19 which I just sold and ordered an Escape 21- seen here Escape Trailer Industries > Home
I use an andersen w/d set up- if you need further info please let me know.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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I think that your FJ can pull almost anything up to a 21' FGRV, maybe even more. Check the owners manual for exact weight limitations.

In as much as there are couples full-timing in 13' Scamps your question about full timing in a larger trailer depends entirely on your needs.

Several features you might want to include for full timing is an on-board toilet and shower as well as having both a dinette and a permanent bed arrangement.

In as much as you are already in the NW, where they are more plentiful, you might want to take a look at the 17' & 19' BigFoot trailers from Canada. A caution though, don't be tempted to buy one still in Canada until you have explored the importing issues. That can be cheap and easy, expensive or almost impossible.

Also Google: "Workamping" as a money saving alternative.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:52 PM   #7
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my wife and i had a 1975 fj40 and were part of a ~2 dozen member fj club out of Reno back in the early 80's. I remember several of the members pulling 18 to 20 ft stickies without issue at highway speeds.

As far as livability? I know i could do it, and actually my wife and i are planning on full timing in our van conversion & parkliner. Though we intend to be camping on blm land or forestry camps rather than "Resorts" . . . right now we full time in a 38ft 5th wheel currently parked at a golf resort on the Oregon Coast while we still work full time.

Best wishes on your choice of rig and adventures.
Thom
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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Jesse,

We have spent as much as 11 months of 12 traveling in our Scamp 16 and had a wonderful time. However I think there may be a difference between working in your trailer and exploring North America as we do. If you're working in your trailer I expect you'll be spending a lot more time inside than we do.

We've been traveling for 13 years, and it costs us less to be on the road than to live at home. Our primary expense is fuel. With your Toyota FJ I expect you can tow just about anything you might buy including a 19' trailer.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:46 PM   #9
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I follow Cherie's & Chris' blog "Technomadia and they full-timed in an Oliver which is essentially the same size as a 17' Casita from July 2008 – May 2011, They spent alot of time off-grid and were happy as clams with their space... until they bought their 1961 GM 4106 Vintage Bus, it's 35' long. You might want to check out their site for tips and hints! Technomadia
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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Hi Jesse,
Here is another link for a lady and her two dogs that full time in a 17' Casita. She has a wonderful time and writes a regular blog, somewhat similar to work, and she doesn't seem to have a problem. rvsue and her canine crew | Living on less and enjoying life more If you plan to continue to live in the northwest, with all the rain they seem to have, you may spend more time inside than she does. I traveled extensively in my 13' Trillium while I mountain hiked and the major drawback I had was the lack of a shower. If you pursue an active outdoor lifestyle you will need to keep that in mind. I boondock most of the time with a few campgrounds mixed in to take advantage of the hot showers. I wish you the very best of luck.
Barrie
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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Name: Jesse
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Awesome! Thank you all for the information and inspiration. My first step will be to put a hitch on my FJ and make a few other upgrades to the car in preparation for the load.

I'll update as I begin shopping for a trailer, but if anyone else has any information to share, please post!
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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to the Forum and Family Jesse.

And as you move forward.................
pictures, pictures, pictures...............
we're a nosy bunch.................
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:53 PM   #13
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I have an FJ also, and it is a great tow vehicle for my Escape 19. Yours should have no difficulty towing up to about a 19'. It may work for a 21' also but that may be at the limit.

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Old 09-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #14
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Cari & I arrived late in the day at one of our favorite campgrounds and once our camp was set up we took a walk. The only other rig in the campground was an FJC pulling a 20ft sticky. They were not in camp or i would have inquired as to weight and ride, etc.
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