Which Scamp/Casita for a US Wide National Parks Tour - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-26-2017, 09:13 AM   #29
Senior Member
Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,549
We own a vintage teardrop, a Uhaul 13, and a Casita !7, so have experience with the three sizes the OP was considering. The teardrop would be ruled out for a long trip as it is only workable by using a screen tent along with it. The Uhaul 13 we have spent 3 months in, can tow it with our Honda CRV, but again the screen tent makes it much more doable. A couple years ago we bought the Casita 17 which we set up with a permanent bed with a real mattress, it has the side dinette and bathroom. The Casita of course is much more comfortable, and for most of the 3 1/2 months we were out we did not use the screen tent, only when we stayed in one location for a month. The Casita required the purchase of a larger tow vehicle of course, so we ended up with a Dodge Ram full size pickup with the 5.7 Hemi engine, a cap on the pickup bed, and plenty of towing power. And plenty of gas running through it too,

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Old 04-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #30
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 3
Thanks for all the tips!

Hi All- Thank you for all the tips - certainly a lot to digest.To clarify - yes we are planning on going abroad after our travels, but have friends and family able to store whatever we buy if need be. I'm definitely going to explore all of the smaller options and not limit myself to the Scamp - T@B's are another lightweight option. We did rent a little guy teardrop (same company) over spring break, and honestly weren't too impressed with the craftsmanship...maybe we just got a bad apple.

I think the commentary about a compact class C is useful - we've been looking at old used toyota campers which apparently have quite the following. The worst part about that scenario is that we would have to move it every-time we wanted to go somewhere - unless it could tow a mo-ped or something... Another option would be an older Class B. In either case I'd want a mechanic to give it a thorough overview & have AAA on speed dial.... lol

We should also look at our options in terms of whether a wet-bath is totally necessary as I'm seeing varying opinions on that. My wife wants one - mostly so that she can go to the restroom in the middle of the night without having to leave shelter. She is a big proponent of the smaller trailer - as we're trying to be as minimalist as possible - but I think there would be some healthy balance perhaps a 15-17' is it.

As for Renting - renting an RV is just out of the question - even small ones are $100+/day. Renting a TV seems like as long as my taxes + depreciation are less than the cost to rent - which would be $5-6k it doesn't make economic sense. I hadn't considered buying in a state with no sales tax - that's genius!

We are planning to go west at beginning of August, leave Yellowstone before end of Sep, across the Midwest & up to Acadia by mid Oct - then south from there, so that we'll avoid the worst of winter..

Thanks Again -

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Old 04-26-2017, 01:46 PM   #31
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 6,377
Originally Posted by Tony Two Scoops View Post
...I hadn't considered buying in a state with no sales tax - that's genius!
It doesn't matter where you buy it. What matters is where you register it, which generally has to be your state of residency. You can't arbitrarily establish residency in any state. A driver's license in most states requires a physical address.

Some states require you to declare the purchase price or provide a bill of sale on a private party transaction and pay sales tax; others do not. I've only had residency in two states: MD collected sales tax on private party vehicle transactions; AZ does not.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:39 PM   #32
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
Posts: 260
Good ideas !

An Idea : Don't say , " YOU won't be happy in a 13' , or a 16 '". Try ,"I was not happy with our 13', or Teardrop, etc." You can't guess how others will feel. A Scamp 13' with a slide out porta potty works very well, esp for 2 people. Disposable Washup towels for invalids work well for baths , and most park and campgrounds have showers. Remember , the US is one of the few places where people think they need a shower every day ! ! Hundreds of people travel for weeks in a 13' trailer and love it . And yes a Clam or other shelter doubles your sq feet , or more ! Last, and possibly least, don't forget that you can't take your propane tank ( or battery, etc) off and put in your car to keep the trailer under your trailer's towing limit. You are still towing ( carrying ) it, and it still counts ! Best to travel light, unless you are using it about every day, leave it at home ! David in Fresno and Sonora, CA
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:28 PM   #33
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,129
weight in the vehicle counts against gross vehicle weight, as does weight on the hitch. As does the cooler, and lawn chairs, and anything else you stuff in the tow vehicle. I would not remove propane or battery from trailer, I would balance load against that and keep the tongue weight at close to 10% of total trailer weight.

I would tend to skip the motorhome approach. If you want to go anyplace it is more fuel and more hassle. I have traveled that way and there are upsides, especially with children and beaches or activities but fuel economy and parking are not in that list of upsides. Want to go to a museum? or a show? Or a day trip to see the local sites? Cute little sidewalk brew pubs never seem to have a convenient place to put a 30 ft. vehicle.

My advice is refine your gear and stowage and how you do your activities BEFORE you head out on the grand adventure. Making a 13, or 15, or 16, or even 17 foot camper work is more about how you work out things and processes to take care of tasks and how neat you can be.

It doesn't take many items "out of place" in a small camper to make things difficult. Coffee cup, and bag of crackers, some bug repellant and a book on the counter = no place to set anything or make lunch.

13 ft. is small and bathroom equals less storage, seating, and probably the loss of a window. It will make the space inside feel more closed in. But is a huge convenience. If you are trying to save money then camping at cheaper rustic campgrounds, BLM, national forest, or state forest sites will be cheaper but not have showers or "plumbing".

I would go with the 15 to 17 models with bathroom and even air conditioning. If you want to camp in the south you're gonna want that AC.

There are a lot of used vehicles some higher priced than others but why keep it? You can buy a decent V6 powered small SUV with 5k towing limit. Use it then sell it. Let us say a used V6 Escape about 6 years old that checks out as sound by your own mechanic runs you $9k or $10k. You get back from your trip and the additional use might reduce the price by say about $2k for your years worth of use, cheaper than leasing a passenger car. Care and condition + tow capacity are what matter to you, and buying at the point where it is already depreciated by age works to your advantage. I think small SUV's are more comfortable than trucks and like the "inside" space. Flip the back open or go in through the side doors makes it an "add a room" while in camp. A cap on a truck gives you the same sort of thing I guess but having had both my preference for ease of access is the SUV.

Plan to fund the occasional mental health break. A motel rather than setting up camp in a storm or restaurant meal and a movie are things that can go a long way toward restoring your spirits. Heck not having to make breakfast and having a waitress bringing limitless coffee can change your world view sometimes. Couples develop a set up and tear down routine, and meal preparation routine, and recreation habits on long trips. Try to find that before you go will give you more days of routine taken care of so you can enjoy the sites, scenery, and travel.

Tip from someone that I don't see here often anymore. Always keep your jacket, rain gear and swim gear in the vehicle. That way in camp or out and about you always have those key items available if it gets cold or starts raining or you find a beach in need of testing.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:13 PM   #34
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
North Carolina
Posts: 842
Everyone is different. Myself, I rely on the campground facilities for a shower. As far as a sink in the bathroom, the main sink in our trailer is about 2 feet away.

The one thing we use in the bath is the toilet! But you can get by with a cartridge toilet or similar, you don't need a full blown bathroom to have a toilet.

As the trailer gets smaller (like 13 foot), a complete wet bath takes up A LOT of ROOM! Its all a give and take. We met a couple in Colorado last year that was full timing it in a Trillium 1300: no air conditioner, no bathroom, no toilet. They had been doing it for over a year and they loved it! To each there own.

The couple of TAB trailers I have looked at had mediocre finish/construction. I was not impressed.

If you look aggressively and POUNCE you can find a 13 foot trailer at a reasonable/affordable price. But molded fiberglass trailers sell fast, lightning fast! We sold our Casita in four hours, and just advertised it in the local Craigslist. The two trailers we bought were both purchased within about 12 hours of being for sale.

We really, really, like a separate seating area (small dinette) from the bed. Making the bed up every day is a PITA. And trailer beds tend to be small. Manufacturers are fast and loose with sizing, double bed rarely measures as big as a standard double, ditto queen size or whatever. Our "twin" beds in our last camper were a whopping 23 inches wide (a regular twin is 42 inches wide). Some doubles in campers are about the size of a twin, perhaps slightly bigger.

So if I went 13 foot, I'd look for a trailer with front and rear dinettes, leaving the larger of the two set up as a full time bed. Then I would be pulling a cassette porta-potty out for use as a toilet. Frig and stove top would be a must, along with propane heat. Some of the vintage Trilliums had a front dinette (small) and a rear dinette/bed. No toilet! If I wanted something really small, I'd consider one. Even though they look expensive for a 35 year old trailer or even older, they hold their value extremely well. Buy right, and you will use for a season and sell it at the end for what you paid for it or more.

I'm at the point where going so small is not what we want to do. So we now have a 19 foot Escape, which is really small compared to our friend's 5th wheel with five tip outs, but huge compared to a 13 foot trailer.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:47 PM   #35
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
POBox 1267, Denison, Texas
Posts: 807
Originally Posted by Tony Two Scoops View Post
Hi All- Thank you for all the tips - certainly a lot to digest.

In either case I'd want a mechanic to give it a thorough overview & have AAA on speed dial.... lol

We should also look at our options in terms of whether a wet-bath is totally necessary as I'm seeing varying opinions on that. My wife wants one - mostly so that she can go to the restroom in the middle of the night without having to leave shelter.

I hadn't considered buying in a state with no sales tax - that's genius!

We are planning to go west at beginning of August, leave Yellowstone before end of Sep, across the Midwest & up to Acadia by mid Oct - then south from there, so that we'll avoid the worst of winter..

Thanks Again -
You have a lot to consider.

Your schedule with that itinerary could be a problem weather-wise. The Midwest and the Northeast can be below freezing, and that is a whole other set of problems that you don't need unless you already are very familiar with trailers.

If you are a Texas resident, then that is the state with the requirements you must use as far as registration, insurance, fees, etc.

I would have to go with the wife on this one as I would not do without a bathroom myself. One of the main reasons we bought a trailer, after a tent.

I don't know what AAA is doing on trailers but you might consider Good Sam or some roadside service that is used to dealing with RVs and will take care of your tow and the trailer, if needed.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:04 PM   #36
Name: John
Trailer: 13' 2012 Scamp
Posts: 95
Yellowstone by mid-Sept is already closing about 2/3rds of the campgrounds in the park. I was there ~Sept 17, 2016 and arrived the day they did that.

So be sure to check calendars and schedule to see if your plan works. The closure worked out ok, but it was definitely more challenging finding a site inside the park.

And I totally loved the furnace inside the Scamp in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons at that time. There were nights in the 27-28-29 range where I dumped a little RV antifreeze into the gray and blackwater tanks and kept cabinet doors open inside the scamp so that the heat could radiate around to all the internally run water lines.

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Old 04-27-2017, 02:12 PM   #37
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Name: Emily
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16
Posts: 488
I saw this one for sale today and they are towing with a Subaru Impreza, just as an FYI:

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Old 04-27-2017, 10:44 PM   #38
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Name: Dave (and/or John)
Trailer: Scamp 16 SD std layout 6
Posts: 796
As a previous owner of a Subaru Outback that we used to occasionally tow a 16' Scamp, I think your current Subaru with a 13' Scamp or 13' Casita would work well. Many of the National Parks have very small sites, and the smaller units are much easier to fit and open up more spots due to size limits.
Our Subaru worked well with our 16' Scamp before we retired, since we were able to remove one of the two propane tanks and pack lightly to keep the weights within Subaru 2700/200 specs. Now that we're retired, we tend to pack more for much longer trips, which also makes both propane tanks preferential, plus we have a heavier golf cart battery on the front so can no longer meet the tongue weight limit.
If we only had a 13' Scamp the base weight would be much lighter to start with and getting the correct tongue weight would be much easier. My Sister is camping this week with their new 13' Scamp with bath and large bed and towing it with their 2016 4 cyl Outback.
We really liked our Outback (although we had the older 4 speed auto transmission, not the CVT) but our longer trips and heavier corresponding weights pushed our 16' Scamp beyond the Outback specs.
I'm interested to see what the specs are on the new Subaru Ascend coming to market next year though.

John-Dave and Marilyn
Sharpsburg, GA
04 Dodge Dakota V-8 and 17 Dodge Durango V-6
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casita, scamp, subaru outback

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