Cliff from SC - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-27-2017, 08:09 PM   #1
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Name: Cliff
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Cliff from SC

My wife and I want to take a long road trip. Our SUV has a weight limit of 3,500 lbs. We have been in a Casita and looked at other Brands on-line. Does anyone have experience with pulling a fiberglass travel trailer with a 3,500 weight limit vehicle. How well could we pull it up mountains and how old a trailer can we trust to pull thousands of miles. We want to find one over the next few weeks, and we live the Charleston, SC area. Thanks, Cliff from SC
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:46 PM   #2
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I pull my 13ft UHaul with my Escape 6cyl. I would hesitate to pull a casita or escape (assuming you meal 16-17 footers) long distance and up mountains due to their higher weight. Scamps are lighter weight than Casita, maybe that could work for you. Definitely you need trailer brakes
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:00 PM   #3
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Thank you Pam. I am looking at the Scamps for sale in this forum. I hope to receive more input from others, too.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:01 PM   #4
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We have a 2011 Ford Escape V6 with a tow rating of 3500 lbs. We tow a 1978 Trillium 4500 with brakes and now a new axle. At this point we've towed it at least 8,000 miles in 2 years. Our Trillium weight 1460 lbs. dry and probably closer to 2000 lbs loaded. My experience is that we've had no problem towing this camper thousands of miles. In addition, prior to that we towed a Boler 13 with brakes with the same tow vehicle about 3000 miles including into the Rocky Mountains, again no problems.

Finally, last year we towed our new to us/still being renovated Boler 1700 home from Winnepeg (1100 miles). Our Boler 1700 has a dry weight of 2500 lbs. We concluded that our tow vehicle towed this camper adequately on relatively flat terrain for trips of a few hundred miles or less. We plan to buy a higher rated tow vehicle (5000 lbs or more) when the Boler 1700 is ready for regular use.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:21 PM   #5
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Thanks John. It is so helpful to read about your towing experience. I am looking up the trailers you describe. I am learning about these models, as I have never see one.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:06 PM   #6
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Towing a 17 foot Casita is marginal. Smaller trailers should be fine. Look at weights in the real world. Tongue weight could be your first problem.

As far as how old, we met a couple with a late 1970s Trillium that have put over 40,000 miles on that trailer in the last few years. Its all about condition, not so much about age. Now a 40 year old axle, I would work to replace.

Cliff, you need to go to a rally and look at different trailers. Its the easiest way to get educated on different brands and models. There is one in Cherokee, NC in October.

Find one in the next couple of weeks? Thats aggressive for sure. Be prepared to POUNCE! Used molded trailers tend to go fast. We bought our last two the first day they were for sale, and sellers were getting numerous calls. We sold our last one in four hours..... Also be prepared to drive a fair distance to get your trailer. Our last one was about 7 hours away, one way.

A lot of people that post trailers for sale on this forum are not active forum members and do not update their ads. So you will see a string of postings by interested buyers asking is the trailer still for sale.

Anytime you see a seller with just a few posts total, its pretty safe to assume they are not actively following their ad. I did not post mine for sale here because I assumed I could sell it locally fast.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:30 PM   #7
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Thanks much for your guidance. I will keep in mind the October Rally, great idea. I seem to be getting the same advice about towing a 17 foot Casita, and I have noticed how quickly the molded trailers sell. They must be the best trailers. Thanks for your advice on shopping for one. This is really great how the community is so helpful.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cliff in SC View Post
Thanks much for your guidance. I will keep in mind the October Rally, great idea. I seem to be getting the same advice about towing a 17 foot Casita, and I have noticed how quickly the molded trailers sell. They must be the best trailers. Thanks for your advice on shopping for one. This is really great how the community is so helpful.
Cliff, it's more a supply/demand thing for the prices and the sales/sold times with FG TTs that come up for sale. With the current FG builders only making a few hundred a year as opposed to the stick builts at 1,000s a month...........you were told correctly, be ready to go, money in hand. As these FG units are not really sold through dealers, the wait time for a new unit can be a year wait. A couple things, you haven't mentioned what your tow vehicle is, model, motor & tranny could make a difference for your choices. A rally is the best place to see many different makes, sizes and models. But maybe the biggest thing to consider being you're on a short time frame and I have no idea if you have RV experience. If you find a unit in good shape, you can make your trip, find out what works or not for what you want in a TT and sell it after you get back for most likely what it cost you. Most folks that get into RVs go through a few before they find "right" one for them. Good luck to you in your search.
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:29 AM   #9
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That is great advise. I am a cautious buyer, so I really needed to hear your buying advice. Everyone has been so nice and giving me great advice. We really appreciate it.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:14 AM   #10
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Cliff, I will be at Santee State Park for three days for the eclipse with a 16 foot Scamp (~2600 lbs) and a van rated to tow 3500. You are welcome to come see it in person and extensively pick my brain on this subject. If interested please send a private message through this forum.

For a spreadsheet of the Real World Trailer Weights info that Bill briefly mentioned, Google Trailer Weights in the Real World Spreadsheet - Lakeshore Images
It is very valuable data that you should look at.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:47 AM   #11
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Other piece of advice, if you haven't been in a molded trailer, they all are smaller than most traditional trailers. Not only are they shorter in length, they are also narrower. Thats a one/two punch on space.

And the smallest ones, 13 footers, only have about a ten foot fiberglass body. There is only so much that can fit in a narrow 10 foot body. Realize trailer size is measured end to end.

Beds are also an interesting topic. The manufacturers are pretty loose about bed sizing. For instance, the Casita Liberty I had was a "twin bed" model. The twin beds were 23 inches wide, whereas a standard twin bed is 39 inches wide. Manufacturers will use terms like double or queen bed while the actual dimensions are less. Bigger bed means less room for other stuff, so there is no perfect bed size.

Features one might expect to be standard in regular trailers are often NOT standard on molded trailers, like A/C, furnace, and bathrooms (depending on model and brand). Some are 120V only, no 12V DC and no propane. The older the trailer, and the smaller the trailer, the more likely it is to not have these features. Heck, brand new Scamps come standard with just an ice box (no refrigerator). Thankfully, buyers usually option them up so the used ones will have several nice options.

16 foot Scamp mentioned above is a good starting point. Its the largest Scamp pull behind trailer, and its probably the biggest trailer you can pull with your vehicle.

Hard to be a cautious buyer when molded trailers are so hard to find. As mentioned by others, the factories have 6 month or longer backlogs on new ones, so a lot of people are pushed into the used market.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:31 AM   #12
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Thanks gordon for the Real Word weight list - huge help. I just printed it out and saving it. Santee is a great State Park. Camped there many times, years ago with our family for vacation with a small pop-up and pup tent. Great times. Boaters have to be careful because the lake is full of stumps. I really appreciate the invitation; will keep it in mind, if we need to see the Scamper camper.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:35 AM   #13
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I appreciate the information about the 'real world' inside the molded fiberglass trailers. They really are small. We tried a queen size bed in a Casita and thought it was ok.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff in SC View Post
...if we need to see the Scamper camper.
I hate to be too technical, but this photo is of a Kodiak Skamper (or maybe Scamper)... I have a Scamp. LOL I only know that because both are in the possession of our extended family.
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LyndasCamper.jpg  
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