Fiberglass...YES! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2018, 07:41 PM   #1
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Smile Fiberglass...YES!

I've been on the fence looking at lightweight trailers and comparing Nucamp to fiberglass. Now that I've decided on fiberglass and traded vehicles, Toyota Highlander with a 5000 towing capability, I'm wondering if I should continue to search for a 13 ft Scamp or Casita since they are in such short supply, or consider a 16 ft Scamp or Casita. I'm a senior gal who has not towed in awhile. Is a 13 ft any easier/harder to handle or tow than a 16 ft? I want to get a good used unit soon. Places to go, people to see, just my dogs and me. Advice requested from this very learned community please (and I say that very sincerely, you folks are great).
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:59 PM   #2
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Depending on your budget, an Escape 17 might also be a great trailer for you. In my opinion I’d rather back up a 16 or 17 foot trailer than a 13 footer. Does not react so quickly. Good luck in your search. The Highlander will have no problem with a 17 or a 19 or a 21 for that matter.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:09 PM   #3
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I beg to differ, a 19 or 21 would stress a highlander. my tacoma 4x4 can barely pull a lightly loaded escape 21

but yeah, a casita 16 or 17 'deluxe' (assuming you want a bathroom) would be a great choice.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I beg to differ, a 19 or 21 would stress a highlander. my tacoma 4x4 can barely pull a lightly loaded escape 21

but yeah, a casita 16 or 17 'deluxe' (assuming you want a bathroom) would be a great choice.
Several people tow 19s and 21s with a Highlander over on the Escape forum. While it's not what I'd choose, they do quite well, and are within the numbers, although it's tight.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I beg to differ, a 19 or 21 would stress a highlander. my tacoma 4x4 can barely pull a lightly loaded escape 21
Then there are a whole bunch of people towing 19s and 21s with a Highlander that don't know they should be stressed.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:28 PM   #6
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I can pull that 21 that’s setting in the shed right now anywhere I want including every interstate highway pass in Montana, wolf creek pass in Colorado etc etc etc. 45,000 miles in the past 5 years with the 19 and the 21. No problem, no breakdowns, no accidents, and making my destination goal each and every night with no stress. Of course I know what I’m doing and have been towing for 55 years everything from utility trailers to skid steer loaders, to loaded tree spades . I learned right and I’m not a threat on the road but rather what America really needs because I don’t read my phone, eat, fix makeup, consult a map or dozens or speed or other stupid things people do when driving. Just cause somebody else can do something another man finds difficult doesn’t make it wrong. I’ve been to the Redwoods for my last time so as long as you stay in California you’ll be ok. The rest of this country is as much mine as it is yours and I’m going to see it, Escape in tow.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
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To answer your question

A Scamp 16 or Casita 16/17 will back a little easier and are all excellent choices.
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Old 03-23-2018, 09:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I beg to differ, a 19 or 21 would stress a highlander. my tacoma 4x4 can barely pull a lightly loaded escape 21

but yeah, a casita 16 or 17 'deluxe' (assuming you want a bathroom) would be a great choice.
My Escape 21 in travel mode is 4200 lbs, my Tacoma 4x4 with 4 doors and a long bed with a V6 and towing package is rated at 6300 lbs. Tows well all over the mountains.

The longer the distance from the axles to the ball , the less suddenly the trailer responds when backing up, making it much more predictable when turning while backing. Ever watch a 40 ft semi back up to a dock?

I find the 21 is far easier to drive backwards than my Casita 17 was.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:02 PM   #9
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The 13' and the 16' Scamps will have practically the same frontal area and wind resistance, so they will tow close to the same on level ground. When climbing or descending steep grades, the extra weight will call for more power or more braking so you'd want to downshift more and go a little slower than with a 13'. No big deal, really. The Highlander is plenty capable of towing a 16'er. I put 140k towing miles on my '08 with trailers of that size. Nothing to stress about!
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:38 PM   #10
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...although it seems counterintuitive, a longer trailer(within reason) will back up easier than a short one...why?...because the short trailer reacts faster than a long one will...the longer trailer will give YOU and your TV a longer time to react...towing(straight) will be about the same for a 13 R 16 since their profiles are about the same...a 17(which will be heavier) is just a fraction higher...not much diff there either...going downhill, will take a bit more attention because of heavier weight BUT all will require the same attention going down steeper grades...I think you made a good choice in change of tow vehicle...I am a full sized PU guy but your choice is more than adequate and should stand you in good stead...if you decide on a 17", consider a weight dist hitch for the heavier tongue weight...hope you find your "dream" trailer and start making those good memories...SOON.............................
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:46 PM   #11
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There is only one questin I would ask you. Do you want a bathroom in your trailer? If the answer is no then get a 13 footer. If the answer is yes get a 16 or so footer.
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:24 AM   #12
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Fiberglass...YES!

Although it is possible to have a bathroom in a 13'er, I generally agree with Steve. A 16'er with bath gives you a separate bed and work/dining area so you don't have to set up and take down the bed every day. A used 16'er won't cost much more than a 13'er with bath, and will be easier to find. More room for the dog, too.

When you step up to 17'ers, especially the Casita, you will be getting close to the Highlander's tongue weight limit and would probably benefit from a weight distributing hitch. If you don't want to deal with that, I would recommend sticking to a 16'er. The biggest advantage of a 17' Casita or Escape is a wider main bed, 54" versus 45". For couples, that is often the deciding factor.

For only one, a 16' is plenty big enough for most people. A 16' Scamp is typically a little lighter than a 16' Casita and a little taller inside, but either would make a good choice. For regular use, Scamp's front bath is more usable than the side bath. OTOH, many people find they use campground facilities most of the time and the onboard bath only gets occasional use. The side bath layout has more storage and a larger galley. Casita only makes a front bath.

Of course, if you don't need an onboard bathroom, you can't beat a 13'er. All this talk about "longer is better" for backing is true but overblown. A longer trailer does back a little easier- not as prone to jackknife, but it's harder to find a place to park, harder to maneuver in tight spaces, sometimes wider, too. I have no issues backing my 13' Scamp.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:17 AM   #13
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If you can live without a bath, hands down I think the Escape 17A is the best. Full time bed on one end, LARGE dinette on the other. Even if solo, a larger dinette is awesome. First it gives you the option of a second bed if you have a friend with you. Secondly, the larger dinette is where we keep the coffee maker, use it as a computer workspace, etc, in addition to dining. When you are in one spot for a longer time, say a week, that’s a great benefit!!

I came super close to buying a Highlander to replace our Element (wife’s car). We love the Element but it can’t tow squat and the Highlander is great. We still have the F150 for major tow duty but a second option would have been nice.
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:15 AM   #14
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I would say it all depends on budget and need. As others pointed out, if you want a bathroom, I would go with a 17' trailer at least. And it is true that reversing gets somewhat easier the further the axles are away from the hitch as turning response is slower.

With your towing capacity going up even further like a couple mentioned would even allow you to go with something like an Escape 19 or 21. Again, it all depends on needs and budget. I would go with something as small as possible, that still meets your needs.

If you are willing to forgo the bathroom, and opt for a portable toilet, the Escape 15A, now out of production but with used models still popping up for sale) is one of the most practical layouts I have seen in a trailer.
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