From the tent to a FGRV! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2015, 03:18 PM   #1
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From the tent to a FGRV!

Hi All! I'm Emily and I have been lurking around this incredible place since October. We have tent camped for the past 15 years but after the last camping season ended, we decided it was time to move on to a camper. We went back and forth between a FGRV or a vintage "stick" camper, purchased a vintage camper, decided it was waaaay beyond our skill set, sold it and now are solidly looking for a 13 foot scamp, burro, or boler that will fit our family of two adults and two kids. This is such a great community and I appreciate all the info you all provide. Thanks for being here and I look forward to joining you!
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Old 05-06-2015, 03:57 PM   #2
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Thumbs up step up

I would step up to 16 with beth . late night the kids may need to go . it would be great in the long run
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:10 PM   #3
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Unless the children are under about 10, or will sleep outside in a tent, a 13'er is more than a bit crowded for a family of 4. And if you choose a 13'er with the front bathroom, the kids and/or the adults will declare a mutiny.


Before you get any further, please tell us what you will be towing with. That can also be a limiting factor.


There are a few places, mostly on the left coast, that rent 13' eggs for a test run to see if it will work for your family.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:26 PM   #4
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From the tent to a FGRV!

We are four, kids ages 9 and 12, and I can verify that a 13'er is doable but tight. Sometimes the kids sleep outside in their own tent. When that's not feasible, the younger sleeps with Mom in the 45" dinette bed (head-to-toe makes it work better), and the older and I share the bunks.

On a rainy day we find the 13' Scamp works as well as some larger trailers, mainly because there are two separate sitting areas. The kids can play a game, watch a video, or whatever at the dinette and my wife and I kick back on the front sofa. In truth that's a rare situation. Most rainy days we find an indoor activity away from camp- a museum or something like that.

We do without a bathroom or even a porta-potty. CG facilities are the last stop before bed. And yes, there have been a couple of midnight treks, but they're just part of the experience!
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:01 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the welcome. We looked at a 13 foot boler and a 16 foot scamp. Our kids are 11 and 13 and probably will sleep in a small tent most of the time. We like the lighter tow weight and ability to get into tighter camping spots. We have tent camped for so long, that we are used to the middle of night trips to the facilities and aren't concerned with that piece of it at all. Really, we just like the idea of sleeping in it and hanging out on a rainy or too windy day. We travel around 2500 miles over 2 weeks each summer, roadtripping around the country, so not having to take down and put up a tent each time is really our primary reason for moving to a camper. If the kids want to sleep in the little tent, they can put it up themselves! We really want the best of both worlds, the ease of setting up a camper for sleeping, and the outdoor cooking and time spent of tent camping

We have a 2011 Toyota Highlander with the tow package, so weight isn't an issue.

I love hearing how you all camp and each persons different reasons for the way they do it! Thank you for sharing. Jon, I love hearing how your family works in a 13 ft camper as that is exactly what I was hoping for our own!
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:14 PM   #6
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I find the 13' Scamp works great for us and the occasional grandchild. We camp in all kinds of weather in all kinds of places. We spend about 150 nights a year in our Scamp about 90 each winter when we do like the birds and head south. I wouldn't want anything bigger, and we certainly don't want a towable toilet. It's bad enough when we step into somebody's towable toilet, aka an RV with a bathroom, you can't totally get rid of the smell.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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We started with a 10'x10' umbrella tent in 1968. Bought a pop-up in 1978 and used that for a couple of years. Became empty nesters and went back to a three person mountaineering tent and traveled in an MGB, or a Jeep Wrangler. That worked for us until we bought the 19' Scamp in 2004. We have never looked back, and the tent will continue to moulder in its bag. Good luck with your search. I know you will love the FGRV experience.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:33 PM   #8
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From the tent to a FGRV!

Emily, be aware that the upper bunk is weight-limited. The actual limit seems to be a state secret, though. I've heard people quote 80 pounds on older trailers, Scamp told me 150 pounds on the phone, and another forum member was told 120 pounds when they picked up a new trailer. I'd have no problem with up to 120 pounds on a newer unit (I tested mine myself @ 155 pounds before I put my daughter up there, and there were no creaks or indications of weakness). The mounting ledge can weaken over time or with exposure to moisture from leaks in the front window, so that's something to check out in a used unit.

Good luck!
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Emily, be aware that the upper bunk is weight-limited. The actual limit seems to be a state secret, though. I've heard people quote 80 pounds on older trailers, Scamp told me 150 pounds on the phone, and another forum member was told 120 pounds when they picked up a new trailer. I'd have no problem with up to 120 pounds on a newer unit (I tested mine myself @ 155 pounds before I put my daughter up there, and there were no creaks or indications of weakness). The mounting ledge can weaken over time or with exposure to moisture from leaks in the front window, so that's something to check out in a used unit.

Good luck!
Thanks, Jon. It's good to have that information. So many things to think about but I'm glad to have prior knowledge as we look. Our girlie is a scant 65 pounds, so I doubt she'll outgrow the weigh limit before she graduates

Dennis, we almost bought a popup a couple of years ago, then some friends bought one and we realized how much work they are to set up. It took them longer to do so then it took to set up our tent! We are excited about the prospects of a FGRV!
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:20 PM   #10
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One more thing... be prepared for a slower driving pace with a trailer. You won't be able to drive 70 or 75 on the interstate. With a trailer, it's 65, tops, and that's pushing it. I usually cruise at 62.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by emij View Post
Thanks, Jon. It's good to have that information. So many things to think about but I'm glad to have prior knowledge as we look. Our girlie is a scant 65 pounds, so I doubt she'll outgrow the weigh limit before she graduates

Dennis, we almost bought a popup a couple of years ago, then some friends bought one and we realized how much work they are to set up. It took them longer to do so then it took to set up our tent! We are excited about the prospects of a FGRV!
We actually sold our because of poor construction. If the wind came up in the night, we didn't sleep until it was tied off to the car. I would never consider any stick built camper after that one. It's Fibreglass, aluminum, or we go back to the mountain tent (good for 90 mph winds)
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by emij View Post
We have tent camped for so long, that we are used to the middle of night trips to the facilities and aren't concerned with that piece of it at all.
This was/is my mindset as well - and to be honest the thought of using the bathroom (or someone else using it) in such a small space with other people just grosses me out - it hasn't been a problem in a tent, so I don't expect the lack of a bathroom to prove problematic in our scamp I couldn't help but laugh at the "towable toilet" comment above - that's kind of exactly how I see it, and why a bathroom is just not a priority for me... ever. The only thing tempting me towards a 16' scamp over the 13' that we have is that layout 7 will sleep 5, and when my husband travels with us, we are a family of 5, and it would be nice for all of us to fit.

If you think of your FGRV more like a tent on wheels, and less like a "home" away from home, I think you'll transition rather easily from a tent to a small camper. Sleeping (or just hanging out) with 4 or 5 in a tent is usually fairly cramped, so sleeping 4 people in a 13' camper is really not that big of a compromise and may even be more comfortable since everyone has their designated "space" to sleep in... especially if you are already used to tent camping. I think it's a bigger problem for people who are either new to camping/RVing in general (or have previously "failed" at tent camping and that's why they are RV shopping), or are trying to "downsize" from a bigger rig. If you've been successfully tent camping and just want an easier set up, I think you'd be fine with a 13'.

I bought my scamp at the beginning of last summer, and I'm excited to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in the process of restoring my scamp and getting it road-worthy again, as well as getting my tow vehicle ready to tow, and we expect to take it on many short adventures this summer (and throughout the year afterwards), then a much longer road trip across the country next summer.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:23 PM   #13
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Towing Speed Limits

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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
One more thing... be prepared for a slower driving pace with a trailer. You won't be able to drive 70 or 75 on the interstate. With a trailer, it's 65, tops, and that's pushing it. I usually cruise at 62.
Unless you come to the Golden State where all vehicles towing anything are limited to 55 MPH.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:24 PM   #14
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This was/is my mindset as well - and to be honest the thought of using the bathroom (or someone else using it) in such a small space with other people just grosses me out - it hasn't been a problem in a tent, so I don't expect the lack of a bathroom to prove problematic in our scamp I couldn't help but laugh at the "towable toilet" comment above - that's kind of exactly how I see it, and why a bathroom is just not a priority for me... ever.

I think it's a bigger problem for people who are either new to camping/RVing in general (or have previously "failed" at tent camping and that's why they are RV shopping), or are trying to "downsize" from a bigger rig. If you've been successfully tent camping and just want an easier set up, I think you'd be fine with a 13'.
Yes! This exactly! Thank you so much for your input! And I laughed at the 'towable toilet' as well! I have no intentions of dealing with a toilet! Sounds like your camper is ready to go! Have fun this summer!
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