Full-time RV Hopeful.... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-20-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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Name: Inez
Trailer: currently considering one
Iowa
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Full-time RV Hopeful....

Hello,

I'm likely 2-3 years out from purchasing a trailer, but I like doing my research and learning as much as possible over time. My goal is to live in a 100 to 200 sq. ft. space permanently and upon retirement to travel/work-camp, so these small fiberglass trailers seem to be the way to go. The Lil' Snoozy especially caught my eye, but I'm sure there are many other brands/models with great advantages.

If I could work out where to park long term locally and if this type of trailer is/can be well-enough insulated to withstand northern Iowa winters, I'd really like to transition to full-time trailer living while I'm still working (I'm a university prof) and travel in the summers. Am I crazy?

Nice to meet you all.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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If you want to change the dining table into a bed every night and back to a dining table in the morning then a tag along camper is for you. If you don't want to do that twice a day then you might want to think about a 5th wheel like a Scamp or similar fiberglass camper because the bed is up stairs where the 5th wheel connects to the tow vehicle and your dinning arrangements are not moved, that is unless you want company and you change the table into a bed. In making up your mind you must consider the tow vehicle to match the camper. You cant tow a 5th wheel with a car, it requires a pickup however a pickup can tow either kind.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Darwin. Several of the small models I've viewed on line have permanent beds and small tables (not dining areas). I don't use the dining table in my house, so it might not be an issue!
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:10 PM   #4
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Gotta say, a 13' will get really small, especially if you take more than a toothbrush and a towel with you. I'd suggest looking at a 16' at a minimum as they can have a real bath/shower as well as a permanent bed and a separate dinette. I am sure you will want to sit down on occasion and spreading out everything on a bed gets old real fast.

For year round in cold weather you might want to look at newer Canadian built units, especially BigFoot, as they are often equipped with cold weather packages.
Another question you have to have an answer for is what you will be towing with. Many an owner has been surprised to find that the trailer they want and the vehicle they won't just don't go together. If you have or have picked a TV (tow vehicle) let us know your choice and more help will come forth
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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ParkLiner, Egg camper, Scamp have (15 to 16') models with a side dinette. I converted my queen sized bed to a couch that pulls out to a bed for more lounging area...but the side dinette table i eat at when eating inside and usually have my Surface Pro 2 setup for getting online/streaming music.

For retirement, I really Want Escape's new 5th wheel trailer for living in...I like the more separate bedroom area if its going to be my home. For weekend camping my ParkLiner is fine.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Inez,

Ginny and I travel in our Scamp 16 for almost 8 months a year. The other four months we live in a small cottage at the beach in NH. For our 8 months of travel the Scamp is more than adequate, for our four months at home it would not be adequate.

Home and travel are different for us. At home we have friends and family as guests and visitors, that requires more room, often spending a week or more with us.

On the road the accommodations are not nearly as important because while traveling we're out a lot and rarely are just sitting about. If it's daylight we're generally out. At night we have our sat TV, computers, internet and books. We usually find ourselves getting up early and going to bed early.

We are unusual among our fellow campers in that we don't keep the bed up all day. I make it up every evening.

If it's night time I'm usually stretched out on my couch with a computer or book. With the Internet I have the world available and can be on line for hours.

As to Iowa winters, particularly with them getting colder, that's another matter all together. I would suggest you select a trailer that has been prepared for winter with double glazed windows and heavier insulation or be prepared to add insulation to a more typical trailer.

if I were in your situation I might consider a Tiny House like those in the following link:

The Owl House Micro Cabin: Funky Simple Living or Hip Vacation Rental?

I would then combine this with a small trailer for travels...oh to live one's life over.....

I recognize that many of our members are moving to larger fiberglass trailers and I also recognize that they need the space, that's all fine. For us the 92 square feet is plenty.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:47 PM   #7
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Name: Inez
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Thanks, Ginny! Boy, you both look happy in that photo

I started with a yen for a tiny house, but research shows that across the country, zoning codes and mobile parks are not in on the trend. Most folks who don't own land are illegally parked, and even in Oregon, where the whole thing started, apparently cities that are tolerating the tiny houses could up and kick them out tomorrow. I could live that with that kind of uncertainty in my 20s, but in my 50s and beyond, that's another thing! After looking over this site and reading these generous responses, I think I'll likely start with a small camper while I'm still working in Iowa, for camping and travel, and then when I retire and head back West, I'll think of what sort of camper I would want to live in full time.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:18 PM   #8
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Like all government regulations, consider the country's southern border, there are ways around them. Since many of the tiny homes are on trailer frames/wheels, as a result they should be RV park possible.

Towns where you have to get a nose operation to live, where minimum square footage requirements exist, certainly would exclude them. This week in CA, in the midst of a severe drought, someone was fined for not watering their lawn, letting their grass go brown. It's hard to imagine that there's a town with lawn police.

You'd think with all the greening attitude that most state governments proclaim, that small would be in. Watch what they do, not what they say.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
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That fine may have levied by a homeowners association (not a town) who's rules the home owner agreed to follow when they purchased or rented the property. In most condominium communities, and other subdivisions with Homeowners Associations, it's mandatory that owners maintain their landscaping in an appropriate manner. While water is being conserved, lettings one property unnecessarily look like a hobo camp still isn't in the cards. At some point it may be necessary, but not yet at any places I know of anyway.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:32 PM   #10
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Very few fiberglass trailers are really suitable for winter use in cold climates (like northern Iowa). In fact, few RVs of any kind are really meant to be full-time living quarters in subzero weather. I lived for three years in a 24' Holiday Rambler in a mountainous area of AZ (nighttime lows typically in the teens, occasionally single digits, very rarely below zero). The trailer itself was older, but well-constructed and comfortable. Even so, it was a continuous battle to keep utility connections from freezing. Honestly, most people buy a trailer to avoid winter! We get quite a few of them here in Arizona every winter, and we affectionately call them snowbirds…

Among fiberglass manufacturers, Bigfoot might be one to take a look at. I believe they can be ordered with a "winter" package that includes some upgrades to insulation and windows and heated holding tanks. With patience, you might find one so equipped on the used market.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:52 PM   #11
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Name: Inez
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thanks, Jon. Believe me, I'd rather be somewhere in the West year-round -- I'm a desert girl. But I've got a good job at a good university for now, yadda yadda yadda....
Inez
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:36 PM   #12
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Lil Snoozy doesn't have black tanks do they? Sorry I remember reading the discussion about the type of toilet Lil Snoozy uses. But I can't really remember the full discussion! If that has changed great or if the option of black tanks is offered great. But a lil FYI that many "workcamp" situations would require you to have facility's on board. Meaning black and grey tanks. They won't hire you if your don't have them. Good luck, work camping is fun.
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