Greetings - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-29-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
Name: Monica
Trailer: Exploring fiberglass, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6
Posts: 59

I will be retiring in 18 months, so it's not too early to begin the process of researching travel trailer options. We have rented a Scamp 16 once, and liked its light weight and efficient use of space (towed with my son's truck). I am learning lots of new info about other makes, as well. I will try to schedule a visit to Eggcamper in Grandville, MI while I am still up north. Once we return to North Carolina for the winter and spring, I will check out Park Liner and Lil Snoozy.

I am also researching tow vehicle requirements. I own a beautiful 1995 Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon that has been meticulously maintained. It is my pride and joy, and I plan on keeping it a long time. It is an extremely comfortable roadtrip car with plenty of cargo space and gets 20-22 mpg on long highway drives.

For those unfamiliar with it, it has a detuned LT1 engine and is rear wheel drive. My car has the optional towing package which is described as follows: The tow package adds 2.93 gears and a limited slip differential, heavy duty cooling system including oil and transmission coolers, and a factory installed self-leveling rear suspension consisting of air shocks, a height sensor between the rear axle and body and an on-board air compressor. The tow package combines one conventional fan driven mechanically from the engine alongside one electric fan, offset to the left.

The weight limit is stated as 5000 lbs, but I don't want to abuse the Buick. I am wondering whether I could consider one of the bigger, heavier Big Foot models or a larger Escape if I use the station wagon as a TV. We will be selling our North Carolina condo when I retire and plan to snowbird away from Michigan with an RV during the cold months, so the extra space would be nice.

I am really glad I found this forum. It has been extremely helpful to me and your knowledge and experience is invaluable as I continue to seek more information before narrowing down my choices. Thanks for all your help, past and future.

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Old 09-29-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,911
Hi Monica, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

There are lots of kind and helpful people here on the forums, I'm sure some will be stopping by shortly.

Thanks for posting in the information about your tow vehicle, that's a good start so we can help you.

Gotta picture?

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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Joe Vegas's Avatar
Name: Joe
Trailer: 1998 Bigfoot 21'
Posts: 14
Hi Monica,

I have a comparison that might help. My tow vehicle is a 2007 Toyota Tacoma with the V-6 tow package and is rated for towing 6500lbs.

I have a 21' Bigfoot that weighs 3750ish dry and I'm guessing at around 5,000 pounds loaded.

I also have a 16' 1959 Siesta tin can trailer that was my first trailer and we towed it extensively. It weighs around 2500 pounds.

Towing the tin can was nothing, as you can expect. We just did 11 hours from Vegas to Burning Man in one shot, almost like not towing at all.

Towing the Bigfoot is real towing. Going uphill with water in the tanks it slows down, and I can't run the A/C or keep it much above 50mph on the steeper hills around here. Braking is no big deal with a brake controller, but I feel like I'm towing about all I can get away with if I want to go up any steeper hills and keep things steady.

I hope that helps. Good luck with the search.

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Old 09-30-2013, 11:30 PM   #4
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carlkeigley's Avatar
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,361
Hi Monica, Welcome to the Forum.

Just for a head start information wise I'll give you a photo tour of my Snoozy.

Backyard Photo Shoot

Every brand has their pluses and minuses.
It boils down to what one's needs and expectations are and what works for them.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:58 PM   #5
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Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Posts: 5,859
Hi Monica,
Welcome to Fiberglass RV. You'll probably get lots of I have this so it's the best type of responses. With a tow limit of 5000lbs you tow most molded fiberglass trailers. People have full timed in a 13' and up. There's lots to choose from. I would suggest that you look for one of the get togethers listed in listed on this site "Campouts, rallies, and gatherings....". If you can possibly go to one of them then you get to look at all kinds fiberglass trailers.

We travel in the winter (snow birders) in our 13'. We often spend 3 months out at a time. The only reason we come home is we've run out of places to go within our travel limits and starts getting too hot.

There's a couple on here that spend up 11months in a 16' Scamp. So just depends on what you feel you need. Also what think you need today will change tomorrow.

I hope you find what you want. Molded Fiberglass seems to have less problems than other build types. Good luck and maybe we'll cross paths sometime in sunny south west.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:10 AM   #6
Senior Member
Name: Ray
Trailer: 21' Escape - former owner of 17' "other brand."
Posts: 690
Yes, be sure to look them over before buying. Of course, if you buy a well-maintained older unit you could try it out and wouldn't loose much, if anything, if you decided it wasn't for you.

The size you need is very much a personal thing, some people can full-time in a 13 footer, while others, (like my wife and me), will find a 17 footer too restrictive for even a week-long camping trip - that's why we're now buying a 21 footer.

As for tow vehicles, again, a lot depends upon you and what you're comfortable with. We had a V-6 S-10 with a tow rating of 5600 pounds and it could tow our EggCamper very well - as long as it was flat ground. It only had a four speed transmission so going up almost any hill would require a down-shift, and with the four speed, that meant slowing way down. I like to travel with the flow of traffic whenever I can, and couldn't abide with that limitation, so we moved up to a newer tow vehicle with a six-speed which could allow me to maintain speed. You could try out your Buick and see if its capabilities fit your driving style.

Lots to consider, but you can always change things if you decide something isn't for you.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:36 AM   #7
Name: Monica
Trailer: Exploring fiberglass, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6
Posts: 59
Thanks Joe, that does help put it in perspective. Like everything in life, there’s always a tradeoff. I really need to get inside a few of these models and see for myself. My need for space is certainly less than my husbands. (I spend weeks at a time in the summer living in the forward cabin of my 27 foot pocket trawler—a 1987 Albin Family Cruiser.)

Byron, I’ll be watching for your posts with interest since you are snowbirding with a 13 footer. I will check out the rallys scheduled in the area as you suggested. I think I would like that.

Carl, I’ve viewed your photos and those of other owners on the Lil Snoozy Club website. Very nice. It is definitely on my must see list, so I’ll try to get to the factory this winter sometime.

Ray, I hope to go to Granville, MI next week to see the Eggcamper, unless family obligations get in the way. I am surprised you were challenged on hills towing it. It sounds like you maintain a faster pace than I do, though.

Which gets me back to my question of the general towing adequacy of the 1995 Buick Roadmaster station wagon with towing package. If I have to change my preferred TV, that will substantially change my decision-making process. I might post sections of my original post to the towing thread.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:00 AM   #8
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Carol H's Avatar
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,706
Welcome Monica, as others have said what size you can live with is a personal thing. I know when I first start to consider what trailer I wanted I thought after shifting through photos and layout diagrams etc that I know exactly which make and size I wanted ..... that was until I went and sat in it.

Generally the newer Bigfoots weigh in at more than comparable sized Escape.

If you haven't see it already there is a great thread on the forum called Trailer Weights in the Real World which is helpful in determining what you can expect a trailer loaded for camping will actually weigh on the axle as well as the tongue.

Have fun shopping!
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
Name: Monica
Trailer: Exploring fiberglass, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 4.3L V6
Posts: 59
I had not read that thread, so thanks for calling it to my attention, Carol. An eye-opener. That's what I love about this site and its members--lots of experience and information.

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