Greetings from Alaska - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2017, 10:58 PM   #1
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Name: Mallory
Trailer: In the market
Alaska
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Greetings from Alaska

Hi! Family of 4 here, looking to buy a lightweight camper we can pull with our minivan. My only real need is a toilet I'm having an issue finding anything for sale here though, so maybe I can get some help on the forums and get my family in a camper this spring!
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Old 02-05-2017, 03:04 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
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What sort of a minivan? A GMC Safari or Chevy Astro will give you some options. The lighter duty ones not so much.
How is the camping in Alaska? I'm in Alberta and considering a trip to the Yukon. Maybe Alaska too?
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:30 PM   #3
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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What sort of a minivan? A GMC Safari or Chevy Astro will give you some options. The lighter duty ones not so much.
How is the camping in Alaska? I'm in Alberta and considering a trip to the Yukon. Maybe Alaska too?
We've traveled to Alaska in 2008 and 2015. Loved the Yukon and Alaska. We found Alaska to have plenty of campgrounds from full service with all amenities to rustic in the woods. You can also stay in the forest in most places or along the road or parking lots. I'm hoping to make that trip again but it is a long drive, takes a lot of time when you are sight seeing and gets expensive a little when coming from the central US. The Yukon has plenty of campgrounds and you must stay in campgrounds in Canada according to our books. The provincial campgrounds are very nice and if they are full there's usually an overflow area. We never had a problem finding a campground and never had reservations in Alaska or Canada.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:01 PM   #4
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Name: Mallory
Trailer: In the market
Alaska
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I have a Toyota Sienna, so it limits us a little bit. I was just excited to learn that there was anything we could tow

As for camping in Alaska, let me preface my opinion by letting you know I had never camped in my life before 2015. Then our family transferred here to Alaska and we tent camped the whole way from NYC. It was amazing! We stayed in some of the best places. I wish I could remember everywhere, but I really felt like I got the hang of camping. Then I camped in Alaska and let me tell you, it was not what I expected. I love everything about camping here except the lack of flushing toilets. What can I say, I just love modern plumbing! I love that you can basically camp anywhere and everywhere. And the views are just unbeatable. But the toilet issue is what sent me in search of a camper. So here we are!
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:12 AM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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Does your Sienna have the factory tow package, consisting of a larger radiator and alternator and an auxiliary transmission cooler? Without it, most years are only rated to tow 2000 pounds; with it, 3500. You can't assume it does just because it has a hitch- that's not part of the package. A dealer can run the VIN to confirm.

We started towing with a Sienna, no tow package, and overheated the transmission on a long grade pulling a 1700 pound 13' Scamp. Electronics saved the day, but the experience confirms the importance of the towing upgrades even with a small trailer.

I haven't seen a lot of molded fiberglass trailers for sale in Alaska. Are you open to buying in Canada or the lower 48?

Best wishes!
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:58 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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An extra transmission cooler would probably take care of the Sienna if it doesn't have factory tow, but a Toyota dealer could tell you if there's any other truly necessary equipment to protect the drive train. I think the rear suspension tends to be a bit soft. But 16' Scamps usually are pretty light on the hitch for their size. See this thread: Trailer Weights in the Real World

Please be aware that our little trailers usually only have around a dozen-gallon fresh water tank. Flushing is not the big whoosh... we use just enough water to get things down the hole. If that's ok by you, then shop on! Best places to look are this site, Craigslist, and http://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/node
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:09 AM   #7
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
Posts: 183
I would have to agree with previous posts regarding the extra cooling capacity. I tow a lot in the back country. I seem lots of antifreeze and tranny fluid on the road going up the hills.
Usually the tranny gets hot and the rad can't keep. Once this happens the rad can't provide sufficient cooling for the motor. When the rad overheats it vents coolant. Bad for the tranny and bad for the motor and bad for the owner who is now broken down and is facing a huge wrecker and repair bill.
When I towed with a half ton I installed a tranny cooler inline before the rad. This took care of the excess tranny heat so that the rad had enough capacity to cool the engine. Worked great.
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:49 PM   #8
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Name: Tracie
Trailer: 96 Casita SD
Alaska
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we are in Anchorage and found an older 16' casita on craigslist last year--I believe it was cross-listed on this forum too. We're basically rebuilding it at this point and intend to keep it but do keep a watch online, there are definitely fiberglass trailers floating around up here (especially scamps) so something is bound to come up for sale eventually...just be prepared to jump on it when you do see it.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:48 PM   #9
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
An extra transmission cooler would probably take care of the Sienna if it doesn't have factory tow, but a Toyota dealer could tell you if there's any other truly necessary equipment to protect the drive train. I think the rear suspension tends to be a bit soft. But 16' Scamps usually are pretty light on the hitch for their size. See this thread: Trailer Weights in the Real World

Please be aware that our little trailers usually only have around a dozen-gallon fresh water tank. Flushing is not the big whoosh... we use just enough water to get things down the hole. If that's ok by you, then shop on! Best places to look are this site, Craigslist, and Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers For Sale | Fiberglass RV's For Sale
If the vehicle is a little soft in the rear maybe air shocks to help it. Just a thought. We did this to our full size van because it was soft in the rear. You can make them soft for daily riding and air up more for towing.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:28 PM   #10
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Name: Randy
Trailer: In the market
Alaska
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We are in Soldotna and just purchased a Casita 16' Luxury Traveler from a guy in Anchorage. It definitely needs some work, but appears to be sound overall. Will keep our eyes peeled for you.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:01 AM   #11
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We are in Soldotna and just purchased a Casita 16' Luxury Traveler from a guy in Anchorage. It definitely needs some work, but appears to be sound overall. Will keep our eyes peeled for you.
Cool! I actually reposted that ad in a recent thread on wood stoves in small trailers. Some people might like more information about how it is installed, sealed, as well as how it works.

Just so you know... "Luxury Traveler" was the seller's marketing invention. What you have is known to its maker and most of us here as a Casita 16' Spirit Deluxe. And a very nice one considering its age!
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:01 PM   #12
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Name: Randy
Trailer: In the market
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Very good, thank you. I can post a few pics of the wood stove installation this week.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:14 PM   #13
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Name: Randy
Trailer: In the market
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Here are a few pics of the wood stove installation. If the boot used for the roof penetration is the silicone variety it is rated for prolonged exposure to 437F. I have not confirmed the material yet. The stove has had fires in it and there is no melting or burning evident where the boot touches the pipe. The shielding is sheet aluminum that appears to be about .030 in thickness. The stack extension (not pictured) is stored in the waste dump tube. The installation certainly eats up valuable space.
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