Hello from NC - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-17-2018, 09:22 PM   #1
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Name: Hec
Trailer: 1981 13' Scamp
North Carolina
Posts: 11
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Smile Hello from NC

Hi there,

I'm planning to live full time in a small (13') fiberglass RV with my 70 lb North Carolina yard dog of the medium, black variety named Hector (hence, hecdawg). My preference is for a 13' Scamp or Casita as soon as I can find one in complete working condition. Burros are interesting, but the vertical seam seems strange to me.

I'd eventually like a completely electric setup with solar, but starting out with propane is OK. Interested in a minimalist setup - no bathroom, lightest setup possible. Hope to be dry camping a lot and off the grid.

My tow vehicle is a 2012 Subaru Outback 4cyl. Uhaul recently installed a hitch for me. I wanted them to install an inertia brake controller for electric brakes. They told me it was not a "safe" thing to do. Any idea why? I've thought about installing the controller myself, but don't really have the setup to do this easily. Any recommendations for installers in NC?

If you're selling your 13' fiberglass trailer, let me know. I'm ready to buy and would like to hit the road by March.

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:11 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Welcome, Hector and human friend!

All-electric can be done, but it's harder to be completely off the grid without LP. Heat is the one function that can't be done practically using 12V and solar. Without LP, you will have to pay for hookups and use an electric space heater for chilly conditions. When full-timing it will happen. Even Arizona and Florida are subject to cold spells where heat is really nice to have. We've used our propane furnace more than once while desert camping in winter.

The vertical seams on Burros and U-Hauls do look different, but they're really no more trouble-prone than horizontal seams on Scamp and Casita. I wouldn't completely rule them out if you find a nice one. That said, Scamp is by far the most common 13'er out there, especially newer ones ready to camp.

You absolutely do want electric brakes with a proportional brake controller. I'm not sure what an "inertia" controller means, but the fact that this installer brushed you off means you should look elsewhere. As to "unsafe," your installer may be assuming that trailer brakes mean your trailer is 3000 pounds or more, since that's the legal threshold in some states. Hopefully you'll get some local recommendations here. You could also seek out people in your area who own RV's and find out where they go.

Best wishes on your "egg hunt"!
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:42 AM   #3
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 2,057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
...
You absolutely do want electric brakes with a proportional brake controller. I'm not sure what an "inertia" controller means, but the fact that this installer brushed you off means you should look elsewhere.

...
Hec,

Maybe inertia brakes means surge brakes, in which case I would agree that it is not a good idea. So perhaps U-Haul gave you good advice - You do want electric brakes and not surge brakes. I don't see where you think you were brushed off but if they were not able to explain to you want you should have and why then yes, perhaps go elsewhere.

While some small trailers come without brakes, I agree with Jon. Get the electric brakes and use a proportional controller such as the Prodigy P2 or P3. (Esp. with a smaller tow vehicle.)

North Carolina is over 530 miles at its widest point, and there are many good trailer shops along the way. So for a recommendation, mention of a city would help. I'm 30 miles north of Charlotte with a Scamp 16 (with solar) if you want to see it. I travel solo with a 40 lb dog (for a little while longer at least), and its tight in there for us at times.

But I understand you are watching your weight so looking at 13s. I don't know anything about your tow vehicle but have seen lots of discussion about using Subaru's. The tongue weight limit is often mentioned as the limiting factor. Expect a Scamp 13 tongue weight to be 200-240 and the total weight to be 1,700 at least. Be sure to research it carefully. Half the time even the car dealers will steer you wrong.

For sale ads, Facebook groups and https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...ilers-for-sale or https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...ilers-for-sale.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:28 AM   #4
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Name: Hec
Trailer: 1981 13' Scamp
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Thanks y'all.

Good to know about the heat - I kinda figured as much, but hoping that battery technology (or some other technology) evolves to the point of making non fossil fuel heating possible. LP and connections at parks will be what I use in the meantime. :-) I'm sure I'll learn a lot as I go...hopefully not too much learning the hard way.

Inertial brake controller is another name for proportional controller - braking is applied in proportion to the momentum change (inertia) of the vehicle-trailer combo. It's a pretty cool device that uses an accelerometer as the sensor. eTrailer has a nice video for the install on exactly my TV and I can see some of the safety issues - like getting the wiring correct and installed so that wiring is protected from heat. But it looks like it is done, just wondering who does it if not Uhaul.

Looking forward to all your experience, advice and help.

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:35 AM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Kinda thought so- about the inertia controller. They do make wireless RF proportional controllers, but I don't know much about them.

I have an independent mechanic that does most of the major service on my vehicles. I also have an RV tech I like to use- he teaches my daughter's ballet class and raises horses in addition to working on RV's- interesting guy, but good!

I'd trust either with brake wiring.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:55 AM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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well I guess I am in the minority here but I pull a 13f scamper no brakes trailer weighs 1000lbs I have pulled heavy boats up and down steep hills no brakes. I don't drive 70mph either trailer tires are rated at 60mph I drive more like 50 to 55 and I watch ahead constantly.


we took a 6000m trip last feb no brakes no problems!!
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:24 AM   #7
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Shopping
CO
Posts: 447
Speaking of propane, consuming propane from a tank is far cheaper than small cannisters. They sell adapter hoses, but consider looking for a built in furnace. Safer too. I don't know if a vented furnace can be retrofitted. To start with, you'd need space.

Zodi makes portable showers that work well. You can heat water with a stove. I've had good luck with one that resembles a commercial fire extinguisher.

If not mistaken, all electric heat is 'resistance' so efficiency is the same. Radiant heat you will feel more, much like sunshine.

LED lighting is more efficient, but you can change it fairly easily.

In solar, consider two roof mounted panels, which can operate while driving. Also consider a pair of freestanding panels so the trailer can park in shade.

Finally, a separate tarp or fly that is pitched a foot or so above the trailer roof will shield lots of heat from sunlight on hot days. "Artificial shade". Enjoy.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:53 AM   #8
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Name: Hec
Trailer: 1981 13' Scamp
North Carolina
Posts: 11
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Smile Heat without fossil fuel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 72 View Post
If not mistaken, all electric heat is 'resistance' so efficiency is the same. Radiant heat you will feel more, much like sunshine.
Thanks for the recommendations. I'm not sure what you mean by radiant heat. Do you mean running hot water through tubes surrounded by metal? Heat transfer to the metal embedded in the floor is then transferred (radiated) to the surrounds? If so, the water still has to be heated - I guess that could happen via the sun, but if I need heat in the rain or on overcast days I'll have to use a water heater, which will require either LP or electric (resistance heating from current that is created via a battery powered by my car(gas), the sun(solar) or other means) to heat the water. Would like to think of some other way to generate that heat starting from the source. Why? Because it interests me and I want to reduce my dependence on fossil fuel. Electromechanical generators might be an option - using human-powered mechanical energy to create electricity rather than plugging in. Thinking about capturing wasted energy that can be stored in a battery or capacitor for later use - regenerative braking is an example of that kind of thing. Just thinking outside the box a little and am interested in ideas like this.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:25 AM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 1,896
dont get complicated

my feelings in this trailering business is don't go compiicated at first. we have a bareboned 13f no batheroom we mostly boondock. we have learned to cook outside whenever we can, we do military baths if not at a campground we rarely are while traveling we are frugal. we bring clothes that are easy to wash and dry your can figure out the rest.

just think simple in your desires at this point or your can buy brand new with all the bells and whistles but its going to cost you.

my father-in-laws favorite sayin was poor people have poor ways. I used it in my life for everything! it carried me through some rough times also.

bob
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