Hello from Reno! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-24-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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Name: Angie
Trailer: In the market
Posts: 2
Hello from Reno!

Hi, I'm Angie!

My daughter and I are planning on a cross country roadtrip next April and we're looking for an ultra-light (under 1600 lbs.) barebones trailer like the meerkat that doesn't have 'frills' like stovetops, ac, propane, bathroom.

All we really need is electricity to run our lights and laptops. Since we're traveling for an entire year, we want a trailer that's tall enough to stand up in (we're both 5'2"). This rules out most teardrop trailers. We also considered a TAB teardrop trailer, but it's too loaded with features for our tastes, not to mention overpriced...

So basically we're looking for a no-frills fiberglass trailer around 1000 lbs. Does anybody have any suggestions to models similar to the meerkat?

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Old 10-24-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
First, I don't think that any of the FGRV's weigh close to 1000 lbs except for a bare basic shell. Scamp and others used to post weight claims under 1000 lbs on sales literature, but that was for a bare and empty unit that they, basically, didn't sell..

There is a listing of real world trailer weights in the General Chat forum that will give you some actual weight.

Trailer Weights in the Real World

Give us an idea about your approximate budget and tell us what you will be towing with?????

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Old 10-24-2015, 06:19 PM   #3
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Name: Angie
Trailer: In the market
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Hi Bob!

I realize that actual weights are much higher than manufacturer weights, I guess I'm just being conservative to account for our gear and stuff. I want to stay as light as possible.

We have a lexus rx300 w/ 3500 lb. towing capacity. We've towed a loaded a cargo trailer from LA up to Reno along Route 395 so a 13' trailer should be okay.

We've had this car forever and kept up w/ maintenance and tranny flushes and it seems our car's escaped the dreaded transmission problems common to this model. 180k miles and still going strong! In any event, we're going to drive slowly and avoid pushing the engine.

Our budget can go up to $18000, but we're open to both new and used trailers. The only problem is that we're currently in an apartment so we can't take on any fixer-upper projects.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:27 AM   #4
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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While I don't know your exact plans, I suggest rethinking your "Bare Bones" approach for these and other reasons:

1. It limits where you can stop at night. In my experience "Most" campgrounds do not have power hook-up for electrical appliances and, as for cooking outside, it does rain and get cold. There's little as nice as a fresh cup of coffee/mocha in the morning and hot water to wash up with.

2. Weight savings won't be all that great or all that beneficial.

3. Resale value will suffer substantially as there is a very limited market for that level of RV.

4. It will be much harder to find in the used market, and lead times for new ones are getting very long right now.

5. I'd bet that you spend even more nights in commercial accommodations, wiping out any real or imagined savings.

And, in any event, consider adding an auxiliary transmission cooler to your Lexus, you will need all the protection you can get.

BTW: I drove that same route last May on my way to Chelan, WA from Riverside, CA. Except for the Carson City-Reno section it's a nice drive. LOL
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Old 10-25-2015, 09:19 AM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,550
A bare-bones 13'er typically has a cooktop and an icebox. The cooktop and LP tank don't add a lot of weight and, as said, could really come in handy. Of course, you could easily remove both (some folks turn the stove recess into a covered storage bin flush with the counter), but you'd want to hang onto at least the cooktop for reinstallation when you sell.

A fridge doesn't really add much travel weight over an icebox by the time you factor in the weight of the ice and the extra cooler you have to bring because the ice takes up most of the room in the icebox. And it's something that is a big plus on resale.

That said, we found ours used with only an icebox, and we manage fine. We use the icebox for dry storage and a Coleman ice chest for cold storage. The Coleman holds the cool much better than the icebox.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:44 AM   #6
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Name: George
Trailer: U-Haul CT13
Posts: 10
Hi Angel
I think either the Meerkat or the new "Happier Camper" trailer being manufactured in Ca should fit your bill.

Happier Camper | Ultra-light Travel and Utility Trailers

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