help a noob?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I strongly sugest that you get your Cloud weighed.... I think you are in for a big surprise.....
Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #16
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Yep, that list and common knowledge are both reasons why I sugested that the Cloud be weighed. Even without considering weight, the frontal area of a Cloud is significant and will add to the towing load as well.

Add to that, Toyota has a "Do Not Tow Anything" statement in the Prius manual.

Yet trailer hitches are still offered that will lead an owner to believe that towing must be OK.... Go figure.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I strongly sugest that you get your Cloud weighed.... I think you are in for a big surprise.....
Good advise Bob, cant imagine a Cloud weighing in much if any under a Boler 13' or a U-haul 13' which seem to have an average weigh in from 1500 to 2000lbs and beyond once loaded.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:59 PM   #18
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Original paperwork gave the Cloud's weight at 960 lbs. Florida title shows it at 985. Course this was pre refrig., AC and battery. I was told by the Toyota dealership that I could tow up to 2000 lbs with a 200 lb tongue weight. We've been buying cars from this dealer for 25 yrs and I'll take their word for it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cannibal53 View Post
Original paperwork gave the Cloud's weight at 960 lbs. Florida title shows it at 985. Course this was pre refrig., AC and battery..
Its important to remember that the dry weight listed on most trailers documents includes none of the items you listed or propane tanks or water tanks or awnings etc or the 400 lbs and often more of other stuff that most of us, even the light packers seem to add to the trailers. hoses, jacks, wheel blocks, extension cords, radio, first aid kits, pots and pans, chairs, clothing, bq and food, all add up fast.

I would go by what a cars manual states in regards to tow capacity or get the dealer to put their recommendation in writing - you never know when you might need it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:02 PM   #20
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Yep, I'm with Carol and others 100%.

The only weight value on a piece of paper that really counts is the one you just got handed by the weighmaster at the local certified scales. Cloud is long gone and the DMV usually just copies mfg figures for non-commercial vehicles.

There really are legitimate reasons for mfgs. towing specifications. Some are related to the driveline, others are related to safety, brakes, steering etc.

In as much as towing anything with a Prius is not recommended by Toyota, I too would ask for something in writing from your dealer.

You wouldn't want a big surprise 300 miles away from your dealer when the hybrid driveline has problems and the local dealer hits you with a $4000 repair bill.

Or an even bigger surprise if you happen to have an accident and the other guys lawyer brings up the issue of towing. In both cases you will find that the dealer has suddenly forgotten your name.

Considering that Toyota is about to shell out a Billion $$$ over safety issues, they are very touchy about how their vehicles are used and/or misused. For that reason dealers are never authorized to override factory specifications.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #21
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I guess I'm looking to spend less than 5,000 but preferably the cheaper, the better, ya know?? but i also don't want a hunk of junk that's just going to be a money pit! I'll do more research on these kinds of repairs and stuff, thanks Bob!

As for a daily budget, I'm not planned that far ahead yet. And I do like the teardrop trailers! A bit small, but I suppose I'll really just be sleeping in there. Are electrical repairs very difficult in a trailer??
What is the towing capasity of a 2003 Volkswagen Golf? 1,000 to 1,500lbs? That weight gets eaten up quickly.


In your budget you probably will need upgrades to the Golf.

Definitely:
transmission cooler
New engine coolant
Wiring for trailer lights and brakes?

Maybe:
Oil cooler
change over to synthetic oil to string out oil changes.
New shocks
New brakes
Brake controller
Weight distribution hitch

MPG takes a hit when towing.

Unless you will continue to RV after getting a full time job, I would suggest looking into tent camping options.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #22
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Maybe it's time for this thread to answer Olivia's questions. I didn't ask any.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by oliviamarie View Post
I guess I'm looking to spend less than 5,000 but preferably the cheaper, the better, ya know?? but i also don't want a hunk of junk that's just going to be a money pit! I'll do more research on these kinds of repairs and stuff, thanks Bob!

As for a daily budget, I'm not planned that far ahead yet. And I do like the teardrop trailers! A bit small, but I suppose I'll really just be sleeping in there. Are electrical repairs very difficult in a trailer??
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

As mentioned, always buy the best you can afford. Unless you have the skill set(s), lots of tools and a place to do repairs, fixers always wind up costing more than you can ever imagine when you have to pay for labor.

That said, Still allow at least $500 for fix ups for anything you buy short of a new rig. Little things like tires, bearing repacking, brake controllers and repairs to systems and appliances always seem to be in order.

A trailer can have several electrical systems, The basic road lighting system and the 12 VDC system for inside lights, water pump, furnace fan and other 12 volt accessories. It also includes the converter/battery charger and the coach battery..

The 120 Volt system is for when you have power avalable and can plug in. This usually runs the converter to supply 12 volts and to charge the coach battery.

Both are fairy easy to work on if one has a basic understanding of electrical troubleshooting in RV's, but be advised, there will never be a schematic for you or a technician to follow.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:59 AM   #24
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Olivia, welcome aboard

What you are looking to do is a major life change....that said it may require some major changes for you.

Your auto....TV....tow vehicle....may need to change.
Your boys may need to have a life change also.....
Your skills may need some improving...

Here is my little input.....fiberglass RVs...eggs...fgrvs....are more expensive than other small(yet light) trailer.....in my opinion they are more expensive because they are worth it and I believe many others agree due to how difficult it is to buy a good one........they sell fast....they also make good investments as they sell easily and for a good price.

I look at my egg as a tent on wheels with a few upgrades.....it's not my only trailer, but it is a favorite due to it's so easy to live with.....extremely user friendly.

As for the boys I ask you this.....would you take the dog camping for a few months in a tent???? My guess is you would.........now what about the lizard

I hope all this advise is not scarring you off your dream....that is not what any of us would want to do I'm sure.....just want you to go into things with your eyes open.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 PM   #25
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oliviamarie I hope we haven't put you off completely.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #26
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I think your VW is probably rated to tow less than even a 13ft fiberglass RV would weigh with gear in it. You might want to take the $5,000 for a camper and the sale price of the VW to arrive at what you have to spend on the whole rig. Tow and trailer.

Smaller the tow vehicle the more important trailer brakes become. Can tow does not mean can stop.

Try to get to a FGRV rally and check out the rigs to get an idea of what would work for your needs.
Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Upcoming) - Fiberglass RV

To get an idea of prices see this part of the forum for rigs for sale.
For Sale: Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers - Fiberglass RV

In the 13ft size there are many under your budget, and yes if it is older it may be in "working" order but need work to be dependable or fully functional.

Axle suspension being worn out, floor rot, propane fridge, and furnace are probably most expensive issues with older trailers. Assuming the camper does not currently leak and appears solid and in good repair.

Leaks can be hidden and create wood rot out of sight under a cupboard or seat so be sure to check the wood floor condition. From inside and under the trailer.

Allow for the nickle and dime stuff like window seals, or battery(s) for the 12 volt system you need when not plugged in. And if you can plug in for electric service the campground cost more than a rustic campground with pit toilet and hand pump and no electicity.

Heat for the lizard is going to be a bigger problem than the dog unless it's a really big dog. Heat from electricity draws a lot of power, so your camper batteries will get a heavy drain if you try to heat a lizard cage. Or your paying for a campground with electric hook-up.

We can get two people and a 40 lb dog in for the night in a 13ft Scamp but I think it would get old if the three of us were stuck in there for a few days.

Most campgrounds won't let you leave a dog unattended in a camper. If it's hot where you camp you may need/want air conditioning, if not for you then for the dog. AC can be expensive to fix and requires plug-in power from campground or a noisy generator, not going to run off of batteries.

If your going to need work table and bed be aware that many 13 ft eggs use the dining table as the bed. A single person might be able to set up bed on the couch/bunk and leave the table up for eating or working. Or some models have a second dinette table for two. Either from the factory or added by the owners in place of the couch or a closet.

If the camper does not have a bathroom there are places one can stow a port-a-potti. These are pretty easy to operate and empty in a rest area or campground toilet. This would allow you a bit more flexibility in where you spend the night when traveling or camp for a few nights.

Someone mentioned sponge baths, yep been there done that. Used an 8 cup coffee pot to heat the water. Never tried to shampoo hair inside the camper but have done that outside.

As if my post was not long enough already....

A screen tent or pop-up canopy, especially one with side panels to keep the wind and wind driven rain out can really "expand" your living space. A 10 x 10 canopy is bigger than my 13ft scamp.

Throw in a portable camp stove and maybe a lantern so you can cook, eat, and work in the canopy or screen tent will greatly enhance your camping experience.

If you pull into a camping place and it's raining or your only staying one night your camper is ready and waiting. No need to fuss with the extra screen tent or canopy. Otherwise you can set up outside and double your space and comfort.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #27
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Thanks to everyone for all the fantastic help! I love it! I'm starting to get a little more hesitant because of the car issue and my limited funding but the only reason I haven't posted is because of the whole full time job and student thing! If there are any updates I'll be sure to post, I'm still looking around for campers for sale but am gonna wait a bit til I have some more money saved up!

Thanks again, everyone! See you all at some rallies soon
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:14 PM   #28
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One alternative would be to establish a good credit history, and in a matter of a year or less you could get a loan to buy a stronger tow vehicle and a new trailer. New means very few maintenance issues.
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