Hey everyone! Newbie looking for a home on wheels :) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Name: Hillary
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Hey everyone! Newbie looking for a home on wheels :)

Hey friends!

I'm Hillary, 27, archaeologist, recent bad breakup where my home is no more! Sooo, being the adventurous, pull myself up by my bootstraps chick I am, I'm looking into getting a camper!

This camper would be my home.. not just for fun weekends away. Since I do contract work, I have jobs in the desert, woods, etc. where I get per diem for a hotel room when I'd really rather be camping. Save the money and have more fun, right?

I have an automatic 2001 VW Passat, with 4 wheel drive all the time, but also with Tiptronic. The manual says 2,000 max with brakes. I have never towed anything.

With that in mind, I'm living in the Towing Forum, going back and forth on what I can/can't/should/shouldn't pull, what work I should do on my car first, and figure out where my base should be on purchases.

I think 13 footers are exactly what I'd want (and don't think I should go heavier than that), 14 feet might be pushing it.

I'd love some advice from all you knowledgeable enthusiasts!

~ Best way to figure out what you should pull / how much weight you're putting in your camper (I understand this is more about me being comfortable, but I want to get the absolutes in check first)

~ LIVING in one? I'm not worried about my comfort (this is my element), I'm worried about wear and tear on the camper. Any regular maintenance I should take into consideration since I'll be using it to the max?

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to learning from all of you!

Hillary

~
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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Hillary, I have to log off, but I wanted to welcome you to FiberglassRV. If you've been doing a bunch of reading you already know there's a bunch of kind, helpful people here.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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Something told me you'd be the first one to respond, Donna Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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She is quick, welcome Hillary.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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A 13 footer would be an easy tow for your Passat. You will see smaller Golfs and Jettas (aka Bora or Vento) towing 20 footers in many European countries. Staying within the US rating for your Passat is not going to stress it at all.

As far as the camper, there are folks who full time (or at least spend months) in their campers. I have been in class a and class c RVs that I would feel worse about full-timing in... At least as far as longevity of the camper itself.

Personally, I could live in a 13 for quite a while... If I were single. In fact, I can imagine how much fun I could have cris-crossing the US in a Scamp 13. Not so much with a wife, kid, job, home, etc. Still, I can dream, right?

Are you able to buy new, or are you in the market for a used camper? If used, you may be looking at a number of fix-it jobs before it is road-worthy. If new, you will probably be waiting a few months for one to be built. Maybe a used one that is just a couple of years old would be a good choice?

We bought a well-used 13 a year ago, and we are still working on it. We're using it, though... That's the important part.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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Hilary, this is just my personal opinion...and you get what you pay for

I'd want a trailer with a full-time bed, and a comfortable place to sit and eat, or work on a laptop... watch movies, read a book etc. You are restricted by weight, otherwise I'd suggest a Casita FD or Scamp side dinette.

Maybe a 13' where the front gaucho has been changed to a dinette. Or... this: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ter-47696.html You can sleep on one side of the bed/dinette and leave the other side for sitting (with a small table).

Hope you find the rollin' home of your dreams!
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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Welcome Hillary! I think a Boler/Scamp type of 13 fter would be great for you if you don't require a real bathroom. The longest I have spent in mine was a week and it was quite comfortable, I could have stayed in it longer no problem. Depending on your size and wants you could either make the front or rear a full time bed.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for all this great advice!

I don't need a bathroom - in fact, I'd rather not. I don't mind doing my deal in other ways... I lived in a tent for 6 months before putting up a yurt this January - June, so I've become rather comfortable without a real bathroom!

Comfortable sleeping is important, especially in my line of work. I have to get up really early - 4 am comes quick - and my body is important to me. So, a full sized bed is perfect.

As far as the front/back setup... I'd rather keep my bed as a bed all the time and I'd love to have a bench/table set up as well.

I totally fell in love with this setup, with the kitchen in front: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...hen-47627.html

It's 14 ft.. I worry about weight on this one!
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:20 PM   #9
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At 1400 lbs. I don't think the Surfside would be a problem. Although you want to pay attention to the tongue weight of any trailer you might get, because you probably don't want to be over 200 lbs. on the hitch (unless you get a custom hitch receiver made and use a weight distributing hitch, and custom stuff is pricey).

Surfsides are not plentiful, but there's one listed for sale in British Columbia. Have you seen the website Molded Fiberglass Trailers | Fiberglass RV's For Sale yet? It's a good place to look for pre-loved FG eggs of any brand.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:53 PM   #10
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Hey Mike,
Thanks for your post - I'll definitely pay attention to the hitch weight. But how do I check the hitch weight? Especially before purchasing one?

I have been on the Molded Fiberglass Trailers page - Thanks for linking it. I've been researching like crazy the last 3 days... it's a good way to occupy my brain while my heart is mending!

~Hillary
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntHoodoo View Post
I have an automatic 2001 VW Passat, with 4 wheel drive all the time, but also with Tiptronic. The manual says 2,000 max with brakes. I have never towed anything.

I think 13 footers are exactly what I'd want (and don't think I should go heavier than that), 14 feet might be pushing it.

~ LIVING in one? I'm not worried about my comfort (this is my element), I'm worried about wear and tear on the camper. Any regular maintenance I should take into consideration since I'll be using it to the max?
I suggest you contact David & Leslie. They lived in a 13' Scamp for 3 years before they moved up to their 16' Scamp.

If you haven't seen it yet, check out Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:06 PM   #12
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Name: Hillary
Trailer: 1974 ECO ~ Just purchased!
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Thanks Frederick! I'll PM David and Leslie and ask them about living in their Scamp.

I have checked out your trailer weights link ~~ where these dry or packed up for use?
You're probably the right person to ask this, too: if GVW is 2,000, what does that mean exactly?
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #13
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Welcome, Hillary,

There is a thread on pulling with a VW, although the person with the Beetle ended up buying an Eriba Puck.

CindyL
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntHoodoo View Post
Hey Mike,
Thanks for your post - I'll definitely pay attention to the hitch weight. But how do I check the hitch weight? Especially before purchasing one?

I have been on the Molded Fiberglass Trailers page - Thanks for linking it. I've been researching like crazy the last 3 days... it's a good way to occupy my brain while my heart is mending!

~Hillary
It is fairly easy to weigh the tongue with a bathroom scale, especially when the expected weight is less than 300 lbs. or so. If the seller cannot or will not give a figure, at least when you go to look at the trailer you can take a scale and check it. Just get the tongue onto your ball, raise the jack enough to get the scale under it, then lower the jack till it lifts off your ball.

New trailers nowadays have a sticker somewhere inside with the dry hitch weight. But one must factor in the items to be added near the front of the unit: propane, water, and belongings.
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