Hi from Eastern NC - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-10-2018, 06:26 AM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: In the market for a Bigfoot
North Carolina
Posts: 13
Hi from Eastern NC

Hi everyone,

Newby to the site. Wife and I are avid campers. We currently have a 30 foot Heartland but stay mainly in the same state. We will both be retiring in 2018 and we are wanting a smaller fiberglass camper to travel the country. We will be be running extended trips but not full timers.
I will probably be asking a lot of questions as I do my research on the ideal Fiberglass camper.
Kinda have my thoughts on a Bigfoot but not sure if 17.5 or 21 is my best bet.
Thank You. Looking forward to interacting with everyone here.

Duke
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:59 AM   #2
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Welcome, Duke!

In addition to Bigfoot you might want to check out Escape trailers. Unless you are wanting the 4-season capability of a Bigfoot, Escape offers several mid-sized layouts with a significantly lighter towing weight. I'm not knocking Bigfoots- they are high quality trailers, but they are heavy for their size due to the cold-weather upgrades.

Bigfoot 21' is the smallest molded fiberglass trailer with a dry bath, if that matters to you. All the others, including the smaller Bigfoot, have a wet bath. Beds are pretty narrow in the 17.5', too.

There's no perfect trailer, but molded fiberglass is a great start for low maintenance, good towability, durability, and high resale value.

Happy travels!
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:35 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
North Carolina
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Go to a rally and tour some trailers. Probably not going to see many Bigfoots at rallies, but you should see Casitas, Scamps and probably some Escapes, along with a bunch of vintage molded trailers.

You may well be in for a shock at the dramatic step down in size. Its not just length either, traditional trailers tend to be a lot wider on the inside than FG trailers.

We tend to take long trips, 4 weeks long, 6,000 to 8,000 miles. For us, the floorplan of an Escape 19 suited us. We were used to a 22 foot conventional fifth wheel. We downsized to a 17 foot Casita. It didn't suit us well so we stepped up to the Escape.

Realize if you buy new, factory backlogs are many months out right now.


One piece of advice: floorplan, floorplan, floorplan. For us, the larger dinette and queen sized bed were the two critical pieces.

Second piece, as the trips get longer, storage becomes more important. Our Casita had minimal storage, the Escape is much better. Open up lower cabinets in particular. What may look like adequate storage shrinks quickly if it stores water tank, battery, water pump, hot water heater, inverter, etc.

Some manufacturers have referral systems that work like a virtual showroom. They put you in touch with a nearby owner who shows you their trailer. In return, the owner gets a credit with the manufacturer.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:16 AM   #4
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Name: David
Trailer: In the market for a Bigfoot
North Carolina
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Thanks Jon, I was just looking at the Escapes yesterday. Sure wish it was easier to go somewhere close by and be able to
Put my hands on these trailers. Looks like the bulk of these campers are in Western US. I know one way or another, I am determined to go fiberglass on my next RV.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:23 AM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: In the market for a Bigfoot
North Carolina
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Hi Thrifty,

The 19 foot escape looks great. Your right, my wife and I were quite concerned with the bed. If we are going to spend
Long trips away from home, I want a nice size bed and mattress. Do the Escapes come equipped with an optional generator? That was a plus on the Bigfoots.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:49 AM   #6
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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Originally Posted by dukedd1 View Post
Thanks Jon, I was just looking at the Escapes yesterday. Sure wish it was easier to go somewhere close by and be able to
Put my hands on these trailers. Looks like the bulk of these campers are in Western US. I know one way or another, I am determined to go fiberglass on my next RV.
Well, in NC, we are not close to MN (Scamp), TX (Casita) or Escape (BC Canada).

Step one, call Escape. They will put you in touch with an owner in your area. You can then tour that owner's trailer. No need to go to BC. Owners volunteer to show their trailers, and in return Escape gives them a credit. So its a win/win.

As far as generators, no. Trailers are rapidly embracing solar charging systems. Not enough to run an AC, but enough for other stuff. Generators IMHO are better suited outside the trailer, like in the bed of a pickup truck. Small trailers are a compromise. Some people hang them off the back of the trailer, really screws up tongue weight, which makes towing bad.

Just realize even a big FG trailer is going to be a lot smaller than your current trailer. So if you compare the two, you are going to be disappointed space wise. Its really a different type of camping, and involves compromise.

A 30 foot trailer may have a 26 foot long box (4 foot is the trailer tongue). In addition, its usually about 8 foot wide.

Meanwhile a 19 foot Escape has a 16 foot long box. And its more like 6 1/2 feet wide.

208 sq feet versus 104 sq ft. Half the room, so half the stuff, or all the stuff is smaller.

Then if your current trailer has a tip out, its even a bigger difference.

We have friends with a 40 foot motorhome. Several tip outs of course. Talk about space! And amenities! And the unit even has a second half bathroom....... Wild.. But we can camp where they can't. They have to bring a TOAD behind them. Overall length of their rig with the TOAD is about 65 feet. But its spacious! And has a lot of features.

Meanwhile, we met a couple, 50 years old +/-, that had been full timing in a 13 foot Trillium. Figure just a 10 foot box. No bathroom, no AC, small bed, tiny dinette up front. They love it!!

The comparison on space in most molded trailers works best if you have been camping in a tent. Then they are spacious, huge even! But come from a mid sized, full width, traditional trailer or fifth wheel and they are small. Small also means a lot more options on tow vehicles, fits in smaller camp sites, easier to store at home, etc.

We have had no problem taking month long trips in our Escape 19. Prior to that, two weeks in our 17 foot Casita was all we could handle. Amazing what 2 foot meant to us. Everyone is different! What works for them, might not work for me (like full timing in a Trillium).

Longer trips also can mean you "need" more stuff. We took a month long trip out west last May. We saw temperatures from 25 F (Yellowstone) to 105 F (St George Utah). We saw a lot of cold rain in the Pacific NW and we saw a lot of dry heat in the SW.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:30 AM   #7
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Name: David
Trailer: In the market for a Bigfoot
North Carolina
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Thank you Thirfty for the reply.
I gotcha on your first reply about the referral system, I just wish the manufacturer would have sample (models) of their
Campers and various floor plans in several different locations throughout the country. I am a visual person and therefore, seeing them all in one place would be nice. Running from camper owner to camper owner would be no simple task.

We graduated from tent camping when kids were young to a popup, small teardrop to a 15 foot hard side Terry camper and numerous others before we ended up in our 30 foot TT. I am good with smaller with less space. Still want to keep my 30 since I still enjoy the comfort it provides. We can always pick up the lack of storage space with a camper shell on the back of the pickup tow vehicle.

Here in NC, air conditioners are a must regardless of small or large RVs. I like the idea of stopping off a wally world for the night and firing up the ac. Don't trust a generator sitting outside in the open exposed to the elements let alone the rift raft that maybe lurking about in a parking lot.

I will give Escape a call next week and see if they have any folks close by so we can take a peek at one.. Seems like all the Bigfoot dealers are concentrated in the West coast direction.

May have some questions or concerns in the coming months. Can I bounce them off you from time to time? We have 0 experience with extended trips and these FG rigs..

Duke
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:41 AM   #8
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There is an egg gathering in Townsend Tennessee in April. You would probably get a chance to see many different floor plans in one place there.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:24 PM   #9
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Name: David
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Oh sweet, that would be perfect timing too.
Thank you
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:46 PM   #10
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Parkliner made in N.C. Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:12 PM   #11
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Name: Mitzi
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We have a Lilsnoozy made in SC. I love it! 19 feet tongue to rear bumper. We are currently at the Eggs n Smores rally in Live Oak, Fl. Seeing all the different Casitas, Scamps, Escapes etc. Our 4 cats travel with us,Really enjoying our long weekend
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:31 AM   #12
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedd1 View Post
Thank you Thirfty for the reply.
I gotcha on your first reply about the referral system, I just wish the manufacturer would have sample (models) of their
Campers and various floor plans in several different locations throughout the country. I am a visual person and therefore, seeing them all in one place would be nice. Running from camper owner to camper owner would be no simple task.
The molded FG trailer manufacturers are all basically small family operations. The cost to have samples all over the country would be quite expensive. And since they are all sold out for anything from six months to a year or more, I don't see any of them doing it.

The referral program is an affordable way for them to provide samples you can look at, without giving dealers a cut of the profit.

+1 Attend a rally is a way to see a lot of trailers.

I agree, no AC is a non-starter. But you would be surprised how many people travel without it. Part of it is location for sure. And some aren't bothered by hot weather.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:27 PM   #13
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Name: David
Trailer: In the market for a Bigfoot
North Carolina
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Thank you all for your replies. This very much helps me do my research in making the best
Purchase for our travels. Hope to meet everyone on the road one day.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:07 AM   #14
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Hey, Duke,

Welcome to the FGRV forum.

Good luck with your egg hunt!

BEST
Kai
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