Hi, I am Jean... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2016, 06:31 PM   #1
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Name: Jean
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
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Hi, I am Jean...

Hi, I'm Jean. My husband and I are in our late 50's and plan to retire in April 2018. We are birders, and a handful of times a year (based on how much vacation time we are allotted), we head out to National Wildlife Refuges and state/nation parks for 4-6 days of birding. Normally we stay in hotels within a 50 mile range of our hotspots, using hotel club "points" earned from business travel.

Those days will soon be over. YAY!!! And we'll be able to hit the road to bird much more often. We want a small, light trailer to live in for 5-10 days at a time. We have a 2017 Ford Escape Titanium with 3500 lb towing capacity. We have no dogs nor kids, we are not disabled in any way at present, and we will not be hauling bikes or kayaks, just camera and optical equipment.

We need separate beds, so one double or queen will not cut it. My husband is 6' tall and needs to be comfortable.

We value quietude, and are sure to find the mechanical noise of air conditioners, compressors or generators really, really annoying. That said, we're realists (we live in Texas and understand the word H-E-A-T.) We'll certainly end up using AC and heating, albeit sparingly.

We're not too worried about having a completely outfitted galley. Honestly, we're fine with plastic wash tubs, a single propane burner, and an ice chest. However, some sort of toilet setup would be nice. (I'm still learning about options for this.)

We're just starting our search for a small, fiberglass trailer. We're not on a tight budget, but we're prudent with our expenditures. I've fallen in love with the Happier Camper trailers, mostly because of the flexibility of configuring them to meet our needs over time as we work out our travel life.

Lastly, we want to buy new.

So, based on that, what are your thoughts and recommendations?

Thanks very much,
Jean
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:36 PM   #2
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Jean,

Welcome to the forum. Casita Independence 17' has twin beds and they are manufactured in Texas. Casita doesn't do any extensive customization to speak of. They just offer some options that you can add.

They tend to be heavy on the tongue weight, so that might be an issue of concern.

I think Lil Snoozy might help you develop a two-bed setup. They are a small outfit that has changed ownership. It appears from reports that the new owners are trying to do their best.

Others will chime in soon. We love spending other people's money! At least I do.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:05 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
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Jean
Welcome. Since you are from Texas you should look at the Casita Independence. It has the features you described with twin beds 30"x 80" and they are built in Rice Tx. The issue you will have is the tongue weight with your current car. But it is worth taking a look at just to see what is available.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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I looked at the first Snoozy twin bed model. I am 6 ft. tall, due to the slanted nose I had to slide down in the bed for head room and my feet hung off the end of the bed. I made a 600 mi. trip to view the trailer and was real disappointed due to the head room in the bed.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:06 PM   #5
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Well, that was quick. The only other molded fiberglass trailer I can think of that's available new with twin beds is the Oliver. They are very nice, but have a much higher price point, and perhaps more importantly they are much heavier than you can tow with the Escape.

Beyond that, I think we are looking at something which is not molded-fiberglass and we're not allowed to talk about those on this forum. (Just kidding!)

As regards stoves and dish pans, we also tend to cook and clean our dishes outside. I find it ironic at times that I am hauling a separate stove and dishpans and a folding table when we have a trailer with a full kitchen. However, all that indoor equipment does come in handy at times, such as during our wet, cold winters here.

We started with a teardrop trailer in 2015 so I am quite new to all this. I was initially avoiding any and all mechanical equipment; pump, water heater, fridge, stove, heater, AC. I figured they were things that would require too much maintenance and repair, and would therefor detract from the travel experience. But, we decided we wanted a trailer we could stand up inside and the rest sort of followed once the camel's nose was under the tent.

Every time we have gone out, we have learned more about what really suits us. Like you, we don't haul much "gear", though I am looking into potentially getting folding bikes. That would involve some reconfiguration that's probably not germane to discuss here.

I think the Casita will remain a good fit for us for some time as I don't want a large heavy tow, at least at present. Your needs and preferences will be unique and will evolve over time as you acknowledge.

I don't think a Casita would be a bad choice for you as they are a very established company and you can always sell one quickly, if not for every penny invested. I actually haven't paid much attention to the Happier Camper as I have slowly been drawn in by the swivel chairs and the various other equipment in our Freedom Deluxe.

Best of luck Jean!
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:13 PM   #6
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Either an Escape 17A (no bathroom) or Escape 19 (with a bath) has two big beds. (Bigger than twin).
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:16 PM   #7
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If I had to buy our Snoozy again. I would put twin beds just past the shower where the couch is on the left and where the cabinets are on the right. That would put the beds where the full headroom is and they could have backs to be used as couches during the day. I would fill the entire nose were the present bed is with cabinets. LIl Snoozy usually is open to customization. The Casita would work to.


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Old 12-30-2016, 08:49 PM   #8
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We need separate beds, so one double or queen will not cut it. My husband is 6' tall and needs to be comfortable.
Happier Camper trailers, mostly because of the flexibility of configuring them to meet our needs over time as we work out our travel life.

Lastly, we want to buy new.

So, based on that, what are your thoughts and recommendations?

Thanks very much,
Jean[/QUOTE]

Jean, I believe that the HC1 will be to small for someone 6' tall to be able to stand comfortably in. Take a look at the 15' Parkliner Travel Trailer made in North Carolina. It has a very large shower/toilet area, lots of storage, and the beds can be configured various ways (two singles if desired).
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:11 PM   #9
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Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
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The scamp 16' stlye 6 would work, you just would not have a permanent two bed set-up. You would have to set up or take down one bed, the side dinette would be the easiest. I am 6' tall and the side dinette bunk works out very well for me. I am up early and it is just a snap to put the bunk back up into the side dinette mode and i can sit and have my coffee, waiting for my wife to wake. The large dinette can stay as a permanent bed. It has a front bath/shower/toilet. The weight would be compatible with your Escape. Plenty of room for two as well. One of the lesser cost ones in the fiber glass trailer styles. Good Luck.. Carl
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:04 AM   #10
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I think you should just plan to treat yourselves to a new vehicle appropriate to tow the trailer you want. That's what we did. As retirement approached we bought our first ever truck. Our F150 supercrews have been comfortable and useful in a variety of situations beyond towing. Since you are in TX, look at Casitas first, I don't see how you could go wrong. I envy your proximity to birding hotspots. We used to enjoy the Spring migration fallout when we lived on the FL panhandle coast, and we have made the long hike at Big Bend to see the Colima warbler. Not a lot going on here in middle TN!
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:08 AM   #11
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Name: Jean
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Thanks everyone

Thanks everyone. Not have traveled with a trailer, it's hard to know what I should be thinking about in terms of features we'd use. You've given me a few things to consider differently than I had been.

ShelbyM... A drive from Dallas to the Big Bend will be one of our first trips! We were there once several years ago, and it left an indelible impression. We will definitely consider a vehicle change once we balance our needs.

Civilguy... You made some good points about the Casita (locale, resellability, etc.). We're planning to change one more vehicle before we retire, so we could think about getting a larger SUV.

Dave B... I hadn't heard of the Parkliner before, so I had a quick look at their website this morning. It looks like a very interesting option for us.

The Snoozy has a lot going for it, if the bed problem could be fixed...

We appreciate everyone's QUICK feedback! Happy New Year to you all. I'll be doing a bit of reading in the forums hear over the next month or so.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:09 AM   #12
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Hymer, the German camper company has recently bought Road Trek and plan to offer their campers in North America this spring. While not fiberglass, they are light to tow, come with separate beds, have washrooms etc. Google them for a look.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:10 AM   #13
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I don't see birding and electricity as compatible.
I would be looking for a trailer set up for boon-docking, not RV resorts. One with propane appliances ( furnace, stove, refrigeration ) and with large enough fresh, grey an black tanks that one could stay away from services as long as possible. It would also have solar rather than disturbing nature with a generator.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:12 PM   #14
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Yes. Propane, large tanks and solar would all be on my list. Why limit yourself if you are picking just what you want? I have to say that in my experience, some of the more interesting birds aren't sociable enough to come visit our camp site and we have to go to them, requiring a hike!
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