Hi, I'm Aaron! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-22-2016, 05:56 AM   #1
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Name: Aaron
Trailer: In the market
Indiana
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Smile Hi, I'm Aaron!

Hello everyone! I have been watching the community of tiny campers for a while now and I am looking to find one to make my own. My wife and I haven't camped since our son was born 19 months ago, but we would like to begin again. All of our prior camping was in a tent, but we would like something a little more "contained". I just wanted to get everyone's input before I go out and buy something. Who is the best? Who is the lightest? All of the questions a "newbie" would have coming in to this. I'm happy to join this group and look forward to talking with everyone!
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:33 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Welcome, Aaron!

There's no "best," only best-for-you. Everyone has different needs in a trailer depending on how you travel and camp. Choices range from bare-bones tents-on-wheels to large full-featured units.

For example, we are four and camp at state parks without hookups but with shower facilities, so a basic 13' Scamp with bunks works perfectly for us.

Since you asked about the lightest, I guess you may have a limitation based on the rating of your intended tow vehicle. That would be a starting point, and the thread "Trailer Weights in the Real World" in the General Chat section has useful information about what various makes and models weigh when loaded for camping. Post #297 links to a spreadsheet of the data. There are a couple of outliers (probably empty) but you can expect about 1300-1500 pounds loaded for the smallest.

Our newer Scamp weighs about 1700-1800 pounds packed and provisioned.

If tell us a little more about your needs, tow vehicle, and budget, I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions. The classified ads and archives here and at Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers For Sale | Fiberglass RV's For Sale are a good place to get a feel for what's available and prices.

Best wishes!
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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Name: Aaron
Trailer: In the market
Indiana
Posts: 7
Thanks for the info! Here is a little more about my needs:

- Tow Vehicle is a 2011 Subaru Legacy (not sure on towing ability yet)
- I plan to camp in places with and without hook ups
- Trying to keep the budget low... around $15K if possible
- My wife refuses to consider a teardrop
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:55 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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With a 19-mo I'd refuse a teardrop, too!

Seriously, though, check your owner's manual. Subarus have a variety of tow ratings, but the one thing they seem to have in common is a low tongue weight limit, like 200 pounds. Since a minimum of 10% is generally recommended for camping trailers, that means you are limited to 2000 pounds or the published tow rating, whichever is less.

That means a 13' trailer without a bathroom. With your budget you could buy a brand-new Scamp, but I think production is booked for the spring and summer already, so you'd have to wait for the fall.

Then there is the Happier Camper HC1. It's an innovative new design. Google it and you should turn up their website. It might go over $15K with options, but it's sure cool!

You might also want to check out Little Joe trailers. They're made in Colorado.

You could also pick up a very nice used 13'er for well under your budget, but it will take some searching, quick action, careful inspection, and possibly a long drive. Use the extra for the inevitable maintenance items and campground fees.

Whatever you end up getting, make sure it has electric brakes.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:18 AM   #5
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Name: Aaron
Trailer: In the market
Indiana
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That is all very informative! Thank you very much for all of your help. How old are most of the people camping in these units? Some of the newer companies like Happier Camper seem retro looking but geared towards the younger crowd, while the Scamp seems to be styled for the older generations.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:22 AM   #6
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Plenty of vintage eggs are being snapped up by younger folks. You'll be cool in the campground either way... .
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:39 AM   #7
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Name: Aaron
Trailer: In the market
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That's good to know! How often do you use your Scamp? And, my wife wants to know if a bathroom is necessary? We always used the campground ones, but a private one would be nice.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:10 AM   #8
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Name: Julie
Trailer: Scamp
Florida
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We rely on a portapotty

We are new to FGRVs. Purchased our 13ft Scamp in July 2015. A huge step up from a tent, even without a bathroom. We have a portapotty for late night visits and inclement weather. I love that portapotty! It has made a huge difference in the experience and so much easier to clean and maintain than an RV bathroom. Of course, if you will be camping in places without facilities, then a bathroom might be a necessity...I would rather have the sofa since we leave our bed made 100% of the time. This way we have somewhere to sit. Eventually we might put in a front dinette, but first we are trying a folding table to see if that will meet our needs. I found the cutest little, light weight folding table. We will try it out on the next trip, March 4-6.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:10 AM   #9
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Usually one longer trip (to a CA beach) and three shorter trips a year. Given the prices of hotels on or near the beach, I figure we've already recouped the cost of our used Scamp.

We use campground facilities. There is a spot for a porta-potty in the Scamp, but my wife vetoed that idea. A bathroom would be nice, but with more than 2 people, you're looking at a 16' trailer and a bigger tow vehicle.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:35 AM   #10
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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In my OPINION, a Trillium 4500 is a nice compromise between a 13' and a 16' trailer. Basically a stretch 13'. Nearly a queen sized bed for mom and dad. It typically does not have a bathroom, so a porta pottie is a good thing.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:39 AM   #11
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Name: Aaron
Trailer: In the market
Indiana
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Do you have an A/C in your unit? I can do without, but my wife would like one. I know we didn't have one in our tent, but it would be nice if it is possible.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:44 AM   #12
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I don't, and in our area (low humidity, high altitude) and at the beach, it's not needed. But in the humid East and Midwest it might be nice, or even necessary with a little one (i.e., afternoon naps). It's an option on the new Scamps.

Adding AC to an older trailer can be difficult, because it requires reinforcing the roof. Some folks add a window unit in a cabinet and vent it through the shell- but it can be tricky to get the support, air circulation, and condensate drainage right. At one time Scamp did it that way from the factory.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:04 PM   #13
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Name: Emily
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16 Layout 7
Colorado
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We love our 13 foot, 1982 Scamp with front bunks and bought it May 2015. Last year we used it on six weekend camping trips in Colorado and Nebraska and on a 10 day trip out to Lake Tahoe, with stops in Nevada and Utah on the way there and back. We LOVE it. Our kids are older, but the front bunk is perfect for them. We don't use a port a potty, just the campground facilities.

Regarding AC, my extended family is in eastern Nebraska where summertime temps and humidity are both high. Over Labor Day weekend, we used a couple of fans with the windows and screen door open overnight and slept comfortably, even though the overnight low was only 82 degrees! Definitely something to try if you find a camper you love without AC and are unsure about installing it.

We tent camped for almost twenty years and could not be happier with our Scamp!
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:39 PM   #14
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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No AC for me. I like simplicity. I do have a 12VDC fan that we use. It also helps to start a fire:
The Incinerator, why doesn't everyone have one?
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