Hi, I'm Cynthia (CynSum) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2015, 12:02 PM   #1
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Name: Cynthia
Trailer: Tote n Tarry
California
Posts: 6
Hi, I'm Cynthia (CynSum)

Hi. I'm a brand new, proud owner of a 13' camper built in Santa Rosa, CA in 1973 by a company called Tote n Tarry. It's similar to a Scamp. And I'm a newbie to towing and the RV world. I'm looking for info on what I need to know/learn to be road ready and safe. My little trailer can be towed by my Toyota Matrix, I get my hitch tomorrow, and I'd love to hit the road. What's words of wisdom do you have? What's most important to know for safety, any links on inspecting my trailer/car for road readiness and what other tips can you share? Thanks mucho!
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
Posts: 1,721
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Welcome to the FGRV forum family and congratulations on your new purchase. I would encourage you to bring the trailer to a reputable tire shop and have them inspect the tires and have them replaced if they are over 5 years old (even if they look great) because tires dry rot over time, and WILL fail. A flat tire while on the road can not only cause damage to the fiberglass around the fender opening, but loss of control, which can really cost you. I would also encourage you to have the wheel bearings cleaned, inspected and greased.
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:18 PM   #3
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,037
Cynthia can you send or show us pictures

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Originally Posted by CynSum View Post
Hi. I'm a brand new, proud owner of a 13' camper built in Santa Rosa, CA in 1973 by a company called Tote n Tarry. It's similar to a Scamp. And I'm a newbie to towing and the RV world. I'm looking for info on what I need to know/learn to be road ready and safe. My little trailer can be towed by my Toyota Matrix, I get my hitch tomorrow, and I'd love to hit the road. What's words of wisdom do you have? What's most important to know for safety, any links on inspecting my trailer/car for road readiness and what other tips can you share? Thanks mucho!
Of the interior of your Tote n Tarry Trailer and the empty weight of the trailer as I need same for my sister in law's 2008 Matrix, manual says no more than 1500#'s for trailer weight loaded and allowed to carry up to 800#'s in the Matrix but that includes driver and passenger so that leaves around 500#'s of storage area? Instead of Cadet this might work to. If were allowed to put our email address on here then I can give that to u to.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:22 PM   #4
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,037
CynSum forgot to mention towing a trailer is simple

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Originally Posted by CynSum View Post
Hi. I'm a brand new, proud owner of a 13' camper built in Santa Rosa, CA in 1973 by a company called Tote n Tarry. It's similar to a Scamp. And I'm a newbie to towing and the RV world. I'm looking for info on what I need to know/learn to be road ready and safe. My little trailer can be towed by my Toyota Matrix, I get my hitch tomorrow, and I'd love to hit the road. What's words of wisdom do you have? What's most important to know for safety, any links on inspecting my trailer/car for road readiness and what other tips can you share? Thanks mucho!
Nice part about towing is the trailer just tags along behind you just remember when you get to a corner to allow a wee bit more room in getting around it, if you do this you will not hit any of the posts the US likes to put on corners. As your knew to towing find a big empty parking lot and drive around in it until you get the feel for the weight etc. then take a road test and find some hills and remember when driving up hills or climbing take it out of OD so you do not burn out the transmission.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,560
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Does this trailer have electric brakes installed? You might want to see what your owner's manual says about trailer brakes. Mine is a much larger vehicle, and it specifies trailer brakes over 1000 pounds, which includes pretty much every fiberglass trailer out there.

I'd also recommend you get the trailer weighed before you load it up, and again when you're ready to camp. Landfills and truck stops are likely places to find a public scale. Since this is an older trailer, there's no telling how modifications over the years may have affected the weight. And you'll be surprised at how much your stuff can add.

When you get it all set up safely, I'd suggest going to an empty parking lot to practice backing the trailer. Start by learning to back straight, then try backing into parking spaces on both the driver and passenger side. Short trailers respond quickly to steering inputs, so be careful not to jackknife the trailer (i.e., turn so sharply the trailer contacts the rear corner of the vehicle). With practice you will gain confidence. Best to learn in broad daylight with no one around, rather than late at night in an unfamiliar campground when other campers are watching (or worse, trying to help!).

Last, get into the habit of walking around the vehicle and trailer before you get into it and drive. Every time you stop, do it before you go again. Notice doors, windows, vents, tires, things on the ground, overhead obstructions, and, MOST IMPORTANT, the hitch connection.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:26 PM   #6
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 1,885
All the above are good suggestions, and most of them are the more important things to think about.

But there is so much more, and the replies you get here will help, but will leave a lot out. So my suggestions could be split into two general thoughts.

1. Take it slow. Spend a few days camping in your driveway testing out things, deciding what works for you, etc. Act like you are camping 1,000 miles away from home, doing the kind of camping you think you might do (i.e. with shore power and camp showers or without, in hot, cold, etc.) Then, if something does not work well for you, retreat to the house and work the problem. Then make your first few trips short in distance and time. Less chance for major problems that way.

2. Read. There is so much information available online already you really don't need to ask for it. After you have read about RVing, your trailer (and its manual if available), boondocking, fulltiming, etc. go back and read some more. Most of the appliance manuals will be online. Then repeat the above. Any experienced RVer will tell you that they are always learning more, and the ore you learn, the better you will be at it.

It can also be a help to network with other campers in person. A weekend with some experienced campers where they can show you how things work, what to work out for, and do it all in person can be a big help.

Lastly there is an amazing group of people here who can help with specific questions if you get stymied. Welcome and good luck with your new venture.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:50 PM   #7
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,037
CynSum

Quote:
Originally Posted by CynSum View Post
Hi. I'm a brand new, proud owner of a 13' camper built in Santa Rosa, CA in 1973 by a company called Tote n Tarry. It's similar to a Scamp. And I'm a newbie to towing and the RV world. I'm looking for info on what I need to know/learn to be road ready and safe. My little trailer can be towed by my Toyota Matrix, I get my hitch tomorrow, and I'd love to hit the road. What's words of wisdom do you have? What's most important to know for safety, any links on inspecting my trailer/car for road readiness and what other tips can you share? Thanks mucho!
Just remember when you are backing up to go left you steer right when going right you steer to the left, also go slow as one can jack Knife real quick which could cause some damage to the trailer or a broken tailight on your tow Vehicle. But with practise it gets easier. Yhe easiest units to back up are Tandem, still steer the same but so much easier.
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Old 10-30-2015, 04:35 PM   #8
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Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Washington
Posts: 1,514
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Welcome, and best camping!
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:52 PM   #9
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Name: Cynthia
Trailer: Tote n Tarry
California
Posts: 6
Thank you to all!

I so appreciate this online community and the spirit of helping each other out. Thanks for the great info. I just made another post regarding some new discoveries under Owners Helping Owners. Cracked tires and some rot in the flooring.
It's a lot to take in. I was just so thrilled to have a camper to call my new home away from home, I may have missed some of the bigger issues. This is going to be largely a DIY project. We are making the existing dinette area into an always ready sleeping space, turning the bunks into the new (smaller) dinette and adding a space for the potta potty to pull out easily at night. Good thing I have a handy hubby with welding skills.
My biggest concern though is still staying safe, which means new tires and making sure the top of the trailer stays attached to the bottom once we hit the road. I was hoping for that tomorrow, but...I think the tires have to happen first.
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Old 10-31-2015, 05:50 PM   #10
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
When you get the new tires have the wheel bearing checked, cleaned and repacked, it's a must-do maintenance item on long unused trailers.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:31 PM   #11
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Name: Gilda
Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
California
Posts: 1,226
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...and after all the safety and upgrades it'll be time to prepare your baby for glamping! New curtains, pillows, comforter, bedding and other decor all can add to a fun and glamorous camping experience. Here's a sample of my fall/autumn glamping theme. Enjoy!
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Doug's art and Scamp 028.jpg   Doug's art and Scamp 031.jpg  

Doug's art and Scamp 030.jpg   Doug's art and Scamp 026.jpg  

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