Hi I'm Kathleen - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-25-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Trying to decide
Posts: 8
Hi I'm Kathleen


I'm hoping to purchase a small travel trailer next year and I'm trying to decide what the best choice will be for me. I'm looking at 13' Scamps and Casitas and also the smaller Aliner types. Quality and longevity on the Aliners concerns me a bit so I'm wondering if a Scamp or Casita would be a better choice in the long run. I do like the fact that Scamps are manufactured about 160 miles from me.

Most of the time it will be me and my medium size dog so I think a 13' will be ok. I'm probably going to need to upgrade my TV though as I'm currently driving a '09 Subaru Forester.

I'm having a hard time deciding which features are must haves and which in reality I probably wouldn't end up using all that much. Some of the things I'm thinking about:
  • Permanent bed- is this possible in the 13'? I'm fine with a double or even a twin but I want to be able to keep it set up as I think due to some back & neck issues I'm going to want a memory foam topper.
  • Toliet, I'm thinking as a woman an option for a porta-potti might be good but I don't really think I want the full bathroom.
  • Furnace/AC: I live in Minnesota so I'm thinking I'm going to want a furnace for sure, and at least a fantastic fan. There seem to be different options though and I'm not sure which are best.
  • Kitchen must haves- I really want a refrigerator, and I'm thinking a 2 burner cooktop. But how much would I really cook inside unless it was raining.

I've been lurking for a while, and the information I've found already has been really helpful. Thank you for the great forum.

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Old 08-25-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,631
Hi Kathleen, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

So many decisions to be made. The first is what kind of trailer. Since you've landed on a forum focused on all molded towables, we'll be prejudiced for that kind of build... with reason.

Best of luck on your egg hunt

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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carlkeigley's Avatar
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,356
Welcome to the Forum Kathleen.

Only you can decide what and which will be best for you.
But you seem to have a very good handle on it already with your list.
Being in Minnesota you should be able to find some rallies to see different
brands up close and personal. And many owners are glad to give you a tour.
I had to drive a thousand miles to get what I determined was best for me,
wife and daughter. A permanent bed was definitely on my must have list.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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Name: Alice
Trailer: 2018 Casita SD - Kondo A-Go-Go
Posts: 502
Hi Kathleen,
If you get a 13' Scamp/full bath, it can be towed with your '09 Forester. That is what I originally had and it worked very well. I leave the table into a bed full time. Any complaint would be the cushions..they are too hard to sleep on. Replaced them with a 4" mem. Foam topper frm WallyWorld. But, each person is different.

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: 1973 Love Bug '13
Posts: 400
Hello Kathleen,

Welcome. There are lots of different fiberglass camper styles. Hopefully you will get some good input. Check the age of some of the campers represented here. There are plenty of 30 and 40 year old fg campers on the road. That speaks to the longevity of the molded shell. No telling how long some will be on the road with reasonable care and maintenance.

Buying new is great, and you can order things to your specific needs. New isn't an option for everyone and lots of used trailers have modifications that may suit your needs. I would favor the Scamp or Casita over the Aliner. Moving parts are more likely to leak and leaking is bad!

Buying used usually brings a lower price tag. Buyer beware. Do not believe what every seller tells you. Some sellers may not even know that there is a problem. (I hope this was true in our case). If you choose to buy used, I recommend that you find somebody that knows first hand about fiberglass trailers and pay them if you have to, to come and inspect before you buy.

Our budget was $1800.00 and we searched for months for something in our area. We missed a mint condition, 2004 Casita that sold for $2700.00 because it was so far over our budget. (had no idea what a bargain that was) By the time we had decided we could buy the Casita, it was sold.

Feeling frustrated and more desperate than ever, we found a 1973, 13' Love Bug about 4 hours away. Hubby went, looked it over and we paid $2200.00. The seller told us it was ready to go camping. Hubby crawled underneath, looked inside and outside...it was not perfect by a long shot, but that was expected. We did think it was safe to take on the road and camp. Here is what we didn't know... the frame was broken, the floor was rotten, there was mold under the ensolite, the door was not waterproof when closed, and those were the big things. The door was blocked open when hubby arrived. Not knowing that doors are often a problem for this type of camper, he didn't know to look for those things. After all, it was ready to go camping! And, there was a door! It has been a year since we purchased our little Love Bug. It has been a love/hate relationship.

I still remember the conversation.. we had already spent about $1100.00 over and above what we paid for the camper and we realized that it was going to at least another 1000.00 to get it road/camp worthy.

Do we eat the loss, stop putting money into it, get rid of it and count it as an expensive lesson learned. Or, since we are this far in do we see it through, try to enjoy the project and make sure we get our moneys worth, by using it allot? Guess which one we decided?

It has cost us more than we had imagined, at least 3,000 additional dollars and countless hours, to get to this point.. We will likely have to spend another $500.00 - $1000.00 to complete the project depending on the severity of our most recent road block...the dreaded door!

I have not said all this to try to scare you away from used. I have said all of this because used can be a good way to go if you do it right .........and also because I needed to vent and thought maybe some of my rant, could benefit you.

I say take the time to look at lots, even try to go to a rally somewhere near your home and see a bunch of them at one time.

Good luck in your search,
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,356
Wow Cathy, that is some dilemma.
I can see from you album you and hubby have done a lot of work.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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fusedlight's Avatar
Name: gary
Trailer: 16' 1998 Scamp
Posts: 672
If you're in the Saint Paul area, pop me a note. Dorothy and I would love to show you our baby. There's also going to be a fiberglass camper rally up in Taylor Falls in a couple weeks. You would learn a LOT by just popping in and visiting with all of us!
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
Junior Member
Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Trying to decide
Posts: 8
Thank you Kathy for the detailed response. That definitely gives me a lot to think about.

I was looking at used Scamps like this one: 2002 Scamp 13' Custom Deluxe Trailer

I'm guessing this one might need a little work. It has the layout I like though.

fusedlight- I sent you a message. Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:18 PM   #9
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Name: Bobbie
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 3,289
Hi, Kathleen.

I think if you want a permanent bed in a 13 you have to give up the toilet (or give up the dinette.) Usually one end has the bed and the other the bathroom or the cot/bunk/dinette. But a portapotti isn't a bad solution and omits some of the things that can go wrong.

Technically you should be able to two a 13 with a Subaru Forester as long as the trailer has brakes, but you need to watch the weight. Partly it will depend on where you want to go- stay in the midwest, mountains aren't a problem, and you'd be fine. The 09 was rated to 2400 lbs, I think. I pull a Campster (probably about 1000 lbs) with a 2012 (before that a 2000) but wouldn't want anything heavier going over the mountains. (You'll find lots of different opinions about this, though.)
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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Name: Gilda
Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
Posts: 1,322
A 13' basic Scamp will weigh a lot less than the deluxe one with wood. We tow our basic 13' Scamp with our Subaru Legacy sedan quite nicely (with trailer brakes). Generally, we keep the bed set up 'cause we eat outside for lunch and dinner but we want to be able to set up the table in case of extended inclement weather. Breakfast is simple and we sit on the edge of the bed and on the couch for 10 minutes. See photos of my bedding which was created for the flexibility of setting up and taking down the dinette. In your case you could simply have a one-piece topper because you would not be storing it in the seat storage and you could keep the cushions in the down position thereby retaining the option to make up the dinette.

I'm frankly envious that you live so close to the Scamp factory as we traveled from San Francisco to Backus and back to get ours!
Attached Thumbnails
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The Gleeful Glamper
Gilda (Jill-da)
"Here we go again on another amazing adventure"
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:57 PM   #11
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Roger C H's Avatar
Name: Roger
Trailer: 2009 Trillium 1300 "Homelet"/2014 Subaru Outback "Rosie"
Posts: 2,200
Smile Welcome to FGRV

Your '09 Forester should be fine for any 13' you may wish to buy. Our '00 Outback tows our Trillium all over the west.

Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine

Your Forester is rated 2400# whereas our Outback is rated 2000#. To make sure, check your owner's manual.

We have a permanent bed in our 13' Trillium. Of course we have the front dinette so we sit there for meals, card playing, etc.

We use a Porta Potti for nighttime. I empty it every morning. Once I didn't and it did develop a smell. I pour it down the sewer hookup for the site, or in the bathroom for the campground.

We decided not to get a furnace because of the noise we heard the fan makes. We used to have a small space heater, but there again it had a fan noise. We have settled on an oil-filled space heater, which is silent except for slight clicking noises as it cycles on and off. Of course this requires electricity and hook-up to shore power.

One of the main things we make inside is toast. We use a toaster oven. We do have a 3-burner gas cook-top which we use occasionally.

We opted for no refrigerator using things that need no refrigeration, like canned soups, etc. We don't even use the on board water just to prevent the complication of having to winterize every year. We also drive south during winter and would have no way of keeping thngs from freezing if we had to drive in sub freezing weather. YMMV
A charter member of the Buffalo Plaid Brigade!

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Old 08-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #12
Junior Member
Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Trying to decide
Posts: 8
It looks like new Casitas are definitely out as they no longer make the 13' without the front bathroom and I'm not seeing a lot of used 13' Casitas near me, so I'm leaning strongly towards a 13' scamp with the front dinette (and a porta-potti). The difference between the basic and the deluxe appears to add about 100 lbs just for the wood. The one in Eau Claire was a deluxe.

I read some old threads about bed sizes. Am I correct that the 13' Scamp would have a 48" X 78" rear bed? I was also reading about cutting memory foam to fit the curves, either using a thinner mattress topper over the existing cushions or cutting thicker memory foam to fit.

The '09 Forester currently has about 68000 miles, and I'm now commuting 58 miles round trip to work so part of my debate on the TV is how long to keep the Forester vs. getting something else. But I don't want to go too much bigger as I'm only 5' 3" so I'm not usually comfortable driving big vehicles unless I have to. I have driven a box truck on multiple occasions including backing it to a dock, and an Expedition for a week at Yellowstone but it's not something I want to do everyday. I would feel a bit more comfortable though if I could find something with a tow rating in the 3000 - 3500 range.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,356
To add to your list of possibilities..................
This is a photo shoot I did of ours once we got it home.

Backyard Photo Shoot

I got most all the options plus a few extras.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
Senior Member
Name: Gene
Trailer: Scamp
North Dakota
Posts: 636
Kathleen, Welcome to the group. Since you are so close to the Scamp factory I would recommend you stick with Scamp in your search. That's pretty handy for any help or maintenance. Also, you might want to consider going there to check out the new ones just to get a getter idea of what you want even if you buy used.
Don't forget to download a copy of the checklist on this forum to have with you when you look at used ones.

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