Hi! I'm Mary - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-18-2014, 05:32 AM   #1
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Name: Mary
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Smile Hi! I'm Mary

I'm a Novice in search of a suitable small fiberglass camper for local weekend trips and once comfortable....trips around FL and perhaps the SE. I want my first camper to be a get in and go so fully functional is what I'm looking for.

I am learning that my Toyota Matrix wagon will not be an acceptable towing vehicle. So, that puts me in the market for a good used vehicle for towing as well.

I look forward to viewing this site and hope to purchase my first camper and towing vehicle soon.

Any help and tips for what I should know to make good buying decisions will be greatly appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:18 AM   #2
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Hi Mary and welcome.
I see you are from Florida but you did not specify where in Florida.
From Feb 9 through the 13th there is a Scamp Camp at Highlands Hammock SP in Sebring. Lots of Scamps, Casitas, and others in attendance, with people willing to give you tours and answer questions. If you are close enough to Sebring, it would likely be a very informative experience for you.


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Old 12-18-2014, 06:21 AM   #3
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Welcome to FGRV Mary, you'll get many responces with that question. It's good that you know your tug is not up to the job. That alone will make it much easier. You have many choices of brands and size to concider. You need to decide what things you want to have and what may be eliminated from that if you are looking at used rigs. You can click on the different brands listed on the home page to get an idea of what each trailers layout and options are/were. Most of those are not made anymore but is still good info. The only thing I would suggest to you would be to do a search on this site for the "real world trailer weights" thread of what these trailers really weigh loaded for towing. Factory specs are not what to go by. One other thing, try to go to a rally so you can see first hand what these moulded trailers are all about. Most everybody is more than glad to show off their egg. Good luck in your travels and search.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lazrlady View Post
I'm a Novice in search of a suitable small fiberglass camper for local weekend trips and once comfortable....trips around FL and perhaps the SE.
Mary
Hey Mary that's great. Small glass eggs are easy to tow especially on the flat lands of Florida.

What size are you looking for?

What kind of vehicles do you enjoy driving? There are economical cars, wagons, suv's, pick up trucks, even convertibles that are capable of towing a trailer.

Good luck with your search for TV and trailer.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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Welcome, Mary!

Unless you're planning to order a brand new trailer from the manufacturer, it's probably best to find your trailer first, and then look for the tow vehicle. There aren't that many trailers out there in the used market, so you may have to leave your options open as you look.

That said, it would help to know what your basic requirements are in terms of budget, no. of people, required equipment (port-potty vs. full bath, fridge vs. icebox, AC and/or furnace,…). Choices range from bare-bones to fully loaded. Sizes range from 13' (with 10' cabins) all the way up to 25' or so.

I'll second the idea of visiting a rally in your area. That's a great way to get a feeling for different sizes and models to see what might be comfortable for you. Many have a time set aside for "open house" tours.

If you go to inspect a used trailer, there is a helpful buyer's checklist here: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List. If you need to find it again, it's in the document center under the "More" tab at the very top.

As mentioned, don't go by manufacturer's specs when estimating trailer weight to determine an appropriate tow vehicle. Trailer Weights in the Real World has actual loaded-for-travel weights of various makes and models. Post #297 has a handy downloadable spreadsheet.

Good luck in your "egg-hunt"!
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:41 AM   #6
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I would look for a newer used trailer to get started with. Start with a list of things you really want in the trailer, and a 2ndary list of what would be nice to haves. I got my first trailer by determining what I thought it would be mostly used for. Things evolve, and you may find camping to be exciting and you want to expand or you may not like it at all. As a person once said, "Camping is spending alot of money to act like a homeless person."
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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Welcome Mary and good luck with your search. The adventure begins!
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazrlady View Post
I'm a Novice in search of a suitable small fiberglass camper for local weekend trips and once comfortable....trips around FL and perhaps the SE. I want my first camper to be a get in and go so fully functional is what I'm looking for. : confused:
I am learning that my Toyota Matrix wagon will not be an acceptable towing vehicle. So, that puts me in the market for a good used vehicle for towing as well.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary
The towing vehicle needed depends on the size and weight of the trailer; an example would be: "do not want the tail wagging the dog"

Trailer type:
- Smaller trailers are usually 7' wide and the larger ones maybe 8' wide
- Length also is a factor 12’, 13', 14' 16' 17' 17.5' or larger
- Height of trailer tip over propensity 7' 8' or more.
- weight of trailer 1000lbs, 1500lbs, 2000lbs, 2500lbs or more
have seen 16' super ultra light trailers as low as 1600 lbs

Towing vehicle:
- Wheel base of car, suv, or truck affects the size it can handle,
- engine size, hp and drive train effect the weight max limit, you do not want to blow a transaxle or transmition

Added equipment:
- Trailer brakes (I personally would not tow without these but that is an opinion only)
- Transaxle cooler (great idea to have with an automatic)
- Full size spare tire (so you can change the tire and continue to tow)
- hitch type, class I, II, III standard or frame hitch (capacity of hitch)
- draw system, simple draw bar or weight distribution (improved control)
- Sway bar or WD with built in sway bar if used (improved control)

Check out the vehicles used by members and check the rules for towing, remember the rules differ for cars and trucks. Most of all have fun and be safe.

Would find your dream trailer then pick a tow vehicle to suit it.

PS. We tow with a Toyota car that meet our needs.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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Towing Definitions-Understanding Towing weight terms

Check out this page
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:12 PM   #10
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welcome mary! when I bought my egg, the man gave me some good advice. he said first thing everybody does when they buy a used camper, is rip stuff out & start making changes and they don't get to enjoy it for a long time, if ever. he suggested using it first - find out what you like & don't like about it. THEN make changes. you don't have to restore it to look original (mine was too far gone to go back), & it doesn't have to look like the fab pictures you see (there are some incredibly talented craftsmen here!). make it the way YOU like it & just have fun!
for me it was a balancing act between what I could afford, what my lame truck could tow, & how much work a camper needed. be patient, the right one will come along.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:48 PM   #11
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Welcome Mary.
Glad you have joined us.
Good luck with your search. That's part of the experience as well.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:51 AM   #12
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Smile Welcome to FGRV

I would decide what size trailer I would want, then purchase a tow vehicle (TV) that is rated to tow that size and weight. If you are buying a used RV, you will need something to tow it home with. If you get a 3500# tow rating, you shouldn't have any problems towing anything but the larger rigs, however, you will pay a price at the gas pump.

We were limited to 13' because our car at the time, a Subaru Outback was rated for 2000#.
However, we are happy because we came from tenting and Homelet is such an improvement over that!

I think you are correct that your Matrix is too small. 1.8L, 125hp is really small. If you check you will probably find that it is not rated to tow anything because of this. (I don't know if you know this, but Toyota has discontinued the Matrix for 2014.)

Our new Subaru is rated to tow 2700#, and both our Subarus have done a good job. I wouldn't be afraid to tow a 15/16' with Rosie.

Looking at used, or planning renovations, remember that the internal fiberglass items, seats, cabinets, etc. are often part of the structure of the rig and should not be removed or modified extensively.

Good luck with your search. It is exciting!
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:37 AM   #13
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I think you are correct that your Matrix is too small. 1.8L, 125hp is really small. If you check you will probably find that it is not rated to tow anything because of this.
Good luck with your search. It is exciting!
These days it is interesting the 3.5 V6 in the Ford F150 is only twice the size of the Toyota's 1.8 and the F150 can tow over 10,000lbs.

Ready for travel the Matrix would weigh over 3,500lbs. A small egg could be 1,500lbs. Seems like a reasonable match up.

It is easy to see how many folks are towing small glass eggs with smaller vehicles/engines. Didn't someone post that the Matrix has a 1,500lb rating???
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:58 AM   #14
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You're right...the cap for the Matrix is 1500lbs. That would allow for a stripped-out Scamp for the most part. I have a Scamp with front bath, awning, A/C, etc and it weighs in EMPTY at 1740lbs. I pull with a 3500lb Cap. 4 Cyl Nissan Frontier...NO problem avg 20mpg.


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These days it is interesting the 3.5 V6 in the Ford F150 is only twice the size of the Toyota's 1.8 and the F150 can tow over 10,000lbs.

Ready for travel the Matrix would weigh over 3,500lbs. A small egg could be 1,500lbs. Seems like a reasonable match up.

It is easy to see how many folks are towing small glass eggs with smaller vehicles/engines. Didn't someone post that the Matrix has a 1,500lb rating???
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