Hi! Love FG TTs :) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2015, 04:11 PM   #1
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Hi! Love FG TTs :)

Hi All,

I have been a member of this website for about a month reading and learning. I will make a somewhat long story as short as possible!

1. I caught the RV bug about a year ago. I have been in RV research mode since then. I have focused on Class C (or B+) MHs in the 27 foot range +/- 2 feet.

2. I will not retire for another 10 years, but obviously would like to break into RVing before then!

3. I am also currently very busy with work and paying for college tuition for two daughters

4. Tuition will be paid in about 4.5 years, I can then step down from my administrative appointment and return to full-time teaching. OK, will need less income and will have more time (9 month teaching with summers off).

5. OK, that means I could get the MH in 5 years rather than 10. Hmm, still not good enough.

6. About two months ago, I altered my RV quest. How about not worrying about a Class C MH in 5 years. Instead how about a small TT (less than 20 feet and about 3,000 lbs. plus/minus)???

7. This would allow my DW and I to get into RVing in a couple of years, rather than 10 or 5!!! Plus, rather than having an expensive Class B+ sitting around, I could have tow vehicle that I could use everyday as my daily driver. Plus, a less expensive TT that could store in my driveway if need be.

8. A TT in couple of years would then be used on weekends and summer vacations, increasing its usage as I transition to 9 month teaching rather than 12 month administration.

9. Based on all the above, I have narrowed my search down to about 6 to 8 TTs, including some fiberglass units. I REALLY like these egg campers in terms of quality, look, and function. They do seem a bit more expensive than other TTs, but I guess that is to be expected. You get what you pay for.

10. Based on all the above and my research, my DW and I really like Escape products and Olivers. However, the price of the Ollie may make it a bit more of an aspirational rig than the first rig. Therefore, I think a 19' Escape would be my #1 floorplan despite the DW leaning Oliver. Hmmm.

11. The one reason we do not have other FG manufacturers on our short list is their use of "carpeting" (wall fabric) on the walls and ceiling. My DW is not impressed!!! I assume it is used for its insulative value??? Am I correct? I don't believe Olivers or Escapes use this carpet.

12. It also looks like most FG manufacturers sell direct rather than through dealers. Cool, but it makes it harder to see them, but that can be addressed.

In any case, I have thoroughly enjoyed this website and its forums. Thanks to all for you expertise and passion.

Let the research continue!!!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:35 PM   #2
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Welcome, Dean!

I taught high school math for 23 years before changing gears. Stayed out of admin, though- tough work in the current educational climate.

About linings… Casita uses carpet (with a foam backing, I believe). Scamp uses marine headliner over two layers of foil bubble insulation. Escape uses a vinyl-surfaced closed cell foam product. Oliver is a double hull design (with insulation between), so the exposed interior surface is fiberglass gelcoat. In that group, only the Oliver is a true 4-season trailer (double pane windows and enclosed, heated holding tanks).

I can't speak to any of the other coverings, but I like Scamp's system. It is durable and cleanable (though not wipeable, like Escape's or Oliver's), water and mildew resistant, and soft and cushiony to the touch.

I'd recommend inspecting a number of different trailers first-hand before you absolutely rule anything out. Visiting a fiberglass rally is one way to do that. Here is a link to the 2015 Rally Map. Looks like there are a few within a day's drive this fall if you can get away.

A modestly-priced used trailer could be a good place to start. Use it for a couple of years while you figure out what your travel style involves. Then order the perfect new one and sell the starter. Resale prices of molded fiberglass trailers are such that you can likely get the two years essentially for free (especially if you buy in the fall and sell in the spring). You'll also have something to use while your new one is built. Wait time for a new Escape is currently close to a year.

Or just bite the bullet and get your wife the Oliver. Top drawer quality, and very close to you.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:12 PM   #3
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Just to speak to a couple of you issues


The carpet/hull liner interiors are almost mandatory in Eggs and other similar FGRV's because of the compound curved interior surfaces. I can't really think of anything else short of a double-hull interior, which would boost the price considerably. It's the nature of molded fiberglass to be sorta "unfinished" on the inside surfaces and smooth on the mold mating surface.


Costs are a lot higher for nw units because the process is much more complicated than stick builts and the volume is very, very low. However, these prices hold well for used units as their intrinsic long life, as well as substantial demand will keep prices up.


If they went to a dealership distribution model, in order to cover commissions etc. the prices would d be even higher. Most FGRV mfgs. have a referral list of owners by area, contact them for locals that are willing to show their rigs.


Used ones hold value so well that buying in the low season,(Nov-Feb) and using for a year or two to find what you do and don't like, and then selling in high season,(April-July) will usually result in breaking even or even making money for the time you owned your test FGRV.


A singular warning, know real weights of your trailer and the towing capacity of your tow vehicle. Real weights can be found in the General Chat Forum and are often higher than expected. Here's a link:
Trailer Weights in the Real World


Often towing capacities are under what are expected and are considered to be fixed values. Always defer to the towing capacities shown in the owners manual for the specific vehicle being considered. Outside experts don't count.

Keep asking questions and let us know what you find.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:34 PM   #4
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Hi Jon and Bob,

Thank you for your insights and comments. Hey Jon, I have spent 25 years teaching at a university. Your job teaching math in high school was much tougher than my job!!!

Jon, I definitely agree with your advice. I will not rule anything out and I look forward to attending rallies and checking out units of owners willing to show off their rigs. Yup, I will also consider used. It is also fascinating to see how quickly used rigs sell as well as their residual values being much higher than other types of TTs.

Bob, I have read a great deal about weight and tow vehicles. My '08 Kia Rondo will only tow 2,500 lbs. Given we are leaning toward 17' or longer, probably 19' or so, there ain't no way to tow with my Rondo. Not a big deal. By the time I get a TT, I will probably give the Rondo to one of my girls after graduating from college. I like the idea of having more capacity than needed, but without going super big with the TV. I am guessing that I will end up with a 1/2 ton PU Crewcab. Most will tow 6,000 to 7,000 pounds. This should easily handle most FG rigs with possibly the exception of the larger Big Foots and the Ollie 23.5. In any case, I will monitor this closely.

I think attending rallies and checking out units via the referral system will be nice. My DW and I have really enjoyed watching some You Tube videos highlighting vintage FG campers. Despite appreciating vintage rigs, I probably would not buy one. I am not a great DIYer. I can maintain a rig, but not restore it. I don't mind buying slightly used, but not vintage. I will just appreciate and admire those!

It also helps that Olivers are made just a couple hours south of where I live.

I look forward to learning more about FG RVs!

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:24 AM   #5
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Education here too!

Hi Dean,

I watched just like you did last year, and made contacts also.I am a teacher also and when my husband asked what I'd like for Valentine's Day last year I chose going to Scamp Camp for the day. We toured a bunch of different models thanks to this amazing group of people. Having a 5 year plan, we were stunned when 1 we had looked at came up for sale along with one we hadn't seen (Escape)-a week or two later. LOL.. we blame Dave and Joanne for this change in our plans!! We fell for the Scamp but it was a purely personal decision; we just loved a lot of the modifications Dave had made and it already was cat tested and approved! We are now 3-5 years out, making mods of our own and praying for the last child to find a funded fellowship (World Heritage studies) somewhere so it does not delay our plans...

Best advice: GO see them in person; if you are like us, you guys will immediately know the one that is for you when you step into it. Funny, I thought we would want a deluxe model but when we walked into Dick and Joanne's model, it just made the later deluxe model seem closed in. I can't explain it so go step into as many different models as you can.

PS: Re: the rat fur inside...hmmm we built a curtain surround in the LR area so you can't see it there and are planning a backsplash in the kitchen so you won't see it there either. I find it comfy in the BR area so look at all of the possibilities before you decide. Happy hunting!! If you are ever in Florida, come take a look at ours!
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:50 AM   #6
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Hi! Love FG TTs :)

Dean,

Visiting a rally might truly be one of the best things that you could do in your quest.

An excellent rally (LBL) will be held over near Paducah at the first of October.
2015, Oct 1-4: LBL Fall Rally - Dover, TN

Last year, IIRC there were dozens of trailers available for viewing during the "open house" .... including an Oliver (as well as Scamps, Casitas, Escapes, A-liners, MHs, etc.)

You could PM/call Dennis Archer to get an idea what kind of trailers might be there this year.

Maybe you could borrow/rent a pop-up or tent and spend the weekend?

Good luck with your search! 😊

Ray


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Old 09-06-2015, 09:55 PM   #7
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Hi All,

SallyBee, would love to do Scamp Camp!!! I understand accelerating The Plan. Mine has gone from 10 years to 5 years to 2 years in terms of getting an RV. Retirement is just to far away. I think a smaller TT, particularly a FG TT is doable in a couple of years. This will give us time to enjoy right away along with a more realistic plan of what we want to do with RVing at retirement. Yes, we definitely need to get more actual time inside possible rigs. Despite a year of research, 2000 You Tube videos, and dozens of websites, blogs, etc., we have only been to one RV show (Nashville) and visited about 6 to 8 dealerships. We definitely need to SEE more. We will be empty nesters in 9 months, so that should allow more travel time. My DW and I will track ya down the next time we are in FL!!!

rdickens, thanks for the tip regarding the LBL Fall Rally. My DW and I will investigate further. Exciting!!!

We greatly appreciate the expertise and advice.

Thx,

Dean
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:09 PM   #8
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Dean,

From their website, it appears that there may also be cabins for rent at LBL.

If you make it to the rally, Francie and I will be in site 249. Stop by and talk. 😀

Ray


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Old 09-07-2015, 12:30 PM   #9
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Hi Ray,

GREAT. I started looking at this last night. I could not make a one night reservation on-line. I think it is a two night minimum, but for some of the cabins the only night available is Saturday, which is perfect for us. I have left a message with reservations to see if they will let me have a cabin for one night.

We really appreciate your assistance and, hopefully, will get a chance to attend the Rally Open House and will get a chance to meet Francie and you!!!

Take care,

Dean
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:18 PM   #10
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Hi Ray and All,

We rented a primitive cabin for Saturday night, October 3rd!!! My DW and I have never attended a rally. Hey, I have watched You Tube videos of FG and/or vintage RV rallies. We will come over Saturday late morning, attend the Open House, spend the night, and head home on Sunday.

Thanks to all for your hospitality and guidance. We are looking forward to actually seeing our first FGRV!!! Heck, we like looking at all RVs, particularly TTs these days, but have never seen a FG rig in person.

Take care and looking forward to the LBL Fall Rally,

Dean
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:52 PM   #11
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I just got one thought....

the smaller the TT...the more it gets used...the more interesting places it gets to..... (the lower cost is just a bonus)

think real hard about your (and the DWs) needs vs wants......are you going "camping" or towing everything you already have in your house through the countryside?

have fun shopping
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:50 AM   #12
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Lots of good advice here Dean. I totally agree the best way to decide is to see them in person - at a rally or by calling the manufacturer and asking for a referral.

So many great fiberglass units out there right now, but new can mean quite a wait vs used. For example, the 2016 production year for an Escape 19 is now sold out. Earliest you could get a new one would be about 15 months.

Happy hunting!


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