Hi, we're new to the forum and FG world .. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-04-2017, 11:03 PM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: In the market
British Columbia
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Hi, we're new to the forum and FG world ..

We discovered this great resource a few months ago after being camped beside a trillium. The owners gave us a tour and let us know about this website which we have lurked on ever since!

After reading lots of posts we're getting ready to buy. A big question for us though is can our car handle towing ? It's a very trusty 2003 Honda CRV. Super high mileage and we've had it for ten years. ( So not going to get much if we have to sell it) The plan before the camper dream was to drive it into the ground.

Has anyone towed with an older model CRV?

Can it handle a boler/trillium/lil Bigfoot?

Ps in Canada so no scamps/casitas here as far as I know.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:01 AM   #2
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
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Welcome! Lot's of good info here. There was a thread not long ago about tow vehicles and the Honda CRV was one of the ones talk about. A search for that thread would give a lot of info. I haven't figured out the search well myself or I would just post a link. Also there is a "wieghts in teh real world excel sheet that is very helpful.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:44 AM   #3
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With a towing capacity of only 1500 lbs, you'd be hard pressed to tow most fiberglass trailers, except for the smallest and lightest, like a Little Joe, Happier Camper, or maybe another small one in the 13 foot range. There are some older fiberglass trailers that might make the cut as well, but to keep the trailer at around 1200-1300 lbs (you have to account for the cargo you'll put in it) they're all going to be very basic.

I'd suggest getting the fiberglass trailer you want, and that fits your camping style, then find a tow for it if it's over the CR-V towing capacity - which it almost certainly will be.

Also keep in mind, towing capacity is only part of the picture. You need to consider the GVWR (maximum weight of the trailer and all contents), the GCWR (the maximum weight of both the trailer and the tow combined) and the payload capacity of the tow vehicle (maximum weight of the interior cargo and all occupants). It's generally not a good idea to exceed any of these ratings.

Check out the thread "Trailer Weights In The Real World" to give you a good idea of the typical weights of various brands:

Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:05 AM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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Welcome to the forum James. You'll be getting some real life answers from CRV owners very soon .
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:49 AM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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We have a 2003 CRV, have owned it for at least 8 years. It now has about 175,000 miles on it and has been a very good car. We have used it to tow our 1984 Uhaul 13 foot camper which weighs about 1400 lb. and has no brakes. Don't like the no brake thing, but cautious driving has worked out for three trips to Florida. We did one time look at a Scamp 16, hooked it up to the Honda, and felt that the tongue weight was too much for the car and did not buy the Scamp. The Florida trips were for a 3 month period so the car was loaded, stuff in a roof carrier too, and a lot of stuff in the trailer. When we bought a Casita 17 we also bought a pickup to pull it so now the Honda only gets used to tow our teardrop camper. I believe the CRV is rated to tow 1500 lb.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:51 AM   #6
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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I believe your CRV is rated to tow 1500 pounds. The trailers you named generally weigh 1400-1800 pounds loaded. IF there are only 1-2 people, IF you pack very lightly, IF you have electric brakes on the trailer (not all 13'ers do), IF you install a transmission cooler and brake wiring on the CRV, IF you travel mostly in moderate terrain...

Bottom line: possible but marginal. We have a 2006 CRV (155K, rated 1500#) and a 2011 Pilot (115K, rated 3500#). The CRV is a solid, reliable vehicle, but because we are 4 people, tow regularly in mountains and canyons, and bring a fair bit of stuff (bicycles, large canopy, outside kitchen, large 50# ice chest, chairs), we only tow our 13' Scamp with the Pilot. Ours weighs about 1350# empty and 1750# loaded. Much as we love the CRV, the Pilot is quieter and more comfortable for a long road trip.

To repeat, trailer brakes and a transmission cooler (unless it's a stick shift, of course) are essential. It will take some money to get the CRV set up properly for towing. With a high mileage vehicle you'll have to decide if it's worth the investment or better to start over with a newer vehicle. A good independent mechanic that knows your vehicle might help you decide.

We were in the same boat with an older, high-mileage, but mechanically sound Sienna when we got our Scamp. We elected to start over with the Pilot.

Tough decision. Best wishes!

Late thought... One vintage molded trailer to keep an eye out for is a Hunter Compact Jr. (not Compact I or II). It is narrower, shorter (thanks to the pop-top roof), and lighter than most 13'ers. It has a great layout for 1-2 people, with a larger bed than Bolers, Trilliums, etc. It doesn't have quite the same "cute" factor, but it would be a good fit for your CRV.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:20 AM   #7
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Name: Marge
Trailer: Casita
Oregon
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Teardrop

Have you considered a teardrop? They are essentially a bed on wheels with an outside kitchen in the back. Ours weighs around 800 pounds. Check out Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers • Index page
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:09 AM   #8
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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underrate

I maintain those manufactures underrate their cars or trucks to protect themselves on warrantees!

I don't think going over by a few hundred pounds is going to hurt the tug! I think watching your fluids closely is most important in towing. Watch the smell of your transmission fluid for burn smell and do not get stuck this is the hardest thing on a transmission there is. Get it hot once and get ready for the repair shop.

Been there done that several times and everytime on tear down the transmission filter would be clogged rendering the movement of transmission fluid down to nothing.

bob
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:12 AM   #9
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Name: Kathleen
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
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Unless you get a current weight certificate (you can get them at some gravel yards, for example) do NOT, and I repeat, NOT just accept any weight stated by a seller. You don't have to be fierce about it, but you should be serious. Very serious. Our seller promised our 1973 amerigo was 1360 dry.

It is NOT. It is 1990 pounds dry. That's without propane or batteries and with only mattresses, curtains, and a microwave inside. Well, the walls of course...

Go on this site up to Search, click, go to the bottom blank and type in, Trailer Weights in the Real World and you will see a chart that gives a good sampling of these little eggs weighed in actual camping conditions.

Just be sure you see an official weight. It matters. And people can be mistaken all too easily, I'm not going to say they're lying...any more than a fisherman "lies" about the length of that BIG YUGE trout he caught fifteen years ago. But if you're planning a meal, you want to know how big this trout is--today.

And you need to KNOW (not guess or believe what the seller asserts) what was in the trailer when weighed. DRY weight and LOADED weights (WET weights?) can be hundreds of pounds different. TONGUE weight is also vital.

Find out what load your vehicle is rated for towing, total and tongue (and there are far more things to think about if you care to...see posts above), this is a minimum. A dealership can usually tell you.

Welcome to the fiberglass world!

BEST
Kai
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:03 AM   #10
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Casita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salchicha View Post
We discovered this great resource a few months ago after being camped beside a trillium. The owners gave us a tour and let us know about this website which we have lurked on ever since!

After reading lots of posts we're getting ready to buy. A big question for us though is can our car handle towing ? It's a very trusty 2003 Honda CRV. Super high mileage and we've had it for ten years. ( So not going to get much if we have to sell it) The plan before the camper dream was to drive it into the ground.

Has anyone towed with an older model CRV?

Can it handle a boler/trillium/lil Bigfoot?

Ps in Canada so no scamps/casitas here as far as I know.
I live in Burlington, Ontario and I am the second owner​ of a 17' Casita Liberty Deluxe I found it on the internet. The original owner is from Orillia, Ontario and he drove to Rice, Texas to get it. You also find them for sale on the Casita Owners Club website. Brian​.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:08 AM   #11
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Name: MURRAY
Trailer: Ventura
British Columbia (BC)
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Hello

James
Good to hear of another BC'r joining the site. I am living in Qualicum Beach.
Just bought a 1976 Ventura.
Doing a total rebuild. Hope you find what you're looking for.
When looking I discovered that aluminum sided trailers seem to have a lot of leeks. Saw horror stories of fixing up.
I felt that with a FG trailer it is a sealed unit.
Yes mine had lots of water damage from owners puting holes in it and not being patched later.When I get all the holes taken care of(sanding,fiberglass, gel coat)I will have a sealed unit once again.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
Go on this site up to Search, click, go to the bottom blank and type in, Trailer Weights in the Real World and you will see a chart that gives a good sampling of these little eggs weighed in actual camping conditions.
No need to search. I linked it in post #3 above.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:31 PM   #13
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
Posts: 274
Welcome to the site!
Fiberglass is far superior to metal sided trailers for many reasons.
If you plan on driving your Honda into the ground, towing a trailer beyond its capacity is a quick way to do it. You may also want to consider your personal safety as well!
Buy the trailer that suits your needs and expectations. Otherwise you won't be happy with it. Selling the unit that doesn't make you happy and then buying the one you should have bought in the first place is a waste of time and money as well as frustrating.
Then buy a tug that more than meets your needs by at least 50%. That gives you some breathing room and in time the "extra" things you take camping will consume the extra capacity.
It's also less expensive to go this way. Fuel mileage will be better with a tug that isn't "maxed" out all the time compared to one that constantly labors. Maintenance will also be less because there will be fewer repairs.
"Add-ons", like tranny coolers are good but aren't cost effective if the tug's capacity is exceeded.
Then there are the safety issues like trailer sway, the effects of cross winds, braking etc.
Camping should be a pleasurable experience. If it's a "white-knuckle" trip, you defeat the purpose of going!
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:02 PM   #14
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Name: Chris
Trailer: 1975 Trillium 1300
British Columbia
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And one other fact to consider.. Should the GVWR of your trailer exceed the weight that your tug(tow vehicle) is certified to tow your insurance will be void, even if you install transmission cooler on the tug and brakes on the trailer.. My suggestion is to determine which trailer you would like to have, buy the tug then the trailers..
Wishing you luck and success in the process - like some folks say, the journey can be as exciting as the destination..
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