Howdy—Still Looking in the New England Desert! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Howdy—Still Looking in the New England Desert!

Don't think I ever introduced myself in this forum, but I did in the Wanted forum, complaining about the MFG (Molded Fiberglass) desert in New England:

Eastern Massachusetts: A Fiberglass Desert?

We've missed on a couple of used Casita 17s by a matter of hours. It's like throwing crackers to seagulls. Anyway, we're still looking, also at stickbuilts like the Starcraft AR-ONE. Just learned of another little one, a Travel-Lite Idea i15Q, which is just a little larger than a Casita 17. Of course it has a wood frame, and who knows what kind of roof, but might do in a pinch. There's at least one in this state.

Anyone got a Casita 17 with a bathroom for sale in our area, let me know. We're not really prepared to travel to the ends of the Earth to find one. We're in Framingham, Massachusetts, and newbies to the trailering world. My parents decades ago went through a succession of trailers and motor homes, but my wife Jane and I have always been tent campers. Well, tents are cheap. But the ground gets hard. . .

/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-06-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
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"It's like throwing crackers to seagulls"....great description Mr. Lynn and that is exactly how the market seems lately. I am sure a lot of it is driven by the baby boomer's reaching retirement and fiberglass simply makes such a good choice.

Best of luck with your search and hope you find what you are looking for in a trailer.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:09 AM   #3
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Have you tried
Searchtempest
It will look for all craigslist
That meet your criteria


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:11 AM   #4
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Mr. Lynn, Please note that not all sticky travel trailers have wood framing.

Stop at an RV dealership and educate yourself. Many travel trailers have welded metal framing. I have been involved in RV Travel Trailer camping since 1983.
In all my years I have never had a roof leak, a window leak or problems associated with water infiltration .

By touring the full spectrum of available travel trailers you will discover many comfort and convenience features not found in the fiberglass travel trailers.
I joined this group to educate myself on these fiberglass units. To date I have not found any that have what I am looking for.

I sent for and received a catalog from the "Oliver" fiberglass travel trailer folks and even their made in the USA units (Tennessee) lack a proper bathroom.
The idea of showering while on the toilet seems a bit crude considering what is available in today's travel trailer market.

If you hope to be camping this season and want to avoid a lifelong career of looking for a camper you might expand your search horizon.
Simply put you might discover the so called "sticky" travel trailers offer more for a smaller investment in both time and money !

Read enough posts on this board and you will discover that this product is far from problem free...but...that is life in RV land.

Happy Camping
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:04 PM   #5
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Mr. Lynn, Please note that not all sticky travel trailers have wood framing.

Stop at an RV dealership and educate yourself. Many travel trailers have welded metal framing. I have been involved in RV Travel Trailer camping since 1983.
In all my years I have never had a roof leak, a window leak or problems associated with water infiltration .

By touring the full spectrum of available travel trailers you will discover many comfort and convenience features not found in the fiberglass travel trailers.
I joined this group to educate myself on these fiberglass units. To date I have not found any that have what I am looking for.

I sent for and received a catalog from the "Oliver" fiberglass travel trailer folks and even their made in the USA units (Tennessee) lack a proper bathroom.
The idea of showering while on the toilet seems a bit crude considering what is available in today's travel trailer market.

If you hope to be camping this season and want to avoid a lifelong career of looking for a camper you might expand your search horizon.
Simply put you might discover the so called "sticky" travel trailers offer more for a smaller investment in both time and money !

Read enough posts on this board and you will discover that this product is far from problem free...but...that is life in RV land.

Happy Camping
Howdy Uplander: Yes, I am aware that not all 'stick-built' trailers have wood framing. The Forest River R-Pod, for instance, has aluminum framing and a "one-piece seamless fiberglass roof"—of course the roof has seams where it joins the flat sidewalls; they all do, and any time you have seams they can loosen up over time and bouncing on the road.

We have been to three or four RV dealerships in our region, looking at under 22' overall mostly. One of the advantages of the molded-fiberglass (MFG) trailers is their ease of towing and maneuvering, so we want to stay small. We did think it would be nice to have a permanent bed in addition to the 4-person dinette, which the Casita and Scamp don't offer—though the Spirit 16/17 and one Scamp 16 do have 2-person dinettes, which is probably enough for the two of us. The R-Pod has a good layout, but we found the inside rather dark and cheerless.

We rather preferred the interior of the Starcraft AR-ONE, which has wood-frame construction, and its cousin the Launch, which has an aluminum frame. We can get a new AR-ONE for about $15k, including dealer fees, which is less than people are asking for used late-model Casitas. But the Casita is smaller, with less maintenance (no need to get up and re-seal the roof every year).

It is true you can get more gizmos, more space, and fancier interiors in the stickies (but I like the bright, spartan feel of the Casita and other MFG interiors). And it is a problem that not only are the MFGs scarce, their very scarcity (and novelty) drives up the prices of used ones (a two-way street, as they also hold their resale value much better than the stickies). If we can't find a used MFG at a good price soon, we may well buy a sticky. I just found out about a never-used previous-model Travel-Lite Idea 15, which is about the same size as a Casita 17, for $12k.

The Oliver is sort of the BMW of MFGs, I think, way out of our price range, but it is small. Have you looked at the Escapes, and BigFoots (BigFeet?)? Of course they're ridiculously expensive, too. I expect their bathrooms are big enough for you. But then, you don't have to sit on the toilet to take a shower in the Casita 17, either:



/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:23 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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PS: I forgot to mention that our daughter and family live in Virginia, west of Richmond, so if anything interesting became available in her area, she and her husband could check it out and even purchase it for us. They are quite knowledgeable.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
I have been involved in RV Travel Trailer camping since 1983.
In all my years I have never had a roof leak, a window leak or problems associated with water infiltration .

By touring the full spectrum of available travel trailers you will discover many comfort and convenience features not found in the fiberglass travel trailers.
I joined this group to educate myself on these fiberglass units. To date I have not found any that have what I am looking for.
You need to talk to my brother... he purchased a huge Aluma Lite 5th wheel, paid a pretty penny for it. All aluminum framework. One year later the entire roof had to be removed due to seams leaking and water running down between the walls. Needlessly to say, my bro was NOT a happy camper.

As far as not finding what you're looking for in an all-molded towable, you probably never will. However if all you're looking for is one with a dry bath, look for a Bigfoot 25 or the Silver Cloud.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:21 AM   #8
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Did you see this posted yesterday?

https://newhaven.craigslist.org/rvs/5574520955.html
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:29 AM   #9
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Did you see this posted yesterday?

https://newhaven.craigslist.org/rvs/5574520955.html
A little too small for us, I think! Also, "needs work."

/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:27 AM   #10
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Mr Lynn, Good to hear you have done your homework on travel trailers. I am now retired and over the last several decades my choice of travel trailers has evolved to larger not smaller...creature comforts are also important...not looking for granite countertops or big screen TVs mounted on outside patios but comfort and good living space for those rainy days.
Every camper is looking for something different and everyone has a budget. The high cost of fiberglass travel trailers is a factor. The manufacturers marketing plan makes purchase difficult. The lack of supply drives the used market higher and higher...sellers taking advantage of the limited supply to turn a profit...the free market...question is are they really worth the price ?
RV sales in the last few years have been at an all time high. It is getting harder and harder to secure campsites in both state and national parks...same goes for many commercial campgrounds. I prefer rustic state and national parks but do use commercial campgrounds when I want to travel to distant locations. It is getting to the point that planning and reservations are required. Most National Parks require reservations a year in advance...same is true for most parks in the Adirondacks here in upstate New York. The beautiful spots are becoming more and more crowded as more folks discover the economical and exciting RV life for travel and vacations.

Good Luck in your quest for the perfect travel trailer. Sign up for the weekly newsletter from: RV Travel.com. It is loaded with helpful information.

Happy Camping
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:39 AM   #11
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Did you check out the Lil Snoozy? Nice travel trailer with room to move around.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:38 AM   #12
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Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Did you check out the Lil Snoozy? Nice travel trailer with room to move around.
They're pretty neat, but harder to find used than Scamps and Casitas, which have been made for much longer.

But stay tuned—I may have some news by this weekend!

/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:42 AM   #13
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...But stay tuned—I may have some news by this weekend!
Says one seagull to the rest...

Not going to reveal where the cracker is hiding… or the egg?!

Hope it works out, whatever, or wherever, it is!
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:52 PM   #14
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Says one seagull to the rest...

Not going to reveal where the cracker is hiding… or the egg?!

Hope it works out, whatever, or wherever, it is!
OK, here's the news:

WE GOT ONE!

We had been looking at stick-built campers. The last was just yesterday, an Idea i15Q, about the size of a Casita 17, with a similar layout (permanent bed instead of table/bed, and two-person side dinette). This was a previous-year model that had been sitting a year, and it smelled like it. It was also remarkably junky inside; the dinette table wobbled, the bench seats were too short, and the paneling looked like it would fall off at any moment. But once my wife said the size was OK, then it was obvious: we wanted a Casita.

And, as luck would have it, I had been corresponding with the owners of a 2013 Casita Spirit 17 in New Hampshire, only an hour and a half from here. This charming couple had advertised only on Craig's List in NH, which I had seen only by extending my search beyond the Boston area, but I got in first. So today we were able to drive up and buy this pristine Casita; looks like new, inside and out. The owner says he has had six RV trailers over the years, and this was by far the best built of any of them. But they're probably going to rental cabins, so they decided to sell the Casita, which they bought new in Texas three years ago.

What I like most about the Casita is, after looking a several stick-built campers, how bright and cheerful it seems inside, what with the light wood (the commercial folks seemed to be enthralled with dark wood), white fiberglass cabinets, and the big, sunny windows). It just makes a compact trailer seem more open and welcoming.

I do have some concerns about the running gear. They had not rotated the tires, nor repacked the bearings, and the owner did not know that the trailer had electric brakes (!). He was towing with a medium 6-cylinder pickup, with no brake controlller, and says he never had a problem going up mountains, or coming down.

My 2013 Ford Expedition has a brake controller. My concern is: what are those brakes going to do when I connect the 7-wire plug and start driving (it's still in NH; I have to get a tag tomorrow)? Chances are the drums are quite rusted—and the shoes? They haven't been used in three years.

My inclination is to set the trailer brake gain to -0- until I can get it home and pull off a wheel and look at the brakes. Or maybe have someone do it. If the previous owner had no problem with a smaller vehicle, I'd assume I won't either—but you know what they say about assumptions. . .

Advice welcome.

/Mr Lynn
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