I'm a new member, so please be understanding - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-20-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
TRW
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Suntrek Vista
Ontario
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I'm a new member, so please be understanding

Hi, I'm Terry and just signed up.

I found one thread for a Vista trailer, but couldn't figure out if I could add comments to it, so thought I'd try here.

We own a 30 foot Vista, and bought it new in 1999. We're delighted with it, so much so that I also bought a used 18 foot model for our kids to use, but sold it when it became obvious that they weren't interested - it didn't have the best floor layout. The company also built a 27 footer.

Ours is all fibreglass, but is two halves fibreglassed together into one big (leakproof) piece. It looks like an Award trailer because the manufacturing manager of Award started up his own shop after Award went into receivership. However, other than the shape, it is nothing like an Award.

First, he built it heavy (7000 lb GVWR) so that it wouldn't twist and open up seams between the roof and walls. Many Awards that have not had regular maintenance have some serious leakage in the walls, and then they delaminate and build up mould. The Vista is not a fibreglass laminated wall - it is all fibreglass.

Second, once you're up to speed, the weight is not an issue. We got up to 14 mpg Cdn with the 30 footer, and 15 mpg with the 18 footer with our Honda Odyssey. Without the trailer we got 27-28 on the highway.

The reason weight is not an issue is because it is aerodynamic, and it is not very tall, with a low centre of gravity. Also, we had the hitch set up with a very knowledgeable Airstream dealer, Andy Thomson. If you subscribe to the Canadian magazine RV Lifestyle (www.rvlifemag.com), he writes a monthly article on towing. If you're not happy with your setup, he is near London, Ontario Canada about 1-2 hours from Detroit, and I recommend him - he's done three of our hitches. And no, I don't get a commission. The things to look for are short distances from the rear axle to the ball, transmission cooler, anti-sway bars, torsion bars, and lower side wall tires for heavier trailers. The 18 foot model doesn't require anything more than a Class 3 hitch.

I could go on, but there may not be that much interest in the Vistas, so will stop for now. Before I go, I'll try and attach a pic of our trailer.

Terry
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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Welcome. That is quite a FG trailer. We'd love to see inside pictures.

Do you have a weight distributing hitch? If so, did you need to have the receiver modified for the WD hitch? I've seen of Andy's mods and was impressed.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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Hi Terry, welcome to FiberglassRV.

WOW that trailer looks like it would hold about a half-dozen of some of our smaller brands inside. I agree with Tom... any interior pictures to share?

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Old 11-20-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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Welcome ....she's a beaut!

I'd like to see pics of the interior, too...And I don't s'pose you've got any pictures around of the smaller model you once bought for your kids...but if so, I'd love to see those, too.

What can you tell us about the history? Where were they made, and for how long? Was there a bigger "parent company" by another name involved? I ask because I sure can't find anything on the net about these trailers and I'd be interested to learn more about them.

Francesca
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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I hope A.J. comes back: Last Activity: 10-13-2012 03:16 PM. He has a 1998 Sun Trek Vista, an 18 footer. You guys could compare notes!
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Suntrek Vista
Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Welcome. That is quite a FG trailer. We'd love to see inside pictures.

Do you have a weight distributing hitch? If so, did you need to have the receiver modified for the WD hitch? I've seen of Andy's mods and was impressed.
Thanks for the reply Tom.
I'll try and attach some pics of the inside that I took yesterday.

We do have a modified WD hitch that takes a 2 1/4" ball. For our Odyssey, Andy reinforced the receiver, and angled the ball a bit back towards the van. He also ensured that the trailer was perfectly level with it. For our new tow vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, he had to come up with a much more modified WD hitch because the factory receiver is mounted so high up. The hitch is adjustable, and can be lowered more than 6" so that the trailer and Jeep are parallel to each other. Andy also highly recommends a transmission cooler for all his installations (unlike me, Andy is way too polite to call you a bozohead for not following his advice).

Now wish me luck with the attachments.

Terry
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:35 AM   #7
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Suntrek Vista
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Hi Terry, welcome to FiberglassRV.

WOW that trailer looks like it would hold about a half-dozen of some of our smaller brands inside. I agree with Tom... any interior pictures to share?

Thanks for the reply Donna -please check out my reply to Tom. Our first FG was an early Trillium with a fixed front window. Next came a newer Trillium, and finally our Vista. We tell our friends that finally we know how to "rough it", what with the a/c, furnace, TV, stereo, hot water, shower, head, and so on.
Terry
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:36 AM   #8
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Wow. Luxurious!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Suntrek Vista
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Welcome ....she's a beaut!

I'd like to see pics of the interior, too...And I don't s'pose you've got any pictures around of the smaller model you once bought for your kids...but if so, I'd love to see those, too.

What can you tell us about the history? Where were they made, and for how long? Was there a bigger "parent company" by another name involved? I ask because I sure can't find anything on the net about these trailers and I'd be interested to learn more about them.

Francesca
Thanks for your reply Francesca,

I've just spent time trying to find some pics of our 18 footer, but unfortunately I had a horrible labelling system on my computers and so far have been unable to find any. However I'll keep looking.

I wasn't all that happy about the floor plan because it had a dinette on the driver's side that could only sleep one short person comfortably, and then there was another dinette/bed across the front that just didn't make sense to me. It did tow very nicely though, with a Class III 2" ball hitch. It seemed to cut the tow vehicle's mileage in half. The chassis was a first class galvanized double axle, and the quality of the unit was pretty good - hence the reason for bankruptcy in 2000. It was underpriced for what you got.

The company was started by the manufacturing manager of Award Trailers after they got into financial trouble around 1997 or 1998. Sun Trek decided to build their trailers stronger (and therefore heavier) than Awards, and make them one piece fibreglass to eliminate leaks. The Awards would twist while moving and open up cracks between the roof and the laminated wood/fibreglass walls. Then the rain would get in and they delaminated if you didn't do regular re-sealing maintenance. The Award roofs were aluminum sheets, so you couldn't walk on them without a carpeted piece of plywood to stand on. Maintenance was therefore a bit of a challenge.

There was no parent company to Sun Trek. When they ceased operations, I believe the molds were kept by the landlord, so it's possible one could start making them again if they could get an agreement with the landlord for the molds. Both Sun Trek and Award Trailers were north of Lake Erie, I think in the Smithville or Dunnville area, and Award may still be active. Award's corporate name is ABI.

So, if I wanted an 18 foot trailer, the Vista wouldn't do it for me. But the 30 footer has been perfect for us. You need a good tow vehicle. Our 1995 Chev Lumina minivan was underpowered, our 2001 Honda Odyssey was soooooo much better, and our 2008 diesel Grand Cherokee is exceptional. We've put new tires on it and replaced the inverter because I left it plugged in over the winter every year and it burned out last year, but other than that, everything is original. I'm thinking of upgrading brass hardware with brushed nickel to make it more modern, but that's it.

Terry
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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Name: Kinga DeRode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
............I've just spent time trying to find some pics of our 18 footer, but unfortunately I had a horrible labelling system on my computers and so far have been unable to find any. However I'll keep looking...........Terry
Off topic, but worth mentioning - if you install the free Google Picasa program it will organize all the photos on your computer chronologically. It doesn't move them or alter them, just creates a virtual index to allow you to quickly find stuff. I know that I work best thinking chronologically.

Back to regular programming...........
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
Sun Trek
Bingo!

I'm glad you stuck that in a post since I'd totally missed it in your Avatar!

Googling "Vista" wasn't getting me anywhere, but not so for "Suntrek"...

There are a couple of discussions at this very site- one of which has this pic of what I think must be the 18 footer!

Did your kids' rig look like this?


"VISTA" moulded FG For Sale
That's one sweet trailer, though yours is, as you point out, MUCH roomier.

The info I'm looking at says that there were several mold types, both a two-piece vertical like the one in the pic above, and also a one piece model.

Is that what yours is?

Francesca

P.S.

Here's another FGRV link per the Vista:Is this the biggest FG trailer?
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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How is it possible that there is a moulded fibreglass trailer manufacturer that we don't know about?
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #13
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Name: Francesca Knowles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
How is it possible that there is a moulded fibreglass trailer manufacturer that we don't know about?

Looks like a possible breakdown in communications...if not a tear in the fabric of the Universe!

Seriously, though- I think that there's a mention by someone in one of those old threads that the Sun Trek Vista would be added to the manufacturers' list- prolly just got lost in the shuffle.

But maybe it'll make it in now that new member Terry's joined up with one!

Francesca
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:26 PM   #14
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Suntrek Vista
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Off topic, but worth mentioning - if you install the free Google Picasa program it will organize all the photos on your computer chronologically. It doesn't move them or alter them, just creates a virtual index to allow you to quickly find stuff. I know that I work best thinking chronologically.

Back to regular programming...........
Thanks Tom, I'll give it a try.
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