intro: total beginners, family of four - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-13-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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Name: Anna
Trailer: in the market
Oregon
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intro: total beginners, family of four

Hi all,

I'm the mom of a quartet (just had our 2nd daughter 3 weeks ago) living in the Oregon Cascades in the middle of nowhere. It's incredibly gorgeous out here, clean air, clean water, etc. We also love to get away from it, though! We've done several cross-country trips (our family's mostly back east) both before and after kids, car camping, and on Amtrak. We really want a trailer! We're looking to find one as light as possible that will still fit four, so we're thinking a 13'. They go fast off of craigslist around here, but I've noticed that the Vancouver, BC area usually has several Trilliums and Bolers from the '70s for between $4k and $8k or so. We're contemplating a road trip up there to look at some.

Is it a bad idea for us to be looking at a trailer of that vintage if we don't want to do a lot of improvement and maintenance? Are they generally roadworthy from that era, or does it just depend on how the individual trailer's been cared for? Any advice welcome.

Also, can anyone point us toward how to change title/tags from Canada to US?

Many thanks, and looking forward to spending more time on this forum! Cheers!
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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Hi Anna,
Jim B has a nice '81 Burro with bunk beds for sale near Portland.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...0-a-60588.html

Good luck with your search & welcome to FGRV
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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It's all about condition, condition and condition. I have seen early eggs that looked like they were just sold new and I have seen others that I was afraid to even pull off the driveway where they had been parked.

As long as it is over 25 y.o. importing isn't a problem, but do remember, they have harsh and wet winters up north and that can effect the first three items
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Anna, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here!

Yep, I 100% agree with Bob, and Paul's right too. Jim's Burro is a very nice one!

From the Document Center, be sure to download and print out the Buyer's Check List and take it with you everytime you look at a trailer you're considering buying... any brand, any size.

Good luck on your egg hunt!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna in Cascadia View Post
Hi all,

I'm the mom of a quartet (just had our 2nd daughter 3 weeks ago) living in the Oregon Cascades in the middle of nowhere. It's incredibly gorgeous out here, clean air, clean water, etc. We also love to get away from it, though! We've done several cross-country trips (our family's mostly back east) both before and after kids, car camping, and on Amtrak. We really want a trailer! We're looking to find one as light as possible that will still fit four, so we're thinking a 13'. They go fast off of craigslist around here, but I've noticed that the Vancouver, BC area usually has several Trilliums and Bolers from the '70s for between $4k and $8k or so. We're contemplating a road trip up there to look at some.

Is it a bad idea for us to be looking at a trailer of that vintage if we don't want to do a lot of improvement and maintenance? Are they generally roadworthy from that era, or does it just depend on how the individual trailer's been cared for? Any advice welcome.

Also, can anyone point us toward how to change title/tags from Canada to US?

Many thanks, and looking forward to spending more time on this forum! Cheers!

Check out Scamp at scamptrailers.com. You're top end price is pretty close to the price of a brand new Scamp. Give them a call to get full prices and options list.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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Somehow I don't think that a base Scamp would work out for a family of 4 including a newborn. Being with no heat, furnace, refrigerator or pressurized water might be a bit bare. Remember, everything is optional
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Somehow I don't think that a base Scamp would work out for a family of 4 including a newborn. Being with no heat, furnace, refrigerator or pressurized water might be a bit bare. Remember, everything is optional
I still suggest that they contact Scamp and get the price and option prices to determine if they can manage a new one.

I found when I was looking I didn't want a project. Therefore the difference in price between a used one ready to go was not much different than a new. Hence, I'm the one and only owner of my Scamp.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:23 AM   #8
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Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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With 2 little kids (ages 5 and 4 IIRC) my wife and I traveled 2000 miles in a rented 13' UHaul egg. It was crowded, but do-able. My biggest beefs with that trailer were having to change the dinette to a bed and back every day, having to pull up the cushions and seat covers to access the under-seat storage (about the only place for our food to fit), and the fact that our son rolled out of the top bunk in the middle of one night.

Rails can be made for the top bunk, but it's harder to fix the lack of storage space in that size unit IMO. For a family, I would have preferred a 16'.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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For a family of four I'd consider a Scamp 16 with front bunks. I'd also consider a used unit because it's less expensive. If you're a judisious shopper what ever you buy you should be able to sell as you trailer experience increases should you want something else.

I always suggest prospective buyers attend a rally before buying, nothing beats looking at a bunch of different trailers.
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Norm has a great idea about attending a rally. Next month is the Fall NOG at Nehalem Bay State Park. These are the brands of trailer owners currently attending:

2013 13' Scamp
2013 15' Parkliner
1985 19' Bigfoot
1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
2006 17' Escape
2007 17' Casita FD
1981 Trillium 5500
2010 13' Escape
2005 Scamp 5th Wheel
2000 17' Burro Widebody
2005 17' Casita FD
2008 21' Bigfoot
1979 13' Trillium
Cadet! or maybe a 1960 Silver Sided Stick Serro Scotty
2006 17' Casita LD
2013 13' Scamp
2006 17' Liberty LD
1977 Surfside
2011 16' Casita SD
2012 17' Casita SD
2013 17' Escape
1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
2012 19' Escape
1995 Rialta
1974 Boler
2002 17' Casita SD
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #11
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Anna,
These rallies welcome interested people. Usually on Saturday they have an open house though just about anyone is always glad to show you their rig and answer questions.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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Condition on old trailers can vary dramatically. Even at $1000, I would not buy this trailer:
AB (Canada) - Trillium 1300 - 1974 - $1000
On the other hand I purchased my first 4500 for $2000, and it was in great shape, and ready to camp.

Even if you find a trailer in very good condition, You should be prepared to do some work on your trailer. Paying someone else to work on an old trailer, kinda defeats the cost savings. This is especially true in Calgary, where I live.

I don't mean to scare you off, but there are three major jobs on an old Trillium:

The door:
This is a common problem on most old fibreglass trailers. The hinges start work loose and the door sags. The fix is usually fairly easy. I did my first one in a few days. The hinges had worked loose on the trailer side, but the door side was still tight. I took off the door, hinges and all, then filled the screw holes in the trailer with fibreglass. Then I taped the door where I wanted it to end up, and then drilled new holes, using the hinges on the door as a guide. When I put in new screws, I filled the holes with resin and fibreglass again, then screwed the trailer side of the hinges down. When the resin set, I repeated the process on the door side. No new holes, just take out the screws put resin and fibrglass in the hole, then screws. I used new stainless steel screws.

The window frames:
The windows on Trillium are screwed from the outside through the fibreglass into a plywood frame that is on the inside of the trailer. It is under the ensolite (insulation), so I did not even realize they were there, untill I did some investigation. The wood is in a somewhat wet spot, and eventually it rots. To fix the screws in the window are removed and the window comes out. The window is stuck to the trailer with a putty, and it is kinda a tight fit, but it is not too hard to get out. The frame is glued to the Ensolite, so the hardest part of the job is carefully cutting it away from the plywood. After that cut new 3/4" plywood frames. The beveled edge probably should be cut on a table saw. I don't have on, so I requested the help of a neighbor. Then I painted the wood, (something that the original installer should have done). Put the frame back in with double sided sticky tap, to hold it in place. I did not glue the ensolite back on the wood. It tucks in between the window and the wood, and I called that good enough.

The belly band:
My First Belly Band Thread

I am biased, and you did mention Trilliums. Good choice! The 1300 is quite small. Most are very light. The 4500 is about 18" longer and only about 200 lbs heaver. They have almost exactly the same floor plan as the 1300, just larger proportions. Wider beds, larger closet, and kitchen. Also they all have a kitchen window, but only a few 1300's do.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:50 AM   #13
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Glad to hear you are interested in a fiberglass trailer. This topic may be of interest. Family Friendly Floor Plans
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1971 Boler 13' / 2013 Ford Escape
Manitoba
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Now I would buy that one for a $1000 or less but would leave all his garbage on his drive way before I left. It is a great starting point for a custom trailer. It is all in how you look at it. I like a project and others like move in ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Condition on old trailers can vary dramatically. Even at $1000, I would not buy this trailer:
AB (Canada) - Trillium 1300 - 1974 - $1000
On the other hand I purchased my first 4500 for $2000, and it was in great shape, and ready to camp.

Even if you find a trailer in very good condition, You should be prepared to do some work on your trailer. Paying someone else to work on an old trailer, kinda defeats the cost savings. This is especially true in Calgary, where I live.

I don't mean to scare you off, but there are three major jobs on an old Trillium:

The door:
This is a common problem on most old fibreglass trailers. The hinges start work loose and the door sags. The fix is usually fairly easy. I did my first one in a few days. The hinges had worked loose on the trailer side, but the door side was still tight. I took off the door, hinges and all, then filled the screw holes in the trailer with fibreglass. Then I taped the door where I wanted it to end up, and then drilled new holes, using the hinges on the door as a guide. When I put in new screws, I filled the holes with resin and fibreglass again, then screwed the trailer side of the hinges down. When the resin set, I repeated the process on the door side. No new holes, just take out the screws put resin and fibrglass in the hole, then screws. I used new stainless steel screws.

The window frames:
The windows on Trillium are screwed from the outside through the fibreglass into a plywood frame that is on the inside of the trailer. It is under the ensolite (insulation), so I did not even realize they were there, untill I did some investigation. The wood is in a somewhat wet spot, and eventually it rots. To fix the screws in the window are removed and the window comes out. The window is stuck to the trailer with a putty, and it is kinda a tight fit, but it is not too hard to get out. The frame is glued to the Ensolite, so the hardest part of the job is carefully cutting it away from the plywood. After that cut new 3/4" plywood frames. The beveled edge probably should be cut on a table saw. I don't have on, so I requested the help of a neighbor. Then I painted the wood, (something that the original installer should have done). Put the frame back in with double sided sticky tap, to hold it in place. I did not glue the ensolite back on the wood. It tucks in between the window and the wood, and I called that good enough.

The belly band:
My First Belly Band Thread

I am biased, and you did mention Trilliums. Good choice! The 1300 is quite small. Most are very light. The 4500 is about 18" longer and only about 200 lbs heaver. They have almost exactly the same floor plan as the 1300, just larger proportions. Wider beds, larger closet, and kitchen. Also they all have a kitchen window, but only a few 1300's do.
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