Lise in WA - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-12-2014, 11:54 AM   #1
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Name: Lise
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Smile Lise in WA

Hi

I am new here and have been reading posts for a while now. I live in Seattle and have two kids, ages 11 and 13.

I have wanted a travel trailer forever but am getting more serious now. We love to camp but the hassle of it means we don't do it as much as I'd like.

The impetus for starting a serious search is that next year I begin to homeschool my youngest for her middle school years (did the same with the oldest). I want to take her on a trip around the Western US to start off our homeschooling. Every time I imagine the two of us doing this with a tent, I freak out. But with a lightweight camper it seems like a great idea!

I am still in the new phase of being overwhelmed by phrases like "brake controller" and "anti-sway hitch" and "tongue weight". I peruse the internet, write down lists, get overwhelmed, close my notebook in distress, and forget about it until evening when my imagination again runs wild.

Our Towing Vehicle is a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. It has a 3.8 L, 215 hp V6 engine with a 3800 lb towing capacity. I had a 2" hitch put on by Mann Welding (a local welding co.) to carry our bike rack, but dont' know if it'd work for more than that. It does bottom out coming out of steep driveways when the bikes are loaded.

I now have a fantasy of packing the kids to BC, borrowing a Westfalia from friends in Burnaby and heading over to Langley to the meetup over Memorial Day. If I read of a cancellation I just might do it!

Finally, and probably the biggest sticking point, is that my husband is opposed to the idea of a camper. I haven't been able to sell him on it, but I'll keep trying!
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:33 PM   #2
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Hello, Lise and welcome to the group. You might try stopping by one of the local rallies and tour some trailers.

Seeing them in person just might be the ticket for your hubby
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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A 3800 lb tow capacity should be good enough for almost all fibreglass campers. I am quite fond of the Trillium brand. They are light, simple, (no bathroom, just a porta potty) and well thought out. I am not sure what the prices are like in WA, but I am starting to see nice ones in the $4000 and below range in Alberta.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:23 PM   #4
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You didn't mention the miles on the Dodge, but the front wheel drive Caravan has had a few mentions about the transaxle. You might want to look on a couple of sites for that make and model and get some feedback, on the road repairs can get very expensive.

FWIW: My 2002 Dodge Caravan (a company car) went through two transmissions in about 125,000 miles and I wasn't towing.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiseKen View Post

I now have a fantasy of packing the kids to BC, borrowing a Westfalia from friends in Burnaby and heading over to Langley to the meetup over Memorial Day. If I read of a cancellation I just might do it!
Just call the park - Fort Camping . They do not have empty spaces in the loop that the main meet is being held in but a number of others have booked anyways just in a different loop, its not a big park so where ever they put you will be close.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:01 PM   #6
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Even if you don't borrow your friend's Westfalia, you could take a tent... or even make it a day trip. But definitely get your husband over there to tour some trailers! If that doesn't do the trick, he just doesn't want to camp!
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:10 PM   #7
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Thanks for the welcomes!

Our van has 90,000 miles now, I know we have some squeaking from something that we lube up every once in a while, will have to find out what that is. Want to keep to something way under the tow weight, I've never towed anything and want to keep it light. Is it true that some fiberglass RV's can be positioned by hand (like moved a bit?)

I am pondering visiting friends in Burnaby and then coming to Langley for the day Saturday May 24 for the meet up. I called and the campground is full up for tents and small RV's, all they have is full service sites. We'll bring the tent in case something opens up. Will have to run this by the other 3/4...

I have only seen photos of all the fiberglass trailers, so seeing them in person is probably the best way to start.

Hope the weather then is as nice as it is now, photos of Fort Camping look great!

Lise
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:16 PM   #8
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As most 13' FGRV weight in at about 1200-1500+ lbs, expect a tongue weight of at least 150 lbs. Some will go over 300. Have you considered a Tent trailer as a step up from tenting?
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:06 PM   #9
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Thanks Bob, I did think about it, and was pretty sure that was the way to go. But living in Western WA the rain makes it pretty tough in a tent camper. We get rain that just drizzles for hours/days and can get in the sides. Seems most folks I've talked to have mold issues.
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