Matt and Family - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-13-2014, 07:08 AM   #1
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Name: Matt
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Matt and Family

We are new parents and I am looking for a way to continue our outdoor lifestyle. For a while I had been looking at popups but have been drawn toward the "egg" fiberglass trailers because of increased security/longer lifespan of materials. Hoping to learn a lot from these forums.

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Old 12-13-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
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Welcome, Matt!

We are four (2 preteen daughters) and we have a 13' Scamp (standard layout 1 with bunks in front & dinette in back, no bathroom). It works for us because we use the trailer more like a hard-sided tent. We cook and eat outside. For a bit more room, a (small) bathroom, and bunks for four, the Scamp 16' layout 4 is a family-friendly option. Both are relatively common in the used market (which overall is pretty tight, due to limited production and popularity of these trailers).

Don't know what you plan to tow with, but here's a thread that has typical loaded weights for different makes and models: Trailer Weights in the Real World (post #297 has a handy downloadable spreadsheet). Manufacturer dry weights and seller's claims "can tow with anything" can mislead.

I wish we had started sooner. We waited until the girls were 6 and 9 before we started camping. You're making a good decision to start young! Have fun and make memories as a family!
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard, Matt.

I spent many years with a tent trailer when our kids were quite young, and it did work great for us. A bit more setup time, but worked for us fine, and has lots of bed space.

I never considered a moulded fiberglass trailer at the time, not really sure why. Maybe because there were no new models available near me over 20 years ago, and the ones around just seemed old. Boy did I have it wrong thinking older might not be so good.

However, after owning a 24' stick built trailer for a bunch of years after that, I finally (6 years ago) caught on to the idea of the moulded fiberglass, researched a lot (that is where this site is very helpful) and bought my Escape.

Right now I am rebuilding a '76 Trillium 1300 (13' model) for a wedding present for my daughter. She plans to have kids in not too long of time, and is really excited about the trailer, and is pitching in to help.

Bottom line, if I was starting over again, I would skip all my other steps, and start with a moulded fiberglass trailer. If I had of, I would still have it now. It is quite possible that my old tent trailer has long been retired.

I would jump in and start reading some older threads. Search on topics that interest you, and you will slowly develop an idea on what will work best for you. There are lots of great options with these units, from all manufactures, each having its own merits. If you have any questions on things, feel free to ask, and you will get lots of help from the membership here.

Not sure when you are planning to buy, but going to a rally is a great way to get to view different makes and models. You can contact most manufacturers to find out where some of there trailers are near you, and give you contact information for there owners. Most of us are more than happy to give a tour of our trailers.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:29 AM   #4
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We camped for a while but then just this year upgraded to a Scamp 16' with the front bunks. We have a 9 and 6 year old. They think of the front of the scamp as their own little kingdom. You won't regret getting one. I will say this though...go look at one first. They are tight inside and if your a bit claustrophobic you may not like it but once you get used to it as we did, we feel sorry for those people lugging around a big 30 footer!


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Old 12-13-2014, 09:04 AM   #5
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elcome to the forum Matt and Congratulations on the new addition .

We too are new parents, 4 months in. I've been contemplating how this will affect our camping style. Most of our trips last year were cancelled due to pregnancy comfort. Fair enough.

My wife likes less rugged camping than I. Though she's master of the camp fire. We have an older original Boler. No bathroom, porta-potty or heater. I think we will stick to provincial parks with amenities for the first several years. Funny I used to avoid them due to too many people and kids. Now I think it will be great introduction for her as she grows.
Once she's a bit older I hope to get a bigger FG trailer (16/17ft) with a washroom. Should appease the family and make things easier with a little one. With that I dream/plan of boon docking some years and family trips/touring others.
Look forward to hearing your experience.


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Old 12-13-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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Welcome to you and yours, Matt and Merry CHRISTmas.

It would be helpful to know what kind of vehicle you plan to tow with, what kind of budget you have and what your family consists of.

There will be something that will be just right for you folks. I wish I could have done what we're doing now when the kids were (much) younger. Yours will have the time of their lives.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Matt & Family, welcome to the FGRV forum family. I agree with the others, that you should try to attend a rally in your area. Go the the top of the page, click on the "More" tab, and there will be a drop-down for "Rally Map" & Rally Callander.
Best of luck.
Dave & Paula
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Old 12-13-2014, 05:54 PM   #8
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Name: Matt
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Greetings. I am a bit floored by the kind and very rapid response from forum members. Thanks for the welcome!
To provide background, the family consists of my wife and me, our 8 month-old daughter, and 25 lb mutt. The prospective tow vehicle is a 2011 Nissan Xterra Pro4X, rated to 5000#, so no problem there. We expect a final family configuration of at least 2 and no more than 3 kiddos. I'm definitely in the used market, looking in the shy of $10,000 range.
Thanks for your help and I'm looking forward to learning a lot.

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Old 12-13-2014, 06:31 PM   #9
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Jim, interesting that you're planning to give your daughter a vintage Trillium as a wedding present. My daughter is not ready for marriage yet , but she has made it quite clear she'd like a camper like ours some day. Like Matt, we had also considered a pop-up first. Glad we didn't!
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:48 AM   #10
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Matt and Family

Quote:
Originally Posted by taranis83 View Post
We expect a final family configuration of at least 2 and no more than 3 kiddos.

Matt, 5 people is a bit of a tipping point in FG trailers. Lots of choices with beds for four, but few fit five. While they're small, no problem, but they do have a way of growing... You may have to get creative. A tent is one option, a spot on the floor is another, back of the tow vehicle is a third. Scamp does make one model with 5 berths (layout 7), but it's pretty rare. Casita standard models can sleep up to 6, I believe, but they are even rarer.

Probably seems like a long way off now, but it feels like yesterday that my kids were babies. Now I'm halfway to wedding presents... Enjoy every day!
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:11 AM   #11
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You can find something for sure in that range. I found my 16' 2013 on EBay for 13,500 but was able to negotiate it down to 11,500. I did have to look though for probably 6 months before finding it. Don't get discouraged if it takes a while. I used this forum, Craigslist and EBay for my search.


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Old 12-14-2014, 08:41 AM   #12
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Matt & Family, welcome to the FGRV forum family. I started out with a popup truck camper. Then to a tag along 27' Jayco, 30' Jayco Class C, 28' Jayco 5er, 36'Cruiser 5er, back to a pull behind pop up, 16' U-Haul, 16' Scamp, finally our 19' Scamp. A lot what we did at the time was because kids and convenience. Now just the wife, myself and two 8lb dogs. We were tired of the bigger units, gas, etc. You have to find what fits you the best. The one thing I have learned out of all of this is FG units have a lot better resale value than stick built trailers. All the money I lost over the years on trade in's. I don't want to think about it. I say find a FG unit to fit your needs and you will be ahead of the game. Good luck. Oh, make the wife happy. LOL
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:28 AM   #13
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Matt -

I think it might be possible to sleep 2 adults and 3 kiddos in one of the
Scamp models with the 54" bed and the sofa/bunk-beds configuration.
We have already slept 4 (my wife, myself, and 2 granddaughters) in our
Scamp13. We'll probably find out about sleeping 5 next Spring/Summer.


For a Christmas present, my wife has thought about giving a "gift of time"
by offering to take our daughter's 3 kids (all preteen) for a weekend
camping trip. Our daughter and son-in-law would then get a weekend to
themselves and the 3 kids would get a camping weekend with grandma
and grandpa. (Although it will undoubtedly be a bit crowded, I think that
we should be able to sleep the 5 of us in our 2014 Scamp 13 L1 with the
54"bed. )

Here are a couple of sleeping configurations we might try:

My grandson on the top bunk, my granddaughters on the bottom bunk
(in a heads & tails) mode, and my wife and I in the 54" double bed.
or
My grandson on the top bunk, myself on the lower bunk, and my wife
and 2 granddaughters (perhaps in heads & tails mode) in the 54" bed.

Something like that ......

You can now get the 54" bed in the Scamp 13 Std Layout 1, the Scamp
13 Deluxe, or the Scamp 16 Deluxe. (Wayne, our Scamp salesman told
me that Scamp will build a Scamp 16 Deluxe Layout A with the front
sofa/bunk-beds instead of the front dinette.)

Now that we have a more capable tow vehicle, I have asked Scamp
to consider starting to offer the Scamp 16 Std Layout 4 with the 54" bed
..... not that they actually will.
(I think that Scamp should already have all (or almost all) of the molded
fiberglass cabinets to create that configuration.)

We probably got most of the options except for the AC & bathroom and,
in October 2013, our brand new 2014 Scamp 13 was under $11,000.
(I was trying to keep the weight down in order to stay within Honda's
published tow weight limitation of 1500 lbs for our 2011 CRV.)

Besides being able to sleep a mixture of 5 (or6?) adults and kids, I figure
that our little Scamp 13 should be able to seat up to 9 (adults + kids) on
a blustery rainy day (3 on the sofa plus 3 on each side of the dinette).

For pictures of the inside of our Scamp 13, look at the following thread:
Scamp Full Size Bed = Smaller Table Size

Instead of an awning, we also often carry a screen room/tent that usually
travels on a pad laying on the front sofa:

CLAM 1660 Mag Screen Tent - The Others Don't compare

CLAM 1660 Mag Screen Tent – Amazon.com
CLAM 1660 Mag Screen Tent Wind Panels – Amazon.com

Of course your needs/wants/constraints may be different than ours.
As always, YMMV.

Good luck on your search!

I hope that this information was useful and that you will be able to
find the perfect trailer for your family and make many happy memories.

Ray
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Tenhage View Post
Jim, interesting that you're planning to give your daughter a vintage Trillium as a wedding present. My daughter is not ready for marriage yet , but she has made it quite clear she'd like a camper like ours some day. Like Matt, we had also considered a pop-up first. Glad we didn't!
The only issue, is that it is turning out to be more costly than I first imagined, but she is worth it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
Instead of an awning, we also often carry a screen room/tent that usually
travels on a pad laying on the front sofa:
Ray, have you used this shelter in heavy rain, or strong winds? It seems with the ease of popping out the roof and side panels, it would be just as easy for the elements to pop them back in, or is there something that holds them deployed?

It does look like a great and quick structure to set up.
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