Need your guidance! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-17-2016, 06:27 PM   #1
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Name: Brad
Trailer: In the market
Michigan
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Talking Need your guidance!

Hey all,

My soon-to-be-wife and I are planning a cross-country tour in 2017...hopefully April through June/July. We are looking for something we can stay in comfortably, just the two of us and our dog, as we traipse across the US at whatever pace (and whichever route) we desire. Something small and affordable...maybe 13'-16'.

So, my questions: what should we be looking for? Are there certain features that we absolutely must have to make our trip more enjoyable? Certain brands of trailers we should look for or avoid? Where should we begin our search so we can find the perfect trailer for us?

My friend referred me to this site and said you guys are the best. Thanks in advance for your guidance!

Brad!
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:37 PM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
Posts: 1,127
First determine how much your tow vehicle can handle. Then whether or not you want a bath/toilet in the trailer (with a bath is usually heavier due to the tanks involved.) That will give you a rough starting point for your ponders.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:40 PM   #3
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Name: Brad
Trailer: In the market
Michigan
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Great, thanks! Our tow vehicle is up in the air right now, as we'll have to buy a new vehicle when my wife loses her company vehicle. But we're leaning towards either a Jeep Wrangle 4-door or a Toyota 4-Runner. Neither has real high towing ratings, but could handle something smaller without much issue.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:55 PM   #4
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,562
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Welcome, Brad, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Depending on the year, either of those vehicles could handle most fiberglass eggs in the 13'-16' range. For an extended trip like you plan, an onboard bathroom might be a plus- it would give you options to camp where there are no facilities. A 16' Scamp or Casita would be a good choice, and they're fairly plentiful in the used market at a variety of price points, depending on age and condition. Or if you prefer to go more basic, there are any number of 13' models, including Scamp, UHaul, Burro, Trillium, Boler, or Casita, that can accommodate two people without a bathroom.

Since you don't have a lot of time (and most older trailers will require some repair and rehab work), your best bet is to be flexible and see what comes up. If it's in good condition and fairly priced, you'll need to act quickly. Small fiberglass trailers sell quickly, and more so as spring approaches. Being in Michigan, don't hesitate to shop in Canada as well (provided you have a passport). With a few exceptions, importing a used travel trailer is fairly easy (more information here).

Here are some useful resources:
fiberglass-rv-4sale.com- a classified site for molded fiberglass trailers
Trailer Weights in the Real World- a database of what they really weigh (post #297 links to a spreadsheet of the data)
Buyer's Checklist- a guide to inspecting a used trailer
And, of course, the best resource of all: this site!

Best wishes!
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:59 PM   #5
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Name: Brad
Trailer: In the market
Michigan
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Thanks for the info, Jon! We kinda like the charm of the 13' models, but you're right...having a bathroom would be a plus, as we won't necessarily have a solid plan of where we'll be staying from day to day.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:45 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Agreed (the "cute" factor vis-a-vis the 13'ers). Another advantage of the larger trailer is more floor space for your canine friend. But you can certainly make a 13'er work- others have before you. Most have at least a storage compartment for a porta-potty.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:48 AM   #7
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Name: Tom and Stephanie
Trailer: Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe
Wisconsin
Posts: 75
We're an "older" couple with a dog (55 lbs) and we're buying a Casita Freedom Deluxe that we will pull with our 2005 Toyota Tundra.

At the much smaller end, about 50% of the weight of our Casita are the Teardrop Trailers. We saw the Vistabule model (made in St. Paul, MN) and were impressed with it's quality and size for such a small trailer. Go to Vistabule Teardrop Trailers to see the product and cost.

Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:03 AM   #8
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Name: Mary
Trailer: Escape 21; (formerly Casita LD 17 & 16)
Texas
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Casita still makes their 13' (Patriot) with a bath (DLX = bath, on a Casita).

Patriot Deluxe 13.

Notice the "double" bed is only 46" wide, though.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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Name: Lyle
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Save yourself some hassle. Make sure whatever tow vehicle you find already has a tow package, including the seven prong connection.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:23 AM   #10
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Name: Brad
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Great idea...wouldn't have thought about it!
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:33 AM   #11
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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Sounds like you are about to begin a great adventure. If you are new to RV camping you have a lot to learn. Since I am assuming you are a "newbe" your first mission is to select something that will work for you. Space in a RV is always an issue...the layout and facilities are very important. A nice bathroom will please your wife...don't do without one! Since your first trip will be an extended adventure I see myself in your first trip. Back in 1983 I bought my first RV from an excellent dealer. His guidance was invaluable and without it our first trip covering about 15 States and most of the National Parks would have been a disaster. It was one of the best adventures in my life.
I still use the check lists and procedures he supplied. His guidance as to the size and layout of the unit insured our success. Our trip with my wife, 2 children and a dog amazes me to this day. I hope your adventure goes as well.

I will not tell you what type of RV to buy. I will not PUSH any type or brand.
I will strongly suggest you attend an RV Show (it is RV show season right now).
Look at all types....note the layouts and picture trying to live in each with all your stuff and dog for an extended period of time in all weather conditions.
Think about it ! ask a lot of questions...you are new to this...the time to learn is before you are out there on the road...lots to learn...so little time.

All the advise you get here and on other RV sites will be good but everyone tends to push what they like and perhaps not what you need.
I have been traveling throughout America and Canada for well over 30 years.
I learn something new everyday.

Welcome to the world of RV Camping and travel....you will meet a lot of great people who will always be willing to help and offer advise....listen and enjoy!

Now my 2 cents worth of advise: Do not buy the Wrangler...it has a bad track record....the Toyata 4Runner will tow 5,000 lbs and is very very reliable....check consumers report for confirmation of that statement. I tow with a Toyata FJ Landcruiser...same drive train as the 4 Runner...be sure you have a trans cooler....get the factory tow package it includes what you will need.

Happy Camping !
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:39 AM   #12
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Name: Karen & Don
Trailer: 2012 Scamp 13Ft
Maine
Posts: 65
Don and I travel in a 13' Scamp with a bath and have no trouble at all. We also have a 120 lb. dog that sleeps under the bed. We do have the advantage of liking to sleep close. At home, we use a double bed. We started out with a queen but found we only used half of it and we have shared a twin. I was concerned about length (he's 6'2") but he said he never sleeps stretched out. The scamp is tall enough for him to walk in (we don't use air conditioning) and we are not big people. Also, we don't live inside the trailer. We cook in there but we have an easy to assemble screen house we use as a dining room for stays over a day and we also use picnic tables when available. I guess it depends how much you want to rough it. As I got older, my physical therapist told me I had to stop sleeping on the ground so this is perfect for us.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:50 AM   #13
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Name: Tap
Trailer: 2015 17' Casita SD
Florida
Posts: 89
The most important things you need are easy towing and a comfy bed. Anything else you can deal with. Good gas mileage is sweet too.

I tow a 17' Casita with a 2006 4Runner and it is a dream. Don't even know it is back there. The 4Runner has a 5,000 lb tow limit.
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:02 AM   #14
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
Tennessee
Posts: 1,443
At the shoulders where it counts, our 13' Scamp is only 44"!! It's too narrow to enjoy camping long term in our opinion. But Scamp DOES make a 13' with a 54" bed option now!! I would greatly consider it if I were reordering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary F View Post
Casita still makes their 13' (Patriot) with a bath (DLX = bath, on a Casita).

Patriot Deluxe 13.

Notice the "double" bed is only 46" wide, though.
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