New Member from Ohio/North Carolina/Alaska - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2015, 03:42 AM   #1
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Name: dawna
Trailer: U-Haul
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New Member from Ohio/North Carolina/Alaska

Hello!

I am a geologist currently working a rotational job (2 weeks on, 2 weeks off) in Northern Alaska. On days off, I live in North Carolina but travel back to my home state of Ohio fairly often.

After an RV adventure to Denali National Park three weeks ago, I've decided to invest in a 13' travel trailer and venture out west to explore more parks with my dog, Pie (well, wherever I can bring her, actually). I instantly fell in love with the molded fiberglass RVs and the communities that adore them so much; right now I'm interested in 13' Scamps, Casitas, Trilliums, Uhauls and Burros (although I'm certainly open to other brands too). Bathroom/ showers aren't important as I'd like to keep the weight down (I'm hauling it with an AWD 2013 Mazda CX-5). I do like the option of a 3 way fridge as well as an AC unit in case I have to leave my dog behind for a few hours at a time. I have a lot of talented friends capable of helping with repairs and minor restorations if need be. Ideally though, I'd like to spend more of my time traveling, not fixing.

That's all I have so far! I look forward to stalking your forums and asking your advice about every little thing.

Dawna R.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:23 AM   #2
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New Member from Ohio/North Carolina/Alaska

Welcome to the forum, Dawna!

I have a good friend who follows a similar jet-setting schedule. He works about 10 days at a time as an ER doc here in AZ at the local Indian Health Service unit, and flies back to his home in VA between rotations.

Your plan to tour the West with a small egg sounds exciting. The trailer you have described will likely weigh 1500-1800 pounds loaded. You'll want to make sure your CX5 is rated for at least 2000 pounds.

Two things to be aware of as you look for a trailer. First, most vintage 13'ers (and some newer units as well) are not built to support an RV-type roof AC unit. Some people add a small portable unit through a window (must be removed for travel in most cases) or permanently installed in a cabinet (takes some skill to do it right). Second, electric brakes on the trailer are likely required with your CX5. Many vintage 13'ers lack them. Adding them sometimes requires installing a new axle.

Best wishes in your "egg hunt"!
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:19 AM   #3
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Name: dawna
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Thank you so much, Jon!

My Mazda has a 2000 lb tow capacity. I'm looking into tow packages now and will hopefully have something set up next days off. Thanks for AC info too- I hadn't thought of the cabinet option.

I'm sure I'll have more questions when the hitch receiver is installed and the shopping begins.

Thanks again!

Dawna
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:38 AM   #4
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Welcome to the group Dawna. Many answers can be had here.....just ask away .
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:25 AM   #5
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Good day Dawna. It is easy to get the luv for the small eggs. I'm liking your TV choice with the Mazda CX. I had a 626 years ago and the handling and drive was very precise. I also support the idea of a trailer with brakes. Be sure it is set up right with an appropriate brake controller.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #6
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Dawna, when you install the tow wiring, make sure you set it up for a 7-pin connection, not a flat-4. That allows for a brake controller and a charging line for the trailer's battery.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:13 AM   #7
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don't know if you saw these or not but there are some 13" scamps for auction at Wright Patterson airforce base.
13" scamps
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:28 PM   #8
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Name: dawna
Trailer: U-Haul
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Wow, guys! Thanks for the input.

@MC1: I am a die hard Mazda fan. Its unfortunate the CX-5's only have a 2000# tow capacity but overall, I wouldn't trade her in for the world. I bought it for heavy travel before I got this crazy trailer idea and she hasn't let me down even once. I highly recommend them.

That being said, I was discussing hitch receivers with a co-worker today and I mentioned that the CX-5 has two options
1.) Sportframe 1 1/4" Rec - Max weight 2000 lbs
2.) Square Tube 2 inch, Max weight 3500 lbs

My immediate inclination is the second option - the 3500 lb Max weight. So was the coworkers. What do you guys think? Why is there a 3500 lbs option if the capacity is 2000 lbs?

I've also been advised to follow these steps:
1.) Buy the receiver and install it first.
2.) Wait until I find a trailer before buying anything else.
3.) Once purchased, figure out what type of ball mount is needed (the drop is dependent on the trailer).
4.) Purchase correct ball mount, hitch ball, pin & clip AND then the wiring harness.

@Jon - Thank you! I will be sure to get the 7 pin connector and NOT a flat 4. Is there any other spec for the wiring harness that is dependent upon the actual trailer? Or will this suffice for just about any brand I get?

5.) Set up electric brake system with brake controller.
6.) Ramble.

@ Dudley - I have been watching those Scamps like a hawk! What are your thoughts on sight unseen auctions like that? I've studied the pictures closely and have one picked out that I think looks in the best condition (my main problem with this is not being able to see what Midwest winters and salt have done to the undercarriage of that trailer). The idea that I'll make it to Wright Pat to check them out before the auction ends is slim to non. I don't know...I've seen where these trailers can go for super cheap at these government liquidation sales but I also feel sketchy not being able to check them out first.

Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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I agree that getting to see the trailer in person is preferable. Is there anyone that you know in the area that can have a look at them for you and maybe take pictures? Otherwise its a gamble and only you can decide on the wager and your comfort zone. I don't know the Scamp line at all, so not much help there. I did buy my Casita long distance (in North Dakota) but I could have walked away from it if I had to. Not the case with an auction but depending on the price I think there is enough people looking for the small trailers , that you could probably break even or make money if its not what you want.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawna View Post
Wow, guys! Thanks for the input.
That being said, I was discussing hitch receivers with a co-worker today and I mentioned that the CX-5 has two options
1.) Sportframe 1 1/4" Rec - Max weight 2000 lbs
2.) Square Tube 2 inch, Max weight 3500 lbs

My immediate inclination is the second option - the 3500 lb Max weight. So was the coworkers. What do you guys think? Why is there a 3500 lbs option if the capacity is 2000 lbs?
Thanks!
It is probable that the CX5 off shore is rated higher so the companies that build hitches, aware of that, offer compatible options. Anyway when it comes to hitches you can't do any harm in going with the heavy duty 2" option. There is only benefit for a small amount of extra dollars. It will also give you the option/benefit of using a WDH* in the future if you should decide to do so.

*weight distributing hitch
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:56 PM   #11
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Name: dawna
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Gotchya. I like benefit. Thanks, Wayne!
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:00 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
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Just a heads up, Just B/C you use a higher weight hitch receiver, does not increase the 2000# limit on your vehicle. If i read you right. good Luck, Carl
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:05 PM   #13
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Name: dawna
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@Carl, Yes, I've read quite a few stories preaching the dangers of overdoing the tow weight capacity. I was just curious as to why the higher hitch weight is even an option if the tow capability is a constant . But thank you for re-warning me. It's a boundary I could totally see myself trying to push
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:15 PM   #14
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I've seen hitches advertised for cars that are not even rated to tow. IMO, I'd go with my owners manual not the hitch rating.
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