New Member Seeks Advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-16-2015, 11:27 AM   #1
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Name: Bill
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New Member Seeks Advice

My wife and I are retired and are looking to purchase our first trailer. The 16/17 egg types seem to fit our requirements. However, since we are completely unfamiliar with travel trailers and trailer life, we are open to other suggestions and would appreciate the advice of experienced users.

1) Intended destinations: Oregon high desert and mountains, mostly at undeveloped campsites for 1-2 weeks at a time. Roads will run from pavement to unimproved and sporadically maintained. Presumably high clearance and tough tires would be advisable.
2) Tow rig: 2014 Toyota 4 Runner SR5 V6
3) Mandatory requirements: Toilet and shower. (This is the only way I can get my wife to come along, but I wont mind either.)
4) Preferences: Refrigerator preferably larger than 1.9 cu ft; microwave; double bed (we dont feel a need to leave it up during the day); heater; AC; solar panels; conventional oven; bike rack capability.
5) Durable, low maintenance and easily cleaned.

We are accustomed to tent camping but have reached a point in life where for longer periods wed like some extra comfort. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:39 PM   #2
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It appears that your Toyota has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs (but check your manual) meaning that most 16' & 17' trailers are good to go for you. There is a listing of Real World trailer weights in the General Chat forum you might want to look over.


While there is a 13' Scamp built with a bathroom and shower options they are few and far between with both options and, FWIW, we sold ours after the first season with it because a 13' with a permanent bathroom is very cramped..... at least for the two of us.


That said, I would look into a 17' BigFoot as they are well built, many have hot water and a shower, have a great floor plan and there is one for sale in B.C right now for about $5000 (See our For Sale Ads)


Because it's over 25 y.o. it comes across the border without problem. There is another newer one that has had a lot of work done on it for $9000, already in the states, but it does not have the shower or hot water option.


Fair Warning, the later 17.5' Bigfoot looks similar, but is much heavier and is more $$$$


Other than those, the choice is yours to make with the usual warnings about sagging axles and inspections etc. etc..... It might be a good idea to attend one of our rallies to get a better look at a wider range of FGRV's.


BTW: I may be in Chelan next month, are you near there?????
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:11 PM   #3
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The conventional oven is the stickler. They don't seem to be very common in the molded fiberglass realm but there are exceptions and work-arounds if not offered by the manufacturer.

In addition to the bigfoot mentioned, I would suggest you research the 17' Casitas with high lift axle option and, since your in Washington state, Escape in BC makes a very nice trailer.

Good luck on your search.

Randy
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:30 PM   #4
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Thank you for such informative replies. I am not familiar with the Escape and will look at it further.

I have been researching the Casita 17' option, which looks promising though the interior height is a concern. But that will be the case with many. The Scamp apparently does not offer a high lift axle or 15" wheels.

Regarding Lake Chelan, that is beautiful country but I shall be in Spain. We are taking an extended trip (8 mons) in Italy and Spain and are hoping to acquire a trailer shortly after we return at the end of April. Hence the questions.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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Check out the Escape Forum ( sister site to FGRV ) Escape Trailer Owners Community
On the right side of the main page is a Escape Trailers ad that links to their site.
The wait list is long, but trailers do come up for sale from time to time.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:04 PM   #6
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I guess we should have asked the o.p. to post a budget range for their first FGRV. I tend to suggest buying used to newbies so they can figure out what they really want, before taking the big bite on a new one.


And depreciation on used trailers is usually about nada if you buy in the winter and sell in the summer.....
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:20 PM   #7
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To add to the above:..... The phrase "to acquire a trailer shortly after we return at the end of April", usually isn't often in the vocabulary of those looking for an FGRV. I suspect that few, if any, of the manufacturers can quote a delivery date anything less than 3 months in advance right now.


It might be good to find a friend in the Seattle area that is willing to do some searching and finding for you before you get back. I still do this for Aussies and Kiwi's that are coming to the states for extended vacations, but that is limited to SoCal and also to motorhomes. .


But be aware, good buys on decent used trailers are usually snapped up in the NW within hours, and seldom last days, especially in spring when demand and prices start back up again.


BTW: How did you get around the Schengen visa 6 month rule?
How to (Legally) Stay in Europe for More Than 90 Days | Nomadic Matt's Travel Site
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post

BTW: How did you get around the Schengen visa 6 month rule?
How to (Legally) Stay in Europe for More Than 90 Days | Nomadic Matt's Travel Site
You can get a longer term visa for Italy just have to promise not to work & prove you can afford it. Have a girl friend heading there for 6 months and she had no problems obtaining an extended visa.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:44 AM   #9
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Please do not limit your search to molded fiberglass units. There are plenty of travel trailers out there and you should attend RV Shows and view all the fantastic variety available. Let your wife key in on what she likes or your camping adventures will be short lived.

Members of this board are reluctant to discuss anything other than molded fiberglass units. See all there is out there before you buy.

Your current tow vehicle will handle 5,000 lbs maximum...but reduce that by 10% for safety....add a transmission cooler if your truck does not have one. And a trailer brake controler. Get the trans-cooler at a transmission shop.
I own an FJ LandCruiser with the same drive-train and it will do an excellent job.
When you are looking at RV travel trailers always ask the weight first.
Picture yourself living in the unit you are considering for several days...if it seems too small don't buy it....if it seems like it might be a bit too big then it may be just right....travel trailers seem to shrink the longer you stay in them.
I have been camping in RV travel trailers since about 1985 and find the smaller the unit the less my enjoyment of the camping experience.

Ask a lot of questions and enjoy the search.

Happy Camping.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:23 AM   #10
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Actually, we find that we enjoy travel and camping more and more as we reduced the size of our RV's, and I come from full timing in a Airstream for a year (1978-9) and piloting around a fairly large Class "A" for a number of miserable trips in the early 90's. We are happy in our 13' Hunter, but a early 17' BigFoot could be tempting.


BTW: Sales reps and mfg's "Weight" figures will always be dry weight of a basic unit, without options, add at least 50% for an accurate over the road weight.


And there is IRV2.com, for those interested in other sizes/builds.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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Uplander's idea of cruising the RV shows is a good one especially this time of year when there are many in most cities. It is the best way to get a feel for what may fit your needs. Layouts, size, designs are all things to consider.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Uplander's idea of cruising the RV shows is a good one especially this time of year when there are many in most cities. It is the best way to get a feel for what may fit your needs. Layouts, size, designs are all things to consider.
Only problem with that is if the OP is in fact interested in an moulded fiberglass trailer which is what this particular forum is about & why we don't discuss other types of trailers all that often is they will not find to many if any brands of fiberglass trailers at an RV show - if any at all. Most manufactures other than Bigfoot and Sidekick (Trillium) don't use dealers to sell, they sell directly to the customer and they don't often put their trailers in an RV show. Or that is at least the case in my area although we have 2 big shows a year and couple of very popular fiberglass trailer manufactures in the area you just don't see their rigs at those shows very often - think I saw one once.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:32 AM   #13
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If the OP wants to see a number of different makes and models of fiberglass trailers they should consider going to a fiberglass Rally and see them first hand - Here is the map for the ones in 2015 announced so far.

There is one planned at Maryhill State Park in Washington but its not until May. On April 23-26 there is one being held at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon - depending on where the OP is in Washington it may not be to far of a drive and well worth their time to go. They will see several different models of Escapes there as well.
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:40 PM   #14
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I object to paying an entrance fee and for parking to look at stuff that people are trying to sell me. Went to one RV show once and found it largely a waste of time, unless you are in the market for a $200,000 ( and up ) motorhome.
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