New to all this and appreciate advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2014, 09:22 AM   #1
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Name: Susan
Trailer: 1975 Boler 13'
Prince Edward Island
Posts: 10
New to all this and appreciate advice

Hi I am Susan, I live in eastern Canada and my husband and I are hoping to buy an older 13' Scamp, Boler or uhaul travel trailer to tow behind our 1963 Ford F100 truck. Any information on which would be a good fit and how to find one within a reasonable driving distance would be greatly appreciated. My husband believes that he could pull a trailer this size with his 1965 Ford Falcon convertable too , your thoughts on this would be interesting !!!!

Is there somewhere I can find the pro's and con's of each make and model ?

Thank you
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:24 AM   #2
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Welcome, Susan!

Bolers and Scamps are very similar. Bolers were Canadian-made, but have been out of production for many years. Used ones, ranging from custom restorations to just-about-dead, seem to be very common across Canada. Scamps are US-made and still being manufactured in northern Minnesota. My understanding is that Scamp started out as an American unit of Boler (thus using the exact same fiberglass molds), and continued on its own after Boler folded (more or less, that's the abbreviated version). Scamp now makes several models, but the 13'er, derived from the Boler, is still the most popular.

Their construction is very similar. Both are single wall construction consisting of two pieces of molded fiberglass (upper and lower) joined horizontally around the middle (the "belly band"). A layer of insulation is glued to the inside of the shell (older ones, both Boler and Scamp, used closed-cell foam with a vinyl skin). Inside furniture and cabinets are made of separate pieces of molded fiberglass and riveted to the outer shell. The floor is wood. Shell and floor are attached to a dropped-floor frame. Older Scamps used the same exterior shell molds as he Bolers, with a few differences in windows, hardware, etc. The simplicity of their design and construction makes them great candidates for restoration and customization.

I don't know as much about U-Hauls, but their construction is very different. They use a double wall construction, with an outer shell and inner shell and insulation in between. They are molded in left and right halves joined from front to back across the top. All the cabinets and furniture are molded into the inside shell (so no rivets). I believe (not sure) the floor is fiberglass as well. U-Hauls were designed for the rental market, so the frame is a bit heavier duty. To discourage theft, some parts are unique to U-Hauls and hard to find today. Burro is another make that used the same double wall construction method. Like Boler and U-Haul, they are no longer making trailers, but you'll see used ones floating around.

I'll leave it for others more knowledgable to advise you about using the Falcon to tow with (I'd be concerned about braking most). If it works, it sure sounds like road trip material!
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:31 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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The original 70's advertising for the 13' Hunter Compact-II shows it being towed by Pinto and a Vega, but I wouldn't recommend that unless the now 40 year old TV was in "as new" condition, particularly in the area of steering, suspension and brakes. Some will post about either of the vehicles mentioned having enough horsepower, but it's really about being able to control direction of and about stopping that train.

Unfortunately, if you look on sites that support these vehicles some owners will swear that they can tow the Space Shuttle, but hereabouts there is a modicum more wisdom on the towing part, and a lot less on vintage TV's. In either case I would suspect either could tow, but only if in pristine condition.

BTW: I am descended from the Munn family on PEI (Mermaid), do you have any connections?
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:58 AM   #4
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Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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Have you considered Trilliums?
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
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Trailer: Trillium 1300 Nor'Easter Egg '06 Ranger Supercab 3.0L auto
Newfoundland
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As David says, the Trillium is worthy of consideration. My '74 is still in great shape, and they are being produced again by Trillium Outback in Alberta, which means parts are available. There are quite a few in Eastern Canada, since they were originally made in Ontario.

Here's a link to today's listings on the Nova Scotia Kijiji...none listed on PEI...
Trillium | Find Great Deals on Used and New Cars & Vehicles in Nova Scotia | Kijiji Classifieds

You can just search "trillium" on any of the Kijiji sites in Canada...

This site has tonnes of info on Trilliums...use the Search function in the top bar, and enter 'trillium' in the Custom Google Search box - the lower one. You can use Search to check out Bolers, Escapes, etc., too. FiberglassRV is a great site - the amount of knowledge here is amazing, and there are lots of folks who are most generous with their time, experience and advice. Any questions on the Trills, just ask - David, our resident Trillium guru, pretty well
knows what there is to know about the Trills...lol...
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
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Name: Susan
Trailer: 1975 Boler 13'
Prince Edward Island
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Welcome, Susan!

Bolers and Scamps are very similar. Bolers were Canadian-made, but have been out of production for many years. Used ones, ranging from custom restorations to just-about-dead, seem to be very common across Canada. Scamps are US-made and still being manufactured in northern Minnesota.
Thank you Jon for the welcome and the wealth of very helpful information, I am really glad I found this site. It would look great behind the Falcon but we will have to think about it a bit more but I am pretty sure the F100 will be fine, but first we have to find that trailer !
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:21 PM   #7
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Name: Susan
Trailer: 1975 Boler 13'
Prince Edward Island
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Bob I am of the same opinion, but to be fair my husband intended to update the suspension and brakes but sometimes I think the space shuttle quote might apply to him Luckily I have a F150 too so might just hold onto it a little longer.

Re PEI, there is a Munns Rd not far from here but I am less of an islander than you as I hail from Wales originally.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:27 PM   #8
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Name: Susan
Trailer: 1975 Boler 13'
Prince Edward Island
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David and Richard, I am just starting out on my search and the Trilliums just don't have the look I am wanting, I realise asthetics should not be at the top of the list but with the other makes also being reliable I am leaning towards the scamp or Bolers. Not in a hurry to make a decision so anything may happen.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Originally Posted by Susanfromtheisland View Post
Bob I am of the same opinion, but to be fair my husband intended to update the suspension and brakes but sometimes I think the space shuttle quote might apply to him Luckily I have a F150 too so might just hold onto it a little longer.

Re PEI, there is a Munns Rd not far from here but I am less of an islander than you as I hail from Wales originally.
Not to get to far off topic....
I'm hardly an Islander, just 1/4 Canadian. My maternal Grandmothers family (Donald Munn) left PEI twice, once in 1892 and, after returning in 1897, left again in 1904, both times for Washington state. His G'Father was Neil Munn who married into the PEI pioneer family, the MacLeods, in about 1830. If Munns Rd is anywhere near Mermaid, I'm sure it's of the family. The Mutch family married in later, and there still many of them on the Island. And, just to complicate things, much of my maternal Grandfather's family came from Wales... i.e., Evan David Evans, Llangeler, Carmarthenshire, Wales, 1833. and settled in Ohio.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:16 AM   #10
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Susan, since you asked about the pros and cons of the different vintage 13' FG trailers… here are some of my thoughts. Take them lightly, from someone who has only owned one FGRV for less than two years. But I have read a lot!

BOLER
Pros:
  • common in Canada
  • historic name & classic shape
  • single-wall construction & modular interior easy to repair/restore/customize
  • jalousie side windows
  • some parts interchangeable with Scamps
Cons:
  • not in production
  • no brakes, unless...
  • axle replacement requires some modification
  • front & rear windows don't open
  • no toilet or porta-potty spot
  • Bargman door hardware hard to find & expensive
  • rivets on exterior
SCAMP
Pros:
  • still in production, parts available
  • classic shape hasn't changed (much)
  • drop-floor frame extends under front sofa (porta-potty garage)
  • single-wall construction & modular interior easy to repair/restore/customize
  • rear window opens (starting early 80's?)
  • more headroom in post-2006 units
  • available with bathroom
  • available with wood interior
Cons:
  • less common in Canada
  • lacks historic name cachet
  • shipping expensive for parts
  • abandoned jalousie side windows (early 80's?)
  • front window doesn't open (& back window on early units)
  • most don't have brakes
  • rivets on exterior
U-HAUL
Pros:
  • rarity enhances historic value
  • sturdy construction for rental use
  • full molded fiberglass interior (no rivets)
  • all windows open (sliders)
Cons:
  • not in production
  • harder to find
  • few amenities in stock version
  • no brakes
  • proprietary components no longer available
    Double-wall construction:
  • more complex to repair
  • leaks hard to trace
  • interior not easily customizable
TRILLIUM
Pros:
  • common in Canada
  • historic name
  • shape provides more interior room
  • available in 15' version with larger bed
  • full jalousie windows on all four sides (biggie!)
  • interior components bonded (no rivets)
  • full fiberglass "bathtub" floor
Cons:
  • lacks classic egg shape
  • bonded interior harder to customize
  • limited parts availability
That's what I know or have gleaned from reading this amazing board. Others may offer corrections, additions, or simply disagree with my classifications (one person's pro can be another person's con). Best luck in your search for your trailer!
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:32 AM   #11
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Trailer: 1985 Uhaul CT
Texas
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Front window in Uhauls do not open


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Old 08-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #12
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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That's a good list of things to consider, but, IMHO: it's 90% personal choice in selected which FGRV is right for someone, rather than a checklist of pros and cons.

Actually Scamps have a "Step-Up" frame under the rear dinette that makes it a pain to get in and out of the dinette and reduces storage under the bed when it's in use.

We had a 13' Scamp and I didn't see the rivets being through the hull to be any problem at all. In fact it made it that much easier to install a few extras for added strength and projects.

And, you missed the Lil' Bigfoot, which is almost a clone of the 13' Boler/Scamp family, but with a better quality build.

I don't think that there are any FGRV's that have any significant "Rarity" or "Historic" value. At least not much that anyone would pay for...
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:07 PM   #13
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
SCAMP
Pros:
  • drop-floor frame extends under front sofa (porta-potty garage)

Others may offer corrections, additions, or simply disagree...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Actually Scamps have a "Step-Up" frame under the rear dinette that makes it a pain to get in and out of the dinette and reduces storage under the bed when it's in use.
It's a kind of point-of-view perspective thing. Jon and Bob are both correct...

From the inside, it looks like the floor steps up under the rear dinette, and the assumption is that the area between the kitchen, closet, and front gaucho/bunks is the main level, because that is the level that the entry door is on.
However, it is a very clever engineering trompe l'oeil. If you look under the trailer from the outside, you see that the main floor level is around the perimeter of the frame: The rear dinette, the inside of the kitchen base cabinet, the inside of the closet, and across the front under the gaucho/bunks (in the original Boler design) is the frame level. The center of the floor forward of the axle, plus a side extension to the entry door, is lowered closer to the ground. If you actually study the front profile (of the Boler) trailer, it looks off-kilter as the body has to extend lower only in the curbside front corner, to cover up this difference. This accomplishes:
  • a lower overall exterior height with...
  • a higher interior ceiling height and...
  • a comfortable step-in floor height
Boler improved on this design (which Scamp copied) by adding another lowered floor extension to the center of the front, creating a cupboard at floor level for the porta-potty storage. THEN enterprising owners modified the front gaucho/bunks into a small dinette, using this cupboard space as a foot-well between side-facing seats, allowing the rear dinette to be left in the bed configuration.

Casita further modified the original design to incorporate a full bottom "bathtub" shell. They kept the rear dinette floor step-up (WHY??) and made all of the floor in front at the same level.

Studying pictures of frame-off restorations show these differences.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:18 PM   #14
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Susan, again,, welcome to the site!!
IMHO, both of your Fords will handle the towing of most glass eggs. Ones with little to no washroom facilities tend to be lighter and therefore easier to tow. I'd LOVE to see more pictures of both of your what the Falcon's going on here and your F one hunnerd!!!!
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