New to Group - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
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Name: Leslie
Trailer: Alto R1723
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Hi,

I'm new to the group though I have gained a wealth of knowledge by reading many previous threads on the site. Thank you!

It has been a dream of mine for a while to take some cross-country road trips with my family. My husband and I have an 8 year old daughter and we're hoping to accomplish this before she becomes a teenager and has other ideas of how to spend a big chunk of her summer break.

We are currently in the market for a small travel trailer--though the jury is still out on which kind we'd like. Our driveway space and tow vehicle dictate that it will be 16 feet or under and we'd like it to be able to sleep 4 so our daughter can bring a friend along on occasion.

Thanks for contributing to such an informative site!

Leslie
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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If everybody is real friendly with everybody and you will be staying at campgrounds that provide for your restroom and shower facilities, you can get by with a 13 footer like a Burro, Casita, etc. This will involve using the bunk bed arrangement in front for the "little people." OTOH, by the time you get up to a 16 footer, you have a lot more flexibility and can even include an efficiency-type shower and toilet arrangement. I use a 13 footer but I am by myself and leave the bed set up in back and am building a sort of deluxe 2-person dinette for the front. I don't tow that far or that often, but the size would be a big consideration in that regard as well... I notice a big difference in the gas mileage of my tow with and without the 13 footer, so I am certain that nearly doubling the weight would be significant.

Froggie
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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Name: Leslie
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North Carolina
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Thanks for the perspective Froggie!
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:03 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Hi Leslie, and welcome to the group.

I have some long time friends out on Haw Creek Rd that I visit when I am out your way.

About your quest. A 13' Egg is a good starter but, in most, the 3rd & 4th sleeping places are fairly narrow bunk beds in front and usually limited to less than 80 lbs.

There are some 16's and lot of 17's with front or side dinettes that make into more regular beds for the kids.

I suggest you go to the General Discussions forum and look at the thread "Real world trailer weight's" or something like that, so you can get an idea of actual weights.

Now, feed us some more info and you will get more targeted suggestions of what might and what might not work for you. For starters

What condition do you want. Can you do any repairs yourself or do you require turn-key condition?
Is age any consideration? My own Hunter is now 40 y.o. and is great!
What will you be towing with?
And what kind of budget do you want to stay within....

Good Luck and ask lots of questions.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:55 PM   #5
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Name: Leslie
Trailer: Alto R1723
North Carolina
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Thanks Bob! We drive a 2006 Honda Odyssey and will be adding the towing package so we can safely tow a small trailer. We are not mechanically inclined so we are looking for something new or fairly new.

My first choice is a new trailer on the scene moulded from old VW buses called the dub-box. (See Dub-Box USA.) I've long been a fan of VW buses but wary of the mechanical issues of owning an older vehicle. I love the style of it and the large bed. They are willing to add another bed of the same size below the pop-top which would accommodate our family and leave room for my daughter to bring a friend.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Welcome Leslie. North Carolina here too. Good luck on the search. Once she hit's the teenage years; camping is no longer the cool. Been there done that.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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I have a friend of a friend here in SoCal that has a business renting out VW Camper Vans. Funny thing is that they have lots of enthusiastic customers, but almost no repeat customers. I have one for 2 years and, as a 20 something back-packer it was fine, but no-mo.

That said, with a starting price of almost $20,000, personally I would suggest that you find a way to try one before you buy one. But that's your personal choice.

But there are a lot of choices out there and my personal approach to a new experience would be to buy a used rig that's a few years old to use for a while and find out what you really want/need. The best part is, if bought smart, you can usually get 100% of your purchase price back when you resell.

But, if you want the retro look, opt for something like my 1973 Hunter Compact-II, it's certainly contemporary to VW busses. Here's some pics.
Hunter Compact II Photos by advocateone | Photobucket
Feel free to browse the other small RV's in the album.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Trailer: Alto R1723
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Thanks Papa-T!

Bob, thanks for sharing the pics of your camper. Very cool! I would love to find an older gem and re-do it, but sadly don't have the skills or time to invest in it. Your camper has a lot of cool updates!

Thanks also for the advice. The dub-box is a pretty comparable size to a lot of the other small FG trailers. There are definitely some pluses and minuses to it, but there are lots of finishing choices which really appeals to me. I'll let y'all know what we end up doing.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:49 PM   #9
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Are you able to standup in the VW like trailer? Located in NC I would suggest that you take a drive to the Parkliner factory. It's 15', and you can arrange the floor plan (table up/down, couch/bed/ bunk beds. It has a very large shower/toilet area and lots of storage. I think of it as the "swiss army knife" of trailers. If we still had children we would have ordered one, but I prefer the couch and layout of the Lil Snoozy built in SC.
When we did have children traveling/camping with us we had the 13' Scamp standard, and after they were gone we had a 13' Deluxe (no bathroom).
Loved both, and I hope we'll feel the same with our new Lil Snoozy (picking it up July 1st).
Good Luck
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by David B. View Post
Are you able to standup in the VW like trailer? Located in NC I would suggest that you take a drive to the Parkliner factory....
Good Luck
Dave & Paula
Thanks Dave!

The roof of the Dub Box pops up to 6'5" ceiling height which is more than enough height for my family.

The Parkliner does have some nice options too. I'm not sure we need that much trailer, but it is definitely worth considering. I'll check it out.

The Lil Snoozy is a cool design. Are you driving to pick it up?

Thanks,
Leslie
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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You're in NC; I also suggest you check out the ParkLiner. They're manufactured in Gibsonville. Interior height of 6' 4 or 5", can sleep 3 easy, has furnace, AC, dinette, shower, toilet. Dry weight of 2100#s. ParkLiner Fiberglass Ultralight Travel Trailers - – Take me somewhere fun! ™

Frank
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:25 PM   #12
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Name: Leslie
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Thanks for the recommendation Frank!
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:05 PM   #13
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Hi Leslie.

First, thanks for mentioning the Dub-Box. I hadn't seen one of those before, and it's a really cool-looking retro take on the fiberglass trailer. If you get one, I'll actually be kinda jealous!

The most important thing when considering a trailer is to actually, physically, get to see one. I know many people -- myself included -- have browsed the Internet, looked at trailer designs and floor plans, and come to conclusions about what they like, want, and need to be happy in their home-away from home.

Then they get a chance to sit, stand, and move around in the trailer of their dreams, and they (and I) find out they had it all wrong. You have to actually visit the trailers you're thinking about, sit in them, move around in them, look out the windows, think where your stuff would go, even lie down in the beds (if the current owner is OK with that) to understand whether Trailer-X is the trailer for you.

I can see how the Dub-Box cold be one of those choices that could go seriously wrong, too. All those windows look cool and the concept is great, but how will it actually feel when you're standing up in the trailer and all those windows are level with your elbows, not your eyes? What about storage? Those are questions you really need to be inside the trailer to answer.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:31 PM   #14
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That Dub-box trailer is one cool trailer. It may not be for everyone, but its got the vintage factor going for it. And I love that. Thanks for the link Leslie.
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