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Old 03-03-2015, 10:49 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Dana
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
Posts: 8
New to site, first post

Hi all,

I have been lurking fibreglass RV sites for several years. Mostly out of unrealistic desires, as we lived in a condo and could not store a trailer.

However, things have changed, and now I have a big old driveway!

We are a small 3 person family that likes to keep things simple. Prior to kiddo arriving, husband and I were pretty adventurous travellers and campers with very very low needs. (20 year old Subaru and a 4 season tent and really good down jackets ;-)

We have a much newer vehicle but it has a max towing capacity of 2000lbs and we have no desire to upgrade and lose fuel efficiency for the few times a year we'd be towing.

So my search is limited. I need light weight!

And there lies the confusion.....the original specs on the boler and lil Bigfoot are both sub 1000lbs, yet I see MUCH heavier weights listed. Upward of 1800lbs- which is what the 17" go at....

While I understand people customize I am confused as to how you could double the stock weight, and have minimal upgrades as per what is listed in the ads. What am I missing?

My wish list: sub 1000lbs, sink, stovetop, furnace, sleeps 3.

No A/C, shower/toilet, TV, microwave needed.

Suggestions welcomed. I love the cadets, but they are so rare...and I worry about replacement parts with only 100 or so units floating around Canada.


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Old 03-03-2015, 11:50 AM   #2
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Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
I'm guessing, like many Subaru owners, that you current TV is also a Subaru, but that 2000 lb. towing limit may also have the be paired with the maximum allowable hitch weight. Be sure to check both numbers.

And now, to answer some q's you actually asked:

1. Ferget "sub 1000 lbs." To my knowledge such as animal doesn't exist in the FGRV world, short of the few molded fiberglass teardrops.

2. Mfg's "original" weight figure is usually for a bare bones unit with nothing inside, no refrigerator, no water, no options...period. You are much better off looking at the chart for weights in the real world in the General Chat forum.

3. About the lightest out there are the Hunter Compacts, the Campster and a Canadian knock-off, who's name escapes me right now. All have pop-up roof sections and are, basically, sparse inside to begin with. However "Sleeps Three" can be a problem. Here is a link to both my Hunter and a Lil BigFoot I have owned, look in the library listing section.

4. My Hunter is over 40 years old and "Spare Parts" are never a problem. Almost everything in a Cadet can be repaired/replaced with locally available parts with, MAYBE, the exception of suspension & wheel bearing parts and Cadet owners can chime in on that issue.

5. If you are anywhere near Summerland - Kamloops, there was a used Lil' BigFoot at a dealership on the east side of 97, clearly visible from the Highway, along that route. A phone search should help locate it.

Good luck in your search.

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Old 03-03-2015, 11:51 AM   #3
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Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,567
Welcome, Dana!

The original ad specs were "dry weights," which don't include any options, fluids, gear, etc. Pretty much an empty shell, in other words, since most of the appliances were optional. Scamp now lists the dry weight of its 13'er at 1250 pounds, quite a bit higher that the old 950 pound figure I have seen for some vintage models. The new Scamp is a few inches taller, the frame may be a bit heavier in some areas, the OSB subfloor a little heavier… things like that may account for part of the difference. Hard to say about the rest… greater accountability in advertising in the digital age…???

Still, with a 2000 pound towing capacity, you should be able to find something that will work. I'd focus on older, lightly-optioned units, as you already seem to be doing. Weight is not the only variable that affects towing performance; frontal area is another, so if you think the three of you could manage in a single large bed, a Hunter Compact Jr. might be one to look for. Tent trailers are another option. With a smaller tow vehicle, though, one upgrade you won't want to forego is electric brakes on the trailer.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:54 AM   #4
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papa-t's Avatar
Name: Ted
Trailer: (Dark side)Coachman
Glade Valley, North Carolina
Posts: 967
Dana welcome to FGRV. I know that 13' Scamps are approximate weight 1200-1500. According to Scamp. Maybe someone else will chime in soon. Good luck with the search.
“I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends would respect me. The others can do whatever the Hell they please!” —John Wayne
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:55 PM   #5
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LeonardS's Avatar
Name: Leonard
Trailer: not yet
Posts: 150
Not quite sure what to make of these:

Weis Craft Trailers - Little Joe Trailer Floor Plan and Specifications

Your self description of being minimalist seems to coincide with the features. I've personally haven't seen one.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:04 PM   #6
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rbryan's Avatar
Name: Robert
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Past Tents" 2015 F150 Lariat Ecoboost Crew Cab
Posts: 340
Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
Not quite sure what to make of these:

Weis Craft Trailers - Little Joe Trailer Floor Plan and Specifications

Your self description of being minimalist seems to coincide with the features. I've personally haven't seen one.
A few FGRV members have one, and I've seen them bought and sold here as well:

Fiberglass RV - Little Joe Trailers

Sounds right up the OP's alley, except it sleeps 2 not 3. I guess you could figure out a way to rig a gaucho bunk?
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
If you have been reading for a couple of years, you already know my recommendation. A Trillium 4500. For your purposes, a front dinette would be perfect. It sleeps 3. I assume no more kiddos are planned?

As desired, no A/C, shower/toilet, TV, or microwave.

The 4500's were originally manufactured with a 2000lb axle, and a 1 - 7/8" ball. I see on the first page of the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread on line 24 a 4500 is listed as 1974 lbs for total weight. There is also a Trillium 1300 listed as 1840 lbs. But, I'd go with a 4500.
What I like about a Trillium 4500 vs. a 1300

For some pictures of 4500's, see this list:
Serial numbers on a Trillium
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:28 PM   #8
Junior Member
Name: Dana
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
Posts: 8
Towing and weights

Wow. Many thanks to all!

And especially to Frederick! So helpful.

Bob, when you say to be sure to check both tow and hitch weights, is my understanding correct that the max tow capacity will have to include the hitch max weight as well? So hitch, trailer and tongue all must come in under 2000lb?

We loved our Suby, but went with a cx5 ...those new Subarus are expensive!
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:37 PM   #9
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Name: Dana
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
Posts: 8
Thanks Dave! I will check these out!
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:02 PM   #10
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David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
What Bob is referring to is that there is a limit for total weight, but also a limit for tongue weight. Typically it is considered prudent to have your tongue weight at about 10% of your total weight. 2000 lb trailer should have 200 lbs on the tongue.

Many Subaru's have a lower then 10% limit on tongue weight as compared to their total weight limit.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:45 PM   #11
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WildBirder's Avatar
Name: Mark
Trailer: 1969 Boler (Flat Top)
British Columbia
Posts: 529
Welcome to the Forum Dana. You're getting lots of good advice. I'd recommend you check your local bylaws and see if an RV is allowed in the drive way. Many municipalities have restrictions.
Being in BC you're likely to see a lot more Bolers than anything else for sale. These should easily come in at under 2000 lb. they also meet the rest of your needs. Being an x-tenter and light weight camper I kept all my gear the same and kept my trailer weight down. Forgo the cast iron cook set etc. With a low tow limit I recommend putting trailer breaks on your wish list.

Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
1969 Boler
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:25 PM   #12
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Roger C H's Avatar
Name: Roger
Trailer: 2009 Trillium 1300 "Homelet"/2014 Subaru Outback "Rosie"
Posts: 2,155
Smile The 1840# Trillium is ours

We bought our Trillium when we had our 2000 Subaru which had a 2000# limit.

Frederick weighed us at Quartzsite with Homelet carrying stuff for a two month trip for two adults..

We also come from the tenting world.

We now tow our Trillium with a 2014 Subaru with a 2700# rating.

Both Subarus pulled/pull Homelet just fine.

The only problem I see with a 13' trailer is the bathroom question. I suppose a privacy curtain could be rigged around the porta potti for when the parent of the opposite sex uses it.

While tenting, we used an old diaper pail before buying a porta-potti which we then had to buy another because our original was too large for the storage space in Homelet.

I got claustrophobia trying to sleep behind the wife in the 'large' bed. Then there is the climbing over the other person to use the porta potti. If you are of smaller stature, or younger, this may not be such a big problem. Besides, the child could sleep with an adult parent.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck on finding your egg.
A charter member of the Buffalo Plaid Brigade!

Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:16 AM   #13
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honda03842's Avatar
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,078
A primary weakness of Fiberglass forum is the lack of information on tow vehicles that members actually use (or used) to tow their trailers.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:26 AM   #14
Senior Member
Name: Bizzian
Trailer: 13 ft Boler 1986
Posts: 421
You are right Norm, so here is our contribution. We tow our 1986 boler 13' with our 2007 Subaru Forester. The boler has the fridge and stove, no bathroom, no microwave (we too are Ex-tenters!) and it's been from one side of Canada to the other - just a few hills on those trips - with no problems. We added a dinette at the front which still converts to either a couch or bunk beds and we leave the big (ha ha ha ha ha) bed down. We have a pull-out extention underneath, effectively turning the bed into a Queen size long ways. We keep our packing as light as possible. Works for us. We see a lot of small SUV's like the Forester at rallys pulling the small boler so it would not appear to be a problem.

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