New, with lots of questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2013, 06:28 AM   #1
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Name: Allison
Trailer: Researching
New York
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New, with lots of questions

Hi,
We're a family of four from Brooklyn. We have a 3 month old and a two year old. Due to various circumstances, we have the opportunity to travel the US and Canada for four months beginning this fall. We've been seriously considering purchasing a FRV and i was so happy to find this group. I've learned so much already from browsing oast threads. Thanks to all of you who post! I'm sure I'll have many questions that I'll be posting on various forums over the coming weeks, but I have a few pressing ones now.

1. Anyone know of someplace in the NY/NJ/CT/eastern PA area that rents small fiberglass trailers? We'd like to try out some sizes to figure out what works for us, but the smallest rentals I'm finding are 22" and they're not fiberglass. I had hoped to find a rally so we could see a bunch at the same time, but unfortunately I don't see anything in the NE this summer.

2. Does anyone know of young families like ours that spend a lot of time in a small trailer? I'd love to get some advice particular to very young kids. Or a blog?

Thanks in advance
Allison
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:10 AM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Almost impossible to find a rental, only ones that I've seen are those motor homes. Many families your size use a popup, but then you have the set up and take down issues, and the rule with a pop up is that it's certain to be raining when you have to fold it up. Would an Aliner type trailer work for you, we camped next to an older couple that had one, they liked it, and it opened and closed real easy. Some owners will let you go to their house to look at their camper, we've done that with our teardrop, a couple that wanted one and lived within an hour of us asked to come look at ours and we agreed. Fiberglass campers can usually be found at campgrounds individually, not just a rally, but you never know when. edit; we started with a popup around 1975 after both our parents had them, we still have the one we bought in 1978, plus the vintage teardrop and the Uhaul. We bought our daughter a used popup about 5 years ago, she has 3 kids. All 4 are stored here at our place, only 2 1/2 hours north of NYC, I can do a camper show for you.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:12 AM   #3
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Rallies Map https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=...4&source=embed
I would try for a 16 or 17 foot trailer.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2001 Spirit Deluxe 17" K5NAN
Texas
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From my own personal observations my family started out in 3 pop up campers because we couldnt afford others at the time. I had no issues with that being a starter induction camper. Yep we set up in the rain a few times but could do it in less than 4 minutes or so and yes taking down in the rain its a mess but in the summer time it wasnt to much of a big deal. So if you can find one to rent its great and they do come with showers and toilets albeit just a little diff on the shower usage. We lived both in NYC and New Jersey and if you drive several hours away its a whole new world north,west or south. Its light and pulls easy and I think you would have a blast. IMO. That would give you a chance to look around for an Egg and as you can tell the used ones are snapped up very quickly. Yep this is a great site. After 4 stick campers I wish I knew then what I know about FG units I would not have wasted my time with those others.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Scamp 13
Michigan
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Allison,

I have not seen any rentals like what you are requesting on the East Coast. We wanted to rent also, but then ended up purchasing one. I made sure to choose one that I thought I could sell for a similar price if we didn't like it. In fact, we kept our pop-up just in case we didn't like fiberglass. However, we used it a couple of times and love it.

We traveled and camped with our kids at that age. They are a little older now but we still enjoy going out for weeks at a time in our 13' Scamp. I am willing to share our experiences if you want to ask questions. Feel free to PM me or post questions here.

Whatever you choose to do, you have found a friendly group of helpful people here. I hope you enjoy your adventures as much as we have!
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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It would allow the group at FibreglassRV to help you focus your search for a trailer if you could let them/us know what your plans are for a tow vehicle. Depending on what you are using to tow with, the range of options for a trailer for your family could vary quite a lot.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Name: Allison
Trailer: Researching
New York
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Thanks all for the quick replies.

We had initially looked into pop-ups as they are more affordable. Our concern with them was that since most of the trip will be in the fall and early winter, that a pop-up wouldn't be warm enough, particularly for our smallest one who will only be 6 months when we start. We also liked that the fiberglass campers seem to have a better resale value so we feel like if after the 4 months we never want to set foot in the camper again, we won't have lost too much money. We were tent campers prior to having kids, but think RVing might be a better way with small children that will still let us go to most of the places we want.

Thanks Bob for the offer of showing us all of yours - we might take you up on it.

The other reason we like the fiberglass trailers is that they're lighter. Another good/bad thing about where we are in our lives right now is that we don't currently own a vehicle. We're looking at buying either a minivan or a Ford Flex as they both fit our needs for the long term the best. This of course limits our camper options.

We'd actually prefer not to have a toilet/shower, as it's one more thing we have to deal with/worry about. Are we crazy?
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:53 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Crazy?? I would say not at all. Sounds like you're thinking is really good. With small kids you could probably even get by with a 13 foot camper. Depends on if you are going to be moving around a lot, or set up in one location for a period of time. We spent 3 months in our Uhaul 13 in one location in the south this past winter. Rear dinette stayed down as a bed the whole time. Front couch stayed as seating, but originally it would have been upper & lower bunks if so desired. Our upper bunk is missing but we had no use for it anyway. What made our stay much more comfortable was we have a 12 X 12 screen house with flaps to close it in. Temperatures ranged from low 50's to high 70's over the winter. We used an electric heater in the trailer and one in the screen house. Had a second one for the screen house when it was really cold. So the question is, how much room do you need, and how big a trailer are you comfortable towing. Yesterday there was a Scamp 16 for sale in our area, gone today before I even got to call on it, they're out there, but go quick. Use craigshelper / search tempest to expand you're search range. The nice thing about a fiberglass camper over a pop up is that you can pull into a site, open the door, and you're in out of the weather, don't even have to unhook. I'll stay out of the vehicle discussion as opinions vary and it can become quite heated.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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I would not get a 13'. They are marketed for 4 people but it will be cozy. For two of us, we went from 13' to 16'. Of course, the longer ones are harder to find though, due to those of us who find 13' to be not enough space and buy a larger one. I can also pretty much guarantee you that when you find an FBRV, you will not give it up. It is like taking your hotel room with you only cheaper and minus bedbugs.

Several families here have included their babies in their camping. There are directions on this forum for making the bunks into quasi-cribs so the baby does not fall out. Unfortunately, many of us are only young-at-heart, so it is difficult to say outright how this works. Hopefully, those who have done it will pipe in here.

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Old 05-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
Several families here have included their babies in their camping. There are directions on this forum for making the bunks into quasi-cribs so the baby does not fall out. Unfortunately, many of us are only young-at-heart, so it is difficult to say outright how this works. Hopefully, those who have done it will pipe in here.

CindyL
Too cool, you're starting out right teaching your children the wonders of camping and nature. When you finally find the perfect rollin' home for the family, be sure to keep a memory journal and take lots of pictures. You'll never regret doing either.

I have several links to making quasi-cribs and bunks that are so neat, they almost make we wish I was a little one!

Good luck on your hunt, whatever it is... and to FiberglassRV!
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #11
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Allentown PA is not that far from you, there's a CT13 Uhaul for sale there on craigslist, expensive though!
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Formerly Bigfoot 25RB21 and Scamp 19
Colorado
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The first fiberglass trailer my family of 6 had was a Scamp 5th wheel (19 ft). We've now moved on to a 21 ft. Bigfoot. I think you could be comfortable in a 13 ft. but if you think you might want to keep the trailer, I'd probably suggest trying to find a 16 or 17 ft. size because your little ones won't stay little long.

Having had trailers with and without toilet/showers, I personally want one and think it is one of the great things about camping and traveling with kids. When my kids were potty-training, I preferred them being able to use our bathroom. When my kids are sick on the road, I prefer having our own bathroom/washroom capabilities.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:28 PM   #13
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I have a family of 7. We use a Trillium 4500. The trick is that we travel in a Savana 1500 travel van. It has seats for 7, and the back bench turns quickly into a bed. Four of the five kids sleep in the trailer. My wife and I sleep in the van, with the littlest one. Soon, the little one will sleep in the trailer. The eldest, (18) will probably not want to join us on vacation any more, but currently, he can't see why I say that.
This particular set up is for long trips. The point is to minimize cost. Air fare for seven is just not an option. The trailer is small enough to fit into the wind shadow of the van. It actually does not add appreciably to the gas consumption. Though the van is still kinda a pig anyway. Hotels are not required. We are twenty minuets from pulling over to lights out. Any rest stop along the way makes a good place to wake up. The rule at rest stops seems to be, if you can leave, then you can stay. If you can't leave, then you gotta go. No awnings, leveling, or tents. I figure that we can be mobile in about ten minuets.
I guess my point is that a bigger trailer is not always required, or desirable.

I hate to tempt people to the dark side, but have you considered something like these?:
Kinda rich for my blood
REFERRAL: 1994 - Westfalia -

This one I really like. Never going to tow a trailer though.
REFFERAL: 1982 - Westfalia Diesel- $9950
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:37 PM   #14
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Name: Allison
Trailer: Researching
New York
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Thanks all. I really appreciate the positivity of your responses. We found a place in NJ that rents R-Pods. Although not exactly what we're looking for, it will give us a better idea of what it's like to be a family of 4 in a small camper. So we'll be at Pleasant Acres in NJ for four days the weekend before July 4th weekend!

We had considered Westfalias and Vanagans, but they all seem to be in the west and are more than we're looking to spend.

Thanks Donna and Cindy, I hadn't thought to search the forum using "crib" but that turned up a lot of helpful ideas! As I said, I'm sure we'll be posting more in the coming weeks and months. I look forward to seeing you on the road!
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