Newbie - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-04-2017, 09:36 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Patti
Trailer: shopping
New Mexico
Posts: 3

I'm Patti. I live in southern N.M. and am in the process of making my 5 year plan....LOL...and have only about 4 yrs and 4 months left. It is my intent to be full timing RVing at the end of that will be my 2nd time retiring, my first time, I just wasn't prepared.
I'm exploring the different types of RV's that might best work for me. Several years ago I had a 1960, 12' canned ham, that I loved, but knew it would be a bit tight for me AND it didn't have a toilet.... At my age, I don't really want to be tramping out in the middle of the night to "do my business." I'm thinking a fiberglass rig might be my best bet. They are light weight, so easy to tow....but what about maintenance? I'm aging, by myself, and have some health challenges. Would love it if some of you would weigh in on some of the maintenance items to watch out for and the ease or difficulty I could be facing.... Hope all of you are enjoying your "last" long weekend of the season.

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Old 09-04-2017, 11:55 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 6,843
Welcome, Patti, from eastern Arizona!

The biggest maintenance on my Scamp is the semi-annual wash and wax. It's pretty important in our sunny climate for preventing oxidation of the fiberglass gelcoat, and it's physically demanding if you do it yourself. Covered storage helps a lot- once a year would be enough. You could hire someone to do it.

Routine maintenance- winterizing the plumbing, for example- is not physically demanding beyond some bending to get at drain valves. Tires and wheel bearings can be done at any automotive shop. A molded fiberglass trailer has no roof seams to maintain, a big advantage. Major periodic maintenance tasks, like resealing vents and windows, is something any decent RV repair shop can do for you, and only needs to be done every 10 years or so.

My mother is 91 and still travels in a small motorhome. She has most maintenance done at a shop now, but she used to do the minor things herself. She prefers a motorhome to avoid hitching and backing a towable RV. About 10 years ago she downsized from a Class C to a Class B because she had become uncomfortable driving the larger vehicle.

As you think about what you need, consider this: the more equipment and systems an RV has, the more maintenance will be required. For example, do you really need a shower and hot water system, or could you manage with only a porta-potty and use campground showers? Mom's motorhome is a whole lot more complicated than my Scamp!

You might consider a visit to a molded fiberglass egg rally. You could bring a tent or stay in a motel nearby and make a day visit. It's a great way to see a number of different makes and models and talk to owners. Here's a link to the 2017 Rally Map. Looks like there's one at the end of the month in Ft. Davis, TX.

Best wishes as you research and decide!

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Old 09-04-2017, 12:14 PM   #3
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Name: Jan
Trailer: 2017 Lil Snoozy
South Carolina
Posts: 314
Welcome! I'm sure you'll find a wealth of information here. I know we sure have!
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:08 PM   #4
Junior Member
Name: Patti
Trailer: shopping
New Mexico
Posts: 3
Thanks to both of you!!! I was beginning to wonder if I'd wandered in to the wrong place! I think you maybe right, maybe a weekend trip to a rally would be a good idea. I really like the fiberglass models and have been playing with the idea of a 5th wheel.... Things I like are they are not much wider (if at all) than the tow vehicle. Of course, that is also or could be, the downfall as well. I really like the layout of the scamps, though they are mostly similar. The fact there is not a separate roof compartment if another plus, in my opinion.... At this point, I don't think washing the trailer would be a big problem....a self serve car wash would probably work and could very well be fun. Wheels/wheel bearings, upper, had to do the same thing on my canned ham. Class B or C makes me a bit weary as if I have problems with the engine or tranny....well, there goes my home ! I'm pretty sure I'll do a composting toilet and an outside shower or popup shower with solar heated water would be okay too (long time tent camper here) and even a kitchen isn't terribly necessary as I know how to cook over coals, so long as fire is permitted (and I have a mean coleman propane camping grill when that isn't available).
Anyway, thanks for the welcome and the info on the rally info. And though I may lurk a bit, I'm watching out for the right rig to come along. Hope to see you at a rally!
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:08 PM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
North Carolina
Posts: 1,105
Also consider where you plan to store it and what tow vehicle you will need.

A rally is a good place to start so you can see many brands at one time. Fifth wheels are less common, you are basically talking Scamp or Escape. This two companies can put you in touch with owners near you.
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
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Name: Patti
Trailer: shopping
New Mexico
Posts: 3
Thanks Bill....

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