Researching a TON of information - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-15-2012, 08:51 AM   #1
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Name: Paul
Trailer: In the market
Georgia
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Researching a TON of information

Greetings, all. I'm primarily a backpacker, cyclist, kayaker, travel-writer, and general outdoors-ish person. While I still love going into the backcountry on multi-day excursions, the wife is looking more for a little-less strenuous trips. Now that we are approaching our 50's (she's already crossed the line), we might be looking at more day hikes, returning to a home base. Some of you by reading the last two words in the previous sentence saw "home base" and now know why I'm here on this forum.

I recently saw a SylvanSport "GO" trailer that folds into a tent, and thought it would make a great travel trailer option, pulling all the toys and a "home base" when we're done hiking or cycling. But they a buddy of mine phoned me about a Scamp (Burro?) and said to look into it. So why don't I just go ahead and buy one?

Here's a clue - I'm driving a 2006 VW Jetta 2.5 (gas, not diesel). It's a comfortable car for traveling, but it wasn't built for towing. From what I have read so far, the vehicle can tow 1000lb unbraked and 2000lbs braked. The GO trailer is 840lb dry, so that would work, but the 13' Scamp is 1200lbs, so that's within the range. Even loaded out with clothes, food, and cycles, I'm thinking another 500lbs for 1700lb, still within the range.

Anyway, it's an option, but before I start going out shopping for a 13' trailer, I need to do a bunch more research. Heck - I even need to get a hitch installed on my car. And that's after I figure out what I can tow/can't tow.

So, if you see me on the forums asking questions, it's because I haven't found the answers. I do search sites for existing Q&A's, so if I repost something that has already been discussed, I apologize since I wasn't able to find it.

Cheers!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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Hi Paul, to FiberglassRV. This is the forums to ask questions about all molded towables and we're glad you're here!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
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Paul,

A tip re searching for info on FiberglassRV, if I may...

When the search box opens, use the bottom box - the Google Custom Search - rather than the top one - it provides much more on-topic returns...
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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Welcome Paul. You have stumbled into the small fiberglass trailers for all the same reasons I did. Still use the trailer as a return base camp for kayaking trips etc.

Your cars manual should give you the actual towing cap if not it would not hurt to ask your VW dealer directly.

If you haven't seen it yet this forum does have a thread called Trailer Weights In the Real World. Its really helpful in determining what trailers to focus on looking for that you can safely pull and stay within your towing specs. The trailers have been weighed loaded. The problem with going by the trailer manufacturers specs is their dry weight is very misleading as it does not include anything they consider to be optional and in most cases that includes batteries, propane tanks, fridge, awnings etc. A good rule of thumb is to add about 600lbs to 700lbs to the manufactures dry weight specs to come up with a more realistic camping weight.

Some of the 13' do have electric brakes but many do not. It is possible to add electric brakes to a trailer that doesn't already have them but you may need to change the axle inorder to do that (the axle needs to have a mounting bracket on it for the brakes to be installed). The average cost of changing out the axle for one that will take brakes on a 13' trailer is around $500/600.

Have fun looking.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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Name: Paul
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Much appreciated

Thanks for the hunting tips so far. I used the search feature noted above and found a good thread about towing with a VW Jetta (albeit a diesel). I think I'm going to get some opinions from the local German VW repair guy about actual towing results as well.

I looked at the actual trailer weights, and there were some 13' Scamps that looked REALLY heavy. Those things are supposed to be about 1200# or so.

See you on the discussion groups.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Llama View Post
... I looked at the actual trailer weights, and there were some 13' Scamps that looked REALLY heavy. Those things are supposed to be about 1200# or so...
They probably are, unless you plan on carrying food, clothing, a battery, propane, maybe water, etc. etc. Remember, there's a big difference between dry weight and real world weight Some people take pounds and pounds of dutch ovens and charcoal!
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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Hi Paul,

I am a past VW Jetta TDI owner and loved the car. Found this video and I know you will love it! Can-Am RV :: Jetta towing Visa

Andy Thompson of Can-Am RV is renown for his knowledge on RV towing.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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Just remember that Can-Am will ONLY recommend a towing combination if THEY set it up - and there is a cost for them to set it up
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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And in this case, a direct quote from Can Am would show that they can only speak positively or negatively about any combination if they were the ones who set it up.

Since they will also ONLY use a Hensley Arrow hitch system and since that system costs more than I have invested in some of my cars..........
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:46 PM   #10
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Name: Paul
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I only want to tow a lightweight trailer. Honestly, I'm not looking for anything larger than 13' at this time because I don't want to overload the TV (see, I learned that abbreviation on the forum already).

1000lbs is fine, and I'll leave the Dutch oven at home. Right now, my "trailer" is a Yakima pod on the roof rack holding tents, backpacks, and such. So I'm used to living in small spaces.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llama View Post
I'll leave the Dutch oven at home. Right now, my "trailer" is a Yakima pod on the roof rack holding tents, backpacks, and such. So I'm used to living in small spaces.
I also tow with a smaller car so I need to watch the total trailer weight as well and I found that a lot of backpacking gear works out well for using in the trailer - things such as your light nesting pots, solar showers and head lamps etc all do double duty. But you may also find it tends to go the same way it went when I first started doing kayaking trips. Once I loaded up all the stuff I was carrying on my back for a weeks trip into the kayak there was still lots of empty space in the hatches that begged to be filled with comfortable chairs and a bottle of wine & a bigger tent. Trust me you will find all sorts of must have things to add to the empty trailer hatches as well
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:10 PM   #12
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You might consider looking for something even lighter like a Huntsman Compact or a Campster. Both start at about 850 lbs and look very good in the more remote campgrounds.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #13
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Another option for you might be a teardrop trailer - the bed is inside and the cooking area outside under a hatch. Might work for you since you're used to a tent (the hard-sided teardrop is definitely better in the rain. Strategically placed tarps or awnings could keep the kitchen area pretty dry too.

Happy Hunting! I'm sure you'll find a 'home base' that you feel good towing with your Jetta!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1977 Boler 1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I also tow with a smaller car so I need to watch the total trailer weight as well and I found that a lot of backpacking gear works out well for using in the trailer - things such as your light nesting pots, solar showers and head lamps etc all do double duty. But you may also find it tends to go the same way it went when I first started doing kayaking trips. Once I loaded up all the stuff I was carrying on my back for a weeks trip into the kayak there was still lots of empty space in the hatches that begged to be filled with comfortable chairs and a bottle of wine & a bigger tent. Trust me you will find all sorts of must have things to add to the empty trailer hatches as well
yep...that sums it up pretty well...
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