Richard - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Currently shopping
Florida
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Thumbs up Richard

looking in 2015 to buy used fiberglass trailer -- new to it
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:53 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Welcome, Richard!

Any idea what you're looking for in terms of size, features, towing weight, condition? The used market is tight, so flexibility is good, but you have to set some boundaries. If you are locked into a tow vehicle with limited towing capacity, for example, it won't do to fall in love with a trailer that is too heavy.

A good place to start is to cruise the classified ads and archives on this site and at Molded Fiberglass Trailers | Fiberglass RV's For Sale. You can get an idea of what trailers really weigh here: Trailer Weights in the Real World. Post #297 has a handy downloadable spreadsheet.

Good luck!
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:33 PM   #3
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Hi and welcome to the group
To get useful help you really need to provide some more information such as:
1. Size, how many peeps, dogs, cats and/or goats do you need to sleep
2. Condition, from fixer/project to turn key
3. Age, FGRV's have been around for 40+ years, many of the first ones, including my 1973, are still in daily use.
4. Amenities needed, bathroom, shower, A/C, furnace, refrigerator, hay bin etc.
5. Tow vehicle. This is one of the most controlling variables. While FGRV's are the lightest of trailers, many are still to heavy for a surprising number of vehicles. Tell us what you will be towing with. There is a chart of actual weights in the General Chat forum.
6. Budget, prices will range from under $1000 for a gutted fixer to close to $50K for the top of the line BigFoot. Typical "starter" fgrv's in fair to good condition start at about $3500 and increase rapidly.
Let us all know and good luck in your search.
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Old 01-31-2015, 04:10 PM   #4
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Also watch craigslist.
If they want to ship it to you or the price seems too good to be true it's a scam.
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Old 01-31-2015, 06:44 PM   #5
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Name: Richard
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Thanks so much - right now I have a Volvo S60 2004 which recommends maximum trailer weight, without brakes, of 1650 lbs. I require a trailer, fiberglass, with bathroom, stove, sleeping for my wife and I, but occasionally two of my family members - no dog unfortunately -- and a trailer with good insulation and good ventilation
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Old 01-31-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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Name: Richard
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I'm new even to 'quick reply' on the internet, so please bear this in mind! I believe I previously replied with more info, such as a need for a FG trailer with bathroom/shower/stove, sleeping for my wife and I, and possibly two of my family. Good ventilation, insulation -- a good,well thought-out one. I'm reasonably handy so I could customize a bit. Right now I have a Volvo s60 2004, inline 5, with max of 1650 lbs. I may trade in my other car for something with greater capacity - I generally buy my cars used, but always looking in good shape, exterior counts-that would go for a trailer too.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:01 PM   #7
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Name: Richard
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thanks for this advice - my relative and his friend were mutually scammed concerning autos, looking for too good of a price. But it wasn't totally their fault, as the dealership website was sophisticated, they had good phone contact, received vin numbers, etc. They wired money and never received anything. The cite was shut down shortly after, and their money is probably somewhere abroad or even farther east!
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:23 PM   #8
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The good news... From all of the posted information I can find, the towing limit for your Volvo S60 is more like 3300-3400 lbs.


The smallest FGRV with a shower and sleeps 4 will be 16+ feet long and would be very lucky to get one under 2500 lbs going down the road.

You don't want to tow a trailer that size and weight without brakes, (and that would be illegal in many states anyway), so the "without brakes" figure of 1650 lbs may be a moot concern.


Sooooo... Go back to your owners manual and check the max trailer towing weights and maybe look back at post #3 and plug in some more information for us to ponder.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:41 PM   #9
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Glade Valley, North Carolina
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Welcome Richard. Good luck with the search.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:11 PM   #10
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Name: Richard
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yes, went back to the S60 pamphlet under towing: trailers with brakes 2" ball - 3300 lbs, 1 7/8 ball - 2000 lbs. Recommended hitch tongue load is: below 2,650 lbs - 110 lbs; trailer weighs above 2650 - 165 lbs. This is all new to me, but it states: do not connect the trailer's brakes directly to the Volvo's brakes, and also, engine coolant temperature should be watched in hot climates or hilly terrain. I remember watching old Jam Handy videos on Youtube, of testing Chevrolets back in the 1930's up 25 degree grades carrying heavy trailer loads, also 0 to 60 testing - those cars seemed very strong, yet perhaps not as dependable as today as electrical and injection systems have evolved, also see video: 'Master Hands (1936) Chevrolet Manufacturing
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:22 PM   #11
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Name: Richard
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Thanks for that wisdom. The others, without trailers, can do whatever the hell they please. As to cars evolving, I seem to remember as a kid, many years ago, more cars on the side of the road overheated. Not as common today.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:27 PM   #12
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Keeping tongue weight on a 2600 lb. trailer below 165 lbs. will be a challenge.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:43 PM   #13
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Ooops.... "Recommended hitch tongue load" is a foreign term to most of us. If that is also "Maximum tongue load" you have what is being called "The Subaru Paradox", that is your maximum trailer weight listed will have close to twice the tongue weight listed. Or said another way, the tongue weight limits how heavy a trailer you can pull.


With a general rule of thumb of 10% trailer weight on the tongue that would limit you to about an 1650 lb trailer, which is where that earlier figure may have come from. Even at bare bones 8% tongue weight, you would still be limited to a little over 2000 lbs. The numbers they provide only allow for 5% on the hitch, not a safe amount in any ones book.


BUT, that may only be a optimal weight and I suggest that you contact Volvo of America for some clarification and tell them that you have to have at least 300 lbs of tongue weight with a 3300 lb trailer.


BTW: Ask corporate, not your dealer, they usually don't know squat about trailering. Another thought is that those tongue weight limits are for the factory hitch, and an after market receiver type hitch may allow for a greater tongue weight, with Volvo's approval that is.


Are we having fun? Let us know what you find out.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:45 PM   #14
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Forgot to add. Modern brake controllers don't "Connect" to the cars brake system other than for 12 volts to tell it you are using the brakes. Older controllers actually tapped into the hydraulic system and that's what they don't want you to use.
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