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Old 01-20-2015, 07:40 PM   #15
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Name: Naomi
Trailer: 1972 Boler 13 Foot
British Columbia
Posts: 21
Welcome to the wonderful life of fiberglass trailers - you and your family are going to love it! We have a 13 foot Boler and it's mostly my teenager
and I that travel with it. Like others have suggested and from our own experience, with 2 adults and 2 growing kids I would caution against a 13 foot and recommend a 16 foot. The top bunk you would have to put on a rail or your child would roll off, and the bed/table in the back is going to be cozy for you and your wife if you are 5'9". My teenager now finds the bottom bunk a bit too small. What we found which has been amazing is an "Add-A-Room" which zips onto your awning. This one is made of canvass with sides and a zippered door and screened windows. I believe there is an Awning Company in Burnaby BC that still makes them. We found it used on Craigs List a few years ago and if you can find one of those snatch it up immediately! It wasn't cheap at $500 but it adds another space about the size of the Boler, folds up nicely for storage and we got one of those air mattress and frame and so we now use the bunks to put things on and one of us sleeps in the add a room and it is completely private and yet is still attached to your trailer so you're not far apart and it sure is wonderful when it rains and shade when it's blistering hot outside! If you can find a rig that has a "fold down" table with hinges that is a HUGE plus and makes taking down the bed and putting it up so much easier than the one we have that isn't hinged. Be sure to come out to Fort Langley May 22, 23, and 24 to the Glass Eggs Meet at the Fort Langley Camprounds. Just google BC Glass Eggs Meet and you will find the information. There will be an open house on the Saturday morning where folks open up their trailers and you'll get to look at lots of different types and sizes of Fiberglass rigs and folks are so helpful with ideas and advice! Happy travels to you and your family!





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Originally Posted by IanRae View Post
I'm Ian, and just starting a search for a new (to us) trailer for some family adventures. We've been backpackers for many years, but with two little boys, it now seems pretty appealing to be able to pull our home around behind the truck and be able to wake up in the morning in the mountains (or beach, etc.)

We're located in Bellingham, WA (the far NW corner of the state) and have great access to both the coast and the mountains within a short drive.

We're looking for advice on finding the right trailer for our family (two of us plus a 18 month old and 4 year old. We're used to backpacking, and sleeping in a little tent, so anything is going to feel spacious!

I'll post something in the wanted section, but just wanted to thank the moderators here for creating such a great resource for these awesome trailers. (I'm a contractor and woodworker, so a quality trailer is important, hence why we're looking for fiberglass.)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:42 PM   #16
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Trailer: 13 ft Compact II
Washington
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I thought the same thing, Bob. If I were in Bellingham now, I'd go up and take it home.
Now that I have a decent tow vehicle, a Tacoma V6 4x4,
a Bigfoot 17 would seem very roomy compared to the Compact II at 13' total.


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Old 01-21-2015, 12:01 AM   #17
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Name: Ian
Trailer: Searching!
Washington
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Thanks for all the input, folks! At this point, I'm still open to considering something as small as a 13' (which we may outgrow at some point) or going up to a 17' if the right thing comes along. The main reason I'd appreciate the bigger model is that the kid's bunks would work for more years...

One more question - it seems like many (most) trailers list a size that INCLUDES the tongue length? I'm used to cargo trailers that reference the box size not including tongue, but it doesn't appear to be the case with these trailers. Am I understanding this correctly?
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:12 AM   #18
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Yes Ian, TT are measured tongue to bumper, not box size like utility/cargo trailers. I wish they would though as it sure would make more sence. Just subtract 3' from the length stated and you'll be close to the box size.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:16 AM   #19
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Name: Ian
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Thanks, Dave. I have to admit that I have yet to really lay eyes on a 13' Boler or Scamp, but I have seen a 13' U-haul, which seems similar in size, but maybe the bunks are a bit smaller?

If I'm still shopping by the time the of the rally, that will be a great chance to check some out!
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:22 AM   #20
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A rally would really be the best place for you to see a bunch of different makes and models. By doing that you will be able to eliminate a few as not working for you. Plus the owners will give you the answers you will ask from real world use. It's a win win, good luck in your search.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:59 AM   #21
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
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Too Small

Good day Ian. When I was a kid the family traveled a lot. Mostly using 13 to 17' trailers. Too small from my experience!!!
With two younger children and your tow vehicle I would be looking at something larger plus the kids are not going to get smaller.

Towing will even be better if you get up to a dual axle trailer. With the 4 of you everything will be better/more comfortable. A toilet, hot water etc are all things that make life easier out on the road. I understand folks like you spend most of the time outdoors but on those days when it's raining all day and you are in the trailer, space is your friend.

In the end, generally speaking, you will not pay much more for a larger unit.

PS.... Would luv to see you in a glass trailer but generally speaking out door types like you end up with a pop up or hybrid trailer. More space, more ammenities, and with the canvas ends you get the outdoor ambiance which we found is missing with a hard shell trailer.

Things to consider.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:38 AM   #22
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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As the majority of FGRV's on this site are single axle, those owners will confirm that single axle trailers pull just fine. While double axles have some stability advantages, you will also have a much larger & heavier trailer to pull, with it's own sets of advantages and disadvantages.


The oft quoted "Rain Scare" mentioned essentially means to have a larger trailer 100% of the time for the 5% of the time that it might rain. It's sorta like telling tenters to have a motel room reservation available in case it rains. An occasional bit of rain, and the opportunity for family bonding, is just part of the experience. Last year a huge wind and rain storm blew through Joshua Tree NP and my son and his wife moved into our Hunter for the night and we are till laughing about the experience. (4 adults in a Hunter?)


And pop-up tent trailers do have their own advantages, disadvantages and followers. Thanks to my son and his wife, I have both in my driveway and can appreciate both.


it sounds to me like you are on the right track, don't get derailed by comments from the "Bigger is Better" crowd. It may be for some, but not for everyone, especially on this site.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:19 AM   #23
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Name: Lora
Trailer: 89 Bigfoot 17G & 73 Compact II
Northern Neck, VA
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Something that came to mind, don't be afraid to negotiate even if the ad doesn't say OBO. All they can say is no.
Also, how far are you willing to travel to buy, and how antsy are you about buying?
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #24
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Name: Ian
Trailer: Searching!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lora View Post
Something that came to mind, don't be afraid to negotiate even if the ad doesn't say OBO. All they can say is no.
Also, how far are you willing to travel to buy, and how antsy are you about buying?
Thanks again for all the input. I'm willing to drive a fair distance (8-12 hours?) if the right thing comes up (and have family in Spokane area and Phoenix who could look at a trailer for me and possibly even pick up and hold it until I can come get it.)

We'd love to have a trailer in the next month or two so we can do a trip in April.

I am resigned to the fact that a small trailer has it's limits, but I'm willing to try it out and see how we like it. I think that for the most part, it would be used for sleeping, and much cooking would still be outside.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
As the majority of FGRV's on this site are single axle, those owners will confirm that single axle trailers pull just fine.
So true Bob.

Years ago my dad had a small RV sales business. Over a time he had towed 40 or 50 different small single axle trailers. On the larger ones around 1,500 to 2,500 lbs he used a WDH.
Later on he bought his 1st dual axle TT, a 20' Golden Falcon. After picking it up he pulled into the driveway and he said to me. "That is the nicest towing trailer I have ever towed."
Note..... it was also the heaviest. Tow Vehicle was a 1972 Ford LTD.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #26
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Maybe that tells you more about towing the earlier trailers, with automobile style bias ply tires than about how todays single axle trailers tow.


Geometry will tell you that, all things being equal, that two axles will track better than one. But the price one has to pay in size and weight to have that advantage can become it's own disadvantage.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #27
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Tips for the New Owner-to-Be

(Clip) "We'd love to have a trailer in the next month or two so we can do a trip in April."

Horror stories abound about those that bought a used trailer ( and even a few new ones) and set out on a long first trip. Here's my suggestions for the first 2 trips, then feel free to wander....

1) Driveway Camping. Set up in the driveway exactly as you are going to use it and spend a night, including at least two meals, without getting anything from the house. If you know that you will be in campgrounds/places without hook-ups, disconnect from the power grid as well. Review the experience and make adjustments.

2) Take a weekend trip with two nights out, but within an hour of home. Repeat as above.

You will quickly find what you need and don't need, what works and what doesn't and fixs will be a lot easier to accomplish.

And just buying used (as I did for about 10 of 11 RV's I have bought) will generate it's own list of tasks to check out and repair. If you find yourself about to set out on more than a 1 hour trip to tow your new baby home, be sure to punch in here for tips and warnings about inspecting and that 1st trip home.

FWIW: April is mighty close.....
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #28
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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Also, twice the brakes, bearings and tires to maintain/replace.
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