Thanks for the great site! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-19-2015, 10:56 PM   #1
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Thanks for the great site!

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 01-19-2015, 11:18 PM   #2
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Trailer: 89 Bigfoot 17G & 73 Compact II
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Welcome to FGRV.
Lots of great people here and lots of great advice.
The right trailer is different for different folks. It would help to know what you will use as a tow vehicle and what possible amenities you are looking for. New or used? Budget? Turn-key or fixer-upper?
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lora View Post
Welcome to FGRV.
Lots of great people here and lots of great advice.
The right trailer is different for different folks. It would help to know what you will use as a tow vehicle and what possible amenities you are looking for. New or used? Budget? Turn-key or fixer-upper?
Lora, we'll be using a Dodge Ram 2500 as a tow vehicle, so I've got plenty of towing capacity, but don't really want anything bigger than 16' or 17' as we'll likely get into some places that don't lend to a big trailer (and we really are used to a backpacking tent, so this will be a big improvement.)

We're looking for up to $5k or so, and a project is fine (maybe even desireable, as I like to tinker with stuff like this, and it would save some initial cost.). May even consider a major project that needs gutted.

We've been looking at the 13' Bolers and Scamps mostly, but open to other options and slightly bigger trailers. The critical pieces for me are:

Room for two adults and two little kids to sleep. We're not tall - I'm 5’9"
Kitchen space is more valuable than bathroom space.
Quality construction as we'll hope to keep it for while and fix up over time.

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:19 AM   #4
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Hi Ian,
Welcome to FGRV. It is a valuable resource; so many helpful people here.
Have you looked on Craigslist yet? I just saw this one, a Trailswest travel trailer:

1969 12 ft. fiberglass travel trailer (rare)

I found my '74 Compact II by searching on CL every day for months. But they're out there. You can also try Vancouver,BC CList. I'm a fellow Bellinghamster. With our 13' Compact with a pop-top, camping is very comfortable for two and a pet. I suppose you need a trailer with bunk beds and a larger bed. Scamps have that, Casita's, Trilliums, Bolers. If you're a contractor, you know to inspect the frame,etc. Good luck and happy hunting. You'll find something.

Fran
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:23 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Unless you are very lucky, your budget tends towards the 13'ers, most of which have a front bunk bed/sofa that is designed got kids up to about 75 lbs and a combo dinette/sofa arrangement at the back.


Although you are in the top left corner of the world, don't hesitate to venture into Canada as it is fairly easy to bring back those that are at least 25 years old (more on that if you find one)


However, right now there "was" a 17' Bigfoot in Niamo, BC (sp?) that is a killer deal for $5000, and that would be a super choice for you (at least I think so....) Check on Vancouver Craigslist for an ad.


BTW: In the world of molded fiberglass trailers, 17' is mid size, 25' is about as big as they come, and those are few and far between.


Good luck in your hunt.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:25 AM   #6
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Check the classifieds here, and do check out Fiberglass-rv-4sale.com to get an idea of what's out there and costs. You can also check the sold listings to see historical info. You're on the west coast, so that seems to be in your favor.
You could check out a rally near you (there is one in May in Fort Langley, BC) to get a better feel for the different trailers. I'm not sure what variety they get, but you can get an idea.
Also, consider that you might start out small and size-up as/when you can considering your budget. The used models seem to hold their value well.
Check out some of the advice given on other posts. Use the search function above (click on search and use the search/site portion at the bottom of that drop down).
We were up in your neck of the woods in summer 2013 and found some really wonderful campgrounds. And, I took some of my Army training up at Fort Lewis in the 70's with a visit to Bremerton and a side trip to Vancouver. Beautiful country and great state parks!
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:32 AM   #7
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Bob's right about the Bigfoot Trailers. That would be ideal for your small family.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:54 AM   #8
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Ian, Bob gave you good info but I want to add a couple things. Now is the off time for sales so buyers can get a better price than in vacation times. But the bigger problem is when these molded trailers come on the market they don't last long if they are in good shape, sometimes sold within hours of postings. Many people look for over a year (me included) to find the right unit. As you are new to eggs you may want to attend a rally to see different trailer makes and models to see what may fit your family best.
Good luck in your search and welcome to the group.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:32 AM   #9
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Welcome, Ian!

I'll second Bob's advice, especially about the Bigfoot 17'. For its size, it's not too heavy, very well-made, and you won't have to worry about outgrowing bunks in the smaller trailers. I've seen several pretty good deals recently, but $5000 is unusual. They're on the heavy end for my tow vehicle or I'd be tempted myself.

That said, if you do find a good deal on a 13'er with bunks, grab it! We sleep four in our Scamp 13'. It's cozy but workable. Depending on where we are, my girls sometimes sleep outside in their own tent. Best thing is that with care and a few thoughtful updates, you can likely get your investment back in a few years if you decide to go larger as the kids grow. Fiberglass trailers hold their value well, especially the smaller ones.

I don't know about other manufacturers, but Scamp does not publish a weight limit on their bunks, and I've heard numbers all over the map. Bob's figure is on the conservative side. Another member reported being told 120 pounds when he picked up his Scamp from the factory. If the attachment ledge is solid (something to check in an older unit) I'd personally be very comfortable up to 100 pounds or so. I tested the bunk in my Scamp before I let my daughter sleep there. I'm 160 pounds, and everything was very solid, no movement or creaks. You'll want to add a safety rail though. Scamp doesn't provide one, even as an accessory.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:35 AM   #10
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If you can live without a bathroom, a Trillium 4500 is a nice trailer. Light and bigger then a 13'. Sleeps 4.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #11
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Hi Ian,
1981 17' bigfoot | travel trailers, campers | Nanaimo | Kijiji

Here's where there is an '81 Bigfoot around 5K$. In Nanaimo, Canada.

Fran
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:34 PM   #12
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When shopping for used FGRV you might want to take what you find that meets your needs. Perfect may not come along right away. I missed a very good deal on a 13' U-Haul and then knew enough to snap up my 16' Scamp when it came along. Even though I paid a little more than I wanted to and have had to do a lot of work (and have a lot left to do) I am VERY happy I ended up with the 16 over the 13. Another 3' is a lot more room when you are talking small to begin with. Especially since you have plenty of truck to pull it I think you would be happier with the bigger unit. I have found the Scamp being great to take advantage of smaller campsites that might still be unreserved just because of the smaller size. Good luck!
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:28 PM   #13
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Hi Ian welcome to FGRV
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:30 PM   #14
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BigFoot

Thank You Francine....

At $5600 CDN that's right about $5000 USD and the seller posted "or offer". If I were closer it wouldn't still be for sale.....


Quote:
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Hi Ian,
1981 17' bigfoot | travel trailers, campers | Nanaimo | Kijiji

Here's where there is an '81 Bigfoot around 5K$. In Nanaimo, Canada.

Fran
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