What size and make do you recommend? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-30-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
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What size and make do you recommend?

It's overwhelming for a newbee! There are just so many small fibreglass trailer manufacturers and several sizes. They all seem similar. What should I be looking for in a used trailer to try out?

Here is the plan. My wife and I are both retired Canadians and would like to spend next winter in FL. But since we have a dog (medium size), it is extremely difficult to find a suitable house to rent in southern FL at a reasonable cost (been trying for 2 years). I thought an alternative would be to get a small FG travel trailer to live in during the winter months in a warm climate. Here are our requirements as I foresee at this stage:

We could spend weeks in FL and also travel around to TX, AZ, or just spend months in a single spot if we find the right location. We could also use the trailer for summer travel.

A toilet is a must and a separate shower would be useful. Height is not an issue since we are short. If we go with a single bed it has to be 54", but I'm leaning towards two single beds since they seem be better suited to a small egg. We'll need a fridge as big as possible.

I have mixed feelings on propane vs. electricity only. If we are at a campground for weeks or months, maybe electricity is all we need, and no shower. But on the road we might alternate between campgrounds and boondocking, so living on just electricity may or may not work. I just don't know at this stage. We definitely need AC and heating (electric may do). I could get a generator and solar panels if off grid often. Do I r-e-a-l-l-y need propane?

Rather than jump in and get another tow vehicle and a bigger trailer, I'd like to use our existing vehicle to see if we are compatible with the lifestyle. It is a 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan equipped with a tow package (and rear airbags), so I'd like a small FG trailer to try out. Smaller and lighter is better since we've never towed anything before and my wife has to do half the driving. If the first year works out and we just want/need more room, then getting a better tow vehicle and a larger trailer (custom Escape or Airstream?) is certainly possible.

My questions are what is the smallest trailer size that you think we would find suitable for extended use? What makes do you recommend I look for?
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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I have a fleet of Trilliums, but for your purposes I think an Escape makes sense. I don't have any personal experience with them, but everyone who has one seems to like them. Some so much that every time a larger one comes out they upgrade. I am sure several Escape owners will back me up on this.

Oh, and welcome to the site!
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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If I had to restrict myself to campgrounds with electricity, wedged between motorhomes, I'd just stay home ( where I have a large, private back yard ).
Not many provincial parks in BC, for instance, with electricity. Many parks restrict generators.
Keep your options open and get a trailer with propane and electric.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:58 PM   #4
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Craig, the best advice is to attend a fiberglass rally, there's one every couple of weeks. At these rallies they most always have an open house day where you can go thru all the different brand of trailers and talk with the owners. I belive the next one is in Central FL but they happen across the continent.

Ginny and I travel over 7 months a year, have been to every state and province and are very happy in a small space. Our 16 foot trailer has been more than adequate, our 44" wide bed fine. Though our trailer has a shower we use campground showers. Our trailer is both electric and propane meaning we can camp anywhere and in practically any climate.

As to brands I suspect we could be happy in any of them.

We tow with a Honda CRV. Your Honda Odyssey can tow most of the fiberglass trailers though I have never used one though others on the site have.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:00 PM   #5
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Virtually all state parks in the US provide water and electricity. I agree with Glenn don't limit yourself by not having propane. You might find you like boondocking once in a while.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:03 PM   #6
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On the otherhand, most federal parks do not electricity.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
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Based on our experience the big issue here is need vs wants and $$$. We have an Escape 19 and love it. We towed with a Chevy Traverse AWD rated at 5200 lbs max which gave us a nice safety margin since the 19 dry weight is about 2500 lbs. Loaded will vary but figure another 500-1000 lbs of gear and water. Mileage when towing was about 14-15 mpg and we had more than adequate power except a brief pull over some passes in Colorado at 11000 feet. So...first decision is $$$...Escapes aren't cheap (ours was near $30K with options) but retained value is excellent. Second decision will relate to what you plan to tow with. I suspect the Honda would be at or very near it's limits with the 19. (Just a comment...virtually any other 19 foot travel trailer we looked at was 1000 to 2000 lbs heavier than the Escape and weight means $$$ when towing). Third decision will be needs vs wants and this will be totally personal. The full size (60 x 80 ) queen bed in the Escape is as good or better than any other bed we have. We added a 1.5" foam topper from Walmart and love it. A larger bathroom would be nice but we have adapted to the wet bath...just put an inverted garbage bag over the toilet and wipe down the walls after a shower. We have the three way water heater (propane, 110 volt, battery). I think most folks find propane a necessity with the cooking stove, furnace, and fridge. We also have factory solar which keeps the batteries charged even when not towing. For us, this was the best overall balance of value and function. Check out the Escape Forum as well as the factory website (Escape Trailer Industries). Tons and tons of info and a real feel for why folks are so partial to their Escapes.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Outlaw View Post
Virtually all state parks in the US provide water and electricity. I agree with Glenn don't limit yourself by not having propane. You might find you like boondocking once in a while.
I'd agree with you in the South & West, but in the Northeast most state parks do not have electric hookups. A few do, but most of the Maine, NY & PA campgrounds I've visited are dry camping, although most have showers & dump stations available.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:48 PM   #9
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Check out the Escape Trailer Industries home page. There's a 15' (with twin beds) that is used and for sale, price just dropped. Look on the lower right. Tell them, Donna D. sent you

Escape Trailer Industries > Home
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:37 AM   #10
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Didn't know they made a trailer with just electric. Seems such would limit resale if you worry about such. A big benny to having a small trailer is you can go anywhere at any time, with only electric you can't.
For my wife and I, we're going with a bigger small trailer so we can part time (Snowbird) in it. As you're looking for used, just pick a size you think you'll be okay with, maybe a 16 or so. There won't be much of a loss if you decide to sell it and change size in a year when you know what works better.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:31 AM   #11
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You will not find a toilet with separate shower in the fiberglass class, they all have "wet baths" or "Marine baths" where the toilet/shower are one unit. Since your tow vehicle will lint your size to either a 13 or 16 foot unit, your refrigerators will also be smaller. It is not until you get into the larger Escape where a 6.7 c/f refer is available. Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #12
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Name: Craig
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Thanks everyone for the advice. Seems an Escape is high on the list of trailers to look for. Unfortunately they are 4,000km away. I'm going to call to see if there are any owners in my area where I could see an Escape.

It seems the best advice is to try to go to a rally where many can be viewed and hopefully something is for sale. There are Boler and Scamp rallies this summer within driving distance that I could check out. I found a rental place nearby that has 13' & 15' FG trailers to rent. I will check them out as soon as the snow goes and want to rent one for a few days come Spring. We'll see how things progress this year.

But my observation is this. There are hundreds of used conventional trailers for sale in my province, but almost no small FG ones. In the last few weeks, only a couple have appeared briefly, but have been snapped up real quick—even in the dead of winter! Shows me that regardless of what one buys, it could be easily be resold if necessary.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
I'd agree with you in the South & West, but in the Northeast most state parks do not have electric hookups. .
In Western Canada many/most of the provincial parks do not have hook ups of any kind either.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cramar View Post
It's overwhelming for a newbee!
Rather than jump in and get another tow vehicle and a bigger trailer, I'd like to use our existing vehicle to see if we are compatible with the lifestyle. It is a 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan equipped with a tow package (and rear airbags), so I'd like a small FG trailer to try out. Smaller and lighter is better since we've never towed anything before and my wife has to do half the driving. If the first year works out and we just want/need more room, then getting a better tow vehicle and a larger trailer (custom Escape or Airstream?) is certainly possible.

My questions are what is the smallest trailer size that you think we would find suitable for extended use? What makes do you recommend I look for?
Good day neighbor. Understand your situation. Your Honda has a long history of being a capable TV with much potential. We used a 93 Nissan Mini Van (although it had much less power than your Honda) for many years and it worked great. Since you are in Ontario and are interested in an Egg or Airstream check in with the good folks at Can Am in London. They are Egg and Airstream dealers and are towing professional who have set up 100's of Honda's for towing trailers. Best of Luck.
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