A hello and some beginning questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2020, 08:49 AM   #1
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A hello and some beginning questions

Hello, fiberglass RV people!

I have been following threads on here for some time and am starting to move toward finding my first fiberglass RV. I am grateful to have access to so many experienced brains, and hope you can offer some initial guidance.

First, some background. I intend to use a camper for myself and maybe one or two other people. I don't need a bathroom, and the smaller/lighter the better. Though I'd still like to be able to stand and have a table (hence why I'm not looking at teardrop trailers). Most of my travels would be somewhat local, though I want it to be durable enough for extended trips out West.

I am prepared to take on a camper that needs some work or updates, though I'm not able to do a complete overhaul. In fact, I'd love to get to use it as a learning project! That's part of the fun, right?

I live in Minnesota. The summers are often hot and humid, so ventilation is key. The more windows that open, the better. My searches are currently focused on the Trillium, because it seems to have more options for ventilation.

Now for the questions:
- Are there other models that I should be looking at that also offer plenty of open windows and fit my needs?
- Are there any essential info threads on here that I should be sure to see? For example, some that list key things to look for when considering a used fiberglass RV? Or a breakdown of different models and their general pros/cons?
- Any ideas of good resources here in Minnesota, just for future reference? I'm in the twin cities area.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:42 AM   #2
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Since you are in the twin cities, I would suggest calling Wayne Pitlick up at Scamp Trailers (800-346-4962) and explain what you are looking for. (He may know folks who are getting a new Scamp and selling their old trailer.)

Even if you are not planning a new Scamp purchase, it might be worthwhile to make the 2hr drive up to Backus to look around and get ideas?

Just a thought .....

Good luck with your search!


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Old 06-30-2020, 10:47 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToThis View Post
I live in Minnesota. The summers are often hot and humid, so ventilation is key. The more windows that open, the better. My searches are currently focused on the Trillium, because it seems to have more options for ventilation.
Any of the 70's to 80's Bolers, scamps, Trilliums with Jalousy windows will give plenty of ventilation. The Trilliums put them all around whereas the other brands had them on the sides and sometimes put a slider for the rear window. Definitely go to the More tab and select the Documents Center. There are several buying guides there. Also search this site for possible issues. For example, Trilliums are know for problems with the belly band. It's the band around the middle where the upper and lower shells are joined. Another one to watch out for would be frame cracking which has affected every vintage brand to some extent. Read the buying guides and you will get a good idea of what to look for. If you aren't too picky, you can get a usable one fairly cheap.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips so far! I have contacted Wayne Pitlick and located the Documents Center. All very helpful!

Fingers crossed,
Erin
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:12 PM   #5
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Here is a good site


https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:43 PM   #6
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There's really nothing that beats the old Trilliums for ventilation. They have a number of known issues, so you would do well to do some research ("Site Search/Google" at the bottom of the search menu) before you jump into a vintage trailer. Some can be repaired, others should be rejected, and knowing what to look for can help you avoid a project you don't want. Trillium issues include: frame reinforcement, rusted frame bolts, belly band leak, window wood rot, Bargeman door lock, soft floor, and front corner sag (last two are the bad ones).

Recently there was an attempt to revive the original Trillium as the Trillium Sidekick with all-around jalousie windows. The company failed, but there are a few floating around (not to be confused with the Trillium Outback, different company, same shell, no jalousies).

My Scamp has pretty good ventilation at the back. The front window doesn't open, though, due to the curve of the shall. A powered roof vent (Fantastic Fan or MaxxAir Fan) helps a lot and can be added to almost any brand of trailer to improve ventilation without A/C. It runs on 12V battery power so it can be used when you don't have hookups.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:54 PM   #7
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IMHO no trailer comes close to matching the open window area of a Trillium. They are unique in windows. And with an optional jealousie kitchen window (relatively common) and sometimes even a door jealousies window too(rare). The Boler/Scamp design typically has a fixed window front and rear, while the Trillium front and rear windows open. Then you have the larger side jealousie windows on the Trillium.

The 1300 model has a rear dinette that converts to a main bed and usually a front gaucho that converts to bunks. Many remove the upper bunk to make the lower bunk roomier. And the lower bunk can accommodate an adult. The 4500 has a similar floorplan but a bigger rear bed.

My Trillium 1300 has MORE window opening area than my Escape 19!

I really wanted the 4500 but ended up with the smaller 1300.

There are some Trilliums with a front dinette instead of the gaucho (rare) and a version with a front corner toilet. The toilet version won’t handle more than 2.

The roofs on Trilliums will not support an AC. They did make a version with a raised roof for roof air (super rare).

Here in the US, you are looking for a 40+ year old trailer, made in Canada. Rare in the US. Plan on driving a significant distance to get one.

While well built, some can have a soft floor or floor sag. Both are to be avoided! I passed on two with that issue (both 4500s), so when I found a 1300 without this fatal flaw, I pounced!

1977 Trillium 1300, look at the windows!

Two jalousie windows on the front, window on the door (mine does not open) and large window on the curb side of the dinette/bed
1977 Trillium 1300 Mt Pisgah NP CG by wrk101, on Flickr

On the street side, small jalousie kitchen window that opens, along with a large jalousie window on the side of the dinette:
1977 Trillium 1300 Mt Pisgah NP CG by wrk101, on Flickr
One large jalousie window on the back, along with an escape hatch that also opens:
belly band done by wrk101, on Flickr
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:08 PM   #8
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A hello and some beginning questions

Minor correction... Any Scamp since c.1985 can have a rear sliding window. Thatís when they changed the molds to create a flat window opening. In the early years it was apparently an option since some have it and some donít. It eventually became standard, not sure exactly when, but more than 20 years ago.

1976-1977 Scamps also have front and rear center awning windows. Those are the only years that had a front window that opened.

Agree that Trillium is the hands-down champ for natural ventilation.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:20 PM   #9
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Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
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In addition to pretty good ventilation via the jalousie Windows and the rear slider window, that rear Scamp window opens wide enough to accommodate a Frigidaire 5000 BTU window air conditioner for those times when the high humidity and heat combine to make any amount of window ventilation insufficient.

When we have needed AC, we have used the Frigidaire window unit in both a Scamp13 and our more recent Scamp16D-A. It cools the trailer just fine.

You can probably find designs for window A.C. mounts in older forum posts.
If you need them, I can try to post pix of the mounting platform that we use.

Ray
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:57 PM   #10
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Name: Lauren
Trailer: Bigfoot 25B25RQ
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I don't know anything about Ventura trailers, but this listing from the fiberglass-rv-rsale.com site was posted on the "Molded Fiberglass RV 4 Sale" Facebook page today and it made me think of this thread immediately, since it seems to have the jalousie windows that trailers like Trillium are known for. Maybe some folks on this forum who are more familiar with Ventura trailers can tell you more (or tell you to steer clear - what do I know?). :-)

https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...bd4ScdSY1jWrMI
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Old Yesterday, 12:36 PM   #11
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Happier Camper

For windows and views, take a look at the Happier Camper.
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