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Old 06-30-2010, 01:16 AM   #1
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Should I get a pop up or aliner camper when towing with a minivan?
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:25 AM   #2
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OK I will bite?

Why would you ask his here and not ask about a Fiberglass RV?

Ed
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:09 AM   #3
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Technically an Aliner is a solid sided pop-up that is fiberglass and aluminum and is an alternative to a solid fiberglass trailer...... If your options are only those two i would go with the Aliner because pop-ups canvas gets wet and must be dried out and i've already seen pop-ups that where folded up and the mice had a field day chewing holes in the canvas..... Others may feel differently and this is just my personal opinion as i had to repair those mice holes under a sewing machine and will never do that again.
Also the solid sided fold out fiberglass gives you more protection from the outside elements than canvas and the weight seems to be less too
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Aliner Specifications

Length (feet) 9.5'

Width (inches) 60"

Road Height (inches) 36"

Weight (lbs) 500 lbs.

Gross Vehicle Weight
Rating (GVWR) 1000 lbs.

Standard Equipment

Aluminum Fiberglass Exterior

4 Stabilizer Jacks

Spare Tire, Carrier, and Cover

1 Standard Baggage Door(s)

1 Standard Roof Vent(s)
Options


Electrical System (Outside outlet, porch light, battery hookup, and ceiling light)
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:22 AM   #4
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Moved to General Chat, this topic is NOT about Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers. But, I hope the OP gets answers he or she is seeking.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Moved to General Chat, this topic is NOT about Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers. But, I hope the OP gets answers he or she is seeking.
I weasn't trying to be nasty or not helpful,I really just do not understand the question being here?
I too would go with the Aliner as it hardsided.
The question is phrased as though a FGRV is not an option?
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:07 AM   #6
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Lexi, Not knowing your camping preferences, frankly that is an almost impossible question to answer. You don't say in your post if your looking for a rv that sleeps 1,2,3,4 or a whole herd of family. What is the towing capacity of your van? Do you like to wilderness camp, resort camp ? Would you prefer a trailer with a bathroom, or porta potty or none at all?

A little more info is needed to give you a better suggestion as to what type of rv would work best for you.


Technically this forum is dedicated to (Molded) fiberglass travel trailers ( I was thinking the same thing as Ed ). But that is not to say many of us haven't owned different types of rv units. So we may be able to at least guide you towards a place that would give you more answers depending on the type of rv your looking for. But if your interested in a fiberglass egg, well you came to the right place. There is a wealth of info here. So if you will answer the few questions I asked then hopefully we can have some suggestions for you. With a little more info, we can help you find your perfect trailer...........
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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I have a pop-up and was looking at either an A-Liner or Fiberglass camper. It was a close call, but I settled on a Scamp. The A-Liner would have been much easier than my pop-up to raise and lower each time I had to set up, and that's why I wanted to upgrade from a pop-up. If you don't need the extra sleeping capacity of a pop-up, I would recommend the A-Liner, but for my purposes the Scamp was even more convenient than the A-Liner.

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Old 06-30-2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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I also considered the Aliner and pop up, but the value just isn't there. The money they wanted for the aliner will almost purchase a 13' fiberglass . A solid trailer is so much more useful, for example , when on the road I can stop and prepare a nice lunch at a park or rest area without any set up. The usable room inside is greater. The quality of the trailers are much better with fiberglass . The one person I have met on the road with an Aliner sure wished he had gone with fiberglass. I would prefer a fiberglass floor to a plywood one.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:02 PM   #9
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Should I get a pop up or aliner camper when towing with a minivan?

Having once owned a pop-up (for a very short amount of time!), I would never do it again: wet canvas, mice during storage, and not cunducive to poor-weather camping. Have never owned an A-liner, but I've heard there can be water issues in the hinged areas. If tow capacity is not an issue I say go for a FGRV. We love our Scamp!
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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We owned a canvas popup for one summer. Just one! Then I sold it. I did not like getting all sweaty cranking the top up and down and setting everything up. Unlatch 4 corners, crank up, pull out both trays (plywood, I'd get splinters in fingers), go all around and secure the canvas down into place with the snaps, go inside and put the metal supports into place above the slideouts... whew! Taking it down was just as much fun, plus you have to make sure you get the canvas tucked in properly so it isn't hanging out. On a windy night the canvas is constantly flapping and making noise, and my wife felt very uneasy sleeping in it while in bear country.

I like the look and the concept of the A frames. No canvas, easier and quicker to put up. But they flex quite easily, so things don't always line up correctly. They cut the frame out to accomodate the door, which doesn't help with rigidity or strength. Then there are the delamination problems I've read about... the inside and outside layers of the roof panels don't expand and contract at the same rates. And I've read a couple tales of wind getting hold of a roof panel and ripping it clean off.

That's why I would recommend the kind of trailer I now own: a solid-shell fiberglass trailer. A basic 13' Scamp, new, will cost more than most new canvas popups but less than a new Aliner or Chalet. It will tow with similar ease and you'll get nearly as good fuel economy. Plus the "egg" trailer will hold its resale value waaaay better than the others.

I hope that helps.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:19 PM   #11
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Neither. Go with a glass trailer (that is what this site is about after all...). Pop ups are a huge pain... a minimum of four setups and takedowns every trip... and a nightmare in rainy weather. A-Liners leak. All of them. I have a 16' side dinette fiberglass trailer that is light enough to be towed with my Honda Element, and so far, I'm getting 20 mpg towing over about 1,200 miles. Not bad... and no setup/takedown... and I don't care if it's raining!

Happy hunting!

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Old 06-30-2010, 11:18 PM   #12
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I don't think any one of the trailers - pop-up, A-liner, or molded fiberglass "go" with a mini-van any more than the others. Given a suitable towing capacity, you could tow any of them.

Assuming you do have the tow capacity for any of the three (look in your van's manual to find it), I would choose by what you like, what you want to afford, and what works for you and your camping companions. That's the beauty of a trailer; it is independent of the tow vehicle (aside from the weight rating).

Of course as a molded fiberglass trailer owner, you can tell which one suits me (but I don't tow with a mini-van).
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:03 AM   #13
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I do like the egg but I can't find one that sleeps four or one in my area. Is there any other choices I have? I can tow 3500 ibs. Sorry I posted in the wrong area.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:00 AM   #14
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Some of these eggs have bunk beds that would give you the capacity to sleep four but that upper bunk will only hold 80 pounds......... the bunk bed models are hard to find but they are out there and can be found in 13' models without bath or 16'-17' models with bath and side bunk beds..... again very rare.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:23 AM   #15
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Lexi, are you looking for new or used?

I'll add to what has been previously mentioned. Sleeping 4, ok. If you are ordering new, it would be easy to get a Casita Spirit built with bunk beds in place of the side dinette. That's in additon to the larger rear bed. Their factory is in Texas.

The Scamp is built in Minnesota, and like Joe said you can get them with a front sofa that converts to bunks... for smaller kids, though.

Although far from you (British Columbia), the Escape (see www.escapetrailers.com) 17' floorplan A has 2 large beds. That is if the kids are willing to sleep together.

Another relatively small trailer (non-fiberglass) you could look at is the R-Pod. It has floorplans with 2 large beds, as well as a plan with 2 bunk beds in front and a large one in rear. Weight is around 2500 lb.

I would suggest looking at a Trailmanor, but the problem there is the hitch weight. They are light enough overall and will tow easily when folded, but they are too heavy on the hitch for the minivans.

If you are wanting something really affordable and buying used, between the two you initially mentioned I'd have to say the popup will be the greater bargain. It will probably cost less than an A frame, it expands much more with the end sections that come out, and it will feel more roomy. But in a couple years you will probably want to trade up for a better hardside trailer. If you have more money to spend, just jump right to the hardsides, that would be my advice.

Hope you find something you like and get out there, camping.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:37 AM   #16
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Lexi, not the wrong area, just not enough info in the question to help you.


Honestly, a pop up will give you the most room for the money.

A-liner, I can't comment on since I have never camped in one. But they are probably the most squished to me.

Egg, there are options for you out there. Yes maybe not in your area (today) That being said if you chose to purchase an egg it will most likely not be a purchase made tomorrow but you can find just the right one, with a little determination. Unfortunately the egg hunt in the used market tends to be a searching game. Of course there are those who fall into a egg purchase. It happens, but more often it's a matter of determination finding just the right one. So if your bound and determined to have one for camping in next week, I would say most likely a pop up would fit the bill for your camping needs. They're not without issues as others have told you, but they are readily available in both the new and used market.


Your tow capacity is good for most of the trailer types mentioned. But a heads up on a new egg purchase as they tend to weight more (our 2007 Casita FD weighted in at 2800 pounds empty). So for you with a 3500 tow cap, with kids, camping gear, food, etc. You would be pushing your tow cap. But the older eggs tend to weigh in less which would give you a safer towing experience. And there are some beautiful used eggs out there which would fit your families camping needs. You didn't say, do you want a bathroom? Air conditioner?
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:51 AM   #17
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lexi,

As you can see, there are many people here who would love to help you out. We enjoy talking about our trailers and camping, and like to help out a fellow camper.

But we can't do that if we don't know "where you are coming from."

So, we now know you have a mini-van that is rated to tow 3500#
We know you would like to sleep four
I didn't understand about the sleeping one part (edited: Oh, I see, you meant "or one [camper] in my area")

Can you tell us if it would be four adults? Two adults and two kids? Are the adults super tall or etc.? Can some sleep together or is it adult friends who want to sleep separately? Can you use a tent for some sleepers?

Are you looking for all the luxuries or more of a "hard-sided tent" effect?

Do you have a budget? Do you want new or used? (not that you have to tell us your finances, but give us an idea of what you are looking for in that area)

Are you willing to travel to find a camper or does it have to be right where you are? How much work are you inclined to put into "the hunt"?

Do you need it soon or just whenever it crops up?

If you can give us a little direction here, and not make us pry the info out bit by bit, we would love to help you. We enjoy talking about the plusses - and minusses - of our campers. And many here have had pop-ups, and probably A-liners as well.

But we are terrible mind readers

Raya
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:44 AM   #18
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Lexi, On our forum under trailers for sale is a 16 ft scamp in NY. Good luck.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:22 PM   #19
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OK, my 2-cents:

Questions: I see that the original poster is trying to sleep 4. A further question I would have would be about the size of the 4 and what you are used to or prefer in terms of bed size. We used to have a 13' Boler (similar in most respects to the 13' Scamp). I'm just a hair over 6' tall. The height of the trailer itself was fine for me - but when sleeping in the bed, the length was a bit cramped for me. Also - my wife and I were used to a queen size bed at home and the width was a little cozier than we wanted.

Other thoughts:

Never had a conventional pop-up, look like a hassle - but to be honest would the design really have persisted as long as it has if people weren't happy with them? Mice ants and other pests? Keep food out of the trailer when you're not using it and the hardware store is well stocked with nasty poisons. We've usually kept some in out of the way places in our trailers and not had problems.

Aliner: Haven't had one - but we DID have an Esterel (French built hard sided pop-up). Not an A-frame - had a flat roof. Our Esterel was pretty simple to set up. I liked that it was VERY lightweight and had hard walls around the portapotty area (pop-ups usually just have curtains). I remember looking at the A-liners and Chalet (another Aframe) trailers before we bought. My recollection is that none of them REALLY sleep 4 decently either. They DO have a "bunk" option but I think the lower bunk is basically the floor (yippie!). Aliner has (as I recall) some floor plans that are similar to the Esterel we had (double dinette which let you go perminant bed in back and two-person dinette in front). WONDERFUL 2 or 3 person trailers (as the Esterel was) 4 is a real squeeze.

TrailManor (since someone mentioned them): That's what we just got. Upsides: Plenty of sleeping capacity (we have a teeny tiny one and it will sleep 6 pretty easy). Floorplan-wise it's fairly similar to the regular pop-ups (big floor with two pull-out bunks). All hardsided (no tenting to rot, get nibbled, leak etc), hard walled bathroom. Beds are decently long for tall monkey people (like me). Downside: Heavy as all freakin' hell. I was used to trailers I could shove around in the driveway by hand with ease (have to spin it around in order to roll into garage). This one? I bought a heavy duty trailer dolly to do the job and it's still hard as hell. I have no plans to pull this beast with our Minivan. Full size van only. If we have to get a new tow vehicle - it'll be an even bigger beast if we're still pulling this bad boy. Once you're parked though? It's really nice. We just got it late last summer so we haven't really gotten out in it yet. I'm doing some fixing up first and some medical problems have gotten in the way too.

Other items of note:
Don't know if it's been mentioned in the thread yet - fiberglass doesn't rot - wood framed (regardless of the exterior sheathing) rots. If they are stored out in the weather - water WILL intrude at seams, dampen wood framing elements and encourage rot. Both the Esterel and Trailmanor needed some repairs for that. Fixed the trailmanor's upper door just last night - light fading - 3-yr olds were promised a backyard camping adventure... What fun!

Anyway - make a list of features you need and those you want and prioritize those. I guarantee you will not find anything that satisfies EVERYTHING, it's all a trade off. Hardwalled is great in terms of weather/security etc. But it comes at the cost of weight/size/sleeping capacity.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #20
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Lexi, a couple more quick thoughts... my Scamp 16' is pretty basic, but has the side dinette with the front bunk setup, and actually sleeps five. The Trillium 4500 also had a bunk bed option that, with the front bunk setup allowed for a six sleeper.

Happy Hunting!

Roger
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