Advice on which 13' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-24-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
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Name: Jon
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Advice on which 13'

Hi all, I am new here and we are looking for a 13' fiberglass camper. I am into sailboats and pretty much know the good brands from the not so good brands. I am guessing this is also true with these campers. Can someone with some experience with these campers sort of list out which are the really good ones and then the not so good ones. If you feel uncomfortable with an open forum (I don't want to offend any current owners) feel free to email me. Thanks in advance for any help.

Oh, also what are some of the trouble spots on these campers? Floor and frame rot?
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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We have an Escape 13 which we are very happy with.

Our trailer was made by Escape Trailer Escape Trailer Industries > Home

Although they are no longer making this size you may occasionally see a used one on the market.

If you want a new trailer, they make a 15 foot trailer which is a great design.

You can see more about our trailer here: Ladybug our Escape 13 - a set on Flickr

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Old 09-24-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergreen View Post
Hi all, I am new here and we are looking for a 13' fiberglass camper. I am into sailboats and pretty much know the good brands from the not so good brands. I am guessing this is also true with these campers. Can someone with some experience with these campers sort of list out which are the really good ones and then the not so good ones. If you feel uncomfortable with an open forum (I don't want to offend any current owners) feel free to email me. Thanks in advance for any help.

Oh, also what are some of the trouble spots on these campers? Floor and frame rot?
To start with... They are all WONDERFUL!

Since I have owned a bunch of different ones, I will try to comment.
First let me say that the prospective Tow vehicle would make a huge difference in your choice.
I would divide the them in to several catagories...
1] towability
2] build quality
3]spaciousness and convenience.
4] price and resale
SCALE OF A-D ,best to good

I will stick with the standard sized fiberglass trailers which are most common And start with new ones now available.
Casita Patriot 1-a 2-A 3-C 4-a
Casita would prefer not to sell these and will pressure you toward a larger unit. Solid but a little clunky in interior design

Scamp Standard 1-A 2-a 3-B 4-A
Standard of the Industry best value on the market, solid , will resell before you finish typing the ad.

Scamp Deluxe 1-A 2-A+ 3-a 4-a
If you like sailboats you will LOVE this choice , the interior is the best on the market and gives the feel of a sailboat interior.

Trillium Outback 1-C 2-A 3-A+ 4-B
This one is built TOUGH and solid to last forever, very roomy but a little stark for the price.


Now the most popular used ones...

Casita Patriot [see above]

Scamp Standard[see above]

Scamp Deluxe [see above]

Trillium 13 & Outback. [See above]
better bargain used, less towable with small TV and lacks a little in road manners

Lil Bigfoot 1-a 2-A+ 3-a 4-a
Great trailer, hard to find , expensive to buy, Statisfying Quality

Escape 13 [see Trillium]

Boler [1-A 2-a 3-B 4-A
Very much like so many, most will be pretty old and worn, the good ones are being kept.

Burro and U-haul [1-B 2a 3-B 4-A
Subjective looks solid design, Check for frame damage
A few mentionable but rare or unusual used ones...
Compact Jr
Rear entry, iffy road manners pop-up top

Cadet
RARE Jewel, flimsy interior, tows and stores THE BEST, has a pop-up top
Go to the Home page here to view the proliferation of makes which are or were available and forgive me for the ones not mentioned

Let me say that ANY fiberglass trailer is superior to a stickbuilt , and that I love everyone of them .
This is like a pretty baby contest judged in front of the moms!
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:01 PM   #4
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I find it interesting that you rate all the campers' construction quality as "A" or better, except the Boler which you give a "B."

Now, I have seen Boler construction up close, and I don't think it's superior to others; but neither do I see it as worse. So I would like to understand your rating better.

The one thing I can think of right off the bat that differs in the Boler/Scamp clones is that the Bolers I have seen have a molded fiberglass/cored floor, and the Scamps have a coated/painted OSB floor. Given the choice I would take the Boler style floor.

Anyway, just curious. I felt there were too many variables to respond to the OP's very broad question.

Raya
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raya L. View Post
I find it interesting that you rate all the campers' construction quality as "A" or better, except the Boler which you give a "B."

Now, I have seen Boler construction up close, and I don't think it's superior to others; but neither do I see it as worse. So I would like to understand your rating better.

The one thing I can think of right off the bat that differs in the Boler/Scamp clones is that the Bolers I have seen have a molded fiberglass/cored floor, and the Scamps have a coated/painted OSB floor. Given the choice I would take the Boler style floor.

Anyway, just curious. I felt there were too many variables to respond to the OP's very broad question.

Raya
The explanation is below the rating, but due to your input I fixed it!
When did they quit making the Boler13?
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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Evergreen, were you thinking new, used or either?
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Raya L. View Post
The one thing I can think of right off the bat that differs in the Boler/Scamp clones is that the Bolers I have seen have a molded fiberglass/cored floor, and the Scamps have a coated/painted OSB floor. Given the choice I would take the Boler style floor.

Anyway, just curious. I felt there were too many variables to respond to the OP's very broad question.

Raya
One must be cautious when trailer profiling. For example, the boler was made in a number of different factories over the years. They are not all the same. There are boler's out there with wood floors before they started making the fiberglass floor.

Though I can't agree more with your last comment Raya.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
When did they quit making the Boler13?
A good thread on egg history is http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...nts-26760.html

It appears that the boler was made in Midhurst ON until 1987 or 1988 after moving from Earlton.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #9
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Hi: floyd... As far as I know the last few Bolers of any description were built in 1988. My input would be biased...but I feel that the Escape trailers build quality is much better than average. They are for the most part custom built, as well as hand made. There are hardly ever two of their trailers built alike. It takes 3 weeks from start to finished trailer.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:56 PM   #10
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Floyd There is also the Trillium currently being built in Southern California. The quality is excellent. I can't tell from your post if it is included in your summary but I have visited the factory and would certainly recommend them. I think they are priced a little below Escape and Outback but am not sure that is correct. The Trillium from Southern California is separate and distinct from the Trillium Outback currently being built in Canada. Lee
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:02 PM   #11
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Agreed, Roy. That is why I said "that I have seen." Although from what I know, more of the Boler 13's had the fiberglass floor than not. But still, one has to check each trailer. I know of some early 80's Boler 13's. They started to change a bit. Carpeted walls, and tabbed in furniture, for example. Anyway, yes, we would need to know much more from Evergreen to give any really good/specific info. Raya
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:08 AM   #12
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I would like to put a good word in for Trillium. We LOVE our Homelet. It seems spacious to us, we haven't even used a lot of the storage, and it tows like it isn't there. The weight bogs down our Subaru on hills somewhat, but that would happen with any trailer.
  • We particularly like the opening windows on all four sides.
  • The windows are the jalousie style which allows us to keep them open in the rain.
  • I can fit my biggest pot in the sink to fill with water.
  • The surround shelving allows us to store all the everyday used items.
  • The MaxAir fan blows up a storm.
  • We like the molded fiberglass interior, easy to keep clean and makes the body sturdy.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:18 AM   #13
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OK, enough bickering.
Evergreen; Find something that you like and then look for the good/bad points. The most important part is deciding what you can live with and love and then go CAMPING. There's plenty to read on the forums here and you can make smart choices from everyone's experiences.

Just enjoy, Dusty
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:31 AM   #14
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Evergreen, Welcome to the glass forum! Glad you joined us. The search for the perfect trailer is always a fun one. I am with others who have asked, New or Used?

As far as the used market, opinions really won't help. Frankly it's about finding a used one for sale first off, then it's about whether the previous owner/owners cared for it. Of course there are manufacturing issues that I have read about, example Burro's frame? In my opinion if you can find a burro the frame can be replaced/repaired if need be. Personally I am not a fan of the Scamp exterior finish, but that is not detrimental to buying one. What I am trying to say is, I really haven't read or heard of many manufacturing issues that can't be fixed or made workable.


And since the used market can be tight, I would suggest keeping an open mind and looking at all options that come up for sale.

It's really about finding a trailer that meets your camping style or one that can be re-hab into your perfect trailer. Best of luck!

What type of vehicle will you be towing with? Do you want/need a bathroom?
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:01 AM   #15
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I think Floyd covered it pretty well. Out all the 13' fiberglass trailers made over the years only three are being made that I know of. Casita, Scamp, and Trillium/Escape. Some might want to argue that 4, but Trillium and Escape are both partially made by Escape. At moment it appears the Reace has put the Escape 13 on hold for now.

Scamp is generally considered the best value. It's price is the lowest and many 30+ year old trailers are still out being used today.

That's my take.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I think Floyd covered it pretty well. Out all the 13' fiberglass trailers made over the years only three are being made that I know of. Casita, Scamp, and Trillium/Escape. Some might want to argue that 4, but Trillium and Escape are both partially made by Escape. At moment it appears the Reace has put the Escape 13 on hold for now.

Byron
Byron:

See http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post188440

It is no longer true that Trillium and Escape are both partially made by Escape.

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Old 09-25-2010, 07:20 AM   #17
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Yeah Byron, Escape quit making the 13 foot blanks for TrilliumRV more than a year ago and stopped producing 13' all Escape trailers this past late spring/early summer
"At this time, we have decided to suspend production of the 13' Escape. With the introduction of the 15' and its competitive pricing, interest in the 13' has dropped off. Due to the demand, we are focusing on the units that are generating the most interest. Any 13' units currently on order will be built as scheduled." as found here: Escape Trailer Industries > Home

That means (I think) only Casita, Scamp, TrilliumRV (with a different vendor than Escape) and perhaps Team Trillium are building the 13 footers. Here's the Team Trillium (Outback) website: http://www.trilliumtrailers.com/index.html
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:58 AM   #18
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I think the U-Haul has been given short shrift here. Consider the unquestionable advantages: double hull for strength, no through-rivets to break or leak, smooth bright molded interior for best light and feeling of roominess, no ratfur on walls to deteriorate, sealed bearings, substantial bumper, solar panel, FG sealed floor.

The U-Haul CT13 was designed to be exceptionally sturdy and renter-proof, and for minimal maintenance required of U-Haul dealers (and, ultimately, us lucky private owners).
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:43 AM   #19
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I think the U-Haul has been given short shrift here.


Jack, I agree! I find it fitting to quote a great saying posted recently by DonnaD.
Quote:
Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.


I truly believe that every glass 13fter has things that make it great compared to another. If the opportunity came about to have them all side by side, it would still come down to what best fits the individuals camping needs. I personally would never have one that had an exposed underbelly (that's just me!) It's not to say that it's a bad trailer, it's just saying for me it wouldn't work.

I also think that many 14fter's in the used market might be getting over looked. Their are many of them that are just as wonderful as a 13fter.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:50 AM   #20
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(Dusty, if debating the merits/detriments of different brands for someone who asked sounds like bickering to you, please skip to the next post.)

But, like everyone is saying, there are plusses and minusses to them all. For the plus of the U-haul sealed bearings, you have the minus of proprietary wheels; for the plus of the fiberglass liner, you have the minus that if a leak or dirt or etc. get between the shells, it's hard to get to. For the less rounded front you have the 12" couch that is hard to sit on (if you want to use the couch back), etc.

Now, I like the U-haul a lot and I used to own one. I would not have bought it if I did not like them. But basically, they all have plusses and minusses. None of the older 13's were built by "craftsmen"; and they all have little weird spots here and there (one U-haul I looked at had the two shells glassed together off-kilter, and I could find similar issues with every brand).

These were all built to a price, and a fiberglass factory is a nasty place to work and is never going to attract Michealangelos or Einsteins. Nonetheless, all of the brands I can think of have some special, neat features; and likewise they all have their own little flaws and things that could have been done better.

Add to that 30 years of maintenance, neglect, wonderful owner upgrades, or shoddily done "improvements," and you have one, individual trailer for sale today.

So, if I were in your position (and I was, a few years ago), I would want to read up on the different brands and what their good points/bad points/features were (searching and reading FGRV is a great place to do that), decide what is important to you, look at some trailers (another decision; how far are you willing to travel to get one?), and then ultimately buy one.

If you are buying new, it's a slightly different story. There are only a few brands made now, and some of them are a better made than others (reflected in price, I imagine).

So, if you wouldn't mind, could you please take the time to clarify what you are looking for? If you do, then those of us who are putting in our time to answer you can better tailor our responses.

Raya
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