Any drawbacks to buying a fiberglass trailer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Hi all,
So we've been camping with our popup camper lately and it's been a lot of fun. We now want to upgrade to a hard-walled travel trailer. There are lots of options but I haven't found anything that fits my basic criteria - no more than 3000lbs ready-to-go.

Now fiberglass trailers open up a whole new world to us in that sub 3000lbs category. But are there any drawbacks to owning a fiberglass vs. a standard travel trailer? We're not looking for bells and whistles because the main reason we want to upgrade to a hard-walled trailer is safety and security at night (mostly from the two legged animals) and two a little less work packing/unpacking/tear-down. So are the fiberglass trailer strong enough for us to feel safe in them? Any other drawbacks? If anything I think they're superior to the regular trailers due to the weight, aerodynamics and the fact that fiberglass doesn't rust or rot like metal or wood.

We don't care for TV, satellites, microwave etc. Just need something that sleeps 4, stove, sink, dinette, furnace, a/c and optionally a small fridge, a shower and a restroom - that's about it.

Also, I hear there's a fiberglass RV convention in OR in August, can anyone point me to that, we may consider attending it since we've never seen a fiberglass trailer in person.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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Also, I hear there's [b]a fiberglass RV convention in OR in <strike>August</strike>, can anyone point me to that, we may consider attending it since we've never seen a fiberglass trailer in person.
Link to "The Oregon Gathering" [b]Forum at Bullard's Beach State Park. [b]JULY 16, 17, 18, & 19
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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Russell, H.

I see that you are in Orange, County California. You are very close to where we hold a rally each year. If you are interested in looking at several different fiberglass trailers, you might want to come.

We have the Lake Casitas Rally scheduled for October 29 to November 2. Lake Casitas is near Ventura, and Ojai. On Saturday we will have an Open House where the trailers will be open to walk through and you can talk to the owners and see why Fiberglass trailers are so loved.

We have 34 trailers registered so far in the BASS campground.
http://www.lakecasitas.info/camping.

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Old 07-06-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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Hi Russell,

Are you tall? Most of the small trailers have bed lengths around 6'4". I find I fit my Trillium fine at 6'1" but my friend at 6'4" decided to get a popup for the big beds. There is definitely more wind drag with a travel trailer so I would assume your gas mileage would get worst. With our 13' we still have to do a certain amount of unloading/setup but if you can afford a 17' then you probably could avoid that.

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Old 07-06-2009, 05:37 PM   #5
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Well, Russell, the drawback I see is that we often have to let people tour our trailers. They stop us in gas stations, run us down in parking lots, and bother our early morning coffee to tell us how cute our trailers are and could they see inside.

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Old 07-06-2009, 05:51 PM   #6
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The only drawback I found when I was looking was the price and availability. The fibreglass trailers command a big price premium over the hardtop campers.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:00 PM   #7
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Drawbacks.....hummmmm.....lets see, strangers will honk at you and drive by giving the "thumbs up". You will curse yourself for not doing this sooner. MMMM, you will find yourself craining your neck looking across the freeway if you see a fellow "fiberglasser" wondering what year and what make it is , and do you know them......your friends will envy you....Thats about it
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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hahahahaha... Brandy is RIGHT. On the way home from Yellowstone we got the thumbs up and we even had a chat at a red light.

seriously, though, the height issue is important. I am 6'1" and I **JUST FIT** in the loft of our Scemp 5th wheel. If you are much taller, it could be a deal breaker.

Oh - the only other draw back is you keep looking at it in the driveway and want to GO!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:54 PM   #9
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Wow those are some drawbacks I'm willing to live with

Carol/Jim, thanks for the suggestion I'd love to go but I have the itch to buy now Although the availability is tough and the used ones are definitely pricier.

Edit: Height is not a concern, I'm right around 6 ft tall.
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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You say you don't need bells but our 17 foot has a microwave, large refridgerator, TV DVD, shower, toilet, running water and most of the bells that come with standard trailers. We agree with the others, that main downside is being stopped at gas stations to hear about our trailers. We even had someone pass us three times only to corner us when we stopped so that they could see inside.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #11
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Exclamation

The other drawback is that you spend hours cruising this website.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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Drawbacks. hummmmm. Bed size and the number of beds can be a problem... depending on the size of the individuals and the need for space. What are you planning to tow with? That really is the place to start. When you say "sleeps four," is that two adults and two children (age of the kids?)

Here's a couple of topics you may want to look at:
Bed Size ????

Inside Height by Trailer Brand

Family Friendly Floor Plans
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #13
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Yes, 2 adults and two kids (ages 5 and 9) - thanks for the links I'll check out those threads.

So the next question is what do you guys recommend in terms of the size and dare I say the brand? The most aerodynamic, the most well balanced (tongue weight in proportion to the trailer weight) and the one with fewest issues. I kinda saw some mention of rivets in the passing.

Thanks everyone! The itch is getting stronger but the economy is making me feel nervous about making a second large purchase this year.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:04 PM   #14
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Casita or Scamp for the smaller areodynamic units they come in 13 16 and 17.
Bigger is the Bigfoot. All of these have websites you can visit.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:05 PM   #15
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Hi Russell,

Well, it comes down to how you camp now. Our family (2 boys 8 and 13, myself and my wife) cooks and spends all our time outside so we never use our inside stove or sink. We generally only setup our inside table when it's raining and we need to play some cards or other games to occupy ourselves. So far us, a 13' trailer (no bathroom, bunks for the kids) is just fine. It sounds like you could pull a 17' (most are under 3000lbs) so if you need a bathroom or expect to spend more time inside then that might be a better option. Realistically if you are buying an older trailer it's not how well they were built but how well they have been maintained.

EDIT: I see Andy mentioned Scamp and Casita which are trailers you can buy new. I would add Escape Trailer to that list. I think only the 17' Bigfoot would fit under 3000lbs and they are very expensive and as they currently just coming out of bankruptcy I am not sure how available they would be.

For used in California you will also see Boler's, some Trilliums and Burro's / U-Hauls
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:29 PM   #16
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The only drawback I've witnessed is that I want to go on camping trips every week.

I think some people have covered the height issue. If you're tall it can be a problem.

Basically, fiberglass trailers were the perfect fit for my family. We settled on a Casita, but they're all excellent RVs. I've yet to see one that I didn't like. Superior in just about every way to a pop up.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:39 PM   #17
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My 6' husband could stand in our Burro and our UHaul.

You can also add something like we do. We set up a FirstUp from Walmart against the UHaul, giving us another room.

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Old 07-06-2009, 10:30 PM   #18
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The other drawback is that you spend hours cruising this website.
cheers
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[b]Yes but ....... how else do we lean about our little Eggs? <div align='center'></div>

Marianne, counting the days before we're taking the "The Little White House' for it's first trip since returning home from Rice, TX on May 26th.



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Old 07-06-2009, 11:09 PM   #19
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As others have said there are a few draw backs, but as you can see we find them pleasant. But one drawback that I see for you is with a newer egg is that I know our 2007 Casita weighted in at 2800 pounds empty. That would really push your weight limits. Unless your saying 3000 pounds with room for the poundage that comes with loading your camping stuff. Don't want to steer you away from the wonderful world of egg-isum, but may suggest looking for an older one as they tend to weigh much less than the newer versions.


Now as for "new" suggestions ( great suggestion already) but the EggCamper was left out. And I personally think it would be a wonderful option for your growing family. Happy Hunting! Robin
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:46 PM   #20
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Hi Russell,

Having owned a very basic, no frills 1987 13' Burro, that was very used, needed initial work, but was comfy and cozy and served our purposes at the time, which were basically similar to yours - we wanted the hard shell for weather, security, ease of settling in and ease of packing up. Now, we are owners of a 17' 2005 Escape, previously owned but not very used, which we bought for more comfort for aging bodies. We still keep it basic, no microwave, no air conditioner, but we enjoy the extra room, the shower and bigger beds. Both trailers, in our camping lifestyle, felt like campers, not luxury units. We loved the easy to clean and lightness (as in lots of reflected light) of the double walled Burro, which Burro lovers and owners on this site are partial too, and we appreciate the fine workmanship, wood cabinets, etc. of the Escape. Cost is a factor, if you are fortunate to find a used trailer in good shape, that is a real plus.

We did a lot of research, talked to owners, considered several makes, before buying our Escape, the Burro was a naive spur of the moment purchase, there was no FiberglassRV Forum at the time. As others have already said, I recommend using this forum for your research, look at several, only in 'real life' can you get a feel for your preferences, then shop around.

You will love whatever you buy, if you are even drawn to these lovely little eggs at all you are already hooked - good luck on your search!

Penney

PS Our Escape is around 2000#, the Burro under 1000. One thing to consider is that owning an Egg does require some maintenance know how. How much you know, want to know, want to do is a consideration when buying used.
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