Camper Shells - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-05-2020, 11:37 PM   #21
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Maybe I am being too cautious but I leaning heavily toward wanting a new shell so as to avoid any issues with previous water damage or other issues. Another reason I want new is I would prefer to get one without anything done to the roof so no holes ever made in it. I have spent allot of time looking into what is going to go inside the unit but am just now looking for the shell itself. I plan to live in this thing full time for a few years and then use it part time. My goal is to get it completed by summer of 2021.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:47 PM   #22
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I'd do some research into how easy it is to repair fibreglass, replace caulk etc.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:49 PM   #23
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Thanks for the suggestion Glenn, I have not bothered to do that so maybe I am making a bigger deal out of it then it needs to be.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:57 PM   #24
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Several people here who can guide you to a flawless finish ( I'm not one of them ).
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:02 AM   #25
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And, if you plan to live in it full time, you will have to pack everything, every time, to go get groceries, dump your black and grey water, get fresh water. I'd be looking at a trailer.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:35 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by GregLucas View Post
Maybe I am being too cautious but I leaning heavily toward wanting a new shell so as to avoid any issues with previous water damage or other issues. Another reason I want new is I would prefer to get one without anything done to the roof so no holes ever made in it. I have spent allot of time looking into what is going to go inside the unit but am just now looking for the shell itself. I plan to live in this thing full time for a few years and then use it part time. My goal is to get it completed by summer of 2021.
Iíll have to agree that rebuilding a used one might be a better bet. For comfort and other reasons youíll want windows and probably at least a power vent on the roof, so youíll be cutting some holes anyway. New RV windows can be very expensive (used is also an option), and you may run into issues on the curved sides of a utility shell. Resealing old windows and vents would be a basic part of a renovation project and less work than cutting and installing new. If you donít need all the appliance vents, patching unneeded openings in fiberglass is not too difficult.

Wouldnít hurt to get a quote from one of the utility shell manufacturers for comparison, though. They seem to be more common that Iíd thought. I hadnít seen one locally before. Iíll be surprised if any have a large enough cab-over section for an overhead bed, if thatís part of your plan.

As Glenn says, trailers do have the advantage of not having to stow everything inside the camper and disconnect utilities to take a local outing or make a grocery run. They also leave the pickup bed free for overflow storage, allowing the camper to remain uncluttered. Storage matters when full-timing. Donít underestimate how much youíll need to bring to be prepared for all manner of weather and on-the-fly maintenance and repairs. A small cargo trailer behind your truck camper could also accomplish the same.

Truck and van campers are convenient for cross-country touring with short stops. Truck campers are great for getting into remote boondocking spots (until they get too big and heavy, anyway). Trailers are more convenient for camping a week here, two weeks there... Depends on what you plan to do.

Best wishesí.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:46 AM   #27
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If you're gutting it, previous leaks aren't that big of a deal anyway. Anything with water damage would be removed when you gut it.

I also don't doubt that person can live full time out of a truck camper, and that people do. I don't necessarily doubt that you're a person who could, since I don't know you. But I agree with Jon...I live in my camper three seasons of each year. I have very little stuff. All the same, it's amazing how much stuff I have.

You weren't asking us for our opinions on how realistic your ideas for the future are, but you'll hear them anyway! Unless you have no hobbies, or your hobbies are something like fly-tying and building miniature things, you're going to be overflowing with stuff. Actually living in a camper means carrying all sorts of things you wouldn't take camping.

I have tools. All the things needed for basic to somewhat large vehicle and trailer repairs. Musical instruments. X-country skis, poles. Winter clothes and boots. Work boots. Car camping gear. Backpacking gear. A canoe and paddles and life jackets and dry bags. A cooler. A smaller cooler for lunch for days in the field. Books. Sun hats. All sorts of little things I can't think of which take up an incredible amount of space. You probably have less, but unless you go seriously minimal, you're going to look like the Clampetts driving down the road and constantly be tripping over all your stuff.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:16 PM   #28
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I appreciate all the different opinions so keep them coming, as far as having too much stuff to travel in a truck camper maybe a little background would help. I am self employed and sold my home to focus on building my national network so I essentially live out of a couple of suit cases and travel 50+ weeks a year so having a truck camper would actually increase my carrying capacity allot. I am looking at getting either a Ford F550 or Ram 5500 series crew cab flatbed to carry the camper. I estimate it will take me about 5 years to fully build out my network and once done the camper would just be used occasionally. I am leaning toward the truck camper vs trailer simply because it is easier to get around.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by GregLucas View Post
Maybe I am being too cautious but I leaning heavily toward wanting a new shell so as to avoid any issues with previous water damage or other issues. Another reason I want new is I would prefer to get one without anything done to the roof so no holes ever made in it. I have spent allot of time looking into what is going to go inside the unit but am just now looking for the shell itself. I plan to live in this thing full time for a few years and then use it part time. My goal is to get it completed by summer of 2021.
With new Bigfoot pickup campers going for $50k or more, my guess is a new shell is going to cost you $25,000. Meanwhile, used Bigfoot pickup camper projects (complete with leaks) might cost you $4,000. And that leaker will also come with appliances, bathroom, plumbing, windows, etc. Sure, some of that stuff might not be good, but some of it will.

You decide.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:38 AM   #30
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Have you considered mounting a Casita or Scamp to a flatbed? Easier to drive around and possibly more capacity for extra tanks, generator, etc for full timing.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:54 AM   #31
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Sounds great. Sounds like you're absolutely someone who could make it work. I do envy you a bit...are you young(ish)? I've found as I've gotten older, I've accumulated more and more "life", if you want to call it that. Hobbies, equipment, gear for things I like to do. I suppose if my life were constant travel that would change. And that's a whole other kind of "life". I live in my camper, but I do it in one area. I have a job and a life in a town. I rent houses for the winter. So I have stuff. Cast iron skillets, all the equipment for baking bread, clothes for going into work, cleaning supplies, all the stuff that comes along with having a dog etc.

I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

I'd say keep going small! The idea of putting a trailer on the flatbed of a bigger truck is a great one for the right kind of person, but I like knowing there are people out there who need far, far less. I've attempted to go that route myself, but for now anyway, I've hit a limit on the stuff I'm willing to get rid of. With my current lifestyle, getting rid of more doesn't really help. If I went fully vagabond I guess it would be a different story.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:44 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Scamp used to sell an (almost) bare shell. The did include the closet by the door for structural reasons. Donít know if they would still do that.

Happier Camper sells a bare shell. Lil Snoozy did, called the Lil Hauley, until they folded. Both of those use construction methods that donít require additional interior support.

You can also look up Florida-based Chariot Trailers, which makes a line of molded fiberglass cargo trailers.
So there is no confusion HC will sell you a bare bones trailer not a shell, the bare bones comes with every thing you need enabling you to add future or already available components this includes the adaptive floor and all the pre wireing and perimeter bench,it would also include frame and axels and folding toung
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:19 PM   #33
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If I was in your situation I would look at camper vans. They have plenty of room for one person and are not top heavy like a slide in. I was just looking at the Pleasure Way Tofino.
You could stealth camp just about anywhere.
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:31 AM   #34
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I never considered mounting a travel trailer to a flatbed, I am going to have to look into that option as well. I am really glad I joined this forum, all of you have been very helpful.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:59 AM   #35
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If I were doing that much traveling and needed to carry things for work I would be looking at a tall van.



For instance here is an interview tour of a Sprinter Van used by a man who is an on the roadfull time but does expediting jobs. So he needed to have a toilet, shower, bed that would fold up out of the way when he had to haul cargo.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:33 AM   #36
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I agree a van could be worth considering as an alternative.

Fully equipped Class B motorhomes can be very, very expensive. Most are not very “stealthy” either- you can’t use them where overnight RV parking is prohibited.

Since you are planning to do the build yourself anyway, you could start with a used cargo van, which typically cost less than pickups. Adding a fiberglass pop-up top is not outrageously expensive, and many of the newer Euro-style vans have high-roof versions.

Disadvantage is you can’t (easily) move the camper to a new truck when the vehicle is worn out. Consider a modular approach to the interior that can be unbolted and swapped to a different van down the line. There are lots of ideas and even plans online.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:35 AM   #37
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If you decide to consider a trailer to build out yourself, take a look at Snoozy ll. Wesco in conjunction with Alan Smoak is resuming production. I am not sure if they are planning to sell empty shells on a trailer like Lil Snoozy did, but, unlike other fiberglass trailers their shell is free standing and needs no interior structure to hold it together. Even the floor is fiberglass. I spent about 3 months on my buildout last winter. So far I have towed it about 25,000 miles, including Alaska with no structural modifications.

Wesco is currently getting the molds reconditioned. Production should start soon. The website is marginal at the moment. If interested you will have to call them for any details.

https://snoozy2.com/
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:44 AM   #38
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Snoozy 2 is finishing up their first camper this week. A second one is in the molds. They havenít announced pricing yet.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:21 AM   #39
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Does anyone know if Bigfoot or Northern Lite will sell just the fiberglass shell?.
Don't think so. Partly because of getting it registered and any liability on internal construction. There is a company in Delta BC that sells work shells but not cheap. By the time you start to add in all your other stuff you will likely pay more than new. The other thing to go with a custom design will cost more because a lot of the interior is done on templates and to make up different ones is time and time is big money. Best suggestion is to by one and redo the interior as you like as then you have the bathroom , fridge , stove , furnace and other components that will not have to be purchased. When you start to do the 110v interior and gas refitting you will need a licensed electrical and gas fitter to finish up the install. If you leave these as is without disconnecting ; the rest of the interior can be done the way you want.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:37 AM   #40
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I certainly think that you won't save money. I can see you spending a great deal more then buying a new one and certainly more than buying a good clean used one.
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