Deciding between a fiberglass and a Lance trailer - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #1
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Name: Valerie
Trailer: 2013 Escape 5.0
Ohio
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Deciding between a fiberglass and a Lance trailer

I have been reading posts on here for several of months, as my husband and I are getting ready to trade in our deluxe Flagstaff pop up camper trailer for an all weather, easier to set up (tired of all that unloading) camper. We do not want to go too big, but not sure about the very small campers: I am so tired of making the bed upon parking, that I am insisting the bed be permanent, and that seems to be true in models 16 feet or more. As a klutz, I am thinking we both need to be able to exit the bed on our own side (I am not good at crawling over my husband). Only other requirements I have is a refrigerator that is not on the floor and a bathroom. I am impressed with the quality and durability of the fiberglass, but molded campers are hard to find, or very far away. Owners of a new Escape fifth wheel gave us a tour while we were both at a campground this summer, and it is impressive. Down side: it is a year wait, and you have to go to British Columbia. We have been able to tour a couple of Lance trailers close to home, and wondered how the members thought they compared. Price is about the same.
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:19 AM   #2
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Good morning Valerie. to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here


We've recently had a thread discussing the Lance 1685 and a Bigfoot (all molded towable). You may want to start by reading the thread: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...1fb-77031.html


I'm an owner of an Escape 5.0TA and I thoroughly understand "it's impressive."


I love mine!


Best of luck
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:40 AM   #3
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I did a little research on the Lance because of the 4 season capability. I suggest the owner's forum looking for problems that are major fixes, watch for delamination as to me that is a deal breaker or defects that are health/safety issues. Trailer Talk | Lance Owners of America

I don't like the idea of a slide, just too expensive to fix and eventually they will leak. I know they have the new small model now without a slide though.

We have a pop-up. While it can still pop-up, I really am not too good at that anymore, so I understand where you are coming from. Tired of laying on the floor to get something from the fridge, especially with the dogs thinking I want to play! We also have the "hard to find" and "far away" issue. Are you only considering "new"?

Comparing Lance to a molded fiberglass trailer is comparing "apples to oranges" though.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #4
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Hi Valerie, welcome to the site.

You seem to be doing your homework well. The Escape 5.0TA is a great trailer. I have been waiting for over a year myself, but that is only because I am waiting for the new moulds to be built, and to get a trailer from them. After finishing your search you do decide on one, I would get your deposit in right away. Though the wait will still be fairly long, it will likely be shortened by what they are now saying by quite a bit, as they are doubling their production capacity with a large addition to their building, which is only weeks from being completed.

The requirement to not crawl over one another eliminates a lot of other great fibreglass trailers. Others will be able to chime in with some other ideas, like a twin bed setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vfarsch View Post
...I am insisting the bed be permanent
Once I decided on going the moulded fibreglass route, my wife's only requests were the bed be permanent, and there be a toilet to use in the middle of the night.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:40 AM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escape— 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
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We really like our fiberglass trailer as do most members of this forum. That being said , the standard type of travel trailers ( stick built ) for all their disadvantages have many advantages.
They often have more features , better layouts , are more spacious , etc etc and often at a much lower price per square ft . If you have never been in a trailer with slideouts , it is hard to imagine how they add to the livability of the trailer . When your only criteria for owning a trailer is that it must be small , cute and require little or no effort to maintain then your choices are very limited.
There is a reason that only 1 to 2 % of the trailer market are fiberglass trailers and it's not because 98 to 99 % of the consuming public is stupid or misinformed
Excuse my venting but these threads always seem to go down the same path . They end up glorifying our choices in trailers and demonizing others. I find no personal superiority in owning a fiberglass trailer . I bought my first FGRV only because it was the only trailer I could find that was short enough to fit in my driveway.
We've looked at Lance trailers on several occasions and they make a well built travel trailer but if you only go by disgruntled posts on the Internet you would believe that their trailer's fall apart in the factory parking lot

AMEN
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:01 AM   #6
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I agree about the eventual slide repairs; at a Lance dealership I asked the salesperson to demonstrate how to retract a broken or jammed slide since the motors aren't slaved together (retired engineer question.)

His method was to point and explain. When pressed he would not demonstrate it as "it would take too long."

I've also never had a stickie (some new) in 50 years of trailering that did not eventually have a roof leak. I'm on my 2nd fiberglass trailer and haven't had any leaks with fiberglass so far.


I think the reason a low percentage of the public knows little about fiberglass is the lack of media advertising (other than camping magazines) by the manufacturers. With lead times/backlogged orders ranging from 4-12 months they don't NEED to spend $ on expensive advertising.
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:56 AM   #7
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We had the same issue when we were looking for our retirement trailer and determine that the Casita Liberty was for us. Issues with stick built was poor quality construction and low resale value, Casitas will hold there value and have quality. If you like the 5th wheel design you might look at the Scamp it is made in MN and is another quality FG also priced less then the Escape.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryf View Post
...If you like the 5th wheel design you might look at the Scamp it is made in MN and is another quality FG also priced less then the Escape.
The Scamp loft is a crawl-over design.

In the standard (fiberglass) version it is possible to use the front bunk space to modify it to a longways set-up. The deluxe (wood) versions cannot because of the bathroom.

Besides the Casita Independence, the other twin bed option is an Oliver Elite II. Twin beds and a separate dinette, unlike the Casita. Top drawer quality, four season capability, and an aluminum chassis, but very pricey. The king bed version is also longways (no crawl-over), but not walk-around.

The narrower width of most molded fiberglass trailers rules out an island queen bed, but it sure makes for nicer towing!
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:26 AM   #9
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Name: Francois
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"so tired of making the bed"....?????

that's easy.....get your husband to do it!

when there was two of us I'm the one that set up and took down the bed every day....what's the big deal???

when I went shopping I was looking for "small" and "bathroom with shower"....I quickly found out that adding "permanent double bed" (not even a walk around) to the list would bump my first pre-requisite....

Unless you're full timing...."the smaller the trailer, the more it gets used, the more interesting places it gets to"...my goal was to do a lot of bushwhacking so those words were important to me

on your "both trailers are about the same price" point....if you pay 20,000 for both...spend the ususal on maintemance and repairs or improvements.....in five years you will seel the FG trailer for 18,000 (possibly even 20,000)....the stick-built with slide will sell for 12,000. I have been watching the used trailer market for long enough to be pretty confident about that statement.

a friend of mine has a trailer with no slide, permanent walkaround bed, full bathroom.....bed at the front, center kitchen and bath, rear dinette area (with windows on three sides)...it's a VERY nice lay-out that would fit all your desires...he drives a 3/4 ton 4x4 pick-up truck.....YMMV

happy shopping!
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: shopping
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Some considerations. 1. Fiberglass trailers have leaking, rotting issues as well. 2. You can get forever roofs that bulletproof stick built. rvroof.com 3. You can buy a lot more rv used in a stick-built. 4. You are individual enough that what you like and what you use will be best for only you. 5. Buying any rv for resale is a losing proposal. Many people here and similar sites scour the web reporting listings so that even local listings have national viewings. 6. Fiberglass rv's need maintenance just like any other. 7. Your tow vehicle is your most important consideration. (My Tdi only gets 26 mpg pulling the egg vs 40 mpg pulling my teardrop. I just took a 6500 mile trip. Guess which camper I used.) If I use my truck, I might as well pull a camper with storage and space. I really believe that this is the important consideration. No matter what you have, there will be greener grass and people who believe their choice is better than yours. As a fiberglass snob myself, I realize many non-fgrv look at my camper as ugly junk. Even when they say "it's cute," many times they are just being polite. Sort of like a bulldog is so ugly it's cute.... Bottom line, buy what you can afford and will comfortably use. I'll probably send my fgrv down the road because it keeps getting left behind when I camp for the reasons that my teardrop has a longer bed and is cheaper to pull. I bought a fgrv thinking I was upgrading my teardrop, but realize the teardrop is better for me. People who don't like teardrops think they look like a doghouse. To each their own . Good luck.
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #11
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Parkliner 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
a friend of mine has a trailer with no slide, permanent walkaround bed, full bathroom.....bed at the front, center kitchen and bath, rear dinette area (with windows on three sides)...it's a VERY nice lay-out that would fit all your desires...he drives a 3/4 ton 4x4 pick-up truck.....YMMV

happy shopping!
Sounds like the Airstreams I kept revisiting at a recent show. Very nice. As they certainly should be.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:07 PM   #12
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It's not so much a comparison between Fiberglass and stick built, as it is in quality and the possible improvement fiberglass can provide if done right. I bought an Oliver after having three stick built trailers and a stick built pop-up.

The wood in the stickies was a problem in all of them. The rubber roof failed in two of them and caused internal damage. And the skylights were not UV inhibited and caused more leaks or blew off the trailer. Plastic parts like hand rails and water connections snapped off, internal doors fell off, the water systems barely worked and the plumbing hung down in a very vulnerable position. On my first trip to Death Valley in my toy hauler the oven nearly destroyed itself and floor screws backed out. Bottom line: All of mine were built as quickly and cheaply as possible with no regard for long term use.

As far as pop-outs go, I never had a problem with mine, but it was very drafty and difficult to heat in the winter. Not designed for cold weather camping. One was even listed as "Extreme", but would freeze it's water lines unless they were heated or left dribbling.

I've been very disappointed in these trailers.

While looking for something that had some obvious care in it's construction I looked at Airstream and I discovered Oliver. Airstreams are very nice, but are more for shorter trips with hookups than for full timing or boondocking. Plus they are more expensive. Oliver seems to be the best I've found and it happens to be fiberglass.

So, it's not just that it's fiberglass, it's the quality of the build.

As far as towing is concerned, the Oliver is only 7' wide and it is streamlined. This gave me a 30% improvement over the mileage I was getting with my square fronted toy hauler that was 8' 3" wide. I can see around it and it follows in the trucks foot print.

If you want the most convenient bed, look at the 23' Airstream with it's walk-around queen bed. Very luxurious and has an aluminum roof. But it is a wide trailer that is harder to pull.

As far as resale goes, I think it's a poor idea to buy a trailer for re-sale. Or to buy it for someone you'll never meet, years down the road. Buy it for your enjoyment and realize that if you do decide to sell it later, for some unknown reason, someone will like it just as much as you did. Buy it for yourself, not someone else. If you do buy it to re-sell, the fiberglass trailers seem to hold their value much better than the typical stick built, rubber roof trailers.

I can't be unbiased on the design because I've paid the price over the years for the same old mistake from different manufacturers and I've looked into them at length.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:06 PM   #13
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
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I have a 2013 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe, bought new. Has had three leaks, easy to notice, easy to fix. My wife likes it, but I find it too confining. If I were to do it over again and buy a travel trailer, I would buy a used Airstream. Lacking that, probably a small Nash with no slide. Then a Lance, in that order. I carefully inspected in all three. I don't really care for slides: Lance has come out with a small TT with no slide this year.

I went to Canada last season and looked at the Escape and was not impressed: Just don't like the build quality of the cabinetry, and floor plans. Then we went to a Big Foot dealer near Portland, and again was not impressed: Don't like the floor plans of the Bigfoot plus it had odd design things going on.

To be honest, I would rather have a small motorcoach than a TT. We travel and seldom stay for more than a week or so in one spot.

Hope this helps
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:16 PM   #14
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Li'l Snoozy can be built with a twin bed setup. But the fridge is still down low, under the counter.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:32 PM   #15
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So e slideouts have an emergency crank that comes with then so if the electric goes out you can manually crank it in.
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Old 10-22-2016, 07:29 AM   #16
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Name: Valerie
Trailer: 2013 Escape 5.0
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Wow, Donna D: thanks for directing me to that discussion thread about Lance vs Bigfoot. It was an eye opener. Also, everyone that has responded here, thanks for your candor. We are now deciding the Lance is NOT the way to go. My husband does not like the idea of a 5th wheel due to losing the daily use of his truck with the hook-up device in place. So now I will begin looking at the tow trailers recommended here, with a permanent big bed (don't like the idea twin beds).
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Old 10-22-2016, 08:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vfarsch View Post
My husband does not like the idea of a 5th wheel due to losing the daily use of his truck with the hook-up device in place.
This is easily overcome, and I do it on a regular basis. I installed a B&W gooseneck hitch that leaves the bed smooth when not in use. To it I attach the Andersen Ultimate Hitch, which weights about 35 lbs and takes less than a minute to install or remove.

I do home renovations for a living, and appreciate the ease in which I can remove my fifth wheel hitch.
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:20 AM   #18
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Name: Valerie
Trailer: 2013 Escape 5.0
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Deciding between a fiberglass and a Lance trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
This is easily overcome, and I do it on a regular basis. I installed a B&W gooseneck hitch that leaves the bed smooth when not in use. To it I attach the Andersen Ultimate Hitch, which weights about 35 lbs and takes less than a minute to install or remove.

I do home renovations for a living, and appreciate the ease in which I can remove my fifth wheel hitch.
I have not heard of these items, and am seriously excited to hear you say this is easy. My husband is 62 and not as strong as he once was. Do you think it would be easy enough for him? Also, can these items be used with any of the fiberglass 5th wheels?
I have been looking at the tow trailers, and not happy with how long they have to be to have the large, permanent bed. We really did not want to go over 17' if possible.
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Old 10-22-2016, 04:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vfarsch View Post
I have not heard of these items, and am seriously excited to hear you say this is easy. My husband is 62 and not as strong as he once was. Do you think it would be easy enough for him? Also, can these items be used with any of the fiberglass 5th wheels?
I have been looking at the tow trailers, and not happy with how long they have to be to have the large, permanent bed. We really did not want to go over 17' if possible.
I am 59, and it is a piece of cake for me. But then, I just spent the day hauling sidewalk blocks around.

Seriously though, it is real easy to deal with. As long as you can get into the bed of the truck, the rest is easy peasy and very light. I have handed the hitch over the side of the box to my wife.

There are very few fibreglass fifth wheels. I think the only ones in production are the Escape at 21'-2" (but some of that is over the truck bed) and the Scamp 19'. I am not very familiar with the Scamp, but know a few who had them who moved up to the Escape. Bigfoot used to make them too, and you might find a used one.
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Old 10-22-2016, 05:14 PM   #20
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I think the Scamp 19 requires crawling over, if memory serves.
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