FGRV for family of 5? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-01-2020, 11:53 AM   #1
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Name: C in New York
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FGRV for family of 5?

Hello all,

New member here looking for info/suggestions on what type of fiberglass trailer might be suitable for my family.

There are 5 of us (2 adults and 3 kids under 10). We currently have a pop up and enjoy mostly shorter trips to state parks (usually no hookups, cooking outdoors, etc). After a few seasons dealing with the setup/tear down rigamarole and the lack of storage space in the pop up, we are thinking about “graduating” to a hard-sided trailer. We are leaning towards a FGRV for their light weight and durability. However, there don’t seem to be many options on the market that would sleep 5 people. Casita has a few models but that seems to be about it.

Does anyone know of any other options in the FG world that will sleep 5? We are open to the idea of retrofitting a used trailer with bunks or something like that, too, so if anyone has experience with that we would love to hear about it.
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:21 PM   #2
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Are you wanting a trailer with a bathroom?
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:33 PM   #3
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Name: C in New York
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We don’t use the shower we have in our pop up now, so a bathroom isn’t a priority. We just need somewhere to stick a portapotti for kid emergencies and we’re good.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:04 PM   #4
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We have a 17’ Casita Spirit Standard. It works wonderfully for our young family. We purchased an inexpensive pop up tent and porta potti that we put near the outdoor shower for the kids.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:12 PM   #5
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Chk our this site

https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:21 PM   #6
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Scamp also makes a 5-berth model (layout 7 on the website). It's lighter than the Casita 17 standard, depending on what you plan to tow with. Downside is a smaller main bed.

When you're considering how much trailer you can tow, make sure you factor in the extra passengers and cargo. See your owner's manual for details. What is your intended tow vehicle?
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:52 PM   #7
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Name: C in New York
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Thanks for the input everyone. BPowell I’m glad to hear from a Casita owner who has kids. I was wondering if they could really accommodate a family, since a 17 ft trailer is really pretty tiny. Where did you get yours? We would prefer to buy used, but looking through fiberglass rv for sale and a few other websites, I only seem to see the deluxe Casitas, no Standards. Also, they mostly seem to be in the Midwest, and I’m in the Northeast. Does anyone have any tips/suggestions for locating a standard model in this region?

Jon, I’ve looked at the Scamp a bit too but as you mention, the main bed is small. My better half and I are on the taller side, so I am not sure we would be comfortable. The front bunks also seem to be very cramped, although I haven’t been able to find exact dimensions. Our kids are tall for their ages and I’m concerned about the older two growing out of the bunks in a couple seasons. Could any Scamp owners weigh in?
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:03 PM   #8
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Also, in response to Jon’s question re TV: we have an SUV with 5k lb tow capacity. The dry weight of the 17ft casita is actually within 100 lb of our pop up, which is one of the things about it that appeals to us. We don’t plan to get a new TV so any trailer we buy will have to work with the vehicle we have. That’s part of the reason we’re looking at FG-light but sturdy!
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:25 PM   #9
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FGRV for family of 5?

Scamp says the weight limit on the top bunk is 150#. I personally think that’s pushing it, but I’d be comfortable up to at least 120#. Our older teen used it at 110# without issue. Casita rates theirs lower, 80-90#, I think. I’m note sure if there’s a significant design difference or just a more conservative rating. I’ve never examined the Casita front bunk up close.

We are four in a 13’ Scamp with bunks. My wife and I also found the narrow bed rather confining. After some trial and error we came to an arrangement that works for us. My wife shares the dinette bed with our younger teen, sleeping head-to-toe in separate tapered bags. I take the lower bunk and the older teen takes the upper.

We are not tall though, so while I think the Scamp might work for you, the 17’ Casita is probably your better bet. You’ll have to be more careful how much you bring, as the Casita is about 500# heavier and will run about 100# more on the tongue.

Family-friendly designs aren’t as common in molded fiberglass trailers as one might expect.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:39 PM   #10
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Parkliner with the optional bunk bed may be a good choice. It has LOTS of room compared to Casita and Scamp with over 6'4" head room AND it has a full bath, small fridge, small stove, small microwave, a/c, heat, etc... The main bed area is huge with room for 3-4 people and the bunks are good for reasonable sized people.
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:46 AM   #11
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We use a Casita Spirit Deluxe 17' with children. It is the side couch to bunkbed floor layout.


I've added 2 adjustable/removable auto hood prop rods to the inside (between upper bunk and lower fiberglass storage enclosure .. touching the top bunk hinges) to reinforce just in case.



My personal philosophy is that camping means being outdoors most of the time, so it works well. (Even when we had a series of rainy days the children used the dinette table to watch a movie/play games/whatever, while I used the lower bunk to read I'm just over 6'1" tall.)



Somewhat serious, the front wet bathroom is more spacious than you would think and also makes a great "getaway" space.


I had followed FGRVs for years before buying, but was more impressed after our first 7 day trip. Casita made great design use of every square inch in my opinion. Honestly, inside it lives larger than it looks from the outside. Like most things in life, your satisfaction is based on your perspective.


(For more comfortable parent sleeping, we purchased a tri-fold topper and store it on the top bunk during the day and when driving .. so we can use the table. We have to put the mattress up there, and then lift up in front while reattaching the safety chain hooks.)


The dimensions of the dinette table bed are the same as a full size mattress, and we could likely sleep a small child + 2 parents there if needed.


So far, very happy with the Casita!
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:47 AM   #12
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PS An awning also (maybe) doubles your living space!!
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bpowell487 View Post
We have a 17’ Casita Spirit Standard. It works wonderfully for our young family. We purchased an inexpensive pop up tent and porta potti that we put near the outdoor shower for the kids.
This is a great option or go big to the bigfoot trailers.
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:35 PM   #14
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You might look at both an Escape 17B and/or a Scamp 16 Deluxe Layout A with a swap of front sofa/bunks in place of the normal front dinette that is normally in a Layout A.

Both have a larger main bed (52” to 54” wide) and the option of bunk beds.

Ray
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:20 PM   #15
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I can't imagine a family of five in a Escape 17B. it's tight for two people and a beagle.
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Old 07-03-2020, 09:49 PM   #16
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FGRV for family of 5?

Seems to me that says more about the beagle than the trailer...

As to four in a 13’er or five in a 17’er, let’s just say my wife and I both came from large families and we both love the John Denver song, “Grandma’s Feather Bed.”

We we need our personal space, we go to our living room: the great outdoors!
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:19 AM   #17
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I have an Escape 17B with bunks. There's a sticker by the upper bunk saying weight limit of 200 lb.
The upper bunk swings down against the wall to permit seating in that space, but it's pretty cramped. I drilled out the hinge pins and replaced them with quick release pins so the upper bunk can be removed, and the seating space is quite comfortable. The bunk platform can be left home when not needed, or just moved out of the way during the day.
When on solo camping trips I leave it at home and sleep in the single bed there and leave the large table set up all the time.

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Old 07-08-2020, 08:56 AM   #18
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Name: Bryce
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‘79 Surfside for 5

We have a 1979 Triple E Surfside 14’ that we remodeled to have triple decker bunks in the front (previously a fold up bunk/love seat). Our kids are 4 (almost 5), 7 and 10 and it works perfectly for us, having put nearly 4,000 miles on it last summer alone. When we bought the trailer my wife wanted something we could pull behind the minivan (neither of us was excited to put the 3 kids in the back bench seat of the pickup for hours at a stretch). That said, we don’t spend much time in the trailer, except to read in our bunks if we have the odd rainy evening. As such, it has become our “tent on wheels” and we love it. I attached some pics, but not sure how to adjust the rotation... sorry.
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DCD2C3FA-5E2A-4FDB-B8DC-F7464527AF93.jpg   B5A931FE-25EA-4B4E-B53D-87C28966BF2B.jpg  

69D07C91-8EEF-4DE8-B51D-84D74FA5E876.jpg   20A45F62-83EC-49B8-945A-39AE6B03ACF8.jpg  

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Old 07-08-2020, 09:41 AM   #19
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Name: Brittany
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Originally Posted by CTab View Post
Thanks for the input everyone. BPowell I’m glad to hear from a Casita owner who has kids. I was wondering if they could really accommodate a family, since a 17 ft trailer is really pretty tiny. Where did you get yours? We would prefer to buy used, but looking through fiberglass rv for sale and a few other websites, I only seem to see the deluxe Casitas, no Standards. Also, they mostly seem to be in the Midwest, and I’m in the Northeast. Does anyone have any tips/suggestions for locating a standard model in this region?

Jon, I’ve looked at the Scamp a bit too but as you mention, the main bed is small. My better half and I are on the taller side, so I am not sure we would be comfortable. The front bunks also seem to be very cramped, although I haven’t been able to find exact dimensions. Our kids are tall for their ages and I’m concerned about the older two growing out of the bunks in a couple seasons. Could any Scamp owners weigh in?
CTab-Standards are nearly impossible to come by used. We ended up purchasing new from Casita and picked it up in March before all the Covid madness started.

We’re on our way back from a 4 day trip to Door County. Five people ( 2 adults and 3 children) all slept comfortably
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:03 AM   #20
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If you think of your camper as a "hard sided tent" then you only need a place to sleep or in a pinch eat. The ability to sit and read, play board or card games, watch entertainment is a bonus.

Good awning or easy set up screen tent can really increase your space and comfort level. Might want to check out the Clam screen tent or their competitor. Solid reputation, easy set up, don't seem as vulnerable to being destroyed by wind as every dang pop up awning I have ever owned. No I don't want to talk about those experiences.

Might want to think ahead and consider the answers to some forward looking questions.
  • How long before the kids will be able and excited to have their own tent next to the camper?
  • How many trips will you camp while you travel to a vacation destination? Single night then back on the road next morning.
  • How much extra camping or activity gear can you anticipate taking? You mentioned storage in pop up. In a small camper if you transport it on the floor or bed you can't use camper until you unpack.
  • Can your vehicle accommodate a luggage rack or luggage box to reduce camper storage space required. I moved folding chairs and some camping stuff to a cargo box on rack and it really made the camper "bigger" and easier to use when stopping for a single night.
  • Can all 5 of you sit around table? We used a folding camp stool for a 5th seat at end of table when kids were younger.
  • Some campers accommodate things such as bike racks or storage bins added on better than others. Might be worth considering if you have specific needs or desires in that area.
At 5k towing capacity you have pretty much most if not all of the FGRV's I can think of covered unless you pile on the people and lot of heavy gear. Might want to consider making sure camper has trailer brakes and add a brake controller to the tow vehicle. Even with my little 13 ft. Scamp I love the improved braking from trailer brakes and a $100 prodigy brake controller. Escape stops better with trailer than without.

I can't really comment on specific FGRV for camping with family of 5 because when we had that use case we used a 38 ft. school bus conversion. Did so love telling the kids to go take a nap when they were getting travel bored and cranky. Even with all that room we spent majority of time outside and cooked and ate outside most of the time. Food prep and dishwashing took place inside but trust me there was not a huge need to allocate space for the kids during those activities.
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