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Old 12-17-2017, 07:39 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
There are some great stick built trailers on the road and we need to recognize that fact.
And specifically, which stick built trailers do you consider “great?” I’m a bit confused because I didn’t see a single one that I would classify as “great” at the last RV show I went to. There was not a single one that I saw I would even remotely consider purchasing.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:51 PM   #62
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And specifically, which stick built trailers do you consider “great?” I’m a bit confused because I didn’t see a single one that I would classify as “great” at the last RV show I went to. There was not a single one that I saw I would even remotely consider purchasing.
Me either. I don't know why every single thread involving a stickie devolves eventually into a never ending debate of stickies vs molded fiberglass. Hey, the debate is over for me. I'm convinced of the superiority of molded fiberglass trailers. I own one. So do most of the folks here. If you find a great stickie with the durability, resale value, low weight, efficiency and towability of a fiberglass one, go buy it. The OP's purpose (I think) in starting this thread was to show an extreme example of quantity vs quality - something prevalent in the conventional RV industry, and a point which was very well taken.
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:15 PM   #63
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Another point about stickies is I've never seen one that was anywhere near as streamlined as a molded fiberglass trailer. The difference means about a 30% decrease in my fuel consumption.

Many of the problems I've personally seen with stick built trailers seems to stem from careless workmanship. At the speed and pressure those people are working under in that video, there is no way they will avoid mistakes or have the time to fix them. Good workmanship and racing the clock do not mix.

Any bashing of stickies, that I may share, comes from experience with them and from paying for the problems. Before I got my fiberglas trailer I had decided to never buy another poorly made trailer. Plus, I've had fiberglass boats and know how stable the material can be. Recently too, I've seen a couple of Airstreams that had gone through hail storms. Yikes! they looked like the surface of a golf ball! No way to fix that in any practical way.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:07 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
Bill and others....thus is my dilemma....never owned a rv but want one for retirement to make long periodic trips... researching for 3 years and 90% convinced with fg trailer But the cost comparison for my purposes is my dilemma. I'm not wealthy.
A $20K investment for a good used fiberglass model is huge for me. A $5,400 investment for a '07 Jayco 20' is not as huge. I've read all the arguments. Being a newbie, and a bachelor travelling alone, what if I find out those long cross country trips that I envision aren't all that I thought it would be. ....... For now, I'll keep saving and researching, and have to see where I am in 3 yrs. when I retire with a modest teacher's pension.
I would never recommend risking your budget. Traveling alone, you could consider an older molded trailer at a reasonable number, say a Hunter Compact as an example. I was thinking they are on the taller side, not sure the exact inside height. Or perhaps a teardrop trailer.


FWIW, I'm 61 and retired myself. My puny pension doesn't even cover the cost of my medical insurance.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:24 AM   #65
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I hear you on the insurance Bill. I would be out the door today if not for that. I know far too many people still working all because of cost of health insurance. (it's a shame on our country that we don't have universal medical coverage, especially considering all the money our government wastes.) I will probably stick to a used fiberglass when ready to buy. The light weight/better gas mileage is a benefit too. As mentioned though, being able to stand up and sleep comfortably are high on my priorities (and have heard all the arguments about not spending that much time in trailer, etc.) I'm thinking of those rainy days or long winter nights when I will be confined to inside of trailer, and I want to be comfortable. Plus I am a little claustrophobic, and having to hunch over all the time would increase the cramped feeling.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:19 AM   #66
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Those are the major reasons I bought a Bigfoot. I knew I'd be spending a lot of time inside the trailer. I wanted the extra space.

Keep in mind...I've learned that our "lightweight" fiberglass trailers are actually pretty heavy. I don't know enough to know where the idea and comparison came from, but I've found it's nowhere near universally true.

Sure, a 13' Scamp is lightweight.

A friend of mine bought a 20 or 22' stick built trailer. Full size fridge, full, devoted bed, full bathroom you can actually move around in, with a separate shower.

Single axle trailer. Lighter than my 17' Bigfoot.

Of course "lightweight" often means a sacrifice of longevity, unless they're building it out of carbon fiber. So it's a trade off. But our trailers are not that light. Depends on what comparable trailer you're...comparing them to. And with Bigfoot trailers, you lose the aerodynamics, too.


I get where Steve is coming from, though I'm not hung up on the snobbiness he seems to pick up on. From a "I'm going to buy this and keep it forever; hand it down to my kids and grandkids" perspective, fiberglass makes a lot of sense. If you have a lot of disposable income, then yeah, why not buy the best (and I do think they are). From a simple "I want to buy a camper trailer" perspective...depending on what you're looking for, fiberglass is not such a good deal.

Smaller. Much more expensive. Way fewer "standard" amenities. Many people want a fiberglass trailer simply because "they look cool". And you get attention. Nothing wrong with that. But I agree that a blanket rejection of stick-built units doesn't make sense.

Fiberglass can still leak, but it's an easy problem to fix. There are still a lot of quality control issues with the interiors. Same with every trailer.

In the end, for me, it always comes down to that molded, fiberglass shell. That's the difference, and it is a huge difference. Whether it's worth the price jump is up to you and always involves asking yourself some honest questions.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:31 AM   #67
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Appreciate the honesty. Agree on a fiberglass forum, I am likely going to get one sided opinions.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:52 AM   #68
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Wink Best Sticky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPW View Post
And specifically, which stick built trailers do you consider “great?” I’m a bit confused because I didn’t see a single one that I would classify as “great” at the last RV show I went to. There was not a single one that I saw I would even remotely consider purchasing.
I'm curious too. My Brother has a Rockwood Mini-Lite. I'm guessing about 23'? He loves it, and no amount of convincing could steer him towards a fiberglass trailer. He is looking for something even bigger. It's hard to argue with him when you compare feature for feature, and dollar for dollar. He bought it new in 2014, at the end of the model year, and saved about $6K. I believe he spent about $16K. It has a slide out, electric awning with built in L.E.D.s, TV, stereo, tank gauges, stove w/ oven, etc., etc. He uses it about 10 weeks a year, although he stays in the midwest.

He's had zero maintenance problems that rose to warranty claims, but I can see many of the same flaws seen in the second video posted in this thread. Seams that don't line up, staples popping out of walls, water leak in the ceiling and wall joint. (he fixed that himself). I think the best I can do is maybe suggesting a non-fiberglass brand that has a better reputation for craftsmanship? I've heard good things about Lance, and lately Winnebago, but the folks I trust the most for good advice are right here on this forum. Besides fiberglass, what would you recommend for a dyed in the wool sticky fan? Other than this obvious character flaw he's a good guy.

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Old 12-18-2017, 10:02 AM   #69
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My neighbor paid $450,000 for their lake cabin which they use maybe 10 to 14 days a year . We have friends with $100,000 Class A motor homes that are used maybe 2 weeks out of the year
Out fiberglass trailer is in Winter Storage from late September to early May . From a practical standpoint that's a lot of money to invest / tie up for something you seldom use.
On the other hand if you live in a tropical climate or want to spend full time traveling the country you may get enough use to warrant the expense.
The difference in cost between a FG trailer and a stick built in many cases would cover a lot of the cost of fuel or camping.
Another point as ZachO pointed out is that FG trailers are small and what may be a slight irritant on a 3 day trip can be a major PITA when on the road for several months.
There is a lot to like and not like about stick built trailers but Fiberglass trailers also have their issues .
Neither style of trailer represents quality construction IMHO
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:14 AM   #70
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Appreciate the honesty. Agree on a fiberglass forum, I am likely going to get one sided opinions.
A general attack on molded fiberglass is naturally going to elicit a vigorous defense. After all, this is an enthusiast's forum.

On the other hand, a specific question and situation such as yours, Mark, will often produce more balanced responses. With a limited budget and some special requirements due to being "height challenged," I would certainly keep all options on the table, molded and otherwise.

Five years ago, with a budget of $3500, 4 people, and a 2000 pound tow rating, I was looking for a small tent trailer when I stumbled across a Scamp. At that point I did have to stretch the budget a little, but I didn't blow it out of the water. My experience with the Scamp has been excellent, but it is not as roomy as a tent trailer would have been, especially as the kids are growing. Every choice is a compromise.

As others have said, keep the larger goal in mind, which is travel, not owning a specific piece of equipment.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:39 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
...The difference in cost between a FG trailer and a stick built in many cases would cover a lot of the cost of fuel or camping...
True, although if you throw in factors like having to purchase a larger vehicle or paying for off-site storage, the calculus can change.

The variables are different for each person, yielding different conclusions.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:05 PM   #72
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As someone said "Different Strokes for different folks".

We have had 6-7 Stick Builts. Most of our camping friends had SBs also.
Saw and heard about damage from water leaks. So we knew to inspect for damage, especially at wall and roof junctions. A leak can do a lot of damage before it shows up inside. The wood is not treated against water damage.

We now have a 2003 Casita 17SD and it does everything we NEED it to do.
Bought it in January 2011 and the current prices show it to be worth about what we paid for it 7 years ago. Wish our cars would do that.

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Old 12-18-2017, 12:43 PM   #73
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The difference in cost between a FG trailer and a stick built in many cases would cover a lot of the cost of fuel or camping.
Not if you include the cost of depreciation. If you can afford the original sticker shock, people are selling ten year old Scamps and Casitas for as much as they paid for them. Hard to get any recreational item with zero depreciation (boat, motorcycle, RV, whatever), its really remarkable.

From a cost perspective, the cheapest camping I have done was with a tent. I did a three week vacation to AK and back, tented the entire trip. I was able to use my 40 MPG+ motorcycle instead of my fuel consuming tow vehicle. It was a solo trip, worked great. No way my wife would have gone with me. Bought the tent used (garage sale), put it at a consignment shop when I got back and got 10X what I paid for it (it helped it was a name brand).

Car camping with a tent is the cheapest way to go, bring your cooking stuff and cook outside, campsites are plentiful, lots of advantages. The biggest negative on my AK trip is as soon as I got the tent set up, I had to get inside it. The mosquitoes were pretty bad once you stopped. In hindsight, a larger tent that I could have at least easily sat down inside would have been nice!


Had we bought a Trillium/Scamp/whatever back when we started camping in 1987, it would have cost no more than the used stickie we bought instead. We would have avoided the TV upgrade cycle too, our half ton pickup would have been fine. And when we sold that camper in 1994, we lost a lot of money (lost a lot on the larger tow vehicle too). I just wasn't that smart back then.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:53 PM   #74
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A lot of what we do makes no sense if you look from a strictly economic perspective. I'll leave that to economists. It's important to take into consideration, but does not need to be the final say.

Along those lines, though, I've been considering buying a good size tent, maybe a canvas wall tent. Something I can stand in, put a cot and table in. Big enough to comfortably spend some time in.

And leave the trailer at home on some trips.
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Old 12-18-2017, 01:06 PM   #75
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When I first thought about buying new, I found these trailers to look pretty good and they seem to retain their value. It didn't hurt that one of the 2 dealers in the USA was less than an hour from me! I especially liked the one-piece fiberglass roof. I never did get to the point where I saw the inside of one. The Mini-13 was what I was looking for and is close to the Boler 1300 I bought.

https://www.roulotteprolite.ca/
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:30 PM   #76
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A lot of what we do makes no sense if you look from a strictly economic perspective...
Such as leaving behind our comfortable, climate-controlled, stick-built home, paying someone to take care of the dog, driving 500 miles each way, and paying $35/night for the privilege of living without power, cooking and washing up our own meals, and using communal restrooms?

Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean... waking up to morning coffee on the beach... spending time with your kids without electronics... priceless!
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:41 PM   #77
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Exactly.

It's definitely wise to look at things from a financial standpoint, as well as a lot of other standpoints. Then you can do what you want with that information. Including ignore it.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:38 PM   #78
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Such as leaving behind our large, comfortable, stick-built home, paying someone to take care of the dog, driving all day, and paying $35/night for the privilege of cooking and eating outside and using communal restrooms?

Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean and waking up to morning coffee on the beach... priceless!
Yep! Those are things dreams are made of. And it especially nice now that we are retired, and the pups can go with us. NO ANCHORS for a change!

And best of all we can go in the middle of the week, avoiding crowds and a better selection of sites. Ahhh...life is good.

k
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:36 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I would never recommend risking your budget. Traveling alone, you could consider an older molded trailer at a reasonable number, say a Hunter Compact as an example. I was thinking they are on the taller side, not sure the exact inside height. Or perhaps a teardrop trailer.


FWIW, I'm 61 and retired myself. My puny pension doesn't even cover the cost of my medical insurance.
It's about 5'4" with the top down and well over 6' with the top raised.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:50 PM   #80
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I hear you on the insurance Bill. I would be out the door today if not for that. I know far too many people still working all because of cost of health insurance. (it's a shame on our country that we don't have universal medical coverage, especially considering all the money our government wastes.) I will probably stick to a used fiberglass when ready to buy. The light weight/better gas mileage is a benefit too. As mentioned though, being able to stand up and sleep comfortably are high on my priorities (and have heard all the arguments about not spending that much time in trailer, etc.) I'm thinking of those rainy days or long winter nights when I will be confined to inside of trailer, and I want to be comfortable. Plus I am a little claustrophobic, and having to hunch over all the time would increase the cramped feeling.
No offense but...
I disagree with your first parenthetical remark and have seen comparatively innocuous remarks stricken as offensive political commentary. While I don't personally share your sense of shame over health insurance I would be happy to list several things for which we should be ashamed, if it were appropriate in this venue.
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