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Old 03-01-2018, 06:38 PM   #41
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Name: Michael
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
...Not many manufacturers or dealers of fiberglass n Midwest. All seem to be more available on the coasts - left and right coasts.
Um, don't you mean 'the left coast and the other left coast'?

John raised a good point; it is hard to tape a curve. You might get away with cutting a series of very short lengths of eternabond and overlapping them slightly, but then again, not sure.

As for people's experiences, well, those with negative experiences tend to be more vociferious and therefore it may seem as if there are a lot of negatives.

But on the other hand, I seriously doubt that any of the mainline trailer mfrs (such as FR, Thor, and Jayco) are even trying to design or build a product that will withstand the beating some backwoods roads and trails can dish out. Mechanically fastened seams can loosen up if they keep getting hammered by ruts and bumps. And many of those bumps are on the highway, too. I had a KZ trailer for just under 3.5 years and shortly after I sold it the new owner called and complained that the roof was leaking; I had no inkling, but I went halfway with him on the cost of a reseal.

There are no absolute answers. No right or wrong, but shades of better or worse, and some of those shades won't show up until after you've owned it awhile. You pays your $$ and you takes your chances.... as do we all.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:15 AM   #42
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The two largest molded manufacturers are Scamp in MN and Casita in TX. Last I checked, neither is located near a coast, east or west. It does seem to be true that the newer start-ups- Escape, Lil Snoozy, Parkliner, Happier Camper are nearer the coasts.

I have noticed that everyone looking for a used molded trailer seems to think they are more common somewhere else. The reality is they are uncommon everywhere. There will naturally be more where there are more people, which does tend to favor the coasts somewhat.

The OP's problem is not the general availability of molded trailers but his height, which at 6'5" rules out all but a few uncommon and pricey models (assuming full stand-up headroom and an 80" bed). It is further complicated by the requirements that it be compact and lightweight but non-folding, fully equipped, ready to camp without major repair or modification, and under $10K. That's a tall order for any RV, molded or otherwise.

We are in the midst of a boom cycle in the industry as a whole, so bargains are harder to find in any RV type. Out of curiosity I searched Craigslist across the Southwest, where listings abound all through the winter, and found only one unit that met all the OP's criteria, and it was a low end, wood-framed, corrugated aluminum skinned, box-shaped sticky. I was surprised at how few small trailers were out there. Most were vintage canned hams, and no bargains there, either.

I am seeing late model R-Pods selling in the mid-teens. If the OP can find a good condition unit for $8K, and if it meets his needs for height and bed size, he should snap it up. Buy a good cover or arrange covered storage, do the maintenance, and raise the odds of a good long-term experience.

Alternatively, be patient and wait for the next economic downturn. That's when you find the real bargains.

Reliability is strongly correlated with simplicity, so choose the least RV you can live with and enjoy, whether that be a 40' Class A, a 17' R-Pod, or a 13' Scamp.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:29 AM   #43
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Name: bill
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IMHO they are MORE common in the Midwest due to the proximity of Scamp and not too far from Casita either.

In the SE, we have Oliver (out of my pricerange), Lil Snoozy (40% down and a year wait) and Parkliner. All smaller production niche companies.

People in my area drive over 3,000 miles one way just to pickup an Escape.

When you see so many 30 to 40 year old molded trailers still going strong, it speaks to the quality and durability. Such quality and durability costs serious $$$, although there are deals out there like that Trillium in Ohio for $4,800.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:44 AM   #44
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Name: Mark
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Missouri
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Guess I should have mentioned Scamp and Casita are not options due to interior height.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:07 AM   #45
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Name: Steve
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NW Wisconsin
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Averages

Mark you have my sympathy. It seems every thing is built to the average
1) The average US adult male is 5'9.5" in height
2) Less then 15% of the US male population is over 6 ft tall
( NBA Excluded).
3) The average US adult male weighs 200 lbs.
My SIL is 6 ft 5" and around 300 lbs and I know how difficult it is for him to fit in a normal vehicle or in our Casita.

Good luck but you may be a victim of the averages
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:20 AM   #46
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Name: Mark
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Like I've said, I have been researching a while - and I've been a FGRV forum member for 4 years now. I am educating myself as best I can, and have past up a couple trailers I really like, just not quite ready to pull the trigger. I have completed Step 1 - just bought my tow vehicle - 2011 Silverado 4 wheel drive pick up.
I'm keeping open minded but this thread has reminded me of so many things I like about the fiberglass vs. traditional RVs. Number 1 would be durability - I can see less things going wrong with a fiberglass shell than a bunch of aluminum pieces riveted together and attached to a wooden frame. I plan of seeing the US and not just weekend trips to the lake, and I plan on boondocking so I am sure there will be some bumps and bruises along the way.
Perhaps the one unit I regret passing up the most was one advertised on here about a year or two ago. Some guy with far more mechanical and carpentry abilities than me did an amazing rebuild job on one, and I don't even remember the brand name, other than it only had an interior height of 6'. But it was a turn key unit ready for boondocking with electric/propane/Honda generator/solar panels (attached and portable panels) are fully operational, bed plenty big enough for me, stove and sink on one side and the other side left open so appeared roomier (I think dinettes are a waste of space for one person when a folding chair and TV tray will work fine), plus some outside options - outside shower, fold down table attached to unit, awning, - the guy was an engineer and knew what he was doing on the remodel. Went for $14K, only requirement it did not meet was interior height. I'm a bit claustrophobic, and thinking of those days when I might have to stay inside for the weather.
My brother sent me a picture of an Ascape 13' recently with built in solar panel on roof. Made me wonder why more companies aren't doing this on standard package. Just seems so logical for RV manufactures to build them with boondocking capabilities. My preferred model now, the Lil Snoozy, is only designed for electric, for instance. So even if I do end up buying a used one, I am still looking at another $2-3K for a good Honda 3000 generator.
Hopefully I will find my dream unit in the next 2 years. I do keep my eyes open on here, craiglist, and other forums, and constantly reading tips and experiences that may help in future.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:31 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
IMHO they are MORE common in the Midwest due to the proximity of Scamp and not too far from Casita either.

In the SE, we have Oliver (out of my pricerange), Lil Snoozy (40% down and a year wait) and Parkliner. All smaller production niche companies.

People in my area drive over 3,000 miles one way just to pickup an Escape.

When you see so many 30 to 40 year old molded trailers still going strong, it speaks to the quality and durability. Such quality and durability costs serious $$$, although there are deals out there like that Trillium in Ohio for $4,800.
Yes, I've done it twice (a 17 in 2011, and I'm still returning on a trip to pick up a 21 last August).

While I'm a big proponent of fiberglass trailers, there is some logic to purchasing an inexpensive stick built trailer & living with the fact that is will likely have a short lifetime. If you pay 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a similarly equipped & sized trailer, you get opportunity to try a couple of different ones for the same price.

Personally, I prefer to keep a trailer for a long time since I modify them to meet my specific needs, but lots of individuals accept that their trailer is only going to be with them for a short time. It would be interesting to see the statistics on how long the average RV owner keeps the same RV...
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:48 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
Like I've said, I have been researching a while - and I've been a FGRV forum member for 4 years now. I am educating myself as best I can, and have past up a couple trailers I really like, just not quite ready to pull the trigger. I have completed Step 1 - just bought my tow vehicle - 2011 Silverado 4 wheel drive pick up.
I'm keeping open minded but this thread has reminded me of so many things I like about the fiberglass vs. traditional RVs. Number 1 would be durability - I can see less things going wrong with a fiberglass shell than a bunch of aluminum pieces riveted together and attached to a wooden frame. I plan of seeing the US and not just weekend trips to the lake, and I plan on boondocking so I am sure there will be some bumps and bruises along the way.
Perhaps the one unit I regret passing up the most was one advertised on here about a year or two ago. Some guy with far more mechanical and carpentry abilities than me did an amazing rebuild job on one, and I don't even remember the brand name, other than it only had an interior height of 6'. But it was a turn key unit ready for boondocking with electric/propane/Honda generator/solar panels (attached and portable panels) are fully operational, bed plenty big enough for me, stove and sink on one side and the other side left open so appeared roomier (I think dinettes are a waste of space for one person when a folding chair and TV tray will work fine), plus some outside options - outside shower, fold down table attached to unit, awning, - the guy was an engineer and knew what he was doing on the remodel. Went for $14K, only requirement it did not meet was interior height. I'm a bit claustrophobic, and thinking of those days when I might have to stay inside for the weather.
My brother sent me a picture of an Ascape 13' recently with built in solar panel on roof. Made me wonder why more companies aren't doing this on standard package. Just seems so logical for RV manufactures to build them with boondocking capabilities. My preferred model now, the Lil Snoozy, is only designed for electric, for instance. So even if I do end up buying a used one, I am still looking at another $2-3K for a good Honda 3000 generator.
Hopefully I will find my dream unit in the next 2 years. I do keep my eyes open on here, craiglist, and other forums, and constantly reading tips and experiences that may help in future.


Mark,

My Honda 2000i generator easily runs everything in our Snoozy. You can get one for around 1000.0 . Other brands are less.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:55 AM   #49
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Name: Mark
Trailer: currently shopping
Missouri
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Does everything include AC/TV/fridge/lights all at the same time? AC all night long??I've had a discussion on here and I thought I came to conclusion that the 2000 Honda was not enough power. I may be wrong.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:03 PM   #50
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The Honda 2K (now replaced by a 2.2K) MAY run your AC. It depends on other loads, altitude, temperature, and, of course, the size & model of AC - some have a "soft start" feature built in, others can have it added.

Lots of people have no problems, while others do. In most cases, it will only work if the rest of the high current devices are off or, in the case of the refrigerator, running on propane.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:15 PM   #51
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Name: P
Trailer: Casita
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I've gone from tent to teardrop to aframe to Casita. On the A-frame trailers, I was OK with my Chalet. I have the opposite problem as I am short. To set it up, I carved a notch in an axe handle and used that to lift up the roof. I guess I could have had a factory made lifter installed or something easier.

What I did not like about it was having to either set it all up again if you forgot and left something in it when you had just collapsed it for towing. I was able to crawl in to recover my wallet or sunglasses or?? sometimes. They do not have the built in storage that a regular trailer has. There can be no upper cabinets. While camping on the Oregon Coast, condensation built up at the roof peak making it drip inside. I had to carry a step stool so I could reach the ceiling fan controls.

The Chalet had a big bungee cord that was part of the roof lifting system. That wears out, and I did replace it myself but had to get a friend to assist. Chalet was great in sending me the parts and instructions to do that.

I had it for 3 years or so and did not have any leaks. I did have the back window recaulked during that time. I was amazed at not having any leaks because I towed the thing through some horrible windy rain events.

I do agree that it is much nicer to arrive and not have to raise your roof and walls--especially in a downpour. Can you tell I camped on the Oregon Coast quite a bit??
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:19 PM   #52
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My years of experience in the collector car world has taught me that for every $1000 MORE I spend on buying a better vehicle I usually get $2000 worth of extra value in a better vehicle with much more restoration work completed on the vehicle. Over the last 4-5 years that I have become involved in vintage fiberglass trailers I see that the same logic holds true for this segment of the RV market also!

Given this fact (my observation) I suggest you use the same suggestion I give to my vintage vehicle customers when looking for a GOOD used trailer and that is for every $10K you are willing to spend on a trailer budget $1000 for TRAVEL to go look at trailers! What happens is you become a MUCH more informed and better buyer.

Go look at anything that is close to your residence even if it's not exactly what you want as you WILL learn more and more about the Good, Bad and Ugly of the RV trailer industry. Sure this takes time. Most folks are LAZY and will NOT spend the TIME AND EFFORT needed make a wise purchase. It's not that they are UNABLE to go travel to look it's that they are UNWILLING to travel and go look. Don't be that person!

You yourself said you have 3 years until retirement. You now have a new hobby. Traveling to look at trailers! A quick search of CL in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area show numerous Casita's for sale for under $10K.

The ultimate result of this spending money on travel is that IF you spend your time and money wisely traveling and looking at trailers is that you WILL find the one poor SOB with a nice trailer at good/great price that will more than make up for the money on travel.

Reading a forum is a great start to education HOWEVER nothing matches experience you will gain from actually physically LOOKING at trailers to get the best "Fit" for your "Tall" expectations!
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:53 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
Like I've said, I have been researching a while - and I've been a FGRV forum member for 4 years now. I am educating myself as best I can, and have past up a couple trailers I really like, just not quite ready to pull the trigger. I have completed Step 1 - just bought my tow vehicle - 2011 Silverado 4 wheel drive pick up.
Mark,

Since you have a pickup, I'll mention molded fiberglass fifth wheels. While they are pretty rare, Quantum and Bigfoot made some back in the late 70's to 80's as best I recall. I have seen a couple posted for sale on the forum that would have needed some updating, but we really liked the layout of one we saw. And of course there is also the Scamp 19.

I know the current Escape fifth wheels have lots of headroom, but I've never been in one of the older Bigoots or a Scamp. Maybe someone else can chime here in regarding the potential suitability of those.

Other than that, I think you can enter searches into Craigslist to get email notifications for search terms, though I've no experience with that. Searchtempest is another tool to look into.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:15 PM   #54
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Catch 22 with a fifth wheel, you can't have much in the back of the truck, you can't have a cap on it, either. Of course, this might not matter to you...
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:31 PM   #55
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I happened to come across a site called outdoorsy.com which lists trailers and other RVs for rent. Punched in St. Louis MO, and there is an R-Pod for rent in St. Ann MO for $95/night. This could be one way to find out what it's like to camp with that kind of trailer.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:15 AM   #56
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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wait and wait

I think if you are going to wait for the perfect rig its going to be near impossible. I am 5.9 and yes the bed in a scamper would be too short for you I don't know how to resolve any of your height problem. this makes things real tough! I don't know if a 5th wheel will solve your problems or not if they do then you are getting into big money!

there is a big-foot listed for sale here it needs to be put together again but that offers some real possibilities in your case!

good luck in your search

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Old 03-03-2018, 08:57 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I happened to come across a site called outdoorsy.com which lists trailers and other RVs for rent. Punched in St. Louis MO, and there is an R-Pod for rent in St. Ann MO for $95/night. This could be one way to find out what it's like to camp with that kind of trailer.
Great suggestion! For a minimal cost- less than a decent motel room these days- you could find out whether this trailer will work for you. A rental with wear and tear is a better way to see how a unit really feels and holds up than a lot model.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:03 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
A rental with wear and tear is a better way to see how a unit really feels and holds up than a lot model.
Many of them don't have wear and tear. I received an invite to rent my Escape 19 on Outdoorsy. Since it sits in storage much of the time, it represents a substantial income opportunity. But there's no way I'd do that - mainly because it has no wear and tear.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:10 AM   #59
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renting out your trailer

after being a landlord no way I would do it. I couldn't get out of that enterprize fase enough!!! I wont go into it!


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Old 03-03-2018, 11:39 AM   #60
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Didn't realize Outdoorsy is a vendor of 3rd party rentals, but I still think renting a unit before purchase is a great idea, whether like-new or having a few dings. Of course if I were renting in view of a purchase of a similar model, I'd rather have one a few years old to assess how the unit holds up. But any real-life field experience is better than just a walk though.

Like most of us here, I would never, ever rent mine!
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