Literal "built like a boat" - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2020, 01:43 PM   #1
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Literal "built like a boat"

I stumbled into this
https://www.campanda.com/magazine/bo...dream-trailer/

Interesting to me, especially since I'm about to add a rowboat to take along with us on trips (it will ride on a ladder rack on the pickup truck). Maybe an old timer here has some experience with the vintage 1960's Trailerboat mentioned in the article. Just goes to show, there isn't much new in the world these days...

cheers
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowballCamper View Post
I stumbled into this
https://www.campanda.com/magazine/bo...dream-trailer/

Interesting to me, especially since I'm about to add a rowboat to take along with us on trips (it will ride on a ladder rack on the pickup truck). Maybe an old timer here has some experience with the vintage 1960's Trilerboat mentioned in the article. Just goes to show, there isn't much new in the world these days...

cheers
Old timer here but not old enough to have seen one of these trailer/boats. Another option would be a folding boat - Porta Boat or Porta Bote. They fold up flat, can be rowed or have motor, and are lightweight. I've seen them attached to the sides of trailers, campers, motorhomes. 14 ft. 8" is the one we use.
Good luck finding a solution!
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:28 PM   #3
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Stay tuned to Happier Camper as they have acquired the molds to the dream trailer and will producing them in the near future .you can actually see a couple of prototypes in the LA showroom.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:20 PM   #4
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They were actually in production and being sold for a couple of years not all that long ago. I used to see them for sale in the trailer section of the Seattle craigslist. It is interesting that the molds were acquired by Happier Camper. Keeping a company going can be tough especially if you are not great at doing social media marketing. Marketing takes skills and it takes a lot of time and patience. Happier Camper is doing great in its marketing of their small trailers.

It is difficult to be both a production manager, supply manager and handle sales and marketing, it takes a team but there is not always enough income in the early years to support a team even when it is a Mom and Pop team who share living cost and their production site and home are also the same location.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:14 PM   #5
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There is a young man that attends a local vintage rally who has an original Trailerboat. He rescued it from a junkyard and restored it. As I recall, the boat was missing and he had to have one custom made.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:23 PM   #6
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For carrying a boat when you are pulling a trailer, I saw the best ever setup at a campground in Florida. They had a rack built over the pickup cab and the boat, which was about a 12 footer, sat on the rack upside down. There were a couple electric winches on the rack that slid the boat forward and down and then upright. The boat had a couple small wheels at the stern to move it when it hit the ground. A small gas outboard was carried on a bracket in the pickup bed. It was pretty much a no touch operation to load or unload the boat, the winches did it all. A very well designed and engineered operation.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:47 PM   #7
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I lusted after one of those that was for sale in our area in the late sixties. I even got an extra part time job to try to save enough to buy it for $600 or so. Neither the job or the purchase worked out, but I still think about it.
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Originally Posted by BarbinBC View Post
Old timer here but not old enough to have seen one of these trailer/boats. Another option would be a folding boat - Porta Boat or Porta Bote. They fold up flat, can be rowed or have motor, and are lightweight. I've seen them attached to the sides of trailers, campers, motorhomes. 14 ft. 8" is the one we use.
Good luck finding a solution!
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbinBC View Post
Old timer here but not old enough to have seen one of these trailer/boats. Another option would be a folding boat - Porta Boat or Porta Bote. They fold up flat, can be rowed or have motor, and are lightweight. I've seen them attached to the sides of trailers, campers, motorhomes. 14 ft. 8" is the one we use.
Good luck finding a solution!
My sister has a Porta Bote she's trying to sell.

Back in the early 1960's our father and some friends designed a fiberglass tent camper with a removable upper half that was a small 8' fiberglass boat. They sold the design to Nomad who built a few hundred of them. With the removable door in place the bottom half would even float. Supposedly you could tow the camper in the water with the boat so you could camp on an island on the lake. We tested that feature on Lake Lanier on Georgia.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:04 PM   #9
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Boat Loaders

Hello,

Here are a couple of examples of boat loaders:

https://boatloader.com/boatloader.html

https://loadit.com/rear-boat-loader/

Larry H
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
Stay tuned to Happier Camper as they have acquired the molds to the dream trailer and will producing them in the near future .you can actually see a couple of prototypes in the LA showroom.
Seriously? Cool. Paul Dahlman, the developer of the American Dream Trailer is a member here at FiberglassRV. He posted when he was first getting into the manufacturing of his trailer. Paul hasn't logged in for quite a while (Last Activity: 05-19-2015 02:18 PM), but I always hoped he was continuing with manufacturing. https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...any-60827.html
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:50 AM   #11
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Seen this one in February/18 somewhere just off the 5 in Oregon. There were a couple Happier Campers on the lot too.
We were headed home from a winter holiday.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:59 AM   #12
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I saw a camper van project in one of the "Popular" magazines back in the '60s or '70s that used a boat for its roof. They made a canvas "tent" to cover the hole when the boat was in use. It seems like they could have made the boat seats removable and put a hard roof inside the boat. Could do the same thing with this trailer, poking the trailer roof up higher into the boat for more head room. A few more windows would be nice too...
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jack Walter View Post
My sister has a Porta Bote she's trying to sell.

Back in the early 1960's our father and some friends designed a fiberglass tent camper with a removable upper half that was a small 8' fiberglass boat. They sold the design to Nomad who built a few hundred of them. With the removable door in place the bottom half would even float. Supposedly you could tow the camper in the water with the boat so you could camp on an island on the lake. We tested that feature on Lake Lanier on Georgia.
Our family had a Nomad back in the late '60s / early '70s. We camped in it many times and my Brother and I often camped with it ourselves at car races. People often asked why we brought a boat to a car race. I had not seen another one since then and suddenly a guy about 5 doors up from me dragged one home last year. It's still there.

I understand the designs were eventually sold to a company in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario. They were manufactured there still under the Nomad name. I believe there is a member on this forum that has a couple of them.

This is not ours but it is what it looked liked … all packed up and ready to go camping. Both the top and bottom halves floated.

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Old 02-11-2020, 08:15 PM   #14
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That's a Nomad all right, I was around nine years old when they built the prototype, guess who learned how to work with fiberglass at a very early age.... I was light enough to climb into the plaster mold and lay out sheets of fiberglass.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Larry C Hanson View Post
Hello,

Here are a couple of examples of boat loaders:

https://boatloader.com/boatloader.html

https://loadit.com/rear-boat-loader/

Larry H
Thanks! I might be ready for the loadit after our trip to Alaska this summer.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:00 PM   #16
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I've seen vintage pictures of VW busses with the same.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:00 PM   #17
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The Mity-Lite from the late 1980's had an optional boat that fit upside down on the pop top (like the westfalia camper). These trailers are very rare today as maybe 300 were sold before the Centralia, WA went out of business and the molds were sold. They closed at a time when "bigger is better" swept the nation, and buyers were buying HUGE OVERWEIGHT camping vehicles that currently clog camping sites.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:36 PM   #18
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I was cleaning up my dad's old filing cabinet in the basement today and found a brochure for the Nomad camping trailer. The prototype was built around 1960 in a shop my dad and his friends had at the corner of Clairmont Rd and Dresden Drive in northeast Atlanta. They were a group of about eight engineers from several different companies who banded to together and formed a small design firm that would come up with an idea, build a prototype and try to sell the concept to a regular manufacturer and collect royalties.

This was both a hobby and a ways of supplementing their incomes (but that never really worked that well) and they came up with some neat stuff. Their most successful product was Bell-Lites - a string of Christmas tree lights which incorporated a set of differently tuned bells fired by integral solenoids and triggered by a punched disc rotating on a carousel using contact switches like the NC machines of the late 1950's reading a punch tape. I think they had more fun using it as a high tech clubhouse to get an evening out without the wives. I got dragged along and was exposed to some neat projects and got to hang around with the guys as the worked on the project of the week. Its one reason I became an engineer and have so many projects myself. I also learned how to use power tools and lay fiberglass from the age of eight.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:38 PM   #19
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I was going through some old pictures and found this shot of the prototype Nomad taken at Lake Lanier during its first field test at Longhollow Campground.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:34 AM   #20
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Fascinating stuff Jack! I've added these photos to my "NOMAD" file.
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