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Old 02-26-2019, 10:17 AM   #21
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Can’t image comparing a Clss A to a molded FG trailer. If you need/want the space and features of a class A, then the only realistic comparison is to a large fifth wheel. No way a molded FG compares.

Now if you want something that costs less, can provide just the basics (a place to sleep, a place to sit, and a small bathroom), then a molded FG trailer is a winner.

My two friends with Class A motorhomes, a molded FG would never work for either of them. Different tool, different application.

Realize this forum is a group of molded FG trailer owners. We are here because they work for US. Will it work for you? I have no idea.

The rental idea is a good one. There is a place in Texas that rents a Casita. Rent it and do a two to three week trip around the SW USA.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:29 AM   #22
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I'm with the OP, though, if not on the size, on the "idea" of a motorhome in general. A trailer is my personal, compromised "right" answer, but having traveled and lived for a while in a tiny motorhome, there really is just something about it...

Driving down the road and turning around and seeing your home, right there. I mean you're in your home while you're driving. Pull over, stand up and walk to the back and make some food. Wake up in the morning at a rest stop while traveling, stand up, walk to the drivers seat, sit down and drive away.

Something about hanging out in the same "room", more or less, as the cab of the vehicle is just...cozy somehow. I really like it. But when I weigh the pros and cons, and trailer just always comes out ahead.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:09 PM   #23
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I just watched a news report how a RV company had been fines over $250,000 for injuries to employees. The employees were talking & saying they make good money because they get paid by how fast they do their job. More jobs completed, more money. So everyone is in a hurry. It is a very fast pace they were saying.
This is why we went Fiberglass Trailer. RV's are to complicated to build fast. I was not willing to spend over $100,000 and have a piece of crap. Now if they were better built we would of picked one up.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:23 PM   #24
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How about $5 milliion?
https://www.wndu.com/home/headlines/...312899371.html
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Here is the employee safety concerns.


https://www.abc57.com/news/Forest-Ri...fety-practices
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:56 PM   #26
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Actually, those may be 2 separate incidents. NHTSA has jurisdiction over defects that would cause accidents, injuries and deaths while the item is the consumer's possession. OSHA is has jurisdiction when people are injured in the workplace building the item. Glenn's link concerns safety violations on the roads whereas Jack's statement concerns workers in the factory.

Either way, real bad!
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:56 PM   #27
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HERE IS THE SAFETY NEWS REPORT:
https://www.abc57.com/news/Forest-Ri...fety-practices
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:50 PM   #28
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Since you like to live frugally, already have a truck, she has not camped with you in the US and since you can park the trailer and go exploring without it, I'd say go with a cheap used sticky first. Plus, a smaller trailer will fit in far more places and be allowed in more places. If you want to explore a smaller road or venture into the desert, or are concerned about fuel mileage, you'll have much more freedom with the truck and trailer.

This way you can see if you both like trailer camping. If not, you've had some fun and can move on with little loss. If you do, you can move up to a nice fiberglass trailer after you see how much room you need and what features mean a lot to you. And, as already mentioned, you can leave it at the campsite and go exploring in your truck without breaking camp to do it. That is a huge deal! Go get groceries, drive to a lookout spot, make a run up the coast to a nice restaurant, run down to the beach for an hour, etc. Then come "home" to your trailer. A huge benefit to having a trailer.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:10 AM   #29
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On this website the push will be toward fiberglass trailers...these folks are true believers !
You might visit a RV Dealer ‘s lot and tour a few class A, B, and C motor homes and several tow behind travel trailers before deciding on your “ dream machine”.
There are draw backs to each type of RV.....ask many questions...don’t sell yourself short...follow your dream and happy Camping !
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:55 AM   #30
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I know that there are a lot of answers with advice here, but I want to make an observation. If you ask a carpenter for his favorite tool, it will be a hammer, and so on a plumber will be a wrench. So, you are asking for opinions in a fiberglass towable forum. What do you think the answer would be???

I have over 70 years of camping experience. From shelter half camping to fiberglass motorhomes with a sprinkling of FG towables, popups, etc in the middle. So, I claim experience across multiple types of camping. Here is my analysis.

Rethink the size of what you want to use. Is 30 feet the right size. Try renting a unit first and see. Remember that you will be sharing space with another. I don't know how long you have been married and familiar you are with your wife, but women have different needs than men. You need to include her in your test of size.
Then there are differences with self contained motor homes and pull alongs. The motor home is significantly easier to live in. Park in Walmarts and places like that. Go off the grid. If you leave the pull along somewhere, it better be protected or you may loose it.
My recommendation is to think outside the box.
My personal recommendation would be a motor home with a max size of 24 feet. Goes anywhere and very mobile. But ultimately it would be up to you and your wife. Good luck.
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Old 03-02-2019, 12:28 PM   #31
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I guess I don’t understand this thread. If you want a Class A then get one! They depreciate fast, so shop used and your money will go far.

In no way does a molded FG trailer compare to a Class A. My friends with Class As would never ever consider aFG trailer. And I don’t want a Class A either so it works out just fine!
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Old 03-02-2019, 12:48 PM   #32
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I took it, based on the thread title, that the OP wanted a reality check on the drawbacks of owning a Class A. So... buy a used Class A and set aside $5-10K a year for maintenance and repair. Count it a good year if you come out ahead. Or buy a new one and plan for it to spend a chunk of the first year in the dealer getting the bugs out.

Just because we are on a molded fiberglass forum and own molded fiberglass trailers does not mean we have no experience with Class A's or other RV types. There are many lifetimes of varied RV experience here. I haven't owned a Class A (camped with a close friend who did), but I have owned a tent trailer, a small sticky, a larger aluminum-framed travel trailer, a slide-in truck camper (Alaskan), a Class C, and a Class B. I'm a slow learner, I guess!
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:38 PM   #33
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I took it, based on the thread title, that the OP wanted a reality check on the drawbacks of owning a Class A. So... buy a used Class A and set aside $5-10K a year for maintenance and repair.
It all depends on how handy you are and what level of maintenance you do as to how much it will cost. I have never lost more than $1500 in selling a MH over what I paid. Of course, I always buy used. And really search for a good deal. There are no absolutes in buying and selling, but I always buy something with the idea of how much it will be worth when I sell it. I generally put 25K miles on a MH and then sell it. But now, sadly I do not feel confident in driving all day so my total RV days are over. It was a good run though...
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:56 PM   #34
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Ok, I've read all the responses in this thread, and there's some really good info and some pretty biased comments, and some things that are just nonsense. The average Class A will NOT likely cost you $5k-$10k/year in maintenance. That's the cost of an entire drivetrain transplant. That's just ludicrous.

Find a coach that's well-built, in-demand, and has low mileage at the best price you can get. Use it as long as you want, and then sell it when you're done with it. It'll still be in demand, and you'll be able to sell it and recover much of what you had in it. If you buy a piece of junk, you'll likely lose whatever you have put into it because you'll have a really hard time selling it (if you even can sell it.) New, cheap coaches are the worst for depreciation. They cost big bucks and there's no demand for them used. Depreciation, btw, is the biggest cost of ownership of an RV... not fuel or maintenance.

A little background... I've camped for some sixty years in just about every way that one CAN camp or travel. I've had some twenty travel trailers, from Scamp 13s to Airstream 34' tri-axles. I've also had an Airstream 325 moho, two Born Free mohos, and two B-vans. My current lineup is an '06 32' Born Free Super C and a '95 Coachmen 19' B-van. I tow a Jeep behind the Super C. I just use the B-van as my sole vehicle, although I do carry and ride a bicycle.

In the past four years, I've put 30,000 miles on the B-van, and 15,000 miles on the Super-C, so they don't just sit around.

The difference between hauling a trailer and hauling a towed 4-down is significant in terms of hook-up time and effort. I don't stay in campgrounds much, nor do I stay in one location more than two or three days usually. I use my motorhomes for comfortable travel, and comfortable accomodations as opposed to "camping." If you're "camping" and staying in one place for a few days or more, travel trailers are perfect. You set up, stay as long as you like, use your tow vehicle to get around. If, however, you plan to travel, sight-see, and stay where-ever you can find a spot, (truck stops, WalMarts, Cracker Barrels, rest stops, that sort of thing...) a trailer isn't as good a choice. There have been many nights when I've run the generator at a rest stop and had my AC unit(s) running for a good night's sleep. I also have a microwave and any other A/C powered devices I may want. I stay hooked up and head out when I'm ready. Travel trailers are not NEARLY as convenient in that regard. One last tip, 25' of living space is just about ideal. I lived for a year in an Airstream Safari 23' trailer in the late '80s. My last fiberglass trailer was a Bigfoot 25 which had the perfect combination of length for towing and long-term livability. My Born Free 32' Super-C has about 25' of living space in it.

My B-van is $65/yr registration, and my Super-C is $80/year.

Now about expense... do your math. Let's say you travel 5,000 miles a year towing (or driving a motorhome... most people do MUCH less...) you'll average about 12mpg. It really doesn't make much difference what you tow or drive. You might get 18 mpg, you might get 8, but calculate the difference between a motorhome/towed at 8mpg (my Born Free Super C averages about 9.5, BTW with an 8L Chevy V8 and Allison trans... towing the Jeep) and towing a small trailer at a thrifty 18mpg over 5,000 miles at $2.50/gal. You'll find that the difference between the two will be less than $300 for the ENTIRE season; certainly not enough to base a buying decision on.

Last, let me suggest that you look at Class B coaches. I stick with them because Born Free in particular has a roll cage in the coach and the truck front has the NHTSA required safety equipment. Class A coaches typically have none of those nor are they required to. Additionally, the van front ends are easier to service and most service can be done by any dealer if they're willing to work on cutaway chassis. That usually has to do with whether they can get them into their shop. As for depreciation, I can sell my B-van for almost twice what I have in it after four years use, and I can sell the Born Free today for just about the same as what I bought it for four years ago.

Fiberglass trailers are cool. They're fun. I enjoyed mine a lot, but I've hit a good formula for the way I travel. Your mileage may vary, but at least you've heard a factual counter-point from someone who's "been there and done that." Happy hunting!

On edit: Here's a collection of photos of most of the trailers and mohos I've had over the years. Of course I didn't own Doc Holman's 1935 Torpedo Airstream, nor did I own the brand new Bowlus Road Chief, but other than those all of them in the collections I owned for some period of time. I had fun with the little fiberglass trailers and made a hobby of taking photos of them in front of landmarks and attractions.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/roger_...7602058936200/
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:48 PM   #35
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Has anyone looked at an Oliver trailer? This would be my pick.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:33 PM   #36
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Has anyone looked at an Oliver trailer? This would be my pick.
Nice trailers. Expensive, but nice.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:15 PM   #37
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I second everything this poster said...

Again, after more than 70 years of "camping", everything Roger H says is true. But remember, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Do your homework for what works for you. BTW, the best B+ I had was a 22.5 Chinook (fiberglass). They are still around for 25K range and you will get your money back.

Dick (at age 80)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger H View Post
Ok, I've read all the responses in this thread, and there's some really good info and some pretty biased comments, and some things that are just nonsense. The average Class A will NOT likely cost you $5k-$10k/year in maintenance. That's the cost of an entire drivetrain transplant. That's just ludicrous.

Find a coach that's well-built, in-demand, and has low mileage at the best price you can get. Use it as long as you want, and then sell it when you're done with it. It'll still be in demand, and you'll be able to sell it and recover much of what you had in it. If you buy a piece of junk, you'll likely lose whatever you have put into it because you'll have a really hard time selling it (if you even can sell it.) New, cheap coaches are the worst for depreciation. They cost big bucks and there's no demand for them used. Depreciation, btw, is the biggest cost of ownership of an RV... not fuel or maintenance.

A little background... I've camped for some sixty years in just about every way that one CAN camp or travel. I've had some twenty travel trailers, from Scamp 13s to Airstream 34' tri-axles. I've also had an Airstream 325 moho, two Born Free mohos, and two B-vans. My current lineup is an '06 32' Born Free Super C and a '95 Coachmen 19' B-van. I tow a Jeep behind the Super C. I just use the B-van as my sole vehicle, although I do carry and ride a bicycle.

In the past four years, I've put 30,000 miles on the B-van, and 15,000 miles on the Super-C, so they don't just sit around.

The difference between hauling a trailer and hauling a towed 4-down is significant in terms of hook-up time and effort. I don't stay in campgrounds much, nor do I stay in one location more than two or three days usually. I use my motorhomes for comfortable travel, and comfortable accomodations as opposed to "camping." If you're "camping" and staying in one place for a few days or more, travel trailers are perfect. You set up, stay as long as you like, use your tow vehicle to get around. If, however, you plan to travel, sight-see, and stay where-ever you can find a spot, (truck stops, WalMarts, Cracker Barrels, rest stops, that sort of thing...) a trailer isn't as good a choice. There have been many nights when I've run the generator at a rest stop and had my AC unit(s) running for a good night's sleep. I also have a microwave and any other A/C powered devices I may want. I stay hooked up and head out when I'm ready. Travel trailers are not NEARLY as convenient in that regard. One last tip, 25' of living space is just about ideal. I lived for a year in an Airstream Safari 23' trailer in the late '80s. My last fiberglass trailer was a Bigfoot 25 which had the perfect combination of length for towing and long-term livability. My Born Free 32' Super-C has about 25' of living space in it.

My B-van is $65/yr registration, and my Super-C is $80/year.

Now about expense... do your math. Let's say you travel 5,000 miles a year towing (or driving a motorhome... most people do MUCH less...) you'll average about 12mpg. It really doesn't make much difference what you tow or drive. You might get 18 mpg, you might get 8, but calculate the difference between a motorhome/towed at 8mpg (my Born Free Super C averages about 9.5, BTW with an 8L Chevy V8 and Allison trans... towing the Jeep) and towing a small trailer at a thrifty 18mpg over 5,000 miles at $2.50/gal. You'll find that the difference between the two will be less than $300 for the ENTIRE season; certainly not enough to base a buying decision on.

Last, let me suggest that you look at Class B coaches. I stick with them because Born Free in particular has a roll cage in the coach and the truck front has the NHTSA required safety equipment. Class A coaches typically have none of those nor are they required to. Additionally, the van front ends are easier to service and most service can be done by any dealer if they're willing to work on cutaway chassis. That usually has to do with whether they can get them into their shop. As for depreciation, I can sell my B-van for almost twice what I have in it after four years use, and I can sell the Born Free today for just about the same as what I bought it for four years ago.

Fiberglass trailers are cool. They're fun. I enjoyed mine a lot, but I've hit a good formula for the way I travel. Your mileage may vary, but at least you've heard a factual counter-point from someone who's "been there and done that." Happy hunting!

On edit: Here's a collection of photos of most of the trailers and mohos I've had over the years. Of course I didn't own Doc Holman's 1935 Torpedo Airstream, nor did I own the brand new Bowlus Road Chief, but other than those all of them in the collections I owned for some period of time. I had fun with the little fiberglass trailers and made a hobby of taking photos of them in front of landmarks and attractions.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/roger_...7602058936200/
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:38 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Nan View Post
Has anyone looked at an Oliver trailer? This would be my pick.
I look at mine pretty often and have really enjoyed it over the last three years. But given that the OP is trying to decide between a Class A, a sticky, or a fiberglass, and not even sure if his new wife will like any of them, I'd say the Oliver may not be the best choice. As far as I'm concerned there is nothing better, but that's just me.

Oliver seems like a trailer that someone would end up with, but not start with. You either have to wait for one to be built, or get lucky and find one for sale that has the equipment you want. And the cost is high for something that might just be an experiment.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:30 AM   #39
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Hello all.
After a couple days of traveling I am in Southeast Asia waiting for the embassy to deliver My wife’s passport with the visa stamp.
I am just getting over the dreaded “what day is it” syndrome and had a. Chance to read the great many replies.
Thank you.
There is no shortage of experienced camping / travelers on this site, that is for sure.
As a few of you have pointed out, obviously this is a fiberglass camper forum so at one time or another you have all had experience with them or currently Own one.
I could not be happier with the diversity of the replies and individual points of view.
Every reply offered good advice and food for thought.
I particularly liked reading about the journeys that brought you to owning your fiberglass trailer.
I have always felt that if you wanted to know what was going on down in the trenches, then go down to the trenches and ask them what’s going on. I thank you all for Taking the time to reply.
I am very much looking forward to getting back to the US of A and beginning our process of selection/elimination.
Thanks again, Jim.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:16 PM   #40
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Roger,

This was an interesting post. Could you expand on the part I quoted below? I am interested because I have no experience with towing a vehicle (toad), but figured that towing a travel trailer gave us the most flexibility and convenience to unhitch and visit local destinations with our tow vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger H View Post
The difference between hauling a trailer and hauling a towed 4-down is significant in terms of hook-up time and effort. I don't stay in campgrounds much, nor do I stay in one location more than two or three days usually. I use my motorhomes for comfortable travel, and comfortable accomodations as opposed to "camping." If you're "camping" and staying in one place for a few days or more, travel trailers are perfect. You set up, stay as long as you like, use your tow vehicle to get around. If, however, you plan to travel, sight-see, and stay where-ever you can find a spot, (truck stops, WalMarts, Cracker Barrels, rest stops, that sort of thing...) a trailer isn't as good a choice. There have been many nights when I've run the generator at a rest stop and had my AC unit(s) running for a good night's sleep. I also have a microwave and any other A/C powered devices I may want. I stay hooked up and head out when I'm ready. Travel trailers are not NEARLY as convenient in that regard.
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