Would appreciate ideas about an RV - Completely new camper! - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
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Would appreciate ideas about an RV - Completely new camper!

I have started shopping for an RV and tow vehicle and feel a little overwhelmed. I will be purchasing both in the next 2 or three years. New truck and new or used 5th wheel. I like the escape but a new truck and a new escape is pushing the limits of what I can afford. My tow vehicle needs to serve double duty as my daily driver for a 100 mile round trip commute every day to work so it needs to get good gas mileage. I am interested in the chevy colorado diesel but it is currently one of the least reliable new vehicles. Reliability is very important to me. Any recommendations/suggestions? I am very good as a DIY person so buying a well used 5th wheel doesn't scare me....the nice ones don't seem to show up very often and when they do they are gone in a week.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:01 PM   #2
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A used Scamp 19 and a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier would make an economical and reliable starter combination. And if I happened to run across a used Escape 5.0, I'd snap it up.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:45 PM   #3
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A used Scamp 19 and a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier would make an economical and reliable starter combination. And if I happened to run across a used Escape 5.0, I'd snap it up.
Thanks for the comments. Here's some info I didn't mention. I'm a backpacker. My out doorexperience includes sleeping on the ground under a tarp, cooking over a campfire and using the bathroom in the woods. My wife said she would share my love of the outdoors if I could get a rig with a queen sized bed and a bathroom and a shower. I'd be happy with a teardrop (I'm happy with a tarp) and she wouldn't.

I'd like to start by buying a used very old 5th wheel and a brand new pick up truck. But it seems that its better to get the camper first and then the tow vehicle. That's a problem if you're buying used.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:46 PM   #4
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And don't forget the GM Twins, the Canyon/Colorado. Modern, well designed and excellent power with category leading fuel efficiency.

There's usually a good supply, relatively speaking, of 5th wheel, 19' Scamps on the market. Might want to start there and see if one would meet your expectations and your needs.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:54 PM   #5
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A used Ranger 4 liter V6 would be my suggestion. You can tow a Scamp 5th wheel as well as the smaller trailers. The Rangers are very reliable and get decent mileage.



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Old 01-24-2016, 04:58 PM   #6
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You describe my situation 3-4 years ago to a tee.

Your post suggests that you already know what you would like to get. How much longer will you be doing the 100 mile daily round trip? Even those mid size trucks Jon mentioned get only 20 mpg (in summer, not towing), at least my 2013 Tacoma does. Towing the Scamp 5th I get about 16 mpg. So far, I am very happy with it, very reliable, comfortable, etc. Towing a small 5th wheel is stable as a rock, no agonizing here about weight distribution hitches or anti-sway bars. We traveled over some rough roads and in some bad weather (spring and fall), took it slow and easy in those cases and it worked out well so far.

Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:15 PM   #7
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You describe my situation 3-4 years ago to a tee.

Your post suggests that you already know what you would like to get. How much longer will you be doing the 100 mile daily round trip? Even those mid size trucks Jon mentioned get only 20 mpg (in summer, not towing), at least my 2013 Tacoma does. Towing the Scamp 5th I get about 16 mpg. So far, I am very happy with it, very reliable, comfortable, etc. Towing a small 5th wheel is stable as a rock, no agonizing here about weight distribution hitches or anti-sway bars. We traveled over some rough roads and in some bad weather (spring and fall), took it slow and easy in those cases and it worked out well so far.

Good luck.
At least 5 years more with the 100 mile commute. My current commuter car is a 1998 volvo station wagon that gets 26 mpg. One of my rules of thumb is don't buy a new car that gets worse gas mileage than what I'm replacing. The Colorado diesel pick up was the answer but i just found out about its horrible reliability (eighth worst new vehicle). Reliability is the first thing I check when buying a new car, so the Colorado wouldn't make my list unless it improves significantly in the next couple of years. My 2004 Honda odyssey has been super reliable .. no (zero) problems in 10 years.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:20 PM   #8
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Why do you want 5th wheel? Why not a small trailer behind your volvo wagoon?
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:32 PM   #9
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Or your Odyssey... Some Volvos seem to have some pretty restrictive tongue weight limits, as we've learned in a couple of recent threads.

It sounds like the biggest obstacle is the queen bed requirement. There aren't too many in bumper-pull trailers, especially any small enough for either of those tugs. A Scamp 16 Deluxe has a 54" bed... close enough?
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:00 PM   #10
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Or your Odyssey... Some Volvos seem to have some pretty restrictive tongue weight limits, as we've learned in a couple of recent threads.

It sounds like the biggest obstacle is the queen bed requirement. There aren't too many in bumper-pull trailers, especially any small enough for either of those tugs. A Scamp 16 Deluxe has a 54" bed... close enough?
Exactly. The queen bed requires a giant trailer which I dont want or a 5th wheel which I'd be OK with. The volvo station wagon is 18 years old and even a new one wasn't capable of pulling much. The rating on the Volvo and what it can actually do is a big difference. The Odyssey will be with us only a few more weeks. Its being replaced by a Subaru Forester which won't pull much.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:13 PM   #11
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Exactly. The queen bed requires a giant trailer which I dont want or a 5th wheel which I'd be OK with.
I wouldn't call an Escape 19 a giant trailer. It has a full queen in the rear. You can get a 17' Casita that converts to a king bed. Both are too heavy for your current tug however.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:55 PM   #12
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I wouldn't call an Escape 19 a giant trailer. It has a full queen in the rear. You can get a 17' Casita that converts to a king bed. Both are too heavy for your current tug however.
It depends on your perspective. My idea of a weekend in the great outdoors is spent with everything I can get a backpack that weighs less than 30 pounds. A 19 foot trailer is giant by comparison. I do like the Escapes. My wife and I are both over 6 feet tall so we need something over 6 feet tall inside. The escapes fit the bill. We also need a bed for at least one more person and some privacy for both sleeping areas would be nice. The escape 5th wheel covers all the requirements but finding a good tow vehicle that also gets good gas mileage is a problem. The new Ford F150 with eco-boost doesn't have me convinced.
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:01 AM   #13
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Hi John,

What the heck, I will throw in my 2 cents. You want a FG 5er for the floorplan needs of your wife. Got it. This means towing with a PU. I like your idea of a newer truck with used 5er. This probably means a used Scamp 19'. I would be perfectly happy with a Toyota Taco or the Ford F-150 2.7 Ecoboost. Use the Scamp 19'. If you decide you want a newer trailer in a few years, order the Escape 5er, continue to use the Scamp, and then sell it when your Escape is ready! You will probably still break even or better on the Scamp 5er.

My 2 cents! YMMV!

Take care,

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Old 01-25-2016, 05:48 AM   #14
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If they start up production, a Parkliner would meet your needs and could possibly be towed by the Odessey.

ParkLiner Fiberglass Ultralight Travel Trailers - – Take me somewhere fun! ™

There are several Parkliner threads on this site worth reading. Folks love the trailer but the customer service was not the best. Raz
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:08 AM   #15
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I think what the OP needs to consider is a Class B camper van. It sounds more in tune with his outdoor adventuring. Used ones can be found pretty easy in the $20-30k range.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:43 AM   #16
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A wife who is a reluctant camper is unlikely to be happy in a the really tight spaces of a B-van.

John, real world commuting fuel mileage in the mid-twenties in a pick-up truck is a tough one. There are the light diesels, of course, including the Ram 1500 and Colorado/Canyon. But with purchase prices in the mid $40s, higher maintenance costs, and cheap fuel (for the time being, at least), you'd be far better off buying a low mileage used gas pickup for half the price. Paul is right: there isn't a big fuel economy advantage in a midsize, but for some the smaller size is its own advantage. Alternatively, the Ford Ecoboost is perfectly adequate for small fiberglass fifth wheels, but I haven't researched reliability. In the end, though, trucks are trucks...

If you insist on a fifth wheel, you're stuck with a truck. If you consider a bumper-pull, you've got a lot more options. I'm afraid there's no rabbit in this hat...
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by charlsara View Post
A used Ranger 4 liter V6 would be my suggestion. You can tow a Scamp 5th wheel as well as the smaller trailers. The Rangers are very reliable and get decent mileage.



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Thanks. The Rangers are excellent trucks but they don't sell new ones in the USA. The Ranger was discontinued several years ago I believe. I need/want a new truck. I am driving an 18 year old volvo right now and I spend my weekends working on it. I prefer not to get a used vehicle to take its place.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:08 AM   #18
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True. I know that there is no magic involved, but I thought that maybe there are some possibilities that I've overlooked. I've been studying this for a year and the Colorado/Canyon is the perfect truck for my needs. However, in a survey of new cars/trucks it is the eighth worst in reliability. The last GM product I owned was not great and it was rated "average" in reliability.

I spent half of my career in engineering at a major airline keeping the airplanes reliable and I don't won't to have to deal with something that is delivered with flaws and broken all the time, especially if I have to rely on it to get me to work each day. Maybe the Colorado's reliability will improve, but for now, according to the surveys its pretty poor.

I have owned a Toyota truck. It was incredibly reliable. I would buy another without hesitation from a reliability standpoint. The gas mileage they currently offer isn't great, though. I'm not concerned about the mileage I get towing since it will be fairly infrequent. The truck will be my daily driver and I drive 500 miles each week. I need to get good gas mileage for the trip to work and back every day.

I figured that a truck will do for either a bumper pull and a 5th wheel and can be adjusted to work well in either case no matter what RV I buy. Anyhow, thanks for the comments. I appreciate the information.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:13 AM   #19
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Would appreciate ideas about an RV - Completely new camper!

The last five vehicles I have purchased were 2-3 years old, 15-25K miles, many thousands less than new, and I have not had any more trouble with any of them than a new one. Typically spend 3-6 months researching & looking, and I am very picky. I keep vehicles at least 12 years and 200K miles. The key is picking a reliable model, researching its history, and doing a very careful inspection- common sense stuff.



But if you want a new one...



Personally, I'd spend more on the trailer to keep my wife happy and compromise a bit on the vehicle. Vehicles depreciate. Molded fiberglass trailers... not so much. Beyond a point, they can actually appreciate. Mine has.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:42 AM   #20
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John, Email sent.

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