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Old 06-15-2018, 11:13 AM   #61
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
Thanks Mike, very interesting to follow your line of reasoning, particularly:

"Would I ever go to a "Stick Built Camper"? Perhaps curiously, I might be more inclined to an old-fashioned stick-and-tin due to their relative serviceability. You can peel the aluminum siding and rebuild a 2x2 wall much easier than dealing with the more "modern" walls or roofs delaminating."

I have been thinking along these lines. Although for us the fact that it is warmer in cold weather and easier to cool in the hot weather is something to also think about. Easy enough to keep dry if it is maintained.

After all, PT Boats were made of plywood...not to mention the Spruce Goose...

I dunno, hard to think about wood and Aluminum. Al and Al is hard enough to accept...
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:54 AM   #62
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: In the Market
Kansas
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We have had 9 stick builds of various types. The difficulty I am having is with size. I thought in retirement, our adult son with Down syndrome would have found his "niche", but that didn't happen. That severely limits our choices in molded fiberglass. I toured a Scamp 5th wheel a few months ago, and realized at that time it would VERY limiting. Big Foot and Oliver are EXPENSIVE for some people retiring when they have worked in lower cost of living areas with lower pay. Geesh, I can buy a great house here for the cost of a new Oliver!

I have been a member of this forum and 2 other fiberglass molded forums, and they have their problems also, and the worst of it is when that same issue turns up more than once especially when it is serious, for me, that is a deal breaker.

Go to any manufacturer/type specific owner forum, and you'll many love their units despite issues, so the important thing I see is loving your unit in the first place. Not very often do I see anyone complaining about their "dream" trailer, even if it becomes a bite of what would seem like a nightmare to the rest.

Perhaps, the thread should be aimed at "IF" you had to choose a sticky (maybe financial or size). I'm guessing that more than a coupe of people here looked at a variety of RVs before making a purchase, and the biggest reason I see for the switch is full-timing and not a lot of people have/want to spend the $60,000 for an Oliver, even then, space still seems to be tight. Bigfoot is a rare commodity new or used in the US.

Still might be possible for my son to find his "niche", but with the large dog and two adults, I'm not up to the struggle of a tiny space.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:35 PM   #63
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Name: A&H
Trailer: Scamp std 16
Wisconsin
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Does anyone have experience with Taylor Coach? They seem like they might be a better quality stickie?
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:36 AM   #64
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Birchbark

I am thinking along the same lines as you seem to be thinking.

I viewed a number of the Taylor Coach youtube videos, but I cannot find one that talks about how the coach is built. That is, does he use staple guns, or do they screw and glue the structural joints, does he use dado cuts when making the drawers, are the slide out drawers strong enough to lean on without breaking, are shock absorbers on the axles and option, can one buy 15" wheels, how thick is the frame and who makes it, if repairs are needed and the coach is located in the southwestern USA say, will the trailer have to be returned to Canada for repairs? A lot of unanswered questions.

I am not sure I want to take the time to ask the owner of the company.

The construction of TT's are on a continuum: On one end are the high maintenance units made of wood, or wood and aluminum, and on the other the Aluminum (AL) on AL (lower maintenance), and then molded fiberglass TT's (perhaps lowest maintenance).

The question then is where does the owner of a trailer want to be on this continuum.

I find the floor plan and size of the Casita to be constraining, but the floor plans I do find attractive are not offered in the molded trailer segment of the market. So if I do leave the Casita it will only be for a floor plan that meets my needs as completely as possible. Which means the Airstream and units like the Taylor Coach. I am just not certain I want the high maintenance of the wood/AL or wood fiberglass sheet type of construction. Or the higher maintenance of the Airstream (compared to the molded fiberglass).

But it is all about tradeoffs.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:54 AM   #65
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Name: Jerry
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I am considering going to a "stick built". Have a Casita 17' SD. I think it is too small, not comfortable. Wife likes it ok.

Stick builts are ok, just have to do a bit more maintenance. Friends have them.

Trying to get wife to ok purchase of an Airstream.
what would you want for the 17ft? jerry
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:16 AM   #66
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Urantia man,
We would most likely keep the Casita for a period of time. If we do get an Airstream, the built quality is variable and would probably need to be returned for repairs. At least this is what I am seeing on the Airstream forum. On the other hand if we get one of the better ones we may sell the Casita sooner, rather than later.

But we will be hitting the road for a few months soon so nothing will happen until probably Nov or Dec of this year, after we get back.

But thanks for asking.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:07 PM   #67
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Trailer: 2012 Lil Snoozy #151 - sold in 2018
Arizona
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I gave the small moulded fiberglass lifestyle my very best try for 5 plus years. I wanted to be able to enjoy a simple, low maintenance camper, and I really tried. The reality was that I enjoyed the trips and the places we went and the people we met, but not so much the accommodations; and I am not a particularly high maintenance finicky woman. So as of March, we are now in a 22' x 8' "stick built" with a small slideout, a walk around bed, an eye level, not floor level refrigerator, a dry bath, and so much more. This trailer may not last forever, but I think it will make it through the rest of our camping days. I'm in heaven with a little more elbow room! Living in the South, the Big Foot would have been hard to acquire, not to mention the fact that a BF would have cost double, maybe more. Please don't hold this against me, and I'll respect your decision as well.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:30 PM   #68
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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SusieinNC, very good to hear. We are in the same conundrum. May I ask what stick built you currently have and how is the quality? Did you buy new?
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:36 PM   #69
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Name: Dick
Trailer: '15 17' LD Casita and '17 Tahoe LT
Texas
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In '08 we traded out 25' Airstream for a new 30' Carriage with a 20' slide. Great looking trailer but boy, did we pay for it. The first 30 months we had it, it was in the shop 15 months. The las year, it was in the shop for 8 months. It was one problem after another. I thought since Carriage had been in business 45 yrs. they probably made a good trailer. I had a stack of repair papers 1/2" thick. I finally filed with the Texas Lemon Law. Judge ruled in my favor but Carriage folded and auctioned everything off that week. All I got out of it was to be able to say "I won." One of the problems was with how long it took for my case to go through the court system. It the courts had been faster, maybe I could have completed the transaction before they went out of business. I guess there is some lessons to be learned from this.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:53 PM   #70
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Name: Tyler
Trailer: SOLD 1988 Bigfoot F-20 DLX
Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny M View Post
If you want a bigger floor plan but not a stick built take a look at Escape, Oliver and Bigfoot. Bigfoot to me seems like their floors plans on the 25' more closely resemble a stick built floor plan but with all the benefits of an egg camper. If I were to get something besides ours I would seriously look at the Bigfoots.

+1. (Enter shameless plug for my 1988 Bigfoot 5th wheel, currently listed for sale here on the forums.)


But truthfully, I wouldn't go for a stick-built trailer. I would consider an older Avion (like Airstream) because their floor plans were excellent, ceiling height exceptional and amenities top-of-the-line. The aircraft-style riveted aluminum is great, and later on they converted from fiberglass batt to spray-foam insulation. I have *heard* (but cannot confirm personally) that Airstreams are often not all they're cracked up to be in terms of build quality.


The simple point is, it doesn't make sense to build something on a trailer frame that's almost entirely like a stationary home, except much more cheaply built, and expect it to perform well in terms of aerodynamics and leak-resistance for years to come. The wall cladding can perform fine, but the seams are the terribly weak link.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:44 PM   #71
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 2004 Airstream Interstate 22' B-van
Iowa
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Love these threads...

This debate rages on every specialty trailer/moho site.

Since 1980, I've owned five Scamps, a Trillium 1500, a Lovebug II 17', a Burro 17 wide body, and a UHaul 13, a Bigfoot 17 and a Bigfoot 25. I've had an Airstream 325 motorhome, an Airstream B-19, a Born Free 23RK motorhome, and currently own a Born Free 32RQ motorhome and a Coachmen B-19RD motorhome. In 1987 I bought an Airstream Safari 23' Special single axle that I lived in for about a year, and kept that trailer nearly ten years. I've also had a 1961 Airstream Bambi 16, a '57 Overlander 26', a '53 Flying Cloud 22', and a '94 Airstream 34' tri-axle two-door trailer, and last, a Heartland MPG 19'.

Now, I bought each of those with the intent to keep them... and some I did... I had the Bigfoot 25 for nine years and only sold it because I found the Born Free 32' motorhome. Others I bought to flip back in the day when there was money to be made in that.

I'd have kept the Airstream 325 motorhome if it'd had a rear island queen. We had that three years. We had Airstreams continuously for twenty years before I got tired of maintaining them

Quite honestly, the best-built coach among them all was the Heartland MPG 19' trailer. I had that trailer for three years, put 20,000 miles under it and did absolutely nothing to it, maintenance-wise.

The key to buying a stick-built is having a single-piece roof that overlaps the sides eliminating the top seam leaks. That sole improvement makes a stickie's longevity much greater.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:52 PM   #72
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger H View Post
This debate rages on every specialty trailer/moho site.

Since 1980, I've owned five Scamps, a Trillium 1500, a Lovebug II 17', a Burro 17 wide body, and a UHaul 13, a Bigfoot 17 and a Bigfoot 25. I've had an Airstream 325 motorhome, an Airstream B-19, a Born Free 23RK motorhome, and currently own a Born Free 32RQ motorhome and a Coachmen B-19RD motorhome. In 1987 I bought an Airstream Safari 23' Special single axle that I lived in for about a year, and kept that trailer nearly ten years. I've also had a 1961 Airstream Bambi 16, a '57 Overlander 26', a '53 Flying Cloud 22', and a '94 Airstream 34' tri-axle two-door trailer, and last, a Heartland MPG 19'.

Now, I bought each of those with the intent to keep them... and some I did... I had the Bigfoot 25 for nine years and only sold it because I found the Born Free 32' motorhome. Others I bought to flip back in the day when there was money to be made in that.

I'd have kept the Airstream 325 motorhome if it'd had a rear island queen. We had that three years. We had Airstreams continuously for twenty years before I got tired of maintaining them

Quite honestly, the best-built coach among them all was the Heartland MPG 19' trailer. I had that trailer for three years, put 20,000 miles under it and did absolutely nothing to it, maintenance-wise.

The key to buying a stick-built is having a single-piece roof that overlaps the sides eliminating the top seam leaks. That sole improvement makes a stickie's longevity much greater.
Interesting post. Were any of your trailers new? Which was the worst?
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:11 PM   #73
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Roger H, do you wear these TT's on a chain around your neck? You could be a superhero on the Marvel franchise!

Please don't be offended, I'm just pullin' your chain...er....

At any rate, thanks for the Heartland tip and "The key to buying a stick-built is having a single-piece roof that overlaps the sides eliminating the top seam leaks."

Good to know.

Thank you
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:28 PM   #74
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 2004 Airstream Interstate 22' B-van
Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
Interesting post. Were any of your trailers new? Which was the worst?
The MPG was the only new one out of all of them, and I bought it for roughly half of sticker price as a 2011 hold-over late in 2012 from a dealer.

The worst quality was probably the LoveBug II. It had the lowest quality materials. The side where the water heater was hung was un-reinforced fiberglass. I had to build supports in for the water heater so it didn't pull the side in 3" where it was supposed to be straight. The entire interior was pressed-board. The LBII was a fiberglass egg trailer, btw.

Here's a link to photos of most of the trailers/mohos I've had:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/roger_...7602058936200/
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:30 PM   #75
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 2004 Airstream Interstate 22' B-van
Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Roger H, do you wear these TT's on a chain around your neck? You could be a superhero on the Marvel franchise!

Please don't be offended, I'm just pullin' your chain...er....

At any rate, thanks for the Heartland tip and "The key to buying a stick-built is having a single-piece roof that overlaps the sides eliminating the top seam leaks."

Good to know.

Thank you
No worries... the MPG was aluminum framed with a 4" box-channel chassis frame. It had bonded sides, a single piece top that wrapped from bumper to tongue and seemed to be almost bullet-proof. I'd likely still have that too I not moved back to motorhomes.
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:43 PM   #76
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Name: anne
Trailer: Scamp
Texas
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We actually looked at all the trailers at 2 RV shows here in Austin, TX, to be completely open-minded about what we wanted. We found a few that would have worked but once I got online and read reviews, they ALL had leak problems that our 5-year old Scamp had never had. It was astonishing! And the more we learned about the other construction methods, well, Scamp stayed on our list. Ultimately we bought a 2000 19í Scamp and are in the process of completely rebuilding the inside. You donít see many 18 year old stick trailers that are worth rebuilding inside! But you see a LOT of older fiberglass trailers and Airstreams....
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:20 PM   #77
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Name: A&H
Trailer: Scamp std 16
Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post

I viewed a number of the Taylor Coach youtube videos, but I cannot find one that talks about how the coach is built. That is, does he use staple guns, or do they screw and glue the structural joints, does he use dado cuts when making the drawers, are the slide out drawers strong enough to lean on without breaking, are shock absorbers on the axles and option, can one buy 15" wheels, how thick is the frame and who makes it, if repairs are needed and the coach is located in the southwestern USA say, will the trailer have to be returned to Canada for repairs? A lot of unanswered questions.

I am not sure I want to take the time to ask the owner of the company.
You should just copy this and send it in an email to the company, asking them to make a Youtube answering the questions. They are great questions.

They do mention a one-piece roof.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:47 PM   #78
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
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A friend in our camping group has a 2006 Heartland 32 ft 5th wheel
It’s still on the road and it doesn’t leak nor has it required constant repairs.
My Scamp and Casita both developed leaks ( roof fan , windows , bath fan , rivets ,tail lights )
A 5th wheel is not our trailer of choice but the notion that a FG trailer is problem free has not been our experience .
The other assets of conventional trailer IMHO is that they have much better floor plans or layouts and offer many feature not available in FG trailers .
IE : Dry bathrooms , ducted heat and cooling , walk around beds , better lighting , ample counter space etc.
The stick built trailers may require a larger tow vehicle but I don’t see that as a insurmountable problem just an added expense .
We looked at a 23 ft hard sided hybrid pop up last week and were really impressed . My wife wants to be able to take our grandchildren camping with us and the hybrid would allow that to happen .
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:31 PM   #79
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,230
Roger H

Holy Cow Bat man! You had a 2014 Bowlus!

How was it and why did you get rid of it? What are it's strengths and weaknesses? I have yet to see one in person and no hope whatsoever of owning one. Any impressions and comments regarding same will be greatly appreciated. You are the only person I have come across that has owned one.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:42 PM   #80
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Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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We're looking at the Escape 19 or 5.0TA, but also looking at Riverside RV Retro 195, which we like the looks and layout of. Hard to find a larger stick built today without slides. I want nothing to do with slides. At out age, things are tough enough. And that's the other thing for me. I'm 65, retiring this December. Gail wants to wait a few years before retiring. How long does that give us? Is it worthwhile to take a bunch of savings and buy something expensive, like an egg? Or am I better off buying a newer truck than I could afford if we got an Escape (like a 2018 instead of a 2015), and having a vintage styled trailer? Given my interests, having a newer truck is attractive to me.

The next year will tell.

Frank
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