Burro vs. U-Haul - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:31 AM   #1
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Hey folks...

Just wondering if the u-Hauls are double-hulled like the Burros? Also, any other major differences between these two? From what I understand, they're the same molds, and Burro made the U-Hauls...am I off base?

thanks!
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:50 AM   #2
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Hi Michele,

Both the Burro and the U-haul have fiberglass liners. (Some refer to that as a double hull, but to my mind it is a liner; anyway, they both have them.)

They are both made from the same molds, however, the U-hauls were made later and there were some (seemingly slight) modifications. Window-recess shape and that sort of thing. The U-hauls were not made by Burro (I think they were made by Rec-Vee, IIRC).

Where they do differ is the frame. I'm not super familiar with the Burro frame, but I think it's a fairly typical frame (not sure if it is channel or box beam). The U-haul has an added set of tubular frame members around the outside, and also a unique single tongue (vs. the typical triangular shape).

The U-hauls also came with proprietary U-haul axles (I think) and wheels (I know). They also had their own U-haul taillights, which are no longer available as-manufactured.

The U-hauls are probably a bit heavier due to the extra frame members and the massive propane bottle cartridge mount. They claim 1250#. I'm not sure if that means they actually weigh that much, but given that they were renting them out, it's probably closer to reality than many of the "egg" factory weights, which tended to be... optimistic.

The U-hauls have one (or two?) emergency escape windows at the dinette side(s); I'm not sure if the Burros have those (probably not). The U-haul also came with a small solar panel on the roof, and sometimes a "swamp cooler."

Despite the above differences, I would say that they are more similar than they are different.

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Old 06-25-2010, 09:19 AM   #3
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[b]They are both made from the same molds...

Despite the above differences, I would say that they are more similar than they are different.
They look very similar, both inside and outside, but they did not share molds. The Burro company did not make UHaul trailers.

In addition to everything Raya has shared, UHaul has a large heavy bumper, similar to Cloud, that Burro does not have.

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Old 06-25-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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Having owned both, I can say that you would like both. We loved our 13' Burro, but when we got 3-foot-itis, the longer UHaul was perfect, since in many ways, it is the big brother of the Burro we had. However, the longer UHaul is very hard to find.
If you are tall, both trailers are/were tall enough to fit my 6'1" hubby. He feels that he can stretch out more on the bed in the UHaul, although that might be because the bed is larger in our UHaul.

If you go Uhaul, be prepared to hear again and again, "I didn't know Uhaul rented campers." The comments on our previous Burro were just on how cute it was.

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Old 06-25-2010, 10:35 AM   #5
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I'm sorry, Frederick; I guess I should have mentioned that they are both Cloud clones. For once I stuck to the subject and did not bring in extra details

I agree that Burro did not make the U-hauls. I believe they were made by (or contracted to) Rec-Vee Industries by U-haul.

That said, I still think they were made from the same basic mold, with some tweaks. That is, the Cloud, Burro, and U-haul. I would say the Burro and U-haul are more similar, shell-wise, than the Cloud. It looks like Burro changed the mold to add the flatter front/rear window landing pads, and also to add the more-full fiberglass liner (the Cloud only had a half-height liner).

The U-haul bumper is definitely mention-worthy. How did I forget that princely piece! And of course the Cloud has the very cool spare-tire cover (but the OP is probably not going to find a Cloud - or at least not likely).

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Old 06-25-2010, 02:19 PM   #6
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One can certainly see how the Cloud and Burro are very similar. However, to my eye the U-Haul is simply a look-alike not a clone.

To me however, there is the question of where did the molds go? Molds are usually of one or two types: the one is for one off manufacture and is constructed for that purpose being lightweight and disposable; the second type is for a production run and certainly the U-Hauls represent a production run. The molds for such are usually well made and robust. I've seen small boat molds inverted and used as roofs for storage buildings and once I even saw a large trawler hull mold buried in the gound and used as a swimming pool. So are the the U-Haul molds sitting in some storage yard? Or inverted and serving as a roof for a chicken coop? Or in U-Haul's almost paranoia of someone stealing and selling /reusing their stuff and not wanting anything on the market to have interchangable parts with their equipment, did they get destroyed?

Anybody know anything about where the molds ended up?

Thanks,
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:45 PM   #7
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Anybody know anything about where the molds ended up?
Link to the answer to your question.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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One can certainly see how the Cloud and Burro are very similar. However, to my eye the U-Haul is simply a look-alike not a clone.
That's interesting. I would say the Burro and U-haul molds were closer. For example: Similar liner (which the Cloud does not have); similar front and rear molded window "bump outs," to make them flattish so they can accept framed windows (which the Cloud does not have). Those are major body/mold mods, especially the liner. Some of U-haul's smaller mods were clearly made to utilize their stock rental trailer parts of the day: taillights, wheels, tongues, bumpers - to name a few.

But then I would say that both the Burro and the U-haul are Cloud clones, for our purposes; just as I would say that Scamps, Ecos, El Machos, Perris Pacers, etc. -- and even Trail-Mites (although their roof is significantly modded) are Boler clones. I guess my definition of a clone is that they use the same basic mold/shape and then tweak it vs. coming up with a whole new shape or design.

On the other hand, I would say that the Compact Jr., Trails West Campster, and Compact II are more "family" than clones, as the main body shape/mold is different: wider, longer, etc.

I guess technically none of the trailers mentioned would be clones, as a clone is *exactly* the same as its parent. But I think that we use the word slightly more loosely here in the molded fiberglass world.

I guess it's all subjective, with no one true definition; I'm just explaining my viewpoint.

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Old 06-25-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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Raya, the big connections that stand out to me between the Cloud (shown in the photo) and the Burro (also shown) are the forward slant to the side window recess and the tail light housing shape.

The interior shell is a separate mold as you are aware and was, I suspect, probably a later creation, modification or addition.

On the U-Haul it appears the order of assembly was to mold the two halves and the two interior halves. Then join the matching interior half to the exterior half and then joining the two completed halves of the body together. The last piece being a ceiling member which covers the join between the two exterior shells. The interior shells come up short of the true centerline and are bonded a short distance in from where the headliner carpet starts. The ceiling panel may not run the whole length. I have had the vent out and looked, there are at least five separate pieces: inner and outer shell (4)and ceiling panel (1). And then there is the triangular piece which covers the front join and where the propane line came in and which the bunk bed hinges off of. So that makes six pieces to the "hull" molding exclusive of the floor.

The link as to where the molds went seems to cover Burro but not so much the U-Haul molds. My ID plate says it was made by the "Atlanta Manufacturing Co. Inc." . One would guess that that was Atlanta, Georgia but perhaps not? I seem to remember from reading the original Ray Horner's U-Haul site that he listed the trailers as being made elsewhere but his page has been taken down and links to where it was have been taken by advertisers (and perhaps malware distribution people) and I am wary of clicking thru links that I know do not go where they say they do.

Does anyone have a U-Haul that was not made by the Atlanta Manufacturing Co. Inc.? If there is more than one site and the trailers were manufactured in the same year it would be possible that there was more than one set of molds.

My trailer was built in 1984 and the back of the hanging locker has the date 6-28-84 spray painted in white on the inside of the outer shell. Then too there is the possibility of the molds being transported from one facility to another. A listing of dates of manufacture would give some clue but may not be definitive answer to the question of multiple molds.

Bests,
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:11 PM   #10
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I think my uhaul says Dayton manufacturing on it ...not Atlanta
There's a post somewhere on the uhaul site from a fella that was involved with making the uhal molds and i believe he said they were not copies of anything, so were done from scratch etc. I'll try to find it also later tonight.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:11 PM   #11
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Allegedly, according to Ray Horner, UHaul corporate was so upset by the money they lost renting them, that they threw unfinished campers in the lake at Dayton. Maybe they tossed molds too.

My VT was made in AZ. A guy who worked on them was on uhaulcamper briefly. I thought CTs were made in Dayton.

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Old 06-25-2010, 08:39 PM   #12
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Cindy, thanks for the info but here's a link to a Google map of the area;

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&rlz=...ved=0CDEQ8gEwAA

Unless I have misinterpreted something it is near on 150 miles to Lake Erie (known for it's abuse by industries). Near Dayton, Ohio there are some small lakes most of which are not associated with industry (from a quick Google satellite view), and several of the lakes are adjacent to Wright Patterson Airforce Base. I find the idea of throwing unfinished campers and perhaps the molds into any of the lakes near Dayton Ohio perhaps fitting more into the "urban myth" classification. Perhaps they had wanted to do so but even in the 80's somebody's going to complain if it was a public lake. Having a location as to where in Dayton they were built would quickly reinforce the claim about "dumping in the lake". Anybody know where the factory was? IMHO if these guys were losing money they probably would be less inclined to load everything up and spend the money to drive to Lake Erie.

Bests,
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:23 PM   #13
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I had a CT13 briefly, and I've had a Burro 17 as well. The U-Haul trailers, IIRC were built in five or six different plants across the country on contract to U-Haul. There were as many sets of molds out there... but I don't think anyone knows what happened to them after the U-Haul contracts finished... likely they remained in the hands of the contract factories and were disposed of by them after it became clear that U-Haul wasn't going to order any more trailers. The Cloud-Burro-UHaul trailers are all close cousins... the Cloud being the original. I've speculated that the Cloud molds made their way from St. Cloud to Plymouth MN where they became Burro... and undoubtedly a Burro mold was cast and modified to become the first U-Haul mold, sort of how Scamp, Love Bug and the many similar trailers all evolved at the contract plants from the Boler America molds after Boler went under.

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Old 06-26-2010, 01:16 AM   #14
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Thanks, everyone, for all the great comments! So many great trailers...but I really like the smooth interior of these two brands. I love the burro wide bodies. Ideally, with a/c and shower/toilet.

OK, being lazy now...but is there a major disadvantage to the single-bar hitch arrangement? I definitely want to have the whole weight-distro/sway bar arrangement.

You guys rock. I've learned a lot the past year from this forum.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:10 PM   #15
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OK, being lazy now...but is there a major disadvantage to the single-bar hitch arrangement? I definitely want to have the whole weight-distro/sway bar arrangement.
I don't think the UHaul's single bar hitch would be compatible with a Weight Distribution Hitch.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #16
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Thanks, everyone, for all the great comments! So many great trailers...but I really like the smooth interior of these two brands. I love the burro wide bodies. Ideally, with a/c and shower/toilet.
I was in exactly the same place you are... looking for that perfect (elusive) trailer. I had made my mind up that I wanted (brand x) trailer. And for three years I chased that brand. I drove to the Seattle area three times, based on that "brand" that was for sale. The third time (and losing out), I changed my tactics. I had a budget ($5,000) and realized I could either continually look (and drive) or just be done with it and settle for some other brand and get out and camp. You know what? I found a trailer that fit my budget within 25 miles from home. I've now owned that trailer for nearly 10 years and enjoy every minute I'm out camping. After this length of time and the things I've done to improve the trailer, I believe I could get almost all the money back that I have into it... and I've had some great times in it over the past years! When buying used, you need to be adaptable. I'm glad I was, otherwise I may STILL not have that particular (brand) of trailer in my driveway and I would STILL not be out camping. YMMV
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:02 PM   #17
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I'm sorry, Frederick; I guess I should have mentioned that they are both Cloud clones. For once I stuck to the subject and did not bring in extra details

I agree that Burro did not make the U-hauls. I believe they were made by (or contracted to) Rec-Vee Industries by U-haul.

That said, I still think they were made from the same basic mold, with some tweaks. That is, the Cloud, Burro, and U-haul. I would say the Burro and U-haul are more similar, shell-wise, than the Cloud. It looks like Burro changed the mold to add the flatter front/rear window landing pads, and also to add the more-full fiberglass liner (the Cloud only had a half-height liner).

The U-haul bumper is definitely mention-worthy. How did I forget that princely piece! And of course the Cloud has the very cool spare-tire cover (but the OP is probably not going to find a Cloud - or at least not likely).


Raya

I believe the large bumper on the cloud is actually a fiberglass cover over a smaller metal bumper as the spare tire cover is fiberglass as well. I would love to borrow a bumper and fiberglass cover as I know a fiber glass guy that could make a mold and then I could have a set for my burro!

As per Bob D.

Scott

The bumper is 'glass. Raw, no gelcoat.

Bob

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Old 06-26-2010, 07:01 PM   #18
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Donna,

I've always come back to the smooth-walled interior of the Burros and U-Hauls...I think because I'll be traveling with pets, it seems like it will be easier to keep clean. But I've bounced around the entire "favorites" spectrum!

My budget's small--until I sell some real estate, I'm cash-poor, but have decided that, if I can find a trailer that I can reasonably fix up (and I can do without installed bath facilities or even the sink) that will do nicely until things turn around for me. When I'm rich and famous (ha) I'll get a brand-new (insert future favorite here). I'm actuallyl thinking of renting out my house, absent-roommate-style, and doing some urban boondocking to help keep expenses down and pay off a few debts that are bleeding my soul as much as my pocketbook...and for some adventure. (I do have places to go where I can hook up, shower, etc for longer periods of time, little/no cost).

As it stands, I'm converting the bed cap on my Nissan for camping, with storage under a bed area, though most of my camping will involve lightweight backpacking. I've probably mentioned previously (in another thread) that I have solar equipment, a Coleman propane water heater (love it!) and all the other doo-dads, and now that I've completed a lot of projects and the accompanying clutter, I can take on a new one. Within reason...I can handle DIY woodwork, upholstery, wiring, even fiberglass/resin patches, but the spendier stuff might be a bit tougher. So--get ready to laugh--my budget is gonna restrict me to $2000, which limits me to those awesome deals that seem to show up mainly on the east coast. Gah!

The toughie is that I need air conditioning for the animals...and to keep me sane, since regardless of where I'm living, the egg will be a mobile office. Double gah!

Donna, was that your cute little trailer with the beautiful wood cabinets that you recently sold? Such a gorgeous rig!
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:09 PM   #19
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Donna, was that your cute little trailer with the beautiful wood cabinets that you recently sold? Such a gorgeous rig!
Not this Donna, I still have mine (thankfully). Michele, you live in the Pacific NorthWET. Trust me, you don't need A/C (lots of trees around to park under) as much as way to stay warm. Unless you spend a lot of time in a treeless area like Sisters/La Pine... a good fan (Fantastic?) works fine.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #20
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Michele, I have to agree with Donna. I've had a half-dozen different brands of fiberglass trailers over the years; five Scamps (two 13's, two 16's, and a 19), A UHaul CT13, a Burro 17 widebody with the shower/commode, a LoveBug II 18', a Trillium 4500, and now two Bigfoots, a 17' and a 25'. Per Walthinson, I think, described the Burro 17 interior as "like living in a refrigerator"... and I agree completely. You'll find a trailer in your budget... and the brand isn't nearly as important as the features. Find a trailer, and have a ball!

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