Have I missed the boat? (I mean egg!) - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-09-2003, 02:59 AM   #1
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Have I missed the boat? (I mean egg!)

:wave Hello everyone! My husband and I have definitely caught egg fever and I think it's safe to say we're "next generation" egg enthusiasts! We have three small children (:conf one will sleep in the isle, in case you're wondering:omy ) and we are looking for a "loaded" 16' Scamp (full bathroom, furnace, ac, bunks,awning, ect.) We just bought a new Volkswagon Eurovan Weekender:cblob and based on what you all say, a pretty little egg is just what the doctor ordered to keep it healthy and happy. My questions are first, where are they (loaded ones, I mean)? We can't afford a brand new one so we're hoping for mid90's. Did we miss the spring time rush:cry or will there be a steady stream of used Scamps during the summer? Second, can you get a zip-on screen room to attach to the awning on these (we live in Wisconsin: State bird=mosquito)? Third, is it true that Casita's weigh about 2, 800 lbs with all the options and Scamps weigh 1,900 with all the options? This is what I've heard and so that's why, along with headroom, we're leaning toward Scamp. If this is correct, why is there such a big difference in weight? I don't want to cause problems here but fourth, is the Scamp (because of it's wood floor base instead of a sealed all-around-shell like the Casita) more prone to rot? Incidently, we almost bid on that Scamp that just sold on ebay for (gulp) $2,800. It had a closet for a bathroom, but no bathroom and we weren't sure how difficult or expensive it would be to put in a toilet, shower, and (I assume) hot water heater. Maybe we missed the boat (I mean egg!) and we should have asked you all and bid on it. Oh, that leads me to my next question :reyes are there a lot of differences between mid80's and mid90's 16' Scamps? And last, I personally am not fond of the carpet on the walls. I think I've seen some eggs that don't have it. Can I take it off and paint or is it more complicated than that? Sorry to be a long winded pest but like I said, I've got egg fever and I'm really excited to get one and make it our own! Once I'm an experienced egg owner I promise to pass on your knowledge to the next generation. Thank you and we hope to see you at the fiberglass gatherings, you are a great community!

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Old 05-09-2003, 03:08 AM   #2
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Hi Michelle
First off let me welcome you to this forum.I hope you find this place comfortable and inviting.
I can't answeres your questions but there are other folks here who will jump in and give you the pros and cons on all your questions.

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Old 05-09-2003, 08:16 AM   #3
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>>why is there such a big difference in weight

Hi Michelle! I think, in reality, you are going to find that there is not that much different in weight between similarly-equipped, similar-sized Scamps and Casitas.

Not pointing any fingers at any particularly manufacturer, but "listed dry weight" has always been a fast and loose measurement for RV manufacturers.

"Dry weight" to RV manufacturers used to mean "weight of bare rig without options." To some manufacturers, that even meant weighing the rig without cabinets, benches, etc.

Luckily, most manufacturers are finally coming around to the fact that folks need to have a more realistic measurement of what their trailer weighs.

RVIA (an RV trade group) even now requires that manufacturers weight each rig as it leaves the factory and post the weight on the rig itself.

To the best of my knowledge, neither Scamp nor Casita does this. I do know that Casita has raised its listed weights to a more realistic figure recently.

Don't base your decision of what any rig (egg or traditional) is going to weigh, based on what is listed in a brouchure.

You would be better served to take the rig you are interested in purchasing to a certified scale and weigh it before purchasing it.

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Old 05-09-2003, 08:21 AM   #4
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And, while I'm not pointing any fingers at anybody, just like some folks (like Skip :) ) over-estimate the size of the fish they caught, some RV'er under-estimate the weight of their trailers.

Some folks take a manufacturer's listed weight as gospel, and then tell every one who asks, "Oh, the rig only weights 500 pounds."

Ask to see a certified copy of a weigh-in from a CAT scale (available at a lot of interstate truck stops) or from a local gravel pit (which are regularly certified by independent inspectors).

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Old 05-09-2003, 08:24 AM   #5
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Weights and options

Weight difference:
There are differences in the two manufacturer's CLAIMED dry weights - but it would take a lot-o-testing to convince me there was a significant difference in real weights (more than 2-300 lbs).

The ole' floor debate:
Put briefly - some people maintain the ply floor on the scamp is a weak point while the Casita's full molded (with ply support) floor is much better protected against rot. There are others who would argue just as strongly that it doesn't matter that much. That being said: I can't remember anyone posting about fixing up old trailers here mentioning a Casita with floor rot (I may be wrong) and a couple of Scamps have (always/usually(?) under the bathroom). I on the other hand am dragging around a '72 Boler (plain unsealed plywood flooring) which had virtually no floor problems (a small approx 2x2 INCH soft spot near the door, which I left as-is after soaking fiberglass resin into it). The storage areas under my rear dinette HAD been fully glassed over on top complete with gel-coat. (The water tank had been there at one point in history). That wood/glass composite needed a lot of attention. The wood was solid, but the glass had delaminated and cracked all to heck. So... In short - there's some very modest evidence that glassed floors might be better. Regardless - we're largely talking about trailers being 15+ years old before these problems are spotted and even THOSE appear to be in the minority. IMHO - the differences between the various glass campers PALE in comparison to the traditional (stick-built, house-of-cards) campers so I see little point in quibling.

Carpet on the walls:
The old ones (anyone know when Scamp switched over?) had a rubbery material called 'ensolite'. That's what my Boler has as well. I personally prefer that as it's gonna be easier to clean and fix-up. I'd imagine the carpet is cosy on the back though. :) I'd also imagine the carpet tends to cling to odors very well... I'd be VERY hesitant to pull it though. It's covering the rough backside of the fiberglass. It's there for cosmetic, insulation and light reasons (the fiberglass is somewhat translucent).

Family of 5?!?
You should find someone within driving distance with a Scamp or similar front-bunk camper and see if you think it'll really work out for ya. Almost everyone on this board is going out as just couples in their eggs. Course - if ya have a truck, the Scamp 5th Wheel will handle everybody. Casita can also build a double-bunk model which can sleep 6, but you have to sacrifice the bathroom for that.

Course - depending on the kid's ages, you might want to factor in the likelyhood they'll soon prefer sleeping in a tent next door to mom & dad anyway.


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Old 05-09-2003, 11:18 AM   #6
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It's bewildering to hear some folks claim certain trailer weights when they've never been near a real scale. Or some read and misinterpret written claims.

Then, this misinformation is passed on to an unknowing soul . :o

Oh well, fish stories, golf scores, gas mileage, etc., it must be human nature. :)


IMHO, most floor damage is the result of :helpme 'neglect' :helpme rather than design.

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Old 05-09-2003, 12:27 PM   #7
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Properly cared for, I see no reason why any make/model/style of molded fiberglass RV couldn't last for 50 or 60 years.

And if you are lucky enough to find a used rig that has been well loved and well maintained, you should have no floor problems.

The problem comes into play when the happy campers grow too old (what???) or too busy to camp, and the rigs sit out back yonder for 6 or 8 years, untended, all but forgotten (I think I'm going to cry! This should be a crime!!!!!).

A window or a vent springs a leak and well, they sell it to another party, who has the best of intentions, but then time/money etc derail the plans, including the plan to fix the various leaks or mal-fitting door gasket.

And in another 2 years, the second party decides to sell it on eBAY ... well, it's buyer-beware.

I think, unless unless you know the owner(s) personally ... I think you should make every effort to thoroughly inspect the rig before you buy.

Probe the floor, particularly around the door/windows/bath/water heater with a small screwdriver ... see if you can easily embed the screwdriver in the wood.

Note: This advice is true, not only for some makes of molded fiberglass rigs ... but also for Airstream trailers ... which are built on a similar platform to Scamps.

And, I'm also not saying that if you find a rig with horrendous floor problems, you pass it up ... as witnessed by the many "frame off" restorations undertaken here by various fiberglassrv.com'ers. Once they get on the other side of the rebuild, they'll have a "better than new" rig, that, as I said, with proper care and maintanance, should be able to roll another 50 or 60 years.

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