Looking for opinions on 2 vastly different trailers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-14-2020, 09:27 AM   #1
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Name: To Infinity & Beyond!
Trailer: 1985 Uhaul VT-16 Vacationer, 1974 Hunter Compact II & 1977 Argosy 6.0 Minuet
Tennessee
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Looking for opinions on 2 vastly different trailers

I have the opportunity to purchase 2 vastly different trailers for my Off-Road/Overlanding adventures. Both are small, light, pop-top trailers 1200 lbs or less. Pulling power is not an issue as they will be behind one of my two 4WD vans or 4WD 3/4 ton Suburban.

For "use" think FS roads, light trails, no rock crawling or class 3-5 trails. For that I would disconnect and drive just the vehicle. BOTH trailers would need axle upgrades, a lift and other mods to make them more trail friendly AND survive the trips.

Trailer 1 is a 1974 Hunter Compact II Fiberglass shell camper trailer. Nice solid frame and shell. Really needs complete interior redo and the canvas on the pop-top. Axle flip at a minimum and most likely a new axle and coupler designed for better off-road articulation.

Trailer 2 is a Very Desirable late 1960's Eriba Puk Pop-Top steel tube shell with aluminum skin trailer. Very lightweight at 900 lbs and also much more fragile than the Hunter Compact II! Once again this trailer will also need complete interior, pop-top canvas redo and axle change just like trailer 1. This Eriba Puk trailer is TWICE THE PRICE of the Hunter Compact II.

Both trailers are priced right for what they are so I really can't lose either way. I am looking for a trailer for myself and not resale. All the Uhaul trailers, Casita, Boler and other fiberglass trailers I have had in the past were fine for campground and light off-grid use HOWEVER for the type of adventure I am now involved with they do not fill the bill mostly due to the type of construction and design of those trailers. Yes I know the Hunter Compact II is very similar to the other fiberglass shell trailers.

I lean towards the Hunter Compact II due to the rear door entrance and large front sleeping area. I "Like" the Eriba Puk due to the rarity and collectibility of the trailer when redone.

I am soliciting your opinions about THESE TWO SPECIFIC TRAILERS. I know YOU may like something different that YOU think might be better and that's just fine however I'm not interested in options on any other trailers than the 2 trailers listed above for my particular use.

I look forward to your responses!
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:10 AM   #2
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Not sure why you are asking. Only your opinion matters.
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:18 AM   #3
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I want to say buy the Hunter and forward me the link for the Eriba.

I think you've correctly identified the differences: space, utility, and value versus collectibility. The Hunter does appear to be the practical choice. I seem to recall the Compact II has a toilet. How important is that to your plans?
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:21 AM   #4
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Name: To Infinity & Beyond!
Trailer: 1985 Uhaul VT-16 Vacationer, 1974 Hunter Compact II & 1977 Argosy 6.0 Minuet
Tennessee
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Compact has a closet for a toilet. Easy work around for a portable toilet or more storage.

I can always act like Bear or use a "Groover"!
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:47 AM   #5
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I have a 74 Hunter Compact II.
I added (welded) a couple of cross pieces to my frame without removing the trailer from the frame, but with the floor removed. I just thought the frame could use some more reinforcement. Other than that, the frame was in fine shape when I got the trailer in 2009.
My total renovation is on this site.
It's a very comfortable trailer, pulls easily and I love the pop-top feature for headroom and ventilation. I didn't upgrade the old style coupler, but it hasn't failed me yet. I didn't flip the axle; the trailer does sit sort of low, but hasn't been a problem for me. For overlanding though, you probably want it higher. I have the original leaf springs and it is not too bouncy at all; upon arrival at our campsite, nothing is jostled inside, amazingly.
Best,
Fran
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:50 AM   #6
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Im with you on the compact.
Easy to fix as well as the other things pointed out.
Fred
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:58 AM   #7
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Name: Donna D
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Oregon
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The Eriba has an aluminum body. Easily dented, not so easy to repair. IF I was looking to buy a trailer for off-road use, not rock climbing, but washboard, rutted roads, it wouldn't be either of these, but one built for the conditions I wished to tow. Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
I lean towards the Hunter Compact II due to the rear door entrance and large front sleeping area. I "Like" the Eriba Puk due to the rarity and collectibility of the trailer when redone.

I am soliciting your opinions about THESE TWO SPECIFIC TRAILERS. I know YOU may like something different that YOU think might be better and that's just fine however I'm not interested in options on any other trailers than the 2 trailers listed above for my particular use.

I look forward to your responses!
All I can say is that I'd really like to have either of them. Or perhaps even both of them if I had some acreage with covered storage. I've often mentioned how much I like the smaller units with the canvas pop-tops. While the Escape 21 is a great trailer for "the two of us", it's really much more than I like to haul around all the time.

I guess one factor to consider here is whether you have to do any electrical work on the Eriba, or if there are other specific things that will result in dealing with hard-to-find parts, etc. Jack Walter has a thread going on his recent import from England which highlights some of these issues.

Some people fearlessly customize old vehicles, swapping axles, trannies, engines, cutting and welding bodies, etc. Personally, my skills are much more limited; I'm more of a "parts-changer'. I suspect you are more the "fearless" type.

I really don't know that I can offer anything here that you haven't thought of. Keep us posted how it goes.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:01 AM   #9
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I think the Eriba Puck is cool, but I think the Hunter is probably a lot tougher.
If you choose the Hunter I would recommend getting an axle with 10" brakes.
Having stepped spindles would prevent breakage from impacts like chuckholes.
The stock axle has a 1" straight spindle on most Hunters and they can snap right at the inboard bearing under rough use.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:12 AM   #10
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Name: bob
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Buy both, fix up the Puck and sell at a profit, use that money to refurb the Compact.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:14 AM   #11
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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Ground clearance

A "high lift" axle, may not give you any more ground clearance.
It would need to have longer arms angled downward so the cross member in the center is higher. But, would not need to have anymore clearance than the tow vehicle. Also consider angle of departure.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:19 AM   #12
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Name: bill
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I would definitely do the Compact, with the planned addition of a new frame and axle. Frame is not off road caliber IMHO, and at probably close to 50 years old, its time.
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Old 04-14-2020, 11:47 AM   #13
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Would be a shame to beat up a Puck.
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Old 04-14-2020, 12:56 PM   #14
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It sounds like your goal is to actually get out and use it in somewhat rough country. You like the design of the Hunter because of its practicality. You like the Puck because of its rarity and collectibility.

Rarity and collectibility don't provide function. It sounds like the Hunter is what you need to match your goal and go have fun camping.

The Hunter is also cheaper and more durable. Again, the Hunter better matches your goal. The Puck seems to show that sometimes things can be really cool, and at the same time, not worth it.
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Old 04-14-2020, 01:48 PM   #15
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Sounds like the Hunter would better meet your needs for the kind of camping you do.
If there was any way to get both, save the Puck for a restoration project to take to vintage camper gatherings. You could enjoy both ends of the "fun camping" spectrum!
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Old 04-14-2020, 03:38 PM   #16
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
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Off road

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
The Eriba has an aluminum body. Easily dented, not so easy to repair. IF I was looking to buy a trailer for off-road use, not rock climbing, but washboard, rutted roads, it wouldn't be either of these, but one built for the conditions I wished to tow. Good luck!
_____________________________________________


Right on , Donna ! The Eriba is too valuable and fragile, so few and far between. And body not suitable. My Compact Jr body seems either thicker or stronger than my Scamp, just pounding on it. But I don't think either is suitable for "Off ROAD " at all, though the Compact Straight axle can be raised easier. I've had my Scamp 'off road' on dirt, gravel, grass, access roads, and rough parking areas. But NOT " OFF ROAD !!! I've also had three fold up tent trailers built for real " OFF ROAD" . Neat, but Scamp is cosier. Keep us informed about what you do! David in Fresno and Sonora, CA.
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Old 04-14-2020, 04:55 PM   #17
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Have you considered a truck camper?
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Old 04-14-2020, 05:01 PM   #18
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Name: To Infinity & Beyond!
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Tennessee
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Yes.

I like the capability to leave camp without pulling up camp to drive somewhere if needed therefore that ruled out a truck camper along with the size,weight and height. I've got a couple 4WD PU's that I could put a truck camper upon however all the truck campers I like are pop-tops like Four Wheel Campers FWC that are also expensive even when old, used and abused.

Sleeping in the vehicle is what I do now with the 4WD vans and 1st Gen 4runners when out on the trail. Not interested in a roof top tent either. I have a Shiftpod ground tent for camping and other events. If I am not interested in sleeping in the ground tent might as well sleep in the vehicle.

Just decided I would look for a small lightweight unique camper to build and these 2 trailers presented themselves.
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Old 04-14-2020, 07:53 PM   #19
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Eriba - Ex Escape, Eriba, U-Haul, Boler owner
Georgia
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The Pucks frame would have to be beefed up to do what you want but there are a couple of examples that I've found on the web to give you some ideas. The links show a dark green Puck that has been modified and towed all over Europe and North Africa. There is a picture of it below.

I also have some pictures of an early 1990's Puck that was transplanted onto a galvanized motorcycle trailer by a guy in Germany - sort of what I may eventually do with mine.

https://www.unpaved.de/eriba-puck-offroad-anhaenger/

https://www.unpaved.de/offroad-puck-leben-2/

Send me a PM as I've owned three Eriba travel trailers - 2 Pucks and a Triton and am a bit of a nut about them. I tow them with an old Land Rover Defender diesel so I understand exactly what you are looking for.
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Old 04-14-2020, 08:06 PM   #20
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Name: Jack
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Georgia
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Towing an Eriba Puck around North Africa


https://youtu.be/IWOQCgnM1Us
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