Need help choosing a trailer - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-25-2010, 01:16 AM   #1
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Hi all. New to the site, though I've been lurking for a few weeks now.
We've been tent campers for years but see how much fun you all have and would like to extend our seasons on both ends, plus we recently added a little critter to our clan (still months from walking) making towing a smallish trailer desirable. I've spent an awful lot of time online trying to figure out which lightweight way to go - fiberglass vs. aluminum. Went to some RV lots and came away feeling disappointed with the quality of the aluminum and laminated fiberglass trailers. They just felt sort of cheap, but still cost a fair bit of money. Nobody around me had any molded fiberglass trailers - until I saw a Bigfoot (17.5ft). Nice! I really liked the sturdy, open, airy feel about the trailer. I'm also about 6'4" so my head just touches the ceiling but I don't have to stoop. We can't afford any of the newer ones that are out there, our budget is <15k. We mostly like to go down crappy forest service roads to find our ideal campsite out in the middle of somewhere so it needs to be able to handle that. I'm definitely open to other campers, I just haven't seen any other molded fiberglass in person. With all of these parameters in mind do any of you veterans have some suggestions on campers I should be looking for?
Many Thanks,
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:13 AM   #2
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Name: Alfred
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA/ 2016 Ram V6 Eco Diesel
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Hi: Tall Paul... The first thing I would recommend is to attend The Oregon Gathering at Bullards Beach S. Pk. July 15-18th. There you will find a nice set of people in the nicest collection of Fiberglass trailers assembled anywhere. Most all doors are open for you to "Try One On" and all questions will be answered...with some BIAS of course !!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:17 AM   #3
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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We've been there -- about 35 years ago!

Did a bunch of back packing, station wagon camping and tent camping until the first baby came along. Then life suddenly changed.

Our first trailer was a 13 ft Compact Jr. that we acquired knowing kids were soon on the way. It was pretty basic, but worked out quite well for a young couple.

Next was a 21 ft Streamline we picked up used in Los Angeles. We did many enjoyable trips with that when the kids were little.

Then I came upon a 26 ft Avion and sold the Streamline. It was pure luxury. We still have it, however it's last use was by our son when he used it to live in while going to college.

Now we are back to a small fiberglass Scamp that we purchased about 10 years ago as a renovation project. I used it as a mobile office for several years. Now since our kids have settled in the the far corners of the country and we're retired it gets a lot of use.

We have considered upgrading from the Scamp to something like the Bigfoot 17. Most of our travel is during the winter months, so the added insulation would be a great advantage, as would be the larger interior size. The added weight and frontal area combined with the loss of aerodynamics are the negative factors.

It is entertaining to toss all the pluses and minuses around in one's mind, but in the end it often comes up a wash with no clear advantage, one way or the other.

One thing that is almost universal, though. The smaller, simpler trailers are the ones that get used the most. In that regard, I believe a 13 - 17 ft fiberglass RV has the most going for it, whether Scamp, Casita, Bigfoot, Boler or whatever.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
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Name: Donna D
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Tall Paul I think your membership name pretty much sums up what you need. For the most part, most owners spend their time in a trailer either in sleep or sitting mode. There's very little walking around space in the 13-19 trailers. BUT, the number one thing that will determine your comfort level... is sleeping. Headroom... you'd probably get the greatest interior height in an EggCamper. Sleeping, a 17' Casita which has a model that the bed can either be king size or two twins. You might also want to look at an Escape 5th wheel... front to back sleeping on a really big bed. Others may jump in with more suggestions.

And I certainly second Alf's suggestion to come down to Bandon in July and look at as many trailers as you can, there's going to be a wide variety open for viewing.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:41 AM   #5
Name: James
Trailer: casita Independence
Posts: 70
The only small Travel Trailer that I have found with higher then 6'4" head room is Egg Camper.
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:41 AM   #6
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Name: Dana
Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
Posts: 532
The only small Travel Trailer that I have found with higher then 6'4" head room is Egg Camper.
Or many of the pop-top trailers like the Campster, Compact Jr, Compact II, etc. Of course to get that headroom the top must be up, otherwise the interior height is about 5'5".

One other thing about these trailers is that they have only one bed, but it's big. The downside is that the bed is also the dinette, so if some want to laze in bed while others eat, it's a problem.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:24 AM   #7
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 310
The downside is that the bed is also the dinette, so if some want to laze in bed while others eat, it's a problem.

That's why we have a side dinette. Love it! I don't think we'd own a camper that wouldn't allow us to keep the double bed made up full time. Doing that also lets us add a couple layers of comfy foam.

Tall Paul: We now have a daughter so with 4 (including the 95-lb. dobe) we moved up from a 13' Scamp to a 16'. We spend as much time as possible outdoors, but with the additional gear, plus the room to be comfortable inside the camper in bad weather, the extra 3' is wonderful. Also, a "newer" Scamp (90s +) has more headroom than the older (not that we need it, but you'd appreciate the difference I'm sure.)
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for your input, everyone. This site is a real gem! So many nice people with terrific suggestions around every corner. I'm happy to say that I've found a 2005 17' Bigfoot that mom, pop, little Emmitt and pup should enjoy for years to come. Hopefully I'll see some of you around out in the beautiful PNW.
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