Opinion on best trailer for full timing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-17-2018, 10:20 AM   #1
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Opinion on best trailer for full timing

Hello,
We are considering full timing. We currently own a Trillium 13 which works great for us (mom, dad, and two boys) for short trips but feel like we would want something bigger with a bathroom, forced air furnace, etc. for a full time adventure. We would want at least one full time bed with a table to bed option. We also want to keep it as small as possible.



We have looked at the Escape 19 and like the layout of that. Don't think we would want to go any smaller than that but want to keep things as small as we can so we don't limit our options of where we can camp. Definitely want fiberglass for many reasons that all of you know already.



So, what do you think would work for what we are looking for?



Thanks

Dirk
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:07 PM   #2
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I myself am also planning.on fulltiming. Since the possibility of spending maybe a day or two in freezing weather, or a week or two dry camping will exist for me, I really don't want to deal with a black tank. Porta potty yes, composting maybe. You can always poo and shower at campgrounds etc. That's why I don't want to deal with a bathroom myself. Right now my wife and I have a Coachmen 14FB with shower and black tank toilet. It just doesn't seem worth the hassle. I have been looking at the Armadillo front dinette model at 13 1/2 feet. You can get it with an outside shower and it comes with an inside porta potty. Some vandwellers use the popup showers. The Armadillo is expensive and it doesn't come with the rivet penetration of the Scamp. The interior of the Armadillo is very modern as opposed to the "1970's East German" look of the Scamp. The Oliver's are even nicer. Look at those if you can find $60,000 in change under your sofa cushions. . IMHO you can't beat the aerodynamics and durability of a fiberglass trailer. My Coachmen trailer will probably rot off the frame after 15 to 20 years. The frame of a fiberglass trailer MAY rot out from under shell in 50 years. You have to find what you are comfortable with.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:25 PM   #3
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Dirk;

UHH?? How about an Escape19?


Cornelius;
You've never seen a Scamp Deluxe.
Below is an East German camper, complete with a Trabby.
Next is Polish camper from right next door.
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trabant06.jpg   1_Cadet_Ext_4.jpg  

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Old 12-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #4
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UHH?? How about an Escape19?

We are leaning that way but they are expensive even used. Just curious what other trailers out there would be similar. We have a couple of years before we are ready to jump ship and hit the road but I want to have plenty of time to look for a good deal on something that will fit our needs. I think the hardest part will be parting with my '77 Trillium.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kg8jk View Post
We are leaning that way but they are expensive even used. Just curious what other trailers out there would be similar. We have a couple of years before we are ready to jump ship and hit the road but I want to have plenty of time to look for a good deal on something that will fit our needs. I think the hardest part will be parting with my '77 Trillium.
How about a Casita 17?


I have one on the hook right now at a good price. Not too far from you and immediately available. PM me.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
How about a Casita 17?


I have one on the hook right now at a good price. Not too far from you and immediately available. PM me.

There isn't enough sleeping space for the two boys.
Thanks though.
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Old 12-17-2018, 01:26 PM   #7
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How old are the boys?
Parkliner had an option of double bunks at the side dinette space with the queen size bed at rear. If you always eat outside, no need to convert to dinettes.
Don't know if Parkliner is still viable. They sell through dealers now, at a much higher price.
A Scamp 19ft (5th Wheel) has the big bed over the front and the rear dinette converts to a bed.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:41 PM   #8
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Why not a Bigfoot? They do come in a 4 season package and the 21-foot size does come up used from time to time. Just another option to consider. I have a 19 foot Bigfoot and while it is not new enough to have the double pane windows, I have been very comfortable camping in it in below-freezing weather.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:45 PM   #9
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Ohh those were the days. I remember getting “trapped” behind those Tranants. The aroma of those two strokers going up a hill. Mmmm! Back to the theme. Yes Floyd, the interior of the scamp deluxe would be a choice for me. I sure wish they could eliminate the riveting even if they are capped. I’m not 100% sure where the Sani Potty is in the deluxe with the front dinette. And yes I forgot about the Escape
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:45 PM   #10
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Fulltiming, especially with 4 people, causes a lot of wear and tear on an RV. I've read to look for the best quality unit you can afford. If it were me I'd look for a Bigfoot.
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:51 PM   #11
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I'd go for the Escape fifth wheel. Gives you the feeling of two separate rooms with the bedroom up front.
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Old 12-17-2018, 08:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg8jk View Post
Hello,
We are considering full timing. We currently own a Trillium 13 which works great for us (mom, dad, and two boys) for short trips but feel like we would want something bigger with a bathroom, forced air furnace, etc. for a full time adventure. We would want at least one full time bed with a table to bed option. We also want to keep it as small as possible.

We have looked at the Escape 19 and like the layout of that. Don't think we would want to go any smaller than that but want to keep things as small as we can so we don't limit our options of where we can camp. Definitely want fiberglass for many reasons that all of you know already.

So, what do you think would work for what we are looking for?

Thanks
Dirk
Dirk,

It sounds like you have some experience with trailers and are probably well-informed regarding most of the available options on the market. More importantly, there's probably a lot of criteria you haven't thought to share, but of which you are aware.

You might consider expanding the space through your choice of tow vehicle, such as using a full-size van, perhaps using it as a bedroom and separate dayroom.

Other than that, it seems that people full-time in all sorts of vehicles and combinations, so it's really tough to suggest might work for you.
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealster View Post
Ohh those were the days. I remember getting “trapped” behind those Tranants. The aroma of those two strokers going up a hill. Mmmm! Back to the theme. Yes Floyd, the interior of the scamp deluxe would be a choice for me. I sure wish they could eliminate the riveting even if they are capped. I’m not 100% sure where the Sani Potty is in the deluxe with the front dinette. And yes I forgot about the Escape
Even though the rivet complaint is purely "strawman", your wish has been granted the deluxe is not assembled with rivets.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:12 AM   #14
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Dirk,



You might consider expanding the space through your choice of tow vehicle, such as using a full-size van, perhaps using it as a bedroom and separate dayroom.
.

I hadn't thought about that. That would provide some options for sure while keeping the vehicle and trailer size smaller. I will also check out Bigfoot trailers. I didn't know their trailers had insulated walls which would be great.


Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:27 AM   #15
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Only the newer Bigfoots are 4 season. The older ones aren’t. It’s a question to ask the seller or do some googling. Of course Bigfoots tend to cost more.

A full sized van can make a nice tow vehicle. Plenty of inside storage, can add sleeping accommodations or whatever. I’m a pickup truck guy but I seriously considered a van.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:26 AM   #16
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When we brought our '88 Bigfoot Silver Cloud home, the furnace did not work while snowbound during a big snowstorm in Wyoming. We bought a portable heater and were plenty warm.

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Old 12-18-2018, 11:27 AM   #17
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My wife, dog, and I are currently full-timing in a 19' Escape. It's been good for 5 months, but the space is just a little bit tight. We're actually looking at upgrading to a 25' Bigfoot.

Having looked briefly at a Bigfoot in person, I'd say it's about a wash quality-wise with the Escape. Bigfoot uses somewhat more "premium" parts in places (thicker dinette cushions, heavier everything), but Escape seems to be a bit more careful about little details in design and construction. The Escape 19 is also really good in terms of usable space relative to size - there's very little wasted/unusable space. To the point that we had to go with a 25' to get an actual increase in usable space vs the 19'.

In terms of insulation, the Bigfoot has a thick styrofoam layer between fiberglass vs Escape's thinner foam liners. In both cases the biggest heat transfer will probably be the window and door frames. The Escape might also not leak as much more heat as you'd expect despite the thinner insulation, because it's also got less overall wall area (it's not as tall or wide as the Bigfoot).
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
You might consider expanding the space through your choice of tow vehicle, such as using a full-size van, perhaps using it as a bedroom and separate dayroom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kg8jk View Post
I hadn't thought about that. That would provide some options for sure while keeping the vehicle and trailer size smaller.
Here's one example, linked below; I'm sure there's lots of others. Someone recently posted about towing a "new to her" smaller trailer with a Sprinter, but I've forgotten who that was.

accrete's Trailer :: Parkliner
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:05 PM   #19
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People can and do full time in some incredibly small trailers. I met a couple that had been full timing for over two years in a mid 1970s Trillium 1300. They were loving it! Could I do it, no. But they had no problems doing it, and in talking with them, it was clear they could have afforded a much larger trailer.

Since you already have experience with the 1300, you can decide where it falls short for you, and get a somewhat larger trailer that addresses those concerns.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:57 AM   #20
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People full-time in cars so of course it's possible, but I wouldn't want to full-time without a bathroom.

A black tank or grey tank will not freeze solid with a couple nights (or a dozen nights) below freezing, especially if it warms back up during the day. Four season trailers are never a necessity in winter camping, but they really only become more convenient when you're really winter camping, like daytime temps below freezing, nighttime temps getting into the teens or single digits.

I know most people know this, but I get the feeling with some posts that people have some misconception that if you're going to see temperatures below what you'd get in the summer, then a 4-season is a necessity. It's just not. People camp in tents, all winter long.

Anyway. Bigfoot trailers are great for space. Having a more box-like shape gives a ton more room inside. There are plenty of great options and you'll find what works for you. For me, the extra space in my Bigfoot is worth a lot.
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