Lightest Fiberglass Models? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2020, 03:26 PM   #1
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Name: Raquel
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Lightest Fiberglass Models?

Looking for a Fiberglass RV that would ideally come in at 900 lbs or lower. (The lower the better) Occupants are myself, husband and a dog. The tow rating on both our vehicles are the vanilla 1000 lbs maximum that is stated for most US passenger vehicles. Neither of us are in the market to upgrade our vehicle, we would be using the camper maybe 4x a year within a 2 hour drive and we need something thrifty enough for everyday driving. TV will probably be my Buick Encore GX 1.3L

Teardrops, are too claustrophobic for hubby. We don't need anything huge, just bigger than a teardrop.

Leaning towards fiberglass since we live in the PNW and with all the rain I feel a little better about leakage issues. Canvas / pop ups are also out. We don't have a garage to dry them out after use and that's not practical in our rainy season.

Ideas please? I'm okay with a barebones model with just enough in it to sleep and keep us dry.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:46 PM   #2
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I’m not aware of any full-height, non-folding, all-fiberglass trailers that weigh under 1000# loaded for camping.

The closest I know is the Meerkat, but it’s part aluminum and part fiberglass, has a small fabric-sided pop-top for standing headroom in the galley, and- most important- weighs 900# dry, so it will certainly weigh over 1000# on the road. The Meerkat is a clone of the vintage Eriba Puck (which shows up in the used market once in a while).

Anybody know what a vintage Litehouse weighs?

Weight is not your only concern. Vehicles with such low tow ratings are tested with small, low profile cargo trailers (15 sq. ft. frontal area in the 1000# class). A full-height travel trailer adds a significant amount of aerodynamic drag.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:53 PM   #3
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Here's one I found...
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tfh-portable-toilet-trailer-03-1.jpg  
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:28 PM   #4
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Nothing meets your criteria, except some pop-up trailers (which also don't meet your criteria), that were meant to be towed behind a motorcycle, such as the Bunkhouse camper (no longer made but out there used) and the Aspen trailer (stopped production January 1, 2020). I have owned both of these brand trailers. They were nicely built and about 400 pounds without gear.

The motorcycle market has fallen on tough times and many fine trailers are no longer made.

The other option is a tent. I have camped via tent for decades, both from a car and from my motorcycle. Made a solo trip to Alaska via motorcycle and camped every night with a tent. You really don't have to own an RV to enjoy camping. Having lived in western WA state for 13 years, I tended to head over the Cascades on camping trips to avoid the rain.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:29 PM   #5
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I'm leaning towards a stripped down version of the Little Joe. It looks like Litehouse are hard to come by due to the limited number that were made. I may have to venture into non-fiberglass land although not my first choice. There is the Lil El by Taylor Coach and the Suite by Prolite. Was really hoping that I could find somethere here.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:32 PM   #6
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You did check out the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, right? https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...rld-43010.html
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:49 PM   #7
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only thing I'd tow with a FWD car that has a ~1000 lb tow rating would be a light rowboat. I used to tow a hobie cat with a 4 cyl car, a 1987 Volvo 240, but that car had a 2500 lb tow rating, and was solid as a tank, also RWD.

the lightest FG trailers I'm aware of in current (or recent) production are the Scamp and Casita 13 foot models, and these are like 1200-1500 lbs depending on equipment and typically closer to 2000 lbs when loaded for the usual trip (bedding, clothing, food, dishes). Note these aren't even close to 6' tall inside, so a tall person will be bending over inside.

I was thinking an A-Liner might be a good non-fiberglass choice, but even the smallest 10' ALiner (13' frame) has an unloaded weight of 1200 lbs.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:53 PM   #8
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Thanks all, I've been all over the website and must have missed that list. It was really helpful. It sounds like there are a few options, they are just obscure. And that's another reason why I want to keep the weight down, I don't want to tax the vehicle too much.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:04 PM   #9
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Even if you find something that barely squeezes under the wire, you are still trying to tow with the absolute lowest power, at the absolute maximum rating.

Since you will only be using it occasionally, and for a short distance, maybe rent a pickup to tow it when you go. That way, you could get a slightly larger trailer that was more accommodating and one that was not trying so hard to stay below an unreasonable limit.

The tradeoff of more headroom, more space, and more gear might be well worth the cost of renting a 1/2 ton pickup. Plus no wear on your car, and much better power and braking.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:25 PM   #10
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My impression is the Little Joe is heavier, over 1000# dry. I’ve read it may have a heavier fiberglass layup and frame for commercial use, don’t know for sure. I do know one member scaled his at over 1700# loaded for a longer trip.

I thought maybe the Litehouse might be lighter, since it rides on smaller 12” wheels.

BTW, the 880# Burro in the database was likely a gutted shell. Burros are lighter than some, but not under 1000# outfitted for camping.

@John.. Newer Scamp 13’s (2007+) are 6’2” inside. But they start at around 1300# empty.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaquelI View Post
I'm leaning towards a stripped down version of the Little Joe. It looks like Litehouse are hard to come by due to the limited number that were made. I may have to venture into non-fiberglass land although not my first choice. There is the Lil El by Taylor Coach and the Suite by Prolite. Was really hoping that I could find somethere here.
*ALL* of those old trailers are hard to come by, they've been out of production for many years, the only ones remaining are likely gutted shells with bad floors and leaking windows, or partially finished projects with lots and lots of stuff remaining to be done.

Does your Buick have the factory towing package already installed? if it doesn't, it might not even be suitable for towing 1000 lbs. I note those GX's have a 1.3L turbo 3 cylinder motor, and a CVT (Constant Variable Transmission), neither of these would hold up well when towing even a very light load.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:47 PM   #12
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Yes, it does have the towing package, but I wouldn't want to push my luck with it either. Hence keeping the weight down as much as possible. I'm thinking we may have to entertain a class b or something to suit out needs.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RaquelI View Post
Yes, it does have the towing package, but I wouldn't want to push my luck with it either. Hence keeping the weight down as much as possible. I'm thinking we may have to entertain a class b or something to suit out needs.
There's an idea - turn the tow vehicle into a towed vehicle!
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:48 AM   #14
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Check out Prolite trailers

Prolite make many different models with different weights from about 600lbs, and up, they are fiberglass and also have many floorplans available, they are made in Quebec, Canada, which is a problem because the border is closed presentlly, i have one and i am very happy with them, also they make ones that use solar panels for the power supply. i think the website is roulettesprolite.com you can choose english on upper right, its a bilingual province. also they have a function that you can take a virtual tour of the model that you like.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:04 AM   #15
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This is a common discussion here. Folks want a light camper so they can tow with their daily drive. Typically the first or second trip out shows them the inadequacy of their vehicle and they buy something bigger. Then because they bought something small they decide to upgrade the camper. if you only plan to use it a few times a year you might consider renting a class C. Between original cost, maintenance , and increased wear and tear on you cars, you might be better off.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:58 AM   #16
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Not sure what this one weighs, but it looks light.
https://nucamprv.com/barefoot/
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by skalywag View Post
Not sure what this one weighs, but it looks light.
https://nucamprv.com/barefoot/
the UK Barefoot Caravan specs... Towing capacity required: 1200 kg... thats 2650 lbs. 960kg (2115 lbs) curb weight.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:18 AM   #18
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Thanks John. I was looking for the specs. That is quite a bit more than I thought. It seems FG trailers run on the heavy side.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:23 AM   #19
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i don't think there's ANY camp trailer in the sub 1000 lb category, fiberglass or otherwise.

heck, this utility trailer was ~1500 lbs loaded...



(said Volvo wagon was rated to tow 3500 lbs.)
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:59 AM   #20
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Maybe convert a cargo trailer?



I had a 5X8 I converted for camping. Empty weight is about 890# so not much weight to play with to stay under 1,000#. Not much space either!

I think you are looking for a Unicorn
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