help a noob?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by oliviamarie View Post
I guess I'm looking to spend less than 5,000 but preferably the cheaper, the better, ya know?? but i also don't want a hunk of junk that's just going to be a money pit! I'll do more research on these kinds of repairs and stuff, thanks Bob!

As for a daily budget, I'm not planned that far ahead yet. And I do like the teardrop trailers! A bit small, but I suppose I'll really just be sleeping in there. Are electrical repairs very difficult in a trailer??
What is the towing capasity of a 2003 Volkswagen Golf? 1,000 to 1,500lbs? That weight gets eaten up quickly.


In your budget you probably will need upgrades to the Golf.

Definitely:
transmission cooler
New engine coolant
Wiring for trailer lights and brakes?

Maybe:
Oil cooler
change over to synthetic oil to string out oil changes.
New shocks
New brakes
Brake controller
Weight distribution hitch

MPG takes a hit when towing.

Unless you will continue to RV after getting a full time job, I would suggest looking into tent camping options.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #22
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Maybe it's time for this thread to answer Olivia's questions. I didn't ask any.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliviamarie View Post
I guess I'm looking to spend less than 5,000 but preferably the cheaper, the better, ya know?? but i also don't want a hunk of junk that's just going to be a money pit! I'll do more research on these kinds of repairs and stuff, thanks Bob!

As for a daily budget, I'm not planned that far ahead yet. And I do like the teardrop trailers! A bit small, but I suppose I'll really just be sleeping in there. Are electrical repairs very difficult in a trailer??
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As mentioned, always buy the best you can afford. Unless you have the skill set(s), lots of tools and a place to do repairs, fixers always wind up costing more than you can ever imagine when you have to pay for labor.

That said, Still allow at least $500 for fix ups for anything you buy short of a new rig. Little things like tires, bearing repacking, brake controllers and repairs to systems and appliances always seem to be in order.

A trailer can have several electrical systems, The basic road lighting system and the 12 VDC system for inside lights, water pump, furnace fan and other 12 volt accessories. It also includes the converter/battery charger and the coach battery..

The 120 Volt system is for when you have power avalable and can plug in. This usually runs the converter to supply 12 volts and to charge the coach battery.

Both are fairy easy to work on if one has a basic understanding of electrical troubleshooting in RV's, but be advised, there will never be a schematic for you or a technician to follow.



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Old 01-02-2013, 12:59 AM   #24
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Olivia, welcome aboard

What you are looking to do is a major life change....that said it may require some major changes for you.

Your auto....TV....tow vehicle....may need to change.
Your boys may need to have a life change also.....
Your skills may need some improving...

Here is my little input.....fiberglass RVs...eggs...fgrvs....are more expensive than other small(yet light) trailer.....in my opinion they are more expensive because they are worth it and I believe many others agree due to how difficult it is to buy a good one........they sell fast....they also make good investments as they sell easily and for a good price.

I look at my egg as a tent on wheels with a few upgrades.....it's not my only trailer, but it is a favorite due to it's so easy to live with.....extremely user friendly.

As for the boys I ask you this.....would you take the dog camping for a few months in a tent???? My guess is you would.........now what about the lizard

I hope all this advise is not scarring you off your dream....that is not what any of us would want to do I'm sure.....just want you to go into things with your eyes open.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 PM   #25
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oliviamarie I hope we haven't put you off completely.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #26
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I think your VW is probably rated to tow less than even a 13ft fiberglass RV would weigh with gear in it. You might want to take the $5,000 for a camper and the sale price of the VW to arrive at what you have to spend on the whole rig. Tow and trailer.

Smaller the tow vehicle the more important trailer brakes become. Can tow does not mean can stop.

Try to get to a FGRV rally and check out the rigs to get an idea of what would work for your needs.
Rallies, Get-togethers, Molded Meets (Upcoming) - Fiberglass RV

To get an idea of prices see this part of the forum for rigs for sale.
For Sale: Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers - Fiberglass RV

In the 13ft size there are many under your budget, and yes if it is older it may be in "working" order but need work to be dependable or fully functional.

Axle suspension being worn out, floor rot, propane fridge, and furnace are probably most expensive issues with older trailers. Assuming the camper does not currently leak and appears solid and in good repair.

Leaks can be hidden and create wood rot out of sight under a cupboard or seat so be sure to check the wood floor condition. From inside and under the trailer.

Allow for the nickle and dime stuff like window seals, or battery(s) for the 12 volt system you need when not plugged in. And if you can plug in for electric service the campground cost more than a rustic campground with pit toilet and hand pump and no electicity.

Heat for the lizard is going to be a bigger problem than the dog unless it's a really big dog. Heat from electricity draws a lot of power, so your camper batteries will get a heavy drain if you try to heat a lizard cage. Or your paying for a campground with electric hook-up.

We can get two people and a 40 lb dog in for the night in a 13ft Scamp but I think it would get old if the three of us were stuck in there for a few days.

Most campgrounds won't let you leave a dog unattended in a camper. If it's hot where you camp you may need/want air conditioning, if not for you then for the dog. AC can be expensive to fix and requires plug-in power from campground or a noisy generator, not going to run off of batteries.

If your going to need work table and bed be aware that many 13 ft eggs use the dining table as the bed. A single person might be able to set up bed on the couch/bunk and leave the table up for eating or working. Or some models have a second dinette table for two. Either from the factory or added by the owners in place of the couch or a closet.

If the camper does not have a bathroom there are places one can stow a port-a-potti. These are pretty easy to operate and empty in a rest area or campground toilet. This would allow you a bit more flexibility in where you spend the night when traveling or camp for a few nights.

Someone mentioned sponge baths, yep been there done that. Used an 8 cup coffee pot to heat the water. Never tried to shampoo hair inside the camper but have done that outside.

As if my post was not long enough already....

A screen tent or pop-up canopy, especially one with side panels to keep the wind and wind driven rain out can really "expand" your living space. A 10 x 10 canopy is bigger than my 13ft scamp.

Throw in a portable camp stove and maybe a lantern so you can cook, eat, and work in the canopy or screen tent will greatly enhance your camping experience.

If you pull into a camping place and it's raining or your only staying one night your camper is ready and waiting. No need to fuss with the extra screen tent or canopy. Otherwise you can set up outside and double your space and comfort.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #27
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Name: Olivia
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Thanks to everyone for all the fantastic help! I love it! I'm starting to get a little more hesitant because of the car issue and my limited funding but the only reason I haven't posted is because of the whole full time job and student thing! If there are any updates I'll be sure to post, I'm still looking around for campers for sale but am gonna wait a bit til I have some more money saved up!

Thanks again, everyone! See you all at some rallies soon
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:14 PM   #28
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One alternative would be to establish a good credit history, and in a matter of a year or less you could get a loan to buy a stronger tow vehicle and a new trailer. New means very few maintenance issues.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:11 AM   #29
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More basic advice: NEVER buy a NEW trailer or TV until you have some experience in a less expensive rig and determine if it is the life style you want.

Two examples:

My local RV dealer doesn't take in used trailers, but he currently has about 12 used rigs on his lot, all less than 3 years old, that are bank repo's. While some of those repo's are a result of the buyers financial difficulties, many of those came from owners that bought new rigs, and sometimes huge TV's, only to find that they didn't care for the camping/RV lifestyle, but couldn't payoff the balance by selling, and just walked away, taking a huge credit hit.

Right now I am looking at a trailer in Santa Barbara, one that the seller bought new in 2007, used once for a 2 week vacation, found that they didn't like camping, and then parked it in his driveway, never to use it again. (No, it's not a FGRV)

Even renting a small pop-up and trying that for a week will tell someone a lot about the camping lifestyle.



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Old 01-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #30
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My 2 cents......never use credit for unnecessary ANYTHING!!!!!

These are other options for sure....I see small trailers for less than $1000.00 all the time.....I even have one I'd sell. Clean and usable and easy to tow....stick built.

This and an older truck or suv should fit most any budget....stay close to home and feel it out....if it is a good fit for your family....you can move up into nice units......if it's not your thing.....it's easy to sell out.

Then all you have are some great memories....funny how the breakdowns in the mud, cooking in a small trailer with all the kids, dog, spouse while your weekend trip is being rained out to be some of the best memories.

If all you want to do is sit in a park setting (rally) showing off your little treasure....remember most everyone there started small and worked there way to where they are now.....It's fun to see some newbie show up with a dream.......just be sure to stay safe.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:17 PM   #31
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^^^Good Advice! If you want to live frugally and travel/work at your leisure DO NOT use credit! Sounds like you are going to need another vehicle for towing. Maybe a pickup, van or suv that you can sleep in? Then move to a trailer later on. Also I think the big dog is going to be a big problem.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #32
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I view owning an RV (ANY RV) as being the third largest asset a family can own... after a sticks and brick home, after the daily driver. Most people (who are still working for wages) only camp (at most) a couple of times a month during "dry" months and maybe a week or two vacation. That means their third most expensive asset sits for about 45 WEEKS a year. That's a horrible, horrible and expensive way to get through depreciation.

I'm grateful I own a wonderful 25 year old all molded towable that suits me and my current camping style....

YMMV
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:02 PM   #33
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I think after 34 years, or more, my trailers are done depreciating.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #34
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Dave, we're of the same mind set.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:49 PM   #35
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Quote:
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I think after 34 years, or more, my trailers are done depreciating.
Just wish my body would quit doing that.
Though, it does have a wee bit more than 34 years on it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #36
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Thanks again, everyone! See you all at some rallies soon [/QUOTE]
Think Taylor's Falls in September. Listed in Rally section
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I view owning an RV (ANY RV) as being the third largest asset a family can own... after a sticks and brick home, after the daily driver. Most people (who are still working for wages) only camp (at most) a couple of times a month during "dry" months and maybe a week or two vacation. That means their third most expensive asset sits for about 45 WEEKS a year. That's a horrible, horrible and expensive way to get through depreciation.

I'm grateful I own a wonderful 25 year old all molded towable that suits me and my current camping style....

YMMV
sniff sniff...I miss mine already, wont be able to stay in it for a few more weekends due to obligations... If the weather is good next month, I might take a long weekend and go upstate NY, friends are haveing a campout (in their barn) If the roads are snow and ice free and weather forecast is good I so would drive the 5+ hours to go hang out for the weekend and stay in my ParkLiner!

Im not planning on letting mine sit!

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Old 01-10-2013, 09:37 PM   #38
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Let me preface my response by saying I have never full-timed in an RV. I do love my 13' Scamp trailer for travel in 3-4 week bursts.

I did, however, come across some thoughts on full-time RV living while doing camp trailer research. Those who stay in cities overnight say it is important to be low key. This is called "stealth camping". You can do this by driving a van (or less so, by towing a trailer) that looks commercial or plain on the outside and is "tricked out" on the inside for your living needs. See these following internet links for ideas. One downside for living in a van is if it needs repair you are without both your wheels and your home.
Living in a Small RV: Introduction - Tynan
DIY: Convert a Van into a Campervan Part 10 - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com
Good luck with your adventure!
Happy Camping!
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:11 PM   #39
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I give people credit, but I wouldn't want to stealth camp in the city. Sorry here in NJ and just about everywhere south of it its muggy in the summer and I want ac, or real good vents... stealth campers cant do that... its a rough life but to each their own

Now since I lived on a boat for many years severl friends asked me if I was planning on living in my ParkLiner... no, maybe when I retire in 20 some years lol but its not the same thing and not many places in my area that you could live in a camper trailer in a mobile home park. And I have a friend who lives in a mobile home park and she is paying about $235 a month less for the plott of land then I am in an apartment lol...I will take the extra space...for now.

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