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Old 04-20-2021, 01:48 PM   #1
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Pleasure Way - Shopping too!
Tennessee
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Hi, I am Richard

I am currently driving a class B Pleasure Way Lexor (2002 Dodge 5.6L) but am seriously looking at going back to a Travel Trailer and pulling it with my 2006 Expedition (5.4L 4wd w/tow pkg). I am rated to pull 8800LBS and have previously pulled a 26' Fun Finder (piece of junk).


I want to locate a quality fiberglass TT - probably 15-19 feet. It is just the two of us, Mary & me. We currently do a bit of boondocking and some campground w/hookups stuff. We need a rugged TT that will be happy following the 4wd Expedition off the beaten path.


I'm here for an education and, as an experienced RVer I hope to add to the discussion whenever I can.


Thanks for letting me join you,


Richard Norman
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:35 PM   #2
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Welcome, Richard! Fiberglass travel trailers designate their models by overall length including tongue and bumper, not box size. Not sure which you mean when you say 15-19'.

Your tow rating gives you lots of options. On the small end of the spectrum, a 17' Casita (14' cabin) is very popular and easy to find used. One the larger end, a 21' Bigfoot (18' cabin) is a nice four-season trailer with a dry bath. Escape also makes 17' and 21' models, as well as an in-between 19' unit.

In addition to our Scamp, we also own a Roadtrek 190 Popular. It pulls our Scamp nicely and provides extra bunks for our teens (and their friends). Once they leave the nest, we hope to take some longer trips in the van alone.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:35 AM   #3
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For backcountry use, here’s one more. It’s a smaller BIgfoot, but still set up with four season upgrades and a raised suspension for better clearance. Even so, it’s for back roads, not goat tracks.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...-fb-95115.html
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:54 AM   #4
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The frames on these trailers are not really set up for off road use. The older ones even more so. But others have blazed the trail, upgrading suspension, upgrading frame, and making it all possible.

+10 these trailers are measured end to end. So a 13 foot unit has a 10 foot body. They get very small, very fast. A 19 foot unit can have a trailer body that is 1/3 bigger than a 15 foot unit. Size matters!
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:10 AM   #5
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Like this enhanced Casita, spotted at a nearby parking lot a couple of years ago...
Click image for larger version

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Old 04-21-2021, 08:15 AM   #6
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Pleasure Way - Shopping too!
Tennessee
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Thank you Jon

I appreciate the fast response. I have been looking at an Oliver Legacy II vs a Casita 17 found this site for further education. On first look, the Escape 19 looks to be a good size for me but I haven't paid attention to the box size vs. the overall length - I need to pay attention there.


Our Lexor is very similar to your the Roadtrek190 built on the same Dodge chassis so you can understand the size. I believe it would translate to a 15 to 17 foot box. Our previous travel trailer was a Fun Finder F210 - about 26 feet overall and a 21 foot box.


I'll look at the Bigfoot as well but my experience with the Fun Finder and it's slipshod construction has made me take a very hard look at construction quality and while my Pleasure Way Lexor is of much better construction, the attached fiberglass top has had some leakage at the seam with the van itself -- a good reason to go with molded fiberglass this time around.


Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it.


Richard Norman
Loudon, Tennessee
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
The frames on these trailers are not really set up for off road use. The older ones even more so. But others have blazed the trail, upgrading suspension, upgrading frame, and making it all possible.

+10 these trailers are measured end to end. So a 13 foot unit has a 10 foot body. They get very small, very fast. A 19 foot unit can have a trailer body that is 1/3 bigger than a 15 foot unit. Size matters!

I forgot to mention 20 years in sailboats where a few feet in length can dramatically change interior space so I'm with you on that score.


Just to set things straight, I'm not interested in climbing mountains and fording streams but I want a rig that will stand up to a few chuckholes and gravel roads without self destructing.


What part of the North Carolina mountains are you from? We have a place in Todd, NC and spend a bit of time there in the Summer.


Thanks,


Richard in Tennessee
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
For backcountry use, hereís one more. Itís a smaller BIgfoot, but still set up with four season upgrades and a raised suspension for better clearance. Even so, itís for back roads, not goat tracks.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...-fb-95115.html

Thank Jon, goat tracks are in my planned future (my 74 year old body doesn't handle them anymore) but I want a rig that will allow reasonable gravel roads and some potholes.



Richard from Tennessee
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Richard Norman View Post
Thank Jon, goat tracks are in my planned future (my 74 year old body doesn't handle them anymore) but I want a rig that will allow reasonable gravel roads and some potholes.



Richard from Tennessee

Not a problem. 2 5/8" high-lift and 15" wheels on Escape 17'
Forest Service roads lead to Forest Service campsites.
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:45 AM   #10
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Not a problem. 2 5/8" high-lift and 15" wheels on Escape 17'
Forest Service roads lead to Forest Service campsites.

That's the idea - off the beaten path but not off of roads.
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:15 AM   #11
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Richard, have a look at the Oliver LE1. It is made here in Tennessee and it may fit your description of what ya'll want. Plus it will give you an excuse to make a road trip to Hohenwald (Lewis Co) for a factory tour.
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:15 AM   #12
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We love our light weight camper.
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:30 AM   #13
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Just to clarify, the smaller 19.5' Oliver LE1 is more-or-less the same size and layout as a Casita Spirit Deluxe. The extra length is in the frame, not the cabin. Sleeping is transverse (double), like many small-to-medium molded trailers. The larger 23.5' Oliver LE2 is a significant step up, with longways sleeping (twins or king). Both are well-suited for backcountry use. They're narrow, giving the interior a yacht-like vibe that may feel familiar.

Bigfoot, though less "egg-like" in shape, is a true 2-piece molded fiberglass trailer. Very high quality like Oliver, but with a more conventional interior style. The 17.5' is comparable to the smaller Oliver, and the 21' comparable to the larger Oliver. The leaf-spring suspension is not hard to raise for additional clearance if you don't get the off-road special edition.

I believe your Pleasure-Way sleeps longways like our (Chevy) Roadtrek. It was an epiphany after transverse sleeping in our Scamp. It makes nighttime potty runs so much easier.

Beds are a big consideration with molded trailers. Some are quite small, and the actual dimensions are often treated as a state secret. Try before you buy.
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Old 04-21-2021, 12:52 PM   #14
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Pleasure Way - Shopping too!
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Originally Posted by skalywag View Post
Richard, have a look at the Oliver LE1. It is made here in Tennessee and it may fit your description of what ya'll want. Plus it will give you an excuse to make a road trip to Hohenwald (Lewis Co) for a factory tour.

I have looked at Oliver and you are correct, it is exactly what I would like to have BUT, at over $70k, it is beyond a reasonable budget for us. $35-40k is our top end and at 73 years old, I couldn't reasonably expect to amortize an Oliver over my traveling life of perhaps another 10-15 years.


I have watched a tour on YouTube and have been in conversation with Oliver but they are out of my realistic budget. If I win the lottery, I'll jump at one.


Thanks for responding.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Just to clarify, the smaller 19.5' Oliver LE1 is more-or-less the same size and layout as a Casita Spirit Deluxe. The extra length is in the frame, not the cabin. Sleeping is transverse (double), like many small-to-medium molded trailers. The larger 23.5' Oliver LE2 is a significant step up, with longways sleeping (twins or king). Both are well-suited for backcountry use. They're narrow, giving the interior a yacht-like vibe that may feel familiar.

Bigfoot, though less "egg-like" in shape, is a true 2-piece molded fiberglass trailer. Very high quality like Oliver, but with a more conventional interior style. The 17.5' is comparable to the smaller Oliver, and the 21' comparable to the larger Oliver. The leaf-spring suspension is not hard to raise for additional clearance if you don't get the off-road special edition.

I believe your Pleasure-Way sleeps longways like our (Chevy) Roadtrek. It was an epiphany after transverse sleeping in our Scamp. It makes nighttime potty runs so much easier.

Beds are a big consideration with molded trailers. Some are quite small, and the actual dimensions are often treated as a state secret. Try before you buy.

Thanks Jon, I tried sleeping transverse in our Pleasure Way and need to cut my legs off at mid calf to be comfortable so sleeping long is what we do. I'm a fairly big guy and "Trying it on" is exactly what I need to do. We probably just need to get on the road for a molded trailer coast-to-coast factory tour. My daughter just moved to Point Roberts, WA so I can use visiting her as an excuse to zig-zag the country again.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:47 PM   #16
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If you want to go small and sleep longways, there's really only one molded option under 20' I can think of: a Casita 17' (Liberty or Independence). You give up a separate dinette/seating area.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:54 PM   #17
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If you want to go small and sleep longways, there's really only one molded option under 20' I can think of: a Casita 17' (Liberty or Independence). You give up a separate dinette/seating area.

I need to just get inside some of these to see - I thought the Casita 17 Freedom looked good but it is transverse sleeping. More to ponder.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:05 PM   #18
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Hey Richard looks like your just down the road from me. I'm in Knoxville. I have a Boler 1700 you are more than welcome to take a look at to get a feel for a 17' Fiberglass trailer.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
If you want to go small and sleep longways, there's really only one molded option under 20' I can think of: a Casita 17' (Liberty or Independence). You give up a separate dinette/seating area.
Don't underestimate the value of a separate place to sit. We had a Casita Liberty, its "twin" beds were far from twin bed size. A residential twin is 39 inches wide, while the Liberty twins were about 22 inches wide. The Independence is somewhat in-between, but since the shell is the same width, you have a very narrow center aisle. The lack of a separate place to sit just didn't work for us, so we moved on to the Escape 19. We have stopped at that size, as any bigger and we cannot park it at our home.

As far as the Oliver Elite, it is NOT $70K. Not cheap either, but it starts at $54,500. A Casita is probably half that amount. Oliver basically started with a Casita floorplan, and improved the construction. So those that didn't care for the Casita floorplan would not be that happy with an Oliver. On the other hand, those that liked the Casita layout but wanted a much more luxurious trailer, the Oliver is it!

Oliver's much bigger trailer, the Elite II, starts at $62,500, and goes up pretty rapidly from there.

Many of the RV manufacturers are loose with their bed size terms. Names like "big bed" may actually be quite small. And "full sized" may be anything but, actually more like a wide twin.

Like any discretionary spend, the return on these trailer purchases come from the experiences. As one guy with a $1 million motor coach told me, his was an "investment in lifestyle". Since I don't have that kind of money to put into a motor coach, mine is not so swanky. To those that want minimum depreciation, Scamps, Casitas and Escapes used often sell for about their original purchase price, if not more. Can't say that about my tow vehicle, or any motor coach either.

The large dinette in our Escape 19 gives us the option to set up a second bed, which eliminates crawl over. But then you have to take the bed up in the morning and put it back down at night. The Casita Freedom does not give you that option. I think the Spirit is a more favorable choice (but the side dinette will make a very narrow twin).
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:41 PM   #20
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Don't underestimate the value of a separate place to sit. We had a Casita Liberty, its "twin" beds were far from twin bed size. A residential twin is 39 inches wide, while the Liberty twins were about 22 inches wide. The Independence is somewhat in-between, but since the shell is the same width, you have a very narrow center aisle. The lack of a separate place to sit just didn't work for us, so we moved on to the Escape 19. We have stopped at that size, as any bigger and we cannot park it at our home.

As far as the Oliver Elite, it is NOT $70K. Not cheap either, but it starts at $54,500. A Casita is probably half that amount. Oliver basically started with a Casita floorplan, and improved the construction. So those that didn't care for the Casita floorplan would not be that happy with an Oliver. On the other hand, those that liked the Casita layout but wanted a much more luxurious trailer, the Oliver is it!

Oliver's much bigger trailer, the Elite II, starts at $62,500, and goes up pretty rapidly from there.

Many of the RV manufacturers are loose with their bed size terms. Names like "big bed" may actually be quite small. And "full sized" may be anything but, actually more like a wide twin.

Like any discretionary spend, the return on these trailer purchases come from the experiences. As one guy with a $1 million motor coach told me, his was an "investment in lifestyle". Since I don't have that kind of money to put into a motor coach, mine is not so swanky. To those that want minimum depreciation, Scamps, Casitas and Escapes used often sell for about their original purchase price, if not more. Can't say that about my tow vehicle, or any motor coach either.

The large dinette in our Escape 19 gives us the option to set up a second bed, which eliminates crawl over. But then you have to take the bed up in the morning and put it back down at night. The Casita Freedom does not give you that option. I think the Spirit is a more favorable choice (but the side dinette will make a very narrow twin).

I had only been looking at the Elite II thus the 70K plus price tag but still starting at $54k and adding the goodies I would like it gets up there fast too. Casita is a reasonable option but I'm pretty leery of a trailer with a pop rivet tool in its "Casita kit". and by the time I add the goodies i want to the Casita it gets pretty high too.



You are right about the narrow "Twin" beds - my pleasure way beds are way narrower than a regular twin.


I just need to "SEE" some of these in person.


Thanks
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