Hi I'm Becky and I'm shopping - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-17-2015, 09:59 AM   #1
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Name: Becky
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Hi I'm Becky and I'm shopping

I am new to camping but I am looking for a small easy to handle 13' camper. I like the looks of the Scamp. I don't need bells and whistles just clean and in good condition. Located in NC. Thanks!!!
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:23 AM   #2
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Hi Becky and Welcome to the group
You might start out by telling us some more about you and your needs. With that info, more useful information for you will be forthcoming. For starters:


1. What condition/age can you accept? FGRV have been around for more than 40 years and many of those are still on the road. There are 40 year old ones that look like new and 5 year old ones than need a lot of help.
2. What are your basic needs as to sleeping spaces, bathroom facilities, comfort items, a/c etc?
3. What will you be towing with?
4. How far are you willing to travel in your search? Many of us have traveled more than 500 miles to get that prize we were looking for...
5. What is your approximate budget. While some seem very old, few good ones can be described as being inexpensive.
Let us know more and good luck in your search.



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Old 05-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #3
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I would be towing with a Honda Element or a Toyota Outlander ( I think it is) it would need to sleep two people separately something like buck beds, looking for $6000 or under, but could possibly go higher if the right thing came along. 2 novice campers with pet looking for something for novice people to get started with.would be willing to travel a little ways if necessary to look at an item North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Virginia that area
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:05 PM   #4
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Take a look in your vehicles manuals for their tow ratings then take a look at the thread Trailer Weights in the Real World to get an idea of what trailers fall into your vehicles tow ratings.

Then start checking the website Fiberglass-rv-4sale.com several times a day for a trailer that fits your criteria.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:35 PM   #5
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Also, if you are really stuck on the 2 separate bed requirement, that is very limiting in under 1500 lb FGRV's that are also under $6000. Mostly the Campster and Hunter Compact Jr. and Compact-I, (but not the Compact-II)
Most 13' eggs have a front couch that makes into a bunk bed, but the upper one is limited to children only, the lower one is OK for an adult, but a bit narrow.


There is also the Little Joe/Litehouse trailer that has twin beds, but it's a bit above your budget, and I believe that the Lil' Snoozy can be set up that way, but it's way above budget and also a lot heavier than 1500 lbs.


Again, come back with some actual towing abilities, or at least exact make, model and year names.



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Old 05-17-2015, 01:57 PM   #6
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This site is going to be very helpful regardless of what or where I buy!! Thanks for all of the feedback. I'll check my tow weights and go from there. Maybe one bed is fine and then room for a twin inflatable bed......There in is my problem I don't know much about campers but want an inexpensive starter to learn with. And small enough to feel comfortable towing etc, etc, etc. for 2 middle aged women and a dog to go places.
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Old 05-17-2015, 03:15 PM   #7
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Welcome, Becky! As others have said, you need numbers to start and you need to have them figured out before you buy a trailer, or before you buy a tow vehicle if you need another vehicle. So when you go to a truck scale with your trailer, you will already know what the numbers are going to be and you are just confirming them.

You need the weight that your vehicle can take loaded up (GVWR), the weight the trailer you want can be if loaded to the max, the weight your vehicle can tow, and the total weight your vehicle manufacturer says you can have with the vehicle loaded and the trailer loaded. (GCWR)

Many people also like to only tow 80% or under of what the vehicle is said to be able to tow. The above are easy to check and see where you are with your present vehicle and where you might want to go as far as a trailer. Just make sure, as many will tell you, that you know exactly what trailer you are getting before you buy a tow vehicle.

Come back and ask more questions and you will figure you out. It is not difficult.
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Old 05-17-2015, 03:22 PM   #8
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Yep, you need to actually get inside one and look how space is utilized. I don't know of any 13'ers that have enough floor space for an inflatable mattress and I am sticking with that number due to your other criteria.


Again, unless a new tow vehicle is in the plan, we always start out by finding out what you can tow, so time isn't wasted on non-starters due to size, then comes budget. It's a lot easier to rule out what doesn't fit into those two parameters.



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Old 05-17-2015, 04:33 PM   #9
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Hi I'm Becky and I'm shopping

To me one of the basic 13'ers with a front sofa and rear dinette would meet your needs. With the upper bunk completely removed the front sofa makes an adequate 26"x75" single bed, and the 45"x75" dinette at the back is luxurious for one, tight for two. To keep the weight down to 1500 pounds, a good-condition older unit with limited options would be your best bet.

An even lighter option is the Hunter Compact Jr. that Bob mentioned. It has a pop top, rear entry and galley, and twin beds at the front. There appears to be one for sale in Seattle now: 1972 Compact Jr. - 900 lb | Ballard Seattle, WA | Fiberglass RV's For Sale. In the photos it is being pulled by an Element. Loaded it will weigh a fair bit more than the claimed 900 pounds, but should still come in comfortably under the 1500 limit of your Element, and the lower profile is a plus.

Speaking of vehicles... I have heard of a Mitsubishi Outlander and a Toyota Highlander... The former is pretty limited as a tow vehicle; the latter can be an excellent one, depending on engine and equipment. It would help if you could clarify exactly what you have.
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjust3 View Post
I am new to camping but I am looking for a small easy to handle 13' camper. I like the looks of the Scamp. I don't need bells and whistles just clean and in good condition. Located in NC. Thanks!!!
Hi Becky. The Elements are great vehicles which I have driven and really like. There are a number of forum members using them as TV's and because of their dynamics they should work well. The important thing is to get the hitch and srt up right.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=honda...ed=0CAYQ_AUoAQ
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:20 AM   #11
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One possibility would be an early Casita 13' Liberty. Quite a few people have converted them to two very nice single beds and it's not all that difficult. You could find a lot of help with that on casitaforum.com.
And price wise, in 2008 I bought a 1995 13' Casita for $4900, which would leave plenty left in your budget to pay someone to do that simple mod.
The kicker is to find one of course.
Oh, and I wouldn't go any earlier than a '94 because the plumbing on those is really inadequate by today's standards.
Good luck.

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Old 05-18-2015, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote: "Oh, and I wouldn't go any earlier than a '94 because the plumbing on those is really inadequate by today's standards"


Do you mean on Casita's in particular, or on FGRV's in general, and why?



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Old 05-18-2015, 09:38 AM   #13
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There is a woman with a 13 Scamp in Matthews NC (outside Charlotte) if that is near you. I spoke with her and I don't think she is on the forums. She was more than willing to show it. I lost her number but if you call Scamp they will have it as part of their referral program. They might have other owners in other parts of NC willing to show the trailer also.
Finding a used one in your price range that does not need a lot of work will not be easy. I just sold a pop-up camper that slept two easy, 3 not so easy, and the thing weighed only 1560 fully loaded. It was like new and in your price range.
I had to say that a pop-up might be better for you to start out with, but maybe it is. However, if you like camping, then you will (trust me on this), want to sell the pop-up in a year or tow and get a fiberglass trailer, even if it means much more money along with a new tow vehicle.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
One possibility would be an early Casita 13' Liberty. Quite a few people have converted them to two very nice single beds and it's not all that difficult. You could find a lot of help with that on casitaforum.com.
And price wise, in 2008 I bought a 1995 13' Casita for $4900, which would leave plenty left in your budget to pay someone to do that simple mod...
I'm a little confused, Walt… The 13' model is called a Patriot, and in standard (no bathroom) form it already has two beds, just like many other 13'ers: front sofa and rear dinette. The Liberty model is available in 16' and 17' lengths. It does have narrow twins from the factory, which some have modified to make them wider. The big problem there will be weight. A 16'er will likely weigh around 2300-2600 pounds loaded, far over the OP's 1500 pound limit. Prices have gone up quite a bit since 2008, too. A 1994 16' Liberty sold recently in TX, asking price $6895: 1994 Casita Travel Trailer | Rockwall, TX | Fiberglass RV's For Sale. It sold in less than two days.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:03 AM   #15
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Jon
You are correct and I apologize. I was getting confused between a 13' (Patriot) and a 16' which comes in several models. You are also right in that a 13' Patriot Standard there is a couch in front which can be converted to a double bunk, kid weight, and no bathroom. But in the 13' the standard model sold so few that Casita discontinued it a few years ago. I've never seen one so I don't know how well that couch would sleep an adult if that's what Becky needs.

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Old 05-18-2015, 10:14 AM   #16
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Depending on which company, most early FB trailers had no grey water holding tanks until some time in the early '90s. Quite a few people buy their first small trailer with an intent to use the bathroom and kitchen very sparingly to not at all, so they may think that doesn't matter. That includes me. I think most eventually get converted and come to like the indoor plumbing at which time no grey water capacity becomes a real hassle. As always there's a way around that with a portable waste tank, but I think that's a PITA.
As long as there's at least a grey tank, upgrading the rest of the plumbing is relatively easy. I've done it on two mid 90s Casitas. But without even a holding tank It's a much more major project.

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Old 05-18-2015, 11:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
Öin a 13' Patriot Standard there is a couch in front which can be converted to a double bunk, kid weight, and no bathroom. But in the 13' the standard model sold so few that Casita discontinued it a few years ago. I've never seen one so I don't know how well that couch would sleep an adult if that's what Becky needs.
The lower bunk has no weight limit. Its size is similar to most other 13'ers of this basic design, about 26"x75". I'm an average-size adult male and sleep comfortably on the lower bunk in mine. Headroom is limited by the upper bunk, which is why I suggested removing it if there are no kids. Only four screws hold the hinge to the mounting ledge, so it's a 5-minute job to take it out.

I have seen several older Casitas with this configuration come up for sale recently. Not as common as Scamp or some others, but worth watching for.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:42 AM   #18
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2015 Scamps do not have a grey tank as standard, they don't even have a pressure system, much less a loo, and they sell a lot of them just like that.

Many of us like the simplicity and convenience of external drain tanks and Porta-Potty's with self-contained holding tanks.


You never have to move the entire trailer to empty either one, or be on the look-out for a dump station or get in a long line with 5 others to dump when you are leaving after a 5 day stay.

I don't see a lack of those tanks to be a drawback at all, especially if someone is trying to save $$$ and weight, but that's a matter of choice.

FWIW: I removed the loo and fixed holding tank from my Hunter and replaced it with a Dometic Sea-Land porta-potty and that works a lot better for us as we, as was mentioned, boondock a lot, and are often for a week at a time between "Campgrounds", and finding dump stations can be a real problem.



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Old 05-18-2015, 02:56 PM   #19
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Welcom Becky,

I just bought a 1980 Burro 13', much like the Scamp 13'. I'm in Saxapahaw, NC, between Graham and Chapel Hill. You are welcome to come look at mine to see if a 13' would do for you.

As I bought mine and am considering the "upgrades" I plan to do, I fully realized that the 13' is only big enough for two people if you really like to cuddle in the rear bed.

My plan is to make the rear bed a permanent sleeping spot and put a table, permanently at the front bench, removing the "bunk beds" altogether.

In reading over all of your responders advice, it's all very good, I noticed only one thing that you might want to consider. Will any midsize to small towing vehicle, regardless of the quoted towing capacity, I would advise adding a transmission cooler, especially if you are going long distances or a lot of mountain towing. I'm doing this in a couple of days to my 2010 Kia Sportage 4 x 4, not because of any known issues, but my towing capacity is about 1800 lbs. My Burro weighs less than a 1000 lbs, but to be sure I don't over heat the transmission on the mountain roads, lots of steep uphill driving, I'm insuring that I have no tranny problems in the future. This is going to cost me about $200.00, but well worth the "insurance" against a $3000.00 tranny job should something go wrong.

Hope that will help a little on an unasked question and good luck and happy camping. If you want to see mine, just let me know.

Coyote Bill



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Originally Posted by rjust3 View Post
I am new to camping but I am looking for a small easy to handle 13' camper. I like the looks of the Scamp. I don't need bells and whistles just clean and in good condition. Located in NC. Thanks!!!
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:58 AM   #20
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Welcome to the site Becky, it's great to have you here

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