Hi,I'm Dachia.. in the market for a Scamp or Burro, I think - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-03-2015, 08:01 PM   #1
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Name: Dachia
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Hi,I'm Dachia.. in the market for a Scamp or Burro, I think

Hi all. Just came across these forums and found a couple great threads. I knew I was looking for a Scamp, but just heard about a Burro and think that might work too. I am doing a couple roadtrips this year, each one 6-8 weeks. Will be traveling with 3 small dogs. Previously, I have done roadtrips with just the minivan, but am thinking I really need the ability to cool the place as I'll be in some very warm areas, doing some speaking etc for a couple hours away from the dogs/camper.

I am looking for an older used trailer, so it might not already have AC. And I'll be parked in many places with no electricity... so, am very interested in hearing about anybody's experience in cooling without electricity.

Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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Other than lots of ice, serious cooling in a typical small FGRV without electricity (meaning a power hookup) is like division by zero, it's not defined.


Some use external generators but leaving them unattended can be an invitation to the generator grabbers.


BTW: Older FGRV's seldom offer much of a price advantage. Unless you are willing to start with a fixer, and can do all of the work yourself, buying a good one will cost a lot less.


And last...What will you be towing with and what is it's towing limit (per the owners manual) ?


Feed us some more info and lots of help will be forthcoming....



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Old 05-03-2015, 09:14 PM   #3
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I have found some new information. It may not be as hot as I thought it would be. Mid-80's. Do these FGRV stay cooler than a car would?

Other ideas- I have now heard of a Bigfoot along with a Scamp or a Burro.. or a... Cassita? I'm not locked into anything, that just happened to be the name I first heard.

Pulling with a Town and Country minivan, these FGRV should not be a problem.

I had not anticipated that the older would not be less expensive.

It needs to have a very basic bathroom setup, windows on all sides, jalousie on sides, roof vent... these are things I'm just hearing about. The biggest concern is keeping it cool enough for the dogs.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
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A lot of campgrounds do not allow you to leave dogs unattended.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:35 AM   #5
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As FGRV weights can be deceptive, and a few T&C transmissions have a distaste for towing, give us some more details on this: "Pulling with a Town and Country minivan, these FGRV should not be a problem."


As a rule of thumb, any time it's to hot or cold to leave pets in a car, it's to hot or cold for leaving them in an FGRV.


Your "Want" list is the list we all want, however you won't find everything, especially in the same trailer.


Minimal bathroom: A very few 13' Scamps have a bathroom, but it eats up a lot of space you might want for your pets. A porta potty is the rule for 13's, you will usually have to be looking at 16's and above for a fixed bathroom.


I don't know of any with "Windows on all sides" save the usual three around the dining area and one in front (except if you have a front bath).


Jalousie windows are nice, but not all that common, especially in the front and back windows.


You might want to look for an FGRV event that you can drive to and look at what's out there and get a better idea of what you want to look for in a trailer.


BTW: What is your approximate budget, that can have a major impact of what you should be looking to buy.



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Old 05-04-2015, 07:38 AM   #6
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Name: Dachia
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Thanks for the responses, so far. I'm learning of other brands that might widen my search. So, I wonder if any of the FGRV's are better known for staying cool. Scamp, Burro, Casita and Bigfoot? (there might be others I have not heard about yet).

Bob, I know you said there is not a huge price difference in older/newer, I'm wondering if newer offers something that might really matter to me, as the older are probably (I'm guessing) easier to find... Are the newer ones naturally cooler? Easier to haul? I'm still reading here... getting details listed. Thanks folks.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:38 AM   #7
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Sorry, Bob, we were posting at the same time. ;-)
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:41 AM   #8
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Bob, thanks for the response. I understand about different weights etc. My main thing I want to learn here is cooling. On a parking lot with no shade, outside temps of 85, windows open, top vent open, how hot would it likely be in the camper?
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:29 AM   #9
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Dachia (great name) welcome to the forum. As Bob said most campgrounds don't allow pets to be left alone for many reasons. I own two small dogs and wouldn't leave them without AC. So I would think hookups would be a must for AC. To bad you don't have a realitive to join you to help with the pets. Owning pets has its advantages but comes with a price of commitment as you know. I hope you find the unit that's perfect for you and solve the pet problem. Maybe research the areas your going to be at and find a place to board them for the period and time you will be away. Good luck
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:34 AM   #10
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Thanks for the response Papa, I'm well aware of campground issues. We are not staying at a campground. There are no hookups. Do you know how well a fiberglass RV keeps cool? With nothing else in the mix, how hot would it be? From there I can figure out what I'll need for this situation. Thanks ;-)
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I don't know of any with "Windows on all sides" save the usual three around the dining area and one in front (except if you have a front bath).


Jalousie windows are nice, but not all that common, especially in the front and back windows.
Other then on a Trillium. Dachia, you might also want to look at that brand, though not so common south of the border. I am rather fond of Trilliums.

As for heat, a powered roof vent will help. They don't use much power, and they keep the air flowing through your trailer. You have to keep a window cracked open as well. The white of a fibreglass camper also helps to keep the heat down.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:39 AM   #12
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David, Thanks! I just heard of those too... on the list they go. ;-)
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:48 AM   #13
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As I mentioned earlier: "As a rule of thumb, any time it's to hot or cold to leave pets in a car, it's to hot or cold for leaving them in an FGRV."


The only FGRV's that have more than minimal insulation are the Bigfoots from Canada and only in the ones with the "All Season" option. These will be later, much heavier, longer and a lot more expensive.


This same issue, about leaving pets in an FGRV in warm/cold weather, comes up all the time and, without hook ups or a generator there really isn't an answer and, leaving an unattended generator running pretty much rules that out as well.



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Old 05-04-2015, 08:56 AM   #14
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An egg will probably be cooler that a car in similar conditions. We broke down climbing a long grade in the So Cal desert in June. It was about 105 degrees, dry, gusty winds, and we were reasonably comfortable waiting inside the Scamp. On the other hand, 85 degrees, humid and windless- could be a different story.

The breakdown was an overheated transmission. My local Toyota dealer talked me out of a transmission cooler for our Sienna. I should have gotten a second opinion. Fortunately, electronic nannies sent it into limp mode before serious damage occurred, so we just had to wait about 45 minutes for it to cool and were able to proceed (gingerly) to our destination. Bottom line... you will want to install a tranny cooler if you tow with your T&C.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:59 AM   #15
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I just found this tip on another site, sounds like two great ideas.... especially the phone number, but you will be giving up some privacy.

"We had a decal from ASPCA which let people know there was an animal inside our rig and I also wrote our cell phone no. on it in case of emergency. Fortunately we never received any emergency calls..."



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Old 05-04-2015, 09:01 AM   #16
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Name: Dachia
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Bob, agreed about the generator.
Jon, thanks. I had read that these little guys can be not too bad in the heat... Still reading. Lots to figure in... or out.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:04 AM   #17
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Name: Dachia
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Bob, just saw your other message. That is a great idea. I had seen those decals in mobile home parks, I hadn't thought of putting it in my RV. I had thought of putting handwritten notes on all 4 sides, giving cell number. ASPCA decal might seem a bit more "not trailer trash" ;-)
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:17 AM   #18
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A friend just posted a video that is a great find.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:37 AM   #19
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The white shell certainly helps.
You will need a minimum of a fantastic vent fan.
I would install low-e reflective window tint / insulation (Only reflective, no R value) to keep the solar gain low. The main reason a car heats up so much in the sun is the huge windows. Cars also have no insulation what-so-ever in most cases, and more often than not, the car isn't white. Keep the sun off of the interior of the trailer. Keep the vent fan on and the furthest possible window cracked open, and it will not get much hotter than ambient temp.
Also try not to park on hot black tarmac if you can avoid it, and always look for shade to park it. Not possible to park in shade? That brings me to the next suggestion.

I highly suggest getting a 100 watt solar panel to keep the fan running at all times. You would then be able to rest assured that it will operate so long as the sun is shining (which is exactly when it needs to be working!) without damaging your battery. You can mount the panel on the roof horizontal and it will still be plenty efficient to run a fantastic fan vent.

Window film;
Gila LES361 Heat Control Residential Window Film, Platinum, 36-Inch by 15-Feet - Weatherproofing Window Insulation Kits - Amazon.com

Solar panel that is EXCELLENT;
Amazon.com : Renogy 100W Mono Starter Kit: 100W Solar Panel+20' Solar Cable+30A PWM Charge Controller+Z Bracket Mounts : Patio, Lawn & Garden

This panel is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Not to mention that it will allow you to keep your furnace operational for the chilly nights you may experience as well as charge electronics etc. You said you will often be without hookups, so I think it will be invaluable. Each panel has the added benefit of shading part of the roof from the sun. They should be mounted up above the surface.

Depending on what your budget / need is, you can install enough of these panels to actually run an AC reliably. If you want to go the AC rout without spending nearly this much money you can use this generator;
Amazon.com: Earthquake IG800W Model 11613 Portable 800-Watt Inverter Generator with 40cc 4-Cycle OHV Viper Engine (CARB Compliant): Patio, Lawn & Garden

Along with a 1500VA Uninterruptible Power Supply to run a ~5,000 BTU AC.
The UPS handles the surge load. When the compressor kicks on it trips the overload on that little generator, which then switches to battery backup. The generator auto resets, which then triggers the UPS to switch back to it. That generator can run a 5k BTU all day even in extreme heat. It only fails to start the compressor since that requires a large surge of power.

Good AC for this;
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IJYGQLQ/...I2R55JG47S21M5

It has flash memory so there is no worry that it won't come back on after a power interruption. Up until these more recent models I avoided digital AC units for this exact reason. Ferrets HATE heat, and I can't be having them roast because of an AC not turning back on!

That's the lowest cost and most simple method of having AC you can count on for your dogs. That generator has a vacuum diaphragm powered fuel circulation pump so it will not vaporlock in hot environments.

Because your animals lives are on the line here, I would suggest a monitoring system that will send an alert to your phone should the system fail for any reason.


One more idea! Evaporative cooling can be made to run on that solar panel extremely easily and cost effectively. This will only work in dry climates. However, if that's what you are dealing with then you can easily keep the trailer at 70 degrees even when it's 90 out.

If you have any questions about the suggestions I have made, or anything else let me know. I am more than happy to help.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:05 AM   #20
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Name: Dachia
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Kenji (very cool name, BTW) wow, wow and yet again wow. This is GREAT information! Thank you so much!!! I'll be reading this a few more times and checking out your links. I saw a video where they used a solar panel, but it looked so big I thought it might be too heavy for the roof, but maybe they come in different sizes and I could distribute them across the roof. I had not realized there was a monitoring system that could send me an alert. Brilliant. The main two days I"m concerned about will be in Ohio, so I think pretty dry. While I have done many roadtrips with the dogs in the minivan, there are a couple changes now... hence thinking about the RV... but I also might just do this full time. I love roadtrips and spend a lot of time on the road... so all your ideas are great for the long haul. Thank you so much!
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