Making the switch from tents - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:50 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Jamie
Trailer: Currently shopping
Posts: 5
Making the switch from tents

Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m from Ontario, Canada. My wife and I have been doing a lot of car camping and decided we’re going to start shopping for a small trailer. I didn’t realize there was such a strong community around fiberglass trailers, so this is really cool to see.

We don’t currently have a trailer, but after a bunch of research I determined that one of the small 13 footers would be perfect for us. I drive an 06 CRV (manual) so it can’t handle a ton of weight. It looks like any of the small Boler, Trillium, Scamp or Predom models would be ideal for us, but everything in my area is really expensive right now.

I just wanted to say hi since I’ll probably be asking a bunch of questions here as we look for a trailer and start working on any repairs.

If you have any suggestions for models or years I should look for, or tips on finding a good deal, I’d love to hear it!
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:59 AM   #2
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Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 10,021
Making the switch from tents

The 1500# tow rating is pretty limited. Most 13’ers end up past that mark once you load them with your stuff. Our Scamp 13 is usually 1600-1700# loaded, and it’s very basic (icebox & cooktop only).

The Predom Cadet is lighter than most, but very rare. Hunter Compact Jr. and Trailswest Campster are also on the lighter side, but they’re more common in the States. All three share an important but often overlooked attribute: a lower towing profile for less wind drag. Pop-up roof sections allow for stand-up headroom.

They also share one other characteristic: they’re all vintage units. Finding one at a good price that doesn’t need a lot of work is a challenge. Beware of renovations and modifications on vintage units that add weight.

The perfect trailer for a CRV is an Eriba Puck, but you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than snagging one of those.

We have an ‘06 CRV, too. Love it, but with 4 people and lots of mountains and canyons in our region, we bought a Pilot to tow our Scamp.

I won’t say it’s impossible, but proceed with caution and don’t believe everything sellers say about weight. One thing you absolutely must have is electric brakes on the trailer. Many smaller trailers don’t have them.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:10 AM   #3
Senior Member
Name: Justus
Trailer: Hymer Touring GT
Posts: 279
Hi Jamie. My parents also drive a CR-V. They have an automatic rated for 1,500 lbs. When my dad retired, he mentioned that they might look for a small trailer, as they love camping but the work and discomfort involved with tent camping is getting to be tiresome. Well, long story short, they don't have that trailer yet, as the 1,500 lbs limit is deceptively small.

There's an important distinction between dry weight and actual weight. Dry weight is what manufacturers advertise, and this is the trailer with NO extra options, NO gear, usually not even propane and a battery. So a Scamp 13' may be listed at "1200 - 1500 lbs," but once you've added gear, propane, and a battery you will almost definitely exceed your towing capacity.

You should check out the "Trailer Weights in the Real World" thread: That particular post will link you to a spreadsheet, where you can see that there is a lot of variation even within the same trailer make and model. For instance, the lightest Trillium 13' is 1,112 lbs, but the heaviest is 1,840 lbs.

If you could get your hands on one, a small Eriba could be a good fit, though they are not true eggs. People tow these around Europe with cars. They really are not prohibitively expensive, but you need to buy an older model (25 year or more), work with a registered importer, have patience, and be ready to modify the trailer from 240v to 120v:
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