New 1972 Hunter Compact Jr owner - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-05-2020, 01:03 PM   #1
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
Posts: 9
New 1972 Hunter Compact Jr owner

Thank you for having this forum. Have only camped in a friend's yard with my 60 lb cattle dog so far but love the feel of the light and space. Need to replace canvas and I want to put in some kind of piston system to help ease lifting the top. Have done some painting and floor work. I need to purchase a vehicle that will tow it well. Any discussion or suggestions welcome. Thanks for a the helpful posts I'm looking through.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:53 AM   #2
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
Posts: 351
Compact Jr !

[QUOTE=Paw3333;784361]Thank you for having this forum. Have only camped in a friend's yard with my 60 lb cattle dog so far but love the feel of the light and space. Need to replace canvas and I want to put in some kind of piston system to help ease lifting the top. Have done some painting and floor work. I need to purchase a vehicle that will tow it well. Any discussion or suggestions welcome. Thanks for a the helpful posts I'm looking through.


I bought my Jr hoping it would be lighter than my 13' Scamp and be able to be towed by a more economical car. Turns out they are about the same weight but the Scamp is more streamlined so they are about equal. Either could be towed by my former Toyota 4 cyl 5 speed Pickup but I would not want anything lighter or less powerful . My newer ( old) Ford Ranger tows them both well but again, I wouldn't want to tow with any real economy car. The Compact Jr does have the two single beds option and has more room inside because it is more square. Good luck and send pictures ! David in Fresno and Sonora, CA
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Old 07-06-2020, 05:25 PM   #3
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Name: Rod
Trailer: Hunter Compact II
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Originally Posted by Paw3333 View Post
Thank you for having this forum. Have only camped in a friend's yard with my 60 lb cattle dog so far but love the feel of the light and space. Need to replace canvas and I want to put in some kind of piston system to help ease lifting the top. Have done some painting and floor work. I need to purchase a vehicle that will tow it well. Any discussion or suggestions welcome. Thanks for a the helpful posts I'm looking through.



I happened to get a copy of the original owner's guide when I bought by '71 or '72 Hunter Compact II a couple of years ago. It shows a VW bug towing the trailer, so I wouldn't be too worried. We have a 2015 Honda CRV 4-cyl and it tows quite well, rated as it is to tow up to 1500# and ours is about that even with clothes. We don't haul around water, however. Keep a few emergency jugs in car and that's it. Also removed the toilet and less weight. For what that's worth.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:22 PM   #4
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
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David and Rod,
Thank you for the encouragement, ideas and thoughts. I love the image of a VW bug pulling it. I typed and lost messages on here twice. I'll figure it out but it's awkward on my phone. I uploaded some photos. I hope it works. There is so much I want to do for my little home on wheels and yet it's cozy as it is.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:26 PM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
Posts: 351
VW

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Originally Posted by rodjones View Post
I happened to get a copy of the original owner's guide when I bought by '71 or '72 Hunter Compact II a couple of years ago. It shows a VW bug towing the trailer, so I wouldn't be too worried. We have a 2015 Honda CRV 4-cyl and it tows quite well, rated as it is to tow up to 1500# and ours is about that even with clothes. We don't haul around water, however. Keep a few emergency jugs in car and that's it. Also removed the toilet and less weight. For what that's worth.

Just because a VW is in an old brochure does not mean it is at all suitable for towing. My Jr is 1400# empty , so beans and clothing, bedding,utensils, curtains, bedding , ice chest add a couple hundred lbs, plus you probably want a battery and propane. And whether you put the water jugs (and ice chest ) INSIDE the car, it still counts toward the total weight. And you should stat well UNDER the advised tow limit. David in Fresno and Sonora
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:41 PM   #6
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
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David,
My mechanic flat out refused to put a hitch on my Subaru Forester to pull it even a short distance. He's very protective of my car. The weight limit doesn't come close even loaded but I tend to do things on the safe side (and I trust my mechanic) so I'm leaning toward a Toyota Tacoma because of transmission, braking, and the rough roads I prefer. I think there are a lot of other vehicles that might work for me. I was just saying that the image of a VW bug pulling it was amusing. Do you have brakes on your trailer?
What I have to learn feels endless right now. I appreciate learning it before I make a mistake so thank you again for your thoughts.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:29 AM   #7
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Name: Ron
Trailer: Compact Jr
TX
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I am a fellow Compact jr and Subrau owner. My Compact jr is in the early stages of a frame replacement and restoration. Before removed the frame I towed it about 120 miles with my 13 Crosstrek manual trans. I have since sold it.
It did just fine, even a bit better than towing our old Coleman Colorado pop up, but it would be under powered in the hills.
We currently have two Outbacks a 2.5 2015 with the cvt and a 2010 3.6 with the 5 speed auto. They both have towed utility and uhaul box trailers with no issues. But I prefer to tow with the 3.6, it has a lot more power.
If your forester is a cvt auto, I can see why the mechanic is trying to keep you from towing with it. Not sure what a rebuilt transmission costs, but even the dealer wonít rebuild them in the shop.
The forester is on a wider version of the impressa/Crosstrek platform, the Europe non USA ones are rated to tow more, but that maybe because of the mandatory trailer brakes.
I have used trailer brakes on the other campers I have had, and the compact jr will have them when itís back on the road.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:04 PM   #8
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
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Thanks Ron. That is helpful for my decision process. I'll get brakes put on the trailer when I get back to working on it.
I guess the vehicle that works best depends a lot on the terraine through which you are driving.
Thanks, Patty
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:09 PM   #9
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 529
pop top

Patricia Wife, Norma , and I have a Hunter and a Trailswest Campster . Love them both as they fit in the garage hence avoiding any conflict with the HOA . As to an assist with the top I highly recommend a thing called a load stabilizer which you can get at Harbor Freight ( probably many other places as well ) . The stabilizer is designed for use by truckers so that when not fully loaded they can place the stabilizer behind a less than full loaded trailer to keep the load from shifting . In the Hunter we used it to lift the top and hold it in place while we lock it in place . I will try to find one and send a photo on this site. Lee and Norma
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:36 PM   #10
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 529
Hunter

Patricia I tried a couple of times to get a link to work with no success soo just go to Harbor Freight ratcheting cargo bar for an illustration . You just place the cargo bar in the floor centered under the pop top then use the ratcheting device until the top is where you want it and lock it in place. I recently had back surgery and am unable to lift the top now so this has been a god send. Interestingly enough the Trailswest Campster top is engineered such that you simply push it and up it goes and magically stays . I imagine you could retrofit such a mechanism but have no idea where to start . Lee and Norma
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:41 PM   #11
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
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Lee and Norma,
I so needed that info. I'm only 5 ft and have had trouble even getting it all the way up without a stepstool. There are some rips in the canvas. I'm tempted to replace the canvas with screen since I don't need to head room and would keep it closed in cold weather but would like more light and air. And the HOA! How did you know I had one of those 😂 Thank you and thanks for taking the time to give me more info.
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:54 PM   #12
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
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Lee and Norma,
I found this other site that has many types...https://www.dccargomall.com/load-loc...saAjkUEALw_wcB
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:12 PM   #13
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 529
Hunter

Wow You found the mother load . I had no idea there were so many different types available. As to the HOA they are kinda the bane of society but without them our neighborhoods could get out of control so we live with them . Lee and Norma
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:30 PM   #14
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
Posts: 351
Compact Jrs top :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Senn View Post
Patricia I tried a couple of times to get a link to work with no success soo just go to Harbor Freight ratcheting cargo bar for an illustration . You just place the cargo bar in the floor centered under the pop top then use the ratcheting device until the top is where you want it and lock it in place. I recently had back surgery and am unable to lift the top now so this has been a god send. Interestingly enough the Trailswest Campster top is engineered such that you simply push it and up it goes and magically stays . I imagine you could retrofit such a mechanism but have no idea where to start . Lee and Norma
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Hello Lee and Norma, hope you are safe and well and your back is better. (Are you still thinking of going to the Oregon Gathering ? Julie and I are now thinking we will not) I have trouble with the Compact JR roof also, sometimes I keep a stool in there as 5-6 inches makes a big difference. I also wear a thick cap; padding makes it easier to give some support with my head especially when lowering the roof. Despite having a small bungee cord around the cloth, some always ends up hanging outside the top as it closes. Then I have to partly lift the top again and pull in the skirt material. Anyone else have that trouble ? It must be very hard if you are short, I would just leave it closed. Julie does not need it open at all. David in Fresno and Sonora.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:43 PM   #15
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Name: Patricia
Trailer: Hunter
Marana
Posts: 9
Hello again all,
Gathering- please tell me more. I probably won't go this year but maybe in the future.
Hat- good idea. I might try it with my bike helmet on sometime. But I'm also going to try to get one of those bars.
Thanks again for all of your good ideas.
-Patty
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:11 PM   #16
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 529
Hunter

David Good to hear from you and hope you , Julie and family are well . I don't want to hijack this tread but some of this response will be on subject . I am kinda on the fence about Bandon this year but am at the moment still planning to go . Now back on the topic of pop tops . You mention using your head to assist in raising the top and i would want to caution all about that process . My post mentions back surgery and I think , but can't prove , that using my head to raise the Hunter top may have had something to do with by back problem . We were camped at Beverly Beach and a few times I used my head to hold the top up while I locked it in place ( several times as it would rain and stop so I raised and lowered the top a number of times ) . The last day Norma and I went for a walk on the beach and suddenly I had severe back pain and lost function of my legs ( had to be helped off the beach by folks who probably thought I was drunk ( very embarassing ) . I subsequently had continuing back problems requiring surgery ( steel plates etc. unbelievably painful ). I suspect that I may have crushed a vertebrae raising the top . So may not be a good idea to raise the top with ones head . David please get a cargo bar . Lee and Norma p s David did you have a site reserved that you havent canceled , if so I can use it . Lee
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:18 PM   #17
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 529
Hunter

Patty As to the Bandon gathering it is an annual event this being , I think , the 18th year . Usually draws a large number of fiberglass trailers ( 60 or more ) . Great event and a chance to connect to many like minded fiberglass folks and see almost every kind of fiberglass trailer known to mankind . Sites fill up quickly so when you can book a site ( exactly nine months before the event ) you need to jump on the web and grab a site . Please send me a private message and I will provide detailed info . Hope to see you there next year . Lee and Norma
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:15 AM   #18
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Name: David
Trailer: Scamp 13 ft
California
Posts: 351
Gathering

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Originally Posted by Lee Senn View Post
Patty As to the Bandon gathering it is an annual event this being , I think , the 18th year . Usually draws a large number of fiberglass trailers ( 60 or more ) . Great event and a chance to connect to many like minded fiberglass folks and see almost every kind of fiberglass trailer known to mankind . Sites fill up quickly so when you can book a site ( exactly nine months before the event ) you need to jump on the web and grab a site . Please send me a private message and I will provide detailed info . Hope to see you there next year . Lee and Norma
--------------------- ---------------- Lee, Patty, I think this is just an 'informal Gathering ' the real (big) Oregon Gathering is cancelled because of Covid. But folks hate to miss it, so some are gathering at Bullard Beach. I hate to miss it too ! (The wonder state park is open, but with limited activities.) Watch for it next year, IF there IS a 'next year' ! And Lee, I'm thinking of expanding the Compact Jr's roof at the back ; raise it permanently in the kitchen area by about 5''. What do you think of that ??? David in Sonora (now),and Fresno this afternoon.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:52 PM   #19
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 529
Hunter

David I have often thought about a permanent raised top but for me that means it won't fit in the garage anymore hence the accursed HOA would raise it's ugly head . If you go to home on the forum and pull up Havasu trailers you can see one of their trailers which came from the factrory with a raiised top , looks pretty nice and would certainly make the trailer much more comfy . Lee and Norma
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Old 07-15-2020, 01:51 PM   #20
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One of the things about the Compact Jr is that because the kitchen is in the back, the tongue weight tends to be low. My sister has a CJ, and she stows her heavy gear near the front, under the table, to increase the tongue weight so it behaves better when being towed.

In the past, I've posted several threads here describing the many modifications and repairs I've done to her trailer; a quick search for my username would probably bring them to light.

She's been looking for someone to replace the canvas for her poptop for a couple years now, with no luck.
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