New and in the market - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-07-2020, 02:55 PM   #1
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New and in the market

Hi. I'm looking forward to participating in this group. My husband and I don't have an rv yet but are looking for a very small standy with a toilet. We have a honda crv for towing so we need to be at or under 1500 lbs. We're looking at MeerKat (metal body) and Scamp 13 standard with bathroom or modified for toilet. We don't have any experience with RVs only car camping and backpacking and honestly werey no spring chicks so we're burnt out on cold and excessive heat plus nasty campground bathrooms.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:01 PM   #2
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Check trailer weight in the real world and decide yourself. http://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xls


1500 tow rating is too low to tow an RV trailer.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:58 PM   #3
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In the Real World

Hi Sergey,


Not sure about this custom spreadsheet you sent but thanks. A number of vehicles on it have a total combined weight under 1500. These are the types I'm looking at. Perhaps you aren't familiar with MeerKat. They are roughly 900 lbs. I spoke with the manufacturer already and confirmed they can be towed by 4 cyl cars, like our Honda CRV. Anyways, there are numerous cases on the road, in the real world, of people towing tiny standing-room trailers. However, I get the impression that you're discouraging us from buying any RV. Is that the case here?



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Old 08-07-2020, 08:09 PM   #4
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Jessica,
If you are waiting for somebody to say, "go ahead", then "go ahead".
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:31 PM   #5
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Jessica, loaded trailers weight is much more than the dry and without any option trailer weight the manufacturers advertise. They advertise low weight to catch more potential customers. When a customer buy a trailer, he/she realize soon that he/she need to upgrade their tow vehicle.
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Old 08-08-2020, 06:01 AM   #6
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Scamp 13 with a toilet IS going to weigh over 1,500 pounds. Meerkat is lighter. Not really familiar with their product.

Whatever you buy, get a trailer with brakes.

Be cautious with manufacturers weights. Talk someone into running their Meerkat across a certified truck scale. Manufacturer weights always are less than real world.

The bathroom in a Meerkat is a portapotty. Such an option works on any of the small FG trailers, but you won't be under that 1,500 pound mark.

I like the Meerkat, but have not seen one in person.

And be careful on options. Optional are such things as a refrigerator and spare tire (things buyers might assume are standard). Every option adds weight. Can't believe a spare is optional...


I think your tow rating requires trailer brakes, so you will have to add them to a Meerkat.

I have a 2010 Honda Element, same drivetrain as that era CRV and same tow rating. I live in the mountains of North Carolina. And while we love our Element, it barely has enough power to handle itself. I would not tow wit it. Now someone towing in Florida it might be adequate.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:10 AM   #7
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Meerkat does not have a bathroom, just a portapotty compartment, nor a built-in stove, just a butane burner that stores in a drawer.

I mention it because youíre really comparing apples to oranges. If you go with a similarly basic Scamp and pack lightly you can keep the weight pretty close to 1500#. Very marginal, though, and Iíd be concerned about the CVT transmission on newer (2015+) CR-Vs.

We have a 2006 CR-V, and I consider it the best vehicle we have ever owned. But we live in the mountains and travel with four people, so we tow our no-bath Scamp 13 with a Pilot.

The Meerkat is a better fit.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:18 AM   #8
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Here is another spreadsheet
Done by a professional scale man... done at a fiberglass rally


https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...rld-43010.html
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:33 AM   #9
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Donít do it! When it comes to towing you will greatly benefit from overkill! By buying a rig that pushes the limits of your tow vehicle, you are asking for trouble. A sales person wonít tell you this. He has other motivations. The folks on this forum donít.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan H View Post
Here is another spreadsheet
Done by a professional scale man... done at a fiberglass rally


https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...rld-43010.html

It's the same data, but not as user-friendly as the spead sheet at "Lakeshore"
http://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xls
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for all of the info!

Thanks for all of the replies and info. I agree a Scamp is really at the limit and we've decided not to start at a limit. Lol, I will probably have to join a new forum because I can't find fiberglass rvs that are in the 950 - 1150 range (of course I know the diff between all the ratings and the loading and add on weights).

I have a 2012 CR-V and feel okay getting something in the lowest weight range for standing and having a porta-potty. We've actually found a few cool options but they aren't fiberglass. I'm sort of surprised there isn't an ultra-light one in this style yet. Perhaps it is because a lot of the new ones are modeled or copy the earlier designs and in those days, ultralight camping wasn't such a big thing.

We've also decided not to get a MeerKat because of the price and size. It is quite small and has little headroom other than the pop-up.

Working toward our final choices there are two Canadian companies and one American that each make trailers with 6' head clearance, porta potties (or space for them) and are at or under 1000 lbs dry, with a lot of standard equipment already part of the weight.

I'm still going to look at every manufacturer listed at the top on this site to see if there is a fiberglass rv out there that meets our needs.

Thanks again.

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Old 08-11-2020, 10:42 AM   #12
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You will not find any 13 foot trailers with an actual bathroom that can be towed by a vehicle with a 1500 lb. rating. That being said, I have a 1979 Boler 13 footer that weighs about 1200 pounds loaded for camping that I tow with my manual transmission Subaru Crosstrek. Admittedly I am the only occupant so it would weigh more if for 2 people. There are things you can do to reduce the actual weight such as not towing with water in the tank, replacing the lead acid battery with a LiFe battery, etc.



If you take time in your search you could ask the owner of the trailer to get it weighed at scales so you know the exact weight. You definitely want to get an idea of the weight of the stuff you will put in the trailer while towing it so you can make an educated decision.


When I was researching new trailers, I could not find any whose dry weight was 1,000 pounds or less that were 13 feet long unless they had next to no amenities.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:23 AM   #13
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Bathrooms and Lengths - Don't need 13' don't need shower

Thanks Alex,

I didn't specify in my original post that I was looking for a 13' trailer and I'm not necessarily. I'm also not needing a bathroom, just a toilet or porta potty. That said, and to tie into the purpose of this forum, the lovely and super rare 1970s PlayPac Hitch Hut had a toilet compartment and was between 950-1150. I doubt we will ever find one, but if we do, I'd be willing to commit to a restoration! Another option, I also see that the currently produced Weis Craft Little Joe has a dry weight of 1100.

FYI, for the purposes of our actual towing, we will tow with empty tanks and are already use to packing light as we have backpacked and are minimalists when camping.

Maybe you can answer a question: One thing I'm still trying to figure out from the spread sheet that a couple of people sent is how the tongue weight and dry weight on axle were separated out on a truck scale at an event. I would think only a manufacturer could do this. Or, is the tow vehicle weighed before and after being hitched to get the tongue weight?
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:37 PM   #14
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New and in the market

I donít know where youíd put a porta-potty in a Little Joe.

Predom Cadet is another vintage model on the lighter side.

Tongue weight can also be determined using a bathroom scale. The professionally weighed ones were probably done using a Sherline scale, made for the task.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaJ View Post
Maybe you can answer a question: One thing I'm still trying to figure out from the spread sheet that a couple of people sent is how the tongue weight and dry weight on axle were separated out on a truck scale at an event. I would think only a manufacturer could do this. Or, is the tow vehicle weighed before and after being hitched to get the tongue weight?
You put just the tow vehicle on the scale with the trailer hitched to weigh and then the tow vehicle unhitched. The difference is the tongue weight. Or as was stated you do the bathroom scale method.
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Old 08-11-2020, 09:44 PM   #16
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Thanks Jon and Alex for the explanation of weighing. I never would have thought using a bathroom scale was possible but it makes perfect sense. I'll also look at the additional manufacturer mentioned.
Regarding the Little Joe, Weis Craft says that a bath and portable toilet are optional. I'll contact them to find out where! It looks like the sofas are molded fiberglass but perhaps not.


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Old 08-11-2020, 10:21 PM   #17
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If I may make a suggestion - if you find a vehicle with more towing capacity, the range of options available to you is greatly expanded. Something like a Toyota 4Runner or similar with 3500# - 5000# towing capacity. The mileage won't be much different, and you could enjoy a complete bathroom with shower. Having spent three days straight in inclement weather, I can say it was rather enjoyable.

In our case, we have a 4Runner with 5000# towing capacity, so as a result, we can tow a Casita 17' with bathroom, with lots of safety margin, and spend lots of time in it. The mileage is about 15, and it's very reliable. And for less than the cost of a new MeerKat, we have shower, toilet, hot water, air conditioning, big fridge, furnace, 22 gallons of water, 32 gallon grey tank and 15 gallon black tank ... pretty much everything one needs to live on the road for some period of time.

A dealer I met (nice guy) told me we should think of our tow vehicle first.
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Old 08-12-2020, 06:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JessicaJ View Post
Regarding the Little Joe, Weis Craft says that a bath and portable toilet are optional. I'll contact them to find out where! It looks like the sofas are molded fiberglass but perhaps not.
The Weiscraft Ponderosa model has a shower/toilet that sets up in the aisle (in front of the door). It has a different layout than the Little Joe. Neither really has much room for moving around. And at least one person on the forum who owns one reported a fully loaded weight around 1700# (for the no-bath Little Joe).

Theyíre nice trailers, very well made with a thicker shell than Scamp and others- originally designed for the commercial market- but very small and not that much lighter than a very basic Scamp. Best for a style of camping thatís mostly outside.

GoBe made an expedition version using the same shell, but they have stopped production. Theirs had open storage under the benches, which has advantages for accessibility if your gear. It might also allow for a spot to park a small porta-potty. Donít recall what the off-road upgrades did to the weight.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:48 AM   #19
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Name: Jessica
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Thanks Jon and Mac.


I'll look into the other company's product that was made with the same Weiscraft body and keep an eye out for them. Under bench storage is important.



Mac, we bought our CRV a year ago with very good miles on it and don't really intend to go through the whole car buying thing again for quite awhile. We are also committed to only owning one car (which already seems excessive for us after having lived in NYC and San Francisco for years) so, the chances of changing it are slim, unless one falls in our lap.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:18 AM   #20
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Hi Jessica,
If you aren't familiar with them already, you may want to check out Canadian brand Pro-Lite by Roulette. https://www.roulottesprolite.com/?lang=en They feature several trailers in a variety of weights and sizes. They also have a few dealers in the USA. I know of one in Michigan that sometimes has used models for sale, as well as new. Best wishes!
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