New in VA with new Helio O2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-20-2020, 07:49 AM   #1
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Name: DYinVA
Trailer: Helio O2
Virginia
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New in VA with new Helio O2

I've been backpack, car and motorcycle camping for years, and finally picked up a Helio O2 fiberglass travel trailer. I've been wanting a small travel trailer for years, and initially wanted a tiny tear drop for sleeping purposes only. Then i came across the Scamp, which ultimately led me to the Canadian brand Helio.

I plan to use it year round, unfortunately a lot of the RV campgrounds close for the winter around northern VA, but there are still some open.

I can't find much information about Helios, it doesn't seem well known at all, so I'm hoping i didn't make a bad decision of going with a brand that's relatively unknown as my very first travel trailer. We'll see how it goes!
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:34 AM   #2
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New in VA with new Helio O2

Welcome, DY!

Had to google it. Could be wrong, but from the website photos it appears to be a conventional framed trailer with a skin of fiberglass sheets. The shape is similar to the R-Pod and T@b designs. The Scamp, by contrast, has a frameless shell of structural fiberglass formed by spraying fiberglass into a full-size mold. This site is about the molded kind of fiberglass trailers, which is probably why you didnít find much information here.

But if it meets your needs, Iím sure it will give you just as much camping pleasure as our Scamp. I love having a simple, small trailer for which maintenance does not eat up all my spare time. Best thing you can do for any RV is to use it regularly. Regular use lets you catch little issues before they become big problems. Next best thing is covered storage when not in use- garage, carport, or good quality fabric cover, in that order.

Happy camping to you!
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:37 AM   #3
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thanks, i'm still learning!

i found a local self storage place that's within walking distance to me that has a 10'x15' drive up space with 8'x8' garage door that the O2 can fit into, so i feel very lucky to be able to have indoor covered storage for it.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:11 AM   #4
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According to the manufacturer it IS a fully molded camper.. but not one built in a mold like a Scamp, etc.. See: https://youtu.be/4UJpTGXI8nY?t=71

The construction technique is interesting and looks to me to be a good method. Looks like the camper is going to be more leak-proof than my Scamp also. It does appear however that making a repair might be more difficult, or at least different, than a spray in mold type.

They also have taken a page from people who adapted a portable air conditioner using small vents on the side of the camper. This might be best for people who only want to use A/C a very few times a year.

It does need a higher third brake light however (IMHO).

I'm guessing one will want to add a topper or mattress for a good nights sleep - the cushions look pretty thin. So that might mean you want the bed made up full time, and in the smaller unit I dont see a way to have a table at the same time. And the furnace is under the bed and looks like the typical Suburban or Atwood, known far and wide for how loud they are.

Cant wait for your evaluation after a few days use.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:33 AM   #5
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New in VA with new Helio O2

Thanks, Gordon. It is definitely not a conventional framed trailer as Iíd thought at first inspection.

If itís not made in a mold then itís not molded. However, it does appear to be all-composite. It appears the sides and roof are formed separately and bonded together somehow. I like the structural core, similar to the Snoozy, and absence of interior framing. Seems like it might have better insulation than a Scamp. The glassed-in wood floor is great... until you penetrate it- screws, plumbing,...

I agree itís a promising design. Devilís in the details, as they say. Iíd love to watch the actual build process.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:42 AM   #6
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Nice trailer

I saw one of these last spring in Ontario. It is made in Quebec and the trailer owners lived in Montreal.

One thing they were doing was keeping their clothes in large plastic drawers set up in the back of their car (it was a Rav 4 or similar, not a truck) so they didn't have to store them inside the trailer and gave them more space as there isn't a lot of storage in it. Because they were drawers, stuff could be stacked on top of the clothes.

I was astounded that the trailer even has a microwave oven in it. Very well designed and very lightweight.

I suspect there is a waiting list for them.

Jenn M
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
It does need a higher third brake light however (IMHO).

excellent point about the brake light. because everything is sealed on the back end, i'm not sure how i'd wire up an aftermarket brake light back there. maybe tap into the brake light wire from back of the car, and extend the wire under the trailer and up the back to power the 3rd brake light?
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jennifer Minogue View Post
I saw one of these last spring in Ontario. It is made in Quebec and the trailer owners lived in Montreal.

One thing they were doing was keeping their clothes in large plastic drawers set up in the back of their car (it was a Rav 4 or similar, not a truck) so they didn't have to store them inside the trailer and gave them more space as there isn't a lot of storage in it. Because they were drawers, stuff could be stacked on top of the clothes.

I was astounded that the trailer even has a microwave oven in it. Very well designed and very lightweight.

I suspect there is a waiting list for them.

Jenn M

in my opinion, the Helio O2 is priced way too high so i can't imagine there's a big waiting list. almost all the dealers currently selling them have them marked in the low/mid $20k US dollar. luckily for me, the one dealer that's closest to me in Maryland has theirs for <$20k.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:32 PM   #9
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Around $20K is not at all out of line for a small all-composite trailer. The 13í Happier Camper HC1 is in the mid-upper $20K range with typical modules and options. The 13í Armadillo is in the same range. A 13í Scamp can be had for less, but itís a less sophisticated build with economy-grade fit and finish. Deluxe models can easily hit the $20K mark.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:38 PM   #10
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Actually the new models of the furnaces are a LOT quieter. It would be fun to measure both with a db meter but the difference is very noticeable. I hope to see a Helio this year, maybe at Ontario Bolerama.

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Old 01-26-2020, 04:52 AM   #11
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I'm from PQ where the Helio is made and member of FB group Voyage en mini-roulotte. I know that some members of this group owned a Helio. You could join the group and ask for info.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Balou 57 View Post
I'm from PQ where the Helio is made and member of FB group Voyage en mini-roulotte. I know that some members of this group owned a Helio. You could join the group and ask for info.
I checked out the FB group and unfortunately it's in French so I can't read it. Thanks for the heads up though.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:35 AM   #13
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I'm in NoVA too, north of Manassas. Lucky you found a place to store it. I have a project Burro but stored in Maryland, along the route to get to my sailboat I've been fixing up. Not a lot of vehicle storage up this way.

Hope you get a lot of use out of your camper. Have fun out there.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:05 AM   #14
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I'm in NoVA too, north of Manassas. Lucky you found a place to store it. I have a project Burro but stored in Maryland, along the route to get to my sailboat I've been fixing up. Not a lot of vehicle storage up this way.

Hope you get a lot of use out of your camper. Have fun out there.
Hey we're practically neighbors. Unfortunately the indoor storage didn't work out. Trailer wouldn't fit. If the trailer was true to the manufacturer's published measurements, then it definitely would've fit. The trailer was about 10" too long and 2" too tall.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:23 AM   #15
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So close. lol
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:25 AM   #16
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The trailer looks impressive. My only question, Is the roof connection a scabbed on strip or is the strip part of the upper roof mold and the lower roof slides up under it?
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:04 AM   #17
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The trailer looks impressive. My only question, Is the roof connection a scabbed on strip or is the strip part of the upper roof mold and the lower roof slides up under it?
Eddie
it's the latter, where the upper roof has a lip that goes over the lower roof portion. and the two are bonded together (not sure of the correct terminology) but it all acts as one solid roof.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:50 AM   #18
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New in VA with new Helio O2

I was wondering about the roof-to-sidewall connection. Is the roof molded to wrap seamlessly over the top of the sidewalls, or is additional material added during assembly to cover the corner seam?
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:56 AM   #19
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He did mention upper and lower roof so i assumed he was asking about how the roof was joined together. But if it's about roof to sidewall, i guess the answer would be the same. The roof overlaps the sidewall and it looks like it's bonded together at the seams. I can take more closeup pics if you want, just let me know which areas. Would love to get you guy's feedback on it's construction.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:48 AM   #20
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New in VA with new Helio O2

Yes, when I reread Eddieís post it did seem that way. I guess itís a case of ďa man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the restĒ (Simon and Garfunkel, 1970). I read my own question into his.

Is the only seam on the sidewall, or is there a seam on top as well? Sounds like the first, which would be the better way.

Iíll be interested to hear how this trailer works out. I agree that it seems like a very promising design. Bummer about the storage. There are ways to overcome the height (smaller storage wheels, for one) but that 10Ē of length appears insurmountable. Iím really surprised their published length spec would be off by that much, unless something like an optional spare tire mount adds to the length. Iíd encourage the manufacturer to correct it.

Happy travels!
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