Newbie - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2015, 04:50 PM   #1
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My name is Neil, am new to site. Interested in learning more about FG travel trailers. Initial interest has been in small aluminum trailers but availability and expense are problems. Like small, like easy towability, like staying DRY. Some experience in FG repair. Neil H.
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:13 PM   #2
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Hi, Neil!

You'll find lots of great information on this forum, liberally sprinkled with hot debates, humor, and tons of great pictures that should get your fiberglass juices flowing! You're blessed to live in the land of Scamp. Except for those darned winters. Do what everyone else does- c'mon down to AZ! In your Scamp, of course... we're outnumbered by Casitas down here.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:11 PM   #3
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Ha... If you think that aluminum trailers are hard to find and expensive, wait until you start shopping for FGRV's. Rhere are no breaks here.... LOL
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:35 PM   #4
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Jon- thanks. A recurrent fantasy of mine should I actually own a nice light and cozy FG trailer is its possible use as a winter cabin/ portable ski hut, for extended stays near mountain ski areas. Know anyone who has lived this dream?

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Old 08-07-2015, 06:36 PM   #5
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A recurrent fantasy of mine should I actually own a nice light and cozy FG trailer is its possible use as a winter cabin/ portable ski hut, for extended stays near mountain ski areas. Know anyone who has lived this dream?
Very few fiberglass trailers are suitable for extended use in winter climates. The only two 4-season manufacturers I know of are Oliver and Bigfoot. They'd both be cozy, but not so light.

Here's a Bigfoot currently for sale in OR:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...gon-70858.html

Here's a Oliver currently for sale in NV:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ale-70864.html

Both are extremely rare, so if this is what you're after, you'd better jump on it!

For a reality check on the use of an ordinary, garden variety fiberglass egg in winter climates, you might want to read this blog: https://8legsandatrailer.wordpress.com
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:55 PM   #6
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Jon- thanks. A recurrent fantasy of mine should I actually own a nice light and cozy FG trailer is its possible use as a winter cabin/ portable ski hut, for extended stays near mountain ski areas. Know anyone who has lived this dream?

Neil H
I rented a chalet at Blue Mountain years ago and there was a guy in an Airstream parked next door. He was doing what you are proposing.

You might look into the dual axle Bigfoots. They might be good for winter climates???
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:18 PM   #7
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Somehow I don't think that those listed are in the budget the op was considering...
There are earlier 17 ft BigFoots, but the 4 season units didn't come out until some time later and, as mentioned, they are heavy and very expensive. BTW: The 13' Lil Bigfoot is no better a choice for wintering in than any other 13' Egg.


And I think that "Light & Cozy", "Small", "Easily Towable" and not expensive pretty much rules out anything with two axles.


Why don't you put up a maximum towable weight and a budget figure, and we will see if there is anything that might fit at least your warm weather needs.



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Old 08-10-2015, 09:59 AM   #8
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Hi Bob,
I am in my early phases of a search for a little vacation hut on wheels. Early, as in choice of materials. It seems favored choices are aluminum or aluminum clad stick trailer (less so) or, recently, fiberglass, being from Minnesota in the land of Scamp.

Fiberglass as a material seems good in that it is durable, potentially water tight, light and moldable to the whim of the designer. A question I have is to the durability issue with time. Questions arise- Does it like plastic become brittle with time and exposure to UV, and if so is paint part of the preservation scheme. That is to say, does fiberglass deteriorate with time and become subject to cracking, and if so are there ways to prevent same? The focus of my questioning is, will a good used trailer of many years hold up, or is it necessary to by a modern vintage to expect longevity?

Of course that being said, I don't know just how long I will hold up either.

You may or may not have opinions about this but I wouldn't be surprised that you do. At any rate, thanks in advance.

Neil H.
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:24 AM   #9
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Molded Fiberglass construction results in the least maintenance requirements as well as the longest life expectancy in RV's.


My own 43 Y.O. Hunter Compact-II is testimony to that. When I got it a few years back it hadn't been used in 10 years, was stored outside in the S.F. Bay area, but needed only minor repairs to the coachwork and a repaint was only done due to the original color choices not being to my then s.o.'s liking.


Here is a link to photo's of the Hunter and several other FGRV's I have redone over the years. They range from 12 to 38 years old and none of them had any failure's in the molded fiberglass shell, and only cosmetic water leak damage was found.


Feel free to browse the other albums shown,:
Hunter Compact II by Robert Miller | Photobucket


Hunter Compact II by Robert Miller | Photobucket



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Old 08-10-2015, 11:17 AM   #10
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And I think that "Light & Cozy", "Small", "Easily Towable" and not expensive pretty much rules out anything with two axles.
Not really. We have that exact trailer parked in the driveway. Too bad it's aluminum and not glass.
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:19 PM   #11
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I think, at least on an FGRV site, that it is either warped sense of humor, or a very inside Airstreamer's joke, to even suggest that a dual axle Airstream is anything close to being light, small or not expensive. And cozy would only be in the eye of the beholder.


Let's stick with Molded Fiberglass, that's what the op was asking about.



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Old 08-10-2015, 03:17 PM   #12
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I think, at least on an FGRV site, that it is either warped sense of humor, or a very inside Airstreamer's joke, to even suggest that a dual axle Airstream is anything close to being light, small or not expensive. And cozy would only be in the eye of the beholder.


Let's stick with Molded Fiberglass, that's what the op was asking about.
I once went to a church that proudly was not exclusionary, it was inclusionary.

There was no requirement to believe church tenets, except to be a good person. I was overwhelmed by the thought and thoroughly enjoyed leadership that spoke every Sunday about truth, goodness and beauty, helping me to grow as a person.

I have no fear of people describing another brand or style of trailer. If no one's interested it will disappear of it's own accord. Personally I think fiberglass owners are interested in Airstreams, they are certainly related in shape and spirit.

Because Airstreams are not fiberglass does not make them irrelevant to all of us. Wayne's trailer is no bigger than the Bigfoot going on the NL Caravan and probably no heavier and I know Wayne's tow vehicle gets better mileage.

There is something to learn from everyone if you listen.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:34 PM   #13
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I think, at least on an FGRV site, that it is either warped sense of humor, or a very inside Airstreamer's joke, to even suggest that a dual axle Airstream is anything close to being light, small or not expensive. And cozy would only be in the eye of the beholder.


Let's stick with Molded Fiberglass, that's what the op was asking about.
My apologies BoB, I thought the OP mentioned aluminum and from our towing experience I thought our 23' was light, small, and cozy.
PS... The 23's are a 3,000lb single axle trailer but ours has the extra axle option.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:46 PM   #14
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I might have been a lot different if what he had described was small, light and inexpensive, but it wasn't. That was the point. And Yes, there are FGRV's larger than some Airstreams, but the OP wasn't looking for a large trailer, or an expensive one either, he was looking for a small, lightweight & inexpensive trailer.


And... in as much as this isn't the First Church of the Molded Fiberglass RV, I think that repeated spiritual references are as inappropriate here as are political comments. Otherwise that will open the door to those with other, equally valid, but very different beliefs and opinions. You post could have well started with the third paragraph and delivered the same message.


Remember, Freedom OF is the same as Freedom FROM.....



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Old 08-10-2015, 04:12 PM   #15
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Lightweight Airstream???

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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
My apologies BoB, I thought the OP mentioned aluminum and from our towing experience I thought our 23' was light, small, and cozy.
PS... The 23's are a 3,000lb single axle trailer but ours has the extra axle option.
I don't seem to be able to find any 23' Airstream's on this Airstream.com document that weight anywhere close to 3000 lbs. Will you please point to one for us? Looks like some 23" Safari's weigh closer to 4500 lbs. And these are dry weights.

Don't forget, we full timed in an Airstream for a year back when Hector was a Pup & I have owned two of them.

http://www.airstream.com/wp-content/...me-Weights.pdf



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Old 08-10-2015, 04:57 PM   #16
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I don't seem to be able to find any 23' Airstream's on this Airstream.com document that weight anywhere close to 3000 lbs.
I hear ya BoB. Sometimes the net is not much help.

You'll need to find someone with an early 70's single axle 23 and get the numbers there. Some get even lighter than 3,000lbs because those 70's generation Suburban furnaces developed cracks, bacame a safety hazard and were removed from the trailers. Also once the shag carpets were ripped out it really lightened the load even more.

You can see there is not a lot of weight to those things....

https://www.myvan.com/wp-content/upl...rstream_03.jpg
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:02 PM   #17
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Actually I can see that there is a LOT of weight to those things. I asked you to pick one out for a reason, so I wouldn't get the wrong one. The single axle 1971, 23' Safari is 3530 lbs and the 1979 dual axle 23' Safari is 3905 lbs. neither of which are light weight or anywhere near 3000 lbs.


I have owned Airstreams. And contrary to other comments, I highly doubt if there are many closet Airstream wannabees hereabouts.



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Old 08-10-2015, 06:39 PM   #18
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Escape also offers trailers with Thermal Windows & Extra Insulation as an option and some folks do use them in the winter months for ski trips etc but Escape actually suggest they are mainly a comfortable 3 season trailer. Escape btw is a pretty popular FG trailer and they do make a couple under 20' in size - a 17' and a 19'.

While the Bigfoot and Oliver are VERY nice trailers the cheque you will write for them is going to be large. Escape on the other hand also offers a nice trailer with lots of standard features that other manufactures list as extra costs and with the current exchange rate you will find it is very competitively priced.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:01 PM   #19
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Here to learn. Airstreams seem to be every Real Man's dream on wheels. A little airframe on the road. Still all valid, however maybe not necessary to spend mucho dinero to be well- slept, well- fed and well- towed by modest vehicle headed for a little adventure. FG may fit the bill and by the sound of things, last for long too.

That being said, I am a little unsure about the "rat fur" or carpet lining the interior, as I have seen. I think I prefer a harder surface, easier to keep clean perhaps. Must be other options. I wonder what people have done in other ways to line the interior of their little castle, vs getting used to it and being fine with it. Perhaps I am being fussy...
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:42 PM   #20
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Neil,

WE have a 1991 Scamp 16. We don't know how much the previous owners used it but we've travel about 7.5 months a year. The trailer is now 24 years old and the Marine Fabric looks great. We've owned it about 5 years. We have spent as many as 310 consecutive days in the Scamp, we cook bacon and eggs virtually every day.

Yet the fabric looks great. I actually find the 'fur' designation distasteful for something that works so well.

We have used a Casita for a year. The carpet was fine though for the same size rig I prefer the Scamp. The aisle is wider, the trailer is taller and it feels more spacious because of the front window. I've had numerous Casita owners come in and say "boy this is bigger than my Casita". They were sure Scamp was longer than 16'.
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