Newbie - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2020, 06:54 PM   #1
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Name: Mark
Trailer: shopping
Leola
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Greetings from Mark in Lancaster, PA. I am about a year away from retirement and have been researching travel trailers and tow vehicles for several months. I have owned various popups over the years to attend lots of music festivals. I am looking for a fiberglass trailer so my wife and I can travel and visit the states and Canada. I have been very intrigued with the quality of fiberglass trailers, which is why I joined the forum. At the moment I am interested in a Bigfoot 25b25rt, Oliver Elite II, or Escape 21, or maybe the larger Escape that I have heard is in the planning stages. I have yet to see any of these trailers, but I am hoping to see them all in the coming months before I make a decision. I will wait on a tow vehicle until after I choose my trailer. Ideally I would prefer to purchase a used trailer, but due to my location they seem to be few available and many states away. If I have to purchase new I would wait until the spring of 2021.

I am open to all sorts of advice and wisdom from the group, and feel free to start with the basics.

I am very excited to make some new friends!
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:36 PM   #2
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Name: Alan & Barb
Trailer: Bigfoot 25RQ
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Welcome and good choice to seek fiberglass.

Good plan on waiting for the trailer to choose a tug. Whatever you choose, don’t minimize. Allow enough capacity so you’re safe and comfortable.

We tow our BF25RQ with a 2500HD Duramax. We can load with all the toys and still pass anyone we need to going up the mountain passes.

Be ready to pounce if you see something you like. Opportunities do happen for those prepared.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:12 PM   #3
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Name: Mark
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Leola
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Thanks for your insight on your tow vehicle. I was hoping to find a big SUV to tow a new trailer, as I would need to bust out my back wall in the third bay of my garage to fit a 3/4 or 1 ton pick up.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:15 AM   #4
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The BIgfoot 25í is a bit of a tipping point. A few 1/2T trucks can handle it, but it is more commonly towed with a 3/4T. That also rules out most SUVs. Payload is the limiting factor. Truck size depends on cab configuration and bed length. A HD truck is not necessarily longer, but it can be.

The others on your list are doable with a large SUV properly equipped.

Some vans are also available in 3/4T and 1T versions with substantial tow and payload ratings. Regular length vans pack a lot of utility in a relatively compact footprint. Of course you sacrifice the cushy interior and ride of a pickup or SUV.

How long is your garage?
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:07 AM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Escape 21 with an SUV? Many are doing it here with Highlanders. A bigger Escape, 25 foot Bigfoot, or Oliver Elite II, you are talking 3/4 ton truck there. Ford Excusion (not the Explorer) has a massive tow rating. The Excursion is BIG, overall length around a foot shorter than the F250 (some versions are within a few inches in length with the F250).

Some vans have terrific high payload ratings, but mediocre tow ratings. The one ton Ford Transit van is an example. Tow rating is much lower than an F150. Payload capacity is huge.

We ended up with an Escape 19, not because it was ideal, but because it was the biggest trailer I could fit in our storage area at home. Very, very tight. Short of tearing down our garage, this is as big as we can go. Well, we might fit an Escape Fifth wheel as it handles more compactly.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:08 PM   #6
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Name: Mark
Trailer: shopping
Leola
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Greetings!

I am not home at the moment, but I think my garage length is 222 inches. I actually bought an F150 in 2001, ordered it with everything I wanted, drove it home and it was 2 inches to long with the extended cab. Fortunately that dealership was adjacent to a Toyota dealership (same owner) and I bought an extended cab Tundra. I still have the Tundra and it is in great shape, only 175k miles. But a new tow vehicle is in order, as my engine is only 4.7L. I will sort out my trailer choice first. I have time on my hand. I already have plans drawn up to blow out the back wall of my 3rd garage bay. 15k for 8 ft addition. That is why I will wait on a tow vehicle until I decide on a trailer. I like the larger size of the Bigfoot 25ftRT by looking at YouTube videos. But I have yet to look at any fiberglass trailers. I will see an Oliver Elite II in the coming weeks. I have read good reviews on that trailer. I need to actually see and put my hands on the various trailers before I purchase.

There are very knowledgeable folks on the forum, and I am certain I will learn a lot by following the topics on this forum.

I appreciate you reaching out to me to share your wisdom.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:33 PM   #7
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Name: Alan & Barb
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I have seen people towing a Bigfoot 25 with a Tundra 5.7L on multi state trips but I personally wouldn’t. I like the extra margin of safety my 2500HD provides.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:46 PM   #8
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Like Deadheads said, you're gonna want a 3/4 ton diesel to pull an Oliver. It can be done with less, but you won't like it.
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:31 PM   #9
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Oliver Elite II
Boerne, Texas
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Like Deadheads said, you're gonna want a 3/4 ton diesel to pull an Oliver. It can be done with less, but you won't like it.
I donít disagree with my friend Steve. He has pulled his Ollie with a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton so he speaks from experience. Clearly his 3/4 ton diesel does a better job. We have towed our Oliver the last four years with a 1/2 ton with no issues. If you have a 1/2 ton donít shy away from an Elite II, youíll do fine. I highly recommend doing a factory tour in Hohenwald, TN if you can. Itís eye opening and educational. Mike
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:13 PM   #10
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Shopping
Ontario
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In May of 2019 I picked up my new Escape 21' 5th Wheel trailer. With extras it has a dry weight of 4350 lbs. I followed advice from Escape, and had a Andersen hitch installed in my 2016 Canyon (small 6 gas cylinder 6 speed with a stated max tow rating of 7000 lbs). We've put on over 7K towing last year ... the first 3K in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta ...I would enjoy faster pick up entering highways ... but it basically tows beautifully and I always drive the maximum speed when it's safe to do so.
For some reason it's not so perfect at backing up... but no divorce yet.
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Old 03-18-2020, 02:16 PM   #11
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Name: John
Trailer: Oliver Legacy Elite II
Hawaii
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Originally Posted by Mark Campbell View Post
Thanks for your insight on your tow vehicle. I was hoping to find a big SUV to tow a new trailer, as I would need to bust out my back wall in the third bay of my garage to fit a 3/4 or 1 ton pick up.
Mark:

We have an Oliver Elite II and loaded it is 6,000 pounds. We tow it with a 2019 Ford F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (FX4, Max Trailer Tow Package) that is rated for over 10000 pounds. This combination works great for both flat land and mountain towing. But for some of the larger trailers that have more front end surface area and length, a HD truck is generally recommended. As others have stated above, DO NOT skimp on your tow vehicle.

The Oliver Elite II is great for boondocking off paved roads, for use where roads are narrow or tree clearance is a concern, and for high speed travel out west as well. It is beautiful inside and out, but is not for owners that need or think they require pullouts and a more space. We love ours. But my Texas family likes large moving houses vs. the efficiency of the Oliver. Something that you need to think about.

You can make arrangements to see an Olive at their factory, or with an owner. Check their web site for who that may be closer than a few states away.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/tra...egacy-elite-2/

Geronimo John
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