Newbie with questions...thanks! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-11-2019, 07:29 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Ron
Trailer: Currently shopping
Posts: 2
Question Newbie with questions...thanks!


Considering purchasing a travel trailer to make camping with my wife, 3 kids, and dogs easier.

I really want it to be cozy and light. (Live in Montana, but spend most of our camping time outside.) Also, we drive on some rough forest service roads to get to our camp spots. The features we care about are:
-sleep 5
-at least 2 burner stove
-also, a toilet would be nice, but not required.

Looking at the specs, something like a Scamp 16 layout 7 can sleep 5, but I haven't heard great things about druability--a few questions:

1. Have I heard wrong on Scamp (and general fiberglass) durability, particularly with heavy usage on bumpy roads?

2. Any other fiberglass models that sleep 5 people cozily?

3. Can anyone point me to existing threads for people who've converted a fiberglass shell to something that can sleep 5?

Thank you!!

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Old 05-11-2019, 08:06 AM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,775
In the world of RV trailers, try finding 40 year old survivors of the traditionally built stuff. Then look for the same thing with molded FG. You are going to find many, many examples. Heck, my Trillium is 42 years old. And that is not unusual.

Sleep five? Thats a challenge. Typically family campers have one or more of the kids outside in a tent. And realize to get more beds you get less of everything else. No places to sit (unless you take up the beds every morning), no bathroom, etc. Sometimes people pull the trailer with a large van, then put sleeping quarters in the van for kids.

A 17 foot Casita Spirit standard (no bath) with front bunks and side dinette would sleep five as well.

RVs are not made expedition ready, except for some rare, and VERY expensive versions. Whether its a FG trailer or something else, they are not built for jeep trails.

Saw one of these in Alaska, you can take it anywhere. Cost? Its way over my budget.

Where have you "heard" Scamp has durability issues? I'd like to see the source.

Ground clearance and relatively wimpy frames hold back most FG trailers. Scamp is built with rivets, so those might be challenged by rough terrain too.

There are a variety of threads out there with people using their Scamps and others on FS roads. Some look to be lifted.

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Old 05-11-2019, 09:01 AM   #3
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Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 159
Exclamation Caveat Emptor

Your requirements (particularly forest service roads) will not be met by a production trailer since they are nearly all built to a price point, not for function. They all find it a challenge to survive paved highways and are not suitable for boondocking. A possible solution is to fit the trailer with suitable accommodation with a boondocking frame like this man did:
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:10 AM   #4
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Kai in Seattle's Avatar
Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
Posts: 2,567
I highly recommend a camping van towing a trailer, both with heavy shocks/lifts and heavy duty tires etc. Or do like Rutger Hauer...

modify a big semi truck & trailer...Nah, too big for FS roads.

Seriously...give the kids a big stick, teach them they're edible, and let them enjoy sleeping in a van and/or tents.

Learn to use a dry porta-potty/use a privacy pop-up shelter to put it in at night if you cannot get the toilet system that suits. Take a folding shovel and learn to be like a cat--bury it in the AM.

I admire your ambition. I bet you'll work out a good solution! Do let us know what you decide--with pics if possible!

Semper ubi sub ubi.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:55 PM   #5
Junior Member
Name: Ron
Trailer: Currently shopping
Posts: 2
Thumbs up Thank you and followup

Thank you to all!

Pretty sure my wife will want me to be the bear bait, so I'd be the one in the tent. We've had a VW Vanagon Westfalia Weekender, but now the kids have outgrown it. Have no problem with a sani-potty (or similar).

As I see it, the camper can (1) make it easier to go camping (keep it clean and mostly loaded, then only need to load food and hook up to leave) and (2) extend our season a bit (tents are cold in Montana May/October).

For the Scamp, I have a friend who has one, and he was disappointed when a bunch of internal screws backed out after a not too bumpy, but long (maybe 20 mile) gravel road to an established FS campsite--is this NOT the norm? (I think a 16' Scamp layout 7 would be perfect for us.)

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Old 05-11-2019, 09:57 PM   #6
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David B.'s Avatar
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 2,179
Ron, I find that each time a screw backed out, I just added lock tite to the threads and never4 had anymore problems with that one again.
Best of luck with your search
Dave & Paula

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