Searching for mine!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-24-2019, 07:53 PM   #1
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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Searching for mine!!

Hi folks. Up here in BC and looking for my Boler (or something similar). I am a GMC motorhome owner and love it. But the price of gas and maintenance is a bit more than the pensions can handle. So she is on the market and I am searching for my Boler/Scamp etc. Used to staying in a relatively small space ~20 x 8 feet, so I dont expect a trailer will feel too confining. But I insist on a loo with a door, so I am definitely looking for the 17í Boler.

Driving an early 2000ís Toyota Highlander V6 so I have reasonable towing capacity, but canít go crazy!

So I am here for the advice and support during my search and once I find her and bring her home.
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:26 AM   #2
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Welcome, Deb! Best wishes in your search!

I agree a smaller molded trailer, towable by a practical everyday vehicle, has a very low overall cost of ownership. Donít overlook 16í Scamps in your search. Size and weight-wise, theyíre a great fit for an older Highlander. Small main bed is the main drawback.

Iím a fan of the GMC motorhomes. Love the shape and low stance. Agree motorhomes, especially vintage ones, are ongoing projects requiring a continual infusion of cash and time. I hope you find a buyer with plenty of both who will give yours the love it needs!
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:53 AM   #3
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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Thanks Jon. Iíve seen the Scamp and itís definitely on my list to consider. Also a Bigfoot or Trillium. My GMC is in great condition. Itís just the price of gas in a 9 mpg coach keeps me from really being able to do much travelling. Shame because I really do love it. So, itís time. And if I am going to move into a trailer itís going to be one with character and personality. . The Fibreglass clan of trailers fit the bill perfectly.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:25 AM   #4
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Hi, I have a 1978 T4500 and it does not have a bathroom and I find it difficult to fit in unless your remove the front bunk and install it there or find one with it already in. I don't know how much modification you are able to do yourself, since that can cost you quite a bit if you need the customization done. I tried finding an older Award that had those comfort areas, but they tend to be rare if in good condition. Usually those RV's trailers are built in Europe and can be quite expensive. There are several RV dealers that deal with those smaller RV's in southern Ontario and you might try those. I know of one that had a fleet of them last year and they sold very quickly.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:05 PM   #5
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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I see the 16' Bolers and 17' Trilliums with the bathroom, same with the Scamp - that's why I'm going that route. I'm Old - need a bathroom run in the middle of the night! Looking at the Bigfoot too, but they seem to run heavier and might be beyond the capacity of my Highlander (which is 3500 lb).

I spend most of my time outside - in the chair, BBQing, chatting, so a huge amount of living space isn't necessary - but I need more than the 13' would offer - especially when you get the iffy spring and fall weather, 2 small dogs and sometimes a travelling buddy. 13' sounds like plenty... until you factor in that 3' of that is the tongue!! (I didn't know that at first - newbie to trailering here) so 16'-17' is first on my list of search criteria
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:20 PM   #6
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Don't forget about a Casita 16' deluxe models come with a bathroom/shower. The 17' are taller but are heavier than the 16'. Not too many of them up here in Canada but they do show up once in a while. I think you would be border line towing the 17' but the 16 would be fine.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:29 PM   #7
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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Thanks Dudley. I think you're right about the 17' being a bit of a squeaker, but if I can check one out and get a real world weight on one, it might be on the list. I was really only considering a 16 footer to be realistic. Mostly need a bit of living space and a toilet with a door!!! Could almost live without much in the way of cooking facilities (mostly BBQ anyway), don't need an oven (would likely pull it and create more storage). But a loo is non-negotiable.

I've seen the Casita's and keeping an eye on them as well. I'm not necessarily looking buy right this moment, but if the right one came up (an offer I couldn't refuse!) I could spring for it. I still have the GMC and it will need to be driven. But cheaper to insure it and run it to town and back once a month to keep her happy, and use the trailer.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:51 PM   #8
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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we started with a casita 16 deluxe.... biggest problem was the water and grey holding tanks are just too small. 2nd biggest problem was the rear crosswise bed wasn't big enough fro both of us, although it was ok for when I went solo.

the 16's fridge is also dinky.

both the casita 16 and 17 have a 3500 lb GWR (max weight), the 16 is lighter without any extra gear added.

we upgraded to a 21' Escape and are totally happy but its too much trailer for your Highlander. We sold our Tacoma and upgraded to an F250 which is overkill by a lot, but has tons of room for cargo.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:54 PM   #9
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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Why not include Escape in your search?
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Old 12-25-2019, 06:00 PM   #10
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb Mac View Post
Thanks Jon. I’ve seen the Scamp and it’s definitely on my list to consider. Also a Bigfoot or Trillium. My GMC is in great condition. It’s just the price of gas in a 9 mpg coach keeps me from really being able to do much travelling. Shame because I really do love it. So, it’s time. And if I am going to move into a trailer it’s going to be one with character and personality. . The Fibreglass clan of trailers fit the bill perfectly.
Depending on your tow vehicle, your mileage should be better, but not as dramatic as you might think. Since you are in BC, your best savings on fuel is to cross the border and enjoy the much cheaper gas in the USA. Camping can be expensive, but WA State and others nearby have some wonderful state parks that are reasonably priced.

A somewhat larger FG camper, like the Boler 17, could push gas mileage down, down, down.

I have found that the closer the TV rating is to the trailer's weight, the more the fuel economy drops. When I tow my Trillium 1300 with my F150 (total overkill), I find my fuel economy actually IMPROVES over the mileage I get when I am not towing. I think the reason is speed. When I am not towing, I tend to drive faster than when I am towing. 65MPH towing the Trillium gets better MPG than 75MPH with no trailer.

The new 2020 Highlander can be had with a 5,000 pound tow rating. This could be the year we replace my wife's car and the Highlander is on the "possibles" list.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:26 PM   #11
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If you find yourself in Edmonton, fire me off a message and you can have a look at my Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe. I will not be selling it anytime soon but if you want a tour, its in the back yard.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:56 PM   #12
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Why not include Escape in your search?
Thanks. Looking at all options Glenn! Looks like the Highlander will be coming home with me in a couple of days. Will make the search much easier - if I do end up finding and buying "the one", I will have a way to get her home!
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:16 PM   #13
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Depending on your tow vehicle, your mileage should be better, but not as dramatic as you might think. Since you are in BC, your best savings on fuel is to cross the border and enjoy the much cheaper gas in the USA. Camping can be expensive, but WA State and others nearby have some wonderful state parks that are reasonably priced.

A somewhat larger FG camper, like the Boler 17, could push gas mileage down, down, down.

I have found that the closer the TV rating is to the trailer's weight, the more the fuel economy drops. When I tow my Trillium 1300 with my F150 (total overkill), I find my fuel economy actually IMPROVES over the mileage I get when I am not towing. I think the reason is speed. When I am not towing, I tend to drive faster than when I am towing. 65MPH towing the Trillium gets better MPG than 75MPH with no trailer.

The new 2020 Highlander can be had with a 5,000 pound tow rating. This could be the year we replace my wife's car and the Highlander is on the "possibles" list.
Hi thrifty. Would love to get into a new Highlander!!! But can't do it. I am forced to acquire one with "experience". The one I am looking at (and probably bringing home) is the Limited, with the 3.2L V6, complete with factory tow package, so I know it wasn't an add-on aftermarket set-up, so it should be OK. Thanks for the info on trailer weight/tow capacity/gas mileage. That is good to know. I can keep that in mind when i am searching and pay closer attention to trailer weight, not just whether it is within my limits.

I realize that I won't get terrific gas milage, but that 9-10 mpg in the coach is over NORMAL driving terrain! I don't even take mountain driving into my consideration with the coach, would be too depressing! I figure I should be able to do close to 18-20 mpg on normal terrain and something that I may actually not be afraid to calculate through the mountains. Between gas and maintenance savings, tires every 5 years, it should be a good move. And I may actually get to do what I originally purchased my coach for.

My first trip in the coach was all the way back to Ontario, and I did a good 1/2 - 2/3 of it through the US, precisely for the price of gas. I will always do as much of my cross-country jaunts that way. Plus I have made a few friends from the GMC group that I like to touch base with along the way in Ohio and Michigan. They won't mind that i have had to give up the coach. They'll still talk to me

Now to find the right trailer.
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:19 PM   #14
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Name: Deb
Trailer: 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe en route!
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
If you find yourself in Edmonton, fire me off a message and you can have a look at my Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe. I will not be selling it anytime soon but if you want a tour, its in the back yard.
Will do Dudley. I might be heading up that way later in the summer in the coach, if I'm not 'trailered' by that time. Definitely let you know if we're coming & look you up. It's always nice to get a first hand look at these - same when I bought the coach. Had to drive 5 hours to visit someone that had one so i could actually stand inside and see how it felt.
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:21 PM   #15
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Name: bill
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"I figure I should be able to do close to 18-20 mpg on normal terrain and something that I may actually not be afraid to calculate through the mountains."

I think your fuel economy expectation is very unrealistic. The 2016 Highlander with a V6 is rated at either 20MPG or 21 MPG (AWD versus 2WD (not sure what year Highlander you have or are considering).


Towing a Boler 17 you should not expect such a small drop in MPG.

Now avoiding the maintenance of your vintage GM MH, no doubt you will benefit from that. But its hard to pay for a vehicle based on fuel economy.
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:59 PM   #16
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Towing my 17B Escape with a 2008 Toyota RAV4, I get 15 MPG US. ( it uses 15 litres / 100 kilometres ). It has a 269 HP V6 engine.
I'm usually going up and down mountains.

On the freeway, with no tow and no slopes, it uses 10 litres / 100 kilometres. ( 23 MPG US ).
Around town, fuel economy is closer to my towing mileage than no tow freeway mileage. ( kilometreage? ).
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:45 PM   #17
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Name: Evelyn
Trailer: Formerly 1988 Bigfoot B17-DLX; will be shopping for a 13-footer eventually.
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3.7L towing vehicle

Deb, for what it's worth, I have a 1988 17ft Bigfoot that I pull with my 1995 4.0L Jeep Grand Cherokee (currently 275,000+ miles). Most of the time, my Jeep has no idea there's a 17-ft trailer being pulled behind, except for those gradual inclines that go on for miles.

You may want to consider that over time (or maybe right away!), you'll find yourself adding more weight, what with all the goo-gaws and other amenities you may want to bring along to make it more "you." Even a seemingly insignificant item can make a difference when multiplied by 10 or even 5.

I'm a die-hard Bigfoot fan, so you should expect a heavy dose of prejudice, but the 8-foot width and 6-foot tall interior is a real selling point. AND, my Bigfoot has a bathroom door, lol!

You've found the right platform for advice. Folks on this forum have lots of valuable insight and experience, and so far I've not been steered wrong.

The very best of luck finding your FG trailer and making memories!
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Old 12-27-2019, 06:43 AM   #18
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I would love to make the jump to a GMC motorhome. I just missed a gutted one for sale local to me. Have you sold yours yet?
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:15 AM   #19
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Just remember that most trailer tow weights are calculated by the vehicle manufacturer based on weight, since that is the only thing they have to use. Unfortunately, trailer tow ability is affected by the weight of tow vehicle and its contents as well as the trailer weight. The other items that need to be considered by the owner are the trailer size, the normal cruising speed and the terrain that will be travelled. The biggest affect is the trailer frontal area and any added mirrors or other items that affect wind resistance (like roof racks). I try to use a van for tow vehicle because I can store most items in there instead of the trailer, and it has the biggest aerodynamic advantage for the trailer.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:44 AM   #20
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Searching for mine!!

Iíll have to agree that a 3500# tow rating makes a 17íer very marginal. A Casita will exceed your 350# tongue weight rating, and a Bigfoot has a large and relatively un-aerodynamic profile (one of those non-weight factors Jokra mentions that must be considered).

On top of that, the vehicle is 20 years old. Even if in good condition and well-maintained, the drivetrain has a lot of wear on it.

A 15-16í trailer would be a better choice with your Highlander, IMO. A Scamp bath model typically comes in around 2500# loaded. I would expect 14-17mpg depending on speed, terrain, wind, and other variables.

It sounds like you may be exploring other tow vehicle options. A Honda Pilot might be worth considering. The 2nd generation (2009-2014) comes with a hitch receiver and full tow wiring standard. 4WD models are rated to tow 5000# (2WD is 3500# or 2000# depending on year). Similar fuel mileage to a Highlander, though itís a bit bigger. We bought our used 2011 for about $2500 less than a comparable used Highlander, and no extra towing set-up cost.
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