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Old 01-21-2015, 05:59 AM   #21
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Too Small

Good day Ian. When I was a kid the family traveled a lot. Mostly using 13 to 17' trailers. Too small from my experience!!!
With two younger children and your tow vehicle I would be looking at something larger plus the kids are not going to get smaller.

Towing will even be better if you get up to a dual axle trailer. With the 4 of you everything will be better/more comfortable. A toilet, hot water etc are all things that make life easier out on the road. I understand folks like you spend most of the time outdoors but on those days when it's raining all day and you are in the trailer, space is your friend.

In the end, generally speaking, you will not pay much more for a larger unit.

PS.... Would luv to see you in a glass trailer but generally speaking out door types like you end up with a pop up or hybrid trailer. More space, more ammenities, and with the canvas ends you get the outdoor ambiance which we found is missing with a hard shell trailer.

Things to consider.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:38 AM   #22
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As the majority of FGRV's on this site are single axle, those owners will confirm that single axle trailers pull just fine. While double axles have some stability advantages, you will also have a much larger & heavier trailer to pull, with it's own sets of advantages and disadvantages.


The oft quoted "Rain Scare" mentioned essentially means to have a larger trailer 100% of the time for the 5% of the time that it might rain. It's sorta like telling tenters to have a motel room reservation available in case it rains. An occasional bit of rain, and the opportunity for family bonding, is just part of the experience. Last year a huge wind and rain storm blew through Joshua Tree NP and my son and his wife moved into our Hunter for the night and we are till laughing about the experience. (4 adults in a Hunter?)


And pop-up tent trailers do have their own advantages, disadvantages and followers. Thanks to my son and his wife, I have both in my driveway and can appreciate both.


it sounds to me like you are on the right track, don't get derailed by comments from the "Bigger is Better" crowd. It may be for some, but not for everyone, especially on this site.



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Old 01-21-2015, 10:19 AM   #23
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Something that came to mind, don't be afraid to negotiate even if the ad doesn't say OBO. All they can say is no.
Also, how far are you willing to travel to buy, and how antsy are you about buying?
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #24
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Something that came to mind, don't be afraid to negotiate even if the ad doesn't say OBO. All they can say is no.
Also, how far are you willing to travel to buy, and how antsy are you about buying?
Thanks again for all the input. I'm willing to drive a fair distance (8-12 hours?) if the right thing comes up (and have family in Spokane area and Phoenix who could look at a trailer for me and possibly even pick up and hold it until I can come get it.)

We'd love to have a trailer in the next month or two so we can do a trip in April.

I am resigned to the fact that a small trailer has it's limits, but I'm willing to try it out and see how we like it. I think that for the most part, it would be used for sleeping, and much cooking would still be outside.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:15 PM   #25
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As the majority of FGRV's on this site are single axle, those owners will confirm that single axle trailers pull just fine.
So true Bob.

Years ago my dad had a small RV sales business. Over a time he had towed 40 or 50 different small single axle trailers. On the larger ones around 1,500 to 2,500 lbs he used a WDH.
Later on he bought his 1st dual axle TT, a 20' Golden Falcon. After picking it up he pulled into the driveway and he said to me. "That is the nicest towing trailer I have ever towed."
Note..... it was also the heaviest. Tow Vehicle was a 1972 Ford LTD.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #26
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Maybe that tells you more about towing the earlier trailers, with automobile style bias ply tires than about how todays single axle trailers tow.


Geometry will tell you that, all things being equal, that two axles will track better than one. But the price one has to pay in size and weight to have that advantage can become it's own disadvantage.



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Old 01-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #27
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Tips for the New Owner-to-Be

(Clip) "We'd love to have a trailer in the next month or two so we can do a trip in April."

Horror stories abound about those that bought a used trailer ( and even a few new ones) and set out on a long first trip. Here's my suggestions for the first 2 trips, then feel free to wander....

1) Driveway Camping. Set up in the driveway exactly as you are going to use it and spend a night, including at least two meals, without getting anything from the house. If you know that you will be in campgrounds/places without hook-ups, disconnect from the power grid as well. Review the experience and make adjustments.

2) Take a weekend trip with two nights out, but within an hour of home. Repeat as above.

You will quickly find what you need and don't need, what works and what doesn't and fixs will be a lot easier to accomplish.

And just buying used (as I did for about 10 of 11 RV's I have bought) will generate it's own list of tasks to check out and repair. If you find yourself about to set out on more than a 1 hour trip to tow your new baby home, be sure to punch in here for tips and warnings about inspecting and that 1st trip home.

FWIW: April is mighty close.....



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Old 01-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #28
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Also, twice the brakes, bearings and tires to maintain/replace.
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:45 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
(Clip) "We'd love to have a trailer in the next month or two so we can do a trip in April."

Horror stories abound about those that bought a used trailer ( and even a few new ones) and set out on a long first trip. Here's my suggestions for the first 2 trips, then feel free to wander....

1) Driveway Camping. Set up in the driveway exactly as you are going to use it and spend a night, including at least two meals, without getting anything from the house. If you know that you will be in campgrounds/places without hook-ups, disconnect from the power grid as well. Review the experience and make adjustments.

2) Take a weekend trip with two nights out, but within an hour of home. Repeat as above.

You will quickly find what you need and don't need, what works and what doesn't and fixs will be a lot easier to accomplish.

And just buying used (as I did for about 10 of 11 RV's I have bought) will generate it's own list of tasks to check out and repair. If you find yourself about to set out on more than a 1 hour trip to tow your new baby home, be sure to punch in here for tips and warnings about inspecting and that 1st trip home.

FWIW: April is mighty close.....
Thanks, Bob! Good advice. We've got lots of great places to camp close by here (including some really great parks within about 20 miles.) Our driveway is pretty nice as well
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:48 PM   #30
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One other question - we're looking at fiberglass trailers specifically because

1: I perceive the shells to be more durable and easy to repair than most aluminum skin trailers.
2: I like the aesthetic some of the more "egg shaped" models.

That said, if I could find a small (under 20') aluminum trailer that was well made, I may be just as happy. I'm wondering if folks here could weigh in on the durability, waterproofness and repairability of fiberglass vs aluminum, and if there's any specific aluminum body trailers worth considering.

Cheers
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Old 01-21-2015, 03:10 PM   #31
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In a word.... Nope....
First, most of what we call "Sticky's" or "Stick Built" trailers have some sort of fiberglass sheeting for an outside skin, rather than aluminum, for a number of years. Other than the obvious, such as Airstream, aluminum skins are long gone, even when it looks like there are ribbed sides.


But, it's not the surfaces that leak on sticky's, it's the edges and, when they do, the water works it's way down into the walls and damages the internal structure of the RV and often isn't seen until the patient is terminal. In an FGRV you may also get leaks around windows and roof openings, but the resultant damage is seldom enough to have to do structural repairs.


I have seen sticky motorhomes and trailers that have been in great condition after 20 years use, but very, very few, and we don't get than much inclement weather here in SoCal. I have also seen a few that were no more than a pile of salvageable parts after as little as 8 years of "Deferred Maintenance" on the owners part.


Sticky's depreciate heavily for good reasons, there are a lot of them on the market, and a lot of buyers find out that they bought something they really didn't want/use/need. As a result a lot of them seem to sit in driveways and yards without any maintenance for a number of years and, when the owner suddenly spots that leak it's time to sell.


FGRV's on the other hand can almost be submerged and still be recovered. As a result the small supply and large demand keeps the prices up.


BUT... if you go to a site such as irv2.com, a sticky based site, you will mostly get the rave reviews about how wonderful all of the newer ones are, simply because "Older" isn't in their vocabulary LOL...


My 1973 Hunter and a 1978 molded fiberglass Toyota Sunrader mini-motorhome I restored are both testimony to the longevity of molded fiberglass construction. Here's my Photobucket library of my recent projects, feel free to snoop around:
Robert Miller's (advocateone) Library | Photobucket



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Old 01-21-2015, 04:23 PM   #32
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Bob is right with his thoughts. The stickies are hit and miss when it comes to longevity. The molded fiberglass and as he said the Airstream, Avion, Travelux, etc lines of aluminum trailers are the ones to consider when looking at long term ownership.

Airstreams for example have been built since the 30's and over 80% of them are still around today. I would guess the fiberglass trailers have the same high statistics.

One of the big disadvantage of stickies is the roof. They have one, they have a limited life span, and then the leaks begin.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:09 PM   #33
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Aluminum skinned trailers... I suppose you could buy a cargo trailer and build the interior yourself.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:20 PM   #34
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Aluminum skinned trailers... I suppose you could buy a cargo trailer and build the interior yourself.
That's not as far-fetched as you might think. There was a fellow at the Cherokee rally that did just that.
He added a bathroom in the v-shaped nose and had the manufacturer add the side door and windows.
The galley is a table and he ran power to a strip for plug-ins. And, had rigged it for running water.
This was their first trip with it, so they are still working things out.
They have made it so that they can remove the beds and still use it as a utility trailer.
IIRC he said he had about $1700 invested in it.
I really liked the icon he had applied to one of the front panels.
Attached Thumbnails
util mod 4.jpg   util mod 2.jpg  

util mod 3a.jpg   util mod 1.jpg  

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Old 01-21-2015, 11:01 PM   #35
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What can I say, you're within spitting distance of one of the best all-molded towable trailer manufacturers. You won't find too many used Escapes, but you may find it worth the wait.

Mine isn't for sale!
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:02 PM   #36
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How about this one?
2005 Scamp RV Trailer 13'
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:16 PM   #37
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Bob is right with his thoughts. The stickies are hit and miss when it comes to longevity. The molded fiberglass and as he said the Airstream, Avion, Travelux, etc lines of aluminum trailers are the ones to consider when looking at long term ownership.

Airstreams for example have been built since the 30's and over 80% of them are still around today. I would guess the fiberglass trailers have the same high statistics.

One of the big disadvantage of stickies is the roof. They have one, they have a limited life span, and then the leaks begin.
My short list of considerations are:

1. Fiberglass trailer
2. Riveted aluminum (airstream, Avion, etc.)
3. Old (60's) "stickie" trailer. While these still probably aren't as durable as the above, it seems like some of these were relatively well made? Of course, at that age, the frame, floor and suspension are likely to have issues...
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:23 PM   #38
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You are an all molded towable forum... you expect us to support Airsteam or classics? Just check out Facebook. Some of those classics, they are truly rebuilding from the frame up.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:12 AM   #39
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Thinking about your alternatives, Ian...

In your price range, a small "canned ham" is likely to be painted and patched up, not rehabbed from the frame up. It'll need continuous attention to the roof and seams, may have hidden structural problems, and will depreciate over time. I haven't seen many that can truly sleep four, either, and the bunks I've seen are tiny and way up next to the ceiling.

The only Airstreams under $5K will be the bigger ones from the 70's and 80's and will likely need extensive repairs. Small ones, even projects, are much harder to find and command premium prices.

With your budget, and with patience coupled with quick and decisive action, you should be able to find an older but camp-ready molded fiberglass trailer (13' for sure, larger if you get lucky). With modest repairs and cosmetic updates, it will hold its value, and maybe even appreciate, over time.

Okay... I am biased. It can't hurt to keep your options open as you look, but I will say this: my Scamp is the only piece of recreational equipment I have ever owned that is worth more now than when I bought it. And I spend more time enjoying it than working on it.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:50 AM   #40
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There was a nice looking 1978 (?) 13' posted yesterday for $4000, but it's been 24 hours and it may well be sold by now.... At that price point they just don't last.



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