Time for my Intro... - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
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Name: Rosemary
Trailer: In the market
Pennsylvania
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Time for my Intro...

Hello everyone,

My name is Rosemary and I live in eastern Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. I started RV'ing before the term was made popular. At three months old (in the early 50's), my dad and uncle built us a trailer out of an old bakery truck. Every summer we took it out to a state park and left it there for the entire season as you could do that in those days.

Since then, it has been all tent camping for me. But now, I am close to retirement and looking forward to touring North America in an RV of some type. I am more interested in the touring aspect than the camping aspect. My idea is to move the RV to a different spot every two-three weeks then use a car to explore the area before moving on to another area. I do understand that it is important to spend days relaxing as well as touring.

One of the factors in my decision of what type of vehicle(s) to choose for this is health. I started suffering from a hereditary arthritis condition when I was 37 y.o. It has taken a toll on my joints as one would expect. For that reason, I need something I can handle in terms of a vehicle that I can get into and out of without too much difficulty. So, I am thinking of an egg-style camper with an SUV towing it. I think most trucks would be too high for me to climb in and out. I like to do photography so I often pull over and hop out to take pix. Having a high clearance vehicle will cramp that style for me.

Anyway, my start date is still a year or two off. I will be following and, hopefully, participating in discussions here to learn more about this so that I am better prepared to make good choices when the time comes.

I've seen already that there are a few Rosemarys on this forum, so I will be signing off as:

Rosemary (Seamstress)

And, yes, I've been sewing since I was 11 y.o. I hope to be designing and sewing some great cushion covers and other items when my dream trip begins.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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Welcome Rosemary.

Would a minivan be convenient for you? They are lower than an SUV and tend to have large doors. They can also make great tow vehicles.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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Agree with Tom. They make very stable TV's for glass eggs and have high payload ratings and lots of room for gear. Many smallish SUV's work will work good too.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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Welcome Rosemary from PA! :wave

What an exciting time for you, being able to prepare for your retirement on the road!

I just wanted to roll out the Welcome mat and send greetings from a PA transplant. I grew up in Levittown and moved to New Hope before leaving the Keystone State in 1978.

I think you're going to enjoy shopping for a "new" FGRV. I searched for 5 years...and finally found mine in March after joining this forum. There's so much valuable information here and even better, such caring folks with a great sense of humor. Whenever I need a laugh I just log in and there's a surefire chance I'll be chuckling in minutes!

Good luck in your search!
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
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Welcome Rosemary.................It's so good to know you.
And searching for a FG is part of the excitement.
We are like you, more of a tourist than a camper, but it's
nice to be able to do both.

For a FYI this is my picture album I took of ours when we got home.
I stripped her down for some naked photos so everyone can see it bare.

Backyard Photo Shoot

And here's a few shots from the factory in South Carolina:

http://lilsnoozyclub-com.webs.com/ap...bumid=14183253
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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Hi Rosemary. Do you plan on single-handing? Are you confident that you have sufficient mobility to accomplish hitching/unhitching chores? I notice that your intention to use your trailer as a base camp for automobile touring would tend to minimize the number of times you would need to do so per week/month. Trailer and tow vehicle would be my choice for this plan in preference to self-propelled or self-propelled w/ goin ashore dinghy (as if I'd ever spend the money to find out). Minivan with tow rating equal to the task would be one choice. Mid size SUVs with 17" rims also don't usually present the vertical challenge of a full-size pickup.

jack
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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Welcome Rosemary,
Have you seen any fiberglass trailers in person? There are several good brands out there, some still being manufactured.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:23 PM   #8
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If hitching and unhitching is a problem, one item to put on
a list would be an electric hitch. You'd still have to hook
up the chains and electrical plug, but you wouldn't have to
crank it up and down...........just a thought.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum Rosemary (Seamstress). Good luck on your decision in the near future.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #10
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Trailer: I started with a 2010 Casita Spirit Deluxe.I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
Box Elder, SD (formerly of Long Island, NY)
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Hi Rosemary (Seamstress), I'm John. I got a late start to RVing, 2010. I was driving a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan which I purchased new in 2003. I had the factory tow package so, it was rated for 3500 pounds. In 2009, I wanted to go to the Burning Man Festival in Nevada but, driving out from the east coast I'd need three weeks total and, hadn't planned for that much vacation time. I arranged to have the time in 2010. Burning Man has two simple rules. If you don't bring it, you won't have it. There are NO retail sales of water, food, shelter, souvenirs etc. Rule two: you have to carry out everything you brought in. The are no dumpsters, garbage cans etc. The ONLY thing you leave behind are tire tracks. Your admission ticket gets you in and, the use of their port~a~potties, that's it! I did lots of research and decided on a 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe Travel Trailer. It was a great choice!. The Casita tows very easily, even with a regular car as tow vehicle (as long as they have the factory tow package that gives them the 3500 pound tow capacity). Empty, my Casita weighs 2480 pounds. Completely filled with two propane tanks, 25 gallons of water,lots of options and all my "stuff", I'm still around 3000 pounds. I too am a minivan fan. Lots of space, reasonable fuel economy, easy to drive, easy in and out etc. I also looked at Scamp but preferred the Casita. As mentioned, there are a number of fiberglass RV manufacturers out there. Casita & Scamp sell directly to customers. Both will give you phone numbers of owners "near" you who have agreed to show their "eggs". Fiberglass is a great choice for an RV. Lightweight, easy to clean, most are more aerodynamically designed than RVs built from "other" materials. On the Casita, an electric crank is an available option to make hitching / unhitching easier. There are actually people who full time in a Casita! I returned to Burning Man again in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, I drove through Leadville, CO (11,000'+ above sea level). My Toyota was fine. I know Casita owners who tow with small SUVs / pickup trucks. The 17' Casita IS compact living but, very doable. Escape, made in British Columbia, Canada (I think) has 19' & 21' fiberglass models. Those are heavier than Casitas / Scamps so, a more powerful tow vehicle would be in order.
You just missed the Escapees RV Club Annual Escapade. This year it was in WY. The weekend before Escapade starts, they hold an RV Boot Camp. Although you have camping experience, I believe you would still get great benefit from the Boot Camp program. Basically two days of education seminars geared for new RVers but, since you've been doing mostly tent camping, the Boot Camp would bring you "up to speed" on modern RVing. You'd also get to see a wide variety of RVs and talk / network with about 200 other Boot Camp attendees. You can do the Boot Camp without doing the Escapade Rally. In 2014, Escapade will be in Goshen, IN, May 11th ~ 16th (RV Boot Camp should run Friday 5/9/14 ~ Sunday 5/11/14). Check at Escapees RV Club for info. Again, I would strongly recommend you attend. You don't have to be in an RV. You can stay at a local motel.
I'm currently on the road on my fifth extended trek with my "egg"! I'm in northern WI now and will be in Oshkosh, WI for the big air show, AirVenture, later this month. I retired in 2011 and, want to spend more time RVing across America. While I was at Escapade, I signed up for an Adventure Caravan, 61 Day Alaskan Adventure, that heads out next June! I expect to upgrade to a larger RV before then (once I figure out what I want to upgrade to).
There are numerous RV based forums online. They're free to join or, you can just "lurk" and read the posts. You've got a good timeline. Continue doing your homework and, your retirement travel should be very rewarding. Again, welcome!
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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Flyguy, I too have read so many good reports on the Toy Sienna.

I too had great results towing our TT with a Nissan Mini Van.

If a Mini Van was in our future it would be a Sienna.

I have been following the travel reports on the Airstream forum of one of the Sienna owners here in Canada. Shown here post #6.... What you tow with - Airstream Forums

Note his was a Pro set up.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:30 PM   #12
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Name: Rosemary
Trailer: In the market
Pennsylvania
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Thank you all for the warm welcome, important questions and advice.

First of all Fly Guy, Carl and jack, I,too, realize that I need to learn my capabilities before I invest in any kind of RV. So, I have already signed up for the 2014 RV-Dreams Spring Rally in Sevierville, Tennessee scheduled for April 29 - May 4, 2014. They will have classes on Driving, Towing, Hitching/Unhitching, Hooking Up Utilities, Dumping Tanks, RV Systems Overview, Safety, & Checklists as well as three classes on systems maintenance. I think this experience will show me what I need to learn and hopefully give me a chance to practice some of these things.

Cpaharley2008, have I seen any fiberglass trailers yet? Yes, YOURS! I am the lady who visited you the day before you sold your beautiful Escape 19 to Cypherian. All kidding aside, I still want to look at other models. Like Carl's Lil Snoozy. I went through all of your pictures. That layout looks very appealing to me but I need to see one in person and do some more investigation on what options are available. Like that cassette toilet, how heavy would it be and how often does it need to be emptied? Are other options available?

I am also going to the Hershey RV show in September to look at some other types, like the class Bs & B+s. Although a new one of those is FAR out of my budget, I want to see them in person should a used one be available that I could afford.

As far as the vintage eggs, I love looking at all of yours but I live in an apartment so I would have neither the place nor the skills to renovate one. And there just are not many to see or buy in my neck of the woods. So, also on my list for next year will be trying to go to a rally to see multiple models in person. I see that there is a Casita rally not too far from me in October of this year so I may try to visit that one if they would welcome a non-owner. My reservation about the Casita is the wall covering which might be prone to mold & mildew. Otherwise, it is a great little trailer and might be a contender should I find that I can handle a fiberglass trailer on my own.

Lots of things to study and think about as I move forward in my plan. I am certainly hoping that I will find something that meets my needs and will help my along on this dream of mine.

Thanks again!

Rosemary (Seamstress)
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #13
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Name: Rosemary
Trailer: In the market
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Oops, forgot to mention that I never even considered a mini-van. I didn't know that they had towing capabilities. I will look into this style of vehicle as well as the others mentioned by some of you.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
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There is a Bill in Pennsylvania who has a Snoozy.....

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...sel-55047.html

http://lilsnoozyclub-com.webs.com/ap...toid=169907026
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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Name: John
Trailer: I started with a 2010 Casita Spirit Deluxe.I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
Box Elder, SD (formerly of Long Island, NY)
Posts: 103
Hi Rosemary (Seamstress). Keep in mind that at many (most) RV shows, you are NOT likely to see Casitas, Scamps, Escapes and other models where they're sold directly to the customer by the factory. RV shows are usually populated by RV dealers and, they want to sell you what they have in stock NOW. There might be used factory direct models that dealers have taken in trade but, I would not expect to see many brands / models. I think with a little bit of pre-show homework, you'll have a very good idea of what brands / models are going to be on display. I know used Casitas sell quickly and expect other fiberglass models do so as well. If you think you might buy a used Casita, be ready to act quickly or, it might be sold while you're thinking it over. I've heard several stories where someone hears of a Casita for sale, buys it over the phone sight unseen and then, shows up with cash and a vehicle that can tow it back home. Both Casita and Scamp will deliver your new "egg" for a fee or, you can arrange to drive to the factory and take delivery there. I drove from LI, NY to Rice, TX (1800 miles), took delivery of my "egg" and then, headed out to the Burning Man Festival about 2000 miles away! I had never towed an RV before and, wound up driving through rush hour traffic in Dallas without incident!
As for the interior of the Casita. I'm on my fifth extended trek in my Spirit Deluxe. I've never had a problem with mold, mildew or other problems to date. I occasionally see a little bit of dirt on the ceiling where the AC sends out cold air. When I see that, I wipe it clean and then, wash the AC filter. I believe plain fiberglass interiors (Scamp, Escape, Oliver) are more prone to condensation inside. If you haven't looked at minivans, DO SO! The big point is that any "regular" passenger vehicle you want to tow with, NEEDS the Factory Tow Package. That upgrades vehicle systems so that you can safely tow up to 3500 pounds. NOTE: most Factory Tow Packages install a Class Two Hitch. You're likely to need to upgrade that to a Class Three hitch that will allow you to install a Weight Distributing System. Minivans (and many "regular" vehicles) ride low. I found a pair of AIR-LIFT bags (easily installed) added two inches of extra road clearance to my Sienna. Said clearance is often helpful entering / leaving driveways. I think I paid under $200 for the AirLift bags AND installation. I haven't heard of the program you mention in TN but, it sounds very similar to the Escapees RV Boot Camp I was so impressed with. The important thing is that you get the safety training. From the Philly area, TN might be easier to get to than IN; I'm not sure without looking it up. Keep doing your research. I know there's a bewildering array of choices out there. Keep good notes, write down questions when you think of them so you'll remember to get answers. If possible, go out on an RV for weekend or longer with a friend or, rent a unit. Actually living in an RV will help you determine things you need as well as things you want. And of course, keep posting here! Best wishes,
John
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:52 PM   #16
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Welcome Rosemary!
I'm just as excited to hear you are a fellow seamstress as I am to hear you will be joining the FGRV community upon retirement. As you can see by my photo, we tow our 2011-13' Scamp with a Subaru Legacy sedan. Many others tow with the Subaru Forrester which has a hatchback and has a bit more road clearance. Subarus are known for all-wheel drive, high safety rating, drive-ability, and good gas mileage.

I have just as much decorating my trailer according to my whim as I do camping. Take a look at the photo showing my Southwest decor for our most recent trip to Utah's 5 National Parks.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:58 AM   #17
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I know Rosemary and remember you, I was just joshing you. It is good you are "shopping" now as I was a "buyer" for 5 years before finding Escapes and went thru 5 campers before buying my first Egg, a used EggCamper which introduced me to the fiberglass world. I saw the flaws and disadvantages in the campers I had bought new, modified and then sold quickly. You see a varied amount of different construction when modifying a trailer most of it sloppy and economical short cuts. The EggCamper was ideal except it was all electric.
Adding solar and dual batteries was a necessity. Then I saw an Escape and my buying days were over (except buying another Escape). You will see a lot of different models at the Hershey Show, I went 3 times in the past 6 years, take notes and pictures.
Then come back and ask your questions, the members here will be glad to help you. Hopefully you will find you have fiberglass in your future.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:51 AM   #18
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Burro available

There is a burro available up in Berlin VT which is at least somewhat driveable to you (though still a trek)

1999 Burro 17' Widebody Travel Trailer | Berlin, VT | Fiberglass RV's For Sale

It certainly appears to be in good shape and the price is right.

I thought about trying to buy it but it was just too far from me in North Carolina.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:34 AM   #19
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I thought about trying to buy it but it was just too far from me in North Carolina.

maybe they will meet you halfway someplace??
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #20
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Box Elder, SD (formerly of Long Island, NY)
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That Burro states it has 13" wheels / tires. Back the, 13" was pretty common. When I bought my Casita in 2010, the "standard'" tires were 14" and, I opted for the upgrade to 15" that Casita offered. Before hitting the road this year, I upgraded again to a 16" LT (Light Truck) tire. Happily, my Casita had plenty of wheel well clearance. That did require me to upgrade my hubs. I can drive at highway speeds for three hours and when I stop, the hubs are barely warm. 16"LT tires are readily available everywhere so, if I need to replace one, I'll have a good selection of tires to choose from. That frequently is NOT the case for 14" or even 15"ST (Special Trailer) tires. Thinking I'd be driving my Casita to Alaska this year, I even got an extra 16" mounted spare tire (Murphy's Law; I seriously doubt I'd need TWO spares)! When you're at the RV Boot Camp, they'll explain how critical tires are.
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