Ultimate Guide To Fiberglass Travel Trailers

Marshall Headshot

By Marshall Wendler

Last Updated: June 16, 2022

Fiberglass travel trailers are a sought-after and niche RV type, and they offer many advantages over traditional travel trailers.

People who buy these fiberglass RVs swear by them, and they are some of the most loyal RV owners.

Ricks Scamp small trailer camp setup

What is so special about a fiberglass trailer?

Why is a molded fiberglass RV such a highly sought-after product?

Are they worth the extra money? (How much is my camper worth?)

We will answer these questions and more as we take a deep dive into the world of small fiberglass campers.

What Is A Fiberglass Camper?

A fiberglass camper is made out of, well, fiberglass.

The walls, roof, and floor are all formed from a composite material that makes for a high-quality 'hull.' (Glass fibers saturated with either an epoxy or polyester resin.)

This differs from conventional recreational vehicle construction. Most consist of either a wood or aluminum frame with insulation sandwiched between hulls.

They have either sheet metal or thin composite skins. There are separate walls, roofs, and floors, which means many seams (potential leak points).

A molded fiberglass travel trailer's manufacturing process is vastly different from traditional camper trailers.

The fiberglass body comprises only two parts - an upper and a lower half. A single seam connects them. This means:

  • The outer 'hull' has many fewer potential points for water to enter
  • It is a much more solid structure
Oliver travel trailer fiberglass mold

Fiberglass Trailer Mold (photo courtesy Oliver Travel Trailers)

The upper and lower shell halves are formed in molds where the fiberglass is laid out, then the resin is applied.

Once the shell cures (dried and set), it is removed from the mold and joined to its other half. This is the same primary method used to make boat hulls.

Are Fiberglass Travel Trailers Better?

To put it simply, yes! Small fiberglass travel trailers are better constructed than most other trailers.

I'd be hard-pressed to think of a manufacturer that builds a more solid unit than any of the fiberglass travel trailer manufacturers we list below.

Don't get me wrong, some of the best-rated travel trailers use traditional construction processes and have overall fine quality.

But there is nothing like starting with a solid, two-piece shell and building an RV from that to make a solid product that holds up well over time and use.

Resale value is typically very good with fiberglass camping trailers. For example, a used Casita or Scamp travel trailer will be selling surprisingly close to what a new one costs.

Part of this is due to the low build volume and long wait times for a new one, so if someone wants a molded fiberglass trailer RIGHT NOW, they are willing to pay a premium.

Lance and Casita trailers at Kelly's taping

Traditional Trailer (Left) and Casita Fiberglass Trailer (Right)

A small fiberglass camper is easy to tow, and many models only require a vehicle with a modest towing capacity.

Have a car with at least 3,500 pounds towing capacity? No problem! It isn't necessary to have a big size truck with these RVs. Small to medium size SUVs work great!

There are some downsides to these travel trailer types. For instance, they are expensive compared to a similarly sized 'regular' RV.

Also, they don't have a travel trailer slideout, which increases the interior living space. This trailer style may not work for you if you have a large family.

(More drawbacks in the pros/cons section below.)

The fiberglass camper trailer is the only way to go for many people. But is it best for you?

That's up to you to decide.

Pros And Cons Of Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers

The best fiberglass trailers have features that make them super appealing. They also have some drawbacks that don't make them the right option for certain people (including those that have larger families).

Pros:

  • Due to limited seams, a rugged exterior shell makes them relatively leak-proof travel trailers.
  • If properly taken care of, they will last a long time and look good for years to come.
  • A wide variety of vehicles can tow lightweight fiberglass campers with shorter floor plans.
  • Great resale value.
  • Look different than a traditional recreational vehicle. The look doesn't seem to go out of style.
  • The maximum length you can get is just over 25 feet. Shorter RVs fit in more campsites and are easier to tow and deal with in general.
  • They can be shorter in height so that they may fit into a garage.
Casita small travel trailer interior looking forward

Interior Of Casita Trailer

Cons:

  • You won't see new floor plans coming out all the time as the exterior of the travel trailer is pretty set in stone. Expensive molds are used to create the shell, so making updates to a mold is a time-consuming, costly process. Once a particular model's exterior design is finalized, it is locked in for a long time.
  • No slide-outs increase the living space, leading to a more cramped interior than many traditional RVs on the market (which can come with multiple slides).
  • Lack of interior space means they are best suited for two people or solo travelers. Though there can be two separate sleeping areas that can handle four people.
  • Long lead times if you want a new unit as these are built by low-volume builders.
  • Inside can be pretty sterile. Even the expensive Oliver has a lot of fiberglass on the interior, which leads to a yacht-like appearance (which works for some and turns off others). At least they aren't dull, "hey, the '80s called and wants its ugly interior back" styling of most traditional RVs.
  • The lack of insulation in Casita and Scamp fiberglass egg trailers makes them uncomfortable in the cold (but the small space heats rapidly!) and not suited for proper 4-season camping.

Fiberglass RV Manufacturers

There are many travel trailer brands out there, but only a handful of them make molded fiberglass campers. Why is this?

Most manufacturers want to crank out the most trailers that they can for the least money, resulting in a lot of junk RVs. You can't do this with fiberglass construction, which is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

As a result, only a tiny fraction of RV manufacturers make all fiberglass travel trailers. Most of which are lower volume builders, not cranking out the rigs by the dozens.

Kelly and friends in front of Casita

Camp Addict Kelly And Friends By Casita Trailer

Price reflects the increased costs related to using this alternative building method. Molded fiberglass trailers are more expensive than their traditionally constructed counterparts.

Here is a list of the more popular fiberglass RV manufacturers (not exhaustive). Companies are listed from shortest available trailers to longest trailers.

What Is The Best Fiberglass Travel Trailer?

The beauty of fiberglass travel trailer brands is that quality is typically built-in due to the construction process.

Overall, these RVs are more rugged and have fewer issues than traditionally constructed trailers.

Most of the above-listed brands make our list of top-rated RVs. Unlike all other segments of RVs, it's pretty hard to buy a poorly built small fiberglass travel trailer. You almost can't go wrong!

Ricks Scamp small trailer at camp

Scamp Trailer

These fiberglass camper trailers are all excellent choices, depending on your camping needs.

Just know that while the exterior construction process is similar, there are very discernible differences between a Casita or Scamp trailer and higher market RVs such as Oliver Travel Trailers.

Amenities and layouts vary, as will the dry weight between different sizes of fiberglass RV trailers.

Choosing The Right Fiberglass Trailer

Figuring out which of these small fiberglass trailers is best for you takes some consideration, and you will need to decide which features and amenities are important to you.

You should know how you camp (where you go, how long you stay out, campground vs. boondocking, etc.) to choose which is the best fiberglass RV for you.

The choice comes down to which of these models works best for your camping style.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Do you need all the bells and whistles - a permanent queen RV mattress size bed, a bathroom, a fancy interior, air conditioning, a pretty design over pure functionality?
  • What kind of vehicle are you going to be towing? A truck that can pull any of these fiberglass trailers? Or do you have a car or SUV that has limited towing capability?
  • In other words, does size matter to you? Do you need a lightweight fiberglass travel trailer, or is weight not a concern?
  • Are you a family of four or more, or just a couple? Are you a solo traveler with less gear and can put up with the lack of space inside?
Lindsey and Adam in front Casita small trailer

Casita Travel Trailer

Smaller VS Larger Fiberglass Trailers

The Scamp and Casita are basic, no-frills small camper trailers and don't have many options. They are available with a wet bathroom, a seating area (sometimes in the form of a small side dinette), and sleeping space (generally not a permanent bed, with camper bunk mattresses being an option in some floor plans), but suffer from limited storage space.

When you move up to an Escape or Bigfoot RV, you are getting into the territory that requires a truck to tow. SUVs and cars will not have the ability to tow most of these campers due to the higher weight and greater overall length.

There will be more features and options, while the materials will be nicer than a Scamp or Casita.

Niceties such as full bathrooms and a dual RV twin mattress setup are available, and the overall quality and design of the living area are a step up from the smaller trailers.

Storage space is more abundant due to the larger size. But again, these benefits come at the cost of more weight and less ability to fit into the smallest of camping spots.

Oliver Legacy Elite fiberglass travel trailer

Oliver Legacy Elite II

The top-end (and most expensive) fiberglass trailer manufacturers are the Oliver Legacy Elite. There are two lengths of the Oliver, both of which utilize an inner and outer fiberglass shell for true 4-season camping.

Interior finishings are a step above everyone else in this market, and options are abundant.

The downside to an Oliver Legacy Elite (other than the price) is that trucks and SUVs with decent towing capacities are required to haul them around due to their weight.

As you can see, there is a molded fiberglass camper for almost every camping style and level of needed luxury. Just keep in mind that the price of entry into this recreational vehicle style will be greater than their more traditional (and most likely lesser quality) counterparts.

How Long Do Fiberglass Trailers Last?

How long fiberglass trailers last is one of those 'it depends' questions, and it all comes down to what type of life they lead - any RV that is abused, no matter its initial quality, won't lead a long, happy life.

Generally, an all fiberglass travel trailer lasts longer than a travel trailer made with a traditional frame, insulation, and siding. The fiberglass version has a vastly superior exterior and is better put together than most recreational vehicles on the market.

Happier Camper small RV exterior

If properly taken care of, quality fiberglass travel trailers last years, if not decades. The resale value is superior to a 'regular' RV.

A well-maintained rig gives its owners years of happy camping and doesn't disappoint when it comes time to sell (IF that time ever comes!).

Conclusion

The best fiberglass travel trailers (and they all are pretty darn good) are very well built and can last a long time. They are an excellent option for someone looking for something different and better made than the traditional camper.

I'm considering one for my next rig. Small fiberglass camper trailers are very appealing because they don't have slides, have virtually indestructible exteriors, are lighter weight, and are smaller than my current rig. Quite simply, they are intriguing.

If you are looking for a quality built RV that is different from most rigs on the road, fiberglass egg campers are an option to consider.

Marshall Headshot

Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020 (now RVing about 50% of the time), Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spends the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit. 

  • Hi Marshall,
    I’m trying to find a small fiberglass trailer with a pop top. I’ve seen them before but can’t remember the brand name. The top raises straight up not hinged like a Westfalia. If you know the brand name(s) please let me know.
    Thanks keep up the great articles.
    Best,
    Richard H

    • Hey Richard,

      Thanks for visiting Camp Addict!

      Off the top of my head I don’t know any US brands that have the feature you are looking for (or what I think you are referring to), but here are a couple of trailers with different pop-up tops:

      Alto’s Safari Condo and TAXA Outdoors Cricket.

      Though I don’t think those are what you are referring to.

      I’ve seen (online) trailers with different styles of pop-up roofs (more what I think you are referring to), but I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw them. Other than they most likely were European (because, you know, they get all the cool RVs).

      But I did find L’air Camper Company out of Ontario, Canada that makes trailers that have the style of pop-top that I think you are referring to. Unclear if they import to the US (but at first glance it appears they don’t?).

      Unfortunately, I don’t know of any US-based manufacturers that do this (unless I’m just totally drawing a blank, which is entirely possible).

    • Hey Richard,

      I just found another one. It’s called Hunter Compact, Jr. There’s a 1971 model for sale lin Enterprise, Alabama for $7500 listed on FB Marketplace under small travel trailers.

      It’s super cute!

  • We have an Oliver, and it’s never felt like a cave to me! The white interior reflects light and the numerous built in LED lights in the interior also make it very cheery.

    • Hi Nancy,
      Great to hear you love your Oliver! They are especially well-made for sure and have many many positives. It’s just a personal opinion on our parts- wish it had bigger + more windows!

      And the white interior is a huge bonus and it’s something that Casita has finally brought on board with their trailers! I like it much better than their tan/beige colors.

      Here’s to you getting to taking your Oliver out a lot this season!

    • Hi Stan,

      That would be much more in-depth and requires a whole separate page. Still, it’s something we may do in the future!

    • I’m replying to myself, not only am I fascinated by fiberglass trailers, but I find their owners to be interesting people.

  • I really admire the double axle Oliver, but it is a bit cramped. It’s a reverse Sport 22, but I like the restroom although the headroom is for normal sized people.

    • Hi Donald,

      Yeah, I am a fan of the QUALITY of the Oliver, but for me, it suffers from not enough windows and not big enough windows. It feels like a cave to me, and I really like to feel more like I am outside when I am in my camper.

      I prefer the Casita Spirit Deluxe to the Oliver any day. Way better outside views!

  • Hello Marshall and Kelly,
    I am giving you both credit here as Kelly you helped me this past summer with questions I had about Bigfoot trailers. Through my own fiberglass trailer research and your responses, I ordered a Bigfoot 25B21RB. I won’t see it for a year. I am okay waiting for a quality built trailer. Tell Paige Mills at Trailer World in Denver that Mick sent you. She is knowledgeable and patient.
    All the best,
    Mick

    • Hey Mick,

      Yay, so happy you got your trailer ordered! I am a bit jealous myself. I DO SO LOVE the Bigfoot I saw in Denver a couple of years ago. I think it was a 17 footer. The windows, the layout, and the quality were pretty much perfect!

      We are so excited for you! Please let us know when you get it how much you love it, OR what you DON’T like about it. But I am quite positive you are going to be thrilled.

      Yay!!
      Betcha can’t wait!!!

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks for visiting Camp Addict and for the comment.

      What do you base this on? As far as I’m aware, fiberglass trailers are all made in molds as described in this article. Only difference is the size.

      Can you point me to something that supports your statement about larger fiberglass trailers being subject to delamination? Thanks!

      • We are talking about molded fiberglas trailers here ; they have been made since the late ’60s and the 70s and do not delaminate. At a fiberglas trailer gathering , with lots of old trailers, none are delaminating. My ’72 Compact Jr trailer had sat outside in the AZ desert for almost 50 years, the shell is still in good condition . Don is thinking of newer trailers with conventional construction and fiberglass covered panels. Some start delaminating very soon ! DG

        • Hey David,

          Ah, great point about what type of trailer Don was referring to. I didn’t occur to me that it was the traditional trailers with fiberglass laminated panels. Whereas this article is talking about a completely different beast altogether.

          It’s amazing how long a quality built, molded fiberglass trailer will last. As long as it is taken care of. I suppose they will last pretty much forever (or what goes for forever in the modern world).

          Thanks for the comment!

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