Age & Fiberglass. or How old is too old? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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I would like to buy a fiberglass camper. My husband is reluctant to look at older ones because of "rot". How do I convince him that older models can still be a great buy? Help please.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:09 AM   #2
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I would like to buy a fiberglass camper. My husband is reluctant to look at older ones because of "rot". How do I convince him that older models can still be a great buy? Help please.
The reason why fibreglass trailers from the 1970's have survived while their "stick" built cousins haven't is that fibreglass doesn't rot. Take a look at fibreglass boats built from the late 1950's on....they also survive long after their wooden counterparts have rotted away. Just be careful about certain parts of some older trailers that may not have been made of fibreglass such as plywood floors.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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As Phil pointed out, there's not much to rot on these little campers. Almost everything is fixable. Although floor rot does happen, it isn't inherent in these trailers. The shell IS the structure, whether it's single or double walled. Leaks are traceable and easily fixed. Once in a while, we have been stumped as to the source, but we eventually find it and the fix is always doable.

Yes, older molded fiberglass trailers can have issues too, but nothing like the stick built. Cracked frames can be welded, axles can be replaced. If one wants to do an off frame restoration or have a new frame built, even that is doable. Just depends on the extent of the repairs you want to make.

That's one of the reasons molded fiberglass trailers cost more used than a stick built. You will pay more, but you will get a better trailer, too. Over on the left , you will see a link titled "Buyers Check List". If you print that out and take it with you, it should go a long way in finding a good used trailer, regardless of age.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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To follow up on that, Boler style trailers (Bolers, Scamps) have plywood floors that 'may' be rotten as the plywood was exposed on the underside of the trailer. They also had plywood cabinets so if they have been left in field somewhere for years there may be rot in cabinets. Pretty easy to test for both.

70's Trillium style trailers (Trilliums, Surfsides) have a full fiberglass body with a plywood core floor between the inner and outer molds. This sandwiched floor could rot if water was allowed to leak into the trailer and down through the innerwalls. I think the chance of this happening is pretty slim if you are looking at good condition trailers.

Just make sure when you are looking at trailers you can tell the difference between 'stick built' and 'fiberglass' trailers. In Ohio I think you will probably be seeing more Bolers and Scamp trailers then Trilliums but you never know! Check here to see all the past and present Fiberglass brands on the market
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:44 PM   #5
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To follow up on that, Boler style trailers (Bolers, Scamps) have plywood floors that 'may' be rotten as the plywood was exposed on the underside of the trailer. They also had plywood cabinets so if they have been left in field somewhere for years there may be rot in cabinets. Pretty easy to test for both.
I can't speak to the Boler, but the Scamp... while being open plywood on the bottom, the floor has been soaked in fiberglass resin. It's not bare plywood. Floors don't rot from the bottom up, they rot from the top down. Leaking windows, vents, rivets are the culpit, not road spray or winter ground moisture.

Also, the Scamp standard has fiberglass cabinets, not wood, only the doors are wood. The Deluxe has the all wood cabinets made out of oak or birch (earlier models also used maple).

Never confuse an older trailer automatically with "broken," "abused," or simply "not good." I'd put my 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe up against a number of trailers that are 10-15 years newer. It's all about maintenance.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:05 PM   #6
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How do I convince him that older models can still be a great buy?
Have him look at These 1960's Fiberglass Trailers that are still going strong 40+ years later.

<sub>(The above is a link to a collection of links.)</sub>
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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On my `74 Boler, 13 ft. the only major piece of wood is the piece that holds up and protects my fresh water tank....the floor in my Boler is only fiberglass ......Benny
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:20 PM   #8
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Learn something new every day -- I had thought the Bolers had a wood floor, like the Scamps and Casitas that were subsequently built on that design -- Are all Bolers FG only on the floor or just some years?
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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To follow up on that, Boler style trailers (Bolers, Scamps) have plywood floors that 'may' be rotten as the plywood was exposed on the underside of the trailer. They also had plywood cabinets so if they have been left in field somewhere for years there may be rot in cabinets. Pretty easy to test for both.
My FIBERGLASS floor and FIBERGLASS cabinets haven't shown any sign of rot yet.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:33 PM   #10
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Learn something new every day -- I had thought the Bolers had a wood floor, like the Scamps and Casitas that were subsequently built on that design -- Are all Bolers FG only on the floor or just some years?
Some years and some plants as far as I know. I've seen both. I think I've seen combinations where the lowered floor pan is FG and one or more elevated sections are plywood.

Can we do a poll on this? How specific can we be? e.g. Year, plant or manufacturer, all glass floor, all wood floors, combination floors? Then we'd have to consider the 13' 16.5' and 17' models...

FYI the boler American is an all plywood floor with a glass coat on the bottom.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #11
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Hi: All... Our former '77 Earlton Ontario built Boler has a glass sandwich floor. Plywood between two layers of fiberglass. Still like new!!! I cut to fit, some berber carpet to make it warmer and to protect the gelcoat floor surface.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:46 PM   #12
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Whoa, on any other forum you would have I thought I was 'trolling' with the comment about Boler/Scamp plywood floors

Sorry for any misunderstanding - I have not had a Boler and I was going off the number of Boler and Scamp threads dealing with replacing the dining floor area.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:48 PM   #13
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No sign of an y wood in a UHaul. Glass flooring with marine epoxy at the center joint. Fiberglass does NOT decay like wood.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:24 AM   #14
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Hi All,

Our 1972, 36 year old Boler has the original untreated plywood floor which is still good and strong no rot.
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