Any issues things to look out for in buying used Casita? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-24-2008, 04:16 PM   #1
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Hi All,

We have just starting looking at travel trailer models and have narrowed our search down to egg and regular fiberglass models due to our tow vehicle (Jeep Liberty Sport 6 cyl) max tow weight of 5K lbs.

We are debating between buying used vs. buying new. My opinion is that trailers depreciate worse than cars and there are good deals to be had out there in the used market, especially in this economy. Hubby is not as sure on this.

Would like to know if there are any cons to buying a used Casita or other similar type egg trailer in terms of repair issues, etc. Also, is there a general rule as to life expectancy of these trailers in terms of the shell, etc.

Appreciate any info shared.

Thanks.



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Old 07-24-2008, 05:31 PM   #2
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Go and read this buyers check list.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/buy-sell.html
Fiberglass trailers last a very long time and hold their value. This site has many trailers 35 years old and these units still going strong. In lots of cases we pay more now for a second hand one than what they cost brand new.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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Welcome Meredith!
Quote:
My opinion is that trailers depreciate worse than cars and there are good deals to be had out there in the used market, especially in this economy. [b]Hubby is not as sure on this.
One thing I have observed over the years is how shocked shoppers in the used Molded Fiberglass trailer market are. Cared for units in Good Condition can fetch sometimes twice what the NADA Guide estimates. Ebay and Craigslist shoppers have shared on this website how they lost out by taking too much time to think about what they were buying.

The lowest prices are for those units that have been neglected, worn out, and left to rot until someone inquires about them. Do you have the sense of adventure and stamina to go after one of these and revive it? The Resources? Does your Husband? There are people who do.

Motorhomes and Toybox trailers depreciate immensely. Smaller, molded fiberglass trailers, not so much.
Just like Ford Excursions are readily available, yet I cannot find a Toyota Echo at an affordable price.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:31 PM   #5
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Meredith,

My husband and I also have a Jeep Liberty as our tow vehicle. When we sold our vacation home because it required more time and maintaince than we decided we wanted to give anymore (it was a log home) - we still wanted something to go away on the weekends in and call our own.

Myself knowing a little about travel trailers, I didn't want something that we had to use 'roof coating' on and worry about leakage. We were all set on ordering a Casita and driving to Texas to pick it up, but while checking Ebay one day, there was this fiberglass 'egg' 10 miles from our home, and a listed price less than 1/3 of what we were planning on paying for a new one.

When we contacted the owner to go take a look, we were surprised that this 16ft trailer was 23 years young, in good shape - and had everything a new one had (2 tables, stove, fridge, sink, storage and room for 4 it's my preference not to have a bathroom....I've seen the movie RV!!!). Those who hesitate loose, so we thought about it for a few hours, weighing new vs this used one - and bought it.

Every campground we've been to this summer (6 so far) we're usually the only 'egg' there, and it never fails a fellow camper stops by to inquire about it's uniqueness, how cute it is, take pictures of it and are amazed that it's 23!!

If you can't tell the difference...why pay the difference???

Not that I have ANY intention on selling our trailer, but I'd like to hope/think that if we did, we wouldn't loose any money from our purchase price, and will have enjoyed the times we had in it.

Plus - what stick built TT has a great network of owners like us who are so proud of our trailers, hold events celebrating our trailers, love to talk all we can about our trailers, enjoy showing off our trailers to our 'neighbors' at campgrounds we visit and share photos of our trailers like they're our children? Buy stick if you want...but you'll miss us!!

Just sharing our experience on buying our Egg...hope it helps...
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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If this is your first time in a travel trailer, I would strongly advise against buying new because you really don't know yet what you really want -- No point in eating the economic depreciation of a new rig. Trailers aren't like cars where most parts are moving and wear out.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:05 AM   #7
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In Real Estate there are three things to look for: Location, Location, Location.

In RVs there are three things to look for: Condition, Condition, Condition.

Now I like and respect Pete, but I differ on this one with him.

Because, Fiberglass RVs depreciate so very much slower then other types of RVs, I found it can be better to Buy NEW. You get the Automatic Ignition Systems, More efficient A/C, New tires, Shiney fiberglass, Awnings that roll out easily, Sewer systems that function from one valve, etc. All things that are hard to upgrade or take lots of sweat equity, for what $1000 or $2,000 difference.

With new you will have a much better experience from the get go. (I think)
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:06 PM   #8
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Cool

Thanks for all the feedback!

Meredith
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Old 07-26-2008, 01:45 AM   #9
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Mike, it also depends on how much of that optional stuf one wants in a rig.

I didn't need auto-ignition because I didn't have a shower/toilet with hot water. I didn't have awning because I already have a tarp and PVC pipe. I didn't have a/c. I didn't have a fridge. I didn't have gray or black tanks. I didn't have a furnace. Just the basic shell and stuf like water and range top.

If one knows what one wants in a trailer home, then that's a lot different that taking an expensive shot at getting it right the first time out of the box.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:04 AM   #10
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Gotta go with Pete on this one.
It's been our experience that the price differential betwix new & used fiberglass can be pretty steep. While new everything certainly has it's merits there's much to be said for having a trailer set up precisely as one wants.
I'm as clueless as most when it comes to being "handy" and have no desire at all to learn plumbing and electric like a journeyman but even in my ignorance and dotage I'm able with the advice of friends on this site, to pretty well take care of any issues that arise from owning a 28 year old fiberglass trailer. In many cases, a few hours of effort have resulted in the Trillium being in a better state than when new.

At least it's better for US.

The new vs used debate can go on indefinitely with good points and passionate adherents for both sides. As a potential owner, Meredith, I would suggest that you not exclude either option until just before making the plunge in a purchase. Pay attention to this forum and the stuff advertised for sale here. Be aware that prices will fluctuate for used units with the time of year and perhaps most importantly, don't be afraid to travel a bit to get what you really want. Usually, the only thing to be found around the corner is a well used pop-up with bad wheels.

Welcome to the site, BTW.

Doug
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