Burro Trailer Company - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-17-2006, 07:04 PM   #1
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What does everyone know about the Burro Trailer Company? I understand they went out of business several years ago. Quality and management problems may have been the problem. Iíve looked in the archives and havenít found a lot of information. I think the idea of building your own trailed from a kit is an intriguing one. Do you think the molds are lost in Mexico?

Thanks,
Sandy
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:03 PM   #2
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I've been wondering about them, too. The weird thing to me is that their website is still up some years after they've gone under.

I have heard rumors that some investors may revive the company. Just rumors. I have no real evidence of this.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Do you think the molds are lost in Mexico?
I remember speculating on this point some time ago. In my business, I used to run across start-up companies that buy up auctioned off assets from failed businesses for pennies on the dollar. They used to wind up setting up shop somewhere between Tijuana and Ensenada for the lower cost labor. I have had failed scale equipment come back to haunt me in this way. That was when I used to work both sides of the border. I have not worked in Mexico for over 2 years, now. The Mexicans are having their jobs outsourced to [b]China, now.

The last known address for Burro was in Escondido, CA. About 35 miles northeast of San Diego. The molds may still be in northern San Diego County. Hot Springs Portable Spas are made near there, out of molded fiberglass. There are several other fiberglass fabricators in northern San Diego County.

The problem, as I see it, is that there is almost no local market for a small trailer of any construction. Testosterone reigns supreme, and the eastern desert beckons to the "Off Highway Vehicle" crowd. One needs to sell monster sized "Toy Box" trailers to make any money around here.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:30 PM   #4
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The original Burro molds are in a small town in northwest Iowa near Sac City. I was seriously investigating resurrecting Burro until a couple of months ago.

The Burro story, as I've been able to figure it out is roughly as follows...

In the early '70s someone in St. Cloud MN manufactured a trailer called the "Cloud". The Cloud looked very much like the Burro. In the late '70s the first Burros were produced in Plymouth MN, less than a hundred miles from St. Cloud. Interestingly, the Burro was double-wall construction while the Cloud was apparently single walled. Burro was manufactured in Plymouth MN until the early 80s. Burro re-appeared in Sac City IA and began production in the mid 80s and had a production run until about 1990. Sac City saw the introduction of the 17' wide body along with the 13' standard Burros. Apparently the business was poorly managed and investors seized the molds and production equipment. Burro resurfaced in Escondido CA with new molds that were fabricated in Mexico in 1998 or thereabouts.

Again because of a variety of factors, Burro went out of business. According to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, the owners ran into significant legal difficulties and seem to have disappeared, along with the molds and equipment.

Roger
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:19 PM   #5
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When the parent company who was making the Oxygen trailer was going out of business they had the materials that were being auctioned off on view via the internet. I recall seeing the molds and reading descriptions of same on their website. I assume someone bought them, but as to what purpose I couldn't say. Maybe they were just trashed. It was sad to see all of that Bon-Air material going for pennies on the dollar. There were even partially completed trailers being auctioned. As I understand it, their popups were extremely popular at one time.

Capitalism knows no mercy.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:30 PM   #6
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Roger, I think that your history is correct, but needs to be moved back a bit.

My Burro is a 1980, which means it was made in 79, and it was made in Sac City. (By the info on the sales forms and plates on the trailer)

From what I can gather, Burro was in Escondido during the 90s, going out of biz in 99. I met a guy last year with a Mid 90s 17 that he got brand new and picked up in Escondido.

Hard to tell tho, there are SO many stories on Burro these days, just about anything could be true (Or not)
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:49 PM   #7
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Here is a page that has a brief mention of the Mexico Molds and Burro.

Sea Spray Sailboats

It's on the bottom 1/3 of the article.

Might explain Burros financial woes.. he might have bit off more than he could chew.

I drove by that building that Burro was in in Escondido. There really was nowhere I could see that you could have molds and do all that glass work.

Perris Pacer did the same thing, I believe. They had the shells done in LA somewhere, then trucked to Perris for finsihing. I was in a traffic waiting line with the Burro in tow and in front of me was a a guy that told me he worked for a company in LA that made shells for trailers "That looked kinda like that" that got shipped "Somewhere down by Riverside". That would be PP.
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:55 PM   #8
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You're right Gina! That's what I get for writing late in the evening off the top of my head without using notes or reference materials!

Roger
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:06 PM   #9
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I wish I had bookmarked all the pages I have seen on Burros manufacturing. I did a TON of looking before I bought.

I ran across a couple perosnal pages from folks picking up thier trailers with pics of the Escondido plant, and one by an unhappy customer that did tour photos showing how bad the quality had gotten in thier final year.

There was one page that mentioned the boating adventure, but it was more on the downfall of the trailer company.

All gone, or I can't remember the keywords I used!
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:47 PM   #10
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Long about 1998 I sent for catalogs on Burro, Casita and Scamp and received them all and at the time as I remember you could buy the Burro in kit form or pick it up at the factory complete, I do do not remember where the catalog came from other than California, but it was very shortly after that i tried to contact them with no results. the Burro at the time was going to be my 1st choice
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:38 PM   #11
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My 2000 17' Widebody has very official looking manufacturer's stickers on the tongue and in the door jamb stating the manufacturing date as 07/07/2000. That makes sense, because I got if from the first owner who had it for about two weeks before I bought it from him.

I have wondered if mine might be one of the last ones completed, since I have not heard of a later one. I was in contact with the company that fall, was promised this and that miscellaneous stuff, but they were apparently in the promise them anything, just get them off the phone-mode.

Despite some uneven quality of the work I count myself very lucky, because I had determined that this design was for me. Little did I know that I almost couldn't get one anymore (except for used).
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
What does everyone know about the Burro Trailer Company? I understand they went out of business several years ago. Quality and management problems may have been the problem. I've looked in the archives and haven't found a lot of information. I think the idea of building your own trailed from a kit is an intriguing one. Do you think the molds are lost in Mexico?

Thanks,
Sandy
Why in the world do they still have their website up if they are out of business! Crazy!
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:18 PM   #13
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Maybe cause once it's on the world wide web it's there forever.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #14
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I think the fact there are banner ads on the site is a good indicator - someone is just using this site to snag traffic and hopefully get some click throughs. I would guess that 'someone' is direct nic which is a domain name and hosting company.
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