Before Hurricane Sandy, I was looking for a used older fiberglass Trailer. I am "relatively" handy....did significant fiberglass repairs to the keel of my last "new to me" sailboat which the prior owner used about a dozen coats of bottom paint
to cover all the significant cracks in the keel that would have sunk to the bottom. I bought it in Tn, and paid to have it delivered so there was a good chunk of money...almost sued him but decided I could do the work and took me about 3 months of time cutting away the damage, letting it all dry out and reglassing...2 years later when Sandy had her way with it, the keel was still bone dry.
When you don't have the money to buy a newer one, and have the time and skills you can make do. Axle
, running lights
...highest priority to make it a useable camper shell...then slowly doing everything else can get you into the camping world much cheaper initially, but when its time to add new fridge
, stove, water heater, furnace
the price starts rising. I was ready to go this route to have a stand up camper. I built 2 tear drop trailer sized tiny travel trailers in the past so I knew I could do the work.
I got lucky and got a nice check from the insurance company for my boat so when I saw my ParkLiner for sale
I decided it was worth it to save the time and for once have something almost brand new. Not that I am not always tinkering with it and adding things (solar panel, new removable upper vent for the fridge
, new Maxx Air deluxe roof vent, new crank for the emergency exit, awning
, new upholstery (twice lol...thank the gods I have an industrial machine and the know how lol) and a million other little projects lol) But that's mostly customizing.
Going the sweat equity way is not necessarily the cheaper path but after the important things are done to make it street safe and legal...you can start camping in It and add new components as you have time and money...I sadly don't have the "big boy job" with the "big boy Paycheck" lol so you learn to make do.
Both choices are valid and up to the individual to think hard if they can do the work and is it worth it to them.