I am a complete newborn - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-01-2006, 09:34 AM   #1
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HELP! My husband and I are campers but would like to invest (possibly) in a 13' fiberglass camper. We would have to pull it with a Toyota Sienna Van. We are newbies and have no idea where to start. I didn't even know what the proper term was for finding them on the internet. At first, I tried to talk my husband into building a teardrop. We just want room to sleep ourselves and our two youngsters. We don't want to cook inside or anything else. I hoped to find an empty shell, so to speak and fix it up the way we wanted. We live in the rural south and are 1 1/2 hrs away from a big town. I rarely see anyone with this type of camper in our area. I don't think I have ever seen one. I did pass one on the highway yesterday coming home from Memphis. Here's the kicker (please do not laugh so hard that you can't reply to this email .) My husband only wants to invest $500. (Remember we are looking for an empty shell, practically. He will pay this for a new Mantra 7 tent, but I was really looking for something that I could fix up. Is this impossible???? I don't know if anyone can help me or point me to some website to look??? Thanks for all the input. Liz K
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:41 AM   #2
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First, Welcome!

Next, we aren't laughing. You aren't the first who wanted something similar.

I'm not saying that finding one for $600 is unheard of, just very very rare. As long as you are patient, you just might find one. Just keep your eyes peeled (especially in our "for sale" section). A good place is check the classified ads (on line) of papers near your area. Many times they will show up there at much lower prices. Not always, but it does happen.

There are many different brands in the used ones, so don't be thrown if it's not a name your used to hearing. Scan our front page for names of the many that were once made. Also, look at our albums ... it might give you some more good ideas.

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Old 05-01-2006, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
1. We would have to pull it with a Toyota Sienna Van.
2. the proper term was for finding them on the internet.
3. My husband only wants to invest $500.(Remember we are looking for an empty shell)
4. Is this impossible????
5. point me to some website to look???
1. It depends on how old your van is. Older ones were smaller and had a lower tow rating. However, (I think) your target trailer would still be possible with an older Sienna.
2. If you do an eBay search, most sellers know the terms: "Scamp" "Boler" "Burro" and will try to include these terms in their listing, even if their trailer is not one of those brands.
3. My question to you: Is this your budget for purchase? Or is this your total after renovation budget?
4. It has been done before, if you are talking about initial purchase price. However, I am not aware of any renovation that has remained below that [b]Total.
5. "eBay.com" and "RVtrader.com" come to mind...
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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Well Hello there! I also, am new to the fiberglass campers. I have only seen one or two in the past years- just enough to pique my interest "WHERE do people GET those little things"? Because I have never ever seen one on any RV lots, anywhere. Only in passing people's yards.

So when husband and I thought of finally going camping all on our own now that our children are all grown, we didn't really want the pop-up anymore. Husband is to the point where he wants "easy". Not even anymore set-up of the pop up. I agreed. Husband thought of a little motorhome, but I totally balked at the thought since we are also on a limited budget, and it meant OLD OLD motorhomes. All I though of was how the men have to DINK and tinker with ALL of our old toys like their snowmobiles, their boats and our lawn tractor. I said NO WAY do I want some other old junky thing you are always having to fix- not to mention us being broke down a thousand miles from home.

At least our cars are always never junkers- I wanted a little just for two camper to use with our Saturns.

I found out about Scamps and I bought our 1978 13footer Scamp on Ebay. For 2,000.00. It's in pretty good shape, honestly. Just have to deal with re-sealing all the windows and such- it IS old, and it seems all the seals are quite dried out. But we are dealing with it all and I am having SO much fun re-decorating it. The new cushion covers will be the last thing to do, since it will take a little hunting to find just "the" right design of fabric for my theme at a discount price!

In MY opinion-a 13 foot "egg" is only for two people- even tho they say for 4. With the little bunk bed set up at one end. My husband and I couldn't ever really sleep well together on the little bigger bed part of our Scamp!!!!!!! And it's not that we are "fat" or larger persons (however my husband is 6'1")- I just like to move and thrash about all night- holy cow those beds are small. We plan on switching back and forth when we camp- one night he gets the bigger spot and I get the "sofa" and vice versa.
I couldn't ever say our camper is for more than us two.

So- I can say watch Ebay too. Not long ago there was a total wreck of a fiberglass camper for sale on there, as you describe you wanted. I cannot remember what the guy got for it- now I wish I had bookmarked that auction for curiousity.

We plan on towing our 13ft Scamp with a six cylinder Saturn Vue. Gosh- the thing is light. Just yesterday- my husband MOVED the camper by hand all by himself from the driveway into the garage. He was delighted at how light the thing is.

You can also watch RVtrader online- never know what will show up on there. But my guess is most folks sell their campers with a sign in the window along the road.
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:59 PM   #5
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According to "Trailer Life" magazine's website 1st generation (1998-2003) and 2nd generation (2004- now) Toyota Siennas all have a 3500 pound tow rating. More than enough for any 13' fiberglass trailer ever made. Tom Trostel
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:40 PM   #6
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Liz:

I'm on many a forum for campers, whether teardrop, travel trailer, fiberglass, etc. It's not unheard of procuring a camper for little money. However, when the initial purchase is complete, no matter what the cost, the larger costs start. Making the camper for your use and modifying to be capable of occupying the camper is where the biggest expense comes from.
Most of the time, the 'glorified' finders find campers that require lots of work. Like a teardrop (td), you can spend personal time and lots of effort with little money on making a td. However, that's usually over a 6 month or more window especially if you are working and have children with lives of their own. You still need the tools to fabricate and that's not really or generally added to the cost. For purchasing a td for a family of 4, it's rather difficult, but can be done. The costs are drastically higher. Many td's are owner-built to meet their requirements.

You can usually locate an usable camper for the family. The price is generally higher than what your husband has laid out for costs, though.

For local sources, yah, check out Ebay, check out For Sale sections of the camper forums, check out your local newspaper, check the auction section of your newspaper, but also check out your local rv sales offices. Many people ask rv sales to come get their trailer out of the way....
Also add to the list craigslist.org, find your city and use words like: camper, trailer, rv... searching up For Sale and not Community.

To get your husband to feel like he really needs a camper, rent a small camper and put him out in the tent next time your family goes camping.
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Old 05-01-2006, 01:53 PM   #7
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This one might sell in your price range. Then you have to calculate retrieval expense and fixup cost.

Ebay Fixer Upper Boler
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:05 PM   #8
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Welcome Liz. I think you and husband are on the right track. We looked at cheap popup's after downsizing from a motorhome but after looking at a fiberglass egg at a campground we where hooked. Having owned 7 RV's from 34ft trailers, down to our 13ft Scamp, I have to say that we have used and enjoyed our little 13ft egg the most. Wait till gas hits $4 a gallon, we will be the last ones out there camping. Finding a used 13ft for $500 will not be easy but if you have the time to hunt around then you may be able to snag one. My friend purchased a very nice 13ft Burro for $750 and spent another $200 fixing it up. I think one thing you can do is check the local want ads or the little nickel classifieds for someone selling. Perhaps run a reverse ad in the biggest paper in you area offering to purchase for cash. I think to get one at the sub $1000 price you will have to find a old one sitting around in someones yard or an estate sale etc. Hopefully the owners may not realize the market value because they bought all those years ago for $1500 new, they may be inclined to think that is it only worth $500? These things hold there value and I see most older units selling in the $2000+ range. Good hunting.
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:03 PM   #9
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Hey,
This is Liz. Maybe I was not willing to go that far (for the Boler on Ebay!) I do think that it could be powerwashed, but I don't know about the interior and I don't have a trailer to haul it home! Thanks for all the input. I would appreciate anything that anyone could tell me. I have looked on the classifieds and will continue to look. I can easily drive to Dallas, Memphis, Little Rock, Knoxville or inbetween. I am going to put the word out and see what I can find. I am enjoying this forum and all the info. Liz K
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Thanks for all the input. I would appreciate anything that anyone could tell me.
I found my first fiberglass travel trailer, a gutted out Compact Junior through the local "Auto Trader Magazine"; however, I found it in the one for "Industrial Parts and Heavy Equipment" because the seller had gutted it out to use as a Utility Trailer. This may be one more thing to try.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:03 PM   #11
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I say... Buy a tent and get out there and camp now. A trailer can be a great comfort and a lot of fun, but kids don't care. Good luck!
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