Is newer better? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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Name: Cathy
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #16
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
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We are on our 2nd 13' Scamp (over a 25 yr period). Our 1st was a 1984 with front bunk beds, and the 2nd (delux) has lots of storage and counter space in place of bunks, as it is just the two of us now that the kids are grown. The 84 had elephant hyde and the 90 has rat fur. We don't see the condensation with the rat fur as we did with the 1st one. Both units had all the accessaries except for air conditioning.
We never needed it even though we live in Arizona, because when we camp, it is in the mountains of Az, or Co. I don't feel that one unit was better than another, but this latest one fits us better (larger bed). I have done a lot of work with both trailers (enjoy doing it) such as replacing axles, tires, fixing fractured frames, replacing refrigerator, water pumps, water heaters, fantastic fan installation, table, running wires for radios, back-up cameras, solar panel.
Now that we are using it more, the wife wants one with a bathroom. We will be looking at Lil Snoozy at the Quartzsite gathering next month.

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:16 PM   #17
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft DLX SD
NW Wisconsin
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We looked at a new Scamp but bought a used 1999 Scamp .Not because we could not afford a new one but since we had never owned a trailer or traveled ,new seemed like a large expense on the chance we would like camping . If you buy new because you do not have time to fix an older one up ,you may not have time to use the new one because your working to pay for it. My buddy spent $30.000 on a new 5th wheel, it left his yard once 8 years ago and has sat at home since (Wife did not like camping. One of the reasons we bought used was the number of people on this website who have traveled all over North America with 5 or 10 or 20 or 30 year old trailers , have relatively few problems and still they have fun. We have put about 8000 miles on ours over the last year and a half and our 1999 Scamp has served us well
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:23 PM   #18
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Name: Ken
Trailer: Scamp
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Post fire 13s have 2" more interior headroom.
When did the fire take place? I've read comments referring to pre and post fire. Just wondering when it was.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #19
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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The fire was in Jan 06 - they were back in biz by Dec 06.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #20
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Buying Old

Our 1991 Scamp 16 is 22 years old. We've owned it for 2-3 years.

It sounds like it was a pre-fire Scamp though it has an OSB floor, "ratfur with backing insulation and a 1 7/8th" ball (since upgraded to 2" on a factory visit).

To me what you whether you buy new or used depends on your financial resources, handy-andy abilities and usage plans.

If you plan to own the rig for the long term and have the resources purchasing new may be the best approach. For many of us this is not the best solution.

Our approach was to buy a solid mid priced rig in good condition ($5-6K) and 'make it our way'. We are heavy users and in 2 years we have made 50 mods and upgrades, non-really beyond the average handy-andy. I'm sure we'll always be making them as we continue to figure out what we need for our travels.

If you're handy and the basic structure of the trailer is good practically anything in the trailer is fixable by the average person except possibly the axle, door alignment or the 3 way fridge. In our case everything worked fine.

If you're not handy professional RV services can eat thru your camping budget quickly so a heavily used vehicle might not be for you.

Outside of the fridge, axle and door, the biggest concenr seems to be the floor. They typically rot from the top down due to leaky windows. In our case our floor had no rot. To protect the floor we painted the top side where we could, particularly under all windows and the bottom of the floor. Water tends to pool on the paint instead of being absorbed (we know because we had a pipe fail).

Usage is interesting. If you're a casual user having an icebox instead of a 3 way fridge might be just fine and easier to deal with. Just a spring, summer and fall camper, a propane heater may not be necessary.

As to crank out windows, I wish my Scamp had them, they can not be beaten for maximum ventilation.

All in all, I think fiberglass trailers are amazing. The concept of a single virtually one piece shell gives them amazing life. We love ours and given an 'extended life' for us it will be ours for at least another decade making a number of additional loops of the USA and Canada.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:13 PM   #21
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Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
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Originally Posted by eggless View Post
So, given an option, what would people here go with...spend more for something newer and more options (and built with better material?) or go with about the half the price for something a little more rustic, but still perfectly useable?
If you want any one of the Legacy brands still being manufactured today-
  • Scamp
  • Casita
  • Trillium
... I advise getting the newest one you can afford if you want it ready-to-use.

Of course some brands are recent and don't have many used units available. Escape built their first trailer in 2001 according to their website, they're the most likely to have used 17' units available... their other sizes are more recent. Parkliner and Lil' Snoozy are brand new and it is rare to find a used one.

I personally like "Quirky" stuff. Not so much old as Vintage. Things that don't serve you as much as you take care of them. Things with history... Patina... and usually a lower purchase price, but a higher long term investment. That's why I fell in love with a 35 year old Fiber Stream.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #22
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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Well, I s'pose it depends on experience and expectations more than anything else. Newer trailers have more in the bells-and-whistles department, though I'm unconvinced that "materials have improved". My husband spent his entire working life in the Forest products industry and will, if you let him, go to great lengths to decry the deterioration of wood products, for example!

For myself, all I wanted when I decided to move from a tent to a ready-to-camp setting was a clean dry trailer that I could stand up in. After that I wanted a stove, fridge, comfortable sleeping place, and heat. I got all that with my 1978 Trillium and remain totally satisfied with it.

It came to me in good shape, though I've of course made "improvements"...I reckon I've put a couple of thousand into it TOPS in addition to the purchase price of $1400.00. A major expense was the addition of an honest-to-Pete pulldown awning just like the Big Boys have. I wouldn't be without it!

Please do keep in mind that there's a WIDE gulf between "used" and "beater" when you're looking/conversing. The former is ready-to-camp, and the latter is needs-to-be-rebuilt.

Your choice!

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:13 PM   #23
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Name: Roger
Trailer: 2009 Trillium 1300 "Homelet"/2014 Subaru Outback "Rosie"
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Smile Trillium

David B in post #16,
Are you aware that Trilliums are now built in Florence, AZ? Just stopped by the factory the other day and Tom had about 5 15' units in the building and about the same outside. They can be had with toilets. Tom says that he is building more 15' units now. They look sweet to me.

We are now in Apache Junction until next Friday, Happy Days RV Park, site 113.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:20 AM   #24
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Hi: All... Nothing wrong with new vs. old as long as the new mfg's. learn by the errors of the past ways. Some new materials are far superior to the oldies and some aren't. Prices have a lot more zeros in them but no one today, except me, works for 1970's wages. When first married my weekly allowance would buy a 24 of Canada's finest brews. Now I can get a six pack!!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:29 AM   #25
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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We refitted a couple of older used trailers before deciding on our new one.
That way we learned what we wanted and helped to pay for it!
Eggy-Sue (the pull-it surprize) has proven to be for us the perfect trailer for nine years now....With a constant improvement program of course!
She's a 2004 Scamp13 Deluxe front bath.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:15 PM   #26
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
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The older the trailer, the more chance of needed repairs. Just like any piece of machinery. Things loosen, deteriorate, wear out, etc. Hot water heater burner can get dirty or temperamental. Window seals can start to leak. Water lines can spring a leak. Pumps can quit. Thus the value depreciates and prices decline with age. "You get what you pay for," the saying goes. On top of that, with a used one you run the risk that someone is unaware of or, worse yet, covering up/lying about problems. Whereas with new you get a warranty to cover problems for a while.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:53 PM   #27
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Name: Cricket
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 13'
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Thanks for all the info and opinions! Couple of additional questions though.... The older ones have marine plywood and the newer ones have "resin soaked OSB"....what exactly is OSB? Isn't it just chip board? Is it better than marine grade plywood? The guy at Scamp indicated that the newer floors were better....I would think that plywood would be better than chipboard for a floor...what does the resin do? I think we will go with a newer one....and I think we have found it...just need to get to it to take look.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #28
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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OSB stands for Oriented strand board. Its a little different from wood-scrap boards as it uses long strips of wood which are put in place strategically rather than randomly.Chip board is made out of slivers or chips of wood The resin Scamp uses to cover the OSB is fiberglass resin - to prevent water penetration a bit better than marine plywood does. Keep in mind that they have been using the OSB with resin coating for at least 20 years or more ;-) My 92 has an OSB resin coated floor and it shows no signs of water damage.

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