Is newer better? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #1
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Is newer better?

OK. The Scamp season is starting....they are starting to pop up around here for sale. Here is my question....Is newer better?

Most of the ones coming up for sale right now are in the early to mid 80's. Most have an icebox, no furnace, and certainly nothing fancy....some have awnings and of course they have the coveted crank out windows. Prices seem to fall about the mid to upper three thousands.

Then there is a huge gap of 90's that don't ever seem to come up for sale.

Then the early to mid 2000's that seem to pop up (all pre-scamp fire). Most of them are fairly decked out (3 way fridge, furnace, brakes, some extra storage, etc.). These seem to run between 6 and 7 grand.

I called Scamp to find out if there was really much of a difference between one that is less than 10 years old and those that are over 20 years old. Obviously condition can vary greatly (but let's assume average to above average condition). Scamp told me that they use much better materials when they build them now (isn't fiberglass fiberglass?) and there would be a difference in how the wood was treated on the bottom. They told me one should expect rot on one from the 80's....

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? I realize it's a matter of personal choice and preference, and I've already come to the realization that I am probably not equipped to handle any major repairs or restorations.....really just want to get to camping with my family and am gearing up to buy an egg soon. We are already planning a big trip to CO this summer and plan to camp about every weekend that we can.....kids are still young enough not to have a ton of activities to take up their time!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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I think the older ones are for folks with limited means and folks who are as interested in the project as they are in camping. Replacing floors, frames, and axles are quite different than adding a few frills to make it your own. From your posts I get the impression if you could, you'd hit the road tomorrow. Therefore I would suggest you look for the newest trailer you can afford, and be prepared to jump on it. Raz
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Cricket, I don't quite understand the 'better materials' part either. That's a pretty broad claim. Did they give you any specific examples of what materials are better?

You can see from the mix of owners and campers that there is no 'right' type of rig to buy. Some buy and fully refurb, and some juse 'clean up and hook up'.

The main difference that I've seen in the older campers is the deteriorated suspension system, and leaks. (windows easy to correct, and frame less easy to fix yourself) But as far as most issues, the key is the maintenance history. If you want a 'camp and go' trailer then you may be happer and feel more confident purchasing a newer year, but of course the price will go up accordingly.

There are going to be a lot of new choices to make with all the spring listings. Have faith in your knowlege that you can choose what will work for your family. There is an egg out there for you!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:03 AM   #4
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I faced this when I was searching...... Preferred a newer one, but they weren't coming up for sale. Or if they did they were sold in a matter of minutes. Actually older weren't coming up for sale either, but certainly more often than newer. Finally a 85 came up for sale about 4 hours from home. I was the first to call on it. Told the guy I would buy it and I was on my way. My plan was to re-do it. Due to health issues with my DH I was going to have most of it professionally done. Well the project lasted about a week. I found a year old Casita for sale about a week after the 85 in Vegas. Called about it, bought it. The lady held it for me without any down payment, just my word I would be there. I have to say, I am completely happy I went for the newer version!


Of course if you can find a older trailer that has been taken care of, by all means it's worth it. But if your not able to re-hab it, such as skill or funds I would recommend buying the trailer that is your best bet for haveing a road worthy trailer.. Safe is the first consideration! Goood Luck!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #5
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Unless you can do the work and have time to do it, buying in better shape is the more economical route. You can burn up a lot of labor charges getting even minor stuff done at an RV shop.

That said, newer and "in better shape" are not necessarily the same, though there is a strong correlation. I'd say, buy the best you can afford. You will recoup most of it when you sell anyway.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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Newer one better, I personally don't think so.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
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The newest you can afford is likely to be the shallowest money pit. I know you're going to let the POs sweat out the high depreciation gradient because, in all your posts, you've never mentioned "new." As for "rustic but perfectly usable'" you can enjoy those as you pass by. My intuition about price points is that we set them based mostly on wishful thinking and revise upward to buy most of what we want in "drive off" condition. There are many brave exceptions to that rule, and we sing their praises every day. It is acceptable to buy the best you can afford and save you energy for enjoying your "new" trailer.

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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I got lucky with my purchase in that the PO had done the cleanup and making it road-worthy at which point his wife advised him that she didn't want a camper that didn't have a bathroom. So his loss was my gain
That being said, I still replaced the wiring, and just recently installed new side windows.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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1986 was the last year for the "elphant hide" lining.It was replaced with Ratfur and reflextix which provides better insulation and less condensation with a warmer feeling.

Early 13ft Scamps have 1200# leading arm axles, which were later switched to 2200# axles and eventually trailing arms.

Early 16ft Scamps have 2200# axles later switched to 3500#axles with larger brakes.

The shells on newer Scamps are thicker and less flexible, also a little heavier.
Post fire 13s have 2" more interior headroom.

Early Scamps had marine plywood floors ,the newer ones are resin soaked OSB.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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I suspect we may need to define what is newer vs older - as my pre fire 1992 16' has resin soaked OSB floors and the larger brakes.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I suspect we may need to define what is newer vs older - as my pre fire 1992 16' has resin soaked OSB floors and the larger brakes.
OK
Early Scamps are generally pre ratfur (1971-1986)

Although generalities are just that, and defy specific definition.

Each change to the Scamp came along without exact respect to anything like model year, it's more like a blur.
For example... I have seen leading arms on Scamps made after the turn of the century.
Placing exact dates on most changes is something that Scamp themselves can not do with any degree of certainty.
There really ain't that many anyway!
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggless View Post
Scamp told me that they use much better materials when they build them now (isn't fiberglass fiberglass?)
I am really surprised to read that! Did they state any years the big changes happened? Suspect that Floyd is correct that they are reaching back in time a little bit more than what you may think in regards to better materials.

As mentioned my 92 has the resin treated OSB floors & the bigger axle and brakes but mostly everything on and in the trailer in regards to parts & appliances and how its put together is done the same as they do them today. The majority of the parts used can still be bought from their parts store & they are still using them on their new trailers.

The only big changes in regards to build is they changed the coupler to a 2" from an 1 7/8" and they moved the water and electrical to the drivers side to the passenger side but used the same fittings etc.

Only inside changes of note are they did change the cushion cover colors ever 5 or so years. We joke that sometimes the only way you can date the age on a well kept Scamp is based on the colour of the original cushions. They have changed the fridge and stove models due to the manufacture not making those models any more but they have stayed with the same manufacture. Up until a year or two ago even the door knobs on the cupboards where the same - that was until the knob manufacture stopped making that style. The cupboard doors are the exactly the same in all ways. I actually purchased a new one from them last year & its a perfect match to the 20 year old ones in my trailer right down to the hinges.

So I really am scratching my head on why they will tell you what they did..... hoping for a new trailer sale maybe?
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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for me....newer is better. neither one of us had any desire to start a major reno. we'd camped for many years in tent trailers (pop-up) that were old, with canvas that self-destructed each time the darn things were going up or down. by buying new, it was our treat to ourselves......only had to personalize it but no large "jobs" facing us meant we could simply go. and as the commercials say...."that is priceless!".

but we respect greatly those who DO have the skills, desires and time to undertake a refit. we just know it wasn't for us.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:07 PM   #14
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Being poor, I usually bought projects and put sweat equity into it. I got lucky with the boat being destroyed in the hurracaine and had enough to just barely get a new caravan. I thought about getting an older unit and sinking a few grand into it and alot of weekends of work getting it ready for camping season, but I decided I wanted something like new. Harry's ParkLiner was availible, Im really surprised no one jumped on it... but maybe it was destined to be mine!

Im Very Happy! I have some modifications I need to do to it before the spring, want the table to fold in half, and then it would fit in the closet if I needed floor space for some reason, but mostly the large dinette is staying down for the comfie big bed!

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