Longevity of the Ancient Eggs - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-02-2005, 09:02 AM   #1
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Seems like every night I wake up with dozens of items in my mind that I need to renovate or redesign on my Burro. I was starting to think poorly of the designers of the Burro since so many things need to be addressed to feel good about their safety and service. I'm sure many of the fiberglass trailers dating back 20 - 35 years ago are in the same condition. But then (I'm a late learner) a simple answer to all this came into my thinking process. These small lightweight trailers were not really built at the time to be road worthy and used as heavily as their fate has dictated. I assume the engineers were not thinking; "Lets design a $2500 trailer that will last 30 plus years, travel thousands of miles in all kinds of conditions, be towed by vehicles we cannot yet imagine and become increasingly popular and still be in excellent condition in three or more decades from now".

I have studied the new Casitas over and over. It appears that at least that company is thinking more along these lines when you look at the door configurations, frame, and other design features now incorporated into their product.

Now I feel better about working on my trailer. A challenge of sorts. Extending the life of the original idea these engineers and designers had many decades ago before fuel was $3 a gallon and bigger was better. I feel it's like rebuilding a vintage vehicle of sorts that was ahead of it's time and I am happy it's still on the road.
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:10 AM   #2
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Here - Here....

And there is a wonderful sense of accomplishment to restoring our little eggs
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:55 AM   #3
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If they live long enough, can we sell them to Chinese restaurants?
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:29 PM   #4
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My 1972 Love Bug is probably in better shape than when it came from the factory. The frame is much stronger, much nicer cabinet doors, nice and shiny (after repaint.) I love the comments that I get when I pull into a gas station, people can't believe that it is going on 34 years old.
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Old 12-02-2005, 09:53 PM   #5
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My 1969 Compact J which I sold was in better shape after I fixed it up with little cost,than when it was new.I don,t see many stickies out there that old.As long as these FG rigs are maintained and repaired as need be,they should last a very long time.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:03 AM   #6
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It just goes to show you that when all is said and done, a good design of a good concept that provides good for a goodly number of people is.....................nice to keep around (and good). In a world that throws so much away, restoration of good stuff may be the road less travelled, but someone's got to do it. Guess that's us.

Walked into a local auto upholstery shop the other day looking for trim lok and what did I see over in a dark corner but a beautifully restored 1937 Hudson coupe that just got all new period upholstery. I couldn't take my eyes off that wonderful looking thing.

No, they didn't have the right trim lok. Will likely go with JC Whitney, Gary. Oh, the road picture? Route 94 just north of Port Jervis, NY, overlooking the magnificent Delaware R.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:23 AM   #7
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You can always tell someone who doesn't know much about molded fiberglass trailers, when he/she posts in the Trailers Wanted forum they are looking to purchase a trailer less than 5 years old. Lots of us have seen "newer" trailers that are absolutely trashed and trailers that are more than 15 years old that are fabulous. Once again, it falls into the maintenance issue. If a trailer is well maintained, what's to go wrong...some replaceable appliances? In the grand scheme of things even replacing an axle is no big deal...been there, done that.

My trailer is closer to 20 years old, than 10....everytime I step inside I get that feeling of wellbeing. I wouldn't trade that for all the "new trailer smells" in the world.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:33 AM   #8
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I wouldn't trade that for all the "new trailer smells" in the world.
"New trailer smells" these days carry a chemical stench from the volatile glues used to bond cheap veneers, liners and fabrics together. They give me a headache every time I venture into one of the newer rigs - one of the reasons I no longer go to RV shows.
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:27 AM   #9
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That "new trailer smell" was with us for better than the first year and was quite unpleasant. My guess is that it was as a result of some kind of outgassing from the resin or gelcoat. The factory stated that whatever they used was some kind of fire retardant material. Whether that was hype or something slightly out of the ordinary was not clear.

We thought that the stench would go away but a year was a bit much. I hope it was not as a result of some incorrectly mixed material. On the other hand, there is no smell any more.
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Old 12-03-2005, 11:38 AM   #10
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That "new trailer smell" was with us for better than the first year and was quite unpleasant. My guess is that it was as a result of some kind of outgassing from the resin or gelcoat. The factory stated that whatever they used was some kind of fire retardant material. Whether that was hype or something slightly out of the ordinary was not clear.

We thought that the stench would go away but a year was a bit much. I hope it was not as a result of some incorrectly mixed material. On the other hand, there is no smell any more.

And you pay extra for that smell, give me a used one anytime. I'm on my third 1 28 yrs old 1 10 yrs old and 1 9 yrs old none with new or any smell.
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Old 12-03-2005, 01:14 PM   #11
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That new-RV smell is quite toxic. I was looking at new motorhomes last summer for my 70+ year old parents. I couldn't be in one for more than 30 seconds. My eyes would burn, and breathing was absolutely impossible. I've been in a tear gas chamber on more than one occasion. That motorhome was the most nicely furnished tear gas chamber I'd ever been in, but was no less unpleasant!

Roger
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Old 12-03-2005, 02:03 PM   #12
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While I understand the longevity of a FGRV, having owned one that was 23 years old. I must say the new trailer smell of my 2005 Scamp is actually quite heavenly, compared the smoke / wet dog smell of our 1982 Scamp!

I can't seem to find my avatar, perhaps I'll have to look for a new one!
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:19 PM   #13
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Roger:
I had to assume that the stuff was toxic, got an all-weather cover for the FanTastic, opened up windows, and generally ran fresh air through it whether it was in storage or in use.
In retrospect, maybe even that was not quite enough, judging from the subsequent blackouts, memory lapses, loss of weight due to missing brain cells, and the funny looks from family and friends.
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