Mortified Used Travel Trailer Seeker - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2019, 04:48 PM   #1
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Name: Shangie
Trailer: Roadtrek
Washington
Posts: 12
Mortified Used Travel Trailer Seeker

Hello All, We are grateful to have found this RV site because of the information we have gathered about travel trailers. We are seeking a well maintained travel trailer and our budget is 10,000.00. We are shocked to learn how few people maintain their RVs even though there is so much information available online to assist them in doing so. After thousands of miles of driving to to see travel trailers described as in excellent condition only to arrive and find de-lamination, dry rot and much jerry-rigging- We want to give up! And I am asking all the right questions and even asking owners to do certain checks for me. This weekend we drove 800 miles round trip to view a trailer that a woman told me was in like new condition due to how it had been cared for. I called her and asked for videos of interior and exterior (easy to do with a smart phone), which she supplied. I asked if the roof had been maintained and she assured me it had been by her father just recently within the past three years. Then she went on to tell me she knows RVs in and out because she was in the industry her entire life due to her father owning an RV sales lot and we had "found the one" and to "make the trip as it would be worth our while". We did and the I inspected it I found the entire front end of this high quality travel trailer was dry rotted from a window leak sign I spotted due to an online video that taught me how to avoid buying a lemon RV. When I pointed this out to the seller she said it was a thousand dollar repair and she would take that off the price. I then said we would be happy to pay full price if she takes it in for repair but that I wanted to check the roof first before committing- EGADS! It was covered in a layer of ponderosa pine and the caulk was pulling away from all areas as though not caulked in years. She also said there was no way she was doing the repair and her husband said "someone will buy it". Wow! How do those people live with themselves? Is this just our bad luck? Or do you have to view a lot of trailers before you find one in well maintained condition, meaning some actual maintenance took place.Any encouragement is welcome and if it is okay to post a link to the helpful video I will.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:22 PM   #2
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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You appear to be looking at 'stickies'. Trailers that are slapped together and leak from new. This site is devoted to moulded fibreglass trailers.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:29 PM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Drove to Colorado a couple of years ago to buy a pristine Trillium. Turned around and drove back home. It was far from as described, and had terminal issues.

Even FG trailers can be a bit of a crap shoot. Some sellers are not honest, others really don't notice the problems. Even careful questioning of seller on what to look for does not always work.

Been there, done that, got the T shirt....

On a newer trailer, first question to ask is how is it stored when you are not camping. The two best trailers I bought were both stored indoors in garages.

With stickies (what you have been looking at), rot is the norm, as is delimitation of the outer walls.


People tend to NOT maintain their RVs and run them to failure. Covered indoor storage for the WIN.

Both trailers I passed on recently due to SERIOUS problems were sold shortly after to other customers/fools. So many buyers do not do simple research up front before purchase and then get surprised later by common problems that are well documented had they just googled it before purchase.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:41 PM   #4
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Name: Shangie
Trailer: Roadtrek
Washington
Posts: 12
Looking at Molded Fiberglass as well and ......

Thanks for all the replies. Thrifty Bill, your comments confirm my suspicions about maintenance. Thanks for the tips. I thought this was a forum for fiberglass RVs and did not realize it was for molded fiberglass so I won't post again unless I have a question pertaining to those: We have looked at molded fiberglass as well and found rotted floors all from lack of maintenance and it appears people are trying to get rid of those because cost to repair is very expensive. It takes a few hours a year to properly re caulk a trailer. My husband agrees that we need to find a trailer stored indoors. Although we just looked at one of those and yet the retired folks who owned it used it so extensively throughout their ownership it may as well of been stored outdoors. They put 44,000 miles on just in one big trip alone traveling the US and Canada extensively. We love our older Roadtrek due to high quality and use the heck out of it. We just also want a trailer for times with the grandkids and times when we might park it somewhere beautiful for a week and want to detach to explore an area- not always easy to navigate back country roads with the van.
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:48 AM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Mortified Used Travel Trailer Seeker

Like this?
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We towed our Scamp with an SUV for many years, but when we acquired the RT 190P as a family hand-me-down we discovered it makes a decent tow vehicle, too. Like you Iím not thrilled with the build quality of the newer ones, but I do like the Chevy Express 3500 platform. The kids sleep in the Scamp and my wife and I get the van.

We still use the SUV when going on back roads, of course. As the kids are approaching college, my wife and I are looking forward to some road trips in the van alone.

RV maintenance... families live busy lives, health issues intervene, life changes happen. Itís easy to let things slip, especially if itís kept off-site in a storage lot as required by many HOAís. A sale may come after several years of disuse, and even a well-intentioned seller may describe the unit as they remember it when they last used it.

Such was the case with Momís Roadtrek, and Iím slowly working through issues caused by neglect as her health gradually declined.

Iím sure thereís a good trailer for you out there. You may have to kiss a few more frogs before you find it.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:33 AM   #6
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 507
I feel your pain Shangie, I drove 4 hours to look at a "decent shape" Shasta Compact (have a soft spot for those as well as eggs) only to find the passenger side rear corner was actually collapsing down towards the frame due to rot in the wall (the outside storage door wouldn't even close and the floor was 2 inches above the bottom of the hatch opening). I lucked out when my boler came up for sale. If you do decide to look at an egg, bring cash in hand to reserve it. They go quickly!
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 866
Wife and I drove from Nashville, TN to Helena, MT to see a Foretravel motorhome. Had financing lined up with a bank in MT, had insurance ready, even bought a pilot diesel fuel card. drove up in the tow are we expected to use. We were assured by the owner that it was cherry. Pics looked great. It had a hole in the roof, parts missing, many other issues...but it did start...We said no thanks, and drove home. Very bummed out. We had look to many 5 motorhomes across the country, same thing each time. So we said enough and bought a new Big Foot 25RQ.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:20 AM   #8
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Name: sharon
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
Posts: 168
I feel your pain. I once drove 2 hours to see a camper in “excellent condition “. First clue was it was stored in an empty field behind a restaurant with other campers left to die. Second clue the pics supplied were carefully shot of only the good parts. Then there were the gaping holes where appliances used to be, and outside vents removed allowing wildlife to wander thru. When I asked the seller about that, he admitted he hadn’t actually seen the camper in months! Had no clue it was gutted (or so he claimed).
Hang in there, keep searching & doing your homework. The right one will come when it’s time.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:38 AM   #9
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
Posts: 2,551
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The 2/3 Rule of Purchasing:

You can have two out of three qualities when you buy something (unless you are extremely lucky):

FAST
CHEAP
GOOD

Cheap: some people get their trailers free. They are often also fast (get it off my property this week!) but they are seldom "good."

Fast: if you're willing to pay, you can often buy a lovely item from a retailer fast and good.

Good: you're probably going to pay a lot more than you hoped, or have to wait and search a lot longer than you'd hoped.

Don't be mortified. Lots of people have been through your tribulations.

Many of us searched a long time, many of us paid more than we'd hoped, and many of us have done more work, sometimes massively more, than we'd intended. but persistence and intentionality can net you "your" trailer.

Best luck. (Really good luck nullifies the 2/3 rule, but few people can count on luck alone.)

"K"


Peanut--as-bought condition (Pergo flooring removed) and after most repairs, missing only most decals.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:48 AM   #10
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Name: Tom
Trailer: R-Vision & In the market
Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Wife and I drove from Nashville, TN to Helena, MT to see a Foretravel motorhome. Had financing lined up with a bank in MT, had insurance ready, even bought a pilot diesel fuel card. drove up in the tow are we expected to use. We were assured by the owner that it was cherry. Pics looked great. It had a hole in the roof, parts missing, many other issues...but it did start...We said no thanks, and drove home. Very bummed out. We had look to many 5 motorhomes across the country, same thing each time. So we said enough and bought a new Big Foot 25RQ.
Wow you just confirmed my thinking about getting a new one.....Thanks
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:56 PM   #11
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
Posts: 722
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shangie View Post
Hello All, We are grateful to have found this RV site because of the information we have gathered about travel trailers. We are seeking a well maintained travel trailer and our budget is 10,000.00. We are shocked to learn how few people maintain their RVs even though there is so much information available online to assist them in doing so. After thousands of miles of driving to to see travel trailers described as in excellent condition only to arrive and find de-lamination, dry rot and much jerry-rigging- We want to give up! And I am asking all the right questions and even asking owners to do certain checks for me. This weekend we drove 800 miles round trip to view a trailer that a woman told me was in like new condition due to how it had been cared for. I called her and asked for videos of interior and exterior (easy to do with a smart phone), which she supplied. I asked if the roof had been maintained and she assured me it had been by her father just recently within the past three years. Then she went on to tell me she knows RVs in and out because she was in the industry her entire life due to her father owning an RV sales lot and we had "found the one" and to "make the trip as it would be worth our while". We did and the I inspected it I found the entire front end of this high quality travel trailer was dry rotted from a window leak sign I spotted due to an online video that taught me how to avoid buying a lemon RV. When I pointed this out to the seller she said it was a thousand dollar repair and she would take that off the price. I then said we would be happy to pay full price if she takes it in for repair but that I wanted to check the roof first before committing- EGADS! It was covered in a layer of ponderosa pine and the caulk was pulling away from all areas as though not caulked in years. She also said there was no way she was doing the repair and her husband said "someone will buy it". Wow! How do those people live with themselves? Is this just our bad luck? Or do you have to view a lot of trailers before you find one in well maintained condition, meaning some actual maintenance took place.Any encouragement is welcome and if it is okay to post a link to the helpful video I will.
You are right. There is a lot of junk out there. I even see comments in this forum that makes me wonder about people since they take out appliances, propane lines, etc. Then they think they have the top of the line unit. They slap stuff together just to make it work. We have a 2007 Casita that is stored and always has been stored indoors. It looks like new and most think it is newer than that. A little wear on the one arm of chair but you have to look close. We keep our stuff up. Our motorhome is treated the same and looks new. When something breaks we fix it properly. Leaks are dealt with quickly and properly also. We looked for a long time probably a year for a newer motorhome once and finally found one. It was at a rental place but they were very careful with their rigs. We used it for years. We bought the Casita new since all of the used ones were over used. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and buy new. But again watch for the quality. We looked at a new unit that you could see the pavement under the seats by the wheel wells. There was a small opening. We've talked about getting a newer RV but decided we knew what we had and there's just so much junk that we shelved the idea. Good luck. Don't give up. Your unit is out there. Check the roofs very carefully. My sister bought her dream unit from a known person in their camping group and it leaked the first rain and the entire roof will have to be replaced due to manufacturer stupidity.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:24 PM   #12
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Originally Posted by Shangie View Post
Hello All, We are grateful to have found this RV site because of the information we have gathered about travel trailers. We are seeking a well maintained travel trailer and our budget is 10,000.00.

As you are in Washington state and your budget is decent I would suggest you approach GoGo Camper in Seattle. They rent fiberglass travel trailers and just this week I heard from a friend who knows the owner that the are looking to sell the business. I know they have at least one fiberglass trailer listed on Seattle craigslist at present but I don't know which others if any they are planning to sell to individuals. One good thing about buying from them is they do keep up their rental trailers with any needed fixes including good tires, axles, wiring etc and you can even take it out camping to see if you like it before you buy it.

Then of course negotiate for the price as well as being able to get the person they have on staff to make any modifications you might want.

It is a rather unique opportunity to be able to try camping in a trailer you are seriously considering as a purchse.
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Old 11-20-2019, 01:28 PM   #13
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Name: Shangie
Trailer: Roadtrek
Washington
Posts: 12
Thanks for the encouragement, words of wisdom and shared stories

It is good to know we are not alone in this search but also good to har that perhaps there is no such thing as a truly trustworthy used trailer. It appears most used trailers are going to have issues, both known and unknown. Like others, we won't buy new due to cost , quality and depreciation. Most of the molded fiberglass ones do not have set ups we want for our weekend trips due to the lack of leisure space though they would be perfect for ongoing travel- we are not there yet due to employment. As weekend warriors, like to set up and then lounge about outdoors, go for hikes and kayaking and sometimes sight seeing the area we visit. Nighttime though, we like to catch up on reading, knitting, etc and want a four person settee and separate true full sized bed for that so each has a couch like sitting area via the wider settee. We found that in a few non molded fiberglass sided trailers but even at 10 years of age, they are damaged. I am going to check out some 21' Casitas for bed measurements. The length has to be 75 or greater for the tall hubby. Thanks again.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,477
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In the world of molded FG trailers, there is very little depreciation so new can make sense. You can save TIME buying used as most of the manufacturers have hefty backlogs, you can save shipping (assuming the used one is nearby), and you can get owner upgrades.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:39 PM   #15
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,896
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Originally Posted by Shangie View Post
I am going to check out some 21' Casitas for bed measurements. The length has to be 75 or greater for the tall hubby. Thanks again.
There are no 21' Casitas. The largest Casita is a 17', but there are a few different layouts
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:01 PM   #16
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Escape 19 and Escape 15B
Alberta
Posts: 510
Two years ago, we bought our used 2013 Escape 15B sight unseen and then travelled about 1600 km (1000 miles) each way to pick it up. Was a leap of faith on our part, but the condition was almost exactly as we expected. Maybe we lucked out!
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:40 PM   #17
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Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Itís called PRIDE of OWNERSHIP

[QUOTE=Shangie; do you have to view a lot of trailers before you find one in well maintained condition, meaning some actual maintenance took place.Any encouragement is welcome and if it is okay to post a link to the helpful video I will.[/QUOTE]

And Iím not sure what that is but as I drive though a campground, I know it when I see it. The owner makes sure that the inside and outside are clean and neat so that they look as good or even better than when the RV was originally built, as opposed to not doing anything and letting things get dirty and in dis-repair. Posting pictures of a dirty unit with piles of junk stored inside needs a matching price.I was in many before I bought my first one. I knew it was the one when I walked in, it just felt right. Do not give up. Note also that they ALL have problems, even a new one.
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:32 PM   #18
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Name: Harold
Trailer: 1975 Scamp, 13-foot
Redding, California
Posts: 287
Shangie,

It isn't just trailers. In 2014 I flew 1,000 miles to look at a C5 Corvette that was, of course, described as being in excellent condition. It had been driven hard and put away wet, so to speak. There was evidence that someone had removed the dashboard clumsily, and the shift indicator looked like it had been rubbed with sandpaper. How does that happen? That was enough for me. I flew home, and the plane tickets were not cheap. Heck, it cost $40 just for the taxi from the airport to the dealership.

A couple of weeks later I rented a car and drove 5 hours and bought a 2001 Corvette that was exactly as described, and drove it home.

In 2001 I flew 2,200 miles to buy a Jaguar XKE. I was pretty amazed when the seller offered to pay for my plane ticket home if it wasn't as described. It was, and I drove it home. When I sold it in 2016 I tripled my money. Score!

https://godfathersblog.wordpress.com...-an-adventure/

So it's a crapshoot. Some people maintain their stuff, and some don't, and I think some people believe maintaining their RV is the opposite of recreation. Also sellers can be deceptive, intentionally or not. But it's still pretty disgusting and discouraging when you spend time and money and find out you've been deceived.

As Kai said: You can have it cheap, fast, or good. Pick any two. Very seldom you can get lucky and have all three.

I think I got all three when I found my 1975 Scamp 13. I was driving down the highway and saw it on a car lot out of the corner of my eye. I did a U-turn and drove back to the lot. The lot guy said they weren't' actually open on Sundays, but he would show it to me. I looked it over and made an offer which he accepted. Thirty-minutes later I was driving it home. It's in very good shape for a 44-year old trailer. No major rot or damage anywhere -- and I hadn't even been thinking about buying a travel trailer.

Shangie: I sincerely hope you get lucky and find your dream camper.

--Harold
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:03 PM   #19
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
Posts: 2,551
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Doctor Harold,

Sounds like you did, indeed, get lucky with your "instantScamp!" Congratulations; you seem to really know your luck and appreciate it. Great good luck doesn't come up very often.

BEST
"K"
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:13 PM   #20
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Name: Harold
Trailer: 1975 Scamp, 13-foot
Redding, California
Posts: 287
Lucky is as lucky thinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
Doctor Harold,

Sounds like you did, indeed, get lucky with your "instantScamp!" Congratulations; you seem to really know your luck and appreciate it. Great good luck doesn't come up very often.

BEST
"K"
Thanks, I consider myself a very lucky person and I'm lucky more often than not. I do have misfortune, we all have misfortune, but I don't consider that bad luck.

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