Question about buying - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-28-2013, 08:24 AM   #1
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Name: Willy
Trailer: In the market
Pennsylvania
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Question about buying

I want to purchase a used travel trailer (fiberglass would be awesome) that I can fix up and use. I'm not extremely handy but I love camping and I would love a trailer so I think the motivation would help. I want something that is structurally ok but may need a lot of cosmetic work and/or minimally involved larger jobs. I want to know the best way/place to find these things. I've looked on RVTrader and found a few things in the past but nothing that jumped out at me. Where should I be looking? Any thoughts or advice are welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
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Oregon
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Post wanted ads on the forums for the brands you're interested in that specifically state what you want and a ballpark figure on what you're willing to consider paying. It can take a while - took me almost a year to get an email from someone selling exactly what I wanted for a reasonable price. When something pops up, GO LOOK at it in person fast because they sell in a matter of days! If need be, you can also have it shipped out on a flatbed to get it home (cost me less than the price of gas to get mine myself and haul it from Denver to Portland, Oregon.)
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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There's an over priced (in our opinion) Burro 13 in Orono Maine for $6000.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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British Columbia
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Willy, this site has a for sale section for owners as well as a for sale section referrals where others who have come across an ad can post it.

There is also a site called Fiberglass-rv-4sale.com that collects up all the ads from various locations and puts them in one spot for you.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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There are several site inundated with what you are looking for: <<<fiberglassrv4sale.com>>> is one, <<<findanyrv.com>>> is another, and there is always <<<jaxed.com>>> and lots of searching on Craigs list.

My #1 tip, unless you are into pain and/or have lots of time and/or money to spend, is to buy the very, very best you can afford.

Rebuilding a fixer takes time away from use and almost always, unless you place no value whatsoever on your time, comes out to costing more. If you have to depend on outside labor costs, a fixer will kill you in the first month....

Best bet.... read a lot on here for a while before buying..... You may have to kiss a lot of toads along the way before you find your Prince(ss) of a FGRV.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
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Name: RogerDat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
....

My #1 tip, unless you are into pain and/or have lots of time and/or money to spend, is to buy the very, very best you can afford.

Rebuilding a fixer takes time away from use and almost always, unless you place no value whatsoever on your time, comes out to costing more. If you have to depend on outside labor costs, a fixer will kill you in the first month....

Best bet.... read a lot on here for a while before buying..... You may have to kiss a lot of toads along the way before you find your Prince(ss) of a FGRV.
Plus one on what Bob said.
Frame, floor & suspension are all expensive/extensive work to repair. Fiberglass too. If you have the skills it's time and materials if you pay for it to be done these things are expensive.

Consider with care the skill resources you and friends and family can bring to such a project. Also your storage/living situation, one poster living in an apartment had to haul water bucket at a time in order to track down a leak.

Also consider you or your families tolerence for using it "rough" on the inside or outside. Some folks would be fine using it as a hard sided tent even if kitchen or bathroom was not functional, or tolerate cosmetic blemishes on the outside if everything was good on the inside. Others would find one or both of these situations unacceptable.

First thing my wife wanted addressed was the ratty faded decals on the outside and it be clean inside and out. After that she was good to go, did not care if I did not have sink fixed. Me I would probably have fixed the sink first and suspension before dealing with the other stuff.

FGRV's hold their value well IF repairs and modifications are done well. Do ugly or cobbled work and it hurts value so you have to factor your abilities to do the work up to "resale" standards, or the cost of having it done if you want to preserve your investment or build some sweat equity in the camper.

Do the research now to know the brands and years of the trailer in the price range you are considering. Example older scamp windows don't have parts readily available. They do have stoves, fridges, sink and general hardware available. A bargman door latch for some older model campers is scarce, thus expensive as in $175 for the rebuild kit for a simple door latch. It takes fiberglass work to fit the door to take a newer latch/lock. Some models are known for getting water damage that is hidden inside the door, what looks like a little door sag can be a major repair job.

Bottom line narrow down what models might possibly fit your budget and needs then find out as much as possible about those. Then as Bob said buy the best condition you can find.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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To add to Rodgers excellent comments:

Always plan on resale value when rebuilding/repairing.

Unlike certain STD's, your first experience with an FGRV won't be forever.

Either you will want something a bit nicer, bigger, newer, smaller, lighter, heavier, or you will need more room for the 5 kids you didn't expect, and selling will be the next experience. Fix it now as if you were the next buyer.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
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Name: Willy
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help!
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:56 AM   #9
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Florida
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Willy, I've bought two used trailers, a stick built box trailer and a fiberglass trailer, both about 20 years old. The fiberglass trailer, though more expensive was the better deal. There are box trailer problems that are nearly impossible or at least very difficult and expensive to repair.
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