Trailer Owners Lack of Integrity? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-09-2015, 07:05 PM   #1
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Name: Bill
Trailer: 1978 Scamp 13'
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Trailer Owners Lack of Integrity?

Is it just me, or is there a increasing lack of integrity being displayed by private travel trailer owners when they are selling their trailers? And, this includes owners of fiberglass trailers!

Lately, I have noticed a number of new owners of used fiberglass trailers, reporting on this forum/web site, that upon arriving home, they discovered serious hidden defects (like rotting floors) that the owner failed to tell them about, lied to them, or had hidden by paint, etc.

Having spent some time in commission sales, I can understand that a person selling on a commission, and needed to make a sale to pay their rent, might not feel the need to tell all the bad things about a trailer. Maybe in the back of their minds they might be thanking that their company's warranty will take care of any problems. Or maybe they are just dishonest!

However, a private seller not being honest to a buyer is something that I find appalling!. Particularity if the buyer is someone buying a travel trailer for the first time!

Nothing is worse I believe, than a person/couple dreaming of the joy that a travel trailer will bring to their life's...and then discover that they have purchased a trailer, from a that very nice honest looking man, that is a piece of junk thatwill require extensive repairs!



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Old 07-09-2015, 07:39 PM   #2
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Goldman Sachs.

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:02 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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Unscrupulous sellers and outright scammers are attracted to hot markets in which buyers outnumber sellers. They trade on the fact that a certain percentage of desperate buyers will take risks they would not in a more balanced market.

Your best weapons are a good Buyer's Checklist and a second pair of eyes belonging to someone not emotionally invested in the purchase.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:51 PM   #4
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Having bought hundreds of vehicles, including many fiberglass trailers, I have found the vast majority of sellers to be honest.
Many times though, they know less about their vehicle than you might think they should.
I think this is often true of the buyer as well. When something is sold "as is and shown" and the seller has disclosed all he knows about it, then it is incumbent upon the buyer to inspect and recognize any unacceptable flaws before closing the deal.
While flaws can be used to negotiate price, the buyer must then be willing to accept the responsibility for any repairs after purchase.

I once sold an Olds Cutlas with a rusted out frame behind the rear wheels. The car looked good otherwise.
The buyer thought the price was good and was willing to accept my explanation. When I insisted that he get down and look at the damage, he said that it wasn't necessary.
My reply was "It is if you want to buy the car!"

Disclosure is the best policy, but Caveat Emptor is still an apropos admonition.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:27 AM   #5
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA
W. Mass
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So it's okay for a salesman to withhold information but not a private seller?, think I'd call both unscrupulous. Unfortunately there is a reason for the "buyer beware" warning when buying anything used.

Over on one of the Airstream forums you can ask for an experienced current vintage owner to check out a used trailer for you, think there is a list somewhere. As with FG trailers, folks keep them on the road forever. Stuff happen to 20 or 30 year old trailers, it should almost be expected unless you are paying top $.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:08 AM   #6
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Sadly, this is risk whenever you are purchasing anything used and the new stuff tends to lack decent quality control. So, my money is still in the bank.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:39 AM   #7
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There is as much, or even more. onus on the buyer to ensure that they have inspected the product they are buying, and understand any problems it may have. As well, I fully believe in the seller being honest and upfront about issues with the product. It is a two way street. No way would I spend my money without being fully aware of the condition of the item, be it a trailer or a lawnmower.

As Floyd pointed out, most of the people he has had dealings with were straight shooters, and my experience is the same. I have thoroughly inspected stuff and found flaws, in addition to what was revealed, and either made the choice not to buy, or offer what I felt was fair. This happened with the '76 Trillium 1300 I bought, where the owner revealed what he thought were the problems, and upon inspection with my brother and myself, found a few other things wrong. I offered him two thirds of what he was asking, and made the deal.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:58 AM   #8
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Name: Frank
Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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When we bought our Parkliner (from an attorney), it was nearly new and looked just fine to us novices. It was only much later that we pieced together the fact that it had been in a minor accident we were never told about. The first clue was the microwave fell off the shelf on the short trip home. When I went to put new stainless steel chains on the front, I noticed bolts holding the jack were bent. On inspection of the spare tire, the wheel had a sizable dent in it. Then when I went to check the hub bearings, the hubs were different (one with longer studs than the other), and the grease was different side to side. Finally, the wastewater tank was cracked.

We have dealt with all these issues and are okay now, but there is no question in my mind the the original poster here is right on the money. The attorney we bought the trailer from was very friendly, but in retrospect, displayed a glaring lack of integrity.

The "problem" with good used eggs is they are in such demand, you have to move quick to get one as soon as it's advertised or it's just gone. Again, in retrospect, I wish we had just held off and bought new. Ya learn something new every darn day I guess.

Let the buyer beware.

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Old 07-10-2015, 08:38 AM   #9
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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A few tips when buying from a private seller....Upon arrival at the seller's residence take note of his home, the condition of his property etc. if you see a well maintained home and property that is an indication of how he maintains his "stuff". His travel trailer should reflect that level of care.
If the property is a dump with tall grass and evidence of poor maintenance don't expect the RV to be any different!

Ask a lot of questions...look into his eyes when he answers your questions. Move in close when questioning the seller (this is an interrogation technique used by investigators) get inside his comfort zone and you will detect his character and perhaps his honesty.

If the seller is willing to give you a detailed tour of his RV chances are you will detect his pride of ownership and maintenance.
Ask when was the last time he had the bearings re packed in the wheels.....ask how old the tires are (do not rely on the tread ware as an indication of age.
After he tells you how old the tires are check the date codes on the tires to confirm his honesty ot lack thereof. "trust but verify"....Ronald Regan had it right!
When buying from a dealer it is easy to tell if the salesman is being less than truthful....his lips will be moving when he speaks.....
If you are not a long time RV owner bring along someone who knows the product to help you inspect it.
Remember the old boatyard saying...."a little putty and a little paint makes 'um look like what they ain't ".

BUYER BEWARE.....used cars, used RVs, used boats...same-same.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:05 AM   #10
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Name: Dex
Trailer: Casita 17' 2000 Dodge Dakota 3.9L
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post

Having spent some time in commission sales, I can understand that a person selling on a commission, and needed to make a sale to pay their rent, might not feel the need to tell all the bad things about a trailer. Maybe in the back of their minds they might be thanking that their company's warranty will take care of any problems. Or maybe they are just dishonest!
I'm sure the sellers you are describing have made similar justifications e.g. caveat emptor
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:06 AM   #11
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Name: Darral
Trailer: Scamp Standard 13' 2010
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Cathy, I looked at used before purchasing my new Scamp. The one I ALMOST bought was just 1 yr old. I did as some others suggested...asked LOTS of questions...about everything working, manuals, etc. He finally said, "This is too much...". I ordered new....

Just remember, at LEAST "new" comes with at LEAST a 1 yr warranty- some warranties may be longer on some appliances. So if they (Scamp, Casita, etc) do shoddy work that's obvious and causes you problems, it's their baby regardless. But of course, it's still an aggravation either way.

Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
Sadly, this is risk whenever you are purchasing anything used and the new stuff tends to lack decent quality control. So, my money is still in the bank.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:14 AM   #12
Name: Sally
Trailer: Scamp 19' Fifth Wheel
Posts: 47
Polished "turd"

This is what the Airstream group reminds newbies to beware of. You can add a lot of spit and polish to anything to cover a variety of structural issues and unfortunately when we first started RV hunting we saw things from both private sellers and commercial that well, did not restore my faith.

We had narrowed our search to fiberglass, vintage Airstream, and possibly something like a Hi-lo.

1. There was the Airstream 87 Excella (top of the line in its day) that had been a hunting cabin. Now, if you see this in an ad, please run because it could mean a LOT of work. Now, we had agreed on work being okay but when we talked on the phone, nobody said that you could see the outside through several places in the floor or that the frame was separating from the body. Really, the private seller said,"that's what that is a sign of?"

2. The Hi-Lo from the commercial dealer who said "no leaks in the past or present" but with the whole ceiling bubbled-bubbles on the outside if you knew where to look and brown lines running down the wall that they clearly tried to wash off had the salesman looking at me strangely and asking where I got my RV experience because he supposedly didnt see this when they took it in as a trade in. Are you kidding me?

3. Frankly, the most honest persons we dealt with came from this site where we did end up buying our 19 foot Scamp.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:54 AM   #13
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Scamp 16 ft.
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Just comes down to being fully aware of your seller, ask many many questions, and if possible, a pre buy inspection at a RV center. We talked many times to our seller in South Carolina,mane developed a sense of trust. Once we met, he showed us everything on our Scamp that in fact worked! He was caring, and honest. The interior is like new, and everything worked out fine.
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Old 07-10-2015, 10:02 AM   #14
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Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Past Tents" 2015 F150 Lariat Ecoboost Crew Cab
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There have always been unscrupulous sellers in every market. I think what you may be seeing is that there's an increase in dishonesty and a decrease in integrity in general - not just with buying/selling, but in society as a whole. Owning a fiberglass trailer doesn't automatically make you an honest fellow. Some bad folks have them too. As others have said, (especially in the society we live in today) caveat emptor.

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
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