What about the Burros? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-24-2012, 08:21 AM   #1
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What about the Burros?

I see a lot of stuff here on the casitas, scamps, trilliums and uhauls....do not see a lot on the burros. How do they stack up? Do the seams running a different direction have any more issues with leaks than the ones with the belly bands? Do they have different issues? Is there a thread somewhere that has the history of them? I haven't really decided what brand i like....i like the scamps cuz i can say i am going scamping......but.....i like things about others as well....
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:27 AM   #2
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I have an 82 burro and like it a lot. There aren't as many out there because they were only made for a few years way back when. I think the issues are the same.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Cricket:
There were two major designs of Burros: the regular-width ones and the wide-body ones. If I remember correctly the earlier ones (SacCity) started out regular body. The Escondido ones were exclusively wide-body, I believe. Also available in kit form.

They all share the seam up the center design, some had a seam cap and others like mine had the seam fiberglassed over and smoothed, and the double-hull idea, some with insulation others without. The other characteristic is that there were no rivets, since the inner shell could have anything mounted to it. That takes away one source for leaks. The other is that the insulation was regular fiberglass with a reinforced foil cover (this makes a huge difference when you are trying to route wiring).
Some came without insulation.

The later Burros had a reputation for "indifferent" fiberglass work, compensated somewhat by the ease of fixing. Earlier types had average frames, but the Escondido ones had frames built by someone who knew what he/she was doing, resulting in very strong frames.

If you are looking for a Burro, consider the difference in width. It may seem to be just 8-10 inches but the resulting livability gain is huge, in my opinion.

I'm sure others will correct me where I'm wrong and expand on the description.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Ok. Couple of things. How do i find out if it is insulated or not? How do i find out if it is an average frame or a beefed up frame? The one i found is likely an 80's model...but i am not totally sure on the year. Also the one i found appears to have two dinettes in it....does the front one still go into bunks? And what is the deal with the carpet on the ceiling?
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
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Use the Google Custom Search in the Search dropdown menu to search for Burro trailer. You will get at least two if not more threads in which there is discussion of three production facilities of two separate Burro companies, dates when companies were active and some speculation as to production numbers. You may find mention of a history of Burro trailers which, to my knowledge, has not reached publication and so not available at this date.

In the "document center" of this site, you will find a PDF of a 1981 sales brochure for the earlier of the two companies which used the "Burro" name. There are also PDFs of assembly manuals for the diy "kit" version of the 13' model. This first incarnation of Burro trailers is usually called the "Sac City Burro" in reference to the Iowa town where produced. From recollection, I believe this Burro was made for at least a decade or more beginning in the early 80s.

The more recent Burro design was produced by Burro Trailer Co. LLC in Escondido, CA for 3 of 4 yrs. begnning in 1998. At least one member here has speculated that not more than 60 Escondido Burros of all models (13', 14'WB, 17'W were produced. Without doubt, the total production figures for Sac City were much higher.

Go to www.burrotrailer.com where you will find the sales site for the later company. This company, as stated earlier, has been out of business since 2001 or 2 but many folks believe it is still in business because the site is still up. The site is a neglected "fossil" but the information it contains about trailer models, configurations, and prices is very nearly all information that is available about the latter company with the exception of word of mouth and trailers still in operation. As you will see, this company also offered a lower-priced kit version.

For "planespotters" the big external visual cues for identification are the prominent two color logos (which have often been removed), the vertical seam between halves. In the interior, a molded inner hull or "liner" (there are other marques which share this build feature). The distinction between Sac City and Escondido trailers is quickly obvious in the molded in tail and running light "stalks" or nacelles on the former vs. recessed tail lights and an overall "cleaner" look to the Escondido. The Sac City should have a door of molded fiberglass. All Escondidos have a flat door with a frame of aluminum extrusions and a hollow core panel comprised of softwood framing and lexan or polystyrene skins.

To my knowledge (or lack of same) all variants of Burro trailers have a leakproof and structurally sound vertical seam; the central "Trimlok" mold on the vertical flanges are purely cosmetic "finish". All thruhulls (windows, roof vents, air conditioners) will of course eventually leak but these leaks are not attributable to a defect in the prominent vertical seam.

Hope this gives you some ideas where to learn more. My opinions are only mine. Presentation of facts and dates and my expresson of ideas may well warrant emendation and correction.

jack

See Per got here first with the goods and the accent on some good features of the donkeys. Per knows of which he speaks!
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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Cricket, as you are comparing trailers, you may also be interested in the U-Haul "cousin" of the Burro.

The insulation in my Burro is an aluminized glass batte. If you open any lower cabinet or locker door or the lower fridge vent on the left side exterior you will be able to see it. The cabinet door below the sink is perhaps the most accessible location to see it on the exterior wall and all surfaces of the wheelwell. It is generally blocked by tasteful, wood-grain pastebd. "closers" in the hanging and upper kitchcen cupboards. Insulation is insulation but you should know that batte insulation that is not continuous and has compressed over time (14 yrs. of same on my 1st Yr. Model) in a trailer with a relatively large area of single pane glazing and numerous vents either open to the weather or uninsulated may not provide state of the art heat retention. This would apply to the Sac City also as even older.

The lack of thru-hull fasteners (rivets) attributable to the inner hull which incorporates all cabinetry, platforms, lockers, etc. removes a big item of maintenance over time. The inner hull also will not be damaged by the presence of water, and THERE WILL BE water whether from leaks, dew point condensation, splashed water from shower. Gelcoat surfaces on all walls and lockers are easily sanitized and maintain their "clean" look for a long, long time.

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Old 09-24-2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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Any chance of there being mold in the insulation from condensation or other wetness between the hulls...?
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #8
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I haven't seen any in the '98 in either the exposed edges of the yellow insulation or on the aluminum skin of the glass batte. No way to inspect cavities between walls without demolition (the same way you find mold in the walls of a stick-built). Certainly a possibility but the limitation (near elimination) of organic and/or hydroscopic constuction material (wood and wood composites) in the Burro, U-Haul, EggCamper, Oliver brands means that water from even a heavy leak is not retained for long. I would be more worried about soaked cushions than I would about unseen wall cavities. Heat, dehumidification by dessicant absorption, and ventilation are each useful to prevent or eliminate conditions which encourage the growth of mold and particularly the toxic black mold. Given similar water incursion events in a double wall fglass trailer and a sticky with cavities of dead air created by framing bays, my guess is that the task of successfully drying out the glass trailer is surer and faster of accomplishment.

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Old 09-24-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by eggless View Post
Any chance of there being mold in the insulation from condensation or other wetness between the hulls...?
Yes, it's a definite possibility. Read Penney's take on that problem here: Go Slow When Falling in Love with Cute Trailers!
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by eggless View Post
And what is the deal with the carpet on the ceiling?
The Burro body is essentially 4 pieces:
  • outer left side
  • outer right side
  • inner left side
  • inner right side

Like other molded fiberglass bodies, they are 'glassed together with a wide patch of matte and resin applied to the inside of the common seam. The carpet covers this seam patch.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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Per, I never knew any Burros came from the factory with a smoothed over vertical seam. Your trailer looks really slick, mine has the center seam with Trimlock.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
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Last year, a contributor here, Jen B., ground the standing flanges off her Sac City 13', filled, faired and painted. I think she may have stated that resin was "poured into the crack" between flanges without reinforcement; I won't swear to it and I'm not going back to hunt for her post this minute.

At that time, there was some discussion of whether the 5/8<3/4" high flanges were structural and of course the answer is that the flanges are simply the truncated residuum of the layup which allows prying against the mold itself to release the part (in this case trailer shell half) in the dreaded "sticky" situation. These flanges also provide some stiffness to the part and allow clamping surfaces for alignment of the halves for joining. As The Scaleman says, the halves are joined by bridging the seam with a fiberglass layup on the inside, making the flanges unnecessary after the join.

Per, can you tell how the fairing of the seam was accomplished? Is the surface a glass layup as on the inside or an attempt to fill and fair? What is the surface layer? Gelcoat? Paint? Is there evidence of the seam printing thru the surface as a crack? Velly intellesting! Was the gravel guard on the rear window a special order? I had looked at your registry foto previously and didn't even notice the lack of a standing seam!

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Old 09-25-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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That upstanding center flange adds a lot of stiffness locally, though I agree that it would look better if it was sanded flat.
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