What happened to FG Kits? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
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What happened to FG Kits?

I was looking at the defunct Burro site and was surprised to see that they offered a kit version for a $1000 savings. I've heard that other FG manufacturers have from time to time also offers kits. Given that it seems like it would be an inexpensive option to offer a kit, what killed it? Low take rate, liability or warranty issues?
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:30 AM   #2
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Looks like Lil Snoozy still offers a stripped down Cargo Camper but I don't know the cost. I know the Egg Camper offered kits when they started up and Scamp also offered Kits but no longer do so.
The way I look at it, if you have the skills and patience to complete a kit you can rebuild a project camper for a lot less. You just usually don't get the new trailer shine and smell, but if you are good you can also almost match that too.
From the mfg. standpoint I think they want standard products in the field where they can control the quality of their product. If someone does a hack job on a kit trailer it not only has a negative reflection on the owner but the trailer mfg. also.
I also think the demand is not there. If someone has the money to buy a new trailer they usually want it now.
Eddie
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #3
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Tom, it seems to me that the "death" of the Burro kit option was coincident with the dissolution of the company. I don't see what basis we'd have to speculate: no production numbers, no company records regarding the desirability or burden of kit sales, nothing much of an anecdotal nature except the occasional attribution of some particular defect (underprotected and rotten flooring for example) to incompetent kit builds. It may be that Burro LLC succumbed to undercapitalization and quality/warranty issues. There is/or was one gentleman from the southwest who claims to have singlehandedly forced Burro to close their operation and literallly "head for the border."

Based on what I've noticed about the body shells on the only Burro I've owned, I'd say that the design of the Escondido molds was in places rather quixotic (the elaborately shaped stiffeners, similar to hanging knees in a decked boat, found adjacent to front of galley overhead, foward of door, and on both ends of the shower/toilet "cutout") and in others simplified and rationalized. As to the presence of voids between gelcoat and glass, one of the common telltails, the roof just outboard of the Pullman riser on my left hand exterior skin is full of them; the curbside half is noticably free of them. Both of the interior hull halves are also free of voids, most amazingly right where you'd expect them in the elaborate cove and bead molding of the stiffening brackets.

I wouldn't generalize build "quality" from what I've noted during my "archealogical studies" of leaking window frames, collapsing supports for water tanks and pumps,etc, but I would guess Burro had some bad Mondays. Problems with their glass work would be (as in the case of many "manufacturers" of glass cruising yachts) attributable to the contracter that laid up Burro's shells.

I wouldn't be surprised if health and safety regulation and initial cost of resin has had a damping effect on the production of diy glass kits (including car body kits).

jack
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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"What happened to FG Kits?"

I believe Eggcamper would sell you a shell and the base Scamps are pretty close. Shame Heathkits not still around . Raz
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
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Back again. The problem with kits is the very same problem as living in a decked foundation (basement) underground for five yrs. while the the kids sniffle and you consider how buying a la carte really isn't the bargain of a lifetime. Glass kits are for hobbyists with plenty of money who don't want to get their hobby shop "sticky". Kits generally are for dreamers who believe they can swing the price of the "main thing" if they can determine what that main thing is. Accessory "packages" are priced in and out with not much attention to anything but fitting the project within inadequate financial resources. Not surprising that one gets a "Potemkin" trailer or roadster or boat.

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Old 11-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
........There is/or was one gentleman from the southwest who claims to have singlehandedly forced Burro to close their operation and literallly "head for the border."........jack
That's got to be an interesting story.

I appreciate all the thoughts and observations. I guess it really comes down to supply and demand. We all have our ideas of what a perfect TV or camper would be like, but the mainstream decides what is actually offered.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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There also the problem with kit resale value. I doubt it all pencils out.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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Tom, I didn't place the material on "the man who killed Burro Trailer" in my "favorites" which is about the only archival activity I'm capable of producing. I happened on to it with routine Google searches for discussions of Burro Trailer. I queried Social Knowledge as to the advisability of archiving the material in the Burro "tomb" to
FGRV (copyright issues?) but haven't received a response to date. Just the bullet points on that site (for example, hgt. ground to frame) can be useful to an Escondido Burro owner. I'm sure the researcher/writer of the awaited Burro epic has this material in a "hard" format but the documentary doesn't seem to be forthcoming. It is hilarious that the site continues to produce the misconception that Burro LLC is an active trailer fabricator.

Raz, I see you're stilling dreaming about that boyhood SuperHet.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:56 PM   #9
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Might want to check this link, Tom. Yahoo! Groups
It is customer recollection of buying a Burro kit trailer.

jack

. . . and a BBB report: Yahoo! Groups

Here's a discussion on site of a likely kit-built Burro: Topic header:
HELP! Ridge Molding, etc Burro Camper
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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The shell is the most expensive part of the trailer to produce...I think that a LOT of the profit in any trailer (regardless of type) is markup on interior bells and whistles. Naturally, mfr.s want folks to buy as much frou-frou as possible.

Francesca
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Might want to check this link, Tom. Yahoo! Groups
It is customer recollection of buying a Burro kit trailer.

jack

. . . and a BBB report: Yahoo! Groups

Here's a discussion on site of a likely kit-built Burro: Topic header:
HELP! Ridge Molding, etc Burro Camper

Wow. I hope your Burro is better, Jack.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:38 PM   #12
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Well, it got to lookin pretty decent for a 5K investment and then all the sudden it just started going to the dogs:
Attached Thumbnails
DSC00852.jpg   DSC00955.jpg  

DSC00945.jpg   DSC00944.jpg  

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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I'd say that was $5K well spent.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I'd say that was $5K well spent.
Yea, I'm jealous.
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