What To Look For When Buying A Used Scamp? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-28-2014, 11:35 PM   #1
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Name: Seth & Desiree
Trailer: 1987 Scamp 13'
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What To Look For When Buying A Used Scamp?

Hello! I may have the opportunity to purchase a 1987 13' Scamp from my cousin in the next couple of weeks and I'm going to go check it out this coming Sunday. I've been trying to soak in as much teardrop/scamp/trailer info ever since we rented a teardrop trailer for the first time last year. After using the teardrop for 10 days we knew we loved it but decided the Scamp 13' might be a better fit for us. So anyway, when I go look at it this Sunday I'm going to do my best to inspect it. I already know that it has a broken rear window but that's not that big of an issue, is it?

* Anything I should be particularly cautious of?
* Any warning signs of potential problems?
* Any common problem areas I should pay extra special attention to?
* Anything that might throw up a red flag immediately?
* Assuming its in decent shape, would $1500-$2000 be a fair price for a 1987?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

-Seth
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:15 AM   #2
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Considering if it can even roll down the road, that's a decent price.

The first big thing to check is the tires, if they are over 6-7 years old, regardless of how good they look, they need to be replaced. Also check for any obvious signs of axle sagging. Also ask when the bearings were last repacked. If it's more than a couple of years or he doesn't know, you will want to do that ASAP.

Also go through all of the appliances with your Cuz and find out how they are supposed to work. even if they don't...

Look for obvious water damage.

And if you still feel shy, give me a call, I can be almost anywhere in CA in 12 hours, with cash, and I'm not as picky..... lol

At that price, it's pretty hard to go wrong with a family purchase, at least you know the seller.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:55 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1987 Scamp 13'
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Considering if it can even roll down the road, that's a decent price.

The first big thing to check is the tires, if they are over 6-7 years old, regardless of how good they look, they need to be replaced. Also check for any obvious signs of axle sagging. Also ask when the bearings were last repacked. If it's more than a couple of years or he doesn't know, you will want to do that ASAP.

Also go through all of the appliances with your Cuz and find out how they are supposed to work. even if they don't...

Look for obvious water damage.

And if you still feel shy, give me a call, I can be almost anywhere in CA in 12 hours, with cash, and I'm not as picky..... lol

At that price, it's pretty hard to go wrong with a family purchase, at least you know the seller.


Haha! I'm hoping this thing is as good as ours! But it definitely helps to be buying it from family. Thanks for the notes on what to look for. I'm really anxious to see it. I saw it once briefly prior to last years teardrop trailer rental trip, but didn't think anything of it at the time. But now that we want one it's like I can't get over to their house fast enough, haha!

-Seth
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:28 AM   #4
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Don't forget to take the handy Buyer's Check List with you.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Don't forget to take the handy Buyer's Check List with you.

Best of luck!

Awesome, thank you! That's a great resource!

-Seth
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
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I would have the seller hook up the trailer to 120 VAC power and turn on the refrigerator a day before you arrive so you can see it actually cools , Check all the appliances ( cook top ,A/C ,power roof vent , water pump), electrical , interior / exterior lights .Look for evidence of leaks , condition of the tires including spare tire . Hook it up to your TV and make sure the running ,brake and turn signal lights work. Check the frame for pitting from rust . If the trailer looks well maintained, it is a good indicator that everything probably works, If it looks neglected ,I would be cautious . When I sold my 99 Scamp the buyer and I went through my trailer for almost 2 hours . I wanted him to be satisfied and me to have a clear conscience .At the price you quoted in your post , I would not expect everything to be perfect but having to buy a new refrigerator or A/C is not a cheap proposition
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:20 PM   #7
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I would have the seller hook up the trailer to 120 VAC power and turn on the refrigerator a day before you arrive so you can see it actually cools , Check all the appliances ( cook top ,A/C ,power roof vent , water pump), electrical , interior / exterior lights .Look for evidence of leaks , condition of the tires including spare tire . Hook it up to your TV and make sure the running ,brake and turn signal lights work. Check the frame for pitting from rust . If the trailer looks well maintained, it is a good indicator that everything probably works, If it looks neglected ,I would be cautious . When I sold my 99 Scamp the buyer and I went through my trailer for almost 2 hours . I wanted him to be satisfied and me to have a clear conscience .At the price you quoted in your post , I would not expect everything to be perfect but having to buy a new refrigerator or A/C is not a cheap proposition
Very good things to keep in mind. Thank you Steve!!
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Seth and Desiree View Post
* Assuming its in decent shape, would $1500-$2000 be a fair price for a 1987?
This is a rock-bottom price for an '87 13er in any kind of decent shape at all.

Unless you're getting a "family discount"- type consideration from your cousins, it may be that they're unaware that the trailer is likely worth more, especially in the presnt California market. Proceed cautiously in this department...such things can lead to misunderstandings down the road if one party or another suddenly gets the idea they've made a mistake or, worse, taken advantage of!
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:28 PM   #9
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Proceed cautiously in this department...such things can lead to misunderstandings down the road if one party or another suddenly gets the idea they've made a mistake or, worse, taken advantage of!
VERY good advice, been there.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:04 PM   #10
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Put on your grubby clothes, grab a flashlight and a screw driver and crawl under the trailer. What you are looking for is rotted flooring. Use the screw driver to probe any areas that look suspicious. There's a good chance you will find some soft spots - usually caused by the floor getting wet from above.

I'm not suggesting that any rotted flooring would be a reason to pass on the excellent deal - I just think it is smart to find it early so you can consider the best way to repair it. You could even postpone the floor inspection until after you get the trailer home. Then again, locating it at the time of purchase may help your cousin avoid feeling that he sold it too cheap.
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