Who's been orphaned by a trailer manufacturer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-12-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
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Who's been orphaned by a trailer manufacturer?

So, who's been around long enough to have owned a fiberglass trailer, only to have the original manufacturer go out of business, orphaning them?

What effect did it have on your warranty, if you had one when the company went under? Probably worthless?

Did you keep it, and keep using it, or did you feel you needed to have one that a company was still around to support?

I realize that perhaps not many folks might fit in this category, but...just wondering. Looking around at the current companies building fiberglass, I can't say I see any going O.O.B. soon, but, well, you never know, now do you?

There are so many trailers out there that have no parent company anymore, I'm just wondering what it was like to have owned one at the time of the company's demise.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
So, who's been around long enough to have owned a fiberglass trailer, only to have the original manufacturer go out of business, orphaning them?

What effect did it have on your warranty, if you had one when the company went under? Probably worthless?

Did you keep it, and keep using it, or did you feel you needed to have one that a company was still around to support?

I realize that perhaps not many folks might fit in this category, but...just wondering. Looking around at the current companies building fiberglass, I can't say I see any going O.O.B. soon, but, well, you never know, now do you?

There are so many trailers out there that have no parent company anymore, I'm just wondering what it was like to have owned one at the time of the company's demise.
Most of your concerns are unfounded since most components and accessories are warranteed by their particular manufacturer. Like Suburban for the stove and furnace, or coleman for the A/C, or Dexter for the axle, even Hehr for the windows.
Besides the warranty is only a year in most cases so the odds are good that you could see that far down the road before you buy.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
So, who's been around long enough to have owned a fiberglass trailer, only to have the original manufacturer go out of business, orphaning them?

What effect did it have on your warranty, if you had one when the company went under? Probably worthless?

Did you keep it, and keep using it, or did you feel you needed to have one that a company was still around to support?

I realize that perhaps not many folks might fit in this category, but...just wondering. Looking around at the current companies building fiberglass, I can't say I see any going O.O.B. soon, but, well, you never know, now do you?

There are so many trailers out there that have no parent company anymore, I'm just wondering what it was like to have owned one at the time of the company's demise.
One of the more common brands on this forum is Boler, and Boler went out of bisiness many years ago. Most trailer manufacturers use parts from generic RV sources. This means that parts are easy to come by.

Remember, this is a trailer not a car we are taking about. In a car, you have a large assortment of engine and suspension components. Many parts are only used on one or a handful of automotive models. Sourcing parts on an orphan car becomes more difficult.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:59 AM   #4
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Most of the FG camping trailers are orphans. It really isn't a big deal. If the shell is intact, you can replace most anything from general RV parts. If the shell is damaged, you can get it repaired at a boat shop.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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Those of us with Bigfoot trailers know this scenario well. Bigfoot Industries went bankrupt and closed its doors without any warning a few years ago. My trailer was already out of warranty at that time, so I didn't worry about that. The things that are most likely to break, like appliances and component parts are warranted by their individual manufacturers. The only thing custom made in the trailer factory is the fiberglass shell and a few fiberglass fittings. In the case of the Bigfoot, these were the fiberglass spare tire cover, propane tank cover, front gravel guard-window cover and fender skirts. These parts would have been impossible to replace with original parts. Bigfoot is now back in business, on a smaller scale, so I am a little more relaxed about that issue. But as stated, fiberglass is repairable. I have always been an admirer of wide-body Burro trailers for example. They have been out of business for years, but if I found a deal on one, I would grab it in a heartbeat. Some trailers, like the Oxygen, are so rare that people covet them and will pay a premium. They were only made for a year or two.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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The audience for all molded towables is small, so is the amount of trailers being manufactured. If you want a new one (of any brand) you'll have to wait... weeks and sometimes months. And not for any reason other than these trailers are all hand built. No major production line for any of them.

I keep an eye on the production schedule at Escape, just in case I win the lottery I want a 5.0, sigh. This is what the production completion schedule says... Escape 5.0 - September 5 & October 28, 2013.

Any of the current manufacturers going out of business and losing a warranty would be at the BOTTOM of my list of concerns for all the reasons mentioned by others.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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How old is a company before it is no longer new?
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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How old is a company before it is no longer new?
LOL Carl I suspect you will get a lot of different answers in regards to that question. Suspect it all depends as to whether or not their is someone newer than them on the list or maybe not Around here we still see people refer to Escape Trailers for example as being new but they have been building fiberglass trailer for 12 years now.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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My new house is almost nine years old...
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I guess part of my question concerns the value of the original investment. Like for the Bigfoot owners that had just bought a trailer and then Bigfoot folded. Did you feel that the value of your investment was lessened by the event?

I know, or certainly hope, that purchasing a FGRV is about USING it and so once you have it, parent company becomes less relevant. But sometimes life throws curveballs and plans/finances suddenly change.

A brand new FGRV is not a huge investment. But it is an investment. Does parent company's viability have much relation to the value of the investment?
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:42 AM   #11
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Although Bigfoot is now back in production, I just saw a 2005 25' Bigfoot that sold for the same price it sold for brand new... eight years later after build. And after Oliver stopped production, prices of the few used trailers actually went up. Granted both are high-end trailers, but I think when it comes to nearly any brand, prices certainly didn't tank.

As has been said, it's not like an automobile. Warranty comes from the manufacturer of the part, not the manufacturer of the trailer. Besides the body and frame can be repaired by many others... including (sometimes) owners.

An orphan trailer is not an issue IMHO.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:08 AM   #12
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And don't base any decisions on Blue Book values!

We have considered a side job of flipping fiberglass campers, because the value does not go down. (And then thought better of it, given how busy we are.)

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:50 AM   #13
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And don't base any decisions on Blue Book values!

We have considered a side job of flipping fiberglass campers, because the value does not go down. (And then thought better of it, given how busy we are.)

CindyL
With my luck, I'd sell a used trailer to one of the buyers from h311 and they'd start up a new thread just to dis me.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:12 AM   #14
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Well for some/many buying a new Bigfoot is a big investment in relation to other brands of FG trailers But having said that I dont think that closing their doors for a time hurt their used value. I suspect if someone was to do some statistical work on it they may find it did the opposite. Bigfoot was/is a very popular brand with the fisherman and hunters here on the wet coast. When they temporarily closed their doors there was a scrambled by those who had been considering a new Bigfoot trailer or truck camper (a big fav here) to try and find a newer used one on the market before they all got bought up and became a rare find on the used market thus pushing their prices up.

I can tell you that when I purchased my trailer the original documents were still inside it from when it was purchase. I paid $200 less for it at 15 years of age as it sold for new. Some have suggested I got a real deal on it and have actually received 2 very serious offers to take it off my hands for a couple of thousand more than what I paid for it. NADA/Blue Book prices are of no value in determining the value of a used FG trailer and if you buy one you had better make sure your insurance company understands that and purchase replacement insurance. Even if the company who made my trailer hadn't been in business I would have still bought my trailer and paid the same. There is not much of anything on it that is unique to it that cant be replaced/repaired though most rv shops other than perhaps the fiberglass body itself which is also very repairable.
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