Michael, thanks for the info!! I will try WD40 on the tar again. It got some of it off.
How long do these Burros last if they have the chalky non shiny appearance. Does this mean the fiberglass is going to pot?
I'm not sure if anyone has found the life-span of a well-maintained Burro yet. I could see ours making it to its' 30th birthday provided we keep maintaining it.
Ours is an '87, which is not much newer than yours and we have replaced the icebox (with a 3 way fridge) and the axle
(which after 18 years did not have much spring left). but the floor, fiberglass, and frame are all in great shape. Really about everything we have done to it has been in the interest of "improving" it in our own special way. I could have just cleaned it up and camped in it in the condition we bought it in and it would have been just fine.
The two areas that seem to cause Burro-grief is floor-rot and cracking of the frame where it bends in towards the front. We had some very mild softening of the floor around one fenderwell which was cured by soaking the area in an epoxy-resin and our frame has been trouble-free. But there have been Burro owners on this board that have had to replace the entire floor, as well as several which had to to frame repair or reinforcement.
Worn Gel-coat (the chalky, easily stained finish) doesn't really affect the fiberglass itself. Bad cracks (as in all-the-way through cracks) are about the only thing that would be a real issue.
We had ours painted more for cosmetic reasons that any other. Basically I got sick of having to wash the thing constantly to keep it looking reasonably well. Now with a base-coat/clear-coat I've been able to wax it couple of times a year (usually spring and fall) and it pretty much hoses clean. Since getting the original Burro logo is pretty much out of the question we also re-logo-ed ours with something that looked a little more modern and unique. While not cheap (about $1,000) almost everyone who sees it (and doesn't know their history) mistakes it for new.