Buyers Remorse before buying ;) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
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Hi there. I am new to the site. To make a long story short I have visions (literally) to buy a small Boler or Trillium like camper. We haven't camped alot but since I am now self employed I would like to go more often with my daughter while she's young enough to want to do it with us (age 8) and my husband would join us when he's on vacation. I have spent hours reading through this excellent site. However I'm just a little nervous...I live in Boler country there seem to be many around here and the prices are all over the place. But it seems like 2500-3500 is the norm to get started.

If I pay that, I can tell that's not the end of it, but how much is want vs need.From reading the posts it seems like there is a lot of cost that can add up quickly even just to get the unit safe and functional. I would LOVE to make improvements (signs of the addiction starting, I've stayed up late and haven't slept well because my mind has been buzzing about all the cute trailers) but really for now would just want a safe camper.

Q 1 what are signs of a lemon (structurally) - saw the checklist but honestly I wouldn't know what I was looking at.

Q2 How much annual maintenance is there? My husband isn't mechanically inclined.

Q3 If there is anyone in the Winnipeg or Southern MB, NW Ontario area willing to let me see your trailer so I could get a better feel for the styles and what to look for I would really appreciate it!

Meanwhile we'll be in the tent...
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:17 AM   #2
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EXCELLENT QUESTIONS! I, too, am in a similar situation (except kids are grown.) I have the "fiber-bug" and stay awake nights reading this site and then "decorating" my dream trailer in my head!

I'm limited in choices, since I drive an Element, and my hubby is not yet on board with my wanderlust! I'll be interested in reading the answers here, as I figure if I'm an informed "buyer", he might not resist so much!

Vickie
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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Sherlynn, don't let what could be, scare you. #1 it's only a trailer, #2 there is a lot of help here to walk you thru the purchase. #3 your motive for the purchase is the best motive I can think of. Anytime you can spend quality time with your family, it's well worth the time!

All that being said, don't let your excitement over rule your common sense! Look for your perfect trailer, don't just buy one to have one. I made that mistake but was able to purchase the perfect trailer a few weeks later.


I think your idea of looking at fellow members egg's is a great one. What a perfect way to learn what is a must look for, good and bad will go along way to helping you find the perfect trailer for your needs. One thing to keep in mind is that some of these little egg's have been on the road for 40 years so for me that says a lot about how well built and the quality of them in the first place. Kinda like a Timex, they keep on ticking! Your correct that you want a safe and functional trailer first and formost. All the other cost are up to you as far and decorating/remodleing and or your needs/wants. I am sure others will add what to look for, frame, wiring, windows, etc. So I will just add that annual maintenance depends on how equipped your the trailer is. Water heaters, water lines (bathroom) all add to the annual maintence. Things that need to be checked before every trip would be tires, brakes if it has them, trailer lights/connections. I think with knowledge of what to look for, you will find the perfect trailer to meet the needs of your family.


Isn't there a business up there that sells remodeled trailers? I am sorry I can't think of the name of the business, but I know I have seen their trailers for sale. I know nothing about this company, but have seen pic's and read some blurps about their overhauls on paticular trailers, it seems like they go thru the trailers with a fine tooth comb. Not saying you need to buy from them, but maybe at least look at them to get an idea of what you should look for, for your purchase. Best of Luck! Robin
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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as far as the structure question I'll leave that to the pro's....maintenace wise this year after 1 years worth of ownership I had the wheels looked at again (had a flat) so I needed to get that checked out. Small water issue...found and tracked it myself.......I *put aside* 200 bucks that I have pegged for "trailer issues" so far I've been able to fix the things myself. In retrospect for me personally it would have been finacially wiser to pay more upfront for a newer cleaner unit. However I bought a 1977 Scamp and had the pleasure of making it to my liking, and I'm handy enough to be able to do it myself mostly. ( you can do it too!) So if one is not handy I would say be picky and since you are in Boler country you have the option to pick and choose. I DON'T REGRET one bit buying my trailer. My husband is not as enthusiastic about camping so I take my son myself. Here and there my hubby will join. I'm a stay at home mom so I have the time to enjoy this bit of bonding with my kiddo because befor long he'll be out and about and I'll be left to camp with my camping pals. But by far he is the most enjoyable.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
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Hi Sherlynn,

One thing to keep in mind is that the value of these trailers isn't dropping so if you pay a fair price for a trailer and then change your mind (buyers remorse) you will be able to resell it for your purchase price. Here on the west coast the price for these trailers keep going up (unfortunately) so generally we are getting more then we paid after a few years.

As far as safe/functional up front costs - on both trailers I have had in the past 2 years I had to replace the tires. That's around $250 for 3 tires. You probably want to get the wheel bearings repacked but that is minimal cost. Fridges can be expensive to repair or replace so make sure that you buy a trailer with a working model. On the 1972-1974 Trilliums there were some frame cracking issues that if not repaired should be done.

My current trailer is actually from Manitoba and came out here about 5 years ago.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:06 AM   #6
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as far as the structure question I'll leave that to the pro's....maintenace wise this year after 1 years worth of ownership I had the wheels looked at again (had a flat) so I needed to get that checked out. Small water issue...found and tracked it myself.......I *put aside* 200 bucks that I have pegged for "trailer issues" so far I've been able to fix the things myself. In retrospect for me personally it would have been finacially wiser to pay more upfront for a newer cleaner unit. However I bought a 1977 Scamp and had the pleasure of making it to my liking, and I'm handy enough to be able to do it myself mostly. ( you can do it too!) So if one is not handy I would say be picky and since you are in Boler country you have the option to pick and choose. I DON'T REGRET one bit buying my trailer. My husband is not as enthusiastic about camping so I take my son myself. Here and there my hubby will join. I'm a stay at home mom so I have the time to enjoy this bit of bonding with my kiddo because befor long he'll be out and about and I'll be left to camp with my camping pals. But by far he is the most enjoyable.

Wow all of you are so helpful! And it's nice to know I'm not alone in decorating (and naming) my future trailer either! Thank you ladies. I have been a golf widow for many years, time for my hubby to be the Boler Widow
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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I was the proponent in our family to get the trailer but my wife ended up taking our 2 boys off for 2 weeks on a trip to the BC interior. She was quite nervous around backing up the trailer but all turned out well. Sleeping on a nice foam bed beats the heck out of tenting it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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I was the proponent in our family to get the trailer but my wife ended up taking our 2 boys off for 2 weeks on a trip to the BC interior. She was quite nervous around backing up the trailer but all turned out well. Sleeping on a nice foam bed beats the heck out of tenting it.

That's encouraging! And what a beautiful area, we have been to the East Kootenays and Southern Rockies several times but never once camped there. Always b&b. Would love to get there in nice trailer and get off the highway.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:48 PM   #9
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A molded lightweight fiberglass towable can BE anything you wish. From really fancy (Moguland) to bare bones.... like a hardsided tent. As long as the trailer is safe to go down the road... lights working, good tires/bearings and frame, and as long as it's watertight. Use an icebox if the refrigerator doesn't work. If you're a tenter, you know all about that. Now... you're good to go! From there on, it's up to you. Maintenance issues are not that bad, if you take care throughout the entire year. Water inside the trailer is the scourage. Make certain vents/windows/rivets don't leak. If you're in snow country, you've taken precautions the roof won't cave in under snow load, etc.

But all the memories.... priceless.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:00 PM   #10
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Trailer: Boler 1984
Ontario
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So far......
We have replaced the axle
Repainted the exterior
Replaced tires
Made a permanent bed
Made a front dinette
New curtains and seat covers
Added some overhead shelving
Added some extra interior lighting
Replaced the hand pump and added an electric pump
Made a screen door
Upgraded the battery to a group 27 and added a 30 watt solar pannel
Put in a couple of outside access pannels to storage areas
This summer I got access to an 8x10 awning made for a 17 footer and found a screen from one of those big nylon enclosures made for the back yard and a pile of aluminum poles at a yard sale. I'm going to try to fit them to the 13 footer. Should be an interesting excercise.
NOW!
Divide these things over the fifteen years that we have had the Boler and the annual expense has not been that great. Wire shelving was purchased at a yard sale. Interior coverings from mill ends. Most of the work has been DIY so that cuts down the labour cost. Sometimes just working on these rigs is almost as much fun as camping with them.
Oh! By the way....I'm hooked. Can you tell?
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:36 PM   #11
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Hi: All...The only remorse I found so far is not doing it SOONER!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:57 PM   #12
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We looked at some older Bolers as well as a slightly used Scamp 13ft before we decided to purchase a new one directly from the factory last Sept. We are not handy and also were not experienced campers so we didn't want to take a chance on a used trailer. If you are interested in having a look at it contact us through "private message". We are in Winnipeg. Sue

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Old 08-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #13
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EXCELLENT QUESTIONS! I, too, am in a similar situation (except kids are grown.) I have the "fiber-bug" and stay awake nights reading this site and then "decorating" my dream trailer in my head!

I'm limited in choices, since I drive an Element, and my hubby is not yet on board with my wanderlust! I'll be interested in reading the answers here, as I figure if I'm an informed "buyer", he might not resist so much!

Vickie
I would say your Element CAN NOT tow one of these rigs.

http://corporate.honda.com/press/article.a...d=2003100837457

This indicates your tow limit is 1500#. Our 13' Trillium with minimum personal items aboard and may be a couple of gallons of water in the tank, weighed 1700#

Sorry,

BTW This doesn't mean it hasn't been done. There are several threads on this site discussing towing over rated weight. I just is not a good idea.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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Thanks, Roger, as I'm relying on you guys to teach me what I need to know so I don't kill myself or any one else! I think I have to rule out a U-Haul and Casita too, as they seem to run a bit heavier. Looks like it's down to a Scamp or Burro.
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