First Trailer Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-09-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
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Name: Kyle
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Lightbulb First Trailer Questions

Hello there, my name is Kyle and I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I am about to embark on a 1600km journey to pick up my first travel trailer. It is a 1979 SurfSide. It's in pretty decent shape from what the woman has described to me and the pictures she has sent, but I was wondering if there is anything specific that I should look for when I go to pick it up.

I know the usual windows, appliances and such, but anything particular to the brand that could cause my problems down the road. I would like to maybe get one season out of it with the factory equipped gear and then maybe do a little modernization next winter. My dad works for a local RV dealership and wanted me to buy a KZ Sportsmen Classic but I can't justify spending $14,000+ on a new unit when I can get a piece of classic engineering for a fraction of the price.

This is a great site, I will be using this for my primary resource when I get the old girl home on Sunday. I leave bright and early 6am on the 11th, it is going to be a long weekend in the truck!

Thanks in advance!
Kyle
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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I can't say anything specific about the Surfside. The usual safety things is a good start: Frame, tires, bearings, suspension, lights, chains etc. Your dad should be able to fill you in on those.

The buyers check list gives you a comprehensive list:
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:39 PM   #3
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Safety first! Make sure the tires are sound or carry a couple spares. Also, check the hitch to see that it will hold on to the hitch ball and that you have the safety chains. Finally, either have lights that work or use towing lights that attach to the back bumper.

Have fun!
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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Another thing to do if you purchase the trailer...... On the way home stop about every fifty miles at first and feel the center hubs with your hand.fairly warm is okay but too hot to touch is not okay. Usually the temperature of the hubs on both sides is about the same (sometimes just a little different which is okay)......this simple test can save you much grief if you find out too late.
Congragulations on the vintage trailer.....my friend owns an rv shop and tried to talk me out of buying my old egg. I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Good Luck,
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:34 AM   #5
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Check to be sure the numbers on the trailer match the ones on the paperwork. You can have a major hassle at the motor vehicle office if they don't. This happens when you move the vehicle from one jurisdiction to another.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Herb Sutton View Post
Check to be sure the numbers on the trailer match the ones on the paperwork. You can have a major hassle at the motor vehicle office if they don't. This happens when you move the vehicle from one jurisdiction to another.
Amen to that, my title from PA had a VIN, came to Ohio where they do and inspection and verify the VIN, to my suprise the plate on the trailer where the VIN was supposed to be was blank . On my next trip to the title office the plate had a VIN
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:26 AM   #7
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I don't know about Canada, but we have moved to different states over the years and all of them physically checked the numbers. When the vehicle is from the same state they didn't.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:05 AM   #8
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Hi Kyle,

I also have a Surfside. Mine was in a field but turned out to be in good shape. I did have to replace bearings, brakes and tires right away but other than that it was just cosmetic. I love mine and the extra foot makes it seem bigger. Paint also helped. . Welcome to the world of fiberglass.
Marina
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #9
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We just bought a 1974 Boler and the Ontario Licence Bureau would not licence the trailer without a letter from a registered RV dealer on their letterhead stating that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was indeed only 4 digits. The insurance company also asked for proof that the VIN was indeed correct. Prior to waiting extended periods to be served it may be wise to ensure you have acceptable documentation. BC may be different from ON...the former owner (in Quebec) told us she had no such problems.
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #10
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hi Kyle

dont use the propane until you have it checked out ... my lines were acutally in rough shape and one was pounded flat under the the front where i assume some rocks hit it

now that we have cleaned, fixed the axle, propane, water and added new upolstery she works great

so how is yours

is it a front kithcen model

ALAN
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #11
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All good advice so far for sure.

I would also make sure the door latches well before I load anything inside and drive away.

Guess why I say this?
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:58 PM   #12
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I see value in resurrecting old topics, but no one should expect Kyle (Surfside) will be responding: Last Activity: 04-19-2011 08:15 PM. Too bad, I'd like to hear about travels, etc. when picking up and using the new-to-him trailer...
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:54 AM   #13
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Hi: All...We can't even find out "The r e s t of the story" from Paul Harvey... as he's "Gone too"!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfSide View Post
Hello there, my name is Kyle and I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I am about to embark on a 1600km journey to pick up my first travel trailer. It is a 1979 SurfSide. It's in pretty decent shape from what the woman has described to me and the pictures she has sent, but I was wondering if there is anything specific that I should look for when I go to pick it up.

I know the usual windows, appliances and such, but anything particular to the brand that could cause my problems down the road. I would like to maybe get one season out of it with the factory equipped gear and then maybe do a little modernization next winter. My dad works for a local RV dealership and wanted me to buy a KZ Sportsmen Classic but I can't justify spending $14,000+ on a new unit when I can get a piece of classic engineering for a fraction of the price.

This is a great site, I will be using this for my primary resource when I get the old girl home on Sunday. I leave bright and early 6am on the 11th, it is going to be a long weekend in the truck!

Thanks in advance!
Kyle
I have frequently traveled great distances to retrieve trailers, so I have what I call a retrieval kit. It includes such things as a wiring repair kit, grease, personal bedding, a buddy heater,duct tape, electrical tape, fix-a-flat and plugs, flashlight, a small tarp and even a spare set of prewired taillights. I always confirm the ball size and bring my own lock. I always confirm ball height and bring the right bar. I always confirm the trailer plug type and bring the right adapter if possible.
If you are bringing payment, keep it secure and not on your person until time for the transaction. I always keep a small portion of the payment in cash in $10 bills.This is just in case there is an unforeseen small disappointment which must be negotiated at the last minute. Also a little cash to buy an accessory or two which was not included in the price.
A deal is a deal but sometimes there are mistakes or misunderstandings.
The kit contains more but, I would need to go inventory it to remember it all.
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