Remodel vs Original - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-31-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Name: Donna
Trailer: 13 ft Acorn
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I'm a newbie w/ a sm Burro that needs some sprucing up. Some things in it match my needs, but others not. Is customizing the best way to go or is it better to keep it as original as possible? Keeping in mind weight & balance I have no need of front bunks, but would enjoy some shelves & more kit counter & storage space. It's pretty minimal--no potty or shower. Again is retrofitting a good plan or way too expensive & too much trouble?

Where would I get replacement windows & how difficult are they to install?

Also, anyone experienced w/ replacing the ceiling strip of carpet? I'd be glad for input on that task.

Thanks! This site is awesome; I've learned so much & love the stories & humor!!
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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I'm a believer that it's your trailer and you should do what you want. We've seen prices go fairly high for "original" and even higher still for fabulously modified. Since it runs the gambit, you have to decide what is it that you want to do and what suits your needs.

What's the most important, is if you make modifications you use quality parts and do a professional job. Shoddy work, whether it's through modifications or general maintenance devalues a trailer (or car, truck, house).

Other than a 3-way refrigerator or large case awning, windows are the most expensive thing to replace. What's wrong with yours? There are experienced trailer owners on this forum that can give you good information on repairs.

Burro owners will jump in and give you some more tips (and tricks).

BTW: to FiberglassRV!
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Quote:
To all,

I'm a newbie w/ a sm Burro that needs some sprucing up. Some things in it match my needs, but others not. Is customizing the best way to go or is it better to keep it as original as possible? Keeping in mind weight & balance I have no need of front bunks, but would enjoy some shelves & more kit counter & storage space. It's pretty minimal--no potty or shower. Again is retrofitting a good plan or way too expensive & too much trouble?

Where would I get replacement windows & how difficult are they to install?

Also, anyone experienced w/ replacing the ceiling strip of carpet? I'd be glad for input on that task.

Thanks! This site is awesome; I've learned so much & love the stories & humor!!
Modification is what generates enthusiasm and creativity among fiberglass owners and sets them aside from the mediocrity of conformity.It drives their resale value.
Done well, mods will not only enhance the utility and enjoyment of your trailer, but also cause it to sell quicker and for more money than leaving it stock.

Of course,"done well" is subjective and can only be judged by personal satisfaction or generated resale!
At any rate, I think it is safe to say that modification and redecorating are well received by most fiberglass owners or prospective owners,since they are themselves each unique.

source for windows......

http://www.hehr-international.com/

Your Burro has an inner and outer shell, It would be simple to wrap light carpet[maybe ozite] or upholstry fabric around long strips of luan (stapling it to the back) then simply screw it to the original location bridging the space between halves and being certain that the screws are short enough not to reach the outer shell.This would make for a smooth and attractive and easily replaced method.
You might also consider glueing carpet directly in the gap.

http://www.ozite.com/rprod.cfm?item=rp7
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2015 Escape 19
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Your trailer should fit the way you use it.

My biggest question for you being a new owner is; Are you sure being new to the trailer that you know exactly how you'll use it yet in order to make extreme mods like removing the couch/bunks??

Sometimes it is good to get it serviceable and camp, camp, camp. This method will reveal modifications to you over the year that you may not even be aware of at the moment.

We did an initial gut and rebuild on our 13 three years ago to get it nice and into service, but we didn't do anything extreme. Now I'm going back and making more extreme mods that I now know fit the way we camp.
Example: We know after three years of camping, we never use inside propane stove so I just removed it and made a big countertop surface. Just took it on a shakedown trip and we absolutely love the change. Others who use the indoor stove might not like that mod, but it's our trailer and I'm faster on the draw!

Welcome and enjoy your new Burro. The Burro 13 is a nice one!
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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A couple of notes:

I set up a front desk/counter in my Boler 13, but I did it in a "mock up" way for testing purposes.

If the Burro is anything like the Boler or the U-haul, it will only be a matter of a few screws to take the bunk out (and the reverse to re-install it). Then you could use some plywood or whatever to try out your various plans.

When you ask what is best, I'm not sure if you mean for your uses, or for re-sale or what (?)

I would say that if your focus is re-sale, then nice work is what is important. If you can't or don't feel like doing nice work, but still want the re-sale value to be there, then I would say leave it original. What turns me off are shoddy remodel jobs.

On the other hand, what are we talking here --- it's not a house, worth tens of thousands, or an original Monet, worth millions; but rather a trailer worth, probably $4k at most (or in that ballpark). In poor shape it would be worth something like half that. Not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, for most people. From that angle... make it yours!

If you clarify your question a bit, I'm sure we could give you more opinions (but of course in the end, to each their own and you'll get many answers that span the range of possibilities).

Raya

PS: Oh, I forgot to mention the windows. If the Scamp side windows will fit your trailer, they are very economical from their parts department (they buy in bulk). Worth a call. They have either sliders or jalousies. But again, it would help to know which windows you want to replace, and why.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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Trailer: Boler 1984
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Our 1984 Boler was painted metalic green when we purcased it in 1994. The "Previous Owner" did this to cover up some major damage to the outside. The interior was original for that year but with end cabinets and different windows, looked quite different from those of the early 70's. Our original outside table rail lets us place the table where we do most of our cooking but would be non-original on many older models. If you added this would you still be "orig"? Unless you have a super deluxe model, why put up with the bare necessities? A simple thing like new cushion covers is a simple mod and changes the appearance from the original. A better roof vent and a screen door may also remove the trailer from the list of 'Originals' but give you better ventilation. After market end cupboards give you more storage and make life easier. A window added on the wall behind the stove combined with a small 12V computer fan removes the cooking oders. We have also made a permanent bed, removed the bunk and replaced it with a two person dinette. This works well for us. Custom fitting an 8X10 awning, from a 17 footer, also gives more coverage for outside living. If you look at the trailer you know that it is a Boler, but we like to think that it is a "Better Boler".
We thought very seriously about one of those BRAND NEW trailers but after the repaint, the new axle. the new interior, and the outside hatches we realized that we have more options in ours than the new one would. Plus it follows us around all over the place, is easy on gas and can be wintered in the garage. We have decided to keep it for another 15 years or so and then maybe do another updating remodel.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
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You can compromise and leave some original while making it fit your needs. That is what we did to our UHaul. We kept the color, replaced the UHaul name that had been covered, and kept the original cushions and covers. We added a heater, built shelves into the closet, made a hammock to hold clothes, and decorated it in a SW theme.
Our Burro we changed more. We replaced the bunk with a front dinette and put a hole through the back to hold the air conditioner. The outside of the air conditioner was then disguised with a cooler that was cut to hold the air conditioner as we traveled. We also decorated in blue and painted the Burro logo blue.
Both trailers met our needs but still looked fairly original (although the Burro not as much as the UHaul.). Make it yours.

CindyL
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:26 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1982 Scamp 13 ft
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When we bought our '82 Scamp five years ago, I couldn't wait to get rid of the original (dirty) gold shag carpet, brown plaid cushion covers & drab beige curtains. The first changes we made were just cosmetic and I've never regretted them because I feel happier with the way it looks. The changes we made since then have been to make the camper function better for us (deeper sink, tall bar faucet, larger refrigerator, in-line water heater, etc.)

Each time we camp, we come up with something else we'd like to add, remove or change to make it more suited to us. We are not very handy, so we have to hire someone to do many things, but we don't regret any of the changes we've made.

My advice is to keep what you like and change what you don't and most of all, have fun!

Sandra
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #9
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Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Arizona
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Mods should be professional looking. Most folks buying an older trailer aren't sure what original looks like and will judge it on its merits.

Anything that is removed should be stored away and included when you resell the trailer.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:03 PM   #10
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette Deluxe / 2006 Toyota Tundra
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They are fun to work and most of it is common sense.
Think of a place you could spent a month at , make your fiber fit that place and work toward that as a future goal.
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