What can you tell from photos in ads? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-28-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1977 Boler (Orange Sunrise 'Clementine')
Posts: 141
It seems like a long shot that we will be able to find trailer we want to buy in close driving distance of Seattle. Maybe I'm wrong. But I do see many Bolers and Trilliums for sale in BC, which is close enough to make it worthwhile, but often not close enough to make a quick trip to inspect a trailer in person.

So, is it possible to get a good sense of a trailer from photos? I was looking at this ad today, and I really like the looks of the inside:


What would an expert eye be able to deduce from the photos (or the ad)? For example, I was wondering if the fact that the trailer hitch looks kind of rusty is a bad thing. Anything else?

Any suggestions for dealing with trailers for sale several hours' drive away?


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Old 10-28-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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Booker B.'s Avatar
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 983
Hi Amy,

One option is to put out a call to our FGRV members who are close to the trailer to check it out for you. I have done so a few times and it's quite fun - there is no sales pressure because we aren't the one who is buying it and so we can be pretty objective.

The last time I checked out a trailer I took the rv checklist and my camera and spent about 30 minutes going over the trailer ( a lil bigfoot ). Unfortunately the seller and purchaser didn't come to a financial agreement but I enjoyed getting a chance to comb a trailer I never been in before.

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Old 10-28-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Posts: 3,040
"Any suggestions for dealing with trailers for sale several hours' drive away?"

Ask lots of questions and request additional photos of certain areas.
If seller is reluctant-----------> PASS
If you go to see a trailer bring CASH.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
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Robin G's Avatar
Trailer: 2007 Casita
Posts: 3,440
Great advice from Booker.
Agree with Kevin, ask for close up pic's of things that are not shown, such as frame, window's etc.

Wanted to add that if a trailer is as clean looking as the one in the photo's, good chance that it's in decent shape. If they took that much care on what you can see then hopefully they took the same care on the things you can't see. But that being said, you just don't know till you can actually see it in person. I personally wouldn't buy sight unseen again. Thankfully I had family that lived in the state from which we purchased, so they were able to go see it and give me their opinion.

I did buy an older one sight unseen and things that the owner stated where in good condition such as tires, weren't! Not that it would have made a difference, I would have still bought it but it just shows you some peoples opinion of what is in great/good shape, may not be your opinion.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:34 PM   #5
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Name: Brian
Trailer: 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 444
Check the door bottom to see how well it seals up with the body (or not).

2003 Casita SD 17'
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:18 PM   #6
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Name: Joe
Trailer: none
Posts: 51
In picture #1 the door does not look quite right, either it is slightly open or if it is shut it is seriously misaligned and not fitting well at the bottom
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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Name: Larry
Trailer: 1983 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 553
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Also look at the top of the door, this one is hanging crooked...... Gonna need some hinge work either rehanging or hinge replacement. Rehanging will prob involve fiberglass work. Larry
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:46 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1981 Boler 13 ft / 2005 Dodge Caravan
Posts: 168
I would be concerned about the door also. If you can increase the zoom level on you computer to say 200% you will see it look considerably out of line with the frame.
Before getting our present Boler we put a deposit on one we saw on a kiiji listing.It was a considerable distance away from us so the deposit was made with the option of a refund if the trailer was not what it appeared to be in the pictures.Although the pictures presented a very nice trailer it looked entirely different upon viewing in person.I would never buy sight unseen.Even having someone else look at the trailer for you might not help as eveyone has a different opinion as to what they find acceptable.Only by examining it in person (along with a buyers check list)will you be sure you are getting exactly what YOU want and be compelelty satisfied with your purchase.Just my two cents.

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:30 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1975 13 ft Trillium
Posts: 2,536
Amy, ...just a thought, but .....Seattle isn't all that far from Greenwood, B.C.
Would you trust someome elses opinon rather than your own in spending anywhere between $2000 and $4000 for anything? Why not plan a weekend getaway and come up here and check it out first hand ....hay, its YOUR money!!!! ....just my 2 cents (Canadian) worth!
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:48 PM   #10
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Name: Brandy
Posts: 714
well I know a few members on here personally and I know if I asked them to check something out if they could I would in fact trust their judgement for the most part. The final deciding factor is up to you but if you put the call out and asked for someone to check it out just to give you a heads up (as in is it really worth that drive) I see no harm in that in fact it may save you an impulse buy. Someones idea of an easy fix may not be your idea of an easy fix. Keep the word out that your looking for a trailer in this area...in fact their was a really cool orange one in port orchard this summer and a few in the area....keep looking your trailer will come soon enough

On a side note I did in fact put out a call and a member on here *THANK YOU RUSTY* member went in the deep deep snow and checked out a trailer and helped me obtain it site unseen and was quite helpful getting the trailer ready befor I took it across the pass....
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:53 AM   #11
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Name: Marjie
Trailer: Trillium 4500
New York
Posts: 233
I have always been turned off by photos of trailers that look messy inside. Although this doen't give any accurate mechanical information, I feel that if the person couldn't at least make it look nice for a photo, when they are trying to sell it, what kind of maintenance do they do?
This goes for cars, homes and I guess, everything else!!
(of course this doesn't always work the other way around, as someone can really clean up a junker)
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:05 AM   #12
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Trailer: 2007 Casita
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Amy, I would ask for clarification with the seller if the pic was taken with the door open a crack. But also have to say, it's a 1974 trailer there will be some issues unless someone has went completely thru it. I didn't see where that was stated in the Ad so yes things like the door may need some fixin, what you want to know is if there are leaks, cracks in the frame (most likely fixable!), etc. The major stuff is what is scary, but knowing ahead of time helps you decide if the trailer is one you want to buy and tackle the issues. Again the ideas of members being able to check it out and giving their opinion is a great one! But only you will know if it's the right one! Best of luck.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:59 AM   #13
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
This could be an optical illusion, or an original "goof," but I am wondering if the frame is bent or broken near the door.

Not only is the door not fitting properly, but the above-door drip cap is not lined up with the awning rail (they should be parallel to each other). Also, in the photo where we are standing outside the trailer looking in at the icebox... look at the upper door frame/opening. That doesn't look right to me, and again makes me wonder about the frame under that area.

As Robin said, most any 1970's trailer will need work, but the way I feel is that "I don't mind problems; but I don't want surprises."

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Old 10-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #14
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Name: james
Trailer: Boler 1984
Posts: 2,912
That pictureof the Boler, taken from an angle, doesn't give a true representation of the way the door hangs. Ask for a straight-on side view picture of the door, showing the hinges, the lock, and the edge gap clearly.
Don't let a miner problem disway you, remember, these trailers are made of fiberglass and can be repaired with a little patience and effort. Check out in past threads what Roy in TO has been doing with a trailer he purchased, that had a tree through it's roof and a pile of other issues. Your decission will be whether or not the trailer is within your ability to maintain it as you want.
The door on ours had a huge gap at the bottom and a large gap at the top where it had sagged over the years. By relocating the hinges up we eliminated90% of the problem and it only took a few minutes.

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