What to avoid when shopping for a FGC - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-06-2014, 07:07 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
What to avoid when shopping for a FGC

Hopefully this post is in the proper forum. We're beginning a search for an FGC. Most of our 5 previous campers have been in need of at least some repair so the certainty of that isn't a concern as much as the FG aspect of a camper. Being the same material as a boat there are similarities in maintenance (or lack there of) but my concern is the difference in use of the FG material which could bring about certain concerns that the uninitiated would not be aware of. So, please help educate me on what to be aware of when shopping for an FGC.
__________________

__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:20 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,558
Registry
Welcome to the fiberglass world, Vince.

I'd say the issues are not all that different from conventionally-constructed RVs. Since you have experience there, you should be in good shape. In order of priority:
  1. TITLE. For a variety of reasons (longevity, desirability, relative scarcity) small fiberglass trailers seem to be common objects of scams, so be cautious and make sure the seller has a clear title in his/her own name.
  2. FLOOR. A rotten floor is repairable, but it is a messy, difficult repair. Rotten floors are usually caused by neglected leaks in windows and vents, and (less commonly) by plumbing leaks, through-shell fasteners (rivets on some brands), and the seam where the two halves of the shell are joined. Look for staining inside the trailer and excessive application of caulking outside. Use a screwdriver and a flashlight to inspect and test the floor for soundness, paying special attention to the outside edges (which are usually inside seats and cabinets).
  3. APPLIANCES. Make sure the fridge, furnace, AC, HW heater, stove are working. Repair/replacement of these is not as difficult as the floor, but it can get expensive, and the price should reflect whether they work or not.
  4. CHASSIS. Look carefully for deep rust and cracks in the frame or evidence of previous repairs, especially if the unit is older. Try to find out how old the axle is- torsion axles have a lifespan of 20 years or so. A worn-out axle will cost $600-1000 to replace, depending on who does the labor, so, again, the price should reflect that. Look for brakes as well. Older, smaller trailers were often built without them, but most modern small and mid-size tow vehicles require them.
One thing not to be overly concerned about is surface dullness in the fiberglass gelcoat. A shiny one that has been stored indoors will command a higher price, but there are ways to bring back a shine, if that's important to you.

There is a very helpful inspection checklist in the document center on this forum. Here's a link: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List. It's in the tab that says "More" at the very top if you need to find it again.
__________________

__________________
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
Thanks Jon in AZ. I'm currently on the trail of a Casita 16' for $2500. Too good to be true?
__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
David Tilston's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,315
Registry
The better the deal the more careful you should be. I have made some great deals, but face to face. No, "send the money, and we will send you the trailer". That is a scam.
__________________
David Tilston is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 24,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyZ View Post
Thanks Jon in AZ. I'm currently on the trail of a Casita 16' for $2500. Too good to be true?
Depends.

Location, location, location, maintenance, maintenance, maintenance, options, options, options ... and of course, year of the trailer
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:46 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
I'm on the trail of a 2003 16' Casita SD that is described as in good shape, everything works etc etc. Sounds like a good deal but maybe a bit too good if you know what I mean. Thoughts?
__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:48 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
Always face to face no shipping etc. Lots of crooks cruising the internet.
__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,558
Registry
Agree. $2500 for a 2003 with everything working is extremely suspicious. $8-10K would be more typical. Proceed with great caution.

By the way, are you following Molded Fiberglass Trailer Ads - US | Fiberglass RV's For Sale? That's a good place to get a feeling for typical prices.
__________________
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 10:29 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
Thanks Jon
__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 01:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,558
Registry
What to avoid when shopping for a FGC

Vince, I re-read your original post. Regarding molded fiberglass in general, it's a durable and readily repairable material. It does require a different knowledge base than working with metal or wood, but many newbies have successfully tackled small FG repairs. Post specific questions here, and there's a wealth of experience to draw on.

Surface cracks in the gelcoat are common around stress points (windows, doors, vents, rivets) and are not a cause for alarm. Deeper cracks may need attention, so they should be factored into the price.

One thing to know is that most molded FG trailers, being frameless, depend on some of the interior parts for structural support. Something to look into when considering alterations.
__________________
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 02:04 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
I'm guessing that "being frameless" means the trailers have a frame and that the box has a frame?
__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 02:29 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
David Tilston's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,315
Registry
I think Jon was referring to the lack of wood frames in the construction of the trailer shell. This makes it necessary for interior supports to hold up the roof. Typically this is a floor to ceiling closet, or other structures that support the roof.

Most fibreglass trailers have a steel frame that holds the fibreglass shell. The exception is Nest Caravans:
Nest Caravans Building a new FG trailer, step by step
__________________
David Tilston is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Frameless in this instance means that there are no inside the wall supports for the molded shell except for the internal structures such as closets and inside divider walls.

A "Sticky" is a conventionally built RV that will usually be built somewhat like house construction with wood framing materials between the inner and outer walls. Those stickys with filon or similar outside fiberglass sheeting are not the Molded Fiberglass construction discussed hereabouts.

Although there is a "Frameless" FGRV currently in development, all past constructs have been with a molded fiberglass shell, usually in 2 to 4 pieces, mounted on a conventional trailer frame.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 03:00 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Name: Vince
Trailer: Coleman/Fleetwood
Georgia
Posts: 14
Well that certainly makes more sense.
__________________

__________________
VinnyZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to avoid mould in water tank between uses Tyhee Plumbing | Systems and Fixtures 40 08-08-2014 07:35 PM
WOW! Hope I can avoid doing that again.. Joe M Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 08-01-2013 07:26 PM
Website Can Help You Avoid Bad Weather on the Road Ken C General Chat 4 02-12-2010 06:49 PM
Still shopping for a 17' Alexandra B Wanted: Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers 10 02-20-2009 01:32 PM
Anyone shopping at Can. Tire? Lainey General Chat 9 08-31-2007 09:19 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.