detecting mositure when inspecting to buy - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2007, 10:25 AM   #1
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Okay, the 17' Burro from EBay is still available, the winning bidder changed his mind when he found out it wasn't a queen bed (or so the story goes), the seller did advertise it as queen, thinking it was. (Apparently neither did their homework on the size of a Burro wide body bed).

The seller called us, and presumably others who bid, to see if we were still interested. We are. Mike will be in CA and can look at it Thurs. (a strange coincidence), if it’s still there. He is a good electrical, plumbing detector, but how to REALLY know if there have been any moisture/leak problems?????? We know all about cushions, stains (hard to see on fiberglass) and other obvious signs, but, especially with the Burro's double walls, what, where and how else would one know/check? The seller posted lots of photos and disclosed what he knows needs repairing, leaky shower head, etc. mostly very fixable, but the moisture history is something hard for anyone to detect (we know!!)

The seller has only had this 2 months and it had not been used for several years when he bought it, he said it was musty but not mildewy smelling when they first opened it up, but not since (or so the story goes....).

Any ideas, suggestions appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:05 AM   #2
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He is a good electrical, plumbing detector, but how to [b]REALLY know if there have been any moisture/leak problems??????
I don't know if this works for trailers...but it works for houses and furniture, so it can't hurt. I've found that your nose is the best mold and mice detector available.

Assume the owner has already aired it, so all the stale air should be gone now. When he gets there, tell Mike to shut it back up again with himself inside of it. This works best on a warm day. If he smells deodorizers, or air fresheners, that's a dead give away that there's something being covered up. Also, he should open all the cabinet doors and access panels and look inside with a flashlight. Air freshener's tucked away in odd places should raise a red flag*.

If Mike doesn't have sensitive nose, tell him to take a woman friend with him. A woman might not what she's smelling, but she'll know if she doesn't like it.

Also....my copilot says to ask for a hose and turn it onto the trailer, like an imitation rain storm. Don't know if this works, but it couldn't hurt and I would wonder about any owner who would object. Ater all, he has to wash it doesn't he? Just a thought.

* Baking soda boxes shouldn't be counted against the owner. I tuck baking soda boxes in all kinds of crazy places.
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
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Penney, you own a 13 foot Burro. 99% of the places a 13 can leak, a 17 will too. They are not much different, except for the bathroom.

You would be surprised at how fast a carpet can mold if there is a leak around there. I had a very minor one on mine my first trip out, and by the 3rd day, the carpet had to come out.

They will leak behind the rear wall of the bathroom where the shower water comes in. (Under the curb side cubby, against the shower wall) They can also leak at the floor drain, and the toilet fl;anges etc. Also check where the toilet ball valve is, the water feed on mine leaked really bad (And still dribbles a few drops a day) there.. since the water lands in the shower pan, I have experienced no damage from it however.

The rest is the same for any RV.. Air conditioner, windows, roof vents etc.

Just not seams... or rivet holes
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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Thanks Laura, we did think of the hose, if the seller says no then, bye-bye (but they do ration water in CA don't they? )

I would smell anything unusual, unfortunately, Mike is not as sensitive (he works as a Propane Technician & they all know women smell propane & other odors sooner & better than men) but the idea of closing the windows and doors is good, also, makes me think, besides looking for air freshners, he can stick his nose into places normally kept closed up, storage areas, etc.

Good ideas
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
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the added "water features" of the bathroom are definitely our concern, thanks for spelling out just where problems can arise. Never thought of the air conditioner,( something we don't even want but it has) but of course a place for condensation and drips I imagine.

Thanks - Mike does well with check lists so will be sure he has your list in hand along with the Buyer Check List he already has.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:36 PM   #6
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Here is my Chronical of the Toilet From Hell.

As you can see from Per chiming in, it is a fun thing that may happen to you and your Burro too!
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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I just went back and reread the eBay ad.

That is a different bathroom configuration than mine. My toilet is on the opposite side, I have a bathroom sink (Where the shower hook up is in this one) and a separate shower hook up.

I would be a little concerned about the toilet seal... you can see it has leaked or maybe even cracked in the picture.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:15 PM   #8
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Penney, you guys are already 99% familiar with Burros. Check all of the places you've had problems. Generally, water problems will show up in all of the cubbys even if they can't be seen elsewhere. Look for poorly done silicone sealing around windows and vents, including the roof and A/C unit. Look for staining or warping on the cupboard doors. Look in and around the wheel wells. Make sure the floor is solid and has no "spongy" spots. If there's any doubt, take an ice pick or small Phillips screwdriver and probe the wood you can see.

Everything else is pretty much off-the-shelf stuff from RV supply stores and can be repaired or replaced, including the water heater, fridge, toilet, etc. etc. Just do your homework so you know what the stuff costs before you go. Also, make sure he has the water heater fired up and the fridge running when you arrive so you can see that they work for yourself. Don't accept "well the last owner told me they worked when he stored it ten years ago" unless you're calculating the cost of replacing them when you buy it.

The trailer you got with the mold is kind of a rarity, actually.

Roger
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #9
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It has slipped away again! This is unbelievable – I called to confirm Mike’s plans to see the Burro tomorrow and the seller told me the second bidder on EBay had an “option for second chance” (EBay guidelines) and he had been notified that he had to offer it to the guy, who will look at it Friday!! He sounded a little mystified as he had thought we were the second bidder.

So Mike is off to CA with all his lists and advice gained here, (and from Per via email ) but he won't be checking it out, unless (not likely) this person changes his mind.

The twists and turns of events around this trailer we have been chasing for three weeks has made for an interesting, though frustrating, experience. But we've learned a lot from all of you. Now we just have to wait for the next one...........sigh!

Then again, like the seller said, until he has the guy's money in his hand it’s not sold.......but I think this is the end of the story.

I realize the soon to be new owner of this hard to find little Burro may be a member of his forum - if so, you are one lucky Burro owner and I wish you happy trails (jealously, but sincerely!)
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