Hello, new to forum, possible new Burro owner - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-16-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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Trailer: Scamp 16ft.
Posts: 29

I'm John Carter from Michigan, I have a used Burro in my sights but it has some issues. On two sides the exterior fiberglass shell is damaged and soft in a couple of spots. It looks like it was backed into something. Anyway, when you push on the damaged area it will flex in then pop back out. Additionally, the seam in the ceiling where the two halves come together you can see through the fiberglass (the owner said it was built like this to let light in), looks like solid fiberglass, not the interior shell, then foam, then exterior shell construction - is this normal? My question is can the damaged exterior shell be repaired cost effectively? Do I need to worry about water intrusion between the two shells?

Great forum, thanks for any replies.


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Old 03-16-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2000 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 212
john, run as fast as you can to cleveland and get the 13' casita that is on craigslist! (that is, if you want one that small)

(these folks know everything about fiberglass but need some specifics from you about your requirements, size of family, how often you will use it, how handy you are, etc.)

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Hi John,

On the interior ceiling strip, the translucence is normal (fiberglass will let light in normally, unless it's painted), but it wasn't put there to let light in. Normally there is a strip of carpet there (in the gap between where the two inner shells join on the ceiling and running down the walls). Some people keep the carpet and some re-fill that area with white plastic, naugahyde, or wood. One can insulate under the new covering (nothing against the original carpet, but it's nothing to mourn the loss of if it's gone).

Some Burros were insulated between the shells and some were not - I think it was an option. The trailer will probably "glow" inside in sunlight anywhere where there is not insulation (so perhaps "yours" is insulated if you only saw light at the ceiling gap).

As to the outside, it's a bit harder to answer without seeing it. Fiberglass can always be repaired - it's not even too difficult to do yourself if you're interested in learning - but matching the original gelcoat can be a bit of an art. If it's painted, or if you aren't bothered about a perfect match, then it's easier. It probably wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to have done, but it's really hard to say from just your description. Boat or Corvette repairers would be able to give you an estimate (or show us some photos).

These campers were built to be light, so many of them will flex to some degree if you push on the outer shell; not necessarily a problem (again, generalizing).

It's possible for water to get between the shells if the trailer has had unaddressed leak issues in the past, especially if they were long term. I would think you would smell must or mold, but perhaps not in cold weather. Also, the floor is wood encased in fiberglass, and although many provide trouble-free service for years, it is a place to check for rot.

Many people like the Burros (and U-hauls) because the "double hull" gives a nice, shiny, "wipable" surface inside (other brands have either carpet, marine fuzzy material, or vinyl covered foam on the inside (to name the most popular treatments).

There are Burro photos you can access from the home page here, if you haven't seen them, and in the Document Center (look on the left margine of this page), there is a link to a Buyer's Checklist you can print out.

Again, welcome!

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:37 PM   #4
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Trailer: Scamp 16 ft Side Bath
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John - we second the suggestion of PotterAlice - grab your cash and head to Cleveland! If that Casita is as represented you won't find better value for your $$$. Good luck in finding the 'just-right-for-you' FGRV. You won't regret your choice of 'glass. L 'n D
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” A. Einstein
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:58 AM   #5
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Actively shopping for a project, again.
Posts: 192
John, I own a 1982 Burro. The two outer shells are sealed on the inside with fiberglass across the seam, the outside seam has trimlock. This creates an effective watertight seal. I have removed the carpet from mine and yes it is translucent, when only looking through the outer shell. Before buying I would find the buyers checklist on this site, under tutorials in the left frame. With older Burros pay close attention to the the frame, ours and many others were cracked. Check where the A frame bends to meet the cab, look under and around carefully. This is a fairly easy welding fix, but you will want to know before you tow too far.

Good luck
Former 83 Burro Owner (destroyed in fire)
Looking for a new Fiberglass Project Trailer in New England.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:10 AM   #6
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Name: Phil
Trailer: Bigfoot 21ft (25B21RB)
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welcome the forum, lots of good people here and info
Phil & Denise Underwood
1997 Bigfoot 21 RB
2002 F-250
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #7
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Trailer: Scamp 16ft.
Posts: 29
Thanks for all the great info.

Yes, this forum is great - great people make a great forum.

I have reviewed the buyers checklist - awesome.

The 13ft Casita would be a little tight for my family of four, that being said a 16ft Burro will be a little tight for my family of four. We have always been die hard tenters, but my family consists of a 1.5yr old and a 5 week old now and we are looking for something that we can just hook up to and go. The last time we went camping (tent) I started packing at noon and had everything set up at the campsite (2 hours away) at about midnight.

Hopefully I can be the Burro and join the club -

Thanks again,

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Old 03-17-2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
If it's a 16 (or is it 17?) foot Burro, then it will be much roomier than that Casita. The Casita is a nice looking camper, but would be suitable more for a couple, since not only is it "only" 13 feet, but with the bathroom taking up the space of the forward couch/bunks, will only sleep two inside. Suitability all depends on your individual situation

I think many of the larger Burros (all?) are "wide-bodies" too, so that gives even more room. I know that there are a number of wide-body Burro owners here; I've only seen photos but they look HUGE compared to my 13' Boler


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