Inviting comments/feedback on prospective Burro purchase - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-23-2018, 06:56 PM   #1
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Name: Raymond
Trailer: Prospective Burro owner
VA
Posts: 6
Inviting comments/feedback on prospective Burro purchase

I'm looking to purchase a 2000 Burro 17 Widebody and could use some advice.

The asking price is $7800 which is a bit more than I had planned to pay for a camper, but I knew when I set my mind on buying a fiberglass unit that I was going to pay a premium for the distinct advantages these campers have over "regular" campers.

The unit is in fairly good shape, there is one thin, shallow 3-4" crack in one corner where it looks like there may have been an impact (there's a ring of discoloration - almost like bruising - around the crack in that corner). Everything is in working order, no sign of leaks anywhere and no odors. Undercarriage looks great. There's been some sealant applied to the corner of one of the windows. It does look like the Burro logo on this unit was painted over at some point since I don't see it. All the rest of the original furniture and appliances do come with it, including the tire covers bearing the logo.

The current owner has had the unit for 2.5 years. Very conscientious person who obviously took good care of it himself and paid nearly $1000 to an RVIA tech to make sure all systems were in good working shape. He bought it for $7500.

I've pretty much decided to buy this camper and have no reason not to. Hard to find used fiberglass campers in my area (or anywhere really) in this price range. There are a few comparable Casitas in nearby states, e.g. a 2002 well-cared for 17' Spirit Deluxe for which the owner is asking $10,000...I believe these weigh up to 1000lbs more than the Burro however.

I've heard people advise others to stay away from Burros as they have gone out of business...but can't imagine why it should matter.

I would appreciate some comments/feedback on this prospective purchase. Would also love to hear from current Burro owners on how to best care for this unit when I buy it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:21 PM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: BURRO
Massachusetts
Posts: 17
2000 Burro

I just recently bought one for 7500. The windows were recently sealed and it didn't leak. The floors were solid and the body in good shape. Also the frame had additional steel welded at the bend points. Got rid of all the garden hose water system and replaced with PEX. Dug into the Fridge and Water Heater area. The fridge should have been installed in an isolation box so that when on gas the fumes don't come into the cabin. Don't think Burro was to good about that. The fridge was sitting on a small flimsy base that I threw away and replaced along with isolating it. The water heater had no support to speak of so made an appropriate support. Those problems create stress on the fiberglass. The inner walls are connected to the floor with dry wall screws and I plan on replacing them with stainless. Just ordered a fresh water tank as the fittings on the old one were broken. The dining area in the back needs 3/4 inch plywood for support in my opinion and that will be done too.
Don't get me wrong, I still think it is designed well and is roomier than the others. I am doing the repairs myself and aren't really that expensive. Someone told me yesterday they love my Burro, I may be crazy but I do too.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:21 PM   #3
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Name: Raymond
Trailer: Prospective Burro owner
VA
Posts: 6
Thanks, lots of good info to follow up on

Thanks Greg, that's a lot of good pointers to follow up on once I've got mine (finalizing purchase tomorrow, will pick up on the weekend). Can't help loving these either...the contour lines are just so beautiful and different, and they just "look" solid and and sturdy...glad I'm not the only person not intimidated by the "but they went out of business" argument...

I do seem to see a lot of posts with people talking about reinforcing their floors but need to take the time to see how they're doing it. The floor is covered with a layer of fiberglass as well, isn't it? A lot of people make the fiberglass on the floor a big selling point of Casitas, but I think the Burros have that as well...don't they? I think Scamp is one of the odd ones that doesn't...

I'll keep you posted on details once I've picked mine up. I'm a bit of a newb and don't always know what to look for, but am learning a lot from the forums...
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:32 AM   #4
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 245
Sounds like you're looking at the one I started looking at myself. Contacted the owner and said there's a lot of interest but no buyers yet.

Unfortunately, I'm out of the area visiting Brother-in-law and his family for another week in British Columbia.

Good luck with it. Hopefully something else turns up nearby.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:39 AM   #5
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Name: Raymond
Trailer: Prospective Burro owner
VA
Posts: 6
Hi Dan, if you're based in Northern VA too it must be the same one. I'm very surprised so many people have seen it and didn't get it. Fiberglass RVs under $10,000 are so hard to find around here - sorry to be the one to take this one but I doubt it would have lasted another week! I almost drove to Knoxville to see the Casita there. Well, at least you're in BC, gorgeous part of Canada...esp Victoria and Vancouver Island...
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:51 AM   #6
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 245
Yep, out of NoVA. Saw there's a small camper down in Norfolk Craigslist that looks interesting. Just going to see what else comes up. In the meantime, I have a boat to fix up so I can wait for now.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:30 AM   #7
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Name: Greg
Trailer: BURRO
Massachusetts
Posts: 17
floor

The floor is plywood, my guess is 3/4 covered on top and bottom with fiberglass.
mine has no problems in that area. I removed the original rug and it looks good. You might want to look under in the area of the bathroom most of that floor is hidden by the black water tank but check the shower drain area. All those points I brought up might be a bargaining chip
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:37 AM   #8
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Name: Ian or Vicki
Trailer: 17 ft Burro Widebody / 2007 Explorer Sport Trac
British Columbia
Posts: 470
Dan, if you're in BC, we've got our 1999 Burro for sale. And I wouldn't worry about buying a Burro. We've had ours for 14 years and other than resealing windows, all has been great with it.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:59 AM   #9
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian-Vicki View Post
Dan, if you're in BC, we've got our 1999 Burro for sale. And I wouldn't worry about buying a Burro. We've had ours for 14 years and other than resealing windows, all has been great with it.
Thanks for the offer. Being in Vancouver, I've been looking into Boler's and others on Craigslist and Kijiji but wife doesn't like the idea of traveling cross-country to get back home. Don't think our 15 month old daughter will want to sit still for very long either. I'm still trying to get her on board with getting a camper.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:22 PM   #10
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Name: Raymond
Trailer: Prospective Burro owner
VA
Posts: 6
Sorry for not following up on this post, and thanks to everyone for their feedback.

Dan, I may end up selling mine much as I don't want to, because of a change in priorities (more below). I will come to a decision by early next week.

I picked the trailer up last weekend. First time pulling anything at all and my diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee had no problem with it.

The one thing that did happen is that the left stabilizer came loose when I was driving it home. The owner had warned me about it being loose and had secured it with bungee cords, but unfortunately the bungee wasn't tight enough and it came loose in middle of 16th St in DC near Georgetown on a busy Sunday afternoon - I suddenly started hearing a clanging and scraping noise after hitting a small bump. I quickly ran outside at a red light and resecured it. It held the rest of the way, but the left stabilizer was slightly bent from dragging on the road. Not a big deal, the previous owner had warned me I may need to replace it anyway.

The other thing that I noticed was that after a few days in the heat, the pressure build-up must have made the bathroom vent cover fly off. I found it laying next to the RV on the ground so I'm assuming that's what happened.

Also, I think the original cushions have a musty or mildewy odor but maybe it's just me. I don't know what the options are for replacing these. I guess as long as the cushions are the right size it shouldn't matter.

It's such a pretty thing to look at, and when you're inside it feels really solid - like a space pod or space capsule or something rather than a flimsy crate on wheels like the wood/aluminum campers.

I've been too busy to go over everything yet, but I'm having an RVIA tech I know in the Fredericksburg area do a thorough check-up for me.

I intend to make any and all important/critical repairs before I decide what to do with it next.

My original plan was to take it down to my small property in the Florida countryside and use it whenever I was down there, until my house (under construction) got built.

Now my priorities have changed a bit. I'm looking to buy a good (used) diesel truck (to help with some of the work on the property) and a small boat (the property is on a lake). For accommodations while I'm down there I have friends and relatives in the general vicinity who have offered to help with that.

If money were not an object I wouldn't even think about selling it. These are so hard to find, and at 1800 lbs they're almost 1000lbs less than a Casita of similar size (17').

I'll come to a decision by early next week. Thanks to everyone for their feedback. And Dan, keep checking this thread because I may decide to sell it next week.

Regards,
Raymond
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:39 PM   #11
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 245
Raymond,

Too bad about the possible change of plans. I'll bring up the possible offer to the wife. We were going to see a trailer that came up close by but it sold before we could even look at it.

Boating can be fun. I've been fixing a sailboat awhile and looking forward to getting that back in the water to actually use it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:19 PM   #12
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Name: Raymond
Trailer: Prospective Burro owner
VA
Posts: 6
Burro looked over by RVIA tech

Took it to Matt, the RVIA tech in Spotsy, today. He really liked it - totally different reaction to the Jayco I wanted to get.

He found the following issues:

1. The propane regulator is an old-style regulator with inside threads and needs to be changed, as do the two pigtails connecting it to the two propane tanks. The tanks themselves need to be switched out with newer types as well.

2. He showed me how to properly reconnect the bathroom vent cover to the arm that moves it up and down (there's a screw that does this, it had gotten loose). However he also said the vent cover had become extra brittle from baking in the sun, and said it wasn't bad to keep some tape on it. Not sure where to get one in case it needs to be replaced, given that Burro is out of business.

3. He said the current AC unit was excellent and was only about 5 years old. He got his generator connected and it did work really well.

4. He couldn't find a separate heating furnace even though the AC unit seemed to have a "warmer" setting on it (not sure if it can also act as a heater). So there may be no separate heating furnace, but he said in his experience a tiny propane or electric one could heat up a camper up like this one really well. He said the insulation on the unit was excellent. Burros are known for having a fiberglass double-wall with a layer of insulation between.

5. He said the battery needed to be replaced. I thought the previous owner had said it was relatively new, but it's possible I'm thinking of what I had been told about the Jayco.

6. He recommended that I run a dehumidifier in there as he could tell there had been some general moisture accumulation, possibly from my having left the vent partially open during the rains. He treated this as a common and recurrent problem with RVs with the problem being more or less extreme depending on the RV and the environment it is used in.

7. He said there had been some sealant applied around some of the windows and some in the corner where there is the "bruising" or discoloration (possibly from an impact) but everything looked well sealed and he had no leak concerns.

8. Stove ,fridge pilot, and water heater pilot all lit up without problems, no leaks (but propane regulator still needs to be replaced because not in line with current standards).

9. He told me to buy a new sewer hose and a new fresh water hose.

10. We didn't hook it up to water and I don't think he got a chance to test it beyond perhaps looking at the pipes.

11. Beyond this I was given some general RV ownership pointers - like how to winterize, how to avoid a loose or dangling emergency runaway wire (he said some state troopers specifically look out for that); I was also told to buy a torque wrench to regularly tighten the lug nuts on the wheels.

12. We didn't talk customization and appearance issues but in the event I keep it, I'll definitely discuss options with him.

Overall Matt confirmed what I expected to be true of fiberglass trailers when I bought this one - that they really are more structurally sound than the wood/aluminum types, and that they are more resilient against leaks.

I feel especially confident about my purchase now but not sure yet if I'm keeping it. A lot depends on how things go with my diesel truck purchase, and how much a decent boat for fishing on the lake will cost me down in Florida.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:47 AM   #13
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
Posts: 245
For the most part, looks like some regular maintenance items. Not bad, I think.
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