Keep it? Sell it? Re-furbish it? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #1
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Keep it? Sell it? Re-furbish it?

OK, my life is really not the drama it is becoming on this site (I hope)

Short version: Vickie wants camper, only has Element. Buys 1000 pound Perris Pacer--loves it. Afraid she's over-taxing Element, buys Honda Ridgeline. Realizes she can now have a BIGGER camper---starts to think.

Looks at r-Pods. Husband could be convinced. After sleeping on it---Vickie decides she doesn't like the r-Pods. Wants her fiberglass! Looks around again, decides the Egg Camper is the way to go. Talks to Jim today, he can have one for her in 4 weeks---$17,000. Hubby has probably been pushed to his limit. Finds a 2007 Egg Camper 7 hours away---$12,500. Could do that, perhaps, but does she want to???

What does Vickie really want? Vickie loves her Perris Pacer. Would just like the wiring and gas updated and know that everything is sound. (Plus a paint job.) Calls around. RV place want to know WHY? if nothing is wrong with lights, etc.???? They will do gas check and go from there if anything is amiss. They just don't get it.

Calls body shop that did her fiberglass repair when tire blew a hole in bottom. They say they do camper repair (Vickie really wants a vintage restorer.) But they are not sure this is the type of work they do. But they did good work. Vickie begs----Todd will think about it.

So here's the deal---no one around here seems to want to mess with the wiring, gas, etc. 60% of you guys are doing it yourself. How the h&#! hard is it? Should I just let it be until something goes awry? Just have the gas lines checked????? It just seems like it's something alot of you folks are doing, and I have NO idea if mine has ever been updated.

Second point is---I'm not a fan of the gas. I'll never use the furnace. It scares the crap out of me. And I don't have a bathroom/shower-. I have no problem using my microwave or cooking on gas stove outside (can you use that inside if you need to????)

So now I'm thinking----just take out the furnace (and have more storage), and take out the burners (so I can put in a taller fridge), and go all-electric like the Egg Camper would be anyway. And if I go all-elect---are there any options for other types of power. Honda Generator? But can I really use that unless I'm out in the forest away from every one?

And should I have the axle looked at???? It seems like so many of you change it---is this necessary? How do I REALLY know if it's bad? Believe or not, I'm not LOOKING for ways to spend money!

I just want this done, so we can have some fun! I thought we'd enjoy working on this together---but I now realize we're the type who'd rather buy new, or pay someone to make it so.

Does anyone have any thoughts for me??? (please be kind!) I'm willing to pay maybe 5 grand to get this the way I'd like it (and have it painted.) Or is that even enough???? That's what initially took me to the r-Pod---I wondered if I wanted to sink that much into this 1988 Pacer, or just buy new. But as I said, I don't want the r-Pod. The Egg Camper would be good--but can't spend $17000 (and it will be more next year.)

Do you know ANYONE in my neck of the woods who does this work????

Thanks guys-
Vickie
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie B. View Post
OK, my life is really not the drama it is becoming on this site (I hope)

What does Vickie really want? Vickie loves her Perris Pacer. Would just like the wiring and gas updated and know that everything is sound. (Plus a paint job.) Calls around. RV place want to know WHY? if nothing is wrong with lights, etc.???? They will do gas check and go from there if anything is amiss. They just don't get it.


So here's the deal---no one around here seems to want to mess with the wiring, gas, etc. 60% of you guys are doing it yourself. How the h&#! hard is it? Should I just let it be until something goes awry? Just have the gas lines checked????? It just seems like it's something alot of you folks are doing, and I have NO idea if mine has ever been updated.

Second point is---I'm not a fan of the gas. I'll never use the furnace. It scares the crap out of me. And I don't have a bathroom/shower-. I have no problem using my microwave or cooking on gas stove outside (can you use that inside if you need to????)

So now I'm thinking----just take out the furnace (and have more storage), and take out the burners (so I can put in a taller fridge), and go all-electric like the Egg Camper would be anyway. And if I go all-elect---are there any options for other types of power. Honda Generator? But can I really use that unless I'm out in the forest away from every one?

And should I have the axle looked at???? It seems like so many of you change it---is this necessary? How do I REALLY know if it's bad? Believe or not, I'm not LOOKING for ways to spend money!

I just want this done, so we can have some fun! I thought we'd enjoy working on this together---but I now realize we're the type who'd rather buy new, or pay someone to make it so.

Does anyone have any thoughts for me??? (please be kind!) I'm willing to pay maybe 5 grand to get this the way I'd like it (and have it painted.) Or is that even enough???? That's what initially took me to the r-Pod---I wondered if I wanted to sink that much into this 1988 Pacer, or just buy new. But as I said, I don't want the r-Pod. The Egg Camper would be good--but can't spend $17000 (and it will be more next year.)

Do you know ANYONE in my neck of the woods who does this work????

Thanks guys-
Vickie
Vickie,

You should probably get the used Egg Camper (assuming it has not been mistreated). You won't have to deal with gas, it is well made, with newer frame, appliances and wiring. Plus, it will hold its value should you decide to sell it in the future. You will still have a fiberglass trailer, plus you will have piece of mind.

But, if you are really sold on keeping the Pacer, find a reputable trailer service shop that has been in business several years. They do exist. Call your local U-hauls and see if they have a recommendation. Call various auto dealerships and find out who they send trucks to for after market hitch systems.

These people can redo wiring, check the gas, anything you want. If reputable, shouldn't charge an arm and a leg for the work.

You do have a fiberglass trailer, but most of the things you want to have done requires the knowledge of an old time trailer people who do a lot of work with vintage trailers.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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Here is another idea: contact Sisters on the fly: Sisters on the fly,Cowgirl Caravan,fly fishing,trailers,vintage trailers,western bedding

This is a group of women who caravan together in vintage travel trailers (including fiberglass trailers). They may have members who live near you who can refer you to a suitable trailer shop.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #4
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Vickie,

In regards to the furnace. it is built just like a house furnace only smaller.

Bill K
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #5
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Well, sometimes I play tricks on myself to find out what I really want. So I set up "fake" (but could be real) choices to try to eliminate variables and get to the heart of the matter.

Like, for example, if your "Bean" was totally fixed up, painted, inspected, and maintained so that you felt completely confident in it, would you still want a different camper?

If "Bean" were in the condition described above, and that and a slightly used Egg Camper were side-by-side and you could have either one, which would you choose?

What if it were the fixed up "Bean" and $4000 cash in one pile, and the slightly-used Egg Camper in the other?

What if the Egg Camper also had things that needed to be inspected, re-sealed, or etc.?

Well, you get the idea, I'm sure.

I hear (but may be wrong!) a frustration because of a combination of the following:

1) You read about a lot of do-it-yourselfers on this forum and would like to have those skills, but maybe that is not your forte (and maybe you don't want to use X amount of your life learning them, which is fine).

2) You know (or have experienced) that there are an awful lot of "hack" RV service people (sad but true).

3) You wonder, if you could only FIND service workers you trusted to do a competent and reasonably priced job, if you might not be happy with "Bean."

Again, I'm just guessing, really. And your situation did change with the larger tow vehicle. If you are comfortable with spending the additional money for the Egg Camper, and you are happy with the "feel" of having a larger camper, and you really want a bathroom/shower.... then maybe that is the way to go. (Although ultimately that camper will also need work and inspection, so you will slightly face the same thing again but not as much or as soon.)

/ramblings

Raya
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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Vickie,

In regards to the furnace. it is built just like a house furnace only smaller.

Bill K
Although if Vickie is not a fan of gas, she may not have a gas house furnace (?)

I have and use propane on boats and in campers, but I do know there are some people who are just not comfortable with it. It may not be completely "logical," but then that doesn't make it any more comfortable.

On the other hand, Vickie, would you still feel this way if a competent, trusted technician went over the gas system piece by piece, made sure it was in excellent condition, and then went through the lighting and usage of the furnace with you step by step?

And if not, and if it's a gravity fed furnace, I'll take it

Raya
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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Humm, Vickie you've given us alot to think about an opened the door to a lot of opinions. Here's mine.

Love the one you're with! $5,000 is a lot of money. Spend it on fuel and camping fees. Don't like the propane... then don't use it. Pulling the furnace out will give you what... two shoe boxes worth of space? I haven't used the propane in my trailer in more than five years.. I'm not even sure there's propane in the tank. I use my microwave and toaster oven and campfire to cook. Or eat sandwiches. My trailer is my get away. It's far from being oppulent, but it's paid for, safe to go down the road and clean inside. You have a nice little trailer. I've noticed the smaller the trailer the more people spend outside. And why shouldn't they... open the door and look at the livingroom... NIRVANA. Any little trailer beats a tent anyday.

If you have a bigger trailer will you go camping more often? I'm going to buy a new trailer one of these days. But honestly don't think it will give me any more "pleasure" than what I have. My reasons for buying new, is I want to go fulltime and has nothing to do with the age or condition of my current trailer.

I think you're feeling overwhelmed. Don't. As I said, if it's clean inside, all the exterior lights work and it's safe to go down the road... enjoy it. It's not about the particular trailer, it's about the experiences you have when you use it.

YMMV
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:44 PM   #8
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Donna, that was perfectly worded. I see alot of people spend thousands and thousands of dollars on big diesel pushers, Airstreams, and other high end 5th wheel campers and trailers, only to sit outside by the camp fire with everyone else. I too have spent money on bigger, better trailers only to sleep in them... I have had several Scamps, Casitas and Burros, and have sold them to go bigger. I now have my Burro 13 that you would have to pry from my dead hands to get. My Burro wasn't a very NICE camper when I bought it, but I made it my own with features that were important to me. Anyone can go out and buy a new Egg camper, but not everyone can find a nice older Perris Pacer, Scamp, Boler or Burro. Older campers have character, and you can't buy that.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
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Wink Get a cold compress, put your feet up, and put "Easy Listening" music on you stereo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie B. View Post
Vickie wants camper... Buys 1000 pound Perris Pacer--loves it.

What does Vickie really want? Vickie loves her Perris Pacer. Would just like the wiring and gas updated and know that everything is sound. (Plus a paint job.)

So here's the deal---no one around here seems to want to mess with (it).

60% of you guys are doing it yourself. How hard is it? Should I just let it be until something goes awry? Just have the gas lines checked?

I'm not a fan of the gas. I'll never use the furnace. It scares the crap out of me. And I don't have a bathroom/shower-.

So now I'm thinking----just take out the furnace (and have more storage), and take out the burners (so I can put in a taller fridge), and go all-electric like the Egg Camper would be anyway. And if I go all-elect---are there any options for other types of power. Honda Generator? But can I really use that unless I'm out in the forest away from every one?

And should I have the axle looked at?

Believe or not, I'm not LOOKING for ways to spend money!

I just want this done, so we can have some fun!

Do you know ANYONE in my neck of the woods who does this work?
Vickie:
Unfortunately, I'm not in your neck of the woods.
Have you towed the Perris Pacer for any distance yet? Have you camped in it? Has your Husband gone with you?

Did the previous owner use the trailer in the condition it's in now within a short time before you bought it?

Your photos of your trailer appear to show it in average condition.

I would advise to get the gas checked just for your own peace of mind.

OR

You could just remove the gas bottle and not use any of the gas appliances if you wish. I wouldn't go to all of the effort to rip anything out just yet. The stove and furnace will be fine just being in the trailer. It's a small trailer, and the Ridgeline has a lot of space in it. Store stuff in the Ridgeline at first if you need more stuff than will fit in the trailer.

Go camping and see how you feel with it. If everything seems OK to you, then it probably is. Don't sacrifice the "Good" searching for "Perfect".
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:32 PM   #10
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And Mark, I love your work! I just looked the distance up between us---12 hours!!! This is just so unfair! If you were only closer-----------

You guys gave me great things to think about----

1. You know, Raya, I think if I did have the gas lines checked out, and explained to me---I'd be OK.
2. If the "new" camper had a bunch of things to do---it would not appeal to me. (For instance, I went to the r-Pod owners website and read their gripes/things needing fixed/mods---and thought----WAIT A MINUTE!)
3. If it were Bean and the slightly used Egg Camper were side by side--that would be a tough call---because I'd have to choose between no bathroom or a bathroom. HOWEVER---an interesting point was made by the r-Pod salesman (of all people.) He said he and his wife rarely use the bathroom for it's intended purpose. He'd rather take a shower in a nice shower house (and not worry about how much water he's using), and he mentioned the gunk going down the drain you have to watch and clean out, and the same with the toilet. They do most of their "business" in camp facilities, so they don't have to bother with clean up. They mostly use it for night calls. Well, that made me think it WOULD be nice not to have one more system to clean/worry about. As far as night time goes, I bought 2 Uriwells for hubby and me and LOVE them! So I found myself looking at the r-pod bathroom as a nice closet!

(It would be nice if we did camping when it's chilly/cold.)

4. So here's what I do know: I love my Pacer. I wish I understood the wiring and could put in another outlet inside and one outside. I wish the wiring on the outside (on the tongue) didn't look like Medusa on a bad hair day. I want a bigger fridge. I don't know if it will fit under the burners (although I think there is dead space.) I want my door to stop sagging (got the new bolts today!) I have to have new rubber around the windows to stop a few leaks. And I want it painted. (and some rivets need replaced around the band.)
And I'd like to know that my floor isn't rotted anywhere.

So, Yes, I'd think I would be very happy with what I have, if I could get those things done.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:48 PM   #11
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Thanks, Frederick---good advice (but you forgot the Margarita)

When we got the camper we towed it from Arizona to Nebraska--not a problem in the world!

The first time we camped in it-----we got pretty wet. A new Fantastic Fan in place of the Evaporative Cooler has fixed the roof--just need new rubber around the windows for those leaks (I think).


You probably hit the nail on the head---I'm looking for that PERFECT camper that doesn't have a hair out of place or snag in it's stockings. Ain't gonna happen, huh???? So what I really want is to just bring our camper up a few notches, feel comfortable with the innerds and enjoy.

I need to find someone who can do that for me.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:14 PM   #12
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Hmm, I was just talking to my adult daughter about a getaway weekend, but thought we should do it before it gets too cold, cause neither of us would be comfortable with firing up our old propane furnace, without a boy around! We have never used it since we bought the Boler. Might be comfortable with just trying it for a bit before we go to sleep, and then turning it off. Well, the fact that we are even on this forum means we are willing to learn...
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:33 PM   #13
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Oh Vickie, dilemma's dilemma's!


Honey, Each and everyone of us could tell you what we would do, but really it's about what you want (ok, maybe Dh gets a lil input! After all he enjoys the pacer).


Personally, I would love a lil egg, but due to most of them being bathroom-less I would only have one (restored, looking sweet) for the fun of it! Kinda like all the cute shoes and purses I buy. Just cause they are soooooooooooo cute!

So you need to decide if you can live without a bathroom. And if so, is that the only reason other than the ones you stated for even thinking of buying a new egg? Because the other issues can be rectified on your pacer.

As for the propane issue. I would have it checked and repaired if need be. Or leave it, and take the tanks off so you would have nothing to worry about. Personally, I am not a huge fan of propane but I do use it. I just turn it off every night before we go to bed, it at least helps me sleep without worry. Of course the damn thing could blow up during the day while I am showering or making lunch! I just don't think about it!

Axle, I would definitely have it check. Is there a farm equipment repair shop near you? You are in Neb aren't you? They work on trailers, yes, they work on farm equipment trailers but I think you just might find that they can check out and repair/replace your Pacer axle as well. I would also start with this project first. As well as have the frame checked while your at it.


Electric, have you called around to electricians? I know the electrician that we use around the house has worked on his family's rv's as well. It may take some searching but you probably can find one. Ask friends for references. (I called a plumber to put my new hot water tank in the Casita) instead of taking it to a rv center.


Paint job, Perhaps a Boat repair shop. They work with fiberglass all the time. I assume they paint boats. I would assume they could paint the Pacer.

Is there a hot rod shop in town? One who restores cars? They paint cars they can paint a Pacer. If they dont' paint I am sure they have someone they recommend for painting. I don't have an issue of seeking recommendations from people off the street . If someone is wearing a really cute pair of shoes, I will chase them down and ask them where they got them! So I would do the same thing, if I saw a really cool paint job on a car/truck/boat I would chase them down and find out where they had it painted.


If all else fails, bring it to Colorado. LOL............... I had already checked into the Airstream restorer here in Denver about re-doing the first Casita I bought. He said, it has curved walls doesn't it? I said yes, He said we can restore it!


Have you decided if you can live without a bathroom?

As for the EggCamper, Frankly I don't think you could go wrong! They are so nice. They are huge compared to even my 17ft Casita! If your comfortable pulling it, the head room and width is un-like most egg shaped glass. I really like the one I was in, the interior room is big and spacious.

As for a used EggCamper or for that matter any used travel trailer depending on the care that the owner took of it, will depend on what you need to do to get it enjoyable for your camping pleasure! As others have said, if your looking at used. Check the Axle, frame, etc. Take the Buyer Check list with you. Crawl under it, make sure you don't see cracks in the frame, glass, fixable, but do you want to? Even I can crawl under and see what's up. You can tell if a trailer has been well cared for or not.

Just think, the bigger the trailer the more square feet to decorate! Woot Woot! LOL....................


Good Luck! With your decision! But if you decide on a different trailer don't get rid of your pacer, keep it like my orange gucci purse. Just cause it's cute!
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:36 PM   #14
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neither of us would be comfortable with firing up our old propane furnace, without a boy around! We have never used it since we bought the Boler. Might be comfortable with just trying it for a bit before we go to sleep, and then turning it off.
If you have one of the original gravity furnaces, they are fairly simple to operate and have very little that can go wrong.
Learn how to fire it up before you leave. On those chilly nights we find that firing it up long enough to take the edge off, then turning it down to just the pilot keeps us comfortable enough even when things start freezing outside.

You can test it on the pilot for a few days before you leave and not use up much gas. Grab a CO detector from the house to make sure everything is OK while testing.
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