May buy a burro tomorrow! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2011, 06:37 PM   #1
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May buy a burro tomorrow!

Driving about 250miles tonight to look at an '83 Burro tomorrow. I've only seen one small image and heard vague descriptions from the owner over the phone. She says it looks great, the inside fiberglass looks brand new etc. It's lightly equipped, which is good, I want as low weight as is practical. Has a 120v fridge, manual sink, stove, but little else. I think I'll be adding a furnace, hot water heater and removable porta potty. AC down the line maybe, but may not want to tow it with AC, as that's a 100lbs or more I'd guess.



$5250 is the asking price, but doesn't sound like there is any room to move on that. More than I'd want to pay for a lightly equipped trailer that's just shy of 30 years old, but I'm really liking what I'm hearing about Burros and this may be a good solid one to start out with and it's not too far from home.

Any advice on things to look for, where are the problem areas? Not too worried about the axle as long as it's usable since I think I'm going to get a new axle with brakes. But I'd love to know any hidden spots where fiberglass cracks, water leaks in, frame or fixture metal rusts, etc.

So you Burro owners, please think back on when you were shopping, what do you wish someone had mentioned to you??
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:52 PM   #2
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I'm not a Burro owner, but the seam runs straight from front to rear right across the length of the roof, look there for any leak damage.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:55 PM   #3
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I'm not a Burro owner, but the seam runs straight from front to rear right across the length of the roof, look there for any leak damage.
Thanks! Will do.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
Driving about 250miles tonight to look at an '83 Burro tomorrow. I've only seen one small image and heard vague descriptions from the owner over the phone. She says it looks great, the inside fiberglass looks brand new etc. It's lightly equipped, which is good, I want as low weight as is practical. Has a 120v fridge, manual sink, stove, but little else. I think I'll be adding a furnace, hot water heater and removable porta potty. AC down the line maybe, but may not want to tow it with AC, as that's a 100lbs or more I'd guess.



$5250 is the asking price, but doesn't sound like there is any room to move on that. More than I'd want to pay for a lightly equipped trailer that's just shy of 30 years old, but I'm really liking what I'm hearing about Burros and this may be a good solid one to start out with and it's not too far from home.

Any advice on things to look for, where are the problem areas? Not too worried about the axle as long as it's usable since I think I'm going to get a new axle with brakes. But I'd love to know any hidden spots where fiberglass cracks, water leaks in, frame or fixture metal rusts, etc.

So you Burro owners, please think back on when you were shopping, what do you wish someone had mentioned to you??
Number one thing to check is the floor! Many Burros have floor rot due to the construction. The floor is made of plywood with a layer of fiberglass on both the top and bottom of the plywood. If water gets into the plywood, the fiberglass prevents it from evaporating, and the plywood rots over time. They did not seal the edges of the plywood very good around the wheel wells and that lets water in every time it is towed in the rain or on wet roads. If the rot is advanced, the floor may feel spongy and there may be a musty smell in the trailer. Another way to tell is look carefully where the fiberglass body meets the frame in the front and back. If there are any signs that the body has settled onto the frame, there is most likely floor rot. The frame rails should not protrude up into the front and back walls at all. They protruded up into the walls about 1/4" on my Burro and the floor was totally rotted. It is a major undertaking to replace the floor properly.

Another place to check is the center seam. The seam on my Burro was cracked both front and back where it meets the floor. The cracks were several inches long. There were also smaller cracks in this seam where it meets the windows in 3 of the 4 locations. It is easiest to see these cracks from the inside if the carpet and headliner is removed. You may not be able to look from the inside with the carpet and headliner in place. It might be possible to lift up the trim-lock that covers the seam on the outside and see if it is cracked. These areas are not very difficult to repair after the carpet and headliner are removed.

Another place to check is the frame area where it bends to form the triangular shape at the front of the trailer. The frame rails are prone to cracking at this bend. Cracks would probably start on the bottom. This in not to difficult a repair, but will require welding.

$5250 seems like a high price unless there has been a lot of first class updating.

Andy
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:17 AM   #5
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Andy I was just reading this thread about your restore. You are my hero!
No wonder the Burro floor is rotted

Gives me a much better idea of how this thing is constructed. I'm still bewildered trying to imagine what's between those two shells, especially one an older burro.

I can't help but wonder: How does that foam insulation hold up? The trailer I'm looking at is an 83?! The floor looks darn hard to do well, I can't imagine what it would be like to replace that foam. What is the material? Will it bead or disintegrate? Does it get compacted by the shells shifting over the miles and years?

I'm also not clear what the cracks you say are possible on the center seam look like?

But i have some idea what damaged fiberglass looks like, so hopefully I'll detect any problems. I'm less clear what a given issue will take to repair. How do you repair the shells if you cant get to the inside between the layers? And still have a smooth trailer anyway.

More use of search is in order, but that's what's on my mind, gotta sleep. Tomorrow should be interesting.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:39 AM   #6
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I hope everything works out as well as expected. Download this, print and take it with you! Make sure you know where to fine the VIN:
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - BuyersChecklist
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
Andy I was just reading this thread about your restore. You are my hero!
No wonder the Burro floor is rotted

Gives me a much better idea of how this thing is constructed. I'm still bewildered trying to imagine what's between those two shells, especially one an older burro.

I can't help but wonder: How does that foam insulation hold up? The trailer I'm looking at is an 83?! The floor looks darn hard to do well, I can't imagine what it would be like to replace that foam. What is the material? Will it bead or disintegrate? Does it get compacted by the shells shifting over the miles and years?

I'm also not clear what the cracks you say are possible on the center seam look like?

But i have some idea what damaged fiberglass looks like, so hopefully I'll detect any problems. I'm less clear what a given issue will take to repair. How do you repair the shells if you cant get to the inside between the layers? And still have a smooth trailer anyway.

More use of search is in order, but that's what's on my mind, gotta sleep. Tomorrow should be interesting.
My 1980 Burro 13 has nothing between the inner and outer shells except air. Although I have not seen one, my understanding is that fiberglass insulation batts were used for insulation between the shells if the Burro was ordered with insulation. The fiberglass insulation is the same type used in the walls of most houses, only thinner. I have only heard of using foam in discussions about adding insulation. I am planning on adding insulation when I am done with the windows and expect it will be very difficult to get it in between the shells.

The inside view of cracks in the center seam on my Burro are show in post 27, 1st and 3rd pictures in the following thread. No wonder the Burro floor is rotted
On the outside, when the trimlock covering the seam was removed, the crack looks like the picture attached below. The two halves were joined (glued) together with thickened polyester resin, there was no fiberglass used to strengthen the connection. Polyester resin without fiberglass imbedded in it to add strength is brittle and it does not suprise me that it cracked. I have removed the ugly center seam on my Burro, and will post pictures at a later date.

Andy
Attached Thumbnails
Crack.jpg  
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
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Donna, got it downloaded to the phone, can't fill it out, but I can go through it mentally during the inspection.

Andy, you are a fantastic resource to the community! I get what your talking about now, separating halfs. So you just bonded the two together with a strip of fb "tape", removing the seam ridge? Sounds great, if labor intensive.

We'll hopfully I'll see this burro in a few hours. You know I'll report back. Possibly with a great many pictures.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
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I should probably walk away. The burro looks like a good fixer upper, but the floor is definately dammaged behind the wheel Wells . After about 15 minutes poking around she locked the door. She told me before driving 250 miles she'd let me test tow it, now she says her insurance company says it wouldn't cover me. I called my insurance company and it sounded like they would add it to my policy, but she then said she wasn't even comfortable with that. She said she'd let me ride with her towing it in her Toyota truck. But that's not that informative.

I'm going to go try to rent a haul to test out. But probably won't buy this trailer, the seller just is being too weird and it looks like it'll need lots of work down the line.

Sad too, looks like my other best bet is gone from Craigslist. If the burro seller had better described her trailer and I had been told be how uncomfortable she'd be about a test tow, I would have jumped on the other option.

The fiberglass is settled onto the corners where it meets the frame on both corners on one side. There's what looks like additional fiberglass as a top layer, it seems mostly solid. The windows look good. But I didn't get s chance to take Pictures. Center seam looks good without pulling the trim off. It did need new trim. But there was a spot in the roof carpet where I could see the seam inside and it looked good along there.

Maybe after a few days and some other informed shopers looking at it, she'll let it go cheap, but I don't know. She doesn't seem rational about it. She seems attached to it, when she says "you don't seem like a serious buyer.", I want to say, "you don't seem like a serious seller!" I drove 250 miles and have $1000 cash for a deposit (Max cash I could get during the weekend), nit sure what serious would look to her.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:33 PM   #10
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Also, the picture is not her burro. The decal color is bronze or brown, not the red pictured. And it's not that clean. The decals are faded on hers.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:45 PM   #11
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Wow, What a bummer. I think you did the right thing by leaving, That's a lot of money for one that is not near perfect. Soon when it gets cold and snowy there will be more for sale.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:08 PM   #12
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After reading all of this, I can tell you that I wouldn't trust her far enough to sell me a gold double eagle for a dollar. Anyone who changes her story after you drive over and who substituted a different picture without saying so is not the kind of person I would deal with. Oh, and her price is way out of line besides.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:16 PM   #13
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Yep, I should have known before hand when she said she'd send me more pictures and then didn't. Just thought maybe she wasn't camera or computer savvy. I got a weird vibe, should have trusted my gut. But some people are just strange, not great communicators. So I figured it was worth the drive. And now I've seen a burro up close. And sounds like a dear friend is in this area, so I don't regret the drive.

Greg, Hope your right about more eggs, there was a burst of them right when I started looking, then nothing new lately. Wish I knew then, what I know now. In retrospect I let some good trailer go without getting onto it and checking them out.

I need to get one in the next 10 days or take a cargo trailer to New Mexico. I can pick up the search from there. But much smaller market than California and I'll be working and won't have time for long road trips to loook at or pick up a trailer.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:39 PM   #14
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Looks like I may be heading another 350 miles south to look at this drastically better presented, much newer Scamp. Supposedly stored inside all it's life until the current owners bought it this past spring. They say it's real nice, only selling due to not fitting their family of 4.

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/rvs/2566073578.html

I'll probably start a new thread on that given it's a different model all together.
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