Newby - Priority list? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
Name: Tonnie
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 81
Newby - Priority list?

OK - I'm somewhat overwhelmed here by all the information I'm reading.

Can someone clarify for me what I do first, second, etc?

My 79 Scamp isn't usable in it's current condition. So, far I've just cleared out the junk left in the cabinets and thrown out the old gross cushions.

The PO had painted the elephant hide, so that's not a concern.


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Old 06-27-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
Post some pics, inside and out.....and you will get some suggestions.

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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Name: Clif
Trailer: 08 Weiscraft Little Joe 14 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT
Posts: 556
Welcome to the forum.

First, make sure the wheels turn and the hitch hitches. Then check for leaks. If it's been parked unused for a while, put some damp rid, or similar in there, otherwise everything is likely to mildew again.

Seriously, don't go by anything the PO told you, check and double check it all. Pull the wheels and repack the bearings and put in new seals. If it has brakes, check them. Check continuity on the brake wiring and ohm out the magnets. If everything in there is rusted, replace it. You may be able to have the drums turned if they aren't too bad. On all of this, if you are not sure what to do, go to They have some great information and videos that can save you a ton of time searching.

If you have a propane stove and refrigerator, check for leaks with soapy water in a spray bottle. On the refrigerator, check it on AC to see if it works. If it does, before trying it on propane, save yourself some grief and clean the burner. There have been some excellent discussions of this recently.

Do check the hitch and safety chains. Make sure the stinger is the right height for the trailer to ride level.

Make sure the lights work. If they don't, check the ground before you do any further diagnosis.

Drain and clean the fresh water tank. Make sure the grey water and black water tanks are empty. It wouldn't hurt to flush them.

This was all real quick off the top of my head, but it should keep you busy for a couple of days.

Also, go to the top of the page and click on MORE and then on DOCUMENT CENTER. There is a bunch of good info there.

Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:04 PM   #4
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,567
Here's my list. I'm sure others more experienced than I will have more to say.

I would start with a good, thorough cleaning, inside & out. Sometimes things look worse than they really are. OTOH, the careful inspection that comes with a deep cleaning may reveal previously-overlooked issues. This would also be the stage to do a complete inspection and test every system (if you didn't do that pre-purchase). Use the inspection form in the document center and get someone who knows RVs, preferably FGRVs, to help you. Bail out if the project is more than you are prepared to invest in time and money.

As Bob often points out, unless you have the time and skills to do most of the work yourself, it is usually cheaper in the long run to buy a newer or already-refurbished unit. The good news is that (assuming you didn't overpay, and with a good cleaning) you can probably get your money back if you sell now (not so much if you wait until the fall).

Assuming you are still in...
  1. First priority is safety: frame (check for deep rust and cracks), axle (tire clearance inside wheel well, vertical movement when raised), brakes, tires (replace if more than 6 yrs. old regardless of tread), bearings (inspect & replace/repack), running lights, hitch set-up.
  2. Second priority is the shell and floor. Deal with major issues first (cracks in fiberglass, rotten sections of flooring). Then address lesser problems (sealing windows, replacing rivets, etc.).
  3. Third, work on mechanical systems - propane, water, electrical, and appliances. At this point, if you've done the previous steps, you can at least begin to use the trailer as a hard-sided tent and fix up one system at a time as time and finances allow.
    EDIT - an advantage to holding off on this stage and using the trailer for a while is you will learn which systems you really need (for example, we never use the water & propane systems but really appreciate the DC electrical system). Determine your own priorities according to your own needs.
  4. Finally, do the fun stuff - cosmetics. Make it look nice!

Good luck!
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