Not sure if I should buy this trailer... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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Not sure if I should buy this trailer...

Hi,
I have an opportunity to buy a trailer - 14' 1981 Dolphin. The owner has sent pics and I am going to see it in person tomorrow. There is no fridge and the furnace has been removed but comes with it. The frame has been soldered. She not sure why it was soldered or exactly where but she has the inspection certificate from the provincial government saying it is safe.
I have tried to attached 10 of the pics that she sent and I'm hoping it works.
Should I look for anything specific? I know to look for water damage and rusty frame and such, but FG is new to me. Thanks so much for all of the wisdom that I am sure you will provide for this hopeful newbie.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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It's a personal choice, however, for me, a fridge and a furnace are two essential things I look for in a trailer.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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I was thinking of replacing them, in time (no huge rush) and maybe reconfiguring a bit. Or would that be a bad idea?
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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Sandy, at least from the pics it doesn't look too bad, but soldering is for electrical stuff, welding is for frame repair or improvement. You will not have any fun at all if the frame is iffy to begin with. Anybody that is handy with steel and such that can go with you to take a look?

And yes, all sort of stuff can be done with any trailer as long as it is sound. New furnace, frig, A/C, electrical entrance, etc., it's just a money and time thing!

Good luck!

Frank
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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Sorry, that was my French coming out. The french word for weld is "souder" so I put soldered when I meant welded. The welds have been inspected by the provincial gov't for safety. Based on a few things that I have read in these forums I will check near the front to see if they are plates welded on to the hitch frame where it meats the trailer frame...
Anythign else that I should look for?
Thanks so much for the advice I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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The price might be a factor
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeansmomSandy View Post
Sorry, that was my French coming out. The french word for weld is "souder" so I put soldered when I meant welded. The welds have been inspected by the provincial gov't for safety. Based on a few things that I have read in these forums I will check near the front to see if they are plates welded on to the hitch frame where it meats the trailer frame...
Anythign else that I should look for?
Thanks so much for the advice I really appreciate it.
Sounds to me like you have a good handle on it Sandy. "Your French coming out" eh? That's a good one. Many years ago I was conversant in French, but that's a long time ago. All my ancestors are from SE Ontario (SDG), and though all English & Scottish, we learned French in school.

Good luck!

Frank
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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She's asking $2700, but I want to try and get it for less. $2000 if I can get her that low. What do you think? I don't want to get taken, but the pics look pretty good.
I know that a buying a fridge and getting it installed and having the furnace reinstalled will probably run between $1500 and $2000, since I am not knowledgeable and will have to have it done by pros.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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Just for comparison sake Sandy, we bought an '83 Sunline T-1550 a year ago this past spring for 1700USD. The original 3 way frig was gone, replaced with a cheap electric one, the hot water heater didn't work and had to be replaced (new ones are a lot better than the old ones!), the 7 pin wiring had been reduced to 4, the brakes didn't work, the power entrance was screwy, and this year I had to replace a bunch of wood framing around the rear window resulting from leaks around the window. I replaced the power entrance, put a new 30 amp entrance in, installed roof mount A/C, rewired the trailer for a 7 pin rv connector and got the brakes working. I also coated the frame with POR-15 to prevent further rust.

Again, as long as the frame is good, lots of renovation can be done over time as you get cash. If the frame is good, 2 grand would be a braggin rights deal.

Next trailer we buy I hope is a fiberglass one I can just polish and go...

Good luck!

Frank
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #10
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That's a good price if there are no frame issues even without the fridge and furnace, if it looks as good in person as it does in the pics.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
Many years ago I was conversant in French, but that's a long time ago. All my ancestors are from SE Ontario (SDG), and though all English & Scottish, we learned French in school.

Good luck!

Frank
We are in Ottawa, but I was born and raised in montreal, French is my first language so it tends to come out once in a while .
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:26 PM   #12
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Ok, so check the window frames carefully, check the frame for rust and/or cracks, check fibregalss for cracks, check that roof has right "shape". If I can I"ll try and check the wood in the corners of the floor inside.
I am pretty sure most of the wiring and propane/plumbing may need work.
Anything else that you would consider a deal breaker?
Thank you so such, you are all so kind and helpful.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #13
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Sandy, download, print and take with you the Buyers Check List. It will help you remember the things to check. All items, as far as condition, is subjective and whatever YOU think the condition may be.

I agree with Frank. $2,000 would give you lots of braggin rights! But, you'll know if the trailer sings to your heart. It may even be worth full price to you. Only you can determine that. But, looking at the pics... it looks like a nice trailer
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeansmomSandy View Post
She's asking $2700, but I want to try and get it for less. $2000 if I can get her that low. What do you think? I don't want to get taken, but the pics look pretty good.
I know that a buying a fridge and getting it installed and having the furnace reinstalled will probably run between $1500 and $2000, since I am not knowledgeable and will have to have it done by pros.
Bonjour ! (oups !)
I've installed a used fridge in mine for 450$. The furnace is more tricky, since it may have been taken out because a component was defective. Parts for used furnace are extremely hard and expensive to find, so consider it as dead weight (not contributing to the price you pay). You should at least check the power converter, since this is the next most expensive item to replace too. I'm assuming the stove is in good condition and can be tested. If not, it is another gambling (much easier to find parts and inexpensive replacement).

If the body of that trailer was aluminium over wood frame I would say, don't touch it, but with a solid fiberglass body, it is an interesting project. I suggest you bring a volt tester and something like a heavy screwdriver to gently tap (with the handle tip) all over checking for fiberglass and plywood integrity. Uneven sound might suggest voids, delamination and rot, especially around the windows. Check especially for traces of rust on screws and mildew on the inside around the windows, which might indicate water infiltration. Parts to repair the windows might not be easy to find, so make sure everything works. The door lock is sometimes hard to replace at an affordable cost, so pay special attention to current condition and make sure you have a key. Looks like you got a separate lock cylinder over a Bargman 400 door handle. Finding parts for that Bargman latch, handle are extremely rare and expensive.

Check for tire integrity (no cracks or excessive wear, for suspension and possibly electric brakes / electrical connectors condition.

Overall, if the shell look good, the interior is without leaks, 2000$ is a fair price to start, considering you will likely have to spend about as much for a fridge, furnace, possibly power converter, brakes, tires and electrical to repair or replace.

You may want to have a look at Installing a 21" deep fridge into a 19" space on a Trillium 4500 and Reinstalling a Duotherm 65512 on a Trillium 4500

Bonne chance !
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