Old Beachcomber Find...Is it worth the work? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-23-2015, 02:48 PM   #1
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Name: Robert
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Old Beachcomber Find...Is it worth the work?

Thanks to this community for lot's of great resources. I have been trolling the forum for a few months. Just found a 78 Beachcomber that needs quite a bit of work. I'm comfortable with the cosmetic, electrical and woodworking issues, but there appears to be frame and fiberglass issues that I need some advise on before committing to this restoration.

The frame looks like it has been repaired due to cracks, etc. The body will have to be removed and frame repaired. I am concerned about the fiberglass body. From the hitch, the right side of the wheel well has rolled outward, causing the tire to rub on the wheel well. The underside support behind the wheel is pushed up into the mount and the outside edge of fiberglass has bulged out. Not sure if this is just because the outside wall has flexed.

Has anyone experienced this before? Will the wheel well straighten up once the roof and walls are re-supported properly? Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:52 PM   #2
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Fiberglass is fairly flexible, so I expect proper support would help pull it back into shape. However, not being an expert on the subject, I would take it to a boat facility that repairs fiberglass boats and get their opinion.
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply

I would like to take it to a fiberglass expert. I realize the roof and side walls are flexible and will pull in and re-align, my concern is that this is bulged at the bottom bend. Almost looks like somethng was dropped on it, but the roof and walls are good.

If I take the trailer to an expert, I'd have to buy it first and then if it's not worth fixing, it would cost me more money to dispose of it. Last time I tired to take a fiberglass boat hull to the dump they wanted to charge me $1000 to throw it away!
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Old 08-23-2015, 11:16 PM   #4
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oops, I thought you owned it already!

Take good pics and show them to a boat shop, see what they say. Doubt the owner has a line of customers out front....

That would help your bargaining position on price, too. It may well be trash, but without some expert advice you don't have a strong bargaining position on price.

I had a custom built pickup camper that I had no use for after my first wife passed away. Put it up as a freebie on Craigs List and nobody came to look at it. Next camping season I put it up as $1000 FIRM PRICE and CASH ONLY and that sucker was gone in 2 days. One never knows how the deal will work out..........
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:16 AM   #5
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Rob. there have been a few other trailers with way more damage than this one fixed. Guess it all depends if you want to have a side project going. If you could get it cheap, if nothing else it would make a cool playhouse for the kids/grandkids
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Rob. there have been a few other trailers with way more damage than this one fixed. Guess it all depends if you want to have a side project going. If you could get it cheap, if nothing else it would make a cool playhouse for the kids/grandkids
Or a truly spacious chicken coop - Had a Navy buddy who turned a 67 Mustang shell into one after we took the drivetrain out to fix 3 other cars........
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:26 AM   #7
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The interior does support the flexible body. Once the closets, benches, and cabinets are back in place the "bulges" should disappear if the frame is straight.
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Old 08-24-2015, 01:28 AM   #8
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The interior does support the flexible body. Once the closets, benches, and cabinets are back in place the "bulges" should disappear if the frame is straight.
Dave & Paula
You're correct Dave. It is surprising how much FG will reset to its original shape given a little time and the right support. Liked the recent post from a member that reset his shell to the frame and used a few speed bumps to get it to drop back down to the new frame. Would you call that the "mother of invention" ?
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:50 AM   #9
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to get an estimate as to how much it will cost to get the Beachcomber fixed take your best estimate and multiply it by at least 5 and you will be only a little bit low. Within X2 or so of the final cost.
The correct cost of this project would be about $ 1.00 to purchase.
Now when you are finished you might have a better than used trailer or not depending on your skill level.
My wife is keeping track of the cost in redoing our 1986 Scamp, but I don't want to know!
I think of it as a payment plan that will be all paid out when it is finished and better than new. (Heavier too!). It will be laid out the way we think we want it and only using it will tell.
Best of luck if you want to take it on.
At least you know you are buying a project. Many buy a project without knowing it until they get it home!
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:11 AM   #10
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The only way I would tackle a job like that is if I was prepared to DO ALL THE WORK.

Even then it would be expensive.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:57 PM   #11
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I've learned the hard way that a "free" or "almost free" boat or RV can, and most likely will be more costly then something in much better condition, and useable now.

If you are looking for a project to mess with for the next several months then it MIGHT be a worthwhilel.

Have you asked the seller if you could take it to a Fiberglass Repair Shop? He might agree if he really wants to sell it.

Bill
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Old 08-28-2015, 02:21 PM   #12
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Working on this trailer is cheaper than going to a Psychologist to solve life's frustrations if you need this kind of work to feel whole. But taking on this type of project you need a psychologist to find out why you need to do it to feel whole. I like these type of projects it makes me feel whole and it make no sense to put $6000 into a $4000 trailer when its done add to that the initial purchase price of the trailer. Some people get their thrills planting flowers and waste gobs of money doing that. Some people waste their money going to the movies every week. What ever floats your boat and keeps you sane and happy is what's important as long as you recognize that every ounce of labor and at least half of your money is going down the tubes. If you can live with that its OK. If you have to pay someone to do the work then go find a much better trailer. At least you have something tangible for your efforts.

If this trailer was near me for $500 I would own it but I am crazy and can do all the work.
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