hey dana--if i look for an older trailer like yours what do i focus on for future probs/fixes etc.?
Everything needs checking:
Frame -- is it straight, are there any cracks or breaks?
-- if rubber torsion, has it been replaced? If not, rubber that old is dead and you basically have no springs so you will have to replace it.
-- if leaf spring, check the spring leaves, hanger and shackle pivots. Springs die, and pivots wear out -- but how quickly depends on quality, lubrication, and usage,
Wheels -- any cracks, dings in the rim, or exceptionally rusty?
-- Sufficient tread? Even if you have tread, make sure they are not showing cracking -- if so replace them immediately!
-- do they work, and are they properly adjusted?
bearings -- are they in good shape and properly lubricated?
And so on -- check the body, door, windows
for cracks, leaks
, and resulting damage.
Take a look at the "Buyers Check List" on the lefthand menu halfway down from the FiberglassRV.com logo for more specifics.
In my case I wanted something that was structurally sound, had a heater, cooktop, and 3-way fridge
in working order for not too much money. Of course I didn't get everything I wanted, but for $900 I got a solid (well, as solid as they made them) frame, an intact body, rotted out window frames and interior woodwork, a solid floor (amazing considering the condition of the rest of the wood), a 3-burner cooktop (rusty but working), a gravity furnace
of unknown condition, and no fridge
at all. I probably overpaid but it gave me something to start working on. Of course I immediately had to shell out another $200 for tires
, and later bought a fridge
, and this and that, and I'm now over $2,000 into that trailer. But it's becoming quite uniquely suited for what I want to do. It will probably be worthless if I tried to sell it because it is so expressly geared to boondocking
, parked at "campgrounds" determined largely by my imagination instead of clearly defined spots in an established campground.
We just got back from a trip to the Mojave desert and had a blast, so that part's good. The downside is that we discovered some things I thought were "done" really aren't and I need to rework them again. But I never have to wonry about running out of things to do....
Good luck on your search. The important thing to figure out is what you want your trailer to do -- lotsa beds or just one, what size bed(s), set up for boondocking
(no hookups) or always hooked up, bathroom (weighty but convenient) or not (maybe just a porta potty, or if you really want lightweight, some WAG bags), big and roomy or small and light
and maneuverable, and so on.