What to look for in a restoration project - Fiberglass RV

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-12-2013, 06:14 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Eddie
Trailer: in the market
British Columbia
Posts: 9
What to look for in a restoration project

I'm thinking about looking for an older fibreglass trailer to gut and restore, and I'm just wondering if there is a guide to buying one. Are there any issues to look for that are just not fixable? What are common issues that tend to be more costly to repair? I'm not sure my skill level yet, but some of the ambitious projects here where people take the shell right off the frame and sand blast it or build a new frame have me a little intimidated. I'm not sure I'm prepared to go quite that far. Any advice?

skedius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 07:39 AM   #2
Senior Member
mszabo's Avatar
Name: Mike & Sara
Trailer: 86 17' Bigfoot
Posts: 554
Depending on our skills will dictate what you should purchase. All these trailers can be repaired.
First thing is don't over pay! Buying a 30 year old trailer for 3-4K and then replacing a floor, frame, axle, tires, refrigerator is not the way to go.
Because when your done you still have a 4K trailer.
I'm sure you will get plenty advise.

mszabo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
Senior Member
David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
I think you should do some research into what brand of trailer you actually want, and what size will fit your usage. They all have some compromise that you either can live with, or not. Bigfoot's are big. They are more expensive to tow, but more comfortable when you get there. Trilliums have a fibreglass interior and floor. They typically do not require gutting, but are kinda expensive compared to other brands. Bolers are less expensive, but seem to need a new floor more often..... There are so many.
I agree with Mike & Sara. If you plan to gut and restore, don't pay too much. About $1500 for a trailer that need that much work is the most I would pay.
The things you should confirm are OK, or easily fixable are as follows in order of importance, (to me):
Fibreglass shell - Small holes, or punctures are OK, but if it looks like there has been heavy erosion or deformation, just walk away.
Windows - Are they a style you like? Do they work? Do enough of them open? Can you get replacements, parts?
Floor - This is the most likely problem area. If the trailer has been leaking for some time the floor, if wood, may have rot. Depending on the model of the trailer, this could mean an off frame restore, not just gutting. Look for soft spots in the floor.
Frame - This is actually less of a problem if you can weld, but if the frame has to be replaced, it can get expensive.
Appliances - Do you want a furnace, gravity, or forced air? Ice box, or fridge, 12 VDC compressor, or propane, does it work? Stove, does it work? You can expect to need a new propane regulator.
Smell - If you are gutting, not so much of a concern.

Those are the big ones to me.
David Tilston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
rabbit's Avatar
Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
Stuff you don't know about because it's totally outside your experience. Stuff you find intimidating because you just learned about it. Stuff that appears attached to the landscape. Stuff you can't see because it ain't raining hard enuf. Other stuff you can't see. Mushrooms. The door.

rabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 07:18 PM   #5
Senior Member
Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
Hi Eddie, welcome to FiberglassRV. We're glad you're here

I'd start by downloading the Buyers Check List. Even though you're wanting a project trailer, it will tell you items to look at.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
PlayPac restoration project - windows & door help Chris Bradford Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 12 05-04-2012 12:20 PM
1977 Scamp restoration project Celeste Modifications, Alterations and Updates 25 04-25-2012 07:42 PM
1977 Scamp 13 Restoration Project ReilleyS Modifications, Alterations and Updates 29 05-14-2011 02:22 PM
Wanted 13-16 foot trailer restoration/project casey67 Wanted: Molded Fiberglass Travel Trailers 4 10-11-2010 03:13 PM
Wa Wa Restoration - Almost Benita General Chat 2 03-01-2007 01:31 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:11 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.