Will renovations lower value? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2019, 06:49 PM   #1
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Will renovations lower value?

We recently bought a 1977 Trillium 4500. It appears to be in good shape and other than the fridge, everything is still original- even the curtains and cushion fabric! From what everyone here has experienced, will renovating from the original condition lower the value? For instance I may want to remove the strips between the esponite, caulk and paint but don't want to if leaving original will add value for possible resale. Thanks very much!
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:03 PM   #2
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Originally Posted by Nanph View Post
We recently bought a 1977 Trillium 4500. It appears to be in good shape and other than the fridge, everything is still original- even the curtains and cushion fabric! From what everyone here has experienced, will renovating from the original condition lower the value? For instance I may want to remove the strips between the esponite, caulk and paint but don't want to if leaving original will add value for possible resale. Thanks very much!
What you are describing does not even to come close to being a renovation of the trailer. You are not making any major changes to the trailer by filling between the strips with caulk and paint. It won't make any difference in the value in a positive or negative way.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:35 PM   #3
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Thanks for your reply. We did a major renovation to an rv a couple of years back, but this trailer is different. I am more curious about things like ‘should I leave the original wall pockets intact? ’ or the wall shelf. As a young person I renovated antiques and regret replacing hardware. I don’t want to make any newbie mistakes with the trillium.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:38 PM   #4
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Name: Nancy
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Ontario
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Other than cosmetics it needs some door hinge work and has a bit of water damage under the bench. Your site has been a wealth of formation though!!
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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The main mistake is expecting to get your money back out of the trailer later. You won't. You get your money out of these improvements by using the trailer and enjoyment.

Second major mistake IMHO is removing a system (like removing all propane), or removing/eliminating an appliance (removing furnace for example).

A third mistake is making it really personal. I've seen some trailers that are a full on Coca-Cola theme interior. Fine if you are into Coke, but it eliminates most future buyers.


On antiques, I slowly learned I had made the same mistake as you describe. Original finish and patina is worth a lot more than a stripped and refinished antique, even if the finish is in mediocre condition. Original finish and patina can represent 75% or more of the value.

I've kept the original cushions (replaced the foam) and curtains in my Trillium for a couple reasons. First, they were still in good condition. Given a choice between keeping original in good condition and replacement, I'll keep it original. Second was cost. Keeping original cushions and curtains was a lot cheaper and took a lot less time than replacing them.

I don't paint unless it is needed for maintenance. So painting the outside or the inside cabinets or ensolite? Nope. Original as long as it is good condition will require ZERO maintenance basically forever. I did have to replace several rotten cabinet doors. So I went ahead and painted all the cabinet doors, replacing several of them.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:09 AM   #6
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Vintage egg trailers hold their value pretty well, with or without modifications, as long as you don’t go overboard or do something weird.

Is there a resale premium for an unmolested original unit in good condition? Possibly, but it’s not huge, and only if everything works and looks good.

For personal use, changes such as updating mechanicals like the wiring, charging system, and plumbing, replacing marginal appliances with equivalent new ones, changing fabrics or flooring, etc... won’t hurt the resale as long as they’re skillfully and tastefully done, but you shouldn’t expect to get back all of your costs. Do it only if it will enhance your enjoyment of the trailer.

I agree about not painting fiberglass unless required due to major repairs. The original gelcoat finish is generally worth keeping.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:25 AM   #7
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Name: Nancy
Trailer: Trillium 4500
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Thank you both so much. This is exactly the kind of advise that I was hoping for.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:36 AM   #8
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Nanph View Post
We recently bought a 1977 Trillium 4500. It appears to be in good shape and other than the fridge, everything is still original- even the curtains and cushion fabric! From what everyone here has experienced, will renovating from the original condition lower the value? For instance I may want to remove the strips between the esponite, caulk and paint but don't want to if leaving original will add value for possible resale. Thanks very much!
From a buyers standpoint I would prefer the original finish. Removing the strips, caulking and painting would not be a preference for me. If the strips are in good shape I'd leave them or replace them. Paint always at sometime peels and needs redone. The strips don't. I look at this stuff when I purchase. I much prefer the original wood than painted stuff. Original wood just looks more classy and professional. If you change out appliances get as close to the original or better. When you go cheaper that shows no pride of ownership. If you cut corners one place it would make a purchaser wonder where else you cut corners that is hidden. Never remove anything like a fridge for an ice box, furnace, water system even partial ones, etc. This also shows cheapness of the previous owner if you want to sell it in the future. These are just from a purchasers thoughts.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:04 AM   #9
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
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I suppose some trailers could be considered antiques but not most.
I would agree with most of the previous comments, such as don't make the unit too personalized unless its a keeper.
I've done major work on trailers and MADE some coin doing it. Things like replacing suspension parts, rewiring, replacing appliances, windows, upholstery and curtains etc.
The key is to keep it as close to original as you can and keep it functional.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:57 AM   #10
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Name: Judith
Trailer: Eriba Puck
NC
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If you want to freshen up the curtains and cushions, just keep the originals in storage and replace with your choice.
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