Buying Tips? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2006, 12:02 PM   #1
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I'm not sure if this is where I should post this. I did print out the Buyers Check List.

I was going to look at a 1996 16' in Tulsa, OK this week, but the guy wants to show it at night, doesn't have elec, water or propane hooked up and no water in tanks. Said he had an offer sight unseen from a lady in UT for $500. over asking....

I told him I'd pass, because I can't check anything out. I also used his email address to find his blog where he mentioned having trouble with his generator on his last trip. He wanted to sell that for an additional $1,000, but never mentioned it was having problems.

Too many red flags for my taste.

So my question is, how many trailers are expected to be viewed this way? ie: at night, no available hookups, etc.

I'm beginning to think I should just buy new, especially when I can get a 16' freedom, spirit, or liberty for 10,858-12, 452 new (latest brochure). All I really need to add is a furnace, air, sway bar, and hi lift axle. I can do all the other comfort mods myself.

Thanks for any advice! I just feel like many are just trying to scam buyers into rushing into a sale, because they think Casitas are hard to come by. I feel I have a right and obligation to check out a 12 yr old trailer.

If someone could sticky a list of buying tips on this forum that would be great!
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:42 PM   #2
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Tracy, I think most of the tips are found in the buy/sell checklist. There are so many variables in what drives one person over another as far as what's acceptable. Starting with how much $$ a person is willing to spend to what the level of ability to fix things might be.

You first need to start with the money issue, then decide what features you must have, then add those that you'd like to have but can live without..until later.

But you're on the right track. If it doesn't feel right, don't persue it. And there's no way I'd purchase anything at night that cost more than a couple of bucks.

Others will give their 2 cents as well.
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:23 PM   #3
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I suppose if you were buying a real 'fixer-upper' where you expected stuff to be broken/not in good repair, that would be one thing.

I just sold my old VW Westfalia - full propane tank, etc so that I could personally demo that everything worked. Went through the whole setup with prospective buyers (including disclosure that the fridge didn't work on propane anymore).

The only thing I didn't do was put water in the fresh water tank - it was hard to drain and I didn't want to drive around with it full. I didn't fill it until I had a serious buyer.

So, I guess if your visit was a first time just to see if you were serious, I'd cut him a little slack. But, no way would I expect someone to finalize a purchase without seeing everything work/or not work as disclosed by the seller.
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
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No I definitely am not tire kicking. I have cash ready to buy and told him so. We even use the same bank, so I could get cash or transfer funds on the spot from my MM account.

I'm with you Donna D! The guy is home all day on sabbatical, but only wants to show it at night. I wanted to see it the day I saw the ad, but he 'had to clean it' and put me off till today. When I called today he said he pulled a muscle and couldn't clean it, and wanted me to match an out of state offer for $500. more, said he could only show it at night, and it's parked next to a clothing store with no access to utilities= in another town. Just too fishy. I couldn't check any of the systems on the check list that way!

When I saw on his blog that he made 2 stops on his last trip to unsucessfully fix his generator, I was suspicious. The call this morning with new conditions of sale was a deal breaker. It may very well be a good deal, but I'm not handing over my money for something I can't check out. That's like buying a car w/o a test drive. Insane.

I think we'll take a trip down to the Casita factory in TX and look at new ones.
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:20 PM   #5
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All Trailers are NOT created equal. Every year there are upgrades and fixes the manufacturer or public require.

I helped buy an older Casita for my father-in-law just to fine the Awning was terrible to open. My new one cranks out and sets up easily. The sewer on the old one had a separate gray water and black water so it was much more difficult to empty. The new ones have nice three way refrigerators with controls INSIDE. The list goes on and on.

I learned a big lesson on differences. Make sure you see how EVERYTHING works. My father-in-law didnít think the AC worked. Just found out how to turn it on.

Buyer Beware.
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:23 PM   #6
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So what Donna said.

1) Price
2) Size & Floor Plan (it is very hard to add a bathroom, change a Freedom to a Liberty.
3) Amenities
4) Quality
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:22 PM   #7
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I wondered about the model year changes Mike. Even tried to google the model history on Casitas, but there's not much information out there. I know there have been alot of improvements along the way.

We know very little about campers and would need someone to at least be commited to showing us how the systems work. I've camped plenty and towed boats, utility trailers, etc., but never owned a camper.

thanks for the tips and keep them coming! I'm sure there are many like me out there that could use the expertise of others.

thanks again.
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:02 PM   #8
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My friend Gene has posted a start of recent Casita changes. This will give you a taste of what happens.
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:43 PM   #9
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the link takes me here >


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Old 08-24-2006, 11:09 PM   #10
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Oh sorry. You have to register to use that site.
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:46 PM   #11
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Tracy,

Within the last 1-1/2 years we have bought 2 Scamp 5th wheels and sold one of them through this website. We were blessed to deal with 3 wonderful people and have made new friends too. I'm not comfortable with potential problems with E-bay purchases.

If you are fortunate to find what you are looking for, take your time corresponding and talking with the owners. If they are legitimate, they will give you their time and answer your questions. Request lots of pictures, both inside and out. If another fiberglass owner lives near the camper, most will be willing to take a look for you and report their findings. Go with your gut feelings because you are dealing with strangers - be they good folks or not so good.

In each of our dealings, we made it clear payment would not be made until we were able to see it ourselves. For the one we sold, we received payment but agreed to give a full refund if the buyer's representative was not satisified with the camper.

As I said we were fortunate and I hope you will be able to say the same when you find one. Good luck on your search.

Nita
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:45 PM   #12
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Yeah I thought that might be the problem Mike. I registered at that site a few days ago and got a confirmation email and link, but it said the administrator has to approve before posting,etc. I'll see if they send me another confirmation that it was done.

Thank you for the excellent advice Nita. I am going to take it slow. It's too hot to boondock right now, and that's the majority of camping we plan to do.

I would love to meet anyone in Oklahoma that has a Casita. I haven't even seen one in person, but I've seen enough new box trailers to know I don't want one of those. The main reason being weight and aerodynamics. If anyone is from the OKC area, I'd love to see your camper.

If anyone has a 13' w/bathroom for sale, I'd be interested in that also.....within a few hundred miles of OKC.

thx again
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Old 08-25-2006, 08:10 PM   #13
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Tracy,

East Texas isn't real close to OKC but on October 12 - 15 we plan to attend the Pine Knot Fiberglass Rally at Camp Tonkowa near Garrison, Texas. I understand there will be many Casitas as well as Scamps, etc. Come join us as I'm sure you will find many owners willing to show off their eggs. Below is the link to the Pine Knot information on this board.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=18671

Nita
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:26 AM   #14
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Hi Tracy!

I have bought and sold a UHaul CT13, a Trillium 4500, a Love Bug II, a Burro 17' widebody, a Scamp 16' CD, a Scamp 19' 5th wheel, and now bought a Bigfoot 17' all in the past couple of years. I've bought them from ads all over, but sold them on-line; three of them from ads here. By the way, I had every intention of keep each of them... but each time within a few weeks or months, I fell into the next one that was a little bigger, or newer, or had more features, or was more deluxe... <sigh>

I have stayed in touch with the buyers of all of them, and a couple are now active here on FGRV.com and we've become friends. Personally I couldn't live with myself if I unloaded a piece of junk on someone without at least telling them it was a piece of junk and why; and if they still wanted it after that, fine. Several of them needed work when I bought them, but were in good condition when I sold them. All trailers need a little maintenance on a regular basis, and there are sometimes a couple of maintenance issues that owners may not recognize before the sale (me included), but I have never been mislead by a seller nor have I intentionally mislead a buyer. One stayed overnight in our driveway with his wife and six daughters after they tore the Bargman plug off their minivan on a campground driveway near here after leaving with the trailer. I spent two hours the next day getting parts and re-wiring the connector on their van for them.

I bought the UHaul from here from photos, the Trillium, and Burro all here in Iowa from drive-bys, ads posted in restaurants, or newspaper ads. The Love Bug II I bought from an RV manufacturer who had taken it on trade. I got the Scamp 16' here in Iowa from an ad here on FGRV, and bought the Bigfoot here in Iowa from a newspaper ad. I bought the Scamp 19' from an ad and photos here and drove to Spokane for both the trailer and the tow pickup. We were treated like royalty, had a wonderful time with the sellers and made new friends. A friend of mine recently bought a Bigfoot 19 in Seattle from an ad and photos posted here; drove out from Iowa and brought it back. He raved about how well he was treated by the seller.

In each case when I bought, I did my homework on the phone, with photos, and in person, and in each case, the owners disclosed everything they could think of without being prompted. All of them needed some work (the Burro needed a LOT of work) except for the two Scamps and the Bigfoot which were all newer, lightly used, and well maintained. I encourage buyers to do the same.

I would like to think all fiberglass rv owners are that way, but there are those who aren't; those who don't know, and those who are just lacking in integrity. If you're patient, you'll be able to find a really nice trailer, exactly what you're looking for at a price you want to pay from nice, respectable folks. Patience, and the ability to immediately assess and buy them when you find them are the keys to finding the "right" one. You may have to pass on a few to get that right "one" though. The older I get, the more I believe in Karma.

From my perspective, you assessed the circumstances on that particular Casita well.

Roger
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