Considering a Burro- what to look for? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
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Name: Chris & T.J.
Trailer: 1993 17' WB Burro
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Considering a Burro- what to look for?

I found a post on Craigslist for a 16' Burro of undisclosed age. It's located in TN, not too far from my parents, so I could potentially get them to check it out for me.

The seller doesn't say too much about it, I've copied the text:
"I've got a Burro widebody camper for sale. I've owned it for about 2 years, clean title in my name. It's got uprates lighting all around (LED's, the only way to go), but it's going to need some small work, nothing large, and it's still very useable as is, just not 100% perfect. It''s an older camper, but still a pretty nice rig overall, even if there are some small things it needs. To me, that's aggrevating, but other people might not mind it. Anyway, this is what you're looking for if you want a big camper that's easy to tow. It's very light, and very desireable because it's so easy to tow. Loaded with accessories, really too much to list. The receiver is 1 7/8" ball type. Pics will be coming in the next few days. Feel free to contact me by replying to this ad. I might not be able to respond until Tuesday evening, but I will respond to everyone who inquires about it."

I sent an email with a few questions (What kind of repairs are needed? What year is the trailer? Asked to send pics.), but will probably want to follow up with more if I hear back from them. Any suggestions on what else to ask about? From what I've read about this brand, I worry that the floor might (probably) be rotted, and I don't think we could handle that sort of repair.

Also, the asking price is $3,600 and I guess it really depends on condition whether or not that's fair.

Any feedback appreciated!
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
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I'd be wary of crossing a couple of state lines to see that trailer until the seller shows a little backbone and presents some specifics about shortcomings. "Aggravating" to him but some empty pocket bottom feeder out there "might not mind"? Too much to fix, too much to list, way too much trouble for him. Overselling tells you to perform due dilligence; underselling says maybe he's a bit conflicted about presenting his as a great trailer with minor problems.

I'd be asking (BEFORE going to Tennesee) about age, operating condition, and most recent replacement or maintenance on all systems: axle, wheel bearings, brakes, tires, battery, running lights, fridge, furnace, water pump, A/C if present. The floor may be soft but there's an awful lot of other stuff in there which is perhaps easier to replace but doubly expensive when you've already paid for it once.

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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Thanks, Jack, your advice is very welcome. With so little information provided by the seller, it really made me wonder what is up with this trailer. But you never know...

If I hear back from the seller with specifics about condition it might be worth asking my parents to check it out, since they're also in TN. But, yes, we will be wary.

A good egg is hard to find! Especially when we don't want to shell out for brand new or completely rebuild a used trailer.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:22 AM   #4
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Download this, print it out and take it with you everytime you look at a used trailer of any brand. It will remind you of items to check and remember... everything is subjective!

Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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Beware the adage, "You snooze, you lose." I would be wary of people who are unwilling to respond to questions, but if you wait too long and ask too many questions before pulling the trigger, someone else might pull that trigger. These trailers sell fast, last forever, and can be brought back from the dead, so to speak. If you are handy and have a few extra dollars for the repair, you will find all kinds of info on how people repaired and fixed up one that they bought in less than ideal condition.

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
Beware the adage, "You snooze, you lose." ........
CindyL
So true. I had a hard time communicating with the folks that I bought my UHaul from, but it just turned out that they were very busy people. I suspect that my persistence enabled me to land a bargain when others were turned off by their casual responses to emails. YMMV
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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We sold our 13' Burro for $3250 in 2006, so $3600 for a 16' widebody sounds like a good price. Of course, as others have mentioned, repairs can add up quickly but are very doable. If it's not a terrible trip to the Knoxville area for your folks, I would have them look at it. Send them the list Donna D. provided and they'll know what to look for. Don't be too critical about dirt and mildew. They can be cleaned. The axle can be replaced for about $600. New tires... of course. A rotten floor is a bigger project but can be done if you have time and desire.

I was surprised to see the smaller ball size on the hitch. I wonder if that is right.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Most of the above is accurate. You as a buyer know (or need to) what you will (or will most likely have to) accept at a price you'll allow yourself to pay. No argument with the subjective nature of "condition"; one man's mouse dirt is another's opportunity and then there are folks who don't like grime under the nails and won't pour Mr. Clean in a bucket.

I don't see the big problem being how to twist yourself into someone you aren't but rather how to communicate with the seller and the first clue to that is whether he/she comes across as someone who is candid and honest in description or not. Seller may not have the engaged and detailed interest in the old bucket that you do and may well not know all that much either.

But be the seller nonchalant Mr. BigBucks or the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, he/she has initiated the transaction and so is obligated to pretend enthusiasm and knowledge equal to the task of actually selling. You're trying to evaluate the trailer in those aspects you can see with the naked eye. You should be shrewd enuf to size up the seller for signals that he's pretending ignorance or even pretending reassuring competence, but generally leading you away from an objective accounting of what's in the pros and cons columns.

"They sell like hotcakes" and some are turned over again in a short time (in the same or only very slightly improved condition as in "I sold the 1492 Boler because I found a better one made in 1776.") It's true you won't find a lot of 20 yr. old trailers new in the box, but don't be stampeded (unless it's your first time and you can't help yourself). You always remember your first time so get smart, get informed any which way you can, don't lean over backwards, don't make the assumption that it's a seller's market in all areas in all seasons, don't give up in desperation and write a check because you just got there ahead of "this guy who's coming tomorrow and says he'll take it." It all comes round again in time. All good, but some better than other.

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:29 PM   #9
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I like the 16' widebody Burro!
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:58 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for chiming in, we appreciate the feedback.
Now I'm just waiting for this guy to respond, will let you know how it goes.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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I am so excited!

We are making a deal on a 17ft Wide Body Burro!
I can't wait to bring her back home from TN next week.
Will be pleased to share details and pictures as soon as we have title in hand.
She's a beaut!
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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congratulations!! I love burros and the wide-bodies really make a difference in the interior space. Sounds like you got quite a deal
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:11 PM   #13
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Congrats! I like the widebodies. I have a feeling that while the same length as my Uhaul VT, they seem much larger with the additional width.

Have fun fixing it up.


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Old 09-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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Florida
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Woo-hoo!

We bought a Burro! (Actually not the one from the quoted Craigslist ad, but a surprisingly similar one.) 17' Widebody 1993 Burro. Here are a few pics of our sweet trailer. Thanks again to everyone for the advice.
Attached Thumbnails
DSCN0667.jpg   DSCN0668.jpg  

DSCN0673.jpg   DSCN0657.jpg  

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