OR family seeks light fiberglass RV (Scamp, Boler, Uhaul, Trillium...) - Fiberglass RV



 
 
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:17 PM   #1
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Name: Justin
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OR family seeks light fiberglass RV (Scamp, Boler, Uhaul, Trillium...)

Hi!

Our Oregon family (mom, 4-year old boy, 1-year old girl, and dad) is a mix of those who would prefer to bivouac camp and those who really enjoy it more with a hard-sided wall. We'd like to buy a light, simple, and relatively issue-free camper that is small and easy to tow. We're thinking 13' Scamp / Boler or similar, but some of the 16 footers without bathrooms could also work, depending on weight. We also don't want to break the bank so a middle-age or older one that's been well cared for is probably what we're looking for, but we also respectfully understand the value of these trailers so we're willing to pay a fair price.

We are willing to travel (within reason) to buy the right camping trailer.

Please send me a private message if you have something you think we might be interested in! Thank you for reading our post!

Best regards,

Justin
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:22 PM   #2
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Best bet

Justin,
You best bet is to religiously watch your local craigslist and call first and have available cash in hand and try to get there first. That is how it works on any used fiberglass trailers. They are a very hot commodity and hold their value well. First thing is to check you tow vehicles owner manual and see what or if you can really tow anything. Just because they are fiberglass doesn't mean they are lightweight. One that is truly lightweight is a Meerkat although not all fiberglass.

https://www.curbed.com/2017/5/19/156...r-sale-meerkat
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:39 PM   #3
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I discovered around 12 years ago that price of a used campable trailer wasn't much less than a new trailer. These things hold their value much better than a stick build trailer.

12 years ago I order and got a brand new 13' trailer that had all the options I wanted and none that I didn't want for around $2000 more than a used was selling for. It appears to be close to the same today. Now after 12 years I could still get almost as much as I paid for it. That's after camping around 100 nights per year.
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:45 PM   #4
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Name: Patti
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Justin and family, please check out my posting in the UHaul Facebook group. I'm selling my '84 UHaul CT13. I do not have the bunk pieces. I'm in Colorado so not too far away. Message me if you might have an interest and I'll give you more detail.
I have not figured out how to post on this site yet. Thanks, Patti
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:17 PM   #5
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a family of 4 will be VERY crowded in a 13 or even a 16. if you assume you'll be using this for 5 years, those kids will be 9 and 6...
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
a family of 4 will be VERY crowded in a 13 or even a 16. if you assume you'll be using this for 5 years, those kids will be 9 and 6...
Or not We got our first Scamp 13 with bunks when our kids were 12 and 10. We used it three summers before we decided to upsize to our current Scamp 16 layout 7. It is the perfect size for us, even with a 6'2" 16 yo boy and 14yo girl. We spend most of our time outside, but we've also spent plenty of dinner making, card playing time indoors and it doesn't feel cramped at all. Our upsize happened more because I didn't want to turn the bed into a table daily (we love having a permanent bed, bunks and a side dinette) and not because of a space issue.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:00 PM   #7
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Maybe some options:

https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...r-3500-troy-id

https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...7000-denver-co
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice!

Hi all. We're just writing basically to say thanks to each of you who responded to our original post with good ideas, thoughts, and suggestions in your responses. We've been noodling about this for a while, but in a vacuum, so it's good to hear other peoples' thoughts.

Just a few responses to some ideas in this thread, for whatever it's worth. First, we actually posted here for a few reasons--we have a very real sense not every potential trailer ends up on craigslist or other used RV camp selling sites. We actually missed a trailer being sold *in our town* on this site (but not on craigslist or other sites) that seemed perfect--woe are we... Thanks for those of you who suggested particular trailers--we'll follow up... Second, we do want something generally light and small, but it's not the only consideration. We think we've done our homework and can do pretty much any of the really small "13 foot" campers (within reason) and some 16's comfortably. Relatedly, I realize a 13' or even a 16' could be or get "cramped" for the 4 of us and I guess that'll happen during really bad weather, but frankly at least half of us really prefer to be outside anyway unless it's really nasty out. Finally, unless I'm misreading the tea leaves, it seems like just getting a new one would be substantially pricier than a solid used one. We could just buy a new one, I guess, but this camper is not nearly our top financial priority and we're not very fussy, so a simple trailer with some pre-loaded stories and "character" seems good to us.

Finally finally, does anyone have advice on what are the really critical things to look for in a moderate-age to older used fiberglass camper? I'm not worried about fixing things, but I'm thinking about deal-breaker or money / time pit things--my list is currently axle / frame structurally sound, major system reworking and I'd prefer reupholstered cushions. Any other nightmares previous renovators want to share?

THANKS (!) again for all the advice--we sincerely appreciate it!
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:23 AM   #9
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Welcome to FGRV Justin. You've received some pretty good info but I'd like to add that when you see a TT listed at 13 or 16' that's not the living area. These TTs are measured from the coupler to the rear bumper. You need to subtract 3' from that number as a rule of thumb to get the box size. That 13'er is only 10' inside . I'd be curious to know what you're planning on using for a tow vehicle as it's ratings may determine the size of what's out there for your search.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:51 AM   #10
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Regarding space... We are four, kids 12 and 15, and we are fine in a 13'er. We plan our trips to avoid long spells of bad weather and cook/eat outside. But there's room to hang out for a few hours inside on a rainy afternoon or a cold evening. The rear bed makes a great play area for small children and the front sofa is comfortable for adults to read, watch a movie, work on a laptop,... More than a few hours of bad weather, though, and we try to make a day outing away from camp.

For sleeping it works, but it's tight as our kids have grown. The rear "double" bed is only 45" wide, so my wife shares it with the younger kid (head-to-toe in tapered bags). The older is petite, so she can still use the weight-limited (120#) upper bunk, and I take the lower, which is tight on headroom but otherwise comfortable. None of us are unusually tall or large. We tried a small tent, but it's one more thing to pack, and once the novelty wore off, our girls wanted back inside the trailer.

Re buying used... In addition to the things you mentioned, the big deal-breaker for me would be a rotten subfloor. All of the brands you mention use wood of some kind to provide structural strength in the floor. Most floor damage comes from above, caused by neglected leaks in windows, vents, or plumbing. With Scamp and many Bolers, the wood floor is exposed above and below, so it's easier to check its condition. Inspect carefully by looking and tapping inside benches and cabinets around the outer perimeter of the shell where there is no finish flooring. Trillium and some Bolers encase the wood in fiberglass. It's not as vulnerable, but water can still find its way in, and rot is harder to spot and repair. Feel for mushy spots when you walk on it.

Another tricky issue with Scamp and Boler is poor door fit. If the door is just sagging, some hinge work will probably fix it. But if it has lost its curve (usually due to water infiltration at the window) repair is more complex. A large gap at the bottom is bad.

Re upholstery... you can order a full set of replacement covers from Scamp (currently $390 plus shipping for the 13' front bunk/rear dinette). I believe they fit older Scamps and Bolers, too. Buy foam locally if necessary. That would not be a deal-breaker for me.

My perspective is a lot like yours. A small trailer involves some sacrifices, but it's still way better than a tent (so says my wife). Like you, I wasn't going to pour a lot of money into a fancy new trailer that gets used a few times a year. I was originally looking for a small, used pop-up trailer when our Scamp showed up locally, not listed anywhere. It was late October and the seller was motivated to sell before winter. Which leads to...

You have to be in the right place at the right time to score a good deal on a used 13' egg trailer. They are in high demand. Some people have reported looking for a year or two before finding the right one. It's tough when jobs make it hard to jump on a good deal located 500 or 1000 miles away. Patient, persistent searching and quick, decisive action is required. Scams abound on Craigslist.

I agree with Dave that verifying the tow rating of your vehicle is a necessary first step. These trailers are light, but not as light as some sellers claim. Figure 1500-2000 pounds loaded weight for a 13'er and 2400-3000 pounds for a 16'er. Be aware that tow ratings are based on only two people in the vehicle and no cargo. Additional passengers and cargo reduce your available towing capacity. Check your owner's manual for other caveats like trailer brakes, which some 13'ers lack.

Best wishes finding yours!
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:29 AM   #11
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Yes, as someone who had to remove and replace a subfloor, you REALLY REALLY REALLY want to avoid a trailer that has a rotted floor. Almost any other trailer fix is fairly easy but, because the subfloor supports the sides of the trailer, a rotted subfloor causes damage throughout the shell. We not only had to replace our Surfside floor, which is a MAJOR job all by itself, we had to do fiberglass repairs in both wheel wells and around the entry door to repair tears in the fiberglass caused by stress and sag, all due to the floor having gone out.
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:54 PM   #12
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Buyer's Checklist: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - BuyersChecklist
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:59 PM   #13
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Name: Justin
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Thanks again!

Hi all (especially most recently Cathy),

This conversation really has been SO helpful. I was wavering about whether to pursue a particular trailer that needed some work, but had a partially rotten floor. The advice here has helped me clarify that's a level of renovation I'd rather pay more to avoid. I'm asking potential sellers about any visual or other indications of soft subfloor to hopefully avoid any surprises should I have to travel significantly to get my Faberge, er, fiberglass egg...

Thanks, Cathy, for the link to the purchasing checklist. I had come across that earlier, but forgot about it...

Best to all--happy camping weekend!

Justin
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:59 PM   #14
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Justin, I'm sorry the pics did not get to you. I'm going to get some help with that.
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