Wanted: Small Trailer for Year Long Trip - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #1
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Name: Meg
Trailer: None
Pennsylvania
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Wanted: Small Trailer for Year Long Trip

Hello FiberglassRV community! We are in search of a wonderful little camper to turn into our 'home' while we explore North America starting this coming fall, 2013. We drive a Chevy Equinox, so our tow capacity is around 2500 (safely). We don't need such amenities as a microwave (since we don't even have one in our home now.) We will be WWOOFing (volunteering at organic farms), staying at National and State Parks, and visiting friends and family along the way. We are both artists working in photography, painting, and drawing. We hope to document this trip more thoroughly than our last cross country trip in 2009, where we spent three months on the road in a tiny Kia Spectra and a leaky tent. This time around we want a little home that allows us to pull over when we see an inspiring landscape and paint, photograph, and just relax. The interior can be very minimal. We would like a bed and a small table and chairs to be set up permanently, also storage, possibly a sink, stove, and bathroom (but these last three things are not required). We are more than willing to put time into fixing one up, just not a lot of money because we are trying to budget for the trip itself at this point.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
We live in Pennsylvania and are willing to travel (within reason- we both have full time jobs) to see a potential trailer.
Thank you all!
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Good Morning and Welcome to the FGRV Group.

From the looks of your want and need list, although a very few 13'er's have both a bed and a fixed dinette, it looks like you will be needing a 16' FGRV.

Buying used FGRV's is all about condition, and knowing how much fixing you can/want to do should be an early decision.

Unfortunately prices are currently on a seasonal upswing that will continue until at least late August, suggesting that you should get in some serious looking ASAP.

While I know it's a bit sensitive, I might help if you also post a price range that you can work with. And keep in mind, it's usually cheaper to buy a used FGRV in better condition than buying a fixer that needs a lot of repairs, especially if you have to farm out anything.

New appliances, tires, axles and other fixes can quickly exceed the original cost of a fixer.

Good Luck Lookin'
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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Name: Meg
Trailer: None
Pennsylvania
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Hi Bob!
Thanks for the reply. I realized from my research that a lot of 13' rvs don't have that fixed dinette along with a fixed bed. We will work with what we can find. Also, we realize it is RV-buying season so we are looking hard everyday. But although we aren't leaving until the fall, October/November, we may just have to wait and see what we can find then.

Our price range is around $5000. And like you said, we would prefer to find something in good working condition (structurally & mechanically) because we don't want to have to put a lot of extra money into it. If the interior is less than desirable we don't mind putting some time into that in terms of re-upholstering, painting, etc.

If there is anybody out there in the PA region that has what we are looking for for a good price they should know that their beloved rv will be in good hands and go to a couple who are truly going to use it and appreciate its worth.

Thank you for your insight Bob, it is much appreciated! :-)
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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Keep an eye out here:

Molded Fiberglass Trailers | Fiberglass RV's For Sale

And here:

SearchTempest Online Classifieds Search - All the Classifieds. One Search.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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Meg, I think that Trillium has a nice front dinette trailer in both the 13' and the 15' sizes. They are difficult to find, but they exist. There is a member on this site that has been looking for a front dinette 4500, (15') for some time.

A few examples of front dinette Trilliums. Two are 13', the other a 15'.
CANADA - 1980 - Trillium 1300 - Factory Front Dinette - $3500
CANADA - 1977 - Trillium 1300 Factory front dinette - $4600
Trillium fiberglass camp trailer - $2300 (Douglas City, CA)
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Hello Again

Here is a good place to check 2-3 times a day for FGRV's. Right now there is a Trillium in GA than might be of interest: Molded Fiberglass Trailers | Fiberglass RV's For Sale

Also be aware of the following hot buttons when looking at FGRV's

Refrigerators: Are Not rechargeable, if they don't work on gas or electric they usually have to have a new cooling circuit installed (about $4-500) or replaced, about $1000.
Axles: Axle sag is a problem on older FGRV's with torsion type axles. Very expensive as they must be replaced and many are welded in place.
Frame Rust/Flood Damage: There are a number just now coming on the market from recent floods and there are still a fair number around from as far back as Katrina.
Any FGRV with lots of extra silicone sealer added around windows and/or roof openings: This means that a) they leaked and b) will leak again unless properly resealed. Silicone sealer is a no-no on FGRV's.
Sellers Statements: a) "Easy/Cheap to fix" If so, why didn't they do it before selling? b) "We didn't use that but it worked when we bought it" usually means it doesn't work. c) "I'm selling it for my Brother-in-law/Uncle/Grandmother/Friend" usually means that they don't have a title in their name (and sometimes not even from their state) and are just flipping/reselling it. But do know that some states don't title older trailers. Check with your DMV before buying.
Also beware of sellers that don't know how things work. That usually also means that they are flipping it.

And, get your tug ready to tow NOW. You will usually have to go get your prize and being able to hand over cash and take it away is a plus for a better price.

BTW: Try to not wait until after summer to buy. You will need time to fix things and you MUST take a few short trips to shake things out before starting out for a years trip.

Good Luck
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:39 AM   #7
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Just another Tip
Note that the Trillium in Douglas City, CA sold in less than 2 days, and Douglas City (pop 750) is out in the middle of nowhere in very northern, Trinity county, CA. Good buys, and even not-so-good buys don't last long. If it's a good buy, and the ad is more than 3-5 days old it's either sold or a POC for the price.

BTW: I keep a PayPal account active to be able to send an instant deposit. It's worked every time. The one time I didn't, we drove 350 miles and had a Scamp sold out from under us when we were 5 miles from the sellers (who had "promised" to hold it for us) house.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
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I agree with Bob that your time window to departure on your X-country adventure could be longer but you have several months to purchase, register, insure, overhaul, fit out tow vehicle, get towing and setup experience on brief shakedown trips and overnite "system checks" in your own driveway (if possible). In addition, I would not encourage you to believe that 5K$ will buy a reliably roadworthy and mechanically sound fiberglass trailer every day of the week. I believe it more likely that, given due diligence and a good amount of luck, you will end up with something in the range of best of the rest and avoid a marginal fixer-upper. Of course, "carefree" is a state of mind. The amount of work and preparation needed to ensure some probability of maintaining that state of mind after cutting the cable with home is considerable.

jack
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:19 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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PA is a big state, it might help if you gave a general area. You might also consider an easy up with a folding table rather than a built in dinette. Gives you a bit more room.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
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Here's one that is out of your proposed budget, but may the deal you want anyway:

2012 Lil Snoozy $18,500 OBO Located in Northern Virginia

Like new Lil Snoozy - Bright, cheerful, barely used, very clean (no pets or smoking). This is an all electric fiberglass trailer - no propane.


Topic: Selling my Lil Snoozy $18,500 OBO

Lots of pics.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #11
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Kutztown? I look into my crystal ball. The clouds part. I see it! Southeastern PA.

jack
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #12
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 63
Hi Meg,

A year long exploration? How exciting!

I'm not sure about the availability in your area, but I would keep you eyes open for a 17ft Bigfoot. The older models would fit with your tow vehicle and they have most of the amenities you listed. They're also very well built and surprisingly roomy. Best of luck

Michael
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:37 AM   #13
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Name: Meg
Trailer: None
Pennsylvania
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Thanks Michael!
I will check into the Bigfoots and keep my eye out for one around here. It's unfortunate that the smaller trailers are so rare, especially in eastern PA. We almost want to start our trip now, just so we can drive out west and buy a nice little trailer first. We keep finding tailers listed on criagslist that are within our price range but they are 32' long! Way too big for us. Thanks again for your insight, it is much appreciated.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:57 AM   #14
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Illinois
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Snap this one up quick before it is gone: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post374890

Iowa to PA is not far. We have done it several times with our camper, as I am from IA, am into genealogy, and my folks came from PA.

CindyL
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