Automatic deal killers... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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Automatic deal killers...

When you're evaluating a used TT or 5th wheel, what are your automatic deal killers?

Obviously, clear title and all the legal paperwork are absolutely essential. But after that, what things kill the deal even when the price is right?


My #1 deal killer is evidence of leaks.

Having worked on yachts with fiberglass over wood, I've learned there's no such thing as just a little wood rot. Time after time, I'd open up a rotted area that seemed to be a 6" semi-circle and find that the rot reached 2 or 3 feet into the affected area. The owners thought the repair wouldn't cost too much, but when they'd see their boat... OYE!

What's your deal killer?
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:02 AM   #2
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Leaks. Looked at one trailer that had a very spongy bathroom floor. And dirt. Looked at one at a dealer that had food remnants on the table and counter. They wanted to sell it and couldn't even take the time to clean it?
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:04 AM   #3
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Leaks are trouble for sure.

I have a thing about Smell too!

It turns out that those who have smelly things can apparently not smell them at all?

I have noticed this common theme all over and not just with RV's but I plan to spend time living and sleeping in an RV and no interest in taking in someones stink.

Everytime I ask in depth about animals and cooking,etc. I have never gotten a reply that "Oh yeah,other than the cat pee it is fine"

I can not say with any authority they are lying but I am convinced some really can not tell when it smells.

Of course there are those who are just outright lying to make the sale.

This makes it tough when buying from afar but will be a deal breaker for me.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Smell! What a great addition to the evaluation list. If it stinks there's something wrong. Mold/mildew smell and dogs and cats smell too even when they haven't pee'd on the rug or pooped in a corner.


Keep the ideas coming.

BTW - I always take an ice pick, a very small hammer, and a few screw drivers when I'm looking at a rig.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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If it STINKS, it sinks the deal for me.
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #6
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The lower down the price range, the less picky you can be. I buy the ones which need to be refitted, so I look only for serious rot, cracks and missing or broken structural components.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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You can bring all the ice picks, hammers, and screw drivers you want but you'd check em at the door or you wouldn't get in mine and it's 13 yrs. old! You can look, sniff, bounce up and down, open everything twice, fire up those things that are operational (or, better, ask me to if you don't know how), take my word on those that aren't, plug it in to check running lights, discuss (or check) your tug's connection before even considering buying, but you'd take your best guess as to condition without your hull survey equipment. Gimme a break!

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Old 11-12-2011, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
It turns out that those who have smelly things can apparently not smell them at all?

I am convinced some really can not tell when it smells.
This is true. My father was a heavy smoker and growing up I never was aware that the family car stank to high heaven. When you live with a condition day in and day out it fades so far into the background that it isn't noticed. It wasn't until a year or so after the State of California banned smoking in restaurants that I began to notice the smell in places that still allowed it. I never smoked tobacco in my life.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:21 PM   #9
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Smoking...you just cannot get the smell out no matter what you do, that is a complete no for me if I even smell a hint of smoke.

Pet smells are really dependent degree, if it smelt like urine definitely a no go. That is partially because I wouldn't want my dogs deciding they need to mark over in "their new trailer" & partially because I would always be worried that I was unknowingly sitting on something that had been soiled at some point. Our dogs always smell like vanilla and cedar(We have two indoor, very clean huskies who are naturally low odor and sleep on cedar chip beds) so I am finicky about pet odors, but, can recognize something that just needs airing out and a vacuuming versus something dirty. And I would not rule something out because the previous owners had pets.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bomni View Post
Smoking...you just cannot get the smell out no matter what you do...
That's not really true...

In an old rig, I expect to replace the carpet, upholstery, cushions, and curtains. I just hope that I don't need to urgently replace those items.


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You can bring all the ice picks, hammers, and screw drivers you want but you'd check em at the door or you wouldn't get in mine and it's 13 yrs. old!

jack
Well Jack, if you don't allow me to do due diligence, there is not chance we'd ever do a deal.

I tell everyone before I drive to see their rig that I'll give it a thorough inspection. I do ask them before I poke a soft spot with the ice pick. The hammer is only to hear the sound of the structure. If the little tap on the fiberglass makes a mark or puts in a hole, then the unit is in real trouble. I always put a piece of card stock between the hammer and the point of impact...but I'm only tapping the way your might tap on a melon to hear if it is ripe. If you're unit cannot endure that, it's junk.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:12 PM   #11
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Yes, Steve, you're precisely the guy who would "take" it once you'd "proved" that the cost of bringing it to your standard would exceed my asking and I offered you ten bucks to tow it away. The old a la carte appraisal gimmick only works in the cases of a "motivated" seller or depressed demand. I'm surprised you can make a deal on the sickest thirteen footer out there given the interest expressed here in getting hands real dirty in a labor of luv. Only the really desperate and motivated have the stomach for a "thorough" inspection.

jack
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #12
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Obviously no one here has ever bought a new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Other than sitting on it, that is the limit of your inspection. A used Harley is very similar, except you may get to hear it run.
Rabbit has a point, you buy with your eyes and nose. You can always walk away, but please do not ask if you can ride it before buying, nor if you can perform a minor operation in your inspection.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mt5937 View Post
That's not really true...

In an old rig, I expect to replace the carpet, upholstery, cushions, and curtains. I just hope that I don't need to urgently replace those items.




Well Jack, if you don't allow me to do due diligence, there is not chance we'd ever do a deal.

I tell everyone before I drive to see their rig that I'll give it a thorough inspection. I do ask them before I poke a soft spot with the ice pick. The hammer is only to hear the sound of the structure. If the little tap on the fiberglass makes a mark or puts in a hole, then the unit is in real trouble. I always put a piece of card stock between the hammer and the point of impact...but I'm only tapping the way your might tap on a melon to hear if it is ripe. If you're unit cannot endure that, it's junk.
I have bought quite a few of these things , but I never thought to tap it with a hammer....Guess I'm just afraid it might actually have reflexes!!
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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Top Ten reasons to walk away fast from a used trailer...
(imagine Letterman's voice.... and a drum roll, please!)

10. The title is in someone else's name but the owner assures you it's all ok
9. The owner has a boom box blaring and is wearing gang colors
8. The owner doesn't seem to know anything about how things on the trailer function
7. You step inside and it starts dripping onto your head
6. The owner points to a four leaf clover growing out of the floor and tells you it's your lucky day
5. You step inside and the axle buckles
4. Is it just you, or does this trailer looks different from the pictures?....
3. The owner sprays air freshener all over before you enter
2. The owner sprays air freshener all over, but it still smells like a dead body
1. The owner sprays air freshener all over, it still smells like a dead body, and you notice a bloody axe and a fresh grave nearby (don't walk, run!)
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