Newbie, wannabe fulltimer, finally ready to buy . . . - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-25-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Newbie, wannabe fulltimer, finally ready to buy . . .

. . . Hi, everyone! I've been reading the forums, learning and daydreaming for months. Finally got my tv together, an '06, V6 Toyota Tacoma, am ready to buy, and have posted my 'wanted' ads. I'm in Albuquerque and would like to drive my rig to WV in time for Mom's birthday in late October. Is that at all realistic? I'm getting the impression that the used Casitas sell as soon as they hit the market. Any advice on successful buying strategies would be most welcome. Thanks!
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:59 AM   #2
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Hi Karen, welcome to FiberglassRV

Buying strategies... be prepared to move immediately on anything you see that is within your budget and driving distance. I mean immediately, not in 48 hours. That means you must have cash or financing already lined up. Look every single day at all the places/forums, in fact, I'd look several times a day. AND, make sure you take this with you when you go to look: Buyer's Check List

Others will have more suggestions. Good luck on your egg hunt!
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:58 AM   #3
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Donna pretty well covered it. You might make the purchase part of a road trip if you are real adventurous. Look for a likely candidate that is not to far out of the way on the early part of your trip, buy it and continue the journey. This will work if you do your homework and if you can fall back on a plan B if the FGRV doesn't live up to your expectations. I got lucky with mine... after losing a good half dozen or more that had "just been sold," I found a Burro that hadn't sold after 1 1/2 weeks... go figure. I had to drive 600 miles each way to buy it, but I'm retired and I really wanted that egg!

The keys are to get good communications with as extensive a description and as many pix as possible , be ready to jump when one comes up , and be willing to travel... you have to decide how far!

In the end, it's worth it. Good luck!
Froggie
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:35 AM   #4
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Casita
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Hi, Donna! I thought I'd be hearing from you.

I'm not sure how this replying works, but here goes. Well, I see you all over the forums and really appreciate your cheery welcome and great ideas. I'll print the checklist today and take my li'l laptop everywhere I go so that I can make frequent checks. I hope I did this right! Hasta la vista - Karen

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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Hi Karen, welcome to FiberglassRV

Buying strategies... be prepared to move immediately on anything you see that is within your budget and driving distance. I mean immediately, not in 48 hours. That means you must have cash or financing already lined up. Look every single day at all the places/forums, in fact, I'd look several times a day. AND, make sure you take this with you when you go to look: Buyer's Check List

Others will have more suggestions. Good luck on your egg hunt!
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:41 AM   #5
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Hey, Green Frog, nice to meet you!

So you drove pretty far for your egg. I was wondering how far is "normal" for collecting these. I love a road trip. Thanks for the reminder to have a Plan B. That's just plain common sense but in my excitement about the trailer I hadn't gotten that far. Thank goodness for the forums and you folks who've been there! Oh, please let me know if I'm not getting this replying right. Later - Karen

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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Donna pretty well covered it. You might make the purchase part of a road trip if you are real adventurous. Look for a likely candidate that is not to far out of the way on the early part of your trip, buy it and continue the journey. This will work if you do your homework and if you can fall back on a plan B if the FGRV doesn't live up to your expectations. I got lucky with mine... after losing a good half dozen or more that had "just been sold," I found a Burro that hadn't sold after 1 1/2 weeks... go figure. I had to drive 600 miles each way to buy it, but I'm retired and I really wanted that egg!

The keys are to get good communications with as extensive a description and as many pix as possible , be ready to jump when one comes up , and be willing to travel... you have to decide how far!

In the end, it's worth it. Good luck!
Froggie
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:21 AM   #6
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You're doing great, Karen. Each of us has to determine his or her limit for travel to buy an egg, just as we need to decide which brand(s), size(s) and features we want/need and what we are willing to pay. Don't fall in love with the first one you see close by, but look at it (or them) closely to insure that your purchase fits your needs and is in the condition you will accept for the long term (or at least until it can be upgraded.) My Odyssey was probably atypical, but then again if you are traveling across country anyway, that will broaden your potential search area considerably... if you can arrange to look at (a) trailer(s) on the way and continue the trip with camper in tow.

Donna made a very important point about taking along (and using) the checklist for condition. We are often blinded by the features we like and miss the negative features that will come back and bite us later! I'm talking like an old time expert at this, but I've only been a Burro owner (my first FGRV) for a bit less than 3 months. It's the accumulated expertise here that can help make you an informed and successful buyer and help raise the likelihood of a positive buying and owning experience.

Again, welcome to the forum and good luck on your search. Remember, it's not always the destination or the kill, but the journey and the hunt that we enjoy.

Froggie
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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It's not uncommon to drive a couple thousand miles round trip to pick up the right trailer. We drove 1500 miles RT to pick up one that was almost right. We have been using it for 2 years and now found one that was "righter" less than 200 miles RT. When one has to travel long distances to get a trailer the costs involved have to be factored in; fuel, food, motels and camping fees. Sometimes it's cheaper to buy one closer at a higher price if you can find one that suits you.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #8
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Welcome from another Toyota fan, I drove over a 1,000 miles each way to get mine. If you find the one you want you have to move pretty quick, good luck.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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I made two separate round trips of about 500 miles each and came back empty handed both times THEN, the perfect trailer for me popped up 20 miles from me. See, see... things happen for a reason!
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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We drove from Omaha, NE to Show Low, Arizona to get ours "sight unseen" (except for pics!) This was a happy ending story---and we are still in contact with the great people we bought from!
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Post Willing to sell.

Hi. I bought a 1973 Compact II last year, it's in good shape. I thought that I would be using it a lot more than I do. So I am willing to sell it, and possibly deliver it. (Depends how far) I live in Modesto CA. Have lots of pics if requested.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:03 PM   #12
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I drove from Atlanta to Cape May , NJ to buy my first egg, a 1978 Boler. Picked it up in the afternoon and camped in it that night at a state park in Maryland just a little north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Got lucky with me second one - the U-Haul was located about fifteen miles north of work in Kennesaw, GA - went and picked it up during lunch hour on a Friday.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:45 AM   #13
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Casita
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Not really what I'm looking for.

I think 13' is a bit small for me to fulltime in, but thanks anyway.

. G
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Originally Posted by Davey Joe View Post
Hi. I bought a 1973 Compact II last year, it's in good shape. I thought that I would be using it a lot more than I do. So I am willing to sell it, and possibly deliver it. (Depends how far) I live in Modesto CA. Have lots of pics if requested.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:51 AM   #14
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Computer went down - lousy timing!

I'm back online now and enjoying all of your messages. Has anyone bought through a broker? Also, has anyone checked out other light weight trailers, like Koala or View Finder or Shadow Cruiser? A dealer of these was, of course, telling me how superior they are to the 'boats' (eggs) and I thought I'd ask here. Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:27 AM   #15
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
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Sure, a sales person will tell you that. How many of those trailers have survived as long as some on this forum, since the 70's and some even since the 50s?

Mine is an '86. It was in Arkansas; I am in Illinois. We saw it on ebay and bought it 10 minutes later. Yes, it took some work, but that is the fun.

No stickies for me.

Good luck!

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Old 08-30-2011, 12:52 PM   #16
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Karen,

I'm sure buying new with one of the current generation of LW trailers would have some real advantages, the mystique of the "eggs" is something that is more difficult to quantify. The idea of moulded bodies, which if unbroken can hardly be made to leak, is only one of the positives about these old classics. You will have to determine for yourself whether you want to have to go down the road and have folks come up to you at virtually every service station, rest stop and campground to ask about or chat about your iconic camper. I'm just getting started with mine, and already it's becoming a big part of my life... my neighbors in the subdivision even notice and comment on its comings and goings... more so than my own!

New, with all wiring, plumbing, and gas (as well as appliances, cushions, etc, etc.) fresh and working just right, would be a plus, but for some of us can stand having to do a little more "routine" maintenance (and some not-so-routine!) just for the joy of being in a classic. Again, you have to decide what fits your needs and lifestyle.

As for a broker, with the Internet I'm not sure how much of an advantage would be gained from the extra expense unless his services include a guaranteed professional grade survey of the potential purchase with written evaluation and detailed condition report. Of course if you are going to do as we discussed and buy one in route to WV from NM, it might well be worth your while to have someone local to a potential buy serve as a middle man and give you that evaluation before you arrive to avoid an unpleasant surprise when you do get there. Other than that, you're paying somebody else to do for you what your are doing here for free. That's my story, but your mileage may vary.

Regards,
Froggie
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #17
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Casita
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I really have developed a 'thing' for the eggs. Just thought I might give the other light weights a moment of my attention. I'm over it now.

Back in the day, I would have loved to have an egg to tinker with. Now, I have back problems and so I pay people to do tinkery stuff for me. I think a newer egg will be better for me. Still it's an egg and that's the most important part.

My mind boggles now and then with the seeming immensity of this undertaking. It's fun and scarey. I've lived in a tent and in a car and other unconventional shelters so I know an egg will do just fine. It's the logistics of getting it together as well as doing most of the thinking solo. So I appreciate all of the info and friendly support I get here.
Thanks, ya'll!
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #18
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. Has anyone bought through a broker?



I am sure someone probably has, but most find their trailer's on their own. It can be a challenge, but that is the fun part about it.


Also, has anyone checked out other light weight trailers, like Koala or View Finder or Shadow Cruiser? A dealer of these was, of course, telling me how superior they are to the 'boats' (eggs) and I thought I'd ask here. Thanks!

Karen, they are stickies so I am sure some have looked at them, but this is a molded fiberglass forum so we are pretty stuck on the "egg" type trailers. Though some member's own both a egg and a Stickie.


The dealer sounds like he doesn't know what he's talking about (BOAT'S ?) compared to most stickie's (of course there are some that weigh in a little beefy), egg's are on the leaner side of the weight issue That is why many look to fiberglass. As well as less overall maintenance issues. Having owned several "stickie" RV's through out the years, I can attest to that!

But that is not to say that you won't like a stickie for your fulltimeing needs. Just saying in my opinion the dealer whom only sells stickies of course is gonna make the product he sell's sound superior!

Make the decision for your self.


An "egg" might not meet your needs, but just because some dealer only sell's stickies doesn't mean that egg's are a bad thing! They work for many of us.............
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #19
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Try going into a Ford dealership and talk about Chevy trucks . Same thing on any dealer lot of anykind... they only sell the "best."
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:58 PM   #20
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A virtual fulltimer

Karen G,

We've traveled 7 months a year, this year 11 months, for 11 years. We've owned a motorhome, stick trailer and now an egg. The stick trailer and the egg were about the same age 20 years or so. The egg is like new where the stick trailer had structural issues. For me the fiberglass trailer is the correct rig.

The motorhome was great but like the stick it has a finite life, first it's really stick built in a sense and second it has an engine.

We've traveled in small trailers for four years and have never felt there wasn't enough space. It does mean you need to carefully consider what's important but we've never felt we were sacrificing.

If you have any direct questions I'd be glad to provide more info.
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