Advice on purchasing 1985 16ft Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-19-2016, 09:48 AM   #1
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Name: Susan
Trailer: Teardrop
Tennessee
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Advice on purchasing 1985 16ft Casita

Hi, new to the forum. Currently have a tiny teardrop home build but looking to upgrade to an egg-type. I'm fairly handy with the space to do a remodel/renovation. I google multiple times/day looking for Casita/Scamp/all TT's egg shaped. Well, yesterday I found a 1985 Casita about 45 min from me that could be a potential project. Was wondering if you have any special advice as I'm going to look at it this evening? I was a property adjuster in my previous life so I already look at things different from many but I have no experience with these specific travel trailers. I just finished a full suspension change on my teardrop, so I'm not afraid of projects. I don't have the sum of money to buy a completely ready-to-go TT, but I'd like to take my time renovating one. Here's the description of the one I'm going to see, and I'll be taking many photos:

"in good shape needs some TLC and you are good to go. New refrigerator, newer hot water tank and water pump. Has fresh water holding tank and black tank. Toilet has been dis-connected but shower and sink still hooked up. Tires in good shape has spare and also buddy bearings for easy maintenance. Window A/C works great. Fiberglass body will last forever. New tongue jack also has been installed. In decent shape considering its age. "
Currently asking $2200

Advice appreciated!

Pixie Susan
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:17 AM   #2
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2200 is cheap so you have to move quick. Check that everything actually works. Does it stink inside? If it does it's going to take allot of work and expense to get the stink out. Get under the trailer and look over the trailer tongue all the way back to where it meets the frame. Look for cracks and repairs. While under there look at the floor and make sure it is still solid and the frame isnt rusting away. Look at the axle carefully and check for brakes and maybe a newer axle tag. replacing an old axle is very expensive and not a task an average trailer owner can do themselves especially a welded in torsion axle. Check the wiring and make sure it makes sense. Fixing a previous owner's bird's nest is not an easy task.
There is a buyers checklist on this site to take with you. Look in the document center under the More tab above on this page.
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:27 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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You don't want bearing buddies, the window A/C may also be an added negative feature. Toilets are generally rebuildable, and easy to do and inexpensive. Just did the one in our '96 Casita.
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:47 AM   #4
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Name: Susan
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Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
2200 is cheap so you have to move quick. Check that everything actually works. Does it stink inside? If it does it's going to take allot of work and expense to get the stink out. Get under the trailer and look over the trailer tongue all the way back to where it meets the frame. Look for cracks and repairs. While under there look at the floor and make sure it is still solid and the frame isnt rusting away. Look at the axle carefully and check for brakes and maybe a newer axle tag. replacing an old axle is very expensive and not a task an average trailer owner can do themselves especially a welded in torsion axle. Check the wiring and make sure it makes sense. Fixing a previous owner's bird's nest is not an easy task.

There is a buyers checklist on this site to take with you. Look in the document center under the More tab above on this page.


Agreed $2200 is cheap, but with it being so close I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see it in person. At that price, kinda figured it may be a gut it or partially gut it situation. My biggest concern will be the bones/axle/trailer. I really don't want to do a frame off restoration and will do my best to avoid a purchase that requires one.

He did tell me he hooked everything up the other day and the new fridge trips a breaker after a few min. He actually offered for me to wait to see it til he could look at it, but I only have today off work. Really don't want to waste his time or mine of it's a no-go for other reasons.

I'm not looking for something to whip into shape in a few months. I'm fine with working on this over the next year. I'm seriously considering taking a 3-6 month travel nurse assignment once it's finished or I have something fully functional.

And thank you for the checklist. Helps organize my thoughts!

Keep that advice coming. I like hearing from the fiberglass veterans.
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:49 AM   #5
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Advice on purchasing 1985 16ft Casita

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
You don't want bearing buddies, the window A/C may also be an added negative feature. Toilets are generally rebuildable, and easy to do and inexpensive. Just did the one in our '96 Casita.


I was pricing new toilets and they don't seem too terribly bad. I even opted out of bearing buddies when I redid my TD axle and hubs. The window A/C is not something that thrills me but it's about all I see in these older ones for sale.

Keep it coming. Loving the advice!
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:09 PM   #6
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That was a bust. I didn't have to bother with the list. Floor was shot-surprised I didn't fall through it. Rusted out axle, smelled...interesting, water leaking, could see sunlight in places no light should come through...and he had plastic flowers planted in the front yard (for some reason that gives me the creeps). Continuing the search.
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pixie Susan View Post
That was a bust. I didn't have to bother with the list. Floor was shot-surprised I didn't fall through it. Rusted out axle, smelled...interesting, water leaking, could see sunlight in places no light should come through...and he had plastic flowers planted in the front yard (for some reason that gives me the creeps). Continuing the search.
Whoa! Sounds like you made a GOOD CALL! Good luck on your search. I have a good friend who was a frustrated local oncology nurse, now a happily thrilled traveling nurse. The right one will come along, just be patient!
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