Need advice on purchasing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2019, 06:19 PM   #1
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Name: Carol
Trailer: In the market
Nova Scotia
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Need advice on purchasing

Hi! Iím looking at a Captain camper tomorrow. In the photo there is a visible stain on the ceiling. Seller says itís from condensation, from snow and ice sitting on the roof of the camper. We are in East coast of Canada so do have extreme temperature change some times of the year. He also has mentioned more than once that itís fibreglass so wonít leak. How feasible is it that it would be from condensation? And besides checking the area to see how soft it is and checking for Mold, any advice on what else I should check? Thanks !
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:24 PM   #2
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Name: Alan
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Somewhere on this site is a document on purchasing
Condensation is kinda questionable
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks, will try to find it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:32 PM   #4
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Name: Justus
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Click the "More" tab up top, then go to document center. There's a buyer's checklist to guide you.

Does a Captain have roof penetrations? The fiberglass may not leak but I bet holes would if not properly sealed.
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:33 PM   #5
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Buyer's checklist: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - BuyersChecklist
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:26 AM   #6
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Name: Carol
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Not sure about the roof. Assuming there’s a vent. I will check it .
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:27 AM   #7
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Thank you!
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:42 AM   #8
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Name: bill
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Someone that tells me this: "it’s fibreglass so won’t leak." is either delusional or a liar. I would guess the former.

The problem with delusional is that they may not do the appropriate maintenance since they have a trailer that "won't leak". So expect window and roof vent seals to need replacement.

I've never seen condensation stain a ceiling, but I guess its possible. More typically, its a leak.

Every penetration through the outside of the trailer is a potential leak source: windows, vents, any rivets, any stuff attached (like an awning), etc.

Pictures I have seen of the Captain trailer show a roof vent along with vertical seams on both sides. Take a ladder with you and inspect the roof, look at the age of the vent, and any temporary fixes like gobs of silicone around the vent.

It's not the end of the world, but leaks = project, and price should reflect that. Replacement windows for that trailer are hard to find, so make sure none are broken (windows come from Europe).


Unique design with what I believe is a four piece shell (may be three pieces). Typical eggs are two piece. Every piece has a seam/joint, and how it is constructed can lead to leaks as well.

Finally, there is a lot of wood on the interior of this trailer: all cabinets, walls, ceiling, and more are wood. Whenever you have that much wood in a FG trailer, if you do have leaks, you often will have a lot of rot to deal with. In comparison, brands where the interior is predominantly fiberglass, at least the cabinets, ceilings and walls don't rot. Trailers like Bolers, Scamp Standard, Trilliums, and Casitas just to name a few have mostly fiberglass interior. Scamp Deluxe, Amerigo, Surfside (which looks just like a Trillium but has a wood interior), Playpac, and others have a wood interior.

And as Jon wisely points out below, watch out for soft floors. Also look inside cabinets and benches for possible floor rot.

All that being said, they are cool trailers!
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:50 AM   #9
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Thank you "Thrifty Bill" for clarifying "leaks". Far too many people believe that an RV can be maintenance-free. You can also get a soaking by leaving a vent open.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:11 AM   #10
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Agree with Billís excellent summary, and Iíll add one more thing to check closely. If you suspect there may have been a leak (or even if not) check the condition of the floor. Most molded trailers use structural wood in the floor, either exposed or encapsulated in fiberglass. Neglected leaks can rot the floor. If resealing windows and vents is a project, replacing a rotten floor is a BIG project.

Not trying to scare, but use caution and inspect the floor condition carefully, including hidden areas.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:01 AM   #11
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With floors, with water damage, the floor will feel "spongy" underfoot from swelling with OSB (structural wood) which I call "gluey board". Also, really check for odors as they can be nearly impossible to get out, but covered for a short visit. Odors can be hard to live with.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:21 PM   #12
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Name: MJ
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Dang, wish I had known about the buyer's check list before hand. It is better than what I made. :-p
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:37 AM   #13
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Name: Carol
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Wow thank you so much for all of your replies and information!!! Yes I was skeptical as I have been researching and I know they can still have leaks. I passed on this trailer because it did have some leaking issues around a handle at the front and probably the seam in the ceiling. Will keep searching for my gem. Thanks again! I feel more prepared now to know what to look for.
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