Purchasing long distance - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-21-2016, 11:15 AM   #1
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Name: Lori
Trailer: In the market
Maryland
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Purchasing long distance

There are very few good sized used eggs available in the northeast/mid-Atlantic area. The temptation sometimes is to obtain pictures of one in another state and take the risk of purchasing sight unseen and then make the trip to pick it up.

Has anyone successfully done this and if so, do you have any recommendations on best practices? For example, is it possible to find a molded fiberglass inspector in that area and pay them to do an inspection for you?

TIA!
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:26 AM   #2
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Name: K C
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here is a website that has listings of certified inspectors.
https://rvinspection.com/

But an RV business that does things like collision repair can also be found in the local business directories and that might be a service they offer.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:02 PM   #3
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The most important inspection on a trailer purchase is done when you first walk into a trailer, is done using your nose. If it stinks it's bad, if the smell is off and covered with perfume that a big red flag. What if the previous owner was a chain smoker? Bad trailers smell bad. It is very hard to cover up or hide a bad smelling trailer. It is also very hard to remove the stink of a smelly trailer.

Can you smell a trailer from across state lines? You or someone you trust needs to be there before you plop any cash down. This is very hard to do when good trailers sell so fast.

A cheep beautiful trailer is no bargain if it stinks inside.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:05 PM   #4
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Yes, that was one of my concerns. Jumping on a flight to look at a trailer isn't something I can easily do. I guess I'll just have to keep looking within a 300 mile radius or sane enough to buy new. I would just rather have molded fiberglass than one of the assembly line trailers.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
The most important inspection on a trailer purchase is done when you first walk into a trailer, is done using your nose. If it stinks it's bad, if the smell is off and covered with perfume that a big red flag. What if the previous owner was a chain smoker? Bad trailers smell bad. It is very hard to cover up or hide a bad smelling trailer. It is also very hard to remove the stink of a smelly trailer.

Can you smell a trailer from across state lines? You or someone you trust needs to be there before you plop any cash down. This is very hard to do when good trailers sell so fast.

A cheep beautiful trailer is no bargain if it stinks inside.
That was a big fear I had as I had my brother in law inspect and purchase mine and I didn't know if he would notice a bad smell! But it turned out fine. If you could get someone you know to check it out first you might do that before paying for an inspection.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:32 PM   #6
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Place a want add on these trailer site noting what you're looking for. How far your willing to go and what your budget is.

Most people who are on rv sites love their trailers and will do allot to help you. I think they keep their trailers in better condition than Joe public as a whole. Finding someone to work with you is more likely that someone who just placed a public ad to sell and wants it gone right away.
Best luck in your search.
I found my trailer by placing an ad on this site after 4 months looking on ebay, Craigslist and local dealers. I was never fast enough to get ones that popped up since I am still working. A week later I had a trailer in my driveway. I was lucky and it wasn't the prime summer season. I paid a little more than expected but I didn't have to drive 500 miles to get it.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:39 PM   #7
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Great advice! Thanks.
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rvdevdiva View Post
Great advice! Thanks.
The Escape we bought three years ago was advertised on a forum site. It had been to several rallies and the owners had particpated in the open house segment of their rallies. Therefore, when it was advertised, several people commented that it was a great trailer and made positive comments about the condition and options. This lead us to be assured that the trailer was as the seller advertised. When we talked to him we learned more about it, bought it sight unseen drove 1500 miles to get it and brought it home. We put a very reasonable deposit down on it to have the owner hold it for us. In our case it worked out better than anyone could ever ask for. We're very happy with the rig to this day and wouldn't think of selling it, even for a new one.
Iowa Dave
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Old 07-21-2016, 01:22 PM   #9
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I purchased my second Trillium 4500, (Launch Pad, 45-1100980) sight unseen. Oh, I studied the pictures very carefully, but no smelling was done. It worked out good for me. Though that was not the best deal I got on a 4500. In fact, I paid more for that one then any other Trillium I purchased.
Just bought my second Trillium 4500
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:29 PM   #10
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Beware- Even if you think it looks good in pictures, the trailer is not very old, you are promised it is in excellent shape, the price seems reasonable, it is a model you have seen before and know it fits your needs etc... things can go wrong when you drive a long distance with money in hand and your expectations are not met. The seller may refuse to return your good faith deposit since they do not see good faith as a two way street the way a buyer does. Negotiate all aspects - price, time frame, the deposit and what happens if your expectations are not met ahead of time.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:53 PM   #11
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The most important inspection on a trailer purchase is done when you first walk into a trailer, is done using your nose.
I agree, good advice. We passed on a trailer as I didn't think the condition was good. When we left my wife was dejected but said she caught some off smell. The owner had a very large dog and they likely aired it out well as I did not detect it. In hind site I am very glad we passed on that one, We lived in a house that had smokers and try as we did, never could get that smell out completely. One of the reasons I was happy to move. I would never buy a house, car, or camper that has been smoked in even once.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:45 PM   #12
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I just bought a Compact Jr trailer last month, sight unseen, several states' drive away from me.

I purchased it on Ebay. I checked the seller's reputation, and saw that he had several vintage trailer sales that the buyers were very happy with. He didn't have any negative ratings, and he posted many good photos of the trailer in question. He answered all my questions quickly. I took the chance and put in a bid, and won the trailer.

When I arrived a couple weeks later to pick it up, it was exactly as described. I know Ebay is a crap shoot, but there are a lot of ways to protect yourself when purchasing long distance. Do your due diligence, research the trailer you are buying, be aware of what possible issues it may have, and ask a lot of questions of the seller. And be absolutely certain to research the seller to make sure they have a good reputation.

I'm very happy with my purchase. The only thing I had to do to it to tow it 1200 miles home was to rewire the lights.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:06 PM   #13
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Bought our Silver Cloud in OR, and we are in Chicago. Admittedly, it was at an RV place, but still, it was purchased from images. Hubby flew out and looked at it. If you can't do this, ask here to see if there is a local member who can check it out.

Turns out that we need a new refrigerator and a better anti-sway hitch, but even so, we got a good deal and will still have a good deal when we purchase these.

CindyL
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rvdevdiva View Post
Jumping on a flight to look at a trailer isn't something I can easily do.
If that truly is the situation then WHY are YOU looking at trailers beyond driving distance for you to PERSONALLY look at trailers in which you have an interest???

Yes I am picking on you a little bit.

I see this ALL the time in the vintage car world of which I have been a part of for years. People want a certain car/trailer and look all over the country for what they want however they are NOT willing to put in the effort needed to get what they want on a long distance purchase and not get screwed!!!

It's not that most folks are "Unable" to personally go look at a long distance from them vehicle or in this situation a trailer it's that they are "Unwilling" to personally go look at that vehicle or trailer. IF that truly is your situation take the advice given above and HIRE AN INSPECTOR who has YOUR Best Interest's in mind.

Expensive???

Not at all. This inspection could save you THOUSAND'S of Dollars!

Expect to spend $250-$500 for this service from a recognized impartial professional. This will be the best money you will spend in the buying process for your new to you fiberglass trailer.

You did not mention your personal expertise as it relates to fiberglass trailers. You might find that hiring an inspector to look at a LOCAL trailer in which you have an interest might also be a GREAT expenditure as the inspector will have the knowledge of what to look at and experience of where to look for these problems that you may not have when looking at a fiberglass trailer.

I have said for years in the classic car world that for every $10K you are willing to spend for an old car budget $1,000 for travel to look at cars. Spend $20K on the car budget $2K for travel to look at cars. The same holds true for fiberglass trailers.

Why would you do this? I'll tell you why.

If you look at enough of whatever you want (in this situation a fiberglass trailer) you WILL find the one poor SOB with a really nice fiberglass trailer that really needs to sell and you will get a MUCH better deal that will more than make up for the expenditure you spent on travel to go look at the trailer. It truly does work every time!

Spend some time reading this site and will see time and time again the repairs that new owners must make to their new to them fiberglass trailer purchase that they were unaware of. Why? Most folks really do not know what they are looking at. That's where the professional inspection service comes in. That service gives you the knowledge to be a better buyer and truly KNOW what it is you are agreeing to purchase. Once again money well spent!

Another point to consider when purchasing a trailer from a RV DEALER who is a Long Distance away from you. Dealers FAR away from will give you a much better "Deal" on that trailer than a "Local Yocal" walking in their door. WHY? They know that they will NEVER see you or that trailer again as you will NOT be back for repairs or problems they did not disclose. That's why they have a "Smokin" deal on that trailer just for YOU!

Above all make your search and the purchase process FUN for you and your family and not the nightmare that some folks experience once they have their "New" trailer at home!!!
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