for a good chuckle today..... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-17-2017, 05:54 AM   #21
Raz
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Built like the model T. By hand. Someone a while back said RVs are built to last 5 years. That video explains why. I can't imagine working under those conditions. Not much job satisfaction there. In the Auto industry most of those jobs have been replaced by robots.

I bought fiberglass because it is less likely to leak. No seams. As far as quality, with few exception all the manufacturers use the same RV junk which is why there is always a repair list when you get home.

Franswa, thanks for posting. A friend of mine bought a Jayflight a few years ago. I'm not sure I'll share the video.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:14 AM   #22
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Typically, owning an RV is like owning a boat. They drop in value rapidly. Its a great way to lose money. Better enjoy using it, as you take a bath if/when you sell it. Molded trailers are the exception. People are selling used ones for almost the same price as what they paid originally. Buy a used one, keep it a few years, and you will likely sell it for what you paid for it. Wish I could do this with cars and motorcycles.

Almost all of the traditional RVs drop in value lightning fast. A friend bought a really nice four year old motorhome recently. Low miles, very clean. Originally sold for $250,000. He paid $80,000 at an RV dealer. Talk about depreciation!! Just for kicks I looked up the blue book value for a 20 foot Jayco, 2007 model. Original MSRP was $19,000. Average retail value now is $5,400 (private sale is less). So it has lost 72% of its value.....

Anyone think a 2007 Scamp is selling for 28% of its original value?
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:34 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
We have several members of this forum who are either skilled craftsmen or skilled tradesmen or both. Often that can mean evaluating a trailer build in terms of "how I would do it", vs what the most common practice is, or what the general industry norms are.

While I admire that impeccably high standard, it's not very realistic for an affordable trailer...
I don't find any of this too alarming. Six hours... remember that is just final assembly. Most of the components were pre-assembled. I believe I read that Scamp produces around 450 trailers a year. That means one is also coming off the line every six hours or so (based on a factory schedule of 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, which is just a guess).

Most of the complaints of the Jayco owner in the second video seemed cosmetic, fairly minor, and did not affect operation of the trailer. Hard to say if that is why he was finding warranty service difficult to obtain- perhaps if it was a defective plumbing connection that had water running all over the floor, he might have gotten prompt attention. Don't know, but I do know from a number of posts here that Scamp honors their warranty, in one case offering to pay for a repair to an appliance that should have been covered by the appliance manufacturer. I'd say the warranty advantage goes to the factory direct model- I can have work done at the independent repair shop of my choosing.

I compare Scamp and Jayco because they are both budget-priced units in their respective market segments. I agree with your assessment, Robert, that expectations may sometimes be unrealistic for the price paid. For the money, the Jayco buyer gets a lot of space and a full-featured home on wheels. For similar money, a Scamp buyer gets a whole lot less space, fewer features, similar fit and finish, but that wonderful molded shell and cabinets.

For the record, all of the factory defects I have observed in my Scamp are minor and cosmetic. None affected operation of the trailer. My biggest complaint is the quality of the 12V wiring- seems made to last 5 years. At 9 years old, my Scamp remains leak-free (yes, it does rain and snow in my corner of Arizona- it's snowing right now).
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #24
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Bill and others....thus is my dilemma....never owned a rv but want one for retirement to make long periodic trips... researching for 3 years and 90% convinced with fg trailer But the cost comparison for my purposes is my dilemma. I'm not wealthy.
A $20K investment for a good used fiberglass model is huge for me. A $5,400 investment for a '07 Jayco 20' is not as huge. I've read all the arguments. Being a newbie, and a bachelor travelling alone, what if I find out those long cross country trips that I envision aren't all that I thought it would be. I'm foreseeing 1, maybe 2, long trips per year, and shorter regional trips for a week once every month or two. I wonder if I could get a good 5-8 years out of the cheaper $5K stick trailer, would I be better off even if it had no value after getting my use out of it. I'm turning 60, and hoping I have 10 good yrs. of travelling. I think I am realistic in thinking by age 70, I will be slowing down a little on my travels. LOL
I love the fiberglass rvs, and being 6'5", my choices are limited and more expensive than the more common scamp/casita models. Some days I do go back and forth on the cost of fiberglass vs. stick rv, though. For now, I'll keep saving and researching, and have to see where I am in 3 yrs. when I retire with a modest teacher's pension.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:26 AM   #25
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The concept that a FG trailer last a reeeeeealy long time is wonderful if you plan to hang on to your trailer for a really long time and you are willing and able to perform the necessary maintenance. A leaky window or roof vent in either style of trailer eventually leads to a larger problem.
We have friends who think FG trailers are too small , overpriced, and lack the options they want. They just trade their standard 5th wheel off and purchase a new one every 3 to 5 years.There final cost is not much different then buying a $40 K FG trailer and hanging on to it for 20 years.
In 2013 they were able to purchase a well equipped 32 ft 5th wheel for about what I paid for my 2013 17 ft sparsely equipped Casita.
They are trading off their 5th wheel this Spring and yes they will lose some money but they end up with a brand new trailer.

It's kind of the same thing with a vehicle , you reach a point where the vehicle needs tires , brakes , suspension & steering repairs,
transmission servicing , cooling system servicing, a battery , etc ,etc, etc. Do you stick 4 or 5 grand in a used vehicle or do you say the Hell with it , for a little more money I can buy a new one.

If one could buy a fiberglass trailer that met reasonable quality standards , had appliances that function properly and didn't fall apart in a year , required little or no maintenance , held its' resale value, had tires that didn't disintegrate in 2 years, etc etc then I can see paying extra for a FG trailer but as it sits now it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.
The quality of fiberglass trailers is just not as good as we pretend it to be . We can't hide behind the less leaks flag forever.
The sorry part is that the quality of some of the higher end FG trailers is equal to or lower then the economically priced FG trailers.
Paying more to get the same or less never appealed to me.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
If one could buy a fiberglass trailer that met reasonable quality standards , had appliances that function properly and didn't fall apart in a year , required little or no maintenance , held its' resale value, had tires that didn't disintegrate in 2 years, etc etc then I can see paying extra for a FG trailer but as it sits now it's 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.
I guess it's how you define your terms. A "reasonable quality standard" could be defined quite differently from person to person. I'm confident mine does meet "reasonable" quality standards. My appliances did not break or fall apart in a year. They all work perfectly, 3 years in. I could sell the trailer for what I paid for it right now. That's resale value. The Carlisles still look almost brand new. This is owner experience, not speculation. At rallies and get-togethers with other owners, I cannot tell you how many folks have reported the same thing. Really, about the only things I would like to have seen improved are a slightly thicker layup, and an aluminum frame. At the price I paid, it's still reasonable without those things.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:00 AM   #27
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I'm with Francois. I was most struck by the speed. I've worked in settings like that before and am so glad I don't anymore. And that frame flip scared the heck out of me, too.

When most of us work on projects, we take our time and take pride in what we do. And we like to believe our campers were built that way...I'm not going to say those guys don't take pride in what they do, but it's clearly more about speed that quality. Everything they do is rushed. Watching them after a cup of coffee this morning and I'm still trying to calm my nerves back down...

It's no wonder you run into issues with new products. You can't fly through wiring and everything that fast and not have some issues.

I'm pretty darn happy with the cabinets and construction of my Bigfoot. I can definitely see rough edges and the places they just eyeballed, but compared to my last camper, it's a lot higher quality. My friend has a Scamp Deluxe and after hearing people talk about their cabinets in this thread I'll have to check hers out.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:02 AM   #28
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As if there were any chance of me buying another stick-built, it's gone now. Thrown together (literally) wooden tinder box protected from water damage by a rubber or PVC mat that disintegrates over a few years or less. No thanks.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:13 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
Bill and others....thus is my dilemma....never owned a rv but want one for retirement to make long periodic trips... researching for 3 years and 90% convinced with fg trailer But the cost comparison for my purposes is my dilemma. I'm not wealthy.
.
I'm completely sold on the fiberglass quality and it would be hard for me to buy anything else.

However most people I know have stick built trailers. Most have not used theirs enough to be able to judge longevity. I do know one couple who moved into their trailer...5 years ago, I believe. Maybe 6. It's a stick built Nash. They haul it all over the country, including down very rough roads, all the way to the tip of Baja where they live every winter. They've had to have the frame welded a few times where it broke, but the camper is doing just fine for them as a full-time home. And they don't slow down for washboard or potholes.

Fiberglass trailers absolutely have issues and you will see people here complain about them, but that often comes from expecting "craftsmanship" from a production product, and from hearing such great things about fiberglass trailers. They definitely have quality control issues.

The difference is the fiberglass shell. You just can't compare fiberglass or metal panels to a molded fiberglass body. It just lasts longer with fewer problems.

Whether you can justify the expense is up to you. You're absolutely not making a bad decision if you research stick built and find a quality one and go with it. It could easily last you 5-10 fairly hassle free full-time years if cared for. I'd say longer if you aren't living in it and put it under a carport in the winter. All campers have issues and are constant maintenance, fiberglass or otherwise.

But it's also about priorities. I'm not wealthy. Heck, I've been unemployed almost half of every year the last 3 years. I'm not going to claim I'm smart with money...but I own what's considered one of the "luxury" brands of molded fiberglass trailer. If you make it a priority, you can afford any used fiberglass trailer you want.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:25 AM   #30
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Mike Magee "nailed" it, or perhaps stapled it in his post #6: "But your house does not get punished by highway expansion joints, potholes, etc."

Stick built works pretty well for stationary houses. But after 100,000 miles of bumps, and ruts, stick built units are shot.

Slides outs provide wonderful interior space but they too feed planned obsolesence. My slide out is a Clam screen room.

I'll settle for the timeless design and integrity of an egg. If the entire RV industry built eggs, they would only need to make half as many. Only fg eggs sometimes fetch as much at age 40, as when they were new.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:35 AM   #31
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Mr rbryan , I am truly happy for you , you are one of a very few with this experience. Your experiences do not echo mine nor those of most FG trailer owners .
Count yourself in the very fortunate category.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:53 AM   #32
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me too!

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Originally Posted by Roy M. View Post
Hey Francois I'm with you! We love our fg Bigfoot. No quality control issues with ours! Safe travels! Roy
Poy/Francois - add my name to the happy BF camper list. I've got a 13 year old BF and I love it. Had sticky campers and trailers - never again. No quality concerns with the construction of my 17 footer.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:59 AM   #33
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I guess it's how you define your terms. A "reasonable quality standard" could be defined quite differently from person to person. I'm confident mine does meet "reasonable" quality standards. My appliances did not break or fall apart in a year. They all work perfectly, 3 years in. I could sell the trailer for what I paid for it right now. That's resale value. The Carlisles still look almost brand new. This is owner experience, not speculation. At rallies and get-togethers with other owners, I cannot tell you how many folks have reported the same thing. Really, about the only things I would like to have seen improved are a slightly thicker layup, and an aluminum frame. At the price I paid, it's still reasonable without those things.

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Old 12-17-2017, 11:02 AM   #34
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Fiberglass trailers have their issues and the quality control is as bad or worse than stick built trailers . Stick built usually are built using a jig where FG trailers use the free hand close enough is good enough method ( Hand Grenade Method)
I have found areas on both my FG trailers where the only thing keeping the rain out was the gelcoat cause someone forgot the fiberglass backer.
The wood cabinets in FG trailers are equal to or lower in quality then the cabinets in low end stick builts. ( Staples and hot melt glue is not quality )
The plumbing and wiring in the stick built trailers is often better then the FG trailers in both material and installation methods.

I wired / worked on new homes for over 40 years and from what I've seen the FG trailer industry has little to brag about and much to be ashamed of .
Jayco makes a pretty good trailer IMHO
Hi Steve . Dealing with something right now .Pat
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:20 AM   #35
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Obviously people on this forum prefer molded fiberglass trailers or they wouldn't have bought them . They have their pro's and their cons. I really like my Casita but my neighbor down the street loves his stick built and I say more power to him. Different strokes for different folks. The area where I live is having a construction boom the likes of which I haven't seen in over 30 years. RV parks have popped up like mushrooms and I would estimate that there are thousands of travel trailers filling these RV parks that are occupied by construction workers. These are their homes while they travel the country to construction jobs. I have never seen a molded fiberglass trailer in any of the RV parks I have gone past as they are more for recreation and just wouldn't be practical as a full time home away from home. So there is a market for both types of travel trailers. I saw a video on the design of the Jayco roof truss system and the stresses it is designed to withstand and I seriously doubt that any molded fiberglass RV roof could withstand the amount of weight they stacked on it.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #36
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contrast.....

something obviously happens whey you cross the equator....

sure is different...now I might be tempted to buy one of these...but the shipping would kill me !!!

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Old 12-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #37
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Quality is not just measured by fiberglass or sticks. I bought a new Carriage Domani in which the structure was aluminum. I had problems from the first time we took it on a shake down local trip until the day I was able to get rid of it. The first 3 years we owned it, it was in the shop 15 months. The last year of ownership it was in the shop 8 months. I ended up filing a Texas Lemon Law suit against Carriage. I had close to 100 pages of documentation and receipts. The judge ruled in my favor but within a few days, Carriage had closed their doors and auctioned everything off. The only thing I got out of it was to be able to say "I won my case!"
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:31 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by dmad1 View Post
Quality is not just measured by fiberglass or sticks.
That's very true. It's also about execution, as Steve pointed out.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:39 AM   #39
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Fiberglas vs 'sticks' !

[QUOTE=ZachO;675889]I'm completely sold on the fiberglass quality and it would be hard for me to buy anything else.

The difference is the fiberglass shell. You just can't compare fiberglass or metal panels to a molded fiberglass body. It just lasts longer with fewer problems.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Zach, maybe you and I are fiberglas lovers because we both had Toyota Chinooks. ( and are on Chinook Yahoo site ). But I believe these two facts stand out : (1) All investment sites call a travel trailer (in general) a poor investment. Buy high, sell low ! Most do way more sitting than traveling, because of the high expense. Even if it only sits unused for 10 years, the value drops a LOT ! After 3 - 5 years most people use their trailer less and less.
(2) But lots of us have a 20+ year old Scamp or other fb trailer and it is worth MORE than new ! My '92 13' Scamp, which I paid $4000 for 8 years ago still looks pretty new and is worth at least $6,000 now. NO 'stick built can say that ! ! For me, end of discussion ! DavidG, from Fresno and Sonora
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:50 AM   #40
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something obviously happens whey you cross the equator....

sure is different...now I might be tempted to buy one of these...but the shipping would kill me !!!

I want one ! Pat
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