How to know if fair deal? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-27-2020, 04:42 PM   #1
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Name: Amy
Trailer: Casita Independence Deluxe 17
Florida
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How to know if fair deal?

I thought I had a deal settled on a 2019 13’ Scamp in FL. Unfortunately, the seller would not accept a cashier’s check, and I would not wire money with a title in hand. We live 4.5 hours apart. So now I am still looking for a newer Casita or Scamp. I want a newer model as I have never owned a travel trailer, and I would like to have less to worry about. I cannot afford a brand new model. My question is: How do you know if what you are getting is a fair deal? The prices are all over the place. Casitas are a lot more. I understand deluxe in Casita v Scamp. I understand the size differences. What I don’t understand is how to know if I am getting a fair deal.(And how do I pay for iti if they will not take a cashier’s check? I don’t want to carry that cash!) Thanks for any advice - Amy
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:21 PM   #2
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First, are you aware of all the scams that surround the molded fiberglass trailers? Craigslist has them all the time. Always remember the old saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't".

You can look at the "archives" of sales here and at https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/fiberglass-rvs-sold to get an idea of what things may have sold for, although you are probably more likely looking at the asking price of the unit. Keep in mind that prices vary depending on condition, and age is no indication of condition in many cases. Care taken is more important than age, IMO.

Had you seen this unit that you are speaking of, and met the person selling it? All too often, units don't exist and money disappears.

I am sure someone can give you an idea on what you need to do concerning transfer of money for title.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:31 PM   #3
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Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
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This was the quandary I had when I was looking for a used fiberglass trailer. In my opinion, everyone thought their camper was gold-plated and I didn't believe their used trailer to be worth the price they were asking. So I gave up on a used camper and bought new for only a little bit more.



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Old 01-27-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
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Name: Amy
Trailer: Casita Independence Deluxe 17
Florida
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I talked to the lady and her pics and ad were on this site as well. I don’t blame her for being wary. I worked in a bank. I saw a lot of fake money orders! I may call Scamp to ask about pricing.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:36 PM   #5
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Name: Amy
Trailer: Casita Independence Deluxe 17
Florida
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There is a 2010 17’ Liberty Deluxe Listed for $13,750 and a 2011 17’ Spirit Deluxe for $14,500 in FL Both look good, and have a lot of add-ons. The Liberty has an anti-sway bar. I need to find a place to look that shows fair pricing. Should I buy a newer model?Does anyone have advice on pricing, or what years I should avoid? If I get a 16’, I will Probably get a Scamp. I will probably have to get a 13’ if I want a newer model.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:26 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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The Casita 17 foot campers have high tongue weight so you may want to research that. We towed our 13 foot Uhaul camper with our Honda CRV and it was OK but close to the car's limit. We looked at a Scamp 16 that we liked so asked the seller if we could just hook it up to the CRV. Could tell right away it had too much tongue weight so passed on it. A few years later a Casita Spirit Deluxe 17 came up for sale at a good price so bought it, and a truck to tow it. Ram 1500 with the 5.7 engine, works great for us as a tow vehicle.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:34 PM   #7
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I would be suprised if you saved much if anything on a 2019 Scamp. With a molded trailer that new, you are really just paying for convenience: no waiting for a factory backlog, no going all the way to Minnesota to pick up (or paying additional shipping cost to Florida).

A "good deal" on one that new would be full retail price of a new one, maybe $1000 off max.

You should also contact Casita directly. At times, they get cancellations, and they might have a brand new one you can pick up. Again, if you want one nearly new, just buy a new one. There really is no significant savings to used on a one year old model. Get one 5 or 10 years old, then you will start saving some, still not a lot.

When we bought our Escape used, we essentially paid what they were selling for new, but we got $6K plus worth of options and no shipping from Canada. That was our "savings".

Since all fiberglass trailers are measured end to end, a 13 foot Scamp has a 10 foot trailer body on it. A 17 foot Casita will have close to a 14 foot trailer body on it. Thats 40% more trailer, which is A LOT!

Think carefully about floorplan. Someone happy with a 17 foot Casita may be happy with a 16 foot Scamp, but no way would they be happy with a 13 foot trailer. When you get that small, you have to really compromise. Want a place to sit without making up the bed? Give up the bathroom. Want a bathroom? No place to sit. Want a large bed? The "big bed" in a Scamp is actually quite small, about the size of a residential double bed. The regular size bed is even smaller, slightly larger than a residential SINGLE bed.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:38 AM   #8
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How to know if fair deal?

I think you do stand to save by buying a late model used. You will save shipping (or the cost of a round trip to MN). You will probably get least a little break over the original price and sometimes some owner mods and accessories thrown in for free. Last, in some states you don’t pay state sales tax on private party used vehicle transactions (AZ is one, don’t know about FL). Altogether, it can amount to several thousand less than ordering brand new.

I would expand to a few more years, though. Anything up to around 5-6 years is “near new” in my book, especially if it’s been stored indoors (important question to ask).

On the other hand, you don’t get to pick the exact options you want. And you may not get the raised suspension and larger brakes Scamp added in mid-2019. The extra clearance is helpful on bath models because the shower plumbing hangs down pretty low under the front of the trailer. Better braking means less wear on the tow vehicle’s brakes and increased safety.

Either way, for one person a 13’ is a great place to start. It’s easy to tow and very stable. Lyle’s mod is a great way for a solo traveler to have a bed and a place to sit in the front bath layout. If you buy new, have the rear center cushion made.

And if you later decide you want a larger trailer, 13’ers are always in demand and easy to sell.

So how do you know if it’s a fair deal? I’d go ahead and get a quote from Scamp on a new one equipped the way you want. Get a shipping quote, even if you think you might make the trip to MN. That will give you a sense of how much you’d save each time you look at a used unit. If you want to cover your bets, you can put a deposit on the new one and continue searching for used. The deposit is only $500 and fully refundable up to the day they start building it.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:08 AM   #9
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Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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I agree with a lot that has been posted already.

I've noticed Scamps and Casitas that are within 4 to 5 years old generally sell for close to new prices.
Often there are waiting lists at Scamp and Casita so sellers are able to price them without much depreciation as buyers want to camp, not wait to camp.

It's hard to get a good deal on these without getting older ones as Jon mentioned above.
For example, the Scamps below I feel were pretty good prices, but they are older.
My 1992 Scamp 13' was $4,000.
My 2008 Scamp 16' Deluxe was $13,000

Both times sellers wanted cash and that's how I paid them.
I wanted a signed title and bill of sale each time.

It's my understanding that Casita isn't building the 13' at this time, so if you find a nice newer one in the $6000-$8000 I'd think that's a good deal.

If I were shopping for a Scamp 13', I'd want to pay $6,000-$8,500 for a newer one with A/C, heat, bath, etc. I'd pay up to $14,000 for a newer 13' Deluxe, these are what I'd call deals. Anything less would be a screaming deal.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:01 AM   #10
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Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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My earlier post may seem like I don't like 13 footers. Not the case! Particularly when I travel solo, I like the convenience of the 13 footer. First, I can disconnect and maneuver it by hand at a camp site. Impossible for me to do with my 19 footer. Secondly, it has more than enough room for me. In my case, I don't have a bathroom, so I have room to sit and leave the bed made too.

Mine is a vintage unit, so it doesn't have modern conveniences like a furnace and A/C (prior owner removed the furnace). If I had just one camper and limited to a 13, then a more modern Scamp 13 would be my choice, mainly to get AC (and newish appliances).

The 13 fits on pretty much ANY campsite. Yes, my 19 footer fits at almost any campsite, but there is the occasional one where it is tight.

My old Trillium has lots of windows, and all but one fully open. It has more windows, and more opening space than my 19 foot Escape. (Scamps tend to have fewer windows that open, its somewhat unique to Trillium).

Finally, I can pull the 13 footer with my wife's smaller SUV or my F150.

I met a couple that was living FULL TIME in a 13 foot Trillium. And they had been doing it for over two years. In talking with them, it became apparent that they could afford pretty much any trailer, but they liked their Trillium. So even for two its very possible.

It really depends what you are used to. I have friends whose first RV was a 40 foot fifth wheel with tip outs. They currently have a 43 foot motorhome with two bathrooms! To them, a 25 foot Bigfoot would be way too small, impossible. Meanwhile, if you come from a tent background, a Scamp 13 will appear spacious!

My opinion is pricing starts softening up a bit in the 5 to 10 year old range. I can't overestimate how the trailer has been stored when not in use. I've owned three FG trailers. Two have been stored indoors their entire lives. One was stored outdoors. The difference was huge.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:15 AM   #11
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
If I had just one camper and limited to a 13, then a more modern Scamp 13 would be my choice, mainly to get AC (and newish appliances).
I must agree with you thrifty bill, that modern 13 footers are nice.
Though, I have figured a work-around for an A/C by hanging it out the back window when parked. A small electric heater was bought and thankfully the former owner replaced the icebox in my 1992 13' and put in a 3-way fridge.

It's interesting on prices because new ones are expensive and totally restored vintage are expensive, it's those in between years that are difficult to figure out what is a good deal.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:58 AM   #12
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How to know if fair deal?

A newer 13’ standard with bath will be more like $12-16K, depending on location, year, and condition. A newer deluxe with bath will likely run $15-20K. Under $10K probably has issues, but would be a screaming deal if not. By “newer” I’m thinking 2014 and up, give or take.

The comparison is always against a new one at current prices. You look at the used one in terms of features, wear and tear, and needed repairs and ask yourself, “Is it worth accepting X, Y, and Z deficiencies in order to save this many dollars and have a trailer today?” Realize that new RVs are rarely trouble-free, either.

If you don’t feel confident you can spot all the issues yourself, recruit an experienced friend, or let a nearby RV shop do a pre-purchase inspection (should run $150-200 or so). If the trailer seems good, make a deposit subject to a satisfactory inspection report. Make sure you have a record of that understanding with the seller.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:30 AM   #13
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I'm not sure why the seller would not accept a cashiers check? All they had to do is hold the title until the check clears and of course copy your license info. If the check bounces they have a documented theft and it can not not be titled once it is shown as stolen. I have purchased cars out of state, gave them a personal check and driven the the car home. title normally arrives within 2 weeks.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:35 AM   #14
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How to know if fair deal?

That’s a lot of trouble, and the trailer could well be damaged before it is recovered. Preventing theft is always preferable to pursuing thieves. Most law enforcement agencies are overworked, and property theft tends to get a low priority.

On the flip side, as a buyer I wouldn’t want to risk having to chase down the title after parting with my money.

Current conventional wisdom from many sources (including my own bank) is no cashier’s checks or money orders. Both are commonly counterfeited. Cash, electronic transfer, or an escrow service like PayPal are the preferred payment methods.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:07 PM   #15
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If you don't do your homework on purchases you know nothing about, you are probably not going to get a fair deal, or just a good deal. I will say here that many sellers are selling at a fair price, but if you have no knowledge of what you are purchasing, how would you know. I tell those who know nothing about travel trailers to visit a rally for the type of trail they think they might want to buy, talk with owners, and get a feeling of the ones they might want to purchase. We visited a Casita Rally and after visiting with many owners we pretty much decided that was the trailer for us, didn't really care for the Scamps, but the Escape and Olivers also got our interest, but were out of our price range for our first trailer. We now own an Oliver, us because of visiting Oliver's at rallies and talking with owners. If you want me to make a decision for you, I will probably make one that I would make for myself and maybe not your choice.

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Old 01-28-2020, 01:02 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=Jon in AZ;766591]

On the flip side, as a buyer I wouldn’t want to risk having to chase down the title after parting with my money.

Yup, took me almost a year to get the seller of a pop-up camper to get the paperwork to me so I could get a title for it. All he had to do was get his signature notarized on a form that I gave him. He lived 15 minutes from me and from a couple banks, but he had my money so no incentive to do anything.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:29 PM   #17
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
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Originally Posted by AmyFL View Post
I thought I had a deal settled on a 2019 13’ Scamp in FL. Unfortunately, the seller would not accept a cashier’s check, and I would not wire money with a title in hand. We live 4.5 hours apart. So now I am still looking for a newer Casita or Scamp. I want a newer model as I have never owned a travel trailer, and I would like to have less to worry about. I cannot afford a brand new model. My question is: How do you know if what you are getting is a fair deal? The prices are all over the place. Casitas are a lot more. I understand deluxe in Casita v Scamp. I understand the size differences. What I don’t understand is how to know if I am getting a fair deal.(And how do I pay for iti if they will not take a cashier’s check? I don’t want to carry that cash!) Thanks for any advice - Amy
Can you meet the seller, see the title and trailer, then have money transferred while you are there? Usually it doesn't take long to have money wired into someone's account. We've done this buying a house and selling one. I would not wire money before seeing the trailer and title and I'd want to be there to pick it up when the money hits the seller's bank. That way you will have the trailer and he'll have his money. With today's modern electronics these things can happen within a few minutes.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I'm not sure why the seller would not accept a cashiers check? All they had to do is hold the title until the check clears and of course copy your license info. If the check bounces they have a documented theft and it can not not be titled once it is shown as stolen. I have purchased cars out of state, gave them a personal check and driven the the car home. title normally arrives within 2 weeks.
Sellers have the right to be unreasonable and demand any terms they want, and buyers have the right to look elsewhere. When I bought my F150 Lariat with only 12,000 miles on it, seller required ALL cash. I decided to do the deal as the price was attractive. I did have it inspected by a Ford dealer close to the seller (I was four hours away).

Truck was about $6,000 to $8,000 cheaper than what I could find in my area.

Drove 4 hours one way to pick it up. I’ve since put another 115,000 miles on that truck so I am happy with how it has worked out.

Also realize sellers that are difficult to deal with can mean a better deal for the buyer as it eliminates the competition (other buyers).

I also bought a new Honda motorcycle at a nearby dealership. They had three prices: if you were financing, if you were giving them a check or all cash. And by cash I mean a stack of 100 dollar bills. It was a Honda Goldwing, so that was a big stack. I asked the dealer to take a cashiers check instead. His response was that would be at his higher check price.

As far as not being able to title the trailer if the check bounces, many states do not title trailers. So someone passing bad checks could carry phony ID and pass the trailer on to one of those states.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:12 PM   #19
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Trailer: 13 ft 2005 Scamp Deluxe; 2002 Subaru V6 Outback
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buying option

I bought my Scamp Deluxe out of state.

!. Ask the owner to hold it for a couple of days until you or someone else can inspect it. You might hire a qualified person to inspect it for you. Arrangements can be made with a local trailer service company.

2. Arrange with your bank manager to transfer funds upon your approval of the inspection. I arranged with with the seller to contact his bank manager. After I arrived to see/pick up/pay for the trailer, the seller and I met with his banker, who phoned my banker and the two managers made the transfer.....real easy for the seller and me.

3. If this is your first trailer, ask the owner to spend time going through the trailer, electrical, mechanical, hitching, parking, backing up. I asked for this and the owner towed the trailer to the nearest campground, then spent a full day going through everything with me.

As for size...If single, start small. My dog and I do well in a 13 ft, even when it pours buckets. I used to drop the table & make up a bed daily...easy with a sleeping bag; but leave the bed made up, use a tray for table in inclement weather, and since we're camping, prefer to do a lot of cooking.eating on the picnic table outside...isn't that why we go camping?
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:25 PM   #20
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Name: Amy
Trailer: Casita Independence Deluxe 17
Florida
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I'm not sure why the seller would not accept a cashiers check? All they had to do is hold the title until the check clears and of course copy your license info. If the check bounces they have a documented theft and it can not not be titled once it is shown as stolen. I have purchased cars out of state, gave them a personal check and driven the the car home. title normally arrives within 2 weeks.
I did not want to pay and not get a title. My bank said I had to be present to wire - on the east coast of FL. Seller was on west coast. I have a credit union - not a lot of locations. I think she sold it already. I am sure something will come along. I like Trilliums - but they are harder to find. Casitas are the easiest to find in FL. I can always drive to another state in the spring. The right one will come along.
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