Originally Posted by Bob Miller
My #1 tip, unless you are into pain and/or have lots of time and/or money to spend, is to buy the very, very best you can afford.
Rebuilding a fixer takes time away from use and almost always, unless you place no value whatsoever on your time, comes out to costing more. If you have to depend on outside labor costs, a fixer will kill you in the first month....
Best bet.... read a lot on here for a while before buying..... You may have to kiss a lot of toads along the way before you find your Prince(ss) of a FGRV.
Plus one on what Bob said.
Frame, floor & suspension are all expensive/extensive work to repair. Fiberglass too. If you have the skills it's time and materials if you pay for it to be done these things are expensive.
Consider with care the skill resources you and friends and family can bring to such a project. Also your storage/living situation, one poster living in an apartment had to haul water bucket at a time in order to track down a leak.
Also consider you or your families tolerence for using it "rough" on the inside or outside. Some folks would be fine using it as a hard sided tent even if kitchen or bathroom was not functional, or tolerate cosmetic blemishes on the outside if everything was good on the inside. Others would find one or both of these situations unacceptable.
First thing my wife wanted addressed was the ratty faded decals on the outside and it be clean inside and out. After that she was good to go, did not care if I did not have sink fixed. Me I would probably have fixed the sink first and suspension before dealing with the other stuff.
FGRV's hold their value well IF repairs and modifications are done well. Do ugly or cobbled work and it hurts value so you have to factor your abilities to do the work up to "resale" standards, or the cost of having it done if you want to preserve your investment or build some sweat equity in the camper.
Do the research now to know the brands and years of the trailer in the price range you are considering. Example older scamp windows
don't have parts readily available. They do have stoves, fridges, sink and general hardware available. A bargman door latch for some older model campers is scarce, thus expensive as in $175 for the rebuild kit for a simple door latch. It takes fiberglass work to fit the door to take a newer latch/lock. Some models are known for getting water damage that is hidden inside the door, what looks like a little door sag can be a major repair job.
Bottom line narrow down what models might possibly fit your budget and needs then find out as much as possible about those. Then as Bob said buy the best condition you can find.