Rockwood Flagstaff Epro - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-13-2018, 10:11 PM   #1
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Rockwood Flagstaff Epro

Has anybody had experience with this line of trailers. I am particularly interested in what one thinks about the build quality and maintaining good value for resale.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:23 PM   #2
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You will hear nothing good about a 'sticky' like Rockwood on this forum. It's kinda like religion. This forum is devoted to all-moulded fibreglass trailers ( molded fiberglass in the US ). Totally different build and build quality.
Resale value for a 'sticky' depends how long it has been leaking.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:58 AM   #3
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NADA puts out a used RV guide and you will be disappointed how fast the stick trailers go down in value.

I have friends that recently bought a new RV at Camping World. I looked up the value after one year, it drops in HALF! Ouch! I did NOT share this information with my friends.

The best place to look at used values on molded fiberglass trailers is the fiberglass RV 4 Sale web site. They keep a database of sold trailers. You will see trailers lose very little value in their first five years. And then the vintage molded FG stuff, say 30 to 45 years old, has tended to go UP in value in the last five years. Its a tribute to the original company when 40 year old Scamps are still alive and well. I bought a 41 year old Trillium this year, its a project, but most of the work is straightforward. And I bought it knowing it was a project. Still the original fiberglass body, the structure, the interior fiberglass cabinets are all in like new condition.

Just did a quick search on google. For several years the Flagstaff trailers used a luan/styrofoam floor. Luan = super thin paneling. Key words are "vacuum bonded floor". Bad idea....


Many on this forum had problems with traditional stick built trailers and migrated to the smaller, more expensive and better built fiberglass "egg" style trailers. If I was buying a traditional trailer, I'd want to know exactly how it is built: roof and wall structure (framing), roof covering, etc.

Forest River has multiple brands built in the same plant, like Rockwood and Flagstaff. Same company, same employees, etc. My understanding the models only differ in colors and graphics. Its a marketing decision.

https://www.bbb.org/us/in/millersbur...478/complaints
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:30 AM   #4
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It is rare that ANY RV holds a good resale value. I have friends that recently bought a four year old Tiffin motorhome (a highly thought of brand). Originally sold for $240,000. They paid $80,000 for it. Motorhome has 30,000 mile on it. They bought from a dealer, original owner paid the dealer to sell it for them, so they got even less.

Around here, you can buy a nice home for the money these people lost on that motorhome! And it was in pristine, like new condition, beautiful!

Molded FG may be the ONLY RVs that hold their value well (OK, I would add Airstream to that list, so Airstream and molded FG trailers). So if maintaining a good resale value is important to you, there really is only one type of trailer I know that holds its value well. I met a guy this summer with a $500,000 motorhome, it was great! I liked his attitude, he knows it is losing value RAPIDLY. He called it "an investment in lifestyle". He knew he was losing thousands of dollars in value every month. But it provided a lifestyle he and his wife enjoyed. And apparently, they could afford it. If losing several $100,000 in value over a few years is a financial hit you can't afford (I can't), then a new expensive motorhome is not a good idea. Trailers are no different, they just start at a lower number.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:24 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the advice. I am a newbie shopping. I really want a Casita but I get sidetracked with neat features and low price.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:51 PM   #6
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I often see trailers on the road, with vacuum bonded wall paneling, skinned with fiberglass where the outside walls have delaminated.. Apparently, some of these trailers I have seen had leaked, as the outside fiberglass came unglued from the luan. You will see a bubble in those areas, where the fiberglass has come loose. I can only imagine, water soaked (and rotten) luan and wet styrofoam, underneath the fiberglass exterior wall. I can only imagine trying to fix that.

I've seen ones that were 10X worse than this one.

Note, this one is not a vacuum bonded wall, but it does have the exterior siding glued to a luan like product.

Its also not that unusual to see a rubber roof, inflated like a balloon going down the road. Guess what, if air can get under the roof, then water can as well.


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Old 12-14-2018, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyhall View Post
Thanks all for the advice. I am a newbie shopping. I really want a Casita but I get sidetracked with neat features and low price.
Yes, if you want low initial price, then avoid molded fiberglass trailers and Airstreams too. You can find hybrid type camping trailers that are MUCH larger inside, more features too, and a lower initial price. Just consider it disposable. It will not retain a lot of residual value, it will most likely eventually fail. At that point, its start over with a new trailer time. But you may get ten years out of it, maybe even a few more.

My friends bought a trailer at Camping World, it cost as much as a new Casita would cost! But it is a lot bigger (23 foot versus 17 foot), and wider too. A couple of cabinet doors FELL OFF on their drive home (30 miles) from buying the trailer. Kind of cut into the joy of ownership. Everything inside is cheap, cheap, cheap, stapled together. Oh yeah, and a 23 foot trailer with a single axle... Really???
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:14 AM   #8
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Rockwood Flagstaff Epro

Took the trouble to look them up. E-Pro appears to be a line of small, conventional trailers and toy haulers.

Non-molded trailers are not all made the same. The e-Pro line appears to be laminated, which I would personally never buy. I couldn't tell what kind of roof they have, but I would also never own anything with a rubber roof, common among many inexpensive trailers. Laminated plus rubber makes for an essentially throw-away trailer. If you baby it through covered storage, careful use, and good maintenance, it can be serviceable for a number of good years, but once it starts to come apart, it's usually cost-prohibitive to repair, and you practically have to give it away.

If you can't find what you need in molded fiberglass, I do like the suggestion of Livin' Lite. They are built on an aluminum chassis, frame, and floor with an aluminum skin. Of course there are still seams to maintain, but unlike laminated construction, there is no wood inside to rot, and repair involves straightforward skin-over-frame.

Originally Livin' Lite was an independent manufacturer. Then they were bought out by Thor and recently discontinued. I think the reason was the cost of all-aluminum construction. Not enough buyers were willing to pay the premium, and interiors were not as "plush" as buyers expected for the price.

In my mind the older pre-Thor units are the more desirable, although the interior aesthetic is pretty industrial. Biggest complaint I've read was heat and cold, due to being surrounded by aluminum. I think I could work with that more than with disposable laminated/rubber trash. They made a line of Camplite travel trailers and toy haulers that looked like converted cargo trailers. Some had optional hybrid-style fold-out beds.

Of course, I still think molded is the way to go, provided you can find one that meets your needs!
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:54 AM   #9
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There is frequent mention on this forum about the leak problems that occur with traditional trailers when compared with molded fiberglass trailers. It seems to me that all trailers have multiple places at which a leak could occur. My 1984 Bigfoot 17G has penetrations in the fiberglass shell on the roof (two 14 x 14 vents, a holding tank vent, 8 sets of running lights, approx 20 holes for the awning and 10 for the front window cover) and many, many feet of potential leakage on the sides around windows, the door, 6 access doors, etc.). What it doesn't have is seams along the sides, front and back of the roof and at each corner. So, I am wondering just how less prone to leakage molded fiberglass trailers actually are.
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:56 PM   #10
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That is true, Robert. All things built by humans require maintenance by humans. The molded advantage is twofold. One, there are no seams, edges, or corners, so one major source of leaks (and maintenance) is eliminated. An 8'x15' sticky has about 75' of edges, and every inch has to be sealed on two sides. Two, there is no structural wood inside the walls to rot. The shell is self-supporting.

I owned a hand-me-down Toyota Itasca motorhome for a few years. The front corners of the cabover bed had leaked and rotted the wood frame and bed deck. Resealing could not help because there was no solid wood underneath the skin to keep it together. I gave it away to someone who had the skills and time to tear the cabover apart and replace all the bad wood, a big project. That's when I decided I would never own a wood-framed RV again.

Some molded trailers (like your Bigfoot) do have lots of wood inside- furring, paneling, cabinetry, and floor- so there's still a lot of damage that can happen from leaking windows and other shell penetrations. However, it's not structural, and the shell itself is not harmed by water. I like my Scamp because there is less wood, but it's not wood-free and still requires regular inspections and periodic maintenance to keep leaks at bay.

Depending on your climate and use, resealing windows and vents is required every 8-12 years or so. Seems like seam maintenance on conventional trailers is almost an annual chore.
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Old 12-19-2018, 03:39 PM   #11
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First you have the really long seams, around the perimeter of the roof, and vertically up the sides front and rear. Secondly the walls tend to be laminated, once water gets under the seals, the outside panels of the trailer will come loose, and the luan underneath the outside panel will get distressed.

Its not unusual to see large loose bubbles on these trailers. Thats if it has the luan/foam/luan vacuum formed panels. The cheapest trailers have fiberglass insulation and untreated wood framing. In that case, the wood structure itself rots.

Most of the molded FG trailers don't have the roof or wall issues, its when the water gets to the floor. There you get rot. The old Trilliums had a unique pontoon design, where water could collect on the sides of the trailer and exit instead of rotting the wood floor. Not foolproof, but a better mouse trap.

Neglect any trailer long enough, and you WILL have problems. The molded FG ones can take more abuse. Read up on the Trillium David Tilston picked up where the entire roof was caved in by snow load, and sat that way for a while. Somehow, the floor survived.
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:13 PM   #12
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Oh, Glenn, did you have to be so honest and realistic?


Jon, most people do not "practically give away" a useless, waterlogged travel trailer; instead, most people hide the damage or pretend it isn't there, and sell it for way too much to some unsuspecting sucker. More's the pity.


I stopped at a dealership and looked at the E-Pro briefly. I wasn't impressed. I think the way you have to look at them is, it's a throwaway trailer. It may give camping pleasure for maybe 10 or 12 years, and by that time it may have become worthless and useless. If this is something a person can accept, then by all means buy the thing with that mindset.
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Old 12-19-2018, 04:26 PM   #13
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Yes, stick built trailers depreciate, perhaps more than molded fiberglass or Airstreams. But even the cheapest stick built trailers will last for years if they are maintained properly. And maintenance is the name of the game for all RVs, our molded ones included.

A friend of mine bought a 1986 Cobra Class C for $6500 in 2016. He lives in TN. He bought and drove it down from eastern Montana. It had the original tires, unbelievable. Once home he put new tires on, and put a layer of Dicor on the roof and he lives in it full time while his son and wife live in his house. No leaks, runs like a champ. He is retired and a mechanical type person, you know the type I mean...volunteered for the Korean War, trained by the army as a diesel mechanic, has almost a mystical relationship with all things mechanical...

My point being that the guy that owned it previously took care of his RV, it was purchased by someone who knew what he was buying, and it will outlast both of us.
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Old 12-21-2018, 10:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Yes, stick built trailers depreciate, perhaps more than molded fiberglass or Airstreams. But even the cheapest stick built trailers will last for years if they are maintained properly. And maintenance is the name of the game for all RVs, our molded ones included.

A friend of mine bought a 1986 Cobra Class C for $6500 in 2016. He lives in TN. He bought and drove it down from eastern Montana. It had the original tires, unbelievable. Once home he put new tires on, and put a layer of Dicor on the roof and he lives in it full time while his son and wife live in his house. No leaks, runs like a champ. He is retired and a mechanical type person, you know the type I mean...volunteered for the Korean War, trained by the army as a diesel mechanic, has almost a mystical relationship with all things mechanical...

My point being that the guy that owned it previously took care of his RV, it was purchased by someone who knew what he was buying, and it will outlast both of us.
You make some valid points. There are some people who will keep their stickie covered when not in use and do diligent maintenance. Those units will last much longer. The trick when shopping pre-owned is finding one of the few scattered gems, and those gems will have somewhat greater resale value if the buyer can perceive that it was taken care of. So, a person buying new can keep his trailer in better-than-average condition if he is assiduous about it, and that care might pay off financially upon resale if the right buyer comes along.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:50 AM   #15
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Thanks all for the wealth of info regarding the E-pro and stick built trailers in general. I am a newbie with all of this. I had mostly decided on a Casita but still was checking on local craigslist for trailers. The e-pro popped up. It was local, low usage, taken care of, etc....... Thanks to all the comments I got grounded again with the benefits of fiberglass trailers. I ordered a new Casita and will be picking it up in Jan.
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