compact jr - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-10-2003, 07:59 PM   #1
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Statistical validity?

Mailman,

As there are, I think, a total of 3 - maybe 4, Compact owners on this BB, I don't think you have large enough of a sample to say what is a common problem for the brand overall. Now, if only 6 Compact Jrs were ever produced, maybe you could extrapolate.

The only thing you can say is those with these vintage beauties seem to be enjoying their trailers and any complementary DIY projects to the max. There is a lot of customizing going on. Maybe that's the result of owners feeling more free to knock out a bench or expand a bed or whatever when the trailer is fully paid for AND 30+ years old. I would not take a hammer to a brand new $15,000 trailer subject to monthly payments and warranties that could be voided - no way. But on a vintage model I'd hit the fabric, carpet, paint and hardware stores and make it all my own. There are actually a few custom FG beauties rolling down the highway with functional jacuzzis.

FWIW: I don't think a vent leak on a 30-year-old FG trailer is a major flaw. A few of the ladies on this BB have remedied such leaks all by themselves with the proper tools and gaskets or silicone caulking.



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Old 07-10-2003, 09:52 PM   #2
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:09 PM   #3
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Old 07-11-2003, 12:06 AM   #4
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:21 AM   #5
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Mailman,

Go for it!:jump-r

Fixin' them up is as much fun (almost as much fun?) as using them!:thumb

Dina (& Jim) Schulz



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Old 07-11-2003, 06:48 AM   #6
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roof leaks

Hi Mailman -

We own a 1971 Compact Junior. It does not have the roof leak that others described here. FYI - Ours was in mediocre shape when we purchased it last year (see archives and my posts in October/November with photos). It was very dirty, needed a new fabric connector to the pop-up, the cabinets are poor re-builds of the originals (or just shoddy originals), flooring is pretty grungy, etc. Anyhow we got it for $600. I think this was a very good deal - but maybe you can use this number in your negotiations if the asking price is significantly higher!

- Suzy in Montana



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Old 07-11-2003, 07:43 AM   #7
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Compact on Ebay

Not sure if this is the one you're looking at, but I've been watching this one.

Compact on ebay

What started out as a very reasonable trailer is climbing rather quickly, eh, MM? It looks to be a cutie, though.



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Old 07-11-2003, 04:36 PM   #8
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Hi mailman
As the owner of a 73 Compact II, i can say I have had no leaks in my rig since I put the windows in it. The pop up section overhangs the top opening which will not allow rain to get in. The only place it could leak is at one of the attaching points. This could be fixed by removing the fastener and then applying a little sealer as you reinstall the fastener. Your pop up is longer on the Compact Jr than mine. Mine is only about 6 feet long and I think the one you are looking at may be 7 or 8 feet long. but otherwise they should be the same. Good luck. The one on ebay looks like mine except I see it has a gas Refrigerator and mine is only a Cooler.
Good luck



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Old 07-11-2003, 10:04 PM   #9
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Mine leaks

The entire roof cap section bows toward the center. It curves downward from each outer edge toward the middle, and runs the full length of the top. Water sits in this area (up to a couple of inches deep) and comes in the roof vent. The previous owner had the vent (in closed position) "permanently" sealed by masking off the vent and a few inches out in each direction. He then had a Rhino Linings bedliner dealer spray bedliner coating over it about 3/16" thick. This apparently worked for a while, but now it leaks again! It's just a few drips, but.......

I'll fix it sometime, but for now I simply lower the rear struts holding the top up. This slants the roof and allows rainwater to drain off. It is parked in the garage, so it is only an issue if it rains when camping. Fixing the bowing roof will be a big-time project. I'll probably take it to a bodyshop for major reconstruction. When I do that, I'll have new fabric made for the pop-up section.



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Old 09-12-2012, 10:09 PM   #10
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Name: Robin
Trailer: Compact Jr. 1971
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I just bought a 1971 Compact Jr for $900. Needs some work, but I am looking forward to traveling with it. No leaks, yeah, however, I know nothing about it, specifically and in general. Hard to find infoformation.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:05 AM   #11
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A quick search on "Compact Jr" here should get you lots of information!
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:27 AM   #12
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I did, but it just brought me the the main rv type page. Anyhow, I have the "beast" now. Lots of elbow grease to get to the nice color underneath. It had been stored under trees and was covered in needles and gunk. I scrubbed inside and took eveything out, (it was a mess). These is no table. Just a platform bed. Underneath it was the spare tire, still new on a rim. Just to the front of the platform on either side looks like a seat. Just wide enough for one. No cushions, but thats all it could be. I assume there was a drop down little table there at one time. You bring it down for an extended bed. No mattress.

Stove, no oven. Stove has never been used. The owner did not believe in camping that way, It was covered by a board where he had an elaborate crock pot cooker.

Underneath looks like a furnance. There is a vent, very dirty, and outside an exhaust port/fan. But I could not see controls anywhere. Above the stove is a traditional looking vent cover, but no holes or venting. Strange. Pictures on this site later.

Other side, missing fridge. Underneath, a battery in a plastic box, dead. Wires going out to various lights. No way to recharge. So I am going to put in a converter/charger. I don't understand putting in a battery that is hard to get to, unless there was a way to charge it easily.

Anyhow, if anyone knows of these things, esp the furnace, let me know. I have never seen a platform bed model.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scribeslave View Post
...These is no table. Just a platform bed. Underneath it was the spare tire, still new on a rim. Just to the front of the platform on either side looks like a seat. Just wide enough for one. No cushions, but thats all it could be. I assume there was a drop down little table there at one time. You bring it down for an extended bed. No mattress.

Stove, no oven. Stove has never been used...

Underneath looks like a furnance. There is a vent, very dirty, and outside an exhaust port/fan. But I could not see controls anywhere. Above the stove is a traditional looking vent cover, but no holes or venting. Strange. Pictures on this site later.

Other side, missing fridge. Underneath, a battery in a plastic box, dead. ...No way to recharge. So I am going to put in a converter/charger. I don't understand putting in a battery that is hard to get to, unless there was a way to charge it easily.

Anyhow, if anyone knows of these things, esp the furnace, let me know. I have never seen a platform bed model.
My sister's Compact Jr has two long benches, one on each side of the trailer. The table is supported by a central pedestal between them. At night, the tabletop is used to fill the gap between the benches, along with some smaller panels, yielding a huge bed in the front of the trailer. The bench cushions (seat and backrest) lie down to form the mattress.

That is, in theory. In practice, Sis never makes up the big bed; she sleeps on one bench and the dog sleeps on the other, with the tabletop laying between them as a sort of night stand.

Her trailer doesn't have a furnace and apparently never had one.
However, your furnace is almost certainly identical to others used in other trailers; there's only so many suppliers of such things, after all.

She has a three-burner stove, no oven. I've seen pics of Compacts with an oven below the stove. She also had the phony "stove hood" over her stove; I took it out at her request because she was always banging her head on the corner.

She has an icebox on the passenger side at eye level. I've never seen one with a factory fridge installation. I took out the icebox and wrapped it in insulation to make her ice last a bit longer.

Hers has the battery under the forward end of the passenger-side bench. She has no converter or on-board charger, so she charges her battery prior to leaving home and carries a little battery charger with her. We've replaced all her 12V bulbs with LEDs, so the battery lasts quite a while; and she usually camps at sites with 110V hookups anyway, so it's a moot point.

Her spare tire was stowed inside at the front of the trailer, leaning up against the front wall between the benches, which was, um, lame. It's now outside on the tongue.

To find forum discussions of Compact Jrs, you have to be logged into the Forum and use the forum search, which is kind of inconspicuous; it's in the slender dark blue horizontal bar about two inches down from the top of the page. Click on the white letters "Search".

Here are some threads I started, discussing assorted reworks to Sis' trailer:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...8-a-35651.html

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ion-30924.html

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...1-a-49341.html

There are lots of Compact Jr owners here: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ver-35513.html

Good luck with your new trailer!
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:13 PM   #16
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Trailer: Hunter Compact II
Arizona
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So.. What's a fair price to pay for a Compact 2 in good original condition? What things should I be aware of while I'm shopping? I notice some folks found one for less than a grand. The one I'm considering is $4200 or OBO.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #17
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I've got no idea about a fair price. But I can talk a little about the weaknesses you should look out for.

The floor is plywood, so you should look for rot, especially under the benches; my sister's was especially bad where the battery had been sitting.
The frame can crack right under the front edge of the body.
Check the condition of the popup canvas.
The inside window frames are wood, and it's possible that a leaking window could cause them to rot.
Look for signs of leakage around the roof vent, if it has one. The fiberglass of the popup roof tends to sag, resulting in water puddling--and that puddle seems to usually be at the roof vent, thanks to Murphy's Law.

As I recall, Sis paid about $3500 for hers about 5 years ago; and the $1000 trailers tend to be pretty rough. For $4200, I'd expect the cushions, drapes, popup canvas all to be good; the appliances to be working; the lights to be working; frame and fiberglass uncracked; in other words, a pretty nice trailer which doesn't require a lot of additional work.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:16 AM   #18
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Thank you for good advice. I bought it for $3300. It looks in pretty good condition, no visible leaks, solid floor. Wasn't able to test the 110volt lights before buying and the water pump doesn't seem to be working. It has a little evaporative cooler on roof. The fan turns on but lots of rattling and doesn't seem to cool. Any experience with these types of coolers? Do they work pretty well? I don't think there is a heater. Is it safe to use a little space heater for winter camping? There is a flushing toilet. Does that mean there's a black water tank? I was thinking about replacing the toilet. Any advice on That? I am pulling with a Honda Element. It's rated to tow 1500#. Any advice on towing?
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:22 AM   #19
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Also, wasn't able to test whether the frig works. So I assumed it doesn't. There is so much IN this little trailer it's hard to believe it's under 1500#. When I get it back from the rv doctor, I intend to weight it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #20
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Well, we're getting out of my (small) area of expertise now; Sis' trailer doesn't have a swamp cooler, a fridge, or a toilet.

My best suggestion is to post separate questions on the forums here for each of your concerns.

But here's my semi-ignorant stab at each of your questions:

Swamp cooler fan rattling: That's bearing noise, I think. You might be able to get rid of it by oiling the shaft where it comes out of the fan motor, or you might have to buy a new motor.

Space heater: Sis uses a little electric heater to warm hers, but if you plan to camp where there's no 110V that obviously won't work. But do a forum search on "heater" and you'll find plenty of information. Heaters which burn propane give off CO2 and CO and consume oxygen, so you have to leave a window cracked to avoid suffocating.

Toilet: I dunno. Being able to flush implies a black water tank, but I'm not sure where they'd put it; the Compacts tend to be pretty low to the ground, which makes the usual under-the-floor location problematic. Could it be a cassette toilet or a port-a-pottie, where the black water is held in the lower part of the toilet itself?

Towing: Sis' trailer weighs 1600 pounds, fully loaded, and she tows it very successfully with a RAV4. Yours has more equipment, so I suspect it's going to weigh a bit more.

Fridge: I'm no expert on RV fridges, but if you have the usual kind it uses either a 110V heating element or a propane burner to boil ammonia inside a bit of complicated plumbing, thereby producing coolness. Important points: Make sure the vents are clear, so air can flow over the refrigerator's plumbing bits; make sure the trailer is level; and even when it's working properly the cooling produced is apparently not very powerful--more of a "keep things cold" than "make things cold". Again, a forum search would give you plenty of info.

Water pump: Probably rusted solid. New ones are pretty cheap. I'd suggest replacing all your water tubing while you're at it. Use the clear hose with the reinforcing "threads" embedded in it (200 psi rating) and not the non-reinforced clear hose (80 psi rating). Don't ask me how I know.
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