Uncovered camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2020, 09:53 PM   #1
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Name: Michael
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Uncovered camper

I am looking at a 2008 Casita camper with low miles on it. However, it has never been covered and has set in driveway for 12 years. Would that keep you from purchasing it?
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:34 PM   #2
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A Casita with an odometer?
How do you know it has low miles? If you've checked it out and it looks good, it is good, regardless of mileage.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:51 AM   #3
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It is not the age, it is not how it was stored, the issue is what condition is it in? Sounds like you don't have a clue if it has water damage inside or not. If you don't know how to inspect it then hire an inspector to look it over before you buy it.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:02 AM   #4
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Uncovered storage could mean the gelcoat finish is dull and chalky, depending on whether it was waxed regularly or not. Itís mainly cosmetic; the structural integrity of the fiberglass is not affected. There are a number of ways to make it look good again, not expensive, just some elbow grease.

If it is otherwise in good condition (everything works, no leaks or water damage), if the price is right, and if you donít mind some buffing and polishing work, I would have no hesitation purchasing the trailer.

I got a great deal on ours for the same reason.
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Old 03-10-2020, 12:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
A Casita with an odometer?
How do you know it has low miles? If you've checked it out and it looks good, it is good, regardless of mileage.
I have wondered how sellers can prove their claims of "low mileage."

I also wonder how they can prove "always stored under cover" and the like. Maybe it was just restored. Maybe it was waxed consistently.

To me both of those claims are up there with "mostly highway miles" on a used vehicle. When I look at trailers again (and trucks for that matter), condition will matter much more than unverifiable claims.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:08 PM   #6
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Very low use often means has not been maintained either. Depending where you live things like has it been winterized, age of tires and battery, etc. Sitting idle outside for 12 years is never good for stuff. Inspect carefully.

As far as always stored under cover, I bought my Escape 19 from a seller who had it always garaged, and I had a carport erected when I bought it so it always has been under cover. My Trillium has spent almost 25 years in a garage, mine, or the prior owner. So not its full life but most of it.
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:12 PM   #7
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....only driven to church on Sundays by a little old lady..




a classic joke about the sales pitch at a used car dealer.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:01 PM   #8
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I don’t know about proving low mileage or what is low mileage. As long as the trailer is properly maintained and on inspection not exhibiting being badly shaken on rough roads I wouldn’t worry about the mileage. As far as storage, people could claim storage but in many cases the inspection trip will involve seeing the owners storage arrangement. Our trailers started their life under carport storage with very little sun on the trailer day after day. When we got them we built a pole building and that’s where the 21 stays if it’s not on the road. So with washing, frequent waxing, a reasonably tight building anybody who sees the camper would correctly deduce that since there’s a nice building to keep it in, that’s what we do. I suppose a cynic might say “not necessarily” probably just before I said “Don’t waste my time, get out of here”.

But that’s just me.

People who follow the forum and who attend rallies see each other all over North America. I personally enjoy discussing road trips and if a buyer asks me how far the trailer has been towed, I’ll get the book out and show them. On the 21, 15,000 miles each of the last 2 years about 9,000 the half season (2017). No reason to own them if you’re not going to use them.

There’s a car junk yard near Toledo, Iowa.
Their motto is “why buy new when used will do.
Remember you car is all used parts.”
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:17 AM   #9
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If it has low mileage all the tires will have very little to no wear and have date codes from 2008
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:49 AM   #10
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Unless a conscientious owner has replaced the tires every 3 or 4 years regardless of mileage....
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:07 AM   #11
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Lots of little clues in the inspection will either confirm or contradict the sellerís statements regarding its history, so I think itís always worth asking. It can help you determine whether youíre dealing with an honest and knowledgeable seller. Not all misrepresentations are necessarily fraudulent, either; there can be lots of reasons a seller isnít aware of or misunderstands details about a trailer.

In the end, you do the inspection and take your chances. Arranging a pre-purchase inspection with a local RV shop is an option if you are not confident you can do a thorough inspection yourself. It might be the best $200(?) you spend. If a seller doesnít want to cooperate it either means (1) they know itís a good deal and they have ten people lined up to buy it, or (2) theyíre hiding something. Another option is recruiting an experienced RVer to go with you to do the inspection.

With a trailer thatís been sitting unused for a long time, besides a dull finish, old tires, dry bearings, and other chassis issues thereís a good chance propane appliances might be non-functional due to clogged orifices. They can often be fixed, but it adds work and/or expense to getting it camp-ready as well as the possibility that the appliance is unrepairable. If you canít verify any appliance is working, assume that itís dead and factor that into your offering price.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:46 AM   #12
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A good inexpensive tool to have is a tread depth gauge. Trailer Tires usually start at 9 or 10/32 tread depth when new. Remaining rubber depth above 3/32 (wear bars) is indicated and can be compared between tires to assure even wear. Buy one at any auto parts store. Less than $10 and good for the tow vehicle too.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by donksax View Post
I am looking at a 2008 Casita camper with low miles on it. However, it has never been covered and has set in driveway for 12 years. Would that keep you from purchasing it?
I recently purchased a 2008 Casita... it too lived outdoors, though with a cover, in the Pacific North West for most of it's life, then in covered outdoor RV storage in Utah. Previous owner was a conscientious individual with long experience in boats.. which means he took very good care of this trailer. It really boils down to condition, as others have said. Mind if I ask what the price is? I paid $12,500

My trailer is not shiny, but not dull or powdery either... will refinish soon


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Old 03-18-2020, 11:48 AM   #14
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Check the floor to see if is spongy, especially around the sink and any other plumbing. Have the trailer frame inspected for rust issues.
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Old 03-18-2020, 02:57 PM   #15
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Tires

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Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
A good inexpensive tool to have is a tread depth gauge. Trailer Tires usually start at 9 or 10/32 tread depth when new. Remaining rubber depth above 3/32 (wear bars) is indicated and can be compared between tires to assure even wear. Buy one at any auto parts store. Less than $10 and good for the tow vehicle too.
Iowa Dave
Regardless of what the tires look like ... tread depth sidewalls .... Tires over 7 years old need to be replaced.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:03 PM   #16
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Would you share what you have done to get the chalky oxidized finish clean and shiny again? We have gotten an estimate from a local fiberglass boat repair place to clean and buff and wax my 16' 1973 fiberglass Amerigo trailer. They are saying $500. Does that sound reasonable and do you have any pointers?
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:54 PM   #17
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It's not complicated, but it is physically challenging. You have to go up and down a ladder over and over again, and it takes a fair bit of rubbing and buffing. I used a power buffer for the de-oxidation stage, but found hand removal of the polish and wax was faster. It takes one full day to do my 13' Scamp (and I'm sore for a few days!). Might take a couple of days for your larger Amerigo.

I ordered the Meguiar's Marine Fiberglass Restoration Kit from Amazon (about $40 for three products- oxidation remover, conditioner/polish, and wax). Follow the product directions. First you have to get it clean. I use Dawn dish soap to wash and degrease the camper and Barkeepers Friend (a mild fiberglass-friendly scouring powder) remove the stubborn black spots and streaks. You'll need a power orbital buffer, a good supply of microfiber cloths and a ladder. Since I already had the ladder, buffer, and lots of cloths, it only cost me $40 plus my time (and some ibuprofen).

On older, heavily oxidized trailers, some people just use the Barkeepers Friend to remove oxidation, followed by Zep high gloss floor wax. It's a wipe-on and let dry product, no buffing. Downside is you need to use the Zep stripper when it's time to reapply. It gives a higher gloss result than the Meguiar's fiberglass wax. You can use the "Site Search/Google" option at the bottom of the search menu for lots more information on the Zep process.

Unless I were physically unable, there's no way I would pay anyone $500 to shine up my trailer. If you don't feel up to tackling it yourself, you could also try searching for RV detailing services and see what they offer. Make sure to ask about what products they're using.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:10 PM   #18
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Thank you so much!!!!!
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:46 AM   #19
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First of all, invest in a professional inspection. You want to know there are no serious problems with the trailer & everything is working. Try to find someone who also understands fiberglass & can evaluate the outer shell.

The quality of the gelcoat varies with the manufacturer, and Casita has a solid reputation. Moreover, fiberglass shells are surprisingly robust.

If it’s in good shape & you’re happy with the price, go for it. Regarding the fiberglass, resolve to purchase a cover, use the cover. Deoxidize & polish your trailer every 12 months.

One nice thing about Casitas is they are fairly easy to put a cover on.

Best of luck.
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