BUYING advice for newbie in AZ - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:58 AM   #1
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I have never owned a travel trailer before, but would really like to someday in order to take the family on camping/fishing trips. We have young children and this sounds like it would be a blast.

I located a 1986 Bigfoot 14.5 ft. Travel Trailer for sale here in AZ for $4500 (see ad description below).

I'm not sure it's worth the money and would like your opinion. What would it be worth? My concerns are the body damage and the repair items. I have not seen it in person yet, so I don't know if it needs anything else as well.

Thank you in advance.


1986 Bigfoot 14.5 ft. Travel Trailer for sale. These trailers are well insulated and are all fiberglass construction. No roof seams so no re-coating required! This little trailer is really clean inside and has many new features. It also needs some fixing. New in 2006: catalytic heater, Dometic dual function refrigerator, Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo (HD and Sirius ready, mp3 compatible) with Clarion speakers and remote. New in 2007: Rooftop AC with panel, trailer tires, toilet rebuild, city water inlet valve. Sustained damage to rear while parked on street...fiberglass needs repair. Has awning but it needs work and to be re-installed. Upholstery about shot but sale includes roll of new upholstery fabric. Screen door needs work or replacement and window on entry door needs repair, grey water valve should be replaced soon. Included: two LP gas tanks, scissors jacks, wheel chocks, sewer hose with connector, water hose, hitch pin with lock and ball locking device.

Can sleep 4 adults and a small child. Fully-funtional bathroom contained within. Gas stove with oven. Microwave included. I think it also has a jack for satellite or cable TV. Has 12 v. plug for use when no electric present.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:23 AM   #2
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sounds like alot of work (especially the fiberglassing,cushions etc) It also seems like they just bought it and want to flip it..... their comment:"I think it also has a jack for satellite or cable TV" tells me they would know that if it was theirs. You should be able to get a fiberglass trailer in good Shape in the mid 90's for roughly $5000
If you like projects then this might be good for you but the price seems a little high
this is only my opinion and value is seen differently thru others eyes
Joe and Linda
2013 Casita SD
Dodge Ram 4x4
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:31 AM   #3
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My husband and I are also new to trailer life (we did have a pop-up and have tent camped) and after 'discovering' fiberglass trailers I knew that's the direction we wanted to go into. I spent days and hours watching Ebay, and reading this forum to gain information - the network here is just incredible!!

Travel to pick up a unit also factored into our plans, as at first thought we were going to drive to Texas and back - adding to the cost of a trailer. Watching Ebay endlessly, I was able to locate our rig only 10 miles from our home and couldn't be happier with our egg!!

We paid $5,000 for our 16ft U-haul VT and the previous owners had done much of the work (they shared before/after pictures with us!) cleaning, resealing windows and rewiring. We didn't get the deal of the century, but our unit was ready to camp in the day we brought it home. The only thing I've done to it was decorate it to make it ours.

I don't think I've helped but gave you maybe just some insight on what we paid and what we got for our money. 1 week til our camping season starts...our Memorial Day Weekend has been booked since December and I have our egg all ready just waiting for the food box and to be hitched up!

Keep looking, you'll find the one you're supposed to have - Good luck and Great camping!

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Old 05-15-2008, 08:47 AM   #4
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if it has a bathroom, it sounds like it is actually a Bigfoot 17. They are probably giving you the length of the coach when they say 14.5.

The price *may* be in line in that case, however.. the repairs listed that are needed would have to be done before taking it out for fun. If this is your first rig, consider whether or not you want to spend your time learning the mechanics first and camping second.

You will NEED to know about repairing stuff, but I am not sure I personally would like to rebuild before use on my first one. I wanted to learn trailing first, towing, handling etc before I delved too deep into it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your thoughtful advice. I agree on all points. It seems like a lot of work and I do think it's actually the 17ft model.

It may be better to wait it out. I wrote the owner and offered less than 40% of the price, factoring in the repairs and unknowns. They were a little taken aback but said they were willing to consider it if they don't get any other offers...none so far.

I am handy, but not sure I want to take it on. Hey, you're supposed to relax in these things aren't you?

Anyway, I'll keep my eye open for others.

Thanks again!

- Rick
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:01 AM   #6
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Hey brother,

I live in Prescott Az. and in one of the free papers in our area there is a 16' Scamp $4,700 or best offer...I will wait a day before I list the trailer on the looking for trailers forum...if intersted email me for the number.

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Old 05-17-2008, 11:48 PM   #7
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I have never owned a travel trailer before,...

I have not seen it in person yet, so I don't know if it needs anything else as well.
There is a buyers check list in the document center on the left side bar. (I've copied the link below)

It is intended for someone to use when they are looking at a trailer for someone else. Yes, we do that for each other here.

Personally I found it very helpful to bring along when I was looking for a trailer for myself.

Maybe if the seller balks at your offer, email the form to them and ask them to fill it out
for you. Maybe they will reconsider your offer.

Happy hunting
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:05 AM   #8
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Hi Rick,

My biggest concern would be the damage to the back of the trailer. If you live too far away to easily look at it in person, you could ask the owners to email you a photo of the damage and decide from that whether it's worth taking the drive to see it. Fiberglass repair isn't too difficult (from what I've heard), but it's also important to see whether the frame itself was damaged.

Otherwise the price of $4,500 seems very reasonable for a 17' Bigfoot, and it sounds like the owner has put a lot of time and money into making some nice improvements. The other items that need attention don't sound too difficult to do yourself.

As Roy suggested, I recommend taking a look at it in person with the Buyers Checklist in hand... I also recommend going ASAP!

Good luck,
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