When owners put down their worn out rigs - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-24-2018, 01:37 PM   #1
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When owners put down their worn out rigs

My dumb question for the day, do people ever just junk their rigs, tow them to a junkyard? Or just leave them to rot in their yards?
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:47 PM   #2
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I can't imagine anyone just junking a molded fiberglass trailer. It might sit unused if illness or other life circumstances got in the way. Unless the fiberglass is crushed, it always has value for restoration.

I could see a sticky getting scrapped, and there are RV salvage yards. But I have always found someone to sell or give it to before it became a yard ornament or I had to pay to have it removed.

Have to ask why you're asking...
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:52 PM   #3
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I think sometimes 'time' gets away from people. They park trailers in a yard/field or in a barn with the best of intentions. Then circumstances change and it's not a critical concern. Years go by and then you have a 'barn find' or a 'field find.' Some require a LOT of rehabbing, others not so much.


I can't imagine anyone parking an all-molded-towable and thinking, I'll just leave it there forever....
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:05 PM   #4
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Jon, My wife will never camp. Being retired, too little funds and too much time, I find I have to be much more resourceful. A project might be just what I need. Granted, rebuilding ANYTHING can cost a chunk. But my needs are few. There might be a basket case out there somewhere that needs a lot of love....
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:08 PM   #5
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Donna, I agree with your thoughts on this. I would never abandon one. But time does get away from people.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:38 PM   #6
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Its hard to get salvage yards to take rvs of any kind, except van conversions. Fiberglass trailers would cost more to scrap than the value of the little metal involved.
I had the responsibility of junking a 30ft sheet metal motorhome with a freshly rebuilt 454, good transmission, and differential. I tried several yards with whom I was familiar. Instead of paying, most wanted $500 to come and get it.


As for leaving them to languish in the yard? That's where I have gotten most of mine.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:49 PM   #7
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yeah, when we wrecked our old tent trailer, the tow yard boss sighed and said he lost money on those, just not enough materials to be worth it.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:23 PM   #8
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One Mans Trash........as they say.
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Old 12-24-2018, 06:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chillywilly View Post
Jon, My wife will never camp. Being retired, too little funds and too much time, I find I have to be much more resourceful. A project might be just what I need. Granted, rebuilding ANYTHING can cost a chunk. But my needs are few. There might be a basket case out there somewhere that needs a lot of love....
Basket cases tend to need expensive stuff, like new frame and new axle. Its often not a way to save $$ in the end. And it helps a lot to have covered work space. But if you are super handy, can do your own welding for example, you could save.

With basic needs, a stock older Scamp 13 (no toilet, no frig, no furnace, no AC) could be a good choice.


On the salvage yards, I've wondered about appliances. The same appliances that were in FG trailers showed up in pop-ups and other trailers. Probably managing the inventory for such a small market is just not worth it for a business.


Some vintage projects seem to bring a substantial premium compared to other brands. For example, I've seen some really sad Bolers and Trilliums that needed everything at relatively high prices. Meanwhile, a nice Hunter Compact project can be had at half or less the $$.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chillywilly View Post
My dumb question for the day, do people ever just junk their rigs, tow them to a junkyard? Or just leave them to rot in their yards?
We took back roads driving from Chicago into upstate New York, and we saw what felt like an endless procession of farmhouses with rotting trailers parked on the lot. Some were clearly abandoned along with the property. Saw a few lots that just looked like someone's junkyard. I don't know how they get away without the county raising a stink. But between all of those houses and a handful of used RV lots, I didn't spot a single molded fiberglass trailer. I might have missed some on the lots but we were on a schedule and didn't have time to drive through.
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:57 AM   #11
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Yes sometimes people do take their unwanted trailers that have issues to a junk yard. The junk yard will typically resell it to someone else, if it has salvage value for any of the components or for as-is sale.

So why would someone choose to do that method of letting go of a trailer? Because they don't want to handle the personal interaction of meeting with a stranger or have them come onto their property. That is perfectly understandable, some people are stressed out by such interactions. Other people just don't want strangers on their property. Other people detest wheeling and dealing and negotiating. Some of them consider it a liability issue to have someone come onto their property and hook up a trailer that has problems.

Sometimes a person inherits it from a deceased relative or it was left on the property when they purchased it or someone might even have dumped it on their land and they simply don't want to be bothered to list it and sell it. They might not even have the title for it, it could have been lost for various reasons in which case taking it to a junk yard solves the issue of getting rid of something that has no paperwork for the title.

Sometimes storage yards end up with trailers that former tenants have left behind when they moved away. They too might just call a junk yard and have it hauled off as that takes care of the issue of not having a title on it. It take time to obtain a title and maybe the storage yard weighs the balance out of selling a junker against collecting the rent on the newly emptied space and finds that just having it hauled off is the better financial decision.

Not all junk yards will accept RVs including travel trailers. But the ones that do might have a good bargain in their yard waiting for someone to purchase it.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:27 PM   #12
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I like your way of thinking Thrifty Bill. One of these days I'll have to go Over-the-hump to Pahrump and see what every one has laying around the yard. I kind of thought that a junkyard would be a last resort. I'm sure I will find something in fiberglass out there.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:30 PM   #13
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Just want to thank everyone for your input. Would have said thanks earlier put for the life of me I couldn't remember my password! I may never log off again!
Hope everyone is having safe and happy holiday.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:52 PM   #14
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Old molded fiberglass trailers are almost always restorable.

About the worst thing that can happen is that the floors rot and the appliances wear out.

Frame breaks can be welded, worn out axle replaced.

Unlike stick built trailers, the basic structure, the fiberglass molding, is nearly eternal. Yeah, the gel coat loses its gloss, but the strength is still there.

Of course, that doesn't mean it would be economical to restore it. But the lure of rebuilding one with an absolutely, one-of-a-kind custom interior will surely tempt someone.
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:16 AM   #15
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Here in California junk yards will not take a vehicle without a title. I would assume that includes trailers, since my Scamp has a title. Of course there may be shady junk yard operators that bend the rules if they thought they could make money on it.

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Old 01-03-2019, 09:42 AM   #16
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Title requirements vary by state, but I agree lack of ownership documents could be one reason RV's sit around rotting in yards. Can't use, can't sell, can't junk...

I'm sure there are a few molded trailers in that status, but you'd have to get pretty lucky to find one. They're a tiny fraction of all RV's, and for reasons already noted, a high percentage remain in active use.

Even if you did, and even if you got it for free, establishing ownership through a bonded title or salvage process just adds to the time and expense to get to a usable camping trailer.

For most people it'd be better to spend the time working at Walmart and saving up for something in decent condition with proper documentation. Basket cases are for folks with garages, tools, skills, time, and money.
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