Old,Newer or New - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-29-2018, 04:35 PM   #1
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Old,Newer or New

So one of the questions I asked but got no response or if I did I did not read it due to microwave issues. I know in Air Stream there is vintage but also there are suppost to be some years when the build was better.Is this the case with Fiberglass and if so can someone tell who has knowledge on this subject ?

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Old 08-29-2018, 05:30 PM   #2
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I have heard some people suggest that Scamps were better built some years ago, at least in the attention to detail dept. If true, it could be because of demand. In the lean years perhaps they were not so rushed to get as many trailers out the door. But now demand is at a peak (low gas prices and low unemployment). Perhaps you could find a correlation between the amount of time one had to wait on a build (the backlog) and the quality. Or perhaps a correlation between GDP and quality... looking for the times when they really had to make a top notch product for it to sell. In that case I would look for a well cared for camper from 2009 But, its just a theory of mine.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:52 PM   #3
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As to Bob's, no, Brad's original question, I expect that the year to year differences in quality construction, or even design, become masked by how the trailer was treated in the intervening years. And, the FGRV market is still the seller's market and a careful inspection is always recommended. But then again, I had just one firm condition when buying mine in 2013: if it smells musty, we walk. (It did not.) All other things were those well-I-can-probably-fix-it category.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:26 PM   #4
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Alias Bob- it's an interesting question. We used to hear about auto tooling wearing to the point that panels fit poorly. Maybe that was just British cars? Anyway I wonder if fiberglass molds can deteriorate. Also, I suppose a manufacturer could change the composition of their fiberglass but I doubt that would be public knowledge.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:31 PM   #5
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Alias Bob- it's an interesting question. We used to hear about auto tooling wearing to the point that panels fit poorly. Maybe that was just British cars? Anyway I wonder if fiberglass molds can deteriorate. Also, I suppose a manufacturer could change the composition of their fiberglass but I doubt that would be public knowledge.

Yes, molds deteriorate ( wear ) and are refurbished or replaced, and yes composition of materials can change, as do staff and owners.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:05 PM   #6
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It is an interesting question. But it might come down to the fact that it could be very difficult to figure out.

It is often easier to figure out if there was a really bad year instead of figuring out if a particular year was the best. Other than the very few molded fiberglass motor homes you don't see something such as a great engine or transmission being used in one year versus another. There are some problematic years in the Toyota Sunraders with issues of varying types such as axles, sagging ceiling, timing chain problems and some years there were better engines and transmissions than other years. But that is what happens when the FGRV is a motorized vehicle, so it is relate to the automotive industry having some years being much better than others.

I remember seeing that there were some FGRV that had a recall to fix bad gel coat.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:21 PM   #7
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Had a 1959 Sears Umbrella tent. Great tent, wonderful memories. 1979 Pop-Up; not so great trailer (tent), wonderful memories. 1999 Scamp 19’, great trailer, after initial problem solving, wonderful memories. 2019 Airstream Flying Cloud, looking forward to more wonderful times and memories. It’s all about getting out there!
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:27 PM   #8
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This will help you focus.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:27 PM   #9
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I know people do renovations or remodel to meet their needs on Fiberglass trailers.I had considered buying a new Escape carcus,leaving the interior out and having it finished by someone else. Escape would not sell it to me that way which I can understand.I am not big on remodeling myself but I was thinking that maybe a person could buy a used unit and have it retrofited for my needs as long as the bones were strong.Or possibly buying an older unit that was built well but not used a lot.In demand I would think but maybe not ?Not really sure?
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:34 PM   #10
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I was wrong . Glenn is still up and at-tum. Glad you are still with us!
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:40 PM   #11
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Glenn,
I am old but I can sure focus much better now.Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:44 PM   #12
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For those back east or older folks I know you will be sorry you went to bed so early!
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:56 PM   #13
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I had considered buying a new Escape carcus,leaving the interior out and having it finished by someone else. Escape would not sell it to me that way which I can understand.I am not big on remodeling myself but I was thinking that maybe a person could buy a used unit and have it retrofited for my needs as long as the bones were strong.
Scamp used to sell bare shells, might still. You could always go check out a Prevost for interior fit and finish ideas.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:48 AM   #14
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Even if one comes to no solid conclusions it is still an interesting discussion, and discussion is what this forum does. I know there there were a few "fit and finish" type issues with my 2015, as well as a few usability problems. In discussions, some people were surprised about this when comparing it to their older model. And there are a number of posts on this forum about the possible decline in quality at specific manufactures vs the industry at large.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:15 AM   #15
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Scamp used to sell bare shells, might still. You could always go check out a Prevost for interior fit and finish ideas.
That's interesting and a good thing for many of us but I'm surprised that a company would do that. In the end it's their name on the outside ... and potentially a mess on the inside. It could be a "guilt by association" situation.

Having said that, I bought a Cadet with no interior in large part BECAUSE it had no interior. It saved me a lot of work and a few trips to the dump but it also allowed me to design and build it the way I want to. Hopefully the people at Cadet will be OK with what I do to it. lol
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:49 AM   #16
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In automotive products, sometimes it pays to avoid a complete redesign when it is introduced. So it is a valid question. We don't seem to see complete redesigns much in fiberglass RVs. Maybe the Nest would be.

When buying second hand, I suspect there is more variance based on wear & usage than there is between model years. That's why there is an emphasis on careful inspection before buying. So quit chewing on your leg, do a careful inspection, then get out and make some memories. I think I get it.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:10 AM   #17
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Ok I just removed the snarky posts and the snarky back and forth about the snarky posts.

Making a snarky post is not helpful, responding to the snarky post isn't helpful, quoting the snarky posts and responding is not helpful.

If you feel a post is not nice or even attempting to contribute then by all means report it! Then your friendly neighborhood moderators only have to clean up and deal with one miscreant and much less deleting and editing. Said deleting and editing leaves us less rather than more friendly.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:11 AM   #18
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I think design and layout transition years might be more of a problem. Workers get used to doing assembly, positioning, or final fitting in a certain way and then things change and that might take some adjustment in how they do the job.

Brand new models or manufacturers just getting started might have some bugs to work out. Some ideas just didn't work very well. Scamp prop open windows were short lived and replaced with more expensive crank open windows for a reason. Some new amenities or arrangements may prove to be a hassle over time and get improved without the original design failing, just being sub optimal. Say a weak converter or one that has less protection for the battery.

I agree one is more likely to hear about years, model, or feature to avoid due to an issue than "best" years to buy. Simply because small molded FGRV's don't change as often as stick built or auto models. There are just not a lot of options for bed or kitchen location in a small camper.

Example before the fire at Scamp the height was lower and width was less so bed was shorter. After the fire new molds added a bit of height and width (bed length) so tall people might want to avoid models from before the year of the fire, and I suppose early in the first year after the change in size they might have been going through some growing pains with installing the interior pieces.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:47 AM   #19
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The earlier Bigfoot trailers had weaker roofs. Since it's such a large, flat roof, sagging was apparently a problem. Sometime in maybe the early 90s they fixed this. I'd say my roof has a very slight sag, but nothing that worries me. Seems more like it's already stabilized, and settled to where it's currently at.

Otherwise there are no years to avoid, that I'm aware of. Just things to know, like when the 17' became a 17.5', when the 2500 series (4 season package, more insulation but more weight) came out, etc. No issues, just differences in models.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:09 PM   #20
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The earlier Bigfoot trailers had weaker roofs. ...
And I think Scamps had lighter frames in eailer years (some on thins fourm know more about that). As for Bolers, Ian Giles said this:

...the initial frames built in 1968 & 69 used 1.5x3 0.083/0.109 or 12/14 gauge C channel. From 1970 and onward a rectangular box section frame was used made from 1.5x3, 0.0625 or 16 gauge rectangular tube,...


So there are some changes over the years that can make a big difference and are helpful to know. There are also smaller changes but usually not so critical, such as recent changes Scamp has made to the choice of roof vent and screen door.

And I think it goes without saying that when looking at a used camper, the care and maintenance of it is much more important than the year it was built, unless its one of the critical things such as a frame that is subject to breaking.
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