Be Careful Out There-Buying a camper online - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
Name: Jim
Trailer: 1998 14" Burro WB
Posts: 46
Be Careful Out There-Buying a camper online

I recently bought a 1998 WB Burro online. I was fortunate in that the person I dealt with wanted to let me know all the problems with the camper and the reason they were selling it. I thought I would relate the story here to help people understand the dangers of online buying and to be careful.

It turns out my Burro was originally from Wisconsin. I found it in Maine and brought it home to Illinois for a rebuild. Curious full circle of this Burro. During the buying process the PO and I exchanged a lot of photos of the trailer. Cudos to them for honesty and integrity.

They related to me the story of their families purchase of the Burro. They found the Burro online from a private owner in Wisconsin. They also exchanged pictures with the other owner. However, the pictures were taken at angles that didn't reflect the true story. They asked the PO about the apparent curling of the linoleum and was told it was the angle of the camera and was assured the linoleum was flat and the floor was in good shape. They sent me all the original pictures and I would have asked more questions and asked for picture from other angles, but they were a trusting people and took the word of the owner.

They purchased the trailer for $4000.00 and arranged to have it towed to Maine. When they got the trailer the frame was cracked in 2 places, the linoleum was curled and floor was obviously in bad shape. They had it welded, by a local welder. They used the trailer the summer of 2012 and realized the floor was water soaked, soft in places, and beginning to rot.

Along with the floor there were other issues they did not know were issues, that other pointed out to them. The pipe feeding the propane to the inside was iron pipe attached to copper tubing, at the tank, and the iron pipe just hung along side the frame. The spare tire was barely hanging on. Just a myriad of problems they felt the other owner should have informed them about. You can just feel how disappointed they were about being taken advantage of and their plans for enjoying their new camper.

The family realized it was beyond their skill level to repair the trailer themselves and the cost of having another do it was prohibitive to them. So, they put it up for sale. I was the fortunate recipient of the trailer and am currently detailing the rebuild in another thread.

I picked up the trailer and the Wisconsin title as they don't have to register this size trailer in Maine. I noticed the title was listed as a Casita. It was clearly a Burro. When I asked about it they told me the previous owner told them the Burro was made by Casita and that is why Casita was on the title. I can take care of the title in Illinois and get it plated. Working in a State Park gives me contact with State Police and the Secretary of State's office to get this resolved.

So, when buying a trailer online if there is anyway possible to contact someone on this forum or another person you trust to physically go look at a potential purchase you should. I felt comfortable buying because the family was making a point of trying to be sure I understood all that was wrong with this trailer. They went out of their way to help me understand all the issues and I sincerely have to admire their integrity. Way to many times on the internet it is exactly the opposite. I am sure there are people on this forum willing to help get a honest look at a camper, before you make a payment.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail - Emerson
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
Lot of lessons. People lose the passion and neglect or damage their possessions. They play it close to the vest with "hopeful" buyers to make it someone else's problem. Companies go out of business. Information is lost. Titles are lost or are inaccurate. Bad old situations and you know it's funny, but it's still a Burro 14WB. So there is a bright side or a light at the end or a lovely flame that shouldn't be allowed to die. And a proxy surveyor is a great way to vett a prospective trailer with less strain on time off work and the fuel budget! This person should be someone who knows at least as much if not much more than you do.

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 4,799
Years ago a friend of mine purchased a new pick up from a local dealership. It took a few miles but my friend realized there was something seriously wrong. Apparently the truck had been damaged while unloading and then straitened out. It took a lawyer but my friend got another truck. I guess they hoped he wouldn't notice.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,658
My rule:

NEVER buy a vehicle sight unseen unless fully inspected by someone who knows what they're doing- preferably a professional inspector.

Propane Facts vs. Fiction:. Click here
Tow Limit Calculator: Click here
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:53 PM   #5
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 5,892
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
My rule:

NEVER buy a vehicle sight unseen unless fully inspected by someone who knows what they're doing- preferably a professional inspector.

Whose name is not Clouseau...
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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Name: Logan
Trailer: 1976 Scamp 13'
Posts: 230
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
My rule:

NEVER buy a vehicle sight unseen unless fully inspected by someone who knows what they're doing- preferably a professional inspector.

I frequently buy US government vehicles sight unseen.
Assume the worst, hope for the best and never spend more than you're willing to lose.
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