Buy long distance? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-03-2017, 06:44 PM   #1
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Name: Lucy
Trailer: Casita 17' SD
Tennessee
Posts: 17
Buy long distance?

Most of the trailers I'm seeing are fairly long, or really long, distances from me in E TN. Many of the listings I'm seeing seem to sell quickly, like in just a few days, if that long. Are people buying long distance without actually going to look at and inspect the trailers? How is that done? I am a newby... makes me nervous to go that route although it seems I'm missing out on potentials....
Curious how people are accomplishing their purchase so quickly...........
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:12 PM   #2
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Name: jon
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' SD
Illinois
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My wife and I decided on a pre-loved Casita. We never stepped in one less even saw one in person, just did our research and decided that is what we wanted. We found one over 1400 miles away, called the owners and bought it over the phone without even seeing it in person, just pics. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but they had to sell because of health reasons. They sounded honest and wouldn't even accept us wiring their bank a deposit before we saw it in person. Guess we felt they were that honest. It had been for sale less than 4 hours. When we drove to pick it up we were amazed how well they had taken care of the Casita. They even thru in a WDH, rear carrier and a bunch of tools. We really lucked out. We still keep in touch with them as they are such great people. Others may have different stories, but most of the FG in good or great condition sell fast and, yes, you may have to drive outside your comfort zone to find one. Make sure the sellers post lots of pics. Also, you may want to look into Eilleens CD. Their is a buyers checklist to assist in what to look for on a FG camper.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:25 PM   #3
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Name: Lucy
Trailer: Casita 17' SD
Tennessee
Posts: 17
Thank you for info

Thank you for sharing your experience. I guess it will likely require following my gut instinct about the trailer, the seller, and the terms if I hope to have a trailer any time soon!
I really appreciate the willingness of so many folks to respond to my questions and concerns!
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:29 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyH View Post
Most of the trailers I'm seeing are fairly long, or really long, distances from me in E TN. Many of the listings I'm seeing seem to sell quickly, like in just a few days, if that long. Are people buying long distance without actually going to look at and inspect the trailers? How is that done? I am a newby... makes me nervous to go that route although it seems I'm missing out on potentials....
Curious how people are accomplishing their purchase so quickly...........
Unfortunately for the shopper, these trailers sell fast!
I have many times driven hundreds of miles on short notice to buy a fiberglass trailer. Most were known to be in need of restoration. If you are buying a newer trailer (read high price) talk to the seller ASAP and come to a conditional agreement. Such as...
I promise to buy if you will hold it for X# of Days/Hours, on the condition that the trailer is as you describe on the day I arrive and view it. The shorter the time, the better the chance of agreement.
Only once has a seller reneged on a promise to sell to me and luckily I found out before leaving home. One other time I arrived 225milesRT to find that the trailer was not as represented.
This is of more than 2 dozen purchases.
At the risk of sounding political to the more sensitive here...
Trust, but verify!
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:53 PM   #5
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Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyH View Post
Most of the trailers I'm seeing are fairly long, or really long, distances from me in E TN. Many of the listings I'm seeing seem to sell quickly, like in just a few days, if that long. Are people buying long distance without actually going to look at and inspect the trailers? How is that done? I am a newby... makes me nervous to go that route although it seems I'm missing out on potentials....
Curious how people are accomplishing their purchase so quickly...........
I would not send any money. Try to wait for one closer. You may get some idea talking on the phone but I would take my chances driving to see one with the seller knowing I am coming. Assuming you think the seller sounds good when asking quite a few questions. And stay in close touch with him or her.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:11 PM   #6
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Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
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Given your location, I think it's going to take a lucky break for you to find a used FG trailer that you will be confident is ready to use. We are in Nashville, probably a larger market, and we looked unsuccessfully for awhile before we bought new. Watch the classifieds on the forums and CL in neighboring areas where old folks might end up. If you are completely new to trailers, maybe consider an inexpensive pop up to see if you like it. Also,there are some old codgers here with lots of knowledge and time on their hands, maybe you could engage one of them as a buyers agent, for a fee of course. Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:40 PM   #7
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Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyH View Post
Most of the trailers I'm seeing are fairly long, or really long, distances from me in E TN. Many of the listings I'm seeing seem to sell quickly, like in just a few days, if that long. Are people buying long distance without actually going to look at and inspect the trailers? How is that done? I am a newby... makes me nervous to go that route although it seems I'm missing out on potentials....
Curious how people are accomplishing their purchase so quickly...........
We purchased our Casita sight unseen and never having actually even seen one. We had some ideas about what we thought we wanted from having camped in a teardrop trailer for a year or so.

Other than that, we relied on the trailer only being a few years old, 25 medium-resolution pictures on a dealer's website page, and gut feel. I jawed with the salesman and learned that he was an old hand in the RV business. I figured this gave him the knowledge to make a reasonable assessment of the trailer's general condition. Plus, "he seemed like a nice fellow". I specifically asked if the trailer had any odors, stains, or any other negative aspects that we could not see in the pictures. Shockingly, he said - (drum roll) - no, it was in super-nice condition! At least he didn't call it a cream puff.

We were really sort of riding the wind on this whole deal because it would have amounted to a he-said she-said if we didn't agree with his assessment when the trailer was delivered. Vehicle purchase contracts always seem to exclude verbal representations for some reason or another that I have never figured out. I considered driving the 400 miles each-way to validate the trailer's condition as we had placed a $1,000 deposit on a credit card with the rest to be paid by cashier's check. I figured the credit card company might even back me up if we got into a rhubarb. However, in the end I went with his word and he was ultimately proved an honest man. There weren't even any tiny scratches or dings on the fiberglass counter tops.

The trailer was initially listed at much too high a price. Several interested parties who got there before us had failed to make an offer agreeable to the dealer or the owner (it was a consignment). I think the final factor that tipped the scales in our favor was that we probably paid more than we shoulda-coulda. (That's always something that has puzzled me. Over 84% of the people I talk with got an above-average deal on their last major purchase. How does that work? )

Anyways, now having spent over a year generally exploring the dim recesses of most every nook and cranny, it does appear that it had been well cared-for and used very little. We've been very happy with it. Mind you I am not recommending what we did and I've counseled others here to be more conservative. This is only my response to how people are accomplishing their purchase so quickly...........
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:41 PM   #8
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Florida
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I 2nd. what Floyd said. Have your bags packed and traveling money in hand and vehicle ready to tow. When trailers were cheaper I had payment money in hand. The best way to deal with larger payments now is to open an account and have money pre-deposited in a nationwide bank like Bank of America or Wells Fargo. Hopefully there will be a branch near the seller. After you inspect the trailer you both can go to the bank and the seller can give you the title and you can give him cash or a bank check. Sellers usually like cash.
Wiring money takes time and costs money. I will usually offer a small down payment through Pay Pal but most sellers will hold the trailer if you are serious and you can get there in a reasonable amount of time. (600 mi. per day.)
Do your homework on the trailer you are thinking about buying and ask the seller serious questions. The seller can tell if he is dealing with a serious buyer buy the questions you ask.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:49 PM   #9
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Name: Lucy
Trailer: Casita 17' SD
Tennessee
Posts: 17
Thank you for info

I so appreciate all the great tips and advice you all are sharing. I will continue to look and research in hopes of finding a good one. I'm learning a lot from all of you... Thanks so much!!!
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:01 PM   #10
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Name: Shelby
Trailer: Casita SD
Tennessee
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Reading Mike's comments made me realize I probably would not have thought to ask about smells! Probably still some trailers out there that have been smoked in and I know from the forums that some folks keep animals in their trailers. An unpleasant odor could keep you awake at night.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:09 PM   #11
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Name: kootenai girl
Trailer: 2010 Escape 17B
British Columbia
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It is hard as it is usually a sellers market. Make sure if you give a deposit you can afford to lose it, though hopefully that won't happen My experience is most people are honest but of course some aren't.
I find when chatting with the sellers you can often get a good idea of how well they have kept the trailer by asking lots of questions and I like it when I get a sense they are attached to their trailer and want it to go to a good home.

I have bought several trailers long distance, had a really good experience with an Airstream dealership buying a Casita and a very poor experience with another dealership buying a Scamp. (condition was not as described) I have met some wonderful folks while buying their trailer and only had one bad experience with a guy who was flipping and took my deposit and then sold the trailer to another party but kept my deposit. Had to get the police involved and I was very lucky to get my $500 back. That has made me a little less trusting.

Good luck in your search, you can also ask if there any forum members in that location if you see a trailer for sale. Most of us are passionate about these little trailers and like to look at them. Obviously the condition would be that person's perspective only.
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:14 PM   #12
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
The best way to deal with larger payments now is to open an account and have money pre-deposited in a nationwide bank like Bank of America or Wells Fargo. Hopefully there will be a branch near the seller. After you inspect the trailer you both can go to the bank and the seller can give you the title and you can give him cash or a bank check. Sellers usually like cash.
I think this is really great advice. In fact, this is what our buyer did when I sold our teardrop. I held the trailer a few days on a verbal until he drove some 150 miles on the weekend to check it out. When he was satisfied, we drove down to the local Chase branch where they made out a cashier's check while I waited. It worked out great for all concerned.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:20 AM   #13
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
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Remember, every experience will be unique and for every good one you can find one bad one...or more.?. or vice-a-versa.
I was burned on Craigslist and lost $500 once.
other then heading cross country to get revenge I had no recourse.
Be cautious and smart.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:38 AM   #14
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Name: carolyn
Trailer: 2005 casita sd
Michigan
Posts: 96
We had a very good experience with Craig's List. Called the seller, he said he had several lookers, one guy got there and he was too tall! talk about not doing your homework, so the seller told us we were next in line and could come see it. Had to drive 900 miles to as far west in the Michigan UP as there is, but we vacation on Lake Superior any way, loved the Casita and paid cash right there. Again, feeling very uncomfortable about carrying so much cash, but seller was great, Casita perfect (a 2005 16 foot SD), and we have loved it ever since. So it all depends on serendipity as to how things will work out for you. We wish you the best. One thing about Casita, it seems they are so well made, well maintained, age gracefully with little repairs needed. (thus the higher resale prices), but they are worth it.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:00 AM   #15
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Trailer: Casita
Georgia
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I just recently purchased a two year old Casita sight unseen from 425 miles away. This was exactly what I wanted and the newer trailers go so quickly I called her immediately. We agreed upon a price, assuming I was satisfied with her representation of the trailer and I sent a $500 deposit to hold the trailer until I could get there in a month. I was risking the $500 if I wasn't satisfied with it, but that was a risk that I was willing to take to get what I wanted. Everything worked out fine for me.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:25 AM   #16
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You can see several in a rally like this :

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/c...-13&e=6184&c=1
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:30 PM   #17
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Name: Marilyn
Trailer: 13 ft 2005 Scamp Deluxe; 2002 Subaru V6 Outback
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A couple of tips for buying long distance

Watch the ads and get an idea of pricing of the trailer/model/features you wish to buy.
1. Contact owner immediately. Request to hold for 1-2 days so you have time to drive to see it/get it inspected by a third party.

2. If you can't drive, arrange with a trailer sales/service local to the seller. For a small fee, they may inspect the trailer for you. Have them verify title/fax facsimile to you to insure ownership. If owner refuses inspection, move on - something's wrong (ownership, scam, major problems, etc).

3. Arrange with your bank to transfer funds at your request after you agree to buy. The seller and I went to his bank who's mgr contacted my bank mgr and made the transfer of funds. Purchase contracts can be faxed.

4. Do not send any money without inspection/viewing. Contract/title and money exchange should be simultaneous.

Long distance buying can be done. Good luck in finding your trailer.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:38 PM   #18
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Name: Mon
Trailer: 13' 2008 Scamp...YAY!
Missouri
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When I found "my" trailer, I drove 1,600 miles...ONE way...to get it. Sent a deposit check to hold it, paid the remainder in cash when I got there.

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Old 01-10-2017, 09:54 AM   #19
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft (25B25RQ)
Colorado
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We have purchased one new and four used fiberglass trailers since 2004. The first one was two blocks from our house in Anchorage, Alaska. I noticed that it hadn't moved in two years, so I knocked on the door and asked about it. It had not been listed for sale but the owner wasn't using it anymore and sold it to me the next day. A year later, I made an 8000 mile round trip to Texas to pick up a new Casita I had ordered.


After moving back to the lower 48, I started chasing deals on used Bigfoot trailers. The closest was 500 miles away, then 1100 miles, the most recent about 700 miles. On every one of those, I was ready to hit the road within a day of contacting the owner. I made no advance deposits, but all the owners said they would hold it for me as the first caller and they did. All were reasonably priced within the market at the time, so I didn't insult the sellers with low-ball offers. I have also had the same great experiences as the seller on four trailers with great people coming a long way to buy them from me.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:08 AM   #20
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Name: Talia
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr.
USA
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I bought my '72 Compact Jr sight unseen, other than photos that the seller posted. Then I drove across several states to go pick it up, and towed it back home without any problems. I got it for what I consider a fair price, both for me and for the seller. I did find that it had a crossbar and two outriggers separated from the frame, but since I had always planned to pull the body from the frame and have it reinforced anyway, it added less than $100 to the cost of the frame alterations. I don't believe the seller was aware of those issues, because I couldn't see them until I actually got the trailer gutted and the floor completely out.

Long story short, there was a moderate amount of damage to the trailer that I wasn't aware of when I bought it, but it wasn't enough to make much of a difference in repairing/renovating it in the long run. I'll end up putting about $3000 into it all told, including the purchase price, and I'll end up with a trailer that has had a frame-off renovation, and is worth at least $4500 or more.

I'd buy long-distance again. You just have to be aware that it's more risky than being able to see things in person.
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