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Need Help with Travel Trailer Purchase.

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gary murray View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 March 2011 at 06:47
I broke down and bought a travel trailer for $1200.00. He originally wanted $1500.00. I haven't paid him yet as i have to go out of town to pick it up when the roads get better. What should i be looking at when i see it in person? I know to look for water stains on the ceiling and soft spots on the floor. Anything else? I agreed to buy it from seeing some pics but the deal isn't final until i check it over. I just want something a little more comfortable for hunting as i've been using a tent and stove for the last few years. Here's a pic.






Edited by gary murray
If you can sue McDonalds for getting you fat then why can't you sue the alcohol companies for all the ugly people you ended up sleeping with?
Penticton, B.C. Canada
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2011 at 07:07

If it has a furnace I'd check the gas bottle, make sure it is the new type that you can refill (they changed about 8 years ago and the old style can't be refilled).  Also the gas regulator.

If it has an electric refrigerator, check to see if it gets cold.

If you take a bricklayers 90o you can check the sides and top to see if they are square.

Most trailers this size have surge brakes, with a master cylinder on the tongue and wheel cylinders on each wheel.  You can cycle the master cylinder with a large screwdriver.  or take you hitch receiver with ball off and use it to pump the master cylinder.  If it doesn't pump fluid in, then the wheel cylinders or the master cylinder is rusted solid.  If a brake line is rusted trough, you can see or hear the fluid coming out.  I'm a brake nut for trailers, as I trailer down hills a lot.  figure new brake backing plates loaded at about $85, new master cylinder about $140, steel brake lines and two flexible lines on that size is about another $70.  these could be negotiating points down, if you don't want brakes.  Not sure if Canada requires you inspect trailer brakes annually, if so figure the $$$ now.

 

Might want to take a pair of jumper cables to connect you truck batter to the unit to see if the 12 volt lights waork.

Certainly you should check the trailer light/brake/turn signals.  Plug them into your truck system to check.  trailer lights are always fun Confused

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gary murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gary murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2011 at 07:15
Bear.
There aren't any propane bottles with it so i'm bringing one with me to hook up to check everything. I believe it's a propane fridge too. He said to not use a 12 volt car battery but a marine one instead. Is there a difference in the two? My truck is hooked up for electric brakes also.

Gary
If you can sue McDonalds for getting you fat then why can't you sue the alcohol companies for all the ugly people you ended up sleeping with?
Penticton, B.C. Canada
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2011 at 08:59

No difference, with marine vs auto/truck batteries.  The Marine "DEEP cycle" batteries that are used for electric trolling motors do last longer, but are twice as expensive.  so use you auto/truck battery for test Maybe take a pair of jumper cables to mae an easy quick check.

Is the trailer hooked up for electric brakes?  if so you can check them with just a coat stop.  You should hear the electric brakes on the trailer when your stop light goes on.  Some are air over electric, where the solinoid on the trailer just pushes on a master cylinder to operate hydraulic brakes.

Good luck, I love the size of that rig....just big enough and pulls like nothing is back there.

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RobertMT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2011 at 17:34

For that size trailer, brakes are nice but not really needed, you can update you gas connection fairly easy if need be for the new tanks, although you can use old connection on new tank, they have thread in center that accepts old style, you don't need a lot of battery unless you have forced air furnace.  Pics not too good but here's my hunting trailer 24' and I pull it all over MT ice, snow, gumbo, 4x4 roads, I never bothered to hook brakes up, I just keep it under 80 while towing trailer.  A few times on logging roads and skidtrails, it would be nice, to have brakes, I just throw a chain on one axle or tire and it keeps it straight enough. I paid 1,000 for it ten yrs ago, I leave it out in woods or prairie for a months at a time and nobody bothers it.  It's dry, warm and ugly.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 March 2011 at 18:01

On the front of that trailer, third pic down check for leaks where the rock guard is coming apart, when they are pulled on gravel roads, rocks will put dents and small holes in alum. 

On fourth pic, check for leaks where cracks have been patched at each top corner of door.  It's common to crack siding there, but make sure leak was caught early.

These are both good points to work on price a little bit, from what I can see in pics it looks clean inside and out, price seems fair for around here anyways.  It seems like the smaller trailers, hold their value well and you can enjoy it for few years and still get your money back. 

I would paint it with bedliner type paint (across bottom front) or put new rubber or plywood guard across there.  If you weld, you can run a piece of 2x2 angle across front of hitch frame (next to trailer, but make sure you have clearance for tight turns) and mount your spare tires, one on each side up there.  On a single axle you want it balanced a little tongue heavy, it keeps it from whipping at hwy speeds.

If it doesn't have spare tire and wheel, you will want at least one.  I drive on a lot of dirt/gravel roads so I carry at least one for every 50 miles of gravel road, that's at least two spares, up to four for me.  I also carry at least two for truck.  If you go to tire store you can get used takeoffs for $10 each mounted here, if you have to buy one in BFE, it'll be up to $100.  I get used wheels at wrecking yards for $10 up to $15, wheels of older small cars usually work, take one with you to be sure.  I don't waste the money balancing trailer tires.  I do grease the wheel bearings yearly though.



Edited by RobertMT
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gary murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gary murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2011 at 03:53
Thanx Robert. I asked the guy about it and he never bothered with the brake box. He drives a half ton dodge and had no problems towing it. I drive a Ford F150 so i wont have a problem either. He told me when he first got it that it leaked a little but doesn't anymore. He was honest enough to tell me that. I will reseal the roof area and vents with roofing goop. I used to build campers and motorhomes at a place i once worked so i do have a bit of a know how on small repairs. I'm also a licensed welder so welding tire holders wont be a problem either. I agree with you on buying older tires. I'm not going to spend a fortune on new ones for something i will only use part time. The reason he's selling it is that it's too small for him, his wife and 3 kids and wants something bigger. I just need to get used to backing these things up. You should see me trying to back up my aluminum boat trailer. It's a gong show.

Gary


Edited by gary murray
If you can sue McDonalds for getting you fat then why can't you sue the alcohol companies for all the ugly people you ended up sleeping with?
Penticton, B.C. Canada
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RobertMT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2011 at 04:11

Single axle trailers are a pain to backup, no doubt.  I learned on the farm on trailers, before I got to drive on the road.  The way I was taught and the way I've helped others, take your hand, put it on the bottom of the steering wheel, you the move your hand in direction you want trailer to go, you want to go slow and make small corrections and if it starts going wacky, stop, pull ahead a few feet to get back straight and go again. 

Now if you want fun, back up a set of doubles or triples, you can get all kinked up in a hurry.

Your F150 will pull that trailer no problem at all, put a rack in the back of PU for your atvs and you're good to go.

I pull my Alum boat behind my camp trailer, don't try that with a single axle camper, it gets hairy real quick in the wind.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gary murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2011 at 04:35
I'm limited for room in my back alley so if i do mess up backing up i will only be able to compensate a few inches at a time. I wish i could be like you and just park it in the mountains but around here you are guaranteed to go up there and find the door pried open and everything raped and pillaged.

Gary
If you can sue McDonalds for getting you fat then why can't you sue the alcohol companies for all the ugly people you ended up sleeping with?
Penticton, B.C. Canada
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RobertMT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2011 at 14:30

My trailers, campers, and boats are way too ugly to worry about being raped. 

 

I leave them unlocked and have never had anyone mess with anything.  I did have a bear open up a cabover camper once though. I've heard of scumbags, stealing the propane tanks or batteries in woods southwest of here.  On the eastside, I leave food, clothes and spare rifle in camper and never worry about it, sometimes the cows will leave you a new "doormat" though.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote varmintcaller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2013 at 16:46
Everyone has just about got it covered, My only suggestion is to run a garden hose with full pressure around any roof vents you have where the vent attatches to the roof, make sure there are no leaks. Also check the water pump for moss, that will indicate your water tank needs cleaning, to remove the moss from your water tank, drain the tank, pour in 1/2 cup of liquid bleach and fill the tank with water. I leave mine about a week, then drain and flush with water three or four times

Edited by varmintcaller
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ursus Major Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2013 at 17:26

post is a few years old.  but info is still good.

Foo has a similiar unit but it has a 12" hole in the roof...he considers it a shower unit!!!

Will shoot gophers for booze
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