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Old 08-01-2018, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Considering buying a camper, bad idea?

Been thinking about buying a camper for awhile to upgrade from tents and my pop up since my wife and I had a baby. Found a 2005 jayco 27' jayflight for around $6000 obo, I think I can get it for less. Really good shape except tires are getting dry rotted. My only reservation is I don't know how much use we would get from it, we haven't used the pop up much due to tarp holes and the mosquitos that find them. Also not having privacy or a bathroom gets old with a baby.

I don't want it to be like a hot tub and never use it after the first few months.

I know it's impossible to predict someone else's use of something, but I'm looking for others experience.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Look very very carefully for water leak damage. Especially the ceiling and floor. 2005 is on the old side for camper. They start leaking the day they roll out of the factory, and have a short life span. In the 70's, our family camper provided the best memories growing up. I made it a point to provide one for my kids and wife.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The whole use thing depends on you. I just got back a few hrs ago from buying a 2004 Sandpiper 37ft toyhauler for 5k. Its been sitting and needs a couple small things but for 5k Im happy with the deal.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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After the new wears off and if you are committed to using it, youíll use it once a month, on average. If you are good with that, then go for it.

Itís better than a pop up and way better than a tent. Once you get a routine down, it wonít take much to set up and tear down.

Although we donít use ours as much as we would like too, we absolutely love being in our trailer.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No water damage, I combed it inside and out. I've been looking at few and have seen leaks on others. Also has been stored inside during winter.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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After the new wears off and if you are committed to using it, youíll use it once a month, on average. If you are good with that, then go for it.

Itís better than a pop up and way better than a tent. Once you get a routine down, it wonít take much to set up and tear down.

Although we donít use ours as much as we would like too, we absolutely love being in our trailer.
I think you ment year.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As has been mentioned, leaks are always a problem. Even after purchasing you'll need to stay vigilant about the caulking on the roof and seams. Dry rot on tires is always an issue and was plumbing on our trailer. Wiring was a trainwreck from the factory.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you ment year.
Ror. Not us. us and most of our friends are on about a 12 times a year schedule, but I do have some friends that use the piss out if theirs and a few others that are ďonce a yearĒ.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The whole use thing depends on you. I just got back a few hrs ago from buying a 2004 Sandpiper 37ft toyhauler for 5k. Its been sitting and needs a couple small things but for 5k Im happy with the deal.
A toy hauler would be sweet but I can't find anything in that price range
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A toy hauler would be sweet but I can't find anything in that price range
Interested in an 04 Sandpiper 37ft toyhauler? 3 slides, 12ft garage, good tires. Make ya a deal at $6500
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have no regrets. Wife was tired of tenting it and truth be told, I was too. And when my daughter was born, forget it. It was time to dive in. Due to storage space and such at the house I went with a truck camper mounted to the front of my flatbed trailer with room for the YJ behind it. It works great for us. Wife loves it, daughter loves it, I love it. I only really get to use it two to three times a year but it is 1,000% worth it to me.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My wife surprised me with a camper van a few years back, and we love it. A hard roof and propane furnace make it so pleasant, even in the winter. We probably average every 6 weeks. I really like having a dedicated camping setup where we can just get in and drive away, instead of tearing the garage apart and playing Tetris packing. Coming directly from tent camping, the little van seems like a great size for us and our 9yo.

I do have to try really hard to avoid Quigley conversion websites.

Kinda like this:
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Go for it. We went from tent to popup to hybrid trailer to motorhome. The best thing we did was join a camping club. The planning was always done by someone else all we had to do is say we are in. It is also nice that our kids have camping friends. I will tell you that it is so much easier with young ones. When they get older the activities, mainly sports, really take a lot of your camping time away. Once a month is what we averaged for several years and it was worth every penny.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As has been mentioned, leaks are always a problem. Even after purchasing you'll need to stay vigilant about the caulking on the roof and seams.
Caulking is fine for a few gaps, but when it really starts to go you need to pull off the moulding, scrape off the old butyl tape and caulk, and redo the butyl tape.


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Old 08-02-2018, 03:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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At that price you can afford to let it sit around until you have the time to use it.
We just sold our 29' fifth wheel camper, I loved it, just no time to use it. My wife has to take care of her Mom on the weekends now We are thinking buying a short tow behind once that ordeal is over with, no I don't mean when she passes but when she goes into a supervised home.
When our kids were little we camped all the time, great times and great memories.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Interested in an 04 Sandpiper 37ft toyhauler? 3 slides, 12ft garage, good tires. Make ya a deal at $6500

Pics.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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We use our camper (travel trailer) about 40 night cumulatively from May thru Oct. We did the same, started with tents, had a kid, went with a pop-up. Then two kids and went small hybrid and then more kids to a bunk house camper and a vasectomy. But all bought used.
Looking for water leaks is a good rule of thumb, but they are not always obvious to the eye but soft floors, especially in the bath room is the dead give-away of water inclusion.
My general gauge for camper condition is to look at the amount of preventive maintenance/repairs the previous owner(s) perform.
For something that is at least 5 years old should have had the roof seams lap sealed at least once, so look for that. I look at roof vents and skylights as well.
Iíll avoid any camper if side vents or utility covers are broken and not replaced, they are dirt cheap and can be replaced with a screw driver and some butyl tape.
Anything at or around 8-10 years and has a rubber roof, that roof should be recoated.
If I am close to buying, Iíll pop off the tire/hub and look at the bearings.
Tires being old and dry rot lead me to believe that owners were too high on preventative maintenance.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If you take them for what they are, a quickly thrown together shed on a flexy trailer frame sold for a ridiculous price you'll be fine.

I've rebuild a few campers from low end to higher end ones it's amazing how bad the workmanship is. When you can't be bothered with getting an outlet straight, or trim to line up I can't imagine you care too much about butyl tape being applied properly, or getting anything to seal right. Especially when most of their warranties are so short by the time a problem shows itself it's "not their problem".

I've had a lot of campers and currently have one, and will buy them as they come along needing work I can fix and resale.

My advice is to check for leaks inside and out, especially inside the storage doors on the paneling inside down by the floor.
Get up on the roof and crawl around and see if you feel any weak spots, like around anything mounted to the roof and the front and back seams.
Make sure everything works, especially the fridge as it's the most expensive appliance to replace.

When/If you get it, reseal around everything on the roof with lap sealant, then recoat the rubber and reseal around everything on the sides with Proflex RV caulk and store it under something like a carport to keep it dry and out of the sun.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
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We use our camper (travel trailer) about 40 night cumulatively from May thru Oct. We did the same, started with tents, had a kid, went with a pop-up. Then two kids and went small hybrid and then more kids to a bunk house camper and a vasectomy. But all bought used.
Did you get the kids and the vasectomy used too?
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:26 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Did you get the kids and the vasectomy used too?
Kids came new after the used vasectomy.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:28 AM   #21 (permalink)
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First year you will use it a bunch, second year not as much, third year you will be like "I need to use this more" and plan some trips. On the second outing you will find a giant soft spot in the wall, then the water pump will fail on the 3rd trip, blowouts on the 4th trip, etc...
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:07 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Caulking is fine for a few gaps, but when it really starts to go you need to pull off the moulding, scrape off the old butyl tape and caulk, and redo the butyl tape.


What about any of the new silicon based roof treatments their using on homes now? Cover the whole trailer roof and edge seams, wouldnt that work?
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:10 AM   #23 (permalink)
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campers suck and are built like total crap.

I spend a lot of time in mine and around them. my advice...

Its takes owning a camper to know what you want. the first one you get will not be right for you. but it will teach you what you like and what you dont like for the next one. so dive in.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm not buying another till I retire. they will never make sense financially. but I have a problem with acquiring stuff. so my advise is worth what your paying for it. I would buy a van if I found one reasonable.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:21 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Its takes owning a camper to know what you want. the first one you get will not be right for you. but it will teach you what you like and what you dont like for the next one. so dive in.
This^^^ but you will never get the perfect rig. All of them have their pros and cons and it seems every time we have found a feature we really like, we found a nice feature that the new one doesn't have. We started out tenting, then went pickup camper, TransVan, Conversion van, one week with pop up LOL, a Class C motorhome, then 2 different Class A motorhomes and now a 5th wheel. We have bought new and used.

You can never justify the cost on a spreadsheet. However, the convenience of packing/unpacking only at home, carrying all your shit with you and never forgetting anything, packing for every scenario from cold rain to hot sun and not, sleeping in your own bed, feeling comfortable sitting on a chair in your whitey tighties not wondering who was sitting in it last night , and feeling at home wherever you are at are the reasons to own a camper.

Tenting can be a blast in perfect weather.......... which happens about 10% of the time when you are camping.
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