Disappointing purchase

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by AH1, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. AH1

    AH1 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2018
    newbies here who didn’t make a very good first purchase.

    We saw what looked like a good condition 2004 Flagstaff classic located near family (who are popup owners). About 5 hrs from us. Family members met owner and looked it over but apparently had no idea quite how thorough the inspection should have been (and I guess wasn’t). Made purchase. Advertised excellent maintaince etc has proved incorrect. It was professionally patched (they disclosed this) after a mouse problem but today on our first trip we had lots of leaking on bunk ends. Canvas and vinyl had lots of mold and staining and I spent countless hours cleaning the best we could. Sink is plugged after a little use, a wheel well had a massive hole that would have let mice and water in so we’ve fixed that best we could, soft spots have been found in multiple spots. Many other issues are surfacing which weren’t evident in initial inspection my family member did. Seller says sorry it’s old and we maintained it well... lessons learned by us as this is proving a costly mistake.

    We could never sell this and get our money back. Do we bite the bullet and purchase new vinyl/canvas? We spent way more than what I know Think it is worth.

    So frustrated with ourselves. Any advice appreciated.
     
  2. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Active Member

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    Your purpose in buying the camper was to go camping not make an investment. If you are happy with the "bones" of it then keep it and fix it up to your personal level of "in shape". If you aren't happy with its bones, then get rid of it now and start over.

    What I mean by bones is the floorplan and basic comfort level of the trailer - rather than its condition. You can change its condition with hard work, but if it's not the layout or basic comfort level you want (e.g., full bath, number of beds, etc), then you will never really like it.

    And don't stress over getting bulldozed. My first trailer I thought I knew what I was doing. Fell for the "can hook up to water because the hoses are put away for the freeze". Got it home and when I went to fill the fresh water, it started gushing water out from under the cabinets. Discovered the hot water tank had been split in half and the jerk wrapped it in brand new insulation so I wouldn't see. $600 for a new tank and heater. I had it for 3 years and did some fix up before I decided to get the clipper. Have spent a LOT more on that!!! And I still love it. So far haven't needed any real repair on the FnR, but if it needs something I will do it. It 's what I want and everything I do is one thing I can look at and say "it's mine and I enjoy it".
     
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  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    You bought it, Just takes time, tools and some money to repair it. Look at the positive side
    you will not feel too bad when you start "making it you own" with a new one you might back off any upgrades. Just take it on the cuff and re-do it just as you want it to suit your and the family's needs and wants. You will find that a lot of the repairs are minor and quickly repaired, some not so easy but it can still be done and in a timely manor.
    Good luck and Happy Camping
     
    BelchFire likes this.
  4. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

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    I'm really sorry to hear of your problem and it happens way too often. I ended up with a pup that my son-in-law inspected for me and he had no idea how to check the roof and it is rotted so bad that I will have to build a completely new roof. It sounds from your posting that you didn't open your pup until you went camping. That would be a major newbie mistake. Any used camper should be opened and inspected, cleaned, all systems checked, canvas cleaned and waterproofed if needed.
     
  5. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Active Member

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    Don't dispair, there's no such thing as a perfect camper with anything used. I thought mine was blemish free when purchasing a few months ago. Seems like lift systems are not maintained properly on many PUP'S as ours was no exception. Consequently I'm having to replace the lift cable but I think that's not so bad as it provides me an opportunity to learn more about how to maintain it. If you have simple things like that to do then I wouldn't get too overwhelmed as new parts were only 50 bucks. If you have rotten flooring, walls or roof, that's a bit more daunting and is a more serious undertaking. Are you handy with a tape measure and power saw?
     
  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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  7. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    My rule for buying used stuff:
    There is no way anyone can find everything an unscrupulous seller tried to hide. If you find one thing that was intentionally hidden then just walk away.
     
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  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Active Member

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    I don't necessarily agree with that. Had I just walked away from that first trailer, I would not have been able to afford another for at least a year. That would have been an entire year minimum of no camping and what if the next one had a problem. By keeping it, I was able to go camping - and that was my goal. If I found things that didn't work, I found a workaround until I could fix it. Never let any of it stop me from camping. Fridge died - got ice. Converter died - used lanterns. Then fixed when I could.
     
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  9. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Is the canvas molded because you closed it up wet or damp on your first trip?

    I don't think you need to replace the canvas. After a good cleaning just seam seal and waterproof it.

    A hole in the wheel well is not a big deal just patch it as I'm sure you did.

    As far as soft spots you need to figure out how they got that way before attempting to fix them.

    What you describe sounds perfectly doable and I see no reason to throw in the towel on it.

    BTW, lots of people get screwed over to some extent on their first camper purchase. Happens often to even experienced buyers. It's almost right of passage. o_O
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  10. terry1419

    terry1419 Active Member

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    I know you are trying to take some of the sting out of their pain but I don't agree that EVERYONE gets screwed over on their first pup purchase. I was lucky on my first one and I'm sure many other new owners, either by luck or careful inspection, were happy with their first purchase. Saying that it's a right of passage sends a message that a purchase of a used pup, car, truck, home etc. needs to be a terrible and disappointing experience. Sure there are always little things that need to be repaired or changed. Your advice not to throw in the towel is wise, at least until they determine the extent of needed repairs.
     
    Orchid likes this.
  11. Fixitup

    Fixitup Active Member

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    Jun 7, 2016
    Sounds like your family screwed you over as well. Try and make lemonaide out of your lemons. Good luck!
     
  12. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Active Member

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    As a retired home inspector, it was sometimes helpful to the client if I could tell them if a detected problem was major or minor. That helped them to not free about the small stuff (everything material has stuff) and look at important issues. Sometimes they'd overreact and see all issues as major. Establish through a comprehensive inspection all of the structural systems, including the floor, walls, cabinets and roof. Also inspect the electrical, plumbing, heat and cooling and appliances. Lastly you have a frame, axle and wheels. Assess all these systems as in need of repair or ok. Make a list of issues that need repair. Take that list and give a cost for each repair. Total that and you have an overall picture of what it's going to take to repair the camper. Don't dispair at this point as there may be smaller issues you can deal with later like having to replace a vinyl floor that's scuffed up from normal wear and tear. (mine). If your list only has some minor issues then by putting things into perspective you get the bigger picture and don't overreact. Does your camper truly have major structural issues with flooring, walls and roof or do you have a bunch of what we'd call Nick Nack things?
     
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  13. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say walk away from a problem, I said walk away if you find the seller intentionally hid something. That's my philosophy you don't have to agree. I won't do business with a crook.
     
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Active Member

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    If you find out before the purchase, then yes, walk away. But once the purchase is made (as with the OP), it's too late for that. My comments have been based on the purchase having already been made when the deception is discovered.
     
  15. MsMac

    MsMac Active Member

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    On our first outing with our PUP, the end piece of our roof over the smaller bunk literally fell off as we were cranking it up. The wood was, of course, rotten, and could not hold the weight of the canvas. We were able to fix it enough so that we could get our two nights camping, and my partner spent his evenings over the course of the next week replacing it.

    It was hard, at the time, not to question what the seller knew or didn't know about this at the time of the sale, several days prior. I know my partner was questioning it a lot. But, I came to the conclusion that being peeved at the seller, or about the overall circumstance, wasn't going to change that we had the PUP and needed to do what we needed to do to get it in workable shape. Literally, it was what it was.

    We were fortunate in that my partner is very handy and the repair cost about $30 in wood. But I think that if the repair was more costly, we would have found a way to do it, partly because selling a "project PUP" is a huge hit in the wallet, but I think more because we would be focused on getting out camping in the PUP that we wanted.

    I know people have different feelings on these sorts of things, just putting my own out there.

    Wish you the best OP.
     
  16. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    OK, then in that case you own it. When you said if you "walked away from the first trailer" I got the impression you were going to buy it no matter what you found.
     
  17. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    True. I should have said "lots of people." I also didn't mean to sound like a purchase should be a disappointment, just like there are usually a few things that need done.

    It can be a positive when you get to know your camper by working on it. I just never dwell on the negative.

    All in all this purchase sounds like it needs very little work. Soft spots, after finding and fixing the source of them, don't necessarily mean tearing out the floor.

    Mimimal damage can be spot repaired with wood hardener and filler. Then you have an excuse to pick out new flooring to your taste. Peel & stick is cheap.

    Always smile and move forward. You can't change the past, but can make enough sweet memories with loved ones to make any price paid well worth it.
     
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  18. AH1

    AH1 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2018
    Thank you everyone for the responses! I read them to my husband on the trip home. We did open the PUP as soon as we got it and spent many, many hours on repairs. I just don't know that the vinyl & canvas will be salvageable much past this season. We do want to camp and so we do plan to make the best of what we have for now and improve what we can! We will have to have a serious heart-to-heart and honest evaluation of the repairs still required to make the final call on if we move on from this purchase or repair it! Trying to move past the sting of disappointment and make the best of it!
     
    Orchid likes this.
  19. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    Dont forget we are here to help and Pictures will help us help you.
     
  20. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Pictures ! Is the canvas ripped or hard in spots? Maybe it can be resealed?
     

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