Used Camper - Things to Look Out For


  #1  
Old 07-11-16, 07:43 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,139
Received 16 Votes on 11 Posts
Used Camper - Things to Look Out For

I'm looking at used camper trailers and would like to know what sorts of things I should watch out for. I have never owned one before and am completely in the dark. This is an example of the type I am considering: 2010 Cruiser Rv Corp Fun Finder 210WBS, CULPEPER VA - - RVtrader.com
 
  #2  
Old 07-11-16, 09:15 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,242
Received 894 Votes on 824 Posts
You've been around the block enough that your instincts will tell you a lot. Obviously there is trying things to find out what does and does not work. At that price point whether or not the AC and fridge work will be a major point. The stove and plumbing fixtures can usually be fixed for a reasonable amount. Then I'd look closely for signs of leaks. I would also fill the water tank and try the plumbing to verify that nothing froze and split a water or holding tank.

Personally I like to have brakes on any trailer regardless of size. If that one doesn't have them you can add them to one or both axles if you find the need. But the trailer you linked looks nice.
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-16, 09:27 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,139
Received 16 Votes on 11 Posts
Thanks for the pointers. If I had brakes installed, what would I need to do to my truck to accommodate them? What would be the typical cost of doing so?
 
  #4  
Old 07-11-16, 10:06 AM
G
Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 699
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
https://www.easternmarine.com/Brake-...ehicle-Wiring/ I bought mine from etrailer though. Some more wiring involved now that I look at this site.
 
  #5  
Old 07-11-16, 12:48 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,242
Received 894 Votes on 824 Posts
The vehicle is relatively easy. Buyold already linked to brake controllers which you'd need. And you'd need to wire your tow vehicle and install a 6 or 7 pin (7 is the most common) connector on the tow vehicle. Then it's installing the brakes on the trailer. You can keep the existing axles and add the brake assemblies and toss the non brake hubs for hubs with drums. Then wire up the brakes to the trailer tow plug.

If you do do it please pick an industry standard like a 7 blade connector. I've seen too many hacks try adding brake control and do something totally odd just to retain the old 4 pin connector. They end up with a tow vehicle that can only work with that one trailer and it can be a pain to diagnose if there is a problem.
 
  #6  
Old 07-11-16, 02:04 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,781
Received 34 Votes on 31 Posts
Towing Capacity

By all means, make sure the roof is in good condition.

Since you already own the tow vehicle, verify its towing capacity.

I like for the trailer gross weight to be at or below 75% of the towing capacity of the tow vehicle. The trailer gross weight can be found on a decal on the trailer.

Some tow vehicles have some of the wiring present for adding a brake controller and hitch wiring. Check with your truck dealer on this or refer to your owners manual.

You can get some good pointers from an RV dealer, also.
 
  #7  
Old 07-11-16, 02:12 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,059
Received 1,505 Votes on 1,393 Posts
I have to echo the comments on the roof. Take a ladder and visually inspect it.

Having worked on motor homes and trailers for many years I've seen many roof looks and major damage.... some not easily visible inside.
 
  #8  
Old 07-11-16, 02:41 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,116
Received 343 Votes on 296 Posts
My dad travels with a 5th wheel trailer and he has said to me in the past that the weakest ling of the trailer has been the water system. Not really leaks because it is all plumbed in PEX, be more of things like the water heater, pump, etc. Just remember that trailers are built using the highest of quality materials. Everything is built like a mobile home.
 
  #9  
Old 07-11-16, 03:12 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 635
Received 44 Votes on 35 Posts
Water leaks/damage should be a first priority and buy from a private party if at all possible, you can thank me later.
 
  #10  
Old 07-18-16, 10:28 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,139
Received 16 Votes on 11 Posts
This is kind of what I had in mind. Although the listing doesn't mention AC or heat. It's very humid in VA, so AC is a must. I can do without heat, although that would be nice as well. Is it relatively easy to add AC and heat to a trailer like this one? I see a vent in the floor and the fan unit in the ceiling, so maybe it does have both.

2008 Sunset Trail by Cross Roads
 
  #11  
Old 07-18-16, 10:42 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,139
Received 16 Votes on 11 Posts
The owner replied. It has ducted propane heat and roof mounted AC.

He also said it has brakes on both axles, but said they are not electric. Does this mean it has hydraulic surge brakes that are engaged upon the trailer sensing the braking of the two vehicle? If that's the case, then I don't need to do anything to my truck correct? Just hook the trailer up to my hitch and go?
 

Last edited by mossman; 07-18-16 at 12:28 PM.
  #12  
Old 07-18-16, 04:18 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,116
Received 343 Votes on 296 Posts
If they are not electric then they would be hydraulic surge brakes. You will be able to tell this because the trailer hitch will be much larger in order to house the mechanism to activate the brakes. Yes, you will not need to add any additional equipment in your truck.

Surge brakes work well but you would need to deactivate them any time you are backing the trailer up a incline.

*** EDIT ***
I just looked at the pictures in your link and that does not appear to have a surge brake actuator. Unless there is a type that I do not know about, if it has brakes, they will likely be electric which you will need to add a controller in your truck.

IMO electric brakes are better.
 
  #13  
Old 07-18-16, 04:36 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,159
Received 69 Votes on 61 Posts
What are you towing with would be my first question?



Does this mean it has hydraulic surge brakes that are engaged upon the trailer sensing the braking of the two vehicle? If that's the case, then I don't need to do anything to my truck correct? Just hook the trailer up to my hitch and go?
No Rv I know has surge brakes.. If your asking this then you most likely are inexperienced with towing various equipment..

What worry's me is the tow vehicle and weight of trailer you wish to purchase...

Its all about the tongue weight ... A honda civic will pull 10000 lbs im sure, but whats the TW on the suspension..

Payload and tires. tires carry the load..

Most vehicles will go over payload way before GVWR...

If a vehicles says it can pull 10000 lbs... IMO big deal.. If its a 4 door truck with full tank of gas and 4 adults in it and camping gear then you most likely reduced that 10000 to say 5000 lbs... Your payload of say 1600 lbs just became 800 lbs for Tongue weight ...

See what Im saying...

Best get to the scales with your tow vehicle to see exactly , to the tee, what your TV can tow... Period...
 

Last edited by lawrosa; 07-19-16 at 02:09 PM. Reason: spelling
  #14  
Old 07-19-16, 06:06 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 635
Received 44 Votes on 35 Posts
He also said it has brakes on both axles, but said they are not electric.
This is looking like a typical Craigslist scam. Anyone that has owned a trailer such as that would/should know all the particulars regarding the braking system. Major red flag to me and I would move on, there is no shortage of used trailers on the market.
 
  #15  
Old 07-20-16, 09:00 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,139
Received 16 Votes on 11 Posts
I asked for clarification and he said they are controlled by his truck, which means they are electric. Yes, it sounds a little fishy because I feel like he should know more about his trailer. He invited me to come look at it though.

I have a 2004 Toyota Tundra 2WD Access Cab with 4.7L V8, which has a manufacturer specified towing capacity of 7100 lbs. I added leaf packs (Wheeler's progressive AALs) and Bilstein shocks to beef up the back end so I'm pretty sure my truck can handle this size trailer.
 
  #16  
Old 07-20-16, 12:57 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,159
Received 69 Votes on 61 Posts
2004 Toyota Tundra 2WD Access Cab with 4.7L V8
Yes and it says towing package required... Do you have this? Its often the wire harness, hitch, trans cooler, oil cooler... Possibly bigger radiator..



I added leaf packs (Wheeler's progressive AALs) and Bilstein shocks to beef up the back end so I'm pretty sure my truck can handle this size trailer.
Beefing the suspension does not increase your payload. Your axle rating stays the same..

Whats you tires say on the side wall lbs @ max pressure?

Youll probably be fine as I tow a 4500 lbs trailer with my s10..

But I went to the scales to know exactly what I was dealing with..

IMO hit the scales and get seperate front and rear axle weights..

Take the axle weights on your door tag and subtract it from the scale weights..

Do this with full tank of fuel, and all the people and gear you will camp with..These #'s will tell you what payload you have left for tongue weight and dictate the GVW of the trailer to buy..

Since transmissions are mostly the weakest link I put the biggest trans cooler I could fit behind the grill to keep trans temps cool..
 
  #17  
Old 07-20-16, 04:01 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,116
Received 343 Votes on 296 Posts
He invited me to come look at it though.
If they invited you to look at it, it is likely not a scam then. All the scams I have come across the person will say "well, I don't have it here, but I can ship it to you for free from (some far away place that would cost a ton to ship)" Still watch your self and ask to see the title.
 
  #18  
Old 07-24-16, 09:41 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 759
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The trailer your looking at will have electric brakes, does have AC on roof and looks like the furnace is below the fridge to right. Can't see it clear but looks like furnace vent is below fridge vent on outside. Be sure all appliances work, as suggested, and especially fridge on both, or all 3 settings, Hydro, propane and 12Volt, if it's a 3-way fridge. Make sure they run AC so you can feel cold air from ducts in ceiling. I'm guessing water heater is at the back of trailer. Something else to watch for is to have slide out brought in and out while your there and take a look at the wall panel around the opening of slide out when in for signs of water damage, such as wrinkled paper on panels, or even a rough, bumpy feel around the edges of opening where slide out seals against it. That is a sign of water getting in. When you have fiberglass/filon exterior like that one, look for any bubbles ( signs of delamination) especially near fridge vent, windows,doors etc where something is installed and sealed against the exterior walls. Hopefully it's been well maintained and re-sealed regularily at all these spots . Delamination is a big thing to watch for, as well as to get fixed. As well as others, I am curious why the actual owner wouldn't know he has electric brakes because he would have to adjust the controller in his tow vehicle while towing it ? Take a close look at base of all cupboards for possible sign of water stains in case it's been flooded. Those stains will soon become swelled up punky, rotten wood soon if not already. Normally these days, only smaller pop-up trailers come without electric brakes. I think even those at 10ft or bigger have them now, and if they are on the trailer, you have to install brake controller unless your tow vehicle already has a tow package.
 
  #19  
Old 07-26-16, 07:39 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,139
Received 16 Votes on 11 Posts
Yes and it says towing package required... Do you have this? Its often the wire harness, hitch, trans cooler, oil cooler... Possibly bigger radiator..
I have the hitch and wire harness, but not sure about the trans cooler, etc. Up until this point, I haven't had a reason to investigate.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: