To restore or not to restore an 1982 Viking Mini Gasser

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Beckymeep, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Beckymeep

    Beckymeep New Member

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    Jun 14, 2018
    Hi Everyone!
    I'm hoping for any responses from owners of Mini Gasser's!

    I want a Viking Mini Gasser as I have a Suzuki Samurai with a 4 cylinder engine to tow it (so I need a small super light pop up) I've found a 1982 Viking Mini Gasser 14 for sale (one side slide out only), but it needs a lot of work. Seller said he got it from a trade, so doesn't know anything about it (like if the electrics even work, said the battery is dead) He has it listed for $200 and said he is firm on that price. I just wanted anyone's opinion, (who has worked on restoring one, or just owned one) as to if its a good deal? Ad says battery is dead, needs taillights, no license plate but has the pinkslip. Here is a photo showing the rip in the canvas. [​IMG]
    Also shows screwdriver in support beam, so missing that screw. Everything else is a little knock about, as you can tell from the photo, but interior has everything still there (stove, sink, ice box, table and seats. Just not in good condition, seller just says selling 'As is' and doesn't know what else is wrong or missing.
    So is this worth $200 and restorable??

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Macomb County Michigan
    "So is this worth $200 and restorable??" IMO, not worth the $$$. Restorable? Anything's restorable given enough time and $$, but just from the one picture, I can tell you it's gonna need $1000 worth of canvas to start with. Then you're probably looking at a few hundred in new cushions for the inside. That's assuming there's no leaks or rotten wood.

    I would keep looking if I were you.
     
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  3. Beckymeep

    Beckymeep New Member

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    Jun 14, 2018
    Thanks, that's exactly the honest response I was looking for.
     
  4. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    I have a Samurai, I can't imagine towing anything like this with it.
    The only thing I've towed behind mine is a small trailer I use for firewood, and I don't think I've ever been over 45 with it.
    As for that camper, I'd take it if it were free and came with a title.
    If it's what you want, then great, it's worth $200.
    But I'd look really hard to see if you can even get canvas for it first.
    Have you looked at the little campers (fold out tents really) that you tow behind a motorcycle?
     
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  5. Beckymeep

    Beckymeep New Member

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    Jun 14, 2018
    Another Suzuki fan! [:D] I also have a 4 door Sidekick that I could use to tow, but really I want the Sammy to do it. Thats why I like the tiny Vikings (under 700lbs), although Coleman also did a small model in the late 70s. I found this one for $550 (willing to negotiate slightly and around 900lbs she said) but again its damaged. Owner said it needs the interior roof panels replaced; canvas fell away from the front corner. So also patch repairs and reattaching it to the roof. 626b82129ff94be09bb05580b19abcd3.jpg 18d37278d16943f99bed177152684b66.jpg
    but it does have a toilet, no icebox. How does the canvas attach to the roof section on pop ups?

    I need something bigger than a motorbike trailer, as it needs to fit 2 adults and 2 large dogs. I'm not fussed about some work, as I want something I can make my own. But for as cheap as I can get it, and having not owned a pop up before, I'm trying to get as much info as possible about repairing these.

    Can someone tell me how difficult it is to repair the canvas? I've seen lots of kits online with needle and thread, plus fabric patches and glue.

    The prices seem to be all over the place to, I've seen trailers with no tent for $700+ and a really nice Mini Gasser that was on for $1100, that didnt need work.

    Thank you for your input!
     
  6. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    Mar 8, 2017
    If you share where you're located, some of us who are also browsing used popups could let you know if something interesting shows up in your sphere of shopping. Like this thing in the SF area, which is oddly appealing (although more than you wanted to spend and possibly too heavy): https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/rvs/d/palomino-pop-up-tiny-and/6612602807.html

    I don't think you could restore (or even make ungross) that thing for less than the price of the $1100 model you already found.
     
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  7. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    WV
    I'd go for the one that doesn't need work for $1100.
    Because you could pile much more money into a junker just to get it usable.

    Don't underestimate some of the moto campers, with an attached screen room they have as much floor space as that pop up.
    If you're towing with a Samurai, then I know you're not in a hurry. :D
     
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  8. hq308

    hq308 Member

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    Jan 30, 2018
    Sydney Australia
    AS above the $200 one will end up costing you a lot more than $1100 and probably still not be as good. If you can stretch the initial budget to the $1100 one you'll be better off in the long run, not to mention you can go camping straight away.
     
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  9. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    And I don't think you'll ever get the musty smell out of the messed up ones.
     
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  10. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    The frame & axle are worth the $200. Even if you pit $1500 into it your still a head of the game because to find a similar trailer in usable shape will run you more like $3500 or better.
     
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  11. Katskamper

    Katskamper Active Member

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    Fort Worth, TX
    how does the roof/ceiling look? solid or leaky? the floor?
    this looks storm damaged.

    if you can live with patches, that canvas can be taken down, power washed, patched, rehung. then spray waterproofing.
    get lawn furniture cushions for benches.
    get airmattress for bed.
    fix the elbow on roof support.
    yes, you can fix it up.
    but,
    new tires, title & tags need to come first.
    the bare naked frame is worth $200
     
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  12. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

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    Nov 28, 2014
    Central Oregon
    As you can see from my signature line, I'm familiar with Vikings of the vintage you are looking at. On to your questions:

    Looking at the canvas, I question if it is ripped, or ripped from dry rot. The former can usually be sewn/patched, the latter not so much. If you are thinking new canvas, as mentioned it runs from $750.00-$1000.00, depending on where and when you get it.

    The problem with the external lift arms is you have to be VERY careful closing the top as it is very easy to catch the fabric with the folding arms and tear it. The swivel pins for the top and bottom are no more than nuts and bolts with washer spacers. They can wear into the wood making raising or lowering the top a wobbly affair.

    Looking close at the picture, it appears the tounge has been extended. That's not necessarily bad, but does warrant close examination.

    Coleman made the Columbia for several years. They are small, relatively light and crank up. Somewhere on here is a whole topic dedicated to them. There are a couple threads on mini/Ltl Gasser rebuilds too.

    Good luck.
     
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  13. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Mass
    Around my area those would be free campers.
     
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  14. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    That because you live in Massachusetts were they dont fix anything. Run it to the ground than throw it out.
     
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  15. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Mass
    In NH you don't throw it out, just keep it in the front yard until it decomposes. [:D]
     
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  16. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    You spelled West Virginia wrong.
     
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  17. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    We recycle things that way. You see a broken camper rotting away I see a storage shed that I can move around and when it's no longer a storage shed it will be the new Chicken Coop.
     
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  18. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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  19. Beckymeep

    Beckymeep New Member

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    Jun 14, 2018
     
  20. Beckymeep

    Beckymeep New Member

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    Jun 14, 2018
    Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me what signs to look for to tell if its dry rot? Would it look moldy?
     

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