Are we crazy for considering this?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Mama24Princesses, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Mama24Princesses

    Mama24Princesses New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    We are looking for our family's first popup. It's me, my husband, our 4 daughters and our big dog. I grew up in pop-ups but hubby has only ever been tent camping so we want to start out with something really cheap to try out to see if he likes it. We are basically just looking to replace our cabin tent. We will still do all our cooking outside, we will still be lugging our cooler (there's no way any pop-up fridge would be big enough for us to do a week-long trip), we don't want a bathroom in it, a sink would be handy but we could live without it, we don't need heat/ac. We would like some actual space inside given that there are 7 of us counting the dog and rainy days would be tight in something tiny. *lol* Once we decide if pop-up camping is the way we want to go from now on we can either upgrade or work on our starter camper as a project. Our TV is a 2005 Yukon 4x4 with a TC of 6800. There's an old Jayco a couple hours south of us we're thinking of going to look at. It's listed for $900. Box is 18.5 feet long and it's a double axle. Appliances are either not working (fridge) or unknown, reported working when last sold but never used. Seller reports that electricity does work. Seller says has never leaked and no water damage, says they have made some small repairs to some of the screens, reports tires in good condition. It's been used 2-3 weekends a month, 5 months out of the year, for the past 4 years when the owner worked flea markets so it hasn't been sitting. It's been stored indoors and if the seller's reluctance to put it up when the temperature is anywhere near freezing so we can look at it is any indication I'm guessing that at least the current owner has been at least relatively particular about it's care. It has never been titled or registered so the only paperwork with it is the original origin certificate. We're very unlikely to be taking it out of state in the next couple years so no title/registration wouldn't be an issue for at least a while and by then we would know if we wanted to upgrade or if we wanted to to deal with trying to get it titled before we sunk any money into fixing it up more. Am I crazy for even wanting to look at it? I'll add a link to the pictures here. Thanks in advance for all opinions and advice!

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154267681871319.1073741921.504106318&type=1&l=d48faabd77
     
  2. davido

    davido Active Member

    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    234
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Yes, you are crazy to bother with it.

    • You indicated that the seller is reluctant to put it up. Never buy a popup that you haven't set up and taken down.
    • You indicated the seller said that there are no leaks or water damage. That it is unknown if appliances work. That seller indicates electrical works. Never trust a seller who won't let you verify those sorts of assertions.
    • You indicated that the paperwork is inadequate. It sounds like the seller has no title, and has never registered it. Never purchase a vehicle or trailer without access to a tile. If the seller wants to sell it, he should petition the state for a replacement title. If he cannot obtain that, he will not be able to register it, and neither would you. If you cannot register it, you cannot legally tow it on public roads. Registrations are not only for interstate travel, they are for all travel on public roads.
    • The tires are not in good shape, unless the seller can prove to you they are less than five years old.
    • Nothing about the trailer works unless the seller can demonstrate it works.
    • The canvass is expensive to replace. If you cannot inspect it, assume it needs to be replaced.
    • Any water damage in the roof is expensive to fix. Assume there is water damage in the roof if you cannot inspect the roof inside and out to prove otherwise.

    There are other trailers out there that aren't several hours away. $900 is cheap unless you find yourself unable to tow it on public roads, discover the lift system doesn't work, that the canvass is rotten, that the roof has leaks in it, that none of the appliances work, that the tires are shot, that the brakes don't work, that the battery is dead, that the propane tank has past its inspection date, and so on.
     
    Hurricane716 likes this.
  3. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

    Messages:
    3,376
    Likes Received:
    217
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Western NC
    I would go look at it IF they allow you to set it up, paperwork should be no issue as long as it doesn't show a lien on it.
    Congrads on moving up off the ground, we spent 25 years in 4 P'ups like your talking about.
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    5,663
    Likes Received:
    2,469
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    It may be worth a look if they can set it up with you there. If they refuse to set it up or take down with you there assume the lift system is broken. Never trust everything the seller says unless you can verify it yourself. In my experience in a search for a used pop-up is the pictures are usually really old or very cleverly taken. First and foremost verify 100% your state's rules on unregistered untitled trailers. Every state is different or may have rules on weight limits or whether it has brakes or not. It can be very difficult to register after the fact. If the seller still refuses to set up, than walk away. A lift system is not terribly hard to fix, but Jaycos are more difficult to access and in my experience shops refuse to work on them. Not sure your budget, but you may want to look at pop-ups with a slide out. For that many family members you will find the open space benificial and no one will be needing to climb over each other. Good luck on your search.
     
  5. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    Likes Received:
    756
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Location:
    Mass
    That camper is huge. It looks awesome. If there isn't rot everywhere and the canvas is useable, then I would buy it. Stored indoors makes a big difference. I would not worry about the appliances. You don't need them to go camping and can fix them as you please. You can replace the fridge with a dorm fridge for $60.
     
    Alan likes this.
  6. colorado_camper

    colorado_camper Member

    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I'd be wary if I were you, that's a lot of camper for that much money. If they won't set it up, I would only offer an insultingly low price to see how they react. If you buy it and it's no good, you'll be stuck with it so the less you spend the better. When I bought my first one, the guy had $500 marked on it but it had roof rot, bad electrical, bad plumbing, bad brakes, etc. etc. I was ready to walk and just threw out the offer of $100 and he took it. That was less money than the tent I was looking at at the time!! I spent about 3 months renovating it to get it in camping shape. To me, it was worth a $100 risk but not $500. [2C] Also, be aware of the tires; 2 hours is a long ride to make with dry-rotted tires.
     
    Alan likes this.
  7. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    203
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Pickering, Ontario
    It's worth a look at for sure. But I wouldn't even consider it if it couldn't be set up to inspect, especially the roof which in all pups is prone to rot, the floor, or the canvas.
    You mentioned that you basically live outside while camping.....which is the same for us. Another option to consider would be a smaller pup....10 - 12 ft, and a dining tent with sides so that there are a couple of places for people to go when rain occurs. (where do you go in the rain when tent camping?)
    When we have too many family to accommodate sleepers, we will set up a small tent....the kids actually like the idea (if you are comfortable with that idea).
    Just a couple of thoughts to consider.
    Good luck with entering the pup world
     
  8. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,923
    Likes Received:
    131
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Perry, MI
    ^^ This
    I have looked at the dbl axle JAYCOs and while they are long, there isn't as much floor space as say a Bayside or Utah or the equivalent Forest River product - something with king bunk ends and a slideout dinette. Esp with 4 children. Think of the rainy days when you are all in the camper at once. you are going to want the extra room of a slideout.
     
  9. tls2971

    tls2971 Active Member

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    38
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    I purchased a 1984 for $1,000 in February and for being 34 years old it is in excellent condition. However, we knew beforehand that we needed new tires and new bearings to get it road worthy. We purchased it about an hour away and we drove slow the entire way home in case one of the tires blew out. That was a long and tense drive on the highway.

    Originally I thought I would "gut" the camper and remove the refrigerator and sink because I don't need either to camp. Like you, I enjoy doing the cooking outside the camper and using coolers for food. I also planned on just reupholstering the cushions, painting and pimping it to my fancy. BUT, once I got going on the renovations I learned that a previous owner used tub and tile caulk around the outside and with the recent rain we had noticeable water damage. The water damage wasn't noticeable upon inspection really, but it sure was after the rain when the caulking got wet again. Now here I am completely rebuilding the roof.

    Upon first inspection the canvas looked great too and again, for the age, it is great. It doesn't leak at all, but I can see threadbare areas and there is a musty smell to it. I'm saving for a canvas replacement too which will cost just under $1,000.

    With a new roof, new bearings, new tires and a new canvas we are now looking at an additional $2,000 being put into it. That's not including fabric, paint, sealants, etc. All of this is okay with me because I love the idea of restoring an old camper to it's former glory. You should be prepared that you will probably be putting a lot more into the camper then you paid. If that's cool with you then I say go for it.
     
  10. Mama24Princesses

    Mama24Princesses New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Sorry I wasn't clear, they are definitely going to let us put it up and take it down, we are just waiting until a week from tomorrow to go look at it because that was the first day that was supposed to be both well above freezing and dry. She said they will put it up and take it down for me and then if I'm interested she will have me do it so I'm sure I know exactly how. They are going to hook it up so we can test the electric and if we want the water too, I'm just debating about not testing the water as we haven't decided if we would want to use it yet and if not I'd sort of like to leave the system dry. I'm guessing that at the least it needs new seals and stuff as the old ones have probably dried out if the water's not been used in 5 years.

    It's not a lost title, it's that it's never been titled. Wisconsin doesn't require title or registration on trailers and pop-up campers under 3,000 lbs empty and it's never been used out of state. As I said we are unlikely to use it out of state. I called the dmv and my insurance agent and they both confirmed for me that if I want to title it, it's going to cost about $200-$300 to put a surety bond on it like an untitled car.

    We specifically want to avoid a slide out as any extra moving parts to break is a bad thing in my mind, especially given that whatever we get is going to be old. We've though about the clinking over into the bunk issue and decided that if we hated it we would just plan on avoiding that when we replaced the camper in a year or two instead of placing on renovating it.
     
  11. mrobuck

    mrobuck New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    It looks as if the seller is basing their price off the NADA blue book average price, and if you can set up, take down and fully inspect it's certainly worth taking a look.

    I would agree with one of the above posters though, that you might want to look for larger slide out beds. We are a family of 5 plus two large dogs. We currently have a 11ft box, but the beds are a king, and a queen, with a U couch that folds into another Queen-ish sized bed, and another dinette that's basically a kid's sized bed when converted. The larger beds and table space have made all the difference in the world for us. (rainy or colder nights, there is enough room for all of us to play board games or do a puzzle) You'll also want to make sure you have enough storage space for all of you..... that can be tricky on longer trips if there is not enough.

    That said $900 seems to be a decent price, and depending on condition, easy enough to get your money back out of if you decide to "upgrade" later.

    But that's my 2cents - best of luck in your search
     
  12. wmadoty

    wmadoty Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    I looked at the pictures. I think you and your family will really enjoy it as long as the condition checks out. Go look at it, roll the dice, and enjoy yourselves.
     
  13. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    134
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    Make sure you take a good look at the floor from under the camper. If you find any soft spots, walk away.
     
  14. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    568
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, California
    Not walk, RUN away!
     
  15. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Likes Received:
    583
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    No title or any type of registration. If you feel comfortable in the purchase than go for it. I would not even consider of purchasing it, but that just my opinion
     
  16. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    349
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Whoa, that's a big kahuna!!! Couple thoughts:

    I previously researched the title issue because I live in northern Illinois and have looked at some PUP's for sale in Wisconsin. The picture you have of the origin paper shows GVWR 31xx. The WI DMV site says "gross weight" and "operating weight" over 3000. So you might want to clarify if it's the empty trailer or the loaded up weight. For me, if it required a title I wouldn't buy it without one.

    You might want to have them test the sink even if you don't plan to use it. Then you can see if it leaks. If it does, check around the sink area for any previous water damage.

    Good luck!
     
  17. Mama24Princesses

    Mama24Princesses New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    In Wisconsin it is based on the empty rate. I've actually gotten another e-mail from the person I've contacted at the DMV. Because it has NEVER been titled and registered and still has the origin certificate we should be able to get a title with that with no issue if we end up choosing to do that without having to do the longer process. We are going to look at it Sunday so we'll see how it looks. If it is as clean as described, no water damage, no leaking, no spongey/soft spots, no major rust on the axles, etc I think we'll end up getting it. If we end up hating it we could easily sell it around here for $500 for someone to make it into an ice shanty and get something different next year. Thanks for all the advice everyone!
     
  18. nhsummitmommy

    nhsummitmommy New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Location:
    Jaffrey NH
    Edit- after I looked at the full album I realized that you uploaded the album to your FB and it wasnt a link to a sellers posting on Facebook.

    Hi HiB BA!

    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017

Share This Page