FIX-IT-UP or PASS-IT-ALONG? What would you suggest?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by HeyThereBooBoo, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. HeyThereBooBoo

    HeyThereBooBoo New Member

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    Hi folks. I need some direction...

    We inherited a pop up from my aunt after my uncle passed. We are definitely excited BUT there's a few things that need to be fixed before we can take it out.

    It's a 1990 Flagstaff by Cobra 621ST (Forest River Inc). We popped it up the other day with the help our friends. Here's what we discovered:

    1. There are gaping holes in every panel of canvas. The AZ heat has just destroyed the tent. I'm not talking about little patch jobs, I'm talking gaping holes like a 20 inch gash below the netting on the backside of the camper for just one example.

    2. The front passenger side of the lift is broken. It's somehow detached from the wood block. We might be able to fix it with minimal expense, however, it does seem to affect the way it slides up and down so we're not sure if fixing it will fix the problem.

    3. The wood inside the top of the camper shows signs of water damage around the vent and the vent itself is bowed from the heat. We would definitely need to replace the wood panel and the vent.

    4. The foam bedding and other cushions have absorbed a ton of desert dust. Patting the bed mattress sent up a plume of dust that made our friend look like Pigpen from Charlie Brown.

    So to sum it up... we need a complete set of new canvas, new vent, new wood ceiling panel, repairs to the front passenger lift and new mattresses and cushions just to get us up and running. We already had to replace all 3 tires just to get it off her driveway and if we want to open all the compartments we have to call a locksmith because she couldn't find all the keys.

    I've been online and found out that a new canvas could cost us $900(or so) and about 14 weeks to ship to us. I am estimating that the total repairs and changing out the beds/cushions might cost us between $1500 to 2500. Maybe more? Maybe less? I don't really know. It's just an estimate.

    Would you put this kind of money into a 1990 unit? Are there any reputable AZ dealers that you'd recommend? Or places you'd recommend we stay away from?

    Our 3 year old son BEGS to play in the camper at least 10 times a day, and of course, my husband and I still day dreaming about weekend trips. We hate to give up the idea of it...

    So what do you think? Fix-it-up or Pass-it-along?
     
  2. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

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    I think for $2500 you could probably find a similar aged unit in decent shape, with a few minor defects.

    If you were the project type of person it might be something you want to tackle over the off season, but if you want to go camping, I'd pass it along. At worst someone might convert it to a a trailer to haul stuff.
     
  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I agree. For that amount of money you can buy something better. I'd sell it as a fixer-upper to someone who wants to spend the time on it.
     
  4. chrisc

    chrisc New Member

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    id pass i went through same canvas junk i ended up with 94 rockwood canvas and interior mint all i got to do is fix some plywood thats bad i paid 750.00 at a dealer craigslist and dealers that dont want to fix something just my thought
     
  5. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    Pass it along.

    If it was just one of the problems you mentioned then maybe you could work with it. But to have all 4 issues.....plus there will probably be little stuff that needs repair as well.

    I would strip it and sell the parts for some cash and make it a utility trailer. Or you can just list it on craigslist as a parts or utility trailer and let the next guy work with it.

    If your Aunt and Uncle were into camping, I am sure they would approve of parting it out/selling it to get a better trailer if it will get you and your family camping.
     
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I would pass on it for sure. I speak from experience when I say water damage is always worse than it appears on the outside. Once you start tearing things apart, you will likely end up rebuilding the entire thing.

    For what it would cost to rebuild/lift repair/canvas replacement you would be spending more than if you bought a campable unit from craigslist. I recently paid $2,000 for a '96 in excellent condition.

    You could sell your current pup to recoup the cost of the tires. Lots of people love to work on projects like that. If you're wanting a camper, not a project, I would say to move on. Take the money you would have put into canvas plus the money from the sale and find your son a nice, camp-ready pup. :)
     
  7. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    I think your estimates might be a little high. You can probably find some useable cushions for $50 or less each, or buy some foam and make your own covers for half that. You likely don't need a locksmith; many exterior compartments open with a CH1 key which you can get at any RV place. Of course, once you start ripping into wood panels, no telling what you'll find.

    You might want to check on some costs for cushions, key, etc. before passing. If you do pass that $1,500 mark, probably better to buy another camper.
     
  8. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    With good negotiating skills, for $2500 (or even less) you might consider something like these:

    http://flagstaff.craigslist.org/rvs/2431014251.html

    http://flagstaff.craigslist.org/rvs/2423401424.html

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/rvs/2439157535.html

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/rvs/2439010427.html

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/rvs/2437104451.html

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/rvs/2409556819.html

    http://yuma.craigslist.org/rvs/2394338285.html

    http://yuma.craigslist.org/rvs/2439570132.html



    They would already be in better shape than what you have now, and you would be able to start camping right away for the same money spent to fix up yours with added bonus of not having to wait weeks for parts.
     
  9. HeyThereBooBoo

    HeyThereBooBoo New Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. There's definitely more passes than keeps at this point... This was the way I was leaning this morning.

    Before we make any decisions, I will look into more specific costs. If we can fix it up for under $1500 it might be ok. I haven't called any of the local RV places yet. They may have a different price for the canvas. I don't have a sewing machine to make our own cushions, but maybe someone else in the area or on craigslist can help us with that.

    I did look at craigslist for alternatives and comparisons too, and there are definitely many newer, beautiful and affordable options out there. The price range is pretty wide. It may pay to pass on this one and wait another year or two since we don't even have a vehicle to tow it. We have to borrow our friend and his truck to go anywhere.

    I will definitely check out the CH1 key first thing and see if we can get into the locks. We want to make sure that we have it thoroughly cleaned out before we return/sell/trade/scrap anything just in case my aunt and uncle left anything of importance in there.

    I really appreciate the opinions and suggestions. We're open to lots of ideas here. We do have a couple of handy guys who would probably jazz it up pretty quickly as small weekend project but we'd have to pay an hourly rate plus supplies. If they could get it repaired reasonably cheap it might be worth it just to give it the TLC it deserves.

    Does anyone in the Phoenix AZ (Northwest area?) have suggestions for us?

    Erica
     
  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Well, this changes everything. :)

    When I replied, I was under the impression that you were in a hurry since you mentioned the 14 week wait on the canvas. If it may be another year or two before you use it anyway then it may be worth giving a shot. If nothing else, your little boy will enjoy playing in it.

    If you decide to dive into this project, I wouldn't order the canvas or worry about new foam until you make sure you can get the rest of it fixed up. There is lots of info and many restores on this site for inspiration.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  11. Norfolk

    Norfolk Just let me fix this one last thing.....

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    Some folks have said that for 2500 you could probably get a similar one in better shape. However, it is doubtful that you would find a camper with brand new canvas.... if the foam on the bunkends is beyond practical salvage, consider buying air mattresses... cheaper than new foam and much more comfortable to sleep on. So for me, the bottom line would be lift system functionality and the potential for renovating the roof at a good price.
     
  12. Dusty82

    Dusty82 Active Member

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    If you don't even have a tow vehicle yet, I'd pass. Start looking in October or November, and you'll find that pups that are selling for $2000 today are going for closer to $1200. This is the time of year that people start thinking about camping, and demand for all kinds of campers is high. Come the end of summer and into fall, folks are putting away their toys and selling them off. Fair warning: this is also the time of year that some unscrupulous folks try to sell off a camper that wouldn't normally sell at all because they know the demand is high.

    If it were me, I'd get the tow vehicle situation straightened out first, then start looking for a pup. Which pup you can safely tow (and therefore should even look at) is going to depend on the tow vehicle's capacity.
     

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