Hi! Getting a free 89 coleman Williamsburg worth it???

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Roxygrrl, May 10, 2015.

  1. Roxygrrl

    Roxygrrl New Member

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    Hello!!

    We are being given a free pop up. What we know; it needs a new canvas, it has cracks on end caps of roof, the roof appears to have some sag and I'm pretty sure it has gotten wet inside. My husband can build almost anything and I am more on the mechanical side. Trying to decide if the work is worth it?? We plan on using with two young kids. Thanks in advance!!!
     

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  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Having renovated one that was not in such challenging condition, I can tell you that it cost more than we had budgeted for. We had owned it for a while before the original canvas disintegrated, so we knew that needed to be replaced. However, several things ended up being more involved than we'd expected, e.g. needing all new, complete external lifter arms instead of just springs. One category that caught us off-guard was how all the miscellaneous "stuff" - adhesives, cleaners, removers, paints, better quality fasteners and the like - added up.
    Not trying to discourage you, since I've seen some magnificent re-dos here on the Portal. However, consider all the time and $$ - if you guys love a project and don't mind the time and effort, go for it. Really look it all over and try to consider all the ins and outs, read the various sections and reports here on the Portal. Good luck, whatever your decision.
     
  3. Roxygrrl

    Roxygrrl New Member

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    Thank you for your input. Yeah we have not even seen it in person. We are suppose to get it next week. In my mind I was like 800 for a new canvas 300 for maybe grizzly grip and some creativeness with the rest. Just was not sure how these hold their value
     
  4. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

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    If the roof is no Bueno then scrap it. Tear it down and make a trailer or sell it and buy another. Around here a grand will get you an older functioning camper.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    - not worth it , the roof is toast and needs a complete rebuild too, not jus grizzly grip . Good luck
     
  6. juhesihcaaa

    juhesihcaaa New Member

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    If the roof needs rebuilt, it's going to cost a lot of time and money. You'd be better off buying a newer camper with no roof damage. That's not including the cost of a new canvas and any other repairs.

    Might be worth grabbing the AC off of it, if it still works. Or you could possibly take it and find another camper that fits that frame that may have a bad frame. Might be able to patch something together for cheap.
     
  7. mickaqua

    mickaqua Member

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    Free today, with totals soaring each new tomorrow. [:O]

    It has had its day as a camper. [:(]

    I'd convert it to a trailer, or take it to a scrap yard for scrap value($teel). [;)]
     
  8. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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  9. JT2

    JT2 Member

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    Well, speaking as an owner of an '88 Williamsburg, it can be a wonderful unit if you're willing to invest the time and necessary repairs. For their years, the Willy's were pretty high up the tree for posh camping; you'll find a water heater, refrigerator, shower and hot air heat system as standard equip plus electric brakes.

    Our two kids grew up in our Pup and loved it. Even as grown and successful adults, they still talk about our camping trips.

    If everything's still there, making it all work is more a question of detail cleanings and fussings rather than high $$ repairs. Should you find that a new "something" is necessary, look here on the Portal for Pinn's postings about parting out a Williamsburg...that could be a good source of parts for you.

    If the canvas isn't too badly damaged, you may be able to patch it rather than replace it until you save up the $$ for a new set. You'll absolutely want to get new tires, have the bearings cleaned and packed, check the brake shoes and magnets, and detox the water system(s) but that's all basic deferred maintenance.

    Obviously the decisions for time and money are yours but I don't see how this can go wrong for the price (free!). If it's total junk, scrap it or part it out and move on. If it's fixable to any degree, you'll end up with a versatile reliable camper with plenty of room and most of the amenities.

    Please keep us posted as to how this turns out.

    /JT
     
  10. pckeen

    pckeen New Member

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    Ditto on the 'don't restore it' comments. There has to be something good to make it worth rebuilding. My two cents would to be to clean it up on the outside and flip it as is for a couple of hundred bucks (obviously letting the buyer know the condition), and put that money into a new trailer. By the time you spend $1000 on new canvas and $500-$1500 on new tires, rebuilding the roof, floor and bad interior, you will have spent more than it will be worth (and for the same money you could buy you a trailer in decent condition).
     
  11. Roxygrrl

    Roxygrrl New Member

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    Thank you all. We are very new to this. My goal is to have something me and the family can vacation with since going anywhere with two kids is crazy expensive. Being free I knew/know it needs love. I'm just not sure to what level till it gets here. The guy talks like it was taken care of except for the last year? He told me 700 in new roof lift was done five years ago and "all worked" when parked. At this point I am committed to at least taking it but now reading all comments I am not as fired up about fixing it up. I like the idea of if we can spit shine it and get a season out of it then maybe part it? We are just broke and 1000 is what we have to spend one way or anouther in the right now. I am ok putting work and money in as long as it would hold it's value enough.
     
  12. AlcHemIE

    AlcHemIE New Member

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    Judging by how much that roof is sagging, i think you are way past spit shining it. Sorry [:(]
     
  13. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    I'm not sure you're understanding but by the sag in the pics and the water damage you have mentioned your roof is totalled and needs a new one or a total rebuild .
    You cannot clean this up and use it , it is more than likely full of mold and your roof is probably close to collapse
    If water penetrated this thing then the floor is probably destroyed as well as your cabinets .
    Sure go ahead and open it up but .............
     
  14. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry to say that my thought if I were to even consider opening it would be to don a respirator, old clothes, gloves, etc. It might be overkill, but this has the hallmarks of a mildew and mold factory. Nice surprise if not, but...
     
  15. gruss

    gruss Active Member

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    Looks pretty thrashed...if you have some time and the room to tear it apart take it.

    If your thinking your camping in it this summer...stop now.

    I don't like projects but if I as getting it for free I'd throw it in the backyard and see what worked, in my mind I'd be hoping the AC worked then I"d find out what else worked...sell that stuff off and take the sawzall to it for a utility trailer to do with what you will.

    Only because I like free things, and I like cutting things up...if you have no room or time haul it to a scrapyard.
     
  16. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Here is my take on this... IF it is free and with no string take it, check if the ac works fine and either sell the ac for $150 for a quick turn around of Keep it for another camper that you might like and dont have AC. It is probably a 7 or 8k btu unit. It dont looks like it has anything else but if you find any other appliance then take it out and sell it. I assure you it will go quick if you price it right. Then sell the rest for someone that can need a trailer. $200 will make it a quick sale in my opinion.

    You say you have up to 1k? Save that, add what you made out of the sales and find you a working camper. I bought a 12 box camper for about $1k, I bought the small coleman for $600 or 700 and it was ready to camp just for the exception of a pin for the main roof system. I since mod the camper to fit my personal needs.

    IF this camper did not need canvas, then, maybe it was worth fixing.... Canvas for this camper is $875 in bear canvas, again, that is the price of an used old camper. The roof will run you a few hundred dollars depending on how well you want the roof to hold in the future... Do yourself a favor, do not try to restore this camper...

    Good luck in whatever you decide...
     
  17. Carlsbad

    Carlsbad Member

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    It's free. Haul it home and open it up. Maybe he overloaded the rack without compromising it and it never leaked. Maybe it has great appliances which you can part out and sell. Maybe it's a patch job instead of all new canvas. Either way, it's free. Unless it's hundreds to get it home, it's worth some time. And if it's junk, post it on the free section of Craigslist and somebody will haul it off. My $0.02.
     
  18. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    I have no idea where you live in the state but I did a crude search in 4 cities for pop ups under $1500 (most people will go down in price) and here is what I found that by looking at pictures and reading the ad looked and sound fine.

    http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/rvs/5008469424.html
    http://allentown.craigslist.org/rvs/4964580817.html
    http://reading.craigslist.org/rvs/5010223599.html

    Ready to camp pup ups in good condition around 1k are possible if you look good, are willing to travel and have patience. If you find anything you can post it here and we can give you a feel. There are also many threads on what to look for and what to avoid in a camper.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Roxygrrl

    Roxygrrl New Member

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    Thanks all. Lots of good info. I talked to the guy tonight and he says the roof had a large tree branch fall on it and that is why it's dented in? Who knows. But at this point the free tag is killing me so I am sending husband to really check it tomorrow. Any good tips on things to look at other than obvious? I will update with pictures if not just for humor alone. He says it also has a front screened in porch that was perfect when he put away.... Again we shall see. I appreciate all the help. It's going to cost me 75 bucks and time to get it home but I at least feel now I can get that back with whatever I do with it.!!! Pictures to come tomorrow
     
  20. eprovenzano

    eprovenzano Member

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    Just my $.02... It never hurts to "look".. I would take the free camper regardless of condition. I love to take on projects such as this.. although be careful... This could be a major project, but in the end it could be made to be what you and your want in a camper... Repairs and or maybe in this case, rebuilding can be very rewarding. In the end you know will your pup inside and out...

    Repairs / rebuilding costs can add up quickly, but that also depends on the condition of the pup... Bring it home, clean it up, give it a thorough inspection and then make your decision.

    If its too far gone, strip it, salvage the appliances, and anything else useful and make a utility trailer out of it. As a utility trailer its worth at least $500... Sell the appliances A/C and other parts are at least $750 - $1,000. This $$$ could be put towards another pup

    Either way please post pics and let us know of your decision... curious minds want to know.
     

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