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Author Topic: Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite  (Read 982 times)

Snoopy

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Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite
« on: June 29, 2018, 12:04:40 PM »
Hi! My husband and I have taken the plunge to upgrade from our pop-up. We thought we'd always be pop-up people (common words, I'm sure). The set-up of the camper it-self isn't bad at all; it's the double-packing involved with pop-ups in general. Load everything into tubs to put in the camper or cram into the tow vehicle. Get to campsite, set up camper frame, then unpack car and tubs, "move into" camper... Then go through it all again in reverse, unpack car at home, pop up camper again to store everything. It was fun wile it lasted.

We'd been talking about hybrids for a while, but nothing ever really caught our fancy. We are a family of just 3, with a tiny 9-year-old son. Occasionally we'll camp with another couple or maybe a parent with 2 kids. Our pop-up could sleep 10, and we never ever got close to that. We experienced wood rot without first camper, a teenager when we got it but it was a steal. Enough to get our feet wet to see if we liked it. Apparently, the camper had gotten much more than its own feet wet long before we ever got it. But we were the lucky ones to experience the roof going up one day, and all the canvas breaking away from the wood roof as we were raising it. The pop-up we bought after that still had some wood, but it was mostly an aluminum frame, something we were now sold on after researching. We wound up buying a Somerset Utah new. That experience also taught us that we probably don't want to buy new again. Oh, the warranty issues, and lack of support from the manufacturer. What a headache.

So we toyed around with ideas of our "perfect" camper. Something everyone does I'd bet. Still want a tent end, definitely don't want to feel too luxurious because it IS camping after all, but that being said, we agreed an inside toilet is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Dining table that isn't fixed so e can take it outside, and also a dinette that we don't have to break down into a bed each night. Room for the boy to sleep and feel like he has his own space. And a stovetop that sits flush with the counter so you don't have to balance a dish drainer on an awkward set of burners that we hardly use anyway. Outdoor shower would be nice. And towable by our Edge.

A Starlight 15 ft model came close to what we were looking for, but, eh. Then I saw Camplites! I saw the 11 ft model all over in my searches, but that's just a tad too small for us. And we'd have to break the table down for our son to sleep every night, which was a dealbreaker. I happened upon floorplans for the old 13 foot models. Oh my goodness, the interior flip-down bunk!? Perfect. beyond perfect. And I love the side tent bed. I could see the options available in the floorplan layouts, but couldn't find images or even videos of any that had both the flip out tent bed AND the interior flip-down bunk. I guess people didn't opt for those together often. I also learned that people don't tend to sell their Camplites like folks do with other non-aluminum campers. It seems like they really hold onto them (which is a good sign I think). I kind of get the feeling they have followings like T@Bs and Airstreams (and air-cooled VWs, another passion of mine).

So I figured the 13BHB I coveted was just a unicorn. Something too rare I'd never see one. I kept pages with those floorplans bookmarked and would look at them once in a while. ... And then it happened. I found one for sale. And it's baby blue. I know I shouldn't buy a camper based on color, but that certainly didn't hurt. My 67 VW was baby blue. I had him for 17 years. So at this point, I was pretty much a lost cause. My unicorn!

We're in talks with the dealer and have put down a deposit, but it isn't a done deal quite yet. It's an 8 drive to Canada to go get this thing, so we want to make sure we've covered everything beforehand! Now I want to get all my ducks in a row before taking the plunge. What things should I be looking for? It's a 2014, one previous owner, a family who traded in for a larger camper. The dealer will take our pop-up as trade, which is another plus. The only warranty issue the salesman told me about is the main entry door, which apparently has steel somewhere within the door itself, wasn't sealed correctly, so there is now corrosion that can't really be covered over. The factory sent a replacement door, but since the baby blue isn't available anymore, the replacement door is white or silver. We'll deal with the mismatch in order to save the $1,000 (Canadian) custom painting fee.

Any advice, cautions, kudos, or anecdotes would be appreciated! This is a big decision!

Thank you!
Mel

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Re: Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2018, 04:37:32 PM »
If you are from the states and buying/trading in Canada, make sure you are aware of any customs/tax/import/export/fees involved with the sale/trade.

Merlin

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Re: Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2018, 09:27:55 PM »
What fun! I'll bet you'll really enjoy it.

All the standard RV purchase advice applies: check all the plumbing, electrical, and heating/AC systems and plan to spend some time at the dealer doing that.

It may need a new battery and new tires since it's 4+ years old, so budget that into the overall cost.

I don't know if you'll need anything for your Edge to tow it, but at the very least you'll need a trailer brake controller since your popup may not have had electric brakes.

If you get there and have questions and have Internet access, post them here and someone hopefully get help out.

Then go camping!

Michigan

Snoopy

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Re: Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 12:33:59 AM »
Our pop-up is heavier than the Camplite! So we had a heavy-duty tow package put on the Edge, complete with brake controller, anti-sway and weight distribution kit. I feel pretty confident we'll be fine with the CL. The dealer is close to the border and will drive it over in the States for us. They apparently sell to a lot of Americans, so they've got it down to a science. We plan on spending lots of time at the dealer looking it over. I do feel better that it's a dealer and not an individual. And we're taking a few extra days to go camping locally around the area in case any issues come up before we get hundreds of miles away. We are so excited!

Merlin

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Re: Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 09:28:33 AM »
Sounds like a plan!  And even the right color. Now if you still had that ‘67 bug, you’d be all set ;D

I look forward to that first trip report.
Michigan

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Re: Advice for purchasing our first used Camplite
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 07:02:08 PM »
We moved up from a pop up (LL 6.0) to a Camplite 16 TBS.  You will be pleased with the Livin Lite trailer.  All aluminum no rot!  Give it a good check out on all the systems as Merlin posted.  Make sure you have the water pump off and the bowl empty before you head down the road!  First time you brake any water in the bowl will continue to move forward.  First time we brought the trailer home the wife and I where confused on how come our flow was wet.  Make sure they show you all the low point drains: water tank, hot water heater and city water.  Not sure if your water heater is propane and electric but it it is dual mode have them show you where the electric on is since it is outside under the panel.  Any questions not answered just post them here.  Someone will chime in.  Happy Camping!
Easton, PA