I posted a bit down about concern about aluminum floor on this trailer I'm looking at, and from talking to a few people, my trailer mechanics included, that doesn't actually turn out to be the primary concern, actually. The concern is the trailer walls are FRP, and the trailer is a 1999 Featherlite. From the pictures, the trailer looks like it is in great shape, with no evidence of warpring or crinkling of the walls. When I go to check it out, I plan on tapping the walls everywhere around seams and windows, listening for dull thuds as opposed to sharper clacks, and also pressing it for soft spots.
Beyond this- assuming I can find no obvious evidence of moisture in the FRP walls anywhere, can anyone give additional experiences with FRP trailers, Featherlites specifically? Horror stories, success stories, advice, etc?
No experience with the Featherlites specifically, but my first trailer was FRP (before I knew what that was really, or that I should avoid it)....all I can tell you is to RUN in the other direction. It may look fine now, but one small leak around a window or door and suddenly you'll have warping and giant bubbles. I HATED the FRP and will never own one again. Just not worth it to have a trailer that can rot from the inside out! See the forums at horsetrailerworld.com for anything you could ever want to know.
I have a 1996 Merhow which is FRP. I haven't had any problems with it. Mine does not leak though and I cannot say that for alot of other trailers that are parked next to it. It looks brand new, but I do take care of it. I wash and wax it once a year and it looks much, much newer than some newer trailers. If I didnt tell you how old it was, you would have never guessed.
So, I guess it really depends on how well the trailer was made to begin with and how its been taken care of since then.
I did hear that some autobody or marine shops that specialize in fiberglass are able to fix or replace panels if you did have a problem with them.
Well, I found an ad for a great deal on a 2004 Kiefer Built Eagle XLA yesterday, went out to see it last night... and bought it!
So, no FRP Featherlite for me. Thanks for the input! It did appear to be in good shape, but this trailer was cheaper, and I'd prefer not to have to stay awake nights worrying if some storm is going to come along and seep water into my walls and ruin my trailer