1981 Prowler 19'

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by gknuth, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Hi all,

    I just found the site, and it looks pretty cool. I imagine I'll be spending some quality time here :)

    My wife and I want to get a camper since we now have a kid and tenting isn't really an option in the 100+ degree late summer days in Nebraska. I found a person selling a 1981 19' Prowler travel trailer that looks promising (don't want anything fancy in case we don't stick with it), but it appears that it has a fiberglass exterior. All photos I can find of Prowlers in that time frame are aluminum clad. Does anyone have any idea what it might be, then? I don't particularly care if it's fiberglass, but I do want to at least know what I'm buying.

    The only photos that the person could send me were from a cell phone - apparently they don't have a digital camera to take bigger photos with. I can post them if you think it'll help, but they were so nondescript I don't think they will. I haven't yet gone to see it because it's a couple hours away, although I plan to get check it out this weekend.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    I don't remember any fiberglass Prowlers in 1981. Just look at the trip to see it as a nice winter outing. :)
     
  3. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    By the way gknuth, welcome to the forum.
     
  4. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    A 1981 trailer is likely to need some work unless it has been well cared for. Are you up for the challenge?
     
  5. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Oh, yeah...welcome to the forum.
     
  6. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    He says it's been well cared for, but that remains to be seen :) I'm not too worried about fixing it up if it needs it. The seller's post says:

    "I have a 1981 Prowler 19 foot camper it sleeps 4 comfortably. It has a new aluminzed roof, and roof vents, and decent tires. Everything in it works. My family has just out grown it looking for a bigger camper or possible trade for a mid sized Fishing boat it is winterized right now."

    My biggest questions are:

    1. Is this thing legit. A fiberglass clad on a almost 30 year old trailer seems a little weird. Maybe the make/model/year is wrong in the post.
    2. What can go bad on a 30 year old trailer? Probably everything, really. I'm not too worried about inside parts...I can fix/fabricate what I need. Are the actual trailer mechanical parts easy enough to find?
    3. Am I gonna waste gas going to see this thing? I guess DL Rupper is right - a nice winter outing. At least I'll be that much more experienced whether I buy it or not :)

    Thanks all.
     
  7. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Go for the ride. Cabin Fever must be setting in after the latest snow storms.
     
  8. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    I agree with DL
     
  9. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Take the trip and give the trailer a good look over or two.
     
  10. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Yeah, I will. If nothing else it'll be experience.

    So, say this thing IS an '81 Prowler but it's been completely overhauled. Is there something(s) I should be looking for to make sure it's in decent structural / road-worthy shape? You know, like on an older used car you'd check to make sure the seams between the hood and fender lined up, because if they don't it indicates it was in a wreck (or the hood was at least removed).
     
  11. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    The frame is probably wood if it's a 81. You should somehow try to check and make sure the wood hasn't been exposed to water via leaks or broken water pipes/overflows. Water rots the wood. Not sure how you would do this if the exterior has been covered over with fiberglass.

    You should be able to tell, just by looking, if the exterior has a homemade fiberglass skin. Also, if the fiberglass isn't original, it would add a lot of weight to the trailer if it was applied over the original metal skin.

    Check the ceiling closely for water leaks. You can usually see where water has leaked through the roof. The interior roof and walls will be discolored or slightly swollen. Check around all exterior joints, windows, lights etc. to see if the caulking is good. Water is the bad guy on RVs. Good luck.
     
  12. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Welcome, Also check the floors for soft places. Checkout the furnace, water heater, date on tires(they may look good but could be a bomb ready to go off), the brakes, the propane bottles if they have the new fitting(otherwise you must replace) battery or batteries, water system for leaks and all the above. New roof may mean there were leaks.
    With a few repairs needed it may not be a buy.

    LEN
     
  13. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Hey! The guy posted some decent pictures (at least of the outside). Definitely does not look like a late 70's or early 80's Prowler, though. It only has a single axle, and all the pics I can find on the net have dual axles. If anyone gets a chance and can take a guess as to what it is, I'd appreciate it :)

    http://omaha.craigslist.org/rvs/1010205007.html

    I'm heading up Saturday one way or another, so we'll see how it goes!
     
  14. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Can't say I've seen anything quite like it. Smaller older TT's quite often only had single axels. I had a 13 foot and a 17 foot single axle TT and they towed real good behind a small Ford E-150 Van and a shortbed Chev 4x4 pickup. Both were V-8's.
     
  15. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Looks to be an older model that someone has remodled. Hard to tell from the pictures. Worth checking on. Let us know.
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    hey nash ,, welcome back ,, where the hell are u now ,, wait don't tell me ,, in a nice warm place in this great usa ,, go ahead rub it in ,, i deserve it :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :approve:
     
  17. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Well, thanks for your help everyone. It was definitely not in good shape. In fact, I can't think of anything super nice about it. Old propane tanks, rotted out floor. Interior wasn't too bad, but there was a LOT of work that needed to be done, and I just didn't want to get into it. I think my price range just went up, but honestly, if I could've gotten the trailer for $300 I still probably wouldn't have bought it.

    Thanks again!
     
  18. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    thanks for the feedback.
     
  19. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    Rod, just saw your welcome back. Thanks. Land line been out and yes it's warm where I'm at. HOME. reservations start April the 3rd in the Keys.

    Gabe, you will look at a lot that will be advertised as great and will be junk. Keep looking there are deals out there. What was the outside?
     
  20. gknuth

    gknuth New Member

    Re: 1981 Prowler 19'

    It was fiberglass, for sure. No way it was a Prowler, but I couldn't find anything that indicated what it was. The weight tag was on the side, but the numbers and other printed information had long worn away.

    The saddest part was that I was standing on the inside, sagging 3/4" into the floor with the guy telling me he'd pulled up the carpeting and it wasn't rotted right there. "Time to move on," I thought. :)
     

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