I've written a blurb entitled "Vintage Trailer Quirks" and I need a good photo of a dome type trailer to include. If you have a photo, please PM me or post here. Any towing or other issues? I'd be interested to hear how they relate to the dome... including leaks.
I've seen plenty of "doomed" trailers! Gutted by people who didn't know any better. Knowing you vikx, I know you are asking about the ones targeted by the "Cutters Club". "Cabover" or "hangover" models like our 17'FAN. I've posted pics of our camper in the past, but last time I tried just made me want throw my laptop into the puckerbrush. Maybe you can find pics in my old posts?
I "rebuilt" ours about 7 or 8 years ago. It was in pretty good condition with a new Dexter axle and electric brakes that had been installed sometime near when I bought it. I removed all of the windows and trim, lifted the skins and repaired or replaced any rot I found. The worst rot was above the curbside door and at both sides of the extreme rear end. I removed all of the glop from the roof and replaced all the old dried up putty tape under all trim and windows. A previous owner had installed screws through the roof into every rafter. I took a chance and removed all of them and covered the holes with Eternabond tape. I knew this was frowned upon, but I didn't have the time or resources to replace the roof. The Eternabond tape is still in good condition even with the camper stored outdoors year round. The cabover(or dome)had very little signs of water damage.
Since then we have traveled all over the US and Eastern Canada putting well over 10K miles on the trailer. The cabover feature makes it possible to not have to break down the dinette every night and provides a great place to carry extra bedding, pillows and duffle bags while traveling. I admit, the camper isn't entirely aesthetically pleasing, and I would have expected the shape of it to cause towing issues. It is weird, I tow with a 2006 GMC 1500 Sierra and with (or without) the camper I get a lousy 14.6mpg. Once in a while I wake up at night worrying that its gonna come apart on the highway, but I guess it would have happened by now. There are no problems towing, even when being passed by semi-tractor trailers. I usually drive at about 65mph, but with ST tires I can go 70 without any problems.
Thanks very much! I consider many domes to be doomed. LOL. When repairs are done and the front suspended framing inspected, they will hold together. Yes, I am a Cutter's Club member.
The only "quirk" aside from the sometimes severe rot on the hangover is the towing issue. Because many SUVs are popular today, extensions might be needed to clear the vehicle body.
In the blurb, I've addressed Scotties, ply walled trailers, Loliners (tires and kitchen sag), late 50s Cardinal frames, 70s Airstream butt sag and other brand specific problems to look for. Some had very weak frames to start with.