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Value of 2003 Eagle in pristine shape - Seeking new buyer advice

fwc eagle fleet

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#1 Jguglielmo



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Posted 06 November 2021 - 06:29 AM

Hi all,

First post here as I am just about to become a proud member of the FWC club! I have two campers on the line and plan to take one home this weekend so I am seeking advice on one in particular; a 2003 Eagle that is in better shape than all other campers I have seen new and old. I'd seriously give it a 9/10 condition wise. My question for folks here is, does this camper constitute it's negotiated price of $11500? My feeling: based on the year alone, no. Based on the condition ABSOLUTELY. My biggest concern is whether the mfg date alone will ruin my future resale value, which I am cautious of as this is one of the bigger purchases I have made.

Here are the highlights:
  • Upgrades all done by FWC 3 years ago (camper used one night since):
    • New roof, canvas, struts, lifting panels, and windows
    • Fantastic fan
    • Furnace
    • side dinette
    • Yakima tracks
  • Complaints (Being completely nit-picky):
    • dated oak cabinetry
    • dated ice box and stove
    • no solar, mediocre power other wise
My other option is a $14k 2016 Fleet shell with solar and a better battery. The Eagle feels like a screaming deal. What do the experienced folks say?

Thanks in advance for bearing with my late night obsessions!

fwc outside.jpg fwc kitch.jpg fwc dinette.jpg

Edited by Jguglielmo, 06 November 2021 - 06:45 AM.

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#2 Wildcat


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Posted 06 November 2021 - 07:43 AM

You raise several valid issues.  Here's my rather long missive related to several items you mentioned.  I'm sure others have their own opinion, so take this for what it's worth...


Regarding resale...in my opinion, a good condition but early manufacturing date might discourage some potential buyers who automatically scan advertisements in search of late model units, but a knowledgeable potential buyer would take the time to investigate further.  And buyers who need financing may have problems with finding a lender for a 20+ year old unit, but that's probably a small segment of potential buyers at this price level.  I suspect that many lenders classify FWC's in the leisure vehicle category and associate fast depreciation with the age of the unit.


My biased viewpoint has always been that the year of the build is only one factor in the price equation, with condition of the unit being a significant factor. I believe some of the modern materials used in recent year models are superior to older materials, but the Eagle you mentioned likely has some of these upgrades.  For instance, the newer type of lifting panels made by FWC are some type of composite material that shouldn't absorb moisture and warp like the old ones, and the new one-piece roofs are superior to the older 3-panel ones that have many screws that need to be resealed (ask me how I know...).


In the case of the Eagle you mentioned, you can easily see that it hasn't been abused and it was well-cared for.  A big plus in my viewpoint as I'm the owner of a similar 2001 Eagle.  IMO, most of the 2000 to approximately 2005 models seem to be very similar and it's often hard to differentiate the actual year.  There was a FWC owner change during those years and it took the new owner several years to start to implement significant changes.  As time went on, the canvas, roof and other materials gradually changed, for the better I hope.  I've also seen many 5-10 year models (approx 2011+) where the owner(s) have certainly enjoyed and utilized their campers but things get normal wear and tear and sometimes are worn, rusted, and water damaged and the unit generally needs lots of TLC.  


For a historic price reference, I bought my 2001 Eagle around 2016 and subsequently had the factory do most of the same upgrades on the Eagle you mentioned.  Mine was probably a 6 or 7/10 when I bought it but my purchase price + upgrade costs is almost the same as the asking price you mentioned.  I don't know if others feel the same about paying that price for a 2003 in that condition, but I would.


An Eagle vs a wider camper, such as a Fleet, will depend upon your current truck, your style of truck camping and your personal preferences.  The Eagles are of special interest to many potential buyers because of their size and they are not made in that size any more.  I have a late-90's Toyota Tacoma and I didn't like the side overhang of the larger models.  It would of required larger side mirrors and just didn't feel right.  The Eagles were made for those smaller trucks of that era, and potential buyers generally are looking for that.  At the same time, after several years of ownership, I can definitely appreciate more interior width with the right truck.  There are times when a few more inches of floor width would make life easier when camping with my wife and some sports gear and stuff.  We are also backpackers, so we pare down our "stuff" and utilize what we have.  Some day I'll be ready for a bigger truck and a bigger camper.


If you upgrade the ice box and add solar, be prepared to spend at least a $2k-3K for combined frig, panels, controller and lithium battery.  It's a worthwhile upgrade depending on how you use the camper, but before spending any money, use it as-is for a few trips to get a feeling for what's important to you.


As somebody on this site has said, go sit in the camper before buying and see how you feel.  The right camper will feel right to you.


And if you get the 2003 Eagle and then decide you don't want it, talk to me first!  You might have an interested buyer.  

Edited by Wildcat, 06 November 2021 - 07:48 AM.

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#3 Jguglielmo



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Posted 06 November 2021 - 02:22 PM


Thanks a lot for your thorough opinion. I’ve been in many FWCs and this one is a clear winner in its condition. Besides the oak, it feels like I’m going near-new.
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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 06 November 2021 - 03:42 PM

Unless you need the room of the Fleet shell, my opinion is the Eagle is the better value.  Solar isn’t that expensive, neither is a compressor or 3way refer to replace the icebox.   I’d also add the Arctic Pack, for both insulation and privacy.  You might want to check your converter to see if it has “float” capabilities so you don’t cook your battery if on shore power for long periods.

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#5 RC Pilot Jim

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Posted 06 November 2021 - 04:06 PM

I agree with Wildcat and Wandering. 


I would buy the Eagle as he has already done the areas where you might have leaks. (roof, windows, canvass). 4 Wheels are always in high demand as long as they are maintained. The $2-$3k Wandering mentions for the compressor fridge solar upgrade will return probably 50% of the investment if you keep it 10 years. And as Stan at 4 wheel told me in June when we sold our Eagle the new Fleet shells are selling for $17,500 equipped the way our was.


Not everyone will be able to justify spending $17K + for a camper with no storage or bathroom, so there will always be folks looking to buy used.  When we sold ours we never advertised it. The buyer came as a referral from 4 Wheel. Due to Covid we sold it for 71% of what we bought it for in 2012.


Good luck on whichever one you purchase.

Edited by RC Pilot Jim, 06 November 2021 - 04:12 PM.

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#6 Vic Harder

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Posted 06 November 2021 - 08:38 PM

+1 on the eagle.  Looks to be in great shape.  And I like oak.   :D

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#7 UmkaAndHawk


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Posted 07 November 2021 - 11:46 PM

You can paint/resurface the cabinets. Replace the other items...it's not like the FWC has necessarily the best color or cooler for everyone's needs! I'd get the Eagle.

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