Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodbye to Vintage Camping & Some Advice

Well I've sold the Shasta and have given up on the Forester so am saying good bye to vintage camping. 

Some advice for anyone considering getting into this ... please please please, take the time to think about what you're getting into before you hand over your hard earned cash.  Check every inch of the camper and if there is any evidence of mice or major water damage (not just along the windows but on the floor of the potty closet, under the carpet, etc) WALK AWAY! 

Do NOT even consider buying something that needs work (even if your spouse says it will be fun) unless you (or your s/o or spouse) know this is something you can and will accomplish.  Set a timeline for getting the projects done and don't allow procrastination.  Find out how much it will cost to rebuild your camper and make sure you have a backup plan if your spouse drops the ball and 6 months after gutting your camper, you're still stuck with nothing but loose wires that go nowhere and a Menard's bill.

Don't be swayed by cute ... cute is irrelevant in the long run.  I was swayed by cute and a husband who said he could/would be able to fix up my camper and even though I knew I should have walked away ... even though I knew the camper was a piece of crap and I was handing over way too much money because it was a cute, tiny canned ham (what I was looking for), I ended up bringing it home and now it's just a costly piece of junk cluttering up whichever space it's parked in at the moment. 

I am out about $5000 because I thought Sisters on the Fly would be fun and vintage camping was just so darling ... I ended up taking a big loss when I sold camper #1, camper #2 collapsed on the drive home and is nothing but a chassis and camper #3, while still cute, is a gutted piece of aluminum. 

Be sure also that your state will allow you to title a camper if the seller doesn't have one.  Nebraska won't allow you to title a camper on just a bill of sale.  Fortunately for us camper #2 collapsed before we had put a bunch of work and money into it, we couldn't have gotten it titled/registered anyway.

I guess in hindsight, I'd suggest doing a lot of research and soul searching before you decide this is for you.  I should have realized it wasn't for me.  I'm not a rough & tumble cowgirl, I dislike horses, dirt, bugs and charity work (unless it's for one of the charities that is near and dear to my heart), I don't fly fish, I don't cook over a campfire (unless it's hot dogs and s'mores) and I like having a flush toilet, running water and a shower. 

I'm not saying don't do it ... it might be just your thing ... just please do your research beforehand.  There are a ton of great resources out there and you CAN walk away even if you've driven 4+ hours 1 way to see a camper that had been "stored inside, was pristine and in awesome condition and had never had mice or water damage."  Riiiiiiiiight.  There's a sucker born every minute and it was my time.

Thanks for following and reading my blog.  Sorry I don't have more to offer!