In the beginning of our RV adventure, I was simply a dreamer. I’d spent years saving, researching, planning and searching. I have always wanted to travel the world, starting in our own backyard, the U.S.A. I’ve dreamed of opening my children’s eyes to the love of the great outdoors. I want them to breathe fresh air, run through the woods, bask in the sun, dance in the rain, climb trees, swim like fishes, and be FREE to be children. I want to explore new places with them,develop and quench our thirst for knowledge, bond as a family, and grow intellectually.
After several RV’s that we had planned to purchase fell through over a 2 year period, I felt defeated and decided to take a break. On a whim, half a year later, I pulled up my search on Craigslist on my phone. As soon as I saw the ad, I immediately emailed them. This one, had all the features I wanted, plus something I’d never seen before, 4 bunks in back. How perfect!
The only downfall was that the price was more than I had saved. Nate and I decided to use our both our savings. We theorized that this RV didn’t need any immediate repairs, so the extra costs we had planned on spending on a possible fixer upper, made this a savings in the long run.
I reviewed all of my questions to ask and only asked the most important ones over the phone.
Were there any issues with the engine? No
Did the air conditioner work? Yes
Were there any leaks or was there anything wrong with it structurally? No
Was everything in working condition in the interior? Yes, but they’d never used the furnace for heat, so they didn’t know if that did.
At the meeting I had to stifle my giddiness and try to remain calm and professional. I brought Nate, the kids and my parents with me. My sisters also came along to help watch the kids. Unfortunately, since it was so late at night, the ATM had a limit of what we could withdraw from our accounts. So we were $500 short of their asking price. After asking a bunch of questions, we informed them that we would take it, and explained that we were short on cash. I asked if we could take it tonight with what we had brought with. They said no, there were a lot of offers and ours was the first. Well, darn. We decided to return the following morning.
I had only been able to view the inside for a quick tour. Since they had dogs, I couldn’t breath very well inside. They were kind enough to air it out overnight so that I was able to check it out inside again. Having already decided to purchase and all the questions had been answered satisfactorily, I didn’t think to go poking around. I wish I would have.
Once we got home, we brought out our air purifier. I vacuumed and removed the curtains to wash. I scrubbed EVERY surface. Doing so, we noticed the front mattress had black mold on the bottom that had eaten into the mattress and down into the plywood. Disappointed, I knew we would have to toss the mattress out and replace the wood.
Then it rained. I went out to the RV to stock it up with a few things the following day and I noticed the carpet was wet in places, the front mattress was sopping wet and there were weird black tar spots on the counter. Our RV was not as leak free as they claimed it to be. Nate and I thought that perhaps it was just because we had gotten a lot of rain and that water had leaked in through the air vents. I made sure the air vents were secure and use towels to absorb the water. The next rain did not result in wet carpet, so we put it out of our minds.
As the weeks rolled by, I prepped our RV in every way possible. I printed check lists and put them in a binder. I stocked food and emergency supplies. We put sheets on the kids beds and let them bring out one or two small things. I eagerly anticipated our first trip. Having drained our funds on the purchase, we had to wait awhile before we could head out on the road. The waiting was incredibly hard, but all good things are worth waiting for.