Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We've come a long way, baby!

I only camped once when I was a kid. My Dad was NOT a camper but more of a hotel type person. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started going, first with my cousin and then with boyfriends, sometimes in the back of a covered truck and sometimes in a tent. When married to my ex-husband I used to go with his parents, sleeping in a tent (by this time I had my own) and with my two small dogs while they were in a small house trailer. I always wanted one like theirs’, it seemed like an apartment on wheels.

When the new husband came along (and some inheritance) I bought my first trailer. It was a really nice tent trailer with a pop out on the side. It was beautiful, for a tent trailer, but a whole lot of work for my husband! We used it only one summer before my daughter was born. With a Cocker Spaniel and a Lab it was even more work... not to mention we were afraid that one of the dogs would go through the screen if we left them inside at all.

We really love camping but not so much the work so we up-scaled this year. I sold my beloved tent trailer, with all the memories of camping: a couple of days after a miscarriage, with my beloved terrier (Candy), later our Lab (Winchester) when he was just a pup, pregnant with our daughter (Willow) and even getting thrown out of a site, being told we were too noisy! I sold it for $3200.00 and took that money to pay for another trailer and a seasonal campground for this year.

Then, came the big task of finding the ‘right’ trailer for our family. We looked at a few not-so-gently loved and some neglected beyond repair. Finally, we went to Carl Cox in Belleville. On his website we saw one that was $5900.00 that was such a nice trailer and perfect for us but with the $3200 we got for the ‘old’ trailer it certainly wouldn’t cover the new one and then where would we put it if we couldn’t pay for the seasonal site? So, I didn’t understand why hubby (Chris) wanted to go look there. I felt that it was a big tease with all those beautiful trailers we couldn’t afford but when we got to his first lot there was one marked ‘$3500 – as is’ but looked worth so much more than that. It was a steal at that price, still, not affordable for us so we went home. I thought about it all night, kicking myself for not talking to the owner and offering... something. What does an offer cost me? Even if we had to take a bit out of our savings to buy it, it would be worth the investment.

So, the next day we went back in hopes that he was hanging around his garage since he was closed, which was located between his business and his home. He was. He was playing poker with some friends, actually, so I guess I interrupted his game. He was going from the business back to the garage when I asked the big question, “what would you take for the trailer marked $3500 in the other lot?” He said, “$3500 if that’s what’s marked!” Ugh, that was no good for us. “Too bad, I have $2000 CASH in the car, right now.” He told me he would be right back so I felt hopeful. A few minutes later he yelled out the business door... “give me $2300 and it’s yours” WOO HOO!! I couldn’t believe my luck! We later found out that this trailer marked $3500 on the window was the one that he had on his website for $5900!

A couple of people, older men who have done a lot of trailer camping in their lives, both told us that it was worth at least $6000 and we got a steal of a deal but when we got it home we realized it for ourselves. Nothing was wrong with it at all! Being marked ‘as is’ usually means that something is wrong with it so I expected the air conditioning, at the very least, to not work.

It’s a beautiful trailer! At the front is the living room, with a pull out couch to make a bed, then is the kitchen with a fridge, stove and table which also makes a bed. The bathroom is next complete with sink, toilet and shower... I’m not even sure they ever used them since there’s no mildew or signs of water. Last is the bedroom with tons of closet and drawer space and a queen sized bed. Aaaah... we’ll be camping in style! I’ve come a long way from tent camping with the ex-in-laws to this beautiful 29 foot cottage on wheels...

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  1. Congrats and I am sooo excited for you and your family! We have an older 26ft trailer that we are about to give a little TLC to, but our family loves it....including our yellow Lab. Have you found a seasonal site yet?

  2. Thanks Sherry! Strangely enough, finding a site has been as hard as finding a trailer! I've called about so many... some don't allow dogs, lots are full already and some are $4600!!! I am waiting to hear back about another in Bancroft (site is about an hour from Algonquin). Do you guys get a seasonal site Sherry?

  3. Got a site! http://bancroftcampground.ca/index.html