google-site-verification: google1ebcbd3f9084755c.html Eclectic writing: TRAVEL TRAILERS

Monday, March 30, 2009


There are nice old and new trailers out there..... we just want ONE.... just one, that is all.

I'll just jump in and say that shopping for a travel trailer is not for the faint of heart.

Besides the local paper and local newspaper, Craigslist is our main source for searching for trailers.
We have gone from finding the "perfect" trailer, to finding something adequate to something that does not stink..... too badly. In other words, we have lowered our expectations significantly, but what really stinks (besides the aforementioned trailers) is the amount of lies we have to endure while giving up precious time and gas to allow people to lie to our face and seeing if we are willing to "bite".
Our list does not require much, just what you would expect when purchasing anything that you and your family will be using for a long time: Clean, no Leaks, maintained electrical/gas, etc and of course, no smell of cat urine. (you can imagine why)
Let me tell ya! .... Most of the people who post in Craiglist are delusional or they are shameless liars who seem to be under the impression that once they type in the statement "Excellent condition", you will show up and not notice the dry rot, the smell of mold, cat urine, rust, dents, missing seals on seams, or the fact that the only thing holding that unit up is a merciful God, because the tires are shot.
We have been looking for around 2 months and it looks unlikely that we will manage to get what we would like to have by this summer because of the delusions that these posters have about selling them for the same price as a new one.
If you are new to travel trailers, there is nifty little guide called N.A.D.A. and it is very similar to the familiar Blue Book we all use to determine the price of our every day vehicles and after we plug in the "excellent condition" reported by the poster, add all the stuff that does NOT come with it (like a washer and dryer, or garbage disposal, etc), the price on the unit can range anywhere from $3,000 to $4,200 dollars. The asking price is close to $10,000.

It must be a real beauty to command such a price. The condition is "mint" (as they are fond of posting) and ".... You will not find a better unit at this price anywhere". We can only imagine how much better these units must be for these people to be asking $10,000 or close to it.
The fact is, that Travel Trailers depreciate faster than any car any of us has ever owned, they are not in high demand and frankly, condition and maintenance is everything when it comes to making a sale. This is true of everything, but more so on travel trailers that are designed with low weight and frankly, low quality materials to begin with. Even brand new units are quite a disappointment in terms of materials but since it is designed to take the place of cheap hotel for a few weeks a year, you will over look it. (yes, you will, specially after you have gone to ever dealership and walked in every single one of them).

Of course, taking a realistic look at what the unit should actually be priced at, would be helpful.
Imagine our surprise when a 2003 Aljo lite travel trailer was advertised for $9,500 and having been used rarely (according to N.A.D.A. $3,700 to $4,460 is the actual price) was not in "perfect condition": Major holes in the body, tires flat, broken pieces.... but hey! no leaks! (Or so the owner claims) even though the poor unit has been sitting outdoors for years with more holes than a block of Swiss cheese and one wonders " do people really think that everyone else is that stupid?".

We have had our share of snow, hail and rain over the seasons and one wonders what magical spells have kept the elements out of those holes?

Take the woman who wants the same amount for a urine infected unit, holes in the bathtub, seals missing from the seams, pet hair all over the unit (where humans are meant to sleep, eat and sit) and claims that all appliances work even though they have never used them.

(...... Hummmm! this rust bucket that has been taking a beating and used to death for the past 10 yrs, has never been used for cooking, showering or heating some water?).

But hey! in talking to them, this trailer is worth that much because that is what they paid for it 10 yrs ago (before it was trashed, of course, minor detail).
We will persevere and keep looking and putting up with the nonsense and hopefully, we will prevail and take our first real vacation in 14 yrs.
Thank you for reading.
PEACE to you and yours

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