Sunday, September 12, 2021
End Times for the "Guzzler"
The past 2-3 months have been spent trying to get road ready for when my Best Half retires this winter. Our plan is to take a few weeks every so often throughout the year and do some cross country travel. It maybe will even be a matter of throwing down a dart at a map to see where to go.
For traveling from one place to another, such as the kids’ homes, we can pretty much take the minivan or conversion van and just drive straight through to get where we are going. Cheaper, faster and less fuss with packing. But when retirement happens, we will have time to stop and see things along the way and maybe even take some detours along the way if we see something interesting. With that plan, we want some type of RV. And so the dilemma continues.
A month or so ago we bought a Class A motorhome that we thought was the ticket to our extended travels. But after driving it 300 miles and spending $200 in gas we both finally realized that with “The Guzzler” as it became known, we couldn’t even make it to the Iowa border for less than about $350. As beautiful as that RV was, it just wasn’t going to work. As one person put it to us regarding driving a motorhome, “ If you have to ask what kind of mileage an RV gets, you can’t afford one”. That person was wise.
The decision was made to sell “the Guzzler'' even before we had the title back from the DMV. So I put an ad in Marketplace and on CraigsList to sell it. The goal was to try to get at least what we paid for it and possibly the cost of the fuel pump repair we had invested into it. There was nothing mechanically wrong with it that we knew and it was in great shape inside and everything worked so hopefully the RV would sell itself.
I went around and took outside pictures and inside pictures of every corner, nook and cranny from various angles. I was honest about everything and why we were selling it when I put the ad in with the pictures. There is nothing worse than people who leave out or don’t tell the truth about stuff they are selling. But I knew there would be the doubters and just had to accept that there would be those that weren’t really even interested in buying the RV, but just wanting to come “kick the tires”. Anytime you put an ad to sell something, you may as well plan to spend a lot of time answering questions with people messaging you and giving up your time because people want to come out and see it.
The ad was in about an hour when the requests for more information and pictures were wanted, and there were numerous people wanting to come look at “The Guzzler”. There were the usual ones saying they would buy it sight unseen if I would do paypal or whatever else way to buy online. But I had been specific in the ad that no holds, and cash only was how this worked in my world.
A few days went by and I got about 20 messages a day with interested people wanting to see the RV. But in actuality only about 4 out of the 15 that said they were coming really came out to look at it and test drive it. Because it was a weekend when I listed it, no one had the immediate cash on them. So many said they’d call the following Monday after going to the bank. Of course I have to say, I took all of those people saying they were coming back with a grain of salt. Rarely does that happen in the greater scheme of selling stuff on Marketplace.
When after the weekend, no one showed up like they said they would, I deleted all my messages and decided to start over fresh on Monday. Meanwhile, my Best Half had a message and people were coming out that evening to look at the RV. Sure I thought, just more tire kickers to ruin my evening waiting for them to not show up.
Right at 7 PM a car drove up the driveway and it was the couple that had said they were coming out to look. So far so good I thought. They are actually here and even on time. They probably will look for 10 minutes and drive away. I’ll maybe even have time to watch the baseball game...even if they are bound to lose again.
They went through and looked at every possible thing they could find, fired it up and took it for a drive and came back. I was all set to head into the house when they actually made an offer on the RV. A ridiculously low offer, but nonetheless an in person offer. I kind of smiled and gave them a price that we could sell it at which was nowhere near their offer. But the Minnesota nice negotiations had begun. They talked about the generator needing fixing and I countered that was why it was priced lower than most in the first place. They wanted to see the awning and while we opened it and they were looking at it from the underside, they started saying it was almost worn out. Being that the awning was only a year old, I knew they were just trying to find anything to bargain with. I invited them to look at the top side of the awning to see it wasn’t even faded. They said’ “Ope, I guess that was water dripping, we thought it was worn spots”. I finally had had enough of their shenanigans and did the most “Un-Minnesotan” thing a person can do. I up front asked them ,” Do you want to buy it for the price we are asking or not?”. I figured I had a list of people interested and someone eventually would take it. I may have surprised them a bit, but the next thing I knew they were counting out multiple 100 dollar bills into my Best Half’s hand. And off they drove into the sunset with “The Guzzler”.
And on to our next attempt for an RV for us. We found a small ultra-light camper we can pull with about any vehicle. While it is a pull behind camper, we both agree it looks more like a small Minnesota cabin in its style. It has a bed, a kitchenette, a booth and table and bathroom with a shower. It is just all that we really need. Small, easier on gas and looks like a Minnesota cabin. It’s maybe not what we set out originally to look at, but it is exactly what we need. Not sure what we will name this little beauty...maybe the Jagger (from the Rolling Stones song…”You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find...you get what you need”). Here’s hoping.