The Great Camper Hunt

It was another cold and rainy day in Southern Michigan, pressed for time and home sold, we needed to find a motorhome quickly.   Hours and weeks were spent looking on-line looking across the state for the perfect, or nearly perfect, camper.  With a few dollars in our pocket, the pick’ns were slim.  There was plenty of motorhomes to choose from if you wanted to take out a mortgage and drive a bus around the country.  That wasn’t our idea of downsizing.  We needed something dependable and cheap.  No leaks, mold and a solid motor, something we could work on and repair without breaking the bank.

We left early in the morning and headed about two hours north in the cold windy rain to view our first potential option.  The GPS took us down wet, pothole-filled roads to look at the first possibility.  We found this gem on Craigslist, pictures looked good, description gave us hope…until.

Pulling into the rutted driveway we knew this was a no go, a rust bucket from hell.  A lot of front end rust and crooked camper shell gave it away.  We knew this one had a lot of problems.  We didn’t need to drive it, though we did, to know it should have been in the junkyard.  We politely declined the sale and went on our merry way.

Rather disappointed, we started our way back home, then the light bulb came on!  Call it a coincidence, however, I don’t believe in coincidences, pulling into a local grocery store, my husband checked Craigslist one last time.  Sha-zam…there she was, a half an hour away.  This was a must see.  A quick phone call and off we went to check another possibility.

I have to say the drive was better, paved roads and all.  The first impression was very hopeful.  This motor home was taken care of.  No rust to be seen, no sagging, brand new tires, refurbished motor and only 45,000 miles.  She was clean.  We spent approximately an hour or so with the owner, going over the many details of this 1975 Cruise Air.  He was obviously proud of the renovations he had done.  The inside was “sweet”.  All wood cabinet, reupholstered benches and cab interior.  The only damage we could find was minor roof leaks that had been repaired.  We needed a test drive.

Down the street, around the block and a smile on his face, I knew we had just bought a motor home.  This vehicle would be just what was needed to get us down the road.  A little more time spent with the owner talking about what was repaired, replaced and needed work, money was exchanged and title in hand, she was on her maiden voyage back home.

Forty to fifty mile an hour winds didn’t make for easy driving.  It was a test, her first test, and she did great.  Suspension needs work and carburetor needs tweaking but all in all it went very well.  We made it home with no incidents and very pleased with our purchase.  I hope she serves us well during our travels, we shall see.

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Author: L. Beard

I am a graduate of Mercer University, Bachelor of Arts, 2001, with a concentration in Sociology. I love travel, camping and the simple things in life. I'm intrigued by the human condition and all it's complexities. Some call me direct, I describe myself as a realist. My greatest gift is to have my best friend, and the love of my life by my side and along for the ride.

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