If you have never bought anything from Craig’s List, you really should. Not because you’re going to get a great deal on a used item, but because you’re going to meet some interesting people during your treasure hunt.
The first item that we bought off of CL was a motorhome. (We’ve been through a few of these, trying to find one that is perfect for us). It was an old Travco, being sold by a sweet, older couple. They were selling it for $500, but they let us keep enough money to stop for dinner on the way home. We couldn’t take it home right away, because it wouldn’t move. So we came back quite a few times, to work on it. I was quite pregnant at the time, and, after many workdays and conversations, they sent us on our way, with the now-running motorhome and a sleeper for the baby. We sent them pictures of our first camping trip, with baby Beanie.
After the motorhome, we decided we wanted a Volvo. A 240 wagon was being sold by a family in Grand Rapids. Baby Beanie and I were invited into their townhouse, while the guys talked about the car. They were a very earthy family, with wooden toys, organic food, and natural remedies. And they had no problem with me breastfeeding Beanie in their living room! We didn’t buy the car, but it was a great afternoon nonetheless.
And then we saw the ad for a 1967 Islander I29, in a farm field outside of Lansing. The owners were passionate sailors (Moonraker was a project that he was working on restoring, before he realized that towing it to Florida would be prohibitively expensive) and BMW enthusiasts (who expressed a great interest in our Saturn). They took an immediate liking to Beanie, and were eager to pass their dream on to us. In fact, he insisted on keeping the boat an extra week, so that he could replace the countertop. His wife helped take care of Beanie, when she threw up on the drive, on one of our visits. Their son stopped by on most of our visits, in his vintage BMW, and we discussed organic food and natural parenting. We’ve tried to locate and contact this couple since we’ve launched the boat, with no luck.
And finally, there was last weekend’s adventure. We love our current Volvo sedan, but it’s a bit rusty. So we were excited to find a 240 station wagon, in good condition, with a blown engine. And we also found a Chinook motor home. We sold our large motor home, because it wasn’t practical to drive around, but we’ve been considering using a motor home for a daily driver, when we are finally able to live aboard most of the year. That way, we would be able to live in the motor home for at least part of the “off-season,” and it would be somewhere that we could stay when traveling back for therapy and visiting. In the meantime, the motorhome will be a daily driver that we can also stay in for Christmas, and when we’re working on the boat.
So, the Volvo was a definite win. It is a 1992, with a couple of dings but no major rust. We’ll buy the third row seat for it, from eBay. We can tote our friends around, haul larger items to the boat, and get slightly improved fuel economy. The seller was a very excited Volvo enthusiast, who is selling more of them, and drives a 740 wagon.
Now, we have to find someone with a truck that we may use to tow our new car home.
The Chinook was another story. We loved the seller from day one. She was a free spirit, who lived in the motor home for 3 years, in San Francisco. She was at a meeting, selling her second hand shop, while we looked at it, and she really wanted to sell it to us, a family of dreamers and adventurers. Unfortunately, it was rusty beyond what we were comfortable repairing at this time, so we had to decline.
We did find a motor home, a LeSharo, for sale at our garage, and the mechanic cut us a good deal on it. It runs, but not well, so Rob will have to work on that. It can be serviced at that garage, which is a major plus. We’ve never owned a French vehicle before (this is a Renault), so that is a new experience.
So, if you must buy some adventure equipment, be sure to take a look at The List!