well i have been looking out the window for the last week trying to make sure what just happened actually happened. if you look in the referrals section there are two listings for a play pac in Michigan ... one in Holly and one in Fenton. guess what? i bought 'em both! just kidding - they are as some here guessed, both one and the same. the owner i think, was trying to get more visibility and listed it twice. he mistakenly changed the model year by a year from one ad to the other. to me it made little difference ("no way, i am holding out for a '72 Play Pac - the '73 just isn't retro enough!"
but that made some wonder if it wasn't a scam ...
i called the seller for fun and we got to talking, meantime while i was fully underway with my current Play Pac update project - i had this feeling in my stomach which i have had several times now (you know the one - "uh oh, am i about to do something crazy ... again?"). i asked if he might make and send me some videos of it, and without hesitation he drove to his storage place where he kept it and made me about 10 short, very nice, detailed video clips focusing on anything that might be of interest, good or bad. that kind of did it for me but here was (both of) our problem - he was 2,500 miles aways. now my first UHaul
i drove 8 hours to pick up, not bad. the 2nd UHaul
i did that whole flat-bed trucking service fiasco/nightmare. when i bought Play Pac #1, we drove up to Oregon to make it an adventure and camped it home. but this one ... well the seller told me if he were on the west coast he'd have gone into a bidding war because he had calls from CA, NM, CO, and AZ - but no one wanted to deal with a hauling service or the drive.
no one but me!
i went for it - i had a vacation that fell through and was just planning to work but i asked my office mate if he was up for an insane adventure and he was. so week before last we shoved off in my 1995 Tacoma with 371,000 miles on it for an adventure indeed! we drove non-stop (with an unscheduled stop at Cabella's - i'd never been to one) and in the parking lot we saw a beautiful Oliver
(16 or 17') - the thing looked like it was made by NASA. everything so solid and shiny. i was pointing everything out to my co-pilot and noticed the owner was sitting there on the brakes
so i could explain things. i drove up and asked him about it. he said the PO had tricked it out to the max and he got the whole shebang for $40K - USED!!!! YIKES! i dont think i could afford his spare tire - $40K! but he looked like he wasn't worried about it and very happy. sorry i was too excited to remember to take a photo of it.
onward we drove and in a mere 40 hours, there we were right outside of Detroit arriving at the welcome hour of midnight. the seller was really nice and luckily worked the night shift, so he left to meet us at the house. he was a great guy and gave us the tour of my soon-to-be-new-old-but-amazingly-preserved Play Pac. we hooked up and after a quick stop at the 24 hour Walmart for some supplies, were headed west with only 2,500 miles to go. we went through a white-out rainstorm near Chicago and one in Nebraska and it was an awesome test for leaks
. there was minor leaking from the front window which was taking some serious head-on rain at about 60 mph and quite a bit on the floor which we figured out came from the front door sag which juts out about a half inch at the bottom (as most do). so i dropped a towel there and shut the door and that was the last of the leaking.
i told my co-pilot if the Gemini astronauts could live for 14 days in a capsule the size of a VW beetle, then we could live in my truck for 4 days. PLUS we get to leave the truck to go to the bathroom. after about 72 hours, he was no longer interested in what the astronauts did since we weren't weightless and our butts were numb as could be. the rest of the drive was uneventful and only stopping for gas, Cabellas, an hour at our destination, and one more at Walmart - i pulled into my driveway a mere 90 hours and 15 minutes after leaving it with about 5,015 more miles on my trusty old Taco (376,000!). no flats, no blow-outs, and the only drama was getting pulled over by a state trooper in Iowa (we asked why we were pulled over and he asked if we heard about "the left lane rule?"
nope. well, we were in the left lane a little too long. yeah, thats it! hmm, we were trying to pass without speeding but ok. i think two guys in an empty black truck, with all the stickers removed, from California - was just too interesting but hey, the left lane rule it was ... no ticket and free advice on upcoming speed traps and we were on our way). i was able to determine our gas mileage too - i get about 23.4 mpg on the highway in my truck empty. with two men and all our junk we pulled the Play Pac home between 16 and 17 mpg and were pegged usually at around 65 mph. for an old truck that was never meant to be the most fuel efficient truck out there, i am pretty happy with those stats.
so i keep looking out the window and there they are not one but TWO Play Pacs in my driveway. with so few of them left, i think it qualifies as a Play Pac rally!
anyway, thats my news. i am BEYOND thrilled - it is just beautiful and everything is absolutely original. the only thing different is the PO removed the Ensolite from the interior as i would guess it was coming unglued. he left a small spot around the kitchen window but removed the rest and simply painted over the glass interior. i think i will look into some marine latex paint
to pick up where he left off. i decided i want to keep it as original as i can since this one is a museum piece - there is some bondo on the outside i will sand and touch up but for now its just a site to behold. my wife was in there all last weekend scrubbing it top to bottom and its as clean as a hospital room. i did the outside and got all the bugs off the front from the long drive. in 2 weeks we will be taking "The Bac Pac" (#2) for its first trip - a relaxing week in Yosemite. thing is, i was going to do all these great things to my existing Play Pac, but since i work overtime and by the time i get the yard taken care of and the dog walked - i have just enough time to see whats new here at FGRV.com
- and my weekend is over. i wouldn't say i am a hobbyist regarding FG eggs, i do like to do my own work, but there just isn't enough time and the point of this whole thing for me is for my wife, our little furry pal and myself to just get out and get unplugged. i just had to jump on this one!
now stay tuned ... the west coast will soon have a Play Pac up for grabs. i dont have much use for 2 Play Pacs, and i have to prove to my friends and family that i am not a hoarder! so i will announce when i wrap up all current projects on Play Pac #1 and put that little fella up for sale
photos below of the big adventure! thanks for reading.
photo 1 - from the listing
photo 2 - half way home
photo 3 - sunrise in Utah (Play Pac is still there!)
photo 4 - interior 1
photo 5 - interior 2
photo 6 - view from my window / my backyard rally!
photo 7 - Master Po is ready to go camping
photo 8 - for the stats folks (BTW, Car Care is an AWESOME iPhone app!)
photo 9 - it only took 90 hours