I bought both Play Pacs! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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I bought both Play Pacs!

hey gang,
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
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9.PNG  
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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Congratulations!!

Great write-up and pics. Super camper; I've always liked them.

What's the shower like? I've never seen pics of one in a Play-Pac. Interesting ceiling treatment too. And the "room divider" by the door.

It's like a model for anyone restoring one.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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amazingly-preserved Play Pac is right! Wow, nice purchase. Great adventure! A Californian not ever hearing the left lane rule????? Don't they still give tickets for that there? My Mom got one of those back in the 70's, just out side of Santa Barbara. Never forget it, she was furious! LOL....


Yup, I think you got your own little rally happen in the yard!
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Paul, I live in Fenton. You should have let me know you were coming and I could have had a pot of coffee on to get you two back on your way Congratulations on the new acquisition!
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Hi: Paul Chet...Looks like you got the market cornered...and a Blue Heeler too?
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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OMG another hoarder Great write up. I love it when a plan come together
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Love your story it made me smile all the way through. Must admit I was glad it wasn't me on that quick but incredibly lengthy trip!
Trailer looks great.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Ok, can somebody detail the "Left Lane Rule" for me? Dont want to get caught in this when traveling across the U.S. In Fl and TX you can drive in the left lane as long as you want. It is considered the "Fast Lane" so if you're traveling below the speed limit you may get stopped. Signs are posted for "Slower Traffic Keep Right" but other than that you can drive in any lane you like.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:55 PM   #9
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Glad to hear that it worked out. I was the one that posted it from the local CL.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:58 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the kind words. I will use this thread to keep folks updated on the Bac Pac and our travels and any improvements I might make.

Clive, i'll get you some bath shower shots. it's not the prettiest and it will certainly require some attention before use, but I am determined to take a "shower" in my Play Pac! I have always wanted a real shower in my egg and by golly i got one. Gotta use it. And yes, I didn't even realize it until my sister said its nice how the pantry cabinet blocks the view inside so you can be changing with the door open.

Thanks for the offer anyway Pam! Had no idea we were so close ... and I really could have a used a home brewed cup - Pilot and Flying J coffee has improved but still has a way to go! The hallucinations didn't kick in until we were almost home - just past Reno with about 5 hours to go (I drove 20 hours day 1, 18 hours day 2, 16 hours day 3, and 16 day 4). I was so out of my mind by the time I got home I almost had a mental break down when I realized I had to back it into our tight driveway at midnight, alone (dropped my buddy off half hour ealrier) with no good outside lights. When I turned the truck off and went around to go in the house I saw the back corner was in the bushes. That'll work! I was tripping hard on sleep deprivation but still lucid enough to be in total disbelief that we actually survived this nutty as hell mission!

Alf you are correct sir! "Master Po" is indeed a Blue Heeler Aussie Cattle Dog. We wanted to adopt a dog from the shelter and I had recently watched "Mad Max" and thought - those are some smart dogs and they're awesome hiking and trail running pals. There he was at our local shelter when we went in. He's been camping twice already and loves it and the Play Pac!

Thomas, I remember watching the post and wondering why the heck it wasnt selling. I really wanted it go away so I could just get on with life. The double posting probably freaked folks out and it just kept staring at me. I had to do something about it, et viola ... I have a small trailer park in my backyard!

Regarding the left lane rule ... I have never been pulled over for trying to pass someone safely and I have driven from California to Florida 5 times. He was the K9 unit and had my buddy (who was driving when we were pulled over) go sit in his car while he asked me what we were up to. His dog gave my buddy a good sniff and no red flags either. When our stories checked out he let us go and gave us all kinds of advice for safe passage through the state troopers gauntlet. I think he really felt we might be a couple of characters up to no good. When we said we were after a rare 13' fiberglass trailer I think he lost hope - this couple of crooks were just a couple of geeks!
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:31 PM   #11
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What a great story, thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #12
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thanks Lizbeth ... while i am not a daily poster, i tend to run-on when i do, so thanks for staying awake!

Clive - as promised here are a few shots of the bathroom. apologies as right now its in the portable garage (as i finish up my current play pac) and its dark in there and i only had my phone - so these are pretty lousy shots, but at least they give you an idea. again, its a shower in the technical sense ... VERY 'rustic' shall we say? i will do some modifications in there - just to ensure watertightness etc. (thinking FRP or many coats of marine paint). but of snow - its pretty cool to see a hot/cold sink in the "bathroom" and one in the "kitchen" ... since they are about a whopping 24 inches away from each other!

sorry there is also a small hand-cranked roof-top vent too - forgot to snap a shot of that.

the outside of the wall vented window is falling apart - the plastic is turning to powder and has buckled/lost its shape. i'll post later regarding that, but while we are at it - it appears to be essentially an 11" x 11" vent / cranked window. after a cursory search i can only find the standard 14" x 14" - if anyone has a lead on a smaller vent - please do tell.

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #13
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Love your story, very nice, good buy!
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:12 PM   #14
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Paul, thank you very much for posting those. I can't remember ever seeing an actual bathroom in a PlayPac. It even has it's own shower pan!

I'm looking forward to following your resto!

Please keep us posted.
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