Pictures are at the bottom of this post
These have been some crazy days. As some of you know, I've been searching furiously for a trailer for a few weeks now. Yesterday morning an ad pops up on the phoenix craigslist -- 2002 Casita
13' standard, $5900. I call immediately. They say they have several interested buyers. How can I get this trailer?
It's monday at 9:30am, Phoenix is a nine hour drive. (I'm an hour north of durango, co.) I have to be back to work the next day. So what do I do? I say I'm leaving within the hour, I'll be there by 6:30 phoenix time.
So I get the cash and I'm off. Leery about the 18 hours of driving required, I do my best to shut off my brain and just enjoy the scenery. I drive a little faster than I should -- most of navajo nation was a blur. Through Tuba City, now there is a name! To flagstaff and finally into the valley. 98 degrees! Too hot!!! Here at 9500 feet, we develop little tolerance for anything above 80!
I find the house, the trailer is there. There is someone else to look at a different trailer. The seller was a small time dealer, buying at auctions and reselling. I wonder what they paid for the casita
The trailer looks good. Could use some sprucing up, the carpet needs shampooed, some oddities, but overall a solid trailer. I wonder about the rust on the frame but note that some of their other similar year trailers have the same type of rust. But wait, it isn't a 2002 like the ad said, it's a 2001! Whoops said the seller. This annoyed me. They agreed to give me $500 off, so the price is down to $5400. This made me happy. They also threw in a ball for my hitch (I didn't have one) and a wiring adapter so I can make it home.
We go over the paperwork, the title
. I'm pretty scared about handing over all that cash. Do you know how long it takes a 27 year old to save $5400 on top of paying health insurance, school loans, 401(k)s? Handing over the cash was the hardest part! I think, maybe instead of this one I'll settle for an '82 that could use some work. Then I rationalize the purchase -- if we don't use it, I can resell it for what I paid, easily.
So we come to an accord and hook up the trailer. The lights
don't work. So we go to uhaul
and they were closed but hooked us up anyways. I guess the adapter wasn't grounded right. I'm pulling with a 2004 forester, standard engine, 4 prong adapter. The casita
has a seven prong. So I'm not getting breaks or power, no biggie, I'll deal with that later.
Then comes the endless drive home. I'm learning how to pull a trailer (new for me!). On the drive up to flagstaff (mostly a 6% grade) i try to go 75 mph, the speed limit. I'm hitting 5k rpms, 1k away from redlining. I fill up and see I was getting 10mpg! Oh my. After this, I cool off and drive based on RPMs, trying to keep them below 3k. MPG goes up to 20. Much better (the forester usually gives me 26-27 with no trailer).
I'm in the middle of navajo nation and the gas situation isn't looking so good, I have about 80 miles left on the tank (if you've been through here, you know 80 miles won't necessarily make it to a station!). The two gas stations I pass are closed. The anxiety keeps me awake better than when I would roll the window up and down, trying to wake myself with the fresh air. Am I going to get stuck in the middle of the desert at 3am with no cell phone service? I bring the RPMs down to 2k, my speed is around 40 or 45mph. I go further than I think I can. I remember the episode of Seinfeld with Kramer and the car salesman driving on 'E.'
The low fuel light
goes on. This means I have about 12 miles left. And then, over the horizon, I see the 24-hour Indian reservation casino and truck stop. After having been in the desert for 5 hours and running so close to empty, the indian casino looked like Paris. I was saved.
Somehow I made it home. It's 5:45 am. I left at 10:15am the day before. 19 hours. 1000 miles. Two hours sleep and back to work.
So here are the pictures.
I have two questions, maybe I'll make separate threads. First, the trailer didn't come with a battery
. It is stored under the seat where there are three leads that I assume are for the battery
(see picture). But I don't know what kind of battery
to buy and don't see any specifics in the manual. Also, won't the battery move around?
Well, if you've made it this far in my post, I'm impressed. This forum has been incredibly valuable as I searched for the right trailer. I made it to work today after two hours of sleep and I'm about five minutes from crashing hard. Night!
Oh, and my wife approves. But that's another story!