Wow...I didn't realize how fortunate we were to have found our Compact Jr. last spring until I read THIS thread! I know I haven't seen any around here for sale since, and I know the stars seemed to align last summer and fall
on all fronts. Certainly, we were meant to take this trip!
Here's how it happened for us.
In March I started planning a late-summer road trip with my girls. It all stemmed from Grandma wanting us to take a trek to Washington (Hi, Larry n' Carrie!) where she has a house at the Western end of the Lewis & Clark Trail. I have a little girl who is very interested in history, particularly American history of the 18th and 19th centuries. Since we were ALREADY at the end of the trail, it seemed logical to extend our little road trip. We'd do it as we have all our trips with the girls - with tent and pads and sleeping bags.
Then...on March 30, one of my husband's coworkers offered us the use of his pop-up trailer. I'd traveled with the girls, a tent and no additional adult help before. It was kind of a drag setting up and tearing down camp every day, AND trying to get it packed small enough to fit back in the van. SO this offer was intriguing. We checked out the pop-up, and as SOON as we drove up I knew it was TOO BIG for our TV! The trailer was a MONSTER! It slept 10, for Heaven's sake!!!
But now I was curious. Could we find a trailer that would work? WOULD it make the trip more enjoyable?! Somehow I came across this FANTASTIC FCRV website with WONDERFULLY helpful people. I asked questions, read a LOT, and began my own search for a real rig.
In April, a wonderfully cute, road-ready Compact II came on the market in a nearby town. I would have gone for it but at something like $2,500 (or was it $3,500???) it was a bit high for our budget. Either way, that kind of cash buys a lot of hotel nights! Mike, who it turns out lives not far from me and had already seen this trailer, helped me steer clear, and another family who had the means got a cute trailer. I continued my search, expanding from RV Trader and the local 'for sale' ads to Craigslist and the internet in general.
In May, a Compact Jr. came up for sale on Craigslist about 60 miles from our house. I e-mailed the seller, but didn't hear back....for WEEKS!
I was resigned to our original plan. We'd take the tent when we headed out July 28.
Then, on June 22, out of the blue, I received an e-mail from the Craigslist seller! He'd been out of internet contact, but the trailer was still available. EYE didn't even have a hitch on my van yet, so I called Good Ol' Dad who drove 55 miles south from his house with HIS truck so we could carry on another 60 miles to check out the trailer.
OK...so this story's long...but wait! It get's even MORE miraculous!
The trailer looked doable. It clearly needed some work, but all systems worked to some extent (with crutches and a leg up, but they worked a bit). It was rolling stock. And it met all the FGRV Checklist requirements. Dad and I agreed it was probably worth the price he was asking. But he didn't have paper. None. Not registration
. Not pink slip. And it was Saturday.
Turns out the DMV in HIS neighboring town was, at the time, open one Saturday per month. Guess what? It was THAT Saturday! 'til Noon. We discovered this fact at 11 a.m. After talking the seller into joining us for a trip to the DMV (seriously, Dude, if you want to sell it, I need paper - paper equals cash in hand today...THAT he understand) Lo and behold, we discovered a plethora of paperwork there, and within minutes it was a done deal AND I had new paper in MY name, complete with new plates. Such a deal!
The following weeks were filled with an education that could not have been so easily completed were it not for this forum, and, more to the point, the helpful folks here who answered so many questions or who posted about their projects for ready research material for all comers.
Tonight, I finished replacing the leaf springs on my CJ. This rig is nearly perfect for our family. (OK....it could be a TINY bit bigger so it would sleep four rather than the two girls and ONE adult...) It's simple. The mechanics are incredibly basic. I'm completely stoked on it.
Now, will someone tell me how to get it out of the garage now that the new springs are on? Lifted it about three inches!