Hi, we are Mike & Ellen from West Michigan. We found our 1988 17' Liberty Van Companion on Craigslist in Sept. 2010 priced at $2,200.
We are in our early 50's and were ready to "graduate" from tent camping.
We knew nothing about the world of fiberglass
or travel trailers for that matter; we just thought that this trailer was too stinkin cute to pass up. P.O. had let this trailer sit out in the elements for years, and there were some "hidden issues" (we soon discovered). To us this trailer had good interior and exterior bones and desperately needed a good cleaning and some TLC!!
Long long story short, our "Baby's" issues we discovered thru trial & error, were mainly from a leaking belly band and leaking front & back windows
. "Leaking" was not even a question we thought to ask the P.O. (duh) That fall
the DH replaced rotted wood inside the walls under the front & back windows
and also patched various holes with bondo & fiberglass
. We were thrown into the "world of fiberglass" and luckily got good repair and spot paint
advise from local f-glass repair shops we found in the phone book.
Finally satisfied there were no more leaks
DH pumped 3 tubes of silicone caulk onto every single external seam there was! We then closed Baby up, winterized her, and sent her off to storage for the winter. We were such happy campers and ready for next Springtime. Then I stumbled upon this website and realized the GEM that we had found! Then I discovered the thread regarding silicone caulk. "Oh NO, what have we done? Poor DH was in complete denial for several months. We were no longer happy campers.
Needless to say, DH came to his senses and our Spring was spent removing all (ours & P.O.'s) silicone caulk and residue. We removed every window and every external attached part and applied butyl tape and 3M marine caulk; our 2 new "best friends".
We finished just in time for the Memorial Day w-end year 2011 to take Baby on our maiden voyage. We were 2 happy peas in our pod! We camped 5 times total last year and kept ourselves very busy w/general maintenance matters and various upgrades to give Baby our own personal style and to make her feel like our home away from home.
I am so thankful that I found all of you wonderful people with your never ending generosity in sharing your wisdom and collective knowledge. You have educated us and have been our inspiration and motivation (especially when we wanted to throw in the towel) to make our Baby the best she can be.
We are hoping for at least 8 trips out this camping season and lots of new memories, people, and adventures to experience.
Our first trip out will be this weekend to Muskegon State Park (in Muskegon MI). Stop on by if you are in the area!
We are in total and true love with Baby. She owns our blood, sweat, tears, and respect. We would not trade her for the world. She is our little Cabin-On-Wheels. Here she is.......................