Saturday, August 6, 2011


I have been looking for a trailer for the "homeless" couple for a while now. I mean, I have one that they are living in, but it's not very nice.
My search was accelerated today in going to 2 different places to try and find one. The first was in Casa Grande, a 47 mile, one-way drive to get there and see - another old trailer that was allegedly in good condition.

The problem a lot of older trailers have is damage from a roof that has leaked from rains at some point or another. It doesn't look good and worse, it's a lot of work to properly fix the problem. A LOT of work. Upon looking at this trailer, I had hopes, but that was the outside of the thing.\
Going in? Well, I mean, really. The flooring was buckling under my weight - meaning old and will have to be replaced. The ceiling was not only buckled in 2 places, it had caved in. Obvious water leak damage. Paneling on the walls was dry rotted or peeling. The aesthetics of this trailer? Not very nice. One of the windows had several, window-length cracks in it.

The flip side: they only wanted $700 for it. I can sell the other one for at least $500 meaning that if it was any kind of decent upgrade, it would probably be worth the $200 net loss in the end. So I was seriously considering it. The plumbing works, the electrical all works, the propane works. It had a built in microwave; oven; stove top; nice sized refrigerator.

The one they are in now? None of the electrical, water or propane works. Further, the holding tanks leak. Giving it serious thought is simply because for $200 net loss to have all of that working? Probably worth it.

But I got home, uploaded the pictures and gave it much more serious thought. One piece of junk for another. In reality, that is really what it would be. It's old - 1979. I can deal with that, but I do have an ulterior motive here. I am throwing that out at no extra charge, btw. These people aren't going to be living here forever. Pretty much guarantee that. They don't WANT to live here forever, they want to find some way to get into an apartment or some kind of normal housing.

I want to put a trailer up on my mother's property up north - she has offered many, many times over. I haven't asked, she obviously would like some company up there. I wouldn't mind, and I will probably camp out up there when I get the week off from work - which hopefully is next week. I haven't seen her in a while and I would LOVE to get out of this valley for a while and get out of this horrid heat.

So, I sat here considering this other offer. It's a 5th wheel trailer. From the looks of it, in much nicer condition, though I didn't know what year/how old it is. So, I called his number. No answer, left a message. Then I wrote him an email also saying I would like to come out today if it isn't too late to take a look. I had no more sent that email than he wrote me one - having not gotten my call or listened to my message or read my email to him - getting a bit nasty because he had made an offer to help and I was snubbing him.

Hmmmph. Oh well. He calls a few minutes later, apologetic. We had a good conversation and I decided to go see it. The problem, though, is that I don't want to commit to $3,500 for a trailer. Especially an older one. He is willing to take a down payment and then monthly payments. I'm just not willing to pay that much for an older thing unless it is in excellent condition.

I get there and this thing is a good sized trailer. It is also newer than the one in Casa grand which is a 79, this one is an 88'. Awning gone, first thing I noticed though not uncommon in Arizona with the sun baking them and destroying the fabric. A bit costly to replace. Door has issues, but he told me about that in advance. The rest of the trailer, though was solid, good looking and in decent shape - on the outside that is.

I walk in. I start examining the walls, ceiling, appliances, flooring, everything. I am not new to travel trailers/RV trailers, I have an idea of what to look for. The first thing I am looking for is water damage to the ceiling from openings in the roof. I am looking at the condition of the walls. Is the papering coming off, is the wood behind it rotted. Is there a lot of damage to drawers, doors and appliances in terms of things broken, ripped, torn, whatever. Is the flooring solid. Not the carpet or tile, the wood underneath it. Walk on all of it, heavily. See if it gives.

Lots of things to look at and consider when buying an older unit. This one is in remarkably good condition. It has some minor issues, yes, but nothing that can't be easily fixed, sans the door. The window is missing and that might take bit of fooling with to get it righteous, but other than that, it just needs some minor cosmetic stuff inside and that's really it. Okay, I am guessing the roof will need a coat of the tar like substance, but still. It's in great shape.

I was listening to this man that owns the thing tell me how much it moved him the ad that I had written. I am not known for not giving out the details of things in my writings. I do sometimes leave out details that are unimportant to a story and that just take up too much space and - leave the reader rather bored - but, for me, I write the way I want to and that usually includes much minutia. There are many people that are turned off by that kind of writing - I can't help you. Thousands if not millions of other blogs you can read if you don't like this one. He went on for half an hour of how good it was going to make him feel to help someone out, and in that spirit, he lowered the price by $1,000. NOW I was feeling comfortable about buying this thing. $2,500 for a good unit that, if taken care of, will stay good for a long time to come.

Yes, very good, indeed. This is the kind of thing where I can trust the people that are living in it will take care of it, Mark and Lynnette will. I can fund projects here and there to revitalize portions of it. The only thing this thing is lacking that kind of turned me off is the generator is gone. This is pretty common in older units: people sell the trailers but remove the generators. Generators aren't cheap but it kinda sucks to see that they have been removed. Oh well. My mother's property has electricity running to it now, so no biggies.

That's it. He lowered the price, I agreed to a down payment and monthly payments thereafter until it is paid off - interest free - and that's the end of that. It will take about 8 months to pay it off.

No, I don't have it. Details of that are still under way. Title, notary public, bill of sale, moving it, moving the other trailer.

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Well it's almost 3 pm and I haven't heard from the manager about a run for tomorrow, so I'm going to assume that it isn't go...