Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Tale of the Trailer

A number of years ago, my in-laws bought a travel trailer on a plot of land at a trailer park in Pennsylvania. Once in a while they would go up there and spend a weekend to get away from their house and the suburbs on Long Island. They used it a bit but in our family's eyes, never enough. Basically, the stars and planets had to be in proper alignment for them to take the trip there.

Over time, they both became ill and passed away. That's how we inherited the trailer. So Sarah and I made the trip there to see how things had turned out. It was not good. The trailer had basically sat there for 3 years without anyone to maintain it. There was a leak in the back bedroom that let mildew start to grow there. We made the effort and tried to restore the trailer to a more livable state. It was an uphill battle all the way. Sarah threw out most of the junk that my mother-in-law had either brought with her or had bought in the area that she either thought she would need or that she thought would make the trailer more like her house. That junk added up to about 20 bags of garbage. I kid you not. We had to drive all of it to the park dumpster.

One time we went up there and I spent most of the day trying to steam clean the carpeting in the rooms. There's really not much carpeting there but it was so filled with black mildew, that it took most of the day to get rid of it. Another trip I spent all day repairing the steps of the small deck that was outside the trailer. I was beginning to silently dread going there. At the time, gas prices were also over $4 a gallon. This was getting to be a costly expenditure with not much return on the investment.

The final straw was when the campground notified us that a tree on our property had fallen and had landed on a portion of the trailer. We paid to have the tree cut down and went up there for a look. Sure enough, when we went there we discovered that the tree had fallen in such a way that one if the windows was cracked and the wood wall around the window was also cracked. Any hope of possibly selling the trailer or trading it in went right out the cracked window. Also, a small toolshed that was sitting behind the trailer was falling apart from snow pressing down on the roof. The sides were pushing out. The shed would have to be taken down.

We went up this year looking forward to making a tough decision. Do we get rid of the trailer, pay to have it squashed and sell the property, or do we look for a new replacement? While we were up there, we met a nice couple across the street from us. They were also from Long Island and recommended that we check out an RV place that they knew. So we took a drive over there and were shown three units that they had. To make a long story shorter, we fell in love with a new unit that had been sitting on the lot for 2 years. It was a 2007 model but was in near perfect shape. One of the selling points for me is that it had a vaulted ceiling, and it was priced to sell.

We are now going through the process of getting the old trailer off the lot and getting the new one in. Right now we are dealing with the banks and the insurance company and the campground to make this happen. We were rejected by one bank because we made 'ONE' late payment over a year ago. Fortunately, the second bank was a lot more lenient. I guess our money dosen't stink as bad to them. We also had to have the campsite checked because the new trailer is larger. Now we are arranging to have certain trees cut down to make room for the new trailer.

Sarah is already getting items for the new trailer and packing older dishes, cookware and glasses for when we move in. So things are moving along well for now. We are still waiting for the trees to be cut down, and hopefully, the campground and the dealer will inform us when the old trailer will be moved out and the new trailer moved in. Unfortunately, the campground only allows this on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. So we'll have to take a day off from work and get up there really early because they move them between 8 and 12 noon.

A few weeks ago we went back up there to remove the deck that is against the old trailer. That's me standing on the deck before I cut it up into pieces so that I can take them to the dumpster. That also include the stairs that I put on the deck so that we could get onto it safely. It took most of the day, but the deck is now out of the way and the ground has been cleared a bit to make room for the new trailer.

That's where we stand right now. Part 2 will continue and hopefully finish the story

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