We started out with one idea, Jack’s Trip of a Lifetime – Scotland & Ireland. Then, in true DeCorso fashion, we proceeded to make it so complicated and so crazy, considering so many different options. We have considered the Faroe Islands, Halifax, Magadan, Vladivostok, Hirtshal, Reykjavik and made no decision except that we will be spending Christmas in Ireland. And Ryan has to be back for college on September 1. We have decided that we will fly over and not drive the 5,000 miles through Canada. This decision to drive through Canada went up for a family vote (we strive for consensus) and it lost 2-6. Then there was some caucusing and lobbying and a re-vote — still 2-6.
This idea has a lot of advantages. Fairbanks to Halifax is 5,000 miles and would take at least a month and cost at least $2500 in gas and such. Our current Expedition Vehicle is 56 feet long (too long) and would be hard to drive, hard to park and the rate for shipping is about $37 a square meter.
So we had to find a new expedition vehicle. We divided up the lower 48 between us all for searching craigslist, using only places we could get to easily using Alaska Airlines (Chicago, DC), places that were close to shipping ports (Texas, Florida, New York), and places we just really like (New Mexico, Mississippi).
We had specific requirements:
- A Class C (bed over the cab)
- Between 24′ and 29′
- A separate bedroom in the rear that we could modify for 6 bunks
- Not too horribly ugly
- Under $4000
- Whatever was wrong with it, Mark had to be able to fix it
We found several scams that were weird. We found one camper in Connecticut and it looked okay. Some water damage and not the best layout. The person said we were third in line! And then second in line! And then we could have it! We made arrangements to send her cash on paypal and Mark prepared to depart. But then, that same day, she sold it. She said: “I’m sorry. The guy who didn’t show up this morning came this evening and he gave me a $500 deposit. He has 10 days to come up with the rest of the money. If something doesn’t happen I will let you know. It is just a lot easier for me to go with cash in hand and less uncertainty.” We were discouraged. We continued to search. We found a lot of campers that met all but one of the requirements (like they were perfect except they had a sheet of plywood nailed to the outside or they were 36′ long or the toilet was just sitting there in the middle of the camper).
But! Mark was on his way to the dentist to have his teeth cleaned when I saw one in St. Petersburg. And we bought it (after several phone calls, several visits by Grandpa Ted to check it out, and some drama about how to get the money there in a timely manner).
THANK YOU GRANDPA TED!! Without your help, we would not have been able to buy this camper!
Here are the photos of the new camper. It has a table that is not in the photos and two chairs. Final price: $3250.