The story started long ago when I realized that dragging Rose into a small backpacking tent was really getting stale and we needed a change. We were going to upgrade BIG TIME and I set our sights on a 25′ Itasca Navion with a 24J floor plan. I was not going to pay retail and started looking for a lightly used 2015 model. Found one a few weeks ago but the deal dragged out so much that the seller finally got a better offer than ours and we bailed out of the deal.
Then just before Thanksgiving an ideal match appeared on RVTRADER.COM, not much info on the website but I knew it could be a match. Called the seller, Malcolm, who lived in Hot Springs Village in Arkansas 1700 miles away and began the process. He had spent most of his life in Southern California so we bonded and iteratively worked out a deal.
This was not going to be a walk in the park, logistics up the wazoo. We were booked to fly to Denver and have a Thanksgiving feast with our good friends Susan & Ross and just before we left I asked Malcolm: “Do we have a deal?”. I did not want to arrive in Arkansas only to have him tell me it has been sold to someone else. Yes, we have a deal as long as we both trust each other. Time to go out on a limb and Go for It. I would fly from Denver to Little Rock and seal the deal with Malcolm while Rose went home to check on things, fill up a suitcase with camping gear and meet me in Little Rock.
I am with Malcolm and we enter the delicate handover stage. I agree to wire him the money, we both sign the Bill of Sale and he will hold on to the Title Document until the $$ go through. I go back to my sleazy motel, exhausted from the tension of the day. Morning comes and Malcolm says “No Money”. I call my bank and they give me a tracking number which I pass on to Malcolm. The money had arrived yesterday but it was payable to him personally and not the family trust which held the account and had been rejected. Shit. Money had to be resent and Malcolm did not want to give me the keys until he saw the $$ in his account. I drive out to his house again to make the transfer again as I had checked out of the motel and I WAS GOING TO SLEEP IN IT TONIGHT!
Initiate a new wire transfer and go outside to check the tire pressures on all of the wheels. 10 minutes later Malcolm is outside and announces; “Money came through!” Wow, technology does work. While checking the tire pressures I noticed the inner left rear dullie (rear axle has two wheels each side) was flat but held it’s 61 psi after I inflated it. Man I just wanted the keys in my hands. Malcolm helped shuttle the, now ours, RV down to Gulpa Gorge Campground and I raced off in the rental car to pick up Rose at Little Rock Airport 60 miles away.
Pitch black when we get to the RV but we both wipe everything down with Clorox wipes and settle in. Morning is cold but we are happy in our new home on wheels.
The only decent store in town is a Walmart and we fill a trolley full of essentials, return the rental car and we are now on our own.
Before dark I decide to check the tire pressures again. Shit, the same inner tire is flat! We had planned to leave the next day, Friday, but now I have a problem. I sleep and am ready to do battle in the morning. I risk it and drive 3 miles into town to a tire store. Sure they can fix it and proceed to mangle the first screw holding the hubcap to the wheel. The owner literally tells me to go another place to have them fix what they screwed up! Unbelievable, but I realize it’s best I get the hell out of there. As we were leaving a guy comes out, I think he was a customer, and directs me to Rick at Arkansas Tire another 3 miles away. We limp down there and they were amazing, well they did it right and were able to get the mauled screw out, find the screw embedded in the tire, plugged it and get us on our way. Much relieved we high tailed it out of Hot Springs and headed west.
More? You bet just give me some time.