Sunday, August 16, 2015

There Are Surprises, and Then There Are Surprises

We are still learning about this little Fun Finder trailer. A happy surprise is that Hubby found a Dometic Patty O'Room in the outside storage compartment. Never used! That is both good and bad.
Good because it had no damage at all, and bad because it had to be customized to fit the camper. Hubby spent most of last Saturday doing that in 100+ temperatures. The awning that came with the camper is in pretty good shape we decided. It just has one spot where it has worn through and Hubby picked up a roll of awning tape at Camping World to fix that.

So that is the good surprise.

Another surprise, not so good, is that the refrigerator vent on the roof is broken. Apparently, the previous owners liked to drive under trees. Hubby didn't think it could be repaired but he got out the glue and managed to get it back together, at least temporarily. The refrigerator doesn't seem to keep a consistent temperature, fluctuating from 32 to 47 during the day, and I've read that a fan can help with that. Some people use a fan inside the fridge that run constantly and some hardwire fans outside the unit that only run at certain temperatures. We discussed those options and then while Hubby was looking for a replacement roof vent, he found a Camco RV refrigerator vent system with solar panel and fan and that looks like a solution to both problems.

Then we had another surprise, a bad surprise.

Remember the picture of the bedroom end of the camper?

When we looked at the camper, I did think it was a little odd to have black sheets in a camper, just because they show every bit of dust, lint, and grass, and there is a lot of dust and grass in a camper. But each to his own, I thought. When we were doing our inspection, we pulled back the sheet to check the condition and look for signs of bedbugs, and it looked clean and even pretty new. What we didn't do, and what we should have done was pull the sheet completely off the mattress. But it is a little hard to reach the upper end of the bed because of the exterior storage compartment. The husband was in the camper with us when we pulled back the sheet and I'm sure he was inwardly cringing and then relieved when we didn't pull it back all the way. I bet they had a good laugh after we left with the trailer too.

Because just past the clean section we looked at, there was a huge blood stain. Hazmat huge. Ax-murdering Criminal Minds plot-line huge. The kind of stain that only a black sheet would cover.

While signing the paperwork, the wife told me they had only taken two trips in the trailer since they inherited it from his father.  She didn't mention that they had been kidnapped and held for ransom in the trailer, her husband shot while protecting their family, and she valiantly working to keep him alive in the bed until the ransom was paid.  Or that they were boondocking miles away from civilization and she stepped in a bear trap and lay bleeding and writhing on the bed while he drove the rutted roads at breakneck speeds to get her to the hospital.  Or that a cat, no, make that ten cats, gave birth on the bed, all at the same time.   Or even a more logical explanation.  None of that was mentioned.

Hubby managed to get the mattress out of the camper without having to remove the bench seat by the door, and then we started looking for a new mattress even though that was not in the budget. Thanks to a tip from my friend Missy who was a full time RVer for years, we got a 10 inch Night Therapy Elite Gel Infused Memory Foam Prestige Queen Mattress at Sam's Club for less than $400. Cheaper than anywhere around even with the membership fee, and it had great reviews. We slept on it last night and it is comfortable. We also bought a Serta Gel Memory Foam pillow at Sam's but neither of us like it. It's heavy and not very soft, kind of like sleeping on a bag of sand. So that was a waste of $25. But I hope it will be good for sitting against while reading in bed.

Here is the bedroom end of the camper with the new mattress and the overhead bunk (it looks like a cabinet over the bed) removed.  That bunk was just low enough to cause claustrophobia and a gash in the head when getting out of bed in the middle of the night.  We are outfitting this camper for two people.  If we ever have overnight guests, they can sleep on the dinette which makes into a bed.  Although we have talked about removing that too and putting in a couple of small, comfortable chairs.

The day after we discovered the mattress, the previous owner wife called. The reason they gave for selling the camper was because they were buying a house. In fact, they were living with her parents until they closed on the house. So she called and said the loan company didn't like seeing that much cash going into their bank account and would we give them a cashier's check instead? She drove down with the cash and met me at our bank, and I'm sure she was wondering if we had uncovered the mattress yet. When I told her we had taken out the fold down bunk over the bed, she blushed and then didn't look at me again. Awkward!

With our rural trash service, we are allowed two bulk item pickups a year. So I called and scheduled a pickup, and we made sure the mattress was stain down when we put it out with the trash. But I was watching when it was picked up and they gathered around to look at the stain before putting it in the truck. So I'm sure they think WE are the ax murders now. Awkward again!

Outfitting a camper from scratch is a lot like setting up house for the first time. I never thought I'd get tired of shopping, but I've found I've really gotten tired of spending money. I've also gotten tired of returning things that didn't work out in the camper, or just didn't work - as in broken or missing parts. Other than food and clothes, and the ocassional household item, I haven't bought a lot of things in the last few years. I've more than made up for that this week, and at least a third of the things are defective or missing parts.

Hubby ordered a Weight Distribution Hitch on the same day I ordered a Sunpentown 2.1 cubic foot freezer, both from Amazon. Hubby's hitch came in four days, albeit with a missing part. My freezer has yet to be shipped. The delivery date ranges from August 14 through August 19. I called Amazon customer service to see if there was a reason it hasn't been shipped yet and the guy in India just repeated what it says on my Amazon tracking, that the order is being processed and will arrive on time. I am not holding my breath. Meanwhile, Hubby contacted the seller of his hitch and told them the package was damaged and a piece missing, and they immediately sent back an email saying they were sending another and a pickup label for this one. Now that is customer service.

I'm sure there will be more surprises, some good and some bad, but maybe these are the extremes and everything else will fall into the category of usual maintenance. We hope.


Martha said...

WOW!! What a saga!! I am glad you replaced that mattress, ugh and ewe!!!! Well, I do love that tent part that hooks to the trailer, so very cool!!! We are now looking for small travel trailers that have the walk around bed. I will be sure to check the mattress out thoroughly!! Have fun!!!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Holy Cow ~ What a story. I like the bed without the cabinet overhead, looks much nicer.

The screened room off the trailer is nice too. Does it have a door in it for you to get out?

Happy Camping ~ FlowerLady

MartiDIY said...

I'm glad too. Even if the mattress had been clean, there is a certain ew factor in sleeping in someone else's bed. But definitely check both sides of the mattress before you buy one. The fact that it even had a sheet on it should have sent up warning flags to us. I hope you find a good one.

MartiDIY said...

I like it without the cabinet too. I would like to put floor to ceiling cabinets on the sides with bookshelves across them, but close to the ceiling. Having that bed cabinet right over my head would keep me from sleeping I think.

No, the screened room doesn't have a door, but it has a zipper opening. I wondered if we could put those magnetic screen doors in it though. Either way, I thinkk we are really going to like it, especially if we want to sit out and visit with people. There really isn't room inside for more than 2 or 3 people.

eileeninmd said...

Oh wow, now that is not a nice surprise. I am so glad you bought a new mattress, it looks very nice! The screen in tent looks great too. I hope you will enjoy many great trip in your RV! Have a happy week!

MartiDIY said...

Thanks Eileen, I'm glad we bought it too. Maybe the stain was a blessing in disguise because it's nice to start fresh with something as personal as a mattress. I hope we have some great trips in the rv too.

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

I had to laugh at your stories... I almost believed you about the husband being shot! I think it's much nicer to have a new mattress, even though the cost wasn't something you planned for. Isn't it fun to find things out about a new purchase?

Tonia Conner said...

Sorry, I had to laugh at your misfortune. I'll bet you're a good story teller around the campfire.
Has Buddy investigated the trailer yet? Better double check before you all take off, you might have an extra traveler with you.

Tired Teacher said...

Despite the unexpected expense, the changes have made the camper truly yours. I think you are going to enjoy using it, especially the screened area.

Kate said...

Wow, you were really gracious about the whole mattress thing. Especially when they called and asked for you to make different payment arrangements. It does sound like buying a used camper is pretty similar to buying a house. You don't find all the little things that have to be fixed until you move into it. Hopefully there won't be any more surprises.

MartiDIY said...

Oh yeah, lots of fun. LOL

But yes, it is much nicer to have a new mattress.

MartiDIY said...

Do they still tell stories around campfires? I doubt I'd be very good at it though - too introverted.

Yes, Buddy has investigated the trailer, but very hesitantly and when the a/c came on, he bolted out like a shot. He's not big on confined spaces. I doubt we'll ever have to worry about him being a stowaway. However, a lady came over to buy some pond plants last week and he jumped right into her van. Hubby had to drag him out. I don't know what it was about her van but I'd like to use it when taking him to the vet.

MartiDIY said...

By the time we get it on the road, I hope it will be just the way we want it. I've been looking at that screened room and wonder if I could set up a sewing table there. Hmmmm.

MartiDIY said...

Well, what could we do about the mattress? Caveat emptor. We should have examined everything more closely, and will if we ever buy another. But we really didn't know what we were doing or what to look for. By the time we get everything repaired on this one, I think we will know what things need a close inspection before buying. And yes, it is a lot like buying a house. Lots of little things that need repair that didn't show on the surface.

And about the cashier's check, I do understand having to jump through hoops to please loan companies. That wasn't really just a whim of the seller, and she drove down here so I was just out a little time.