The prompt: What once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity(ies) came your way so far?
This year has been a quieter-than-normal year because of my surgery last December and subsequent months of recovery and therapy. We've stuck close to home mostly, gotten into routines that are comfortable and comforting, and all's going well.
But things are changing a bit. And one of those was the once-in-a-blue-moon purchase of what we think is the perfect little new-to-us travel trailer at the end of June.
We'd looked at trailers for more than a year, getting quite the education in the different makes and models and manufacturers from a few very helpful and forthcoming sales staff, along with some really blatant sales pitches at other dealers.
What we wanted: a mid-size travel trailer, around 2006 or newer, between 22-27 feet long. After looking at a LOT of trailers, we decided we liked the rear kitchens best because they have more counter space and more storage space. We also liked the rear lounge models, but they usually came with a humongous slideout. We were open to a slide, but a small slide, and definitely not one containing any appliances (I mean, why would you put a stove or refrigerator in a SLIDE? Even the sales folk agreed with us on that one.)
Walkaround queen bed, no bunk beds, and preferably a self-contained bathroom, although we saw many with the vanity in the bedroom, the big glassed-in shower sort of offset, and the toilet in a little room by itself. That wasn't a deal breaker, but it wasn't exactly what we wanted either.
We saw some gorgeous woodwork in the cabinetry and generous storage spaces, but we also saw some kitchens with one drawer and two cupboards and about 6 inches of counter space.
We looked at new ones: Timber Ridge and Creekside were really nice but were upwards of $26-$33K -- and I really choked at that price. We looked at used ones: they were okay but nothing really sang to us.
The newer ones have vinyl flooring in nice patterns -- stone or hardwood; the older ones have mostly carpet. Wallpaper and colors varied with the model year.
I wanted something that didn't feel so huge that I would be afraid to drive it, but some of the new ones have higher ceilings, seeming more spacious. They felt BIG.
Once I was back on my feet, we got interested in looking again, and on what was one of the hottest days of the year, went to a sale by Camping World where we saw a couple of really nice Denalis, new ones, and the sales guy said we could probably get it for about $10K off the asking price because they need room on the lot for the new model year ones that are coming in now. We said we'd think about it.
Back home, we looked at the website and found a couple of used trailers we hadn't seen and made an appointment to see them early the next morning. They too were marked way down.
And there it was: our perfect trailer. A 2011 MVP Summit with vinyl floors, not too tall, rear kitchen, small sofa slide, self-contained bathroom, very clean and showing almost no use, two doors. The trailer was right. We offered less than the sales guy wanted us to offer, and got it for just a bit more than our offer. Done. It was waiting for us to find it.
We've taken it (and the indoor kitties, one of our main reasons for wanting it) on a shakedown trip which went really well, and are soon to embark on a three-week journey northwards. Change is upon us, new opportunities, new vistas. Bring it on.
Let me add one more: I signed up for the August Moon 13 experience because I like writing to prompts, especially insightful ones as these are. I knew there would be a drawing for a free e-writing course from Writing Our Way Home, but since I never win these kinds of giveaways, I didn't pay much attention to that.
Guess what. My name was drawn.
And I am intrigued by the course titles and very pleased to have another once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity. Not sure yet which I'll be doing, but I'm sure you'll see some of the results on this site.
Thank you, Kat and Meredith, for your wonderful prompts, for organizing the whole experience, for arranging for such a great giveaway.