Monday, September 10, 2007

From the begining

As a father with a young family, I have always looked for a good activity that could bond our family in a shared experience. For years our family has been avid car campers. We have looked at camping as a good way to see the country without breaking the bank. Many of the National and State parks have excellent services at very resonable rates and they usually are close to wonderful attractions. The down side of car camping is the loading, unloading, setting up, breaking down the site, and loading it all back in, to followed by more unloading , cleaning and putting away. I have in the past year become tired of the process. The work involved got me thinking of a more better way.
Then it dawned on me to get an RV of some kind. Nothing large, just something that we could go out, camp, be comfortable in. So I started looking at travel trailers. Man are there a lot to choose from! Man do most of them look alike! Being somewhat counter culture I din't want to have one of those big white boxes like everyone else, for I am not like everyone else. The only trailers that were different were the old ones. The more I looked at the old ones, the more I liked them. The more I looked at old trailers, the more I felt drawn to the Airstreams.
I began searching on all the Rv classified, forum sites, ebay... everything seemed not right, until one day I found an ad for a 1958 Flying Cloud. The trailer was being sold by Rob Baker. Rob is very well known in the Airstream community. He suffers from aluminitis very badly, and sometime he sells some of his stash to others that share his addiction or new comers that don't realize what they are about to do. Well, Rob emails some pictures, and I instantly fall in love. The problem is that I am about to go on a long vacation and I just do not have the time to drive 5 1/2 hours each way to go look at it. I take a gamble and hope that it will still be for sale when I return. Needless to say some other guy snapped it up before I could. I was heart broken to say the least... he who hestiates is lost... it is true. I sure hope whoever Rob sold that trailer to is showing her some sweet love... she deserved it.
As I stated earlier, I am somewhat of a counter culture type, and I firmly believe that things are ment to be. When the time was right, it would be. I started bidding on trailers and loosing. The same ones that interested me also interested other bidders with much deeper pockets. I got involved in some auction that had buy it now options, but before I could get an email out to ask the most basic questions: "like if I buy, will I be able to tow it home to Baltimore." Well, before I could do anything someone hit that buy it now button.
On August 21 2007 an auction was listed at around 9 pm for a 1962 Overlander. It had a buy it now button of $4000, and it was about 75 miles from my house. I had seen the trailer listed in the Airstream forums for $4000 and it had been there for a number of weeks. I figured that no one was too hot for it since it had been listed for so long and then put on ebay. I called the seller first thing on the 22nd and arainged to go take a look and see what kind of shape it really was in. About 15 minutes from home I realized I had forgotten the directions and returned home. As I walked up to the computer, the screen still said zero bidders... I hit refresh, and oh no!!! Three buyers were working eachother and the bid was up to $2850. I knew it was too close to the $4000 buy it now price and one of the three wanted it. It was all going down just like before... Except this time I hit the buy it now button and bought a trailer 5 years older than me, sight unseen. What was I thinking? What had come over me? what was my wife going to say?
The next day I went and picked her up. I was very nervous about what I would find when I got to the sellers house. what if the pictures were highly deceiving and this thing was a pile of junk... I was so nervous that I chain smoked 3/4 of a pack of cigarettes in an hour and a half. The only ace I was holding was that no moneys had changed hands. If the trailer was not as described on ebay, I could refuse the sale and walk away. I could always refute the negative feedback if I had to.
As I pulled up my first thought was that it was smaller than I envisioned. The second thing I thought was, Man that thing is so beautiful. What a beautiful patena that aluminum has... it shimmers so nicely in the early morning light. The seller, Rick, came out and began showing me around. I very quickly realized that he did not know to much about Airstreams and did not know too much about the trailer. This may have been an act, I really do not know. Well as soon as he opened the door and let me inside, I knew I was home, I knew it was ment to be.

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