Friday, April 13, 2018

Another Dream Come True!

Last summer at Michael's family reunion I started to feel like we should look into getting a tent trailer. Then later that summer when we were up at Michael's Aunt's lake property, Owen our electronic junkie spent the entire day fishing and never once complained about no electronics that's when I seriously started considering it. We only have these kids for such a short time and I would rather be out in nature making memories with them now!!! 

For the most part Michael and I follow Dave Ramsey's principles pretty hardcore. We don't have credit cards, we use cash, we budget for things and so on. Michael and I had been working really hard to get our 3-6 month fund up to where it truly needed to be. Then Michael got his promotion and the fund was looking really good. I found a tent trailer on OfferUp and contacted the guy. He was out in Buckley and we were heading to the Black Diamond Adventures Days that Sunday so I asked him if we could swing by and see it. He had been emailing me back and forth when I was asking questions before, but after that question he just shutdown. I waited a day or so and ask if a different day would work better. Nothing. Crickets. I checked back a few days later and saw that he had unlisted it. I hate when people do that. I don't know what happened, but he should have had the courtesy to just say it wasn't available anymore...or my brother decided to buy it....something! Rude! 

Anyways I wasn't having any luck finding a trailer that I really liked. Just like I anything else I had criteria for our trailer. It needed to have at least queen beds on both sides, it needed to have a slide out for the dining table and it either needed to have a hard sided bathroom or no bathroom at all. 

That's when I thought it might be worth it to put in Portland's zip code to see if I could find the one I wanted down in Oregon. I have a friend from my old MOPS group that would do this for all of their vehicles so I thought I would give it a shot. 

I ended up finding the exact trailer I wanted and it was priced well...not cheap, but not overly expensive either. I contacted the guy and he was very prompted when answering. The first thing we needed to do in order to get a tent trailer was get a trailer hitch. I asked him all the different things I needed to know in order to get the right trailer hitch. I had talked to an auto shop by our house and he recommended TorkLift Central in Kent. We ended up needing a hitch with a 7-way plug, electric trailer brakes and a transmission cooler. In all that came to just over $1,100. 

I contacted the guy in Oregon and told him we would like to come down and check out the trailer. We planned for Saturday, March 17th. I was a little nervous that he was going to back out on me and leave us hanging. I gave him my phone number and told him to call me if ANYTHING changed. I mean we were traveling with all 4 kids so I didn't want anything unexpected to happen and then we traveled all that way for nothing. Michael and I had talked it over and looked online to see what the value of the trailer was and we came to the decision that we were going to offer him $5,500. He had the trailer listed at $6,500. I did take out $6,000 since that was our top offer. So in the back of my mind I knew that we might not be coming home with a trailer, but that was okay. I could walk away! 

We left on Saturday morning right around 7am. We stopped at McD's to get a quick breakfast and we were off. We listened to audio books on the way down. Our electronic rules have changed a bit post to follow. 

I had ask the guy to wait and go through the set up with us, but when we pulled up the trailer was already open. I'll be honest I was a bit put off by this, but I decided to shrug it off. He was very nice and explained that he thought we'd want to see the inside and then if we wanted to actually purchase it he would walk us through the take down and the set up was just the opposite of that. Sounded good to me. He also said that he was wrong when he advertised it as a 2005....when he got the manual out he saw that it was actually 2006. That instantly made me think....great there is no talking him down now. 

We looked around the trailer and everything was in great shape. There was only one tiny area inside that was damaged...more on that later. Anyways after checking it all out and asking the guy a ton of questions, I told him we wanted to talk in the van. The kids had been in the van the whole time watching Coco. We brought up the website where I had found the value of the trailer before and input the correct year and it showed that the guy in fact did have the trailer priced very well. So instead of coming in with the $5,500 offer, we decided to just put ourselves all out there. Michael went and knocked on the door and talked with the guy and said that we had $6,000 and that was our offer. The guy was really nice and he nodded his head and said, "Well you price things just slightly higher because you know there's room to go down." 

After that we got he walked us through the whole process to take the tent trailer down. We were so focused on what we were doing we didn't even ask if the kids wanted to go inside before we took everything down. 

The we got the trailer all hooked up to the van! 

First family picture with the trailer! So many memories to be made!!! 

We drove around the corner from the guys house and Michael pulled over and wanted to make sure that all the lights on the back of the trailer were working. Then we set off for home! 

This is going to be an amazing blackmail picture someday!!!!

Ella Bean was passed out! 

We stopped at a McD's for lunch that Michael knew had a great parking lot for trailers. Have a mentioned how much a despise McD's. It's okay I do like the McChicken sandwich so that's what I get! We got home around 3pm and got the trailer parked in the driveway. We were hosting a family game night at our house at 6pm so Michael and I went upstairs to take a nap so we wouldn't be totally exhausted when people showed up. We promised the kids that we would open the trailer up for them to see the next day after church. 

Sunday after I got home from the second service, we started opening it up. 

Here it comes! 

We had to explain to the kids that they had to wait until we had it all the way set up before they could go in. 

Almost ready for them to come in. 

We had some attitude issues so a couple people had to go to the back of the line. The first rule I explained to the kids shoes allowed in the trailer! I already have a bunch of ideas for how to make organization work and I can't wait to get started on those. 

Zeke man is the first one to break the rule about .5 seconds later! Seriously totally the youngest child right there! 

Jackson checking out the boys bed as well! 

I love this one! Such excitement! 

When you walk in the trailer to the right is this L shaped couch. The bed behind the kids is the on Michael and I will sleep on. 

Jackson was being a turkey when it came to giving me a sweet smile! 

These two had it down though! 

To the left of the L shaped couch is the dining table. Ella wanted it made down into her bed so she could see what it was going to be like. Just like I wanted the dining area slides out. 

To the left of the dining area is the hard sided bathroom...just what I wanted. My reasoning behind this is....I've had 4 kids and I always have to go pee in the middle of the night. There is no way I'm getting out of the trailer and walking down to the restrooms to go potty at 4am. Also most of the time the kids need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night as well and I don't want to be woken up by them needing to walk down to the restroom in the middle of the night either. I wanted a hard sided bathroom because it just feels more sanitary than those cassette toilets where they are no walls you just pull a curtain around yourself. thank you! 

I also explained to the kids the rules about the trailer #2 and only middle of the night pees. It's not going to be something we use during the day. We can walk down to the campground potty then. Thankfully no one broke this rule although I did have to stop Zeke from trying to use the bathroom. Kid is like a dog that has to mark wherever he goes! 

The small damage I mentioned earlier is on the lower portion of the bathroom wall. It is not water damage....the wood is looks more like the sun damage. The heat made the imitation wood grain bubble up. Michael tried to glue it down, but it didn't work. While we were at the hardware store a few days later it dawned on me.....wood grain contact paper. Sure enough they had it so we bought it. It might not be the exact same color, but it will be close enough. 

Here's inside the bathroom. That is actually a porcelain toilet. The bathroom can also be a shower. The original owners never used the shower. In fact they still have the original shower curtain unopened. The curtain hangs from the ceiling and then wraps around the inside of the bathroom. So you could sit on the toilet and shave your legs! I doubt we are ever going to use the indoor shower. Most of the campground showers are we have an outdoor shower so we could just hose the kids off out there. 

To the left of the bathroom is the boys bed. All three of them are going to sleep in this bed. We are going to have them lay parallel to the trailer so no one will get climbed over when someone has to get out. Plus I'm going to get two pool noodles at the Dollar Tree and put them under the sheet so there is a defined area that belongs to each boy. I'm crossing my fingers that this will help with the whole....Mom his foot is on my side argument. One can hope right! 

To the left of the boys bed is the kitchen. We have a double sink, a nice size 3-way refrigerator and behind Michael is the stove and oven. The hanging mirror over the sink is something the original owner added to the trailer. It has a little shelf that folds out so you can put toothpaste or something on it and then it can fold back up onto the roof. 

I'm sitting on me and Michael's bed taking this picture. Right behind Michael's arm you can see the black microwave. There is a nice size counter area above the microwave. I'm planning on buying a couple plastic Sterlite drawer containers to put on there for storage. 

Ella is so excited about being the only person to get a bed all to herself! 

Zeke thought that under Ella's bed would make a nice bed for him!! 

Jack was sure he could fit as well. He could, but it doesn't look too comfortable! 

Micah came over with Andrew & Josiah so they could check the trailer out. Kim and Caitlynn weren't feeling very well so they stayed home! :(

I love that the kids just started playing a card game right there in the trailer. That's what I'm talking about!!!!  

And here's the outside! 

We of course have a list of stuff we need to get. I would like to have the trailer stocked with the stuff we will use every time. I already have a set of plastic dishes to put in there. My aunt is giving me some of her trailer stuff that she doesn't need anymore. We don't even have queen size sheets! There is definitely going to be a few shopping trips in our future. I don't really want to buy too much right now because the Mill Creek garage sales are coming up in May and I know I'll be able to find tons of stuff there. 

And here's the side with the slide out. 

We do have our inaugural camping trip planned for the end of April. It will I'm sure be a huge learning experience!