Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Buying an RV

This wasn’t the plan. While we wanted to buy a travel trailer, our timeframe was to make that big investment in June, not seven months earlier in October. But when the call came from Dandy RV in Oxford, Ala., saying that a 2007 25 foot Airstream Safari was traded in and they wanted to quickly turn it around, we knew that we had to see it. (See our review of Dandy RV.)

On the way to Dandy RV, we came up with a million reasons for waiting a minimum of six months before purchasing a camper. Then it happened, we saw the trailer.

It was amazing how fast that Airstream felt “right” for us. The layout was perfect. The size was perfect. The condition was great. The timing wasn’t perfect.

Our two biggest problems were not insurmountable. First, our car could not tow more than 1,000 pounds and this Airstream topped out at 7,000 pounds. This was one of the times when duck-tape would not fix the problem. We needed to new vehicle capable of towing the trailer.

The second problem was the most obvious one: paying for the trailer. Our budget would love for us to wait until June, but there were too many “perfects” associated with this Airstream to walk away. Sure, buying our trailer seven month early would cause some financial hardships for the coming year, but we end up with a really great Airstream.

We agreed to buy the Airstream.

In a little more than two weeks, we would drive our new tow vehicle to Oxford to hook-up and take the Airstream home.

Wait, we have to research, locate and purchase something with the capacity to pull 7,000 pounds. This sounds like a job for Drs. Google and YouTube.

It is amazing how much information is available today via the Internet and Google. You can benefit from the experiences and the mistakes of others when they post their comments and reviews online. The collective wisdom from the online crowd suggested that a Ford F-150 Ecoboost would provide both towing power and fuel economy.

Once again, our timing wasn’t perfect. Ford ended the production of 2011 models and the 2012s were not scheduled to arrive at the dealerships for another month or two. We were limited to dealer stock and the current used truck market.

We quickly had to dismiss the used market. The Ecoboost is too new to be on the used lots and the one truck we seriously looked at in Birmingham had the distinct smell of a smoker having previously owned it.  Our narrows to new trucks.

There are three Ford dealers in the Montgomery, Ala. area. Two fall into the category of “Big City” dealers. The third is a family-owned dealership that has served the region for decades. Let’s go with Collier Ford, the dealership owned by people who have lived in the area for generations. (See our review of Collier Ford, Wetumpka, Ala.)

A couple of weeks after investing in a truck with the power to pull our new Airstream, it was time to head to Dandy RV and hitch it up for the first time. 

The adventure is about to start.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, when it comes to buying RV’s, timing is crucial. Purchasing one without a budget plan is a big no-no because you’ll end up having a sub-par RV and a lot less cash. It’s a good thing though that we have the Internet’s help to make the planning process a lot easier. In the end, I don’t blame you for buying the Airstream ahead of time. I mean, who can resist that beauty, anyway? :)

    Rosalinda Rudloff