Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Chalet Leaves For Alaska - Without Us

With some nostalgia, we put a For Sale listing on Craigslist for the Chalet. For the first week we had a few contacts and lookers, but nothing very serious. Then one day we got an email from a woman saying she was very interested in the Chalet and asking us to call a 907 area code. About an hour later we got an email from the other half of this couple with some specific questions about the Chalet and repeating the request that we call. We looked up the area code and it turned out to be in Alaska! We made the call and thus began a weeklong series of calls in which we discussed the Chalet’s features and condition, possible trips by the buyers to come and inspect the Chalet, the locations of ports that they might use to ship the Chalet out of Washington and how we might get it there. As it turned out, we ended up with a good enough rapport and level of trust that they just wired us the money, and we took the Chalet to the Port of Tacoma the same day and put it on the ship leaving the next day to Anchorage. Quite the experience!

Friday, May 1, 2009

We Found It

After lots of looking online and visiting a number of dealers on “RV Row” along I-5 in Tacoma, we ended up at Sumner RV. We were soon focused on an Arctic Fox 21R 5th wheel as best meeting our criteria. We were ready to deal, but Cathryn had one condition she needed met before we could cut the deal: She wanted to take it on a test drive! Darrell, our salesman, seemed to think this was a little unusual but said; “OK, what sort of truck to you have to haul it?" At which point we said; "well, we don't have a truck.” This presented a bit of a problem but eventually Darrell arranged to use the owner’s truck for a test haul the next morning. So, Sunday morning we showed up at 8AM, but found out the hitch didn’t work, so we wondered how to deal with that, given that we had an appointment later that morning in Seattle, so we couldn't dally a long time. Luckily a woman who was delivering a new trailer to Sumner RV from the manufacturer showed up, and upon learning of our conundrum offered to let us use her truck! A few minutes later, we hooked up and Cathryn and this woman took off on a test drive and free “tutorial” on how to drive a 5th wheel, what a great deal! Half an hour later Cathryn showed up and declared, “I can do this”. We arranged to come back that afternoon to close the deal! When we did, we learned that because of the options we want, the trailer will need to be built for us, and will probably not be ready until August. While we're a little disappointed, it’s not a big deal since we like to spend the nice summer months at home on Colvos Passage and out on the boat. An August delivery will still allow time for us to take a few short trips before we leave for the winter, to become familiar with our new home away from home, and work out any bugs that might exist in the new equipment.