Just How Important is the Title?

Well,   yesterday we were so pumped and excited that today was supposed to be the big day of going to pick up the 2nd ’69 Shasta in Des Moines. We’ll call the owner “Shasta Joe”.  We took the tires off of the 1st camper so we would have a couple of spares with us just in case we couldn’t get Shasta #2 home with the tires it had on currently.  Today is Sunday and we feared we  wouldn’t be able to  find a place to get tires,  should the ones on it not be road worthy.  We packed up the truck with the tools needed,  spare tires (3)  jacks,  wood blocks,  you name it,  we had it ready to roll.

Knowing that camper #2 did not have a title,  we had been on the phone with “Shasta Joe” a couple of different times getting things ironed out.  He made a special trip to their courthouse to get the duplicate title paperwork.  He called one of the previous owners from several years ago that had the last valid title.  He even went out of his way to deliver the papers to her to fill out and take to the courthouse for the final paperwork to be completed.  This kind man went above and beyond the call of duty trying to help us get the proper paperwork needed if we were to license this camper.

So,  last night we are at a friend’s wedding and we get a message from “Shasta Joe”.  We figured he was calling to set up a meeting time and to give us directions and an address.  Wow,  were we way off.  When “Shasta Joe” got home from work last night,  the sheriff’s department  was there to greet him.  When he spoke to Mark,  he was pretty shook up.  He was apparently put into hand cuffs because the camper was stolen property.  It had been stolen several years prior to this,  and then sold, not once,  but twice.  After Joe explained to the deputies who he had bought it from and was able to give them names the handcuffs were removed.  Evidently,  the original owners son needed money for some bad “habits” and had taken  her camper without telling her and then sold it for the money.  It was then  sold again,  later down the road.

Unfortunately for “Shasta Joe” the camper was immediately confiscated and then taken away.  Now,  it sounds as if Joe is out of the camper and the money he paid for,  plus the work he had already put into the camper.

I hope that this is a very valuable lesson to anybody reading this post.  I knew the title was something we needed.  We had actually thought we would get it next week after picking up the camper.  I feel very fortunate that we had not picked up the camper and exchanged the money in advance or it would have been us without the camper and out the money also.  I feel bad for “Shasta Joe”  though and plan on sending him a gift card for a small amount just to show him how much we appreciated his diligence in locating the owner for us.  Had he not contacted the original owner,  they would have never tracked down the stolen item.  By him being the “good guy”,   he ended up getting the short end of the stick.

What’s Cookin’?

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Another JACKPOT!! While sitting around the campfire the other night, a friend of ours told us that they were getting ready to scrap out her parents old ’68 pick-up camper. She asked if were interested in going through it to see if there was anything we could use. We were on board with the idea.

Last night we drove down to take a look and we scored big!! We found the most beautiful coral colored stove that was in great shape. Come to find out, the oven had NEVER been used, not once in it’s 47 years. We also salvaged the coral ice box. We aren’t exactly sure what we will be using it for, but picked it up just in case. Thanks Jill!

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No Way!!! Times 2? Why not?

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Less than 24 hours after purchasing our 1st Shasta LoFlyte,  we got a return email from one of the Craigslist contacts.  You can only imagine my surprise when he told me that he also had  a 1969 Shasta LoFlyte.  I double checked the Craigslist ad to look at pictures.  Low and behold,  it looked like the twin sister to the one we had just purchased.

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It turned out that this trailer was already in the renovation process.  The ceiling had already been removed.  After speaking to the owner,  it sounded like this might be a bit closer to finishing off than the other trailer.  We haven’t actually seen this one in real life yet,  just on the internet.

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After quite a bit of discussion,  we decided to buy both!  We still  haven’t got the 2nd one in our possession yet, but  plan on  picking  it up by the end of the  week.  It is almost 2 hours away.  We will take a good look at both trailers side by side,  determine which one is in the best shape and then  use the other for parts.  The 2nd trailer cost only $500.

For a combined cost of only $775 we feel like our wait was well worth it.  Can’t wait to get started.  We are very excited to go pick it up this next weekend and see just what we have.

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Got It!

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Within a couple of hours I had a reply,  and then another,  and another.  In less than  24 hours we found  a 1969 Shasta LoFlyte that was only about 40 minutes  from home.  We went  and looked at it. It was a mess and needed cleaned desperately.  It had been used as a storage shed for the past 5 years or so.   We had caught the gentleman off-guard with our post and he would need a couple of days to clean it out.

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Although we knew  we  would have our work cut out for us,  the price was great,  only  $275!!!  SOLD!!!

 

The Search

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We have spent over a year looking at vintage travel trailers on the internet and on the road.  When I happened upon this display at the Iowa State Fair in the 4-H Exhibit Building,  I just knew that THIS WOULD BE THE  YEAR!  We looked at some of the new reproduction Shasta’s just days before this and fell in love,  but we couldn’t justify spending that kind of money if we were to keep our large 5th wheel also.

Setting our budget and being PATIENT

We wanted to be realistic.  When looking at the used campers online we quickly realized that location,  location,  location can mean everything when searching for a camper.  It just so happened that we were in a good location,  the Midwest.   I had read several articles about folks buying their travel trailers on the internet and then they had them shipped to them.  We knew we did not want our money going into shipping,  we wanted it into the camper.  We also knew that finding one could take weeks,  or even months.  We were right but it was well worth our wait.

Narrowing down the possibilities

The internet has been an extremely helpful tool in figuring out just what we wanted our little vintage camper to be. After having had an extremely wet summer we were able to rule out the teardrop style. We loved the looks of the teardrops,  but wanted something that we could stand up in comfortably should we be caught in the rain for several days.  We also knew that we wanted to keep the camper as small as possible and yet big enough that we could take our grandchild with us if the opportunity should arise.  We decided that something between 8-15 foot would be just perfect for us.  We also both loved the Shasta “wings”  but were willing to settle for another brand if need be.

Where do we look?

I stumbled across an article on a blog called “Fresh Vintage-getting fresh with my Vintage Finds”  that had a lot of helpful information.  One of my favorite sites they recommended was  “Tin Can Tourists” .  Although we didn’t actually get our camper through this site,  it was very entertaining to look at the many there are to choose from.

Facebook, Craig’s List,  Want Ads,  and the list goes on….

As a bi-weekly and sometimes tri-weekly (OK, DAILY)  event we  (I)  would check out Craig’s List.  I kept finding lots of little beauties but they were either more than we wanted to spend, too far away,  or just too big for what we wanted.  We didn’t give up though. We  knew it was out there,  we just had to find  it.

I turned to Facebook.  I found out that if you type in a simple word like “campers”  or “travel trailers”  in the search bar,  there were numerous groups that were in our area.  I searched it like a hawk on a regular basis also.

Help  from our friends

After trying to find something on our own,  we started asking our friends to keep a close lookout,  just in case they saw something on the street,  in a field,  a ditch,  a parking lot,  the back 40,  you get the picture.

One day we went on a wild goose chase on a tip from a friend.  She had seen what she thought we wanted with a 4-sale sign in the window.  It was about 45 minutes away.   I convinced my hubby to go take a look at it.  On the trip  we saw some old pick-up campers in a field behind a house.  We stopped and inquired about them.  Talk about SCARY!!!!  This was NOT where we would be finding our diamond in the rough.

Getting discouraged

By now,  we were getting a little discouraged.  Fall season was upon us and it was starting to look like we wouldn’t be finding anything this year. I then found a couple of  trailers on Craig’s List that we might be interested in.  I had questions to ask though.    I replied to both, asking length and if they were still available.   After a couple of days I had not heard from them and figured they were sold.

I finally decided to go out posting ISO  (In Search Of)  ads on local Facebook Swap pages.  I found a stock photo on Google that was similar to what we wanted,  minus the “wings”.  I also made sure to use a photo that looked vintage,  not just a camper that looked vintage.   They said the old black & white photo was what caught their attention.  Just a bit of advice if you try this route.

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