Adventures in camper selling

Illustration for article titled Adventures in camper selling

I’ve been trying to sell the avocado green ‘78 Apache Wareagle my buddy and I bought together a couple years ago, and affectionately called The Death Camper for a couple months now. We had our fun with it, and want to go another direction for track camping in the future. Typical CL/FB Marketplace stuff. Tons of questions, multiple accepted offers that went nowhere, Thursday I even had a buyer “on the way” from the next town over who never showed and ghosted me. You know, standard operating procedure for selling stuff.


Last night I got a text as I was putting my youngest to bed. Nine minutes later, as I was responding to the text before putting my oldest to bed, I got an actual phone call. “We happen to be in Villa Park right now, are you available to show us the camper within the next hour?”

Damn right I am! A half hour later two women and their two enormous (friendly tail wagging) dogs strolled down the driveway. They asked lots of questions, I showed them how to put the top up without the lift system, they offered $350 (I was asking $550). I countered with $400, they accepted. NICE!


I grabbed the title and bills of sale, and one of them handed me a 2" tall stack of singles and tens, with a few twenties and fives to round it out. That’s a first for me, but hey, it all spends just the same. I took her through the paperwork, and she asked me a bunch more questions. It became clear to me that she’s never purchased a vehicle privately before.

They load of all the stuff and put the top down, and we roll it over to their first gen Pacifica. At which point I asked, “Soooooo, where’s your hitch.” The one who paid and signed the papers pointed at the 2" square receiver.


“Yeah, but where’s the actual hitch part?”

Both of them reeled back a little, and then the one said, “Oh, I guess we’ll have to go buy one of those.”


Well shit, I’m not letting this sale fall apart, so I offer to sell them one of mine for an extra $20. They agree, I hand them a hitch. The one proceeds to install it not with a hitch pin, but with a gacked up galvanized grade 2 bolt that her dad had given her. I stopped her, grabbed an extra actual hitch pin, and then realized the hitch I gave them was going to be too low. I grabbed my 4" drop mount, flipped the ball so it was a 4" rise, and showed them how to install it.

OK, so now we have a proper hitch installed. The girls start looking at the trailer, looking at the hitch, looking at me ... “You don’t know how to hook it up, do you?” I finally said.


So, I showed them how to do that. As they were lowering the tongue jack down, one of them says, “Oh, that’s way easier than I what I thought we were going to have to do!”

“What did you think we were going to do?” I asked.

“I thought we were going to have to pick the whole thing up and drop it down onto the ball!”


So, we get the trailer hooked up, I told them how to cross the chains and lock the lever arm and whatnot. One of them picks up the trailer wire end, looks at it, shrugs, and then drops it back down.

No, of course they didn’t have a trailer wiring harness. Or maybe they do, and they just didn’t know it. By then, I was fresh out of fucks and told them be careful and good luck.


I was then asked if I had any tips for “driving a trailer,” as she had never done that. I gave them some basics, suggested staying off the interstate (they agreed) and gave them directions for a main route into the city for them.

I know they intend to restore it, as they took all the old parts we pulled out. I wish them the best, they were very nice people, but I think they’re in over their head. I’m just glad it’s out of my driveway.

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