Wickenburg is still a horsey town.
What’s 35 feet long, has four wheels, a bathroom, a refrigerator, a sofa, and a queen size bed and can fit three horses? My horse trailer with living quarters — the one I’ve been wanting (but not trying, evidently) to sell for the past year or so.
How many people do you know who could use such a thing? If you and your friends and family live in a city, the answer is probably zero. Even if you have friends who own horses, the answer might still be zero. After all, you need to not only have at least one horse, but you need a 3/4 ton pickup to pull the darn thing and a real desire to take your horse camping. Even I don’t know too many people who meet that criteria. (Although I do admit that I know at least a dozen.)
I decided on Monday that it had to go. I want to buy a new travel trailer that we can use on helicopter ride gigs. One that’s smaller and lighter and has more space for people than animals. One that would cost the same as what I could get for the big thing, so I wouldn’t have to go into debt.
So I made some calls. I called the place we bought it from and asked them if they’d take it back on consignment. They would and they sounded eager to get their hands on it. I figured they’d move it in about a month. Until then, I could finance the new camper.
I then pulled out all my brochures from the RV show we went to with some friends in February. I wanted an “expandable” camper. That’s a cross between a pop-up camper and a hard-sided camper. I studied the floor plans for StarCraft, which is the biggest maker of these things and settled on a Antiqua21-foot model with two beds and a slide out. The floor plan put the beds on opposite sides of the camper and the dinette and sofa in the slide out. The result: plenty of floor space — the one thing that was really lacking in the horse trailer.
I made some phone calls and found a dealer who had the model I wanted in stock and on display. Then I loaded up the recyclables in Mike’s truck, hit the dump to drop them off, and started on the long drive down to Phoenix.
I took the truck because we’re looking for two pieces of furniture — a desk and a small dining table — and I planned to look for that while I was in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. If I took my car, I would have found them and not been able to bring them home. But since I took the truck, I didn’t find them even though I could have taken them home. Murphy’s Law in action.
The trailer was exactly what I wanted, although I liked the upholstery color scheme in the 2006 model better than that in the 2007. They didn’t have any 2006 models left. I worked with the dealer guy to collapse and then expand one of the beds. It was a 3-minute job, just as he said. We talked money and I left some info for him to see if I qualified for financing. I was in the Home Depot Expo store a few hours later, looking for a table and desk, when he called me on my cell to say that I qualified for the lowest rate (7.9%, which doesn’t sound so good to me) and 12 years (which is insane). The monthly payments would be only $220. No wonder so many people are in such deep dept. Credit is just too darn easy to get.
The next day, I was doing the brochure rounds when I ran into my friend Suzy at Screamers in Wickenburg. I know Suzy mostly through events at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, but she and her husband are also horse people. They live near us and have the same cleaning lady. I mentioned to her that I was selling my horse trailer with living quarters and told her what I wanted for it. Ask around, I said.
Later that day, her brother called. He wanted to see the trailer. I hurried down to the wash, where it’s parked out of the flood plain, with Mike’s truck and a rag. Although it wasn’t filthy, it wasn’t exactly clean, either. We still had some stuff in it. I got to work while I waited for him.
He went down the wrong road to get to my house — the only time he’d seen it was on horseback while riding up our wash — and called me on my cell phone. “You have to come around to Steinway,” I told him. “Unless you have four wheel drive. Then you can come right up the wash.”
A while later, his truck and a white Jeep rode up the wash. He and his girlfriend, in separate vehicles. I knew her from the Wickenburg Horsemen’s Association — Mike and I are members, although we don’t attend many rides these days. They checked out the camper and I knew pretty quickly that they liked it.
Today, he called back. Suzy wanted to see it. So I met them this afternoon, just as a thunderstorm was moving into the area. Suzy has one that’s like it, but only for two horses. There were things about ours that she liked better. She gave him the nod. He gave me a deposit check.
He’ll come next week to get it. I figure I’ll use Mike’s truck to pull it into town where we’ll dump the holding tank (I think there’s something in there) and use a power washer to clean the inside of the horse part and the outside of the whole thing. I’d like to sell it to him clean. When the weather cools down, Mike and I will give them a demo of how the awning and screened-in room works; it’s a lot easier to put up if you know how to do it.
It’s nice to sell it to someone in town, someone that we know. But it’s also strange. This isn’t the kind of item that everyone wants or needs. It’s a tiny market, at least in the real world. But this is Wickenburg. Despite the zoning changes and development, there are still a few of us horse people around.
Obviously enough to find a market, through word-of-mouth, for a horse trailer with living quarters.