Here I go again, questing for my ideal Travco.
At this point “ideal” is a very loose term. Able to drive from Point A to Point B without collapsing in a heap of rust or the engine dying 500 miles from home is the new “ideal”..
It’s been quite a journey. We started in the spring of 2015 very naively purchasing a Travco 270 that sat in the bush for years. We started restoration without getting a mechanical safety first. Big mistake. After sinking several thousand dollars into parts, we found out the frame was a Swiss cheese of rust punctures, and unable to certify for road travel. The 270 was tow to a wrecking yard and we took a huge loss.
Since then we’ve been very gun shy. We’ve investigated many Travcos on Kijiji, through word of mouth and on Craigslist. We’ve had at least four deals fall through. The first two were unable to pass certification. One had been beautifully restored, but unsuitable for our needs. The last one proved to be a major disappointment. We made a deal for a 1969 270 and a few days before we were to pick it up, the seller pulled out.
We’d about had it with Travco shopping at that point. My husband wanted “any used RV, as long as we can camp in it.” I begged him to let me persevere a little longer.
A few months ago I answered a Craigslist ad from South Carolina. A two-line message for a yard sale, “and my Dad’s Travco”. No photos. No other information. I had phoned the owner and discussed a deal, but with the low US exchange on the Canadian dollar and the cost of travelling to Charleston to pick it up, I felt it wasn’t a good deal.
After striking out so many times I emailed the owner of this southern belle again. He said he still had the Travco and still wanted to sell. He assured me Old Blue was in good, drivable condition and could make the trip from Charleston to the Ontario border without a hiccup. And after comparing his sale price with what we’d been looking at in Canada lately, this Travco was affordable after all.
We worked out a deal and I purchased one-way tickets for myself, my husband and our 12 year old son for Charleston. Then the owner sent me a cryptic e-mail. We had settled on a fee of $6,000 US for the 1977 Travco. Now he was very interested in what prices I’d been quoted on other Travcos I’d been looking at.
Concerned he was going to hike his asking price, nevertheless I told him the truth. An hour later I received his answer:
“Me and Old Blue had a long conversation, and I’ve decided to let her go for $3,000. You have to promise to look after her. She’s a southern lady.”
Stunned, I re-read the message a few times. He included his phone number so I called.
“Are you sure about this? It’s half what we agreed on.”
“Old Blue’s going to a good home. That’s the important part,” he said. “By the way, did I tell you Old Blue is a 320?”
This week we are getting everything in order for our latest Travco adventure. It’s our last chance at a Travco, as funds are stretching pretty thin. We hired an importer to handle the paperwork at the border. And we’re very excited to visit a part of the US we’ve never been to before.
I’ll keep you posted on our latest Travco adventure. We fly from Toronto to Charleston, SC on May 7.
I just realized. I still don’t have a photo of Old Blue to post!
Wish us luck.