a major red flag before buying a used RV off Craigslist

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Before we realized that a used motorhome could be cheaper than buying a truck + a truck camper, we thought a truck camper was the only way to visit all 50 states. It was small enough to fit in a parking space and big enough to have a shower. That was the perfect balance as far as we knew.

We had toured a few campers and finally found one that didn’t have water damage—which was pretty much the only thing we knew to look for when shopping for a used RV.

But when you’re trying to buy your first home off Craigslist, you never know what will happen.

“Can I use your shower?” Heath asked.

“Sure,” I replied, wondering internally if he would still shower three times a day when we lived in a truck camper. Surely the water tank couldn’t handle that.

“Thanks,” he said kissing my cheek. He grabbed his phone and walked into the bathroom. The water started and I heard Heath say hello. I shook my head. Who talks on the phone in the shower? This is the man I’m marrying.

Suddenly, still fully dressed, he opened the bathroom door and from across the room, I could hear the caller yelling.

“I understand, but I—” The yelling grew louder. Heath mouthed something at me that I couldn’t make out. He looked spooked, and Heath didn’t spook easily.

“Who is it?” I asked, my heart rate rising. Our wedding venue canceling? An angry client from the software company where he worked?

“No, we—” he tried to cut into the conversation, but the yelling grew louder and was suddenly met with silence. Whoever it was hung up.

“What was that about?” I asked nervously when Heath slowly lowered the phone from his ear.

“That was the guy selling the truck camper. He backed out. Said that he didn’t trust us because we hadn’t picked it up yet.”

“But we said we would pick it up Friday. It’s not Friday yet.” That was the day Heath and his dad could take off work to go pick up the camper together since picking it up required two drivers.

Heath shrugged. “He was pissed. You heard. I couldn’t even get a word in.”

“Well, maybe you can call him back later after he calms down and we can still get it?” I asked, not willing to give up hope. We’d look at campers for over a month and that one was the only one we found in our price range. I had just shown pictures of it to my whole family only days ago, proudly telling them about our upcoming adventure. We didn’t have every part of our honeymoon figured out, but knowing where we’d be sleeping made the plans feel solid enough to tell our families.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, I could hear my mom’s voice in my head.

I could feel our plans unraveling.

I didn’t understand what went wrong. The couple selling the RV seemed to really like us when we drove four hours to check out their camper. They gave us tons of camping tips and when we were all still talking as the sun went down, they even shared their homemade wine with us. Okay now that I’m thinking about it, that was a little weird. It burned like vodka, tasted like wine. They made it under their sink from frozen Welch’s grape juice and—

Oh my gosh, why did we drink that?

Our judgment was clearly off.

“No. If that’s the kind of person he is, we shouldn’t buy it from him,” Heath said firmly. “I wouldn’t trust him. He was mad that I was planning to bring my dad along to pick it up. We’ll have to find another one.”

“That one took us a month to find, put in an offer, and schedule a day to pick up! We don’t have another month! The wedding is coming up soon. We’re out of time. We already showed everyone the pictures of that one! What are we going to do?” I burst into tears.

I could already picture Easter with my family and explaining how we already failed at our honeymoon and we weren’t even married yet. As if it wasn’t hard enough to share the whole story to begin with.

“We aren’t going to go now,” I sobbed to Heath. “It isn’t going to work out. This is another sign. We’re never leaving.”

Between this and Heath being out of the job, surely we were not meant to RV? Everything was piling up against us.

“It’s okay,” he murmured hugging me and stroking my hair, concealing his worries if he had any. “Hey, if that one didn’t work out, then it wasn’t meant to work out. We will find something else. I will take care of us.”

Just weeks before our wedding day, I kept crying as I saw our honeymoon going down the drain.

Maybe this whole thing was just a quarter-life crisis.

I learned that term on Twitter. From what I understood, it was code for twenty-somethings questioning every decision they ever made, like deciding that living in an RV was a suitable way to start our marriage.

“Hey,” Heath said cupping my face in his hands. He wiped my tears away. “We’re going to do this no matter what. Give me a little more time, and I’ll prove it to you. Do you trust me?”

I nodded, trying to regain composure, my eyes brimmed with tears. “I trust you.” I paused. “But I just don’t know how we’ll—”

“I’ll take care of it, okay? Don’t worry. I’ll take care of our family,” Heath whispered to me with his arms wrapped around my waist. “This is just a roadblock. We will find an RV.”

When Heath lost his job, he wanted to give up on our dream.

When we lost what we thought was the perfect RV, I wanted to give up on our dream.

But we didn’t lose hope at the same time. We had each other to carry us through even when it felt impossible. And looking back, Franklin was waaaaaay better than a truck camper and we needed that first deal to fall through so we could time it right and find the perfect RV:


There are always roadblocks to chasing after what you want—like visiting all fifty states or traveling full-time—but sometimes they are just the annoying stuff you have to push through to get to where you’re meant to be.

Moral of the story: if the guy on Craigslist cusses you out over the phone, don’t buy his RV. There’s a better one right around the corner ❤️