How I sold my travel trailer privately.

How I sold my travel trailer privately.

We’ve been camping in our travel trailer for many years. In fact, my son grew up on Harrison Beach while we basically lived part time in a travel trailer while we parked full season at Harrison Hot Springs.

You can read more about Harrison Hot Springs from their tourism website HERE. It’s a gorgeous beach front town with the prettiest views and lovely walking trails.

It was a good life. A very VERY good life. For that season in time for certain!

Then we started to get stirrings to travel on jet planes to far off places instead. Knowing I couldn’t swing both camping full season and international travel, it was becoming increasingly obvious that one day we would likely need to let camping in a travel trailer  go so we could do international travel instead.

Then suddenly I became ill, putting the camping adventures to an abrupt halt! You can read that story HERE. 

So the trailer sat in my yard. We played with it while it was parked there, and even eventually camped at nearby places for a night or two. But it was very different. Campsites were always booked so far in advance so in most cases, spots were full before we even decided we wanted to head out.

And that’s when we started to travel internationally to Hawaii instead. We started flying to Maui which ended up being an every summer habit for a good long time!

But after each trip, we’d come home to a parked travel trailer that was use to lots of beachside fun and campfires. Yet here it sat. 

Until Walter paid a visit…

travel trailer parked along the side of the house

The parked trailer… in my way.

During my yard cleaning sprees, my eyes kept landing on that parked trailer. It sat pretty lonely looking on top of a once gravel driveway that I was now weeding now and then, and wasn’t keeping up with in a real hurry.

In short, the trailer was becoming a liability.

I’d mutter to myself, “One day I have to deal with that…” but always walked right past it. It was stuffed to the rafters with camping equipment we hadn’t touched in a few years.

Even though we were no longer using the trailer, I wasn’t in a big rush to get rid of it.  I always thought perhaps we’d camp one more season, or park it on some lake front property that I bought for some screamin’ deal of a miracle price. Then I could renovate it!

But then I reasoned our flying vacations would probably end. I wanted to jump on a plane MORE.

Back and forth. Back and forth. So I did nothing. And the trailer sat.

But the trailer being there was a constant reminder that we WEREN’T using it. Travel trailers deteriorate if they aren’t constantly used and fixed along the way. So I seriously debated on letting it go. One day, I mused…

Until Walter showed up.

unloading the travel trailer to clean out before selling

Then Walter paid a visit.


Walter my pruner arrived late in the summer for an explosion of new tree pruning we prearranged. He was actually hugely delayed due to being so busy. So we had more than ever to clean up PLUS the addition of removing all the flower beds in the backyard to free up my yard workload. It was a massive 2-3 day job ahead.

This would mean that we’d need to get his excavator in… which meant moving the trailer.

That’s when Walter turned towards the unit and said, “Ever have thoughts on letting it go? We’re after something just like that…”

Oh goodness. I wanted to scream a high pitched YES but dug in my heels HARD.

This was a baby book on wheels after all!

Besides, my son’s ice cream bucket filled with rubber apes was still in the trailer. You read that right. My baby grew up camping and this would be a hard one to relinquish.

I honestly was caught off guard with the question, however I HAD been wishing it was just gone so I didn’t have to keep worrying about it!

So I told him I was open to the ‘idea’, and for sure, bring his wife over for a peek…

“Can we come this evening?”


That meant 3 hours. I was thinking more like, ‘give me a month’s notice..’

That trailer’s been sitting for 4 years fully loaded (and then some) and I need to get it camera ready for a viewing in 3 short hours?!

“Uh… sure! I’ll be home…” I squeaked out.

And then he left.

What had I just done?

unloading the travel trailer to clean out before selling

The big travel trailer clean out begins!


So I entered the trailer door, and was greeted to stuff piled to the ceiling from every surface.

Shaking my head, the needed adrenaline (I had been missing all summer I might add!) kicked in high gear and I started heaving camping gear out the door onto the lawn without even thinking twice. 

There was no time to think even once!

messy travel trailer

inside the travel trailer

They loved it!

I focused on just the junk you could see. Everything got carried out, then all the surfaces got buffed until they sparkled. I attempted a few cupboards but ran out of time.

Later that evening, I heard them drive in as I was filling up a galvanized jug with water for some fresh cut hydrangeas for the trailer table.

As I carted out the flowers to meet them, I was happy to see they brought their two girls!

So we all clamoured into the trailer for ‘the tour’.

In a nutshell, they loved it.

I will never forget the vision of those sweet girls bouncing from one bed to the next, giggling and chatting about their vacations to come. And their beautiful Mom running her hand along the surfaces, appreciating everything she saw.

They looked good in there. SO good.

But…gulp. My mind put on the brakes.

I wasn’t sure I was ready.

But where did they go?


Turns out I didn’t have to be ready quite yet. That’s when things got super weird. Walter had a bunch of family things transpiring and our communication just stopped.

I honestly thought they changed their mind. The ‘how I sold my travel trailer privately’ story was obviously not meant to be, right?

So during that lull, I had plenty of time to relive all the what-ifs. Again. And the cons rose to the top much much higher than the pros.

Pros to keeping the trailer


  • We could camp anytime.
  • That’s it.

Cons to keeping the trailer


  • my truck was becoming unreliable for pulling
  • the trailer needed a lot of work to get back on the road
  • campsites were so hard to land.
  • how often would we even bother to use it? Would it be worth it?
  • we’d rather fly somewhere instead!

So before I heard back from Walter, I resolved it was time to let it go even if they no longer desired it. 

But my gut said it was theirs. Even if they couldn’t swing it then, I resolved I’d hold it for them until they could.

Because it was them or nothing. I wouldn’t likely have the guts to do it if they didn’t want it.

That finalization was so strong it was like the words were audible. “IT’S THEIRS.”

Then the phone rang. They were still in!


And not a minute before I came to that conclusion, the phone rang.

It was Walter. They were still interested, and Walter wanted to know if he could take one more look around to test out a few things. Sure thing! He came that day.

And after viewing… we agreed on the deal.

Then he said, “Can we do it tonight?”


3 hours. Again.

I didn’t even do anything else to the trailer since the first viewing! It needed HOURS of work.

But that’s ok, it would be another real push, but I already knew it was theirs, so why not?

No time to cry, right?

“Sure! Cya later!”


Naturally, I did make it (and the big camping gear pile in the backyard proved that point well) but believe you me, I pushed so hard I was numb.

And I think that was a very good thing. Otherwise I may have changed my mind.

Next up, we met at the insurance place to swap plates.

Grateful for a moment to finally sit, I didn’t want to think too hard. I may have to schedule some crying in but not right then… please oh please…

But when I saw Walter’s new plate, my world STOPPED.

license plate for a travel trailer

The license plate that changed everything.


WDT…. “Walter D’s Trailer” I mumbled to myself.

I blinked back happy tears.

This is when I think I may have frightened the poor man. I turned to him, absolutely BEAMING mad woman style, and squealed, “The plate! It’s your initials. This was meant to be your trailer all along! I KNEW IT! I JUST KNEW IT!”

I’m not sure he ever recovered, but I know I sure did!

travel trailer heading down the road

The trailer leaving the yard for the last time

Instead of tears flooding my cheeks, I wore the BIGGEST grin ever as I watched the trailer being pulled out of my yard for the very last time.

It made me think of Toy Story where the toys come to life once Andy leaves his bedroom. They gather around and plan things, then go limp once Andy shows up again, where they have the time of their lives together.

That trailer was about to embark on the best time of ITS life! Thanks to that lovely family that helped me through this massive hurdle that needed dealing with.

THEY HELPED ME. By me helping them. Really, really cool trade.

empty parking spot for travel trailer

The empty parking space… that made me smile!


When I turned around to stare at the now vacated parking spot, I felt such relief!

The burden of yet another big in-your-face decision was lifted.

Let the new dreams begin!

So if you ask me how I sold my travel trailer privately?

It was because I needed pruning done.

So if you have something to sell, hire out some help! Ya never know if they’re the one to help you make it happen… even if you weren’t quite ready.

Do you currently live the travel trailer life or do you travel internationally instead? I’d love to hear about your own adventures!

And to celebrate the trailer’s departure, here’s a few popular past posts…

Camping in a travel trailer – my best tips

Winterizing a trailer by blowing out the lines

The $1.67 travel trailer door fix

Summer Changes 3 part series… about the mysterious illness that changed everything.

Find other camping posts HERE


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Categories: Camping, Junk Drawer
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24 thoughts on “How I sold my travel trailer privately.

  1. great post! You have been – an’ probably always will be – my favorite blogger. Just awesome stuff always rolls out from your ‘pages’. Enjoy the new lighter load! (I think more of us are in that same mode…)

  2. I love stories like this. I agree, it was meant to be theirs.

    (I was just wondering a few weeks ago if you still had your trailer)

  3. LOVED the story!! I can honestly relate to the pros and cons, been doing the same thing myself. You, as always, are such an inspiration!!! Cant wait to see what transpires in the “empty space!!!!”

  4. ?What a great post, and so happy for Walter & his family making new memories. ?Aloha, so glad to hear you are going back to Maui! So are WE! I’ll go back and read your Maui trips again. Enjoy!

  5. Donna, so happy to hear all the good things. I think we really need to see how our “things” really do mean something sometime. We have stories and that trailer was part of your story. By letting it go you are letting it continue its stories, like old houses have tales to tell.
    I know your heart will be so happy to know those kids are going to continue to make memories that will last their lifetime, from this treasure you passed onto them.

  6. I’ve always enjoyed your trailer/camping posts over the years, Donna. Guess I was living vicariously. Today’s post reminded me of a time 24 years ago when we had sell our trailer. We’ve never been camping since. It’s been a real struggle to let go of the dream of camping again. *sniff* In the meantime, we saw our 3 kids graduate high school & college, marry wonderful spouses, and bless us with 5 grandchildren.
    I’m glad, though, that you feel relief and I love the WDT license plate part, too. And yes, getting on a plane for vacay ROCKS! blessings, Karen

    • I really struggled with letting this one go, Karen. I’m sure you can relate.

      I’ve just been feeling my ongoing story needs to include new adventures. Camping sorda filled that gap, and gave me something else to write and share, however the stories weren’t new any longer anyway. Perhaps that’s why they needed to stop?

      No idea what’s next, but admit I’m kinda glad I don’t know and don’t have to know. I have no desire to carry that weight! : )

  7. Great story on the life of your trailer and your life enjoying the trailer. Happy tears for sure. I have been thinking about buying a used trailer for months now,,,just thinking and analyzing at this point. But your story helps me confirm, that there are chapters to be written in my life about solo trailer camping adventures. 🙂

    PS The stencils arrived. Love them.

    • Oh Gina, it really is such a wonderful life going on adventures with a trailer! It’s like playing in a dollhouse in the forest of your choosing! If it’s the right season of life for you, I say YES. You can always sell it later when you decide otherwise. They do need constant tinkering however if you are using it constantly you’d be doing that anyway. Not much different than living in a real house. I always hired pros to keep things running right, however learned to do lots from other campers. Nicest folks on earth!

      PS How exciting! I hope you share what you make!

  8. Wow, what an awesome post! I love to hear stories that have a happy ending. If you get a “hankering” for camping again, you could always rent a trailer for a week or so. We’re planning on renting one in a couple years once my husband retires. I’ve always wanted to go to New England in the fall, and we have friends that have a trailer, so we’ll rent one and take a trip. I don’t know if I’d want the extra work of maintenance if we were to purchase one. Just think about how happy Walter’s little girls are going to be when they go camping!

  9. It’s amazing sometimes how when you do right by someone else without as much worry about what you get from the deal, you end up with the best reward ever. You held it for them, knowing it might fall through, but in giving it a new life, you are released from something holding you back. Now the real challenge will be sorting through all that CRAP to get your backyard CLEAN. You might find the Facebook group rejuvenated from a quick post of your giant pile of…dare I say it? Trailer trash. ?

    • TT… haha! Good one!

      Happy to report, the pile is already gone! Some to the thrift, some to the curb, some back in the house, and some in the trailer trash… ; )

      I hadn’t realized how the power of something just sitting stagnant could fill up a mind!

      • Congratulations! I always have a less of a difficult time getting rid of a big thing and more trouble going through the stuff it held because it’s all “misc”. I have a bunch of miscellaneous stuff in my basement that I’ve been sorting off an on for nearly 2 years now. I need to get serious about it.

        I think your trailer has found a happy home and will get to experience many new adventures and now you have the freedom to explore the world. I look forward to reading more of your adventures.

  10. Awesome story! I’m both excited for Walter’s family and the adventures to come and heart broken for your tough, yet right, decision

  11. This posting was a grand ending to my day. My parents are now passed away. My dads birthday is this month & I always get a little melancholy around his birthday. There were 5 kids in our family with one income. Just to take a vacation with limited funds was expensive. Every one of ours, growing up, were camping in a trailer for a week.
    At the time I hated it. Now older I think on it & it was exactly what we needed as a family. Very good memories. Yes you will miss the trailer. The best thing is the memories. You will never lose the memories & neither will your son.
    I am excited for the family that got your trailer. They don’t even know what fun & memories are going to be made in it. What an adventure for them. I agree it was a meant to be thing for the both of you.
    Thanks for sharing with so many people.
    ps. I also love what you are doing with the yard.

  12. Right decision. Going through a similar thing now regarding my mom’s house. Our renter bought his own, so is it time after 17 years to let it go? There isn’t a bucket of apes inside but we did leave a bucket of dinos at a rest stop 20 years ago and son never got over it. Save the apes.

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