Hey friends, it’s been a while since our last post so I’ll do my best to get you caught up. Back in November Rachel and I headed south for a little treasure hunt. Where? Colaw RV salvage. The countries largest RV salvage yard, located in Carthage Missouri.
I had heard of this place from one of my southern dwelling family member but hadn’t really looked into it until there were a significant number of spendy purchases on the horizon. The kind of stuff we needed to buy regardless. After a quick Google search and a phone call to get some ballpark pricing over the phone, Rachel and I decided it would be worth the 540 mile trek and two days away from our daughter.
It can never be as easy as simply deciding to go. We had to figure out how we would bring all the potential loot back to the home front. We don’t own a truck and didn’t want to rent or borrow one, so the most obvious choice was to take the bus. We were planning the trip a week in advance and that was just enough time. I still had wiring to complete, the bus didn’t have license plates yet, and given the transformation in progress, there were just a lot of loose ends to deal with. Regardless, we got her roadworthy and let the grandparents fight over who would get to watch Charlotte.
We’re off! It was a Friday, November 7th to be exact. We hit the road around 8 p.m. I had worked that day, hence the late departure, and my Monday morning alarm was still set for the usual soul crushing 4:30 a.m. so our deep-fried southern adventure was going to have to be a quick one. Once we made it out of town and got away from some of the madness, Rachel took the reigns. At this point Rachel had never even gone for a ride in the bus, other than down the street, so I was pretty pumped to watch her drive it. She was hardly nervous; actually she was pretty excited and kind of giddy about it. She quickly got in the zone and didn’t want to loosen her trucker like grip on the giant steering wheel.
Rachel and I took shifts driving through the night so we would have a chance to catch some Z’s on the floor of the empty bus. Before long the sun was making it’s way back over the horizon, which caught us by surprise because we weren’t even there yet! What was slated as an eight and a half hour drive turned out to be more than eleven hours. I think our humble four-speed transmission was to thank for the forced lesson in patience. Regardless, our destinations was close so we stopped to fuel up, and eat our breakfast that we had packed in the cooler while we watched
the clock waiting for the salvage yard to open.
It’s almost 9:00 a.m., Rachel drove the final few miles and behold Colaw was in site! We were both excited and for good reason, this place was no joke. As we pulled up to this middle of nowhere establishment I was quite impressed. It covered a lot more ground than I anticipated. Rachel quickly parked the rig and we wasted no time scurrying towards the door. As soon as I walked in I knew our treasure hunt was going to be a good one. We were like kids in a candy store. “Look at these”, “Lets get some of those”, “hurry come check this out”. They had everything we wanted and more!
Colaw is more than just a salvage yard. They sell new campers and RVs as
well as a fully stocked store of new RV goods and equipment. As for the used/ salvage parts, most of the common parts like appliances, furniture, electrical components, are pulled and stock in a warehouse ready for you to browse. If you can’t find what you are looking for in any of the multiple buildings, you can scavenge the rows of the RV graveyard.
Both methods proved fun and rewarding.
Okay so I know what you’re really wondering is what kind of skoolie treasures we toted back toward Chicago. So get comfortable.
The loot: Norcold propane/electric fridge*, 5 gallon RV water heater w/ new outside cover, water pump*, 17.6 gallon propane tank that mounts to the frame*, Small round stainless sink bowl*, faux leather couch that folds into a bed, big faux leather drivers chair (matches couch), Magnum SW2000 inverter/charger (only one year old), small 140 watt inverter, 50 amp automatic transfer switch*, heavy gauge 50 amp RV charging cord with ends for campground hook up, 14 foot awning (with all hardware, arms etc.)*, and 8 double pane RV windows! whoooh! (* Items were still new)
We shopped from the time they opened until they closed and we felt like we could have stayed longer. A lot of the stuff they sell is surplus purchased from big companies like Winnebago and they have it marked down immensely. Even the used items are pulled from totaled rigs and taken into their shop and tested to confirm they are in good working order. On top of that they give you a 6-month warranty. I know I sound like I’m getting paid to advertise for them but unfortunately that’s not the case. I am just so glad I caught wind of this place before a spent four times the money on the same stuff. That magnum inverter alone was $1000 cheaper than a new one! And don’t even get me started on windows. Good deals all around. In total we got out the door with all of that stuff for a little over $3k and let me tell you we were happy to pay it. The people there are beyond helpful and exceedingly pleasant.
The kind folks at Colaw helped us load everything into the bus and just that quickly we were on our way back home. After all we needed to get back to our daughter and I needed to get some pillow time before my 4:30 a.m. alarm on Monday.