Monday, March 12, 2012

Test Driving a "New" Vehicle

Cabela's Grizzly Bear Display
So I was driving around my little 1987 Jeep Cherokee Sport, which leaked fluids from everywhere, had holes rusted through the floorboards, and was in the shop for expensive repairs every other month. Grrrrr. My parents bought it new in '87, and gave it to me in 2008. It was actually a pretty good little vehicle - and would get through any kind of snow! I mean, really fun to drive over rough terrain. The heat wasn't great though. At least it defrosted the windshield. Well, kinda.

After the last repair (January - new clutch - money ouch - did I mention the repairs were pricey?) I just couldn't take it anymore! I started looking for vehicles. I actually found several options in my price range - Ford trucks w/4WD under $2k. Yep, I'm a cheapskate. Really, though, I wanted to pay cash. Given that I'm leaving for uncertainty in 2.5 months I don't need to take on debt, and even if I wasn't leaving, I still wouldn't take on debt for a vehicle. They're always out there - those vehicles that don't necessarily look so hot but run pretty well. (But be careful if you try this, you don't want one that hasn't been taken care of at all [read, no oil changes, crappy engine] - mine is a work truck so it got beat up by age and virtue of hauling lumber and drywall everywhere...)

I bought a 1994 F150 4WD with virtually no problems. Needs brakes, shocks, and a rear gas tank. That's it. The total price of repairs and purchase will be less than 2k. I'm so excited!!

So I've had it for a month now and decided to take it for a test drive. Moving to MO with 1 boy, 2 dogs, and a whole bunch of stuff is not the time to find out that it breaks down after 2 hours on the highway. Where'd we go? We went to Cabela's. And from there to lake Erie. And back again. 300 miles.

I have to say, Cabela's is largely overpriced. I can find most products they offer, or similar items, online for less than 75% of the retail cost at Cabela's - or even less than that! However, what a place to go! We went to the one in Dundee, MI. They have large displays of stuffed, formerly living wild game animals there. (Not to be confused with the stuffed animals we all loved as children. Or love now, or whatever. :) )

Yep, that moose right there.
There's a close-up of his behind on my phone!
It was really just kind of cool to go see, and to be able to walk inside the tents and see how big or small they are, and my son definitely enjoyed the animal displays. He even used my phone to take a picture of a moose's behind for me! And if you're in the market for a firearm, they have a decent selection - including used and collectible firearms. They have a cafeteria-style restaurant - I ate a buffalo burger there. It tasted like beef. Not the best for wait times or hot food, though, just a heads up.

After that we went out to lake Erie - it was cold so we only stayed for about 20 minutes. It was great to be at the lake for a little bit. We brought back one shell. Maybe I should gold-plate that sucker, and in five years I can say, remember when we went to Lake Erie when the truck still worked? Lol

The truck made the drive just fine. I get a wonderful 15mpg highway. Which is about what I was getting anyway. Bonus - it even started the next day! (Does that tell you something that I would be excited over that?)

So, now I don't have to worry about how I'm going to get out there. Got that part covered. Frees up room in my head for worrying about everything else.

Did anyone else do anything exciting this weekend?



  1. Good for you! That looks like a cool place to browse. Enjoy your new truck!

  2. Thank you Daisy! The truck has been good so far.