I am 62 and work 28-30 hours a week at Pizza Hut. My husband is disabled and can’t work. I am entering this tonight because I went online just to see, if by chance, there were any contests where I could win a camper. Lo and behold! I found one!
We live way below the poverty level and are in desperate need of this. There’s no way we could ever afford a new camper and the one we live in definitely won’t last long enough for us to save for a used one with our income. So I thought, maybe I could win one, because it seems like the only way to get one. I’m so glad I found you.
We live in a campground in Mississippi. We used to live in a nice house and had a good business. We have never fully recovered the losses we suffered from Hurricane Katrina- which was almost everything we had.
We almost made a comeback by 2008. We had a small rental house and my business was finally sustaining us again. Then my father in law died on Christmas eve. We moved to take care of my mother in law. When she began needing 24/7 care, I could no longer leave the house for longer than an hour, much less work.
Eventually, we could no longer give her the kind of care she required. Her daughter took her for a short while and she too realized the scope of care she needed was beyond all of our capabilities. Her daughter found a nursing facility for her and she died shortly thereafter.
We had to move out of her house when her daughter took her. We had nothing. Again.
We slept on a sofa and a cot in our son’s living room for weeks, until someone offered us a 35 year old, 20 foot camper that needed work for $475. We got it livable and recaptured a little independence in the back yard for a several months.
When the family decided to sell my mother in laws trailer and land, we got enough money to buy another camper. We found a 2001 37 ft. Wildwood for $5000. The owner had backed into something and assured us it didn’t leak long and that he had fixed it before any damage was done. (I think he lied!) Aside from what appeared to be slight damage on an outside corner it looked real nice. We bought it and moved to the Gulf Coast to start over with a new, simple and affordable lifestyle that campgrounds offer.
We didn’t know the camper was taking in water behind the walls until they started getting soft, we began noticing water in cabinets and then leaks started popping up.
We redid the roof with Dicor, a real expensive rubber roof, which stopped the leaks. By then, however, a lot of damage we weren’t aware of was already done.
Then just a little over a year ago Hurricane Nate came through. We had to move to higher, safer ground in the campground. Moving it apparently shifted stuff all around, as it was so weak on the insides. The roof began leaking again. We had to put plastic tablecloths on the bed with pots to catch the water and buckets and pots under the skylights until we were able to redo the roof in spots. It caused the ceiling over the bed to sag down so low the cabinets wouldn’t open. It is now held up by 2x4s. We can’t afford to tear it out and replace it.
We didn’t know for a while there was a huge puddle of water under the floor where the sofa was until we noticed black mold on its base and felt the dampness on the base and the carpet. We took the sofa out and found the floor under it rotted away from the walls and full of water. The motor for the slide out still works, but now it won’t close. I don’t know what we’d do if we’re ever had to move.
After finding out it was $1100 to have the slide out repaired, all we could afford to do was cover it with plywood and frame it with boards. You can still see daylight peeping through because the walls are rotted and crumbling half way up. They are taped to try and keep them secured. Not a pretty site, but it keeps the air from coming in.
The electrical outlet in the bathroom is hanging out of the wall. It is clinging to the wallpaper because there is no wood left behind it. It’s just hanging by the wires. We found out the wood under the tub was rotten when the tub cracked. My husband put some fiberglass on it and stacked wood blocks under it to support it.
The heater has never worked and with all the air coming in from various places its gets pretty cold in here even with the electric space heaters on. And there must be something wrong with the wiring now, too, because when the space heater or the ac is on and you use the microwave it blows the breaker. Then when you flip the breaker switch, it sends out sparks.
On the brighter side, we are still living in it, in a beautiful campground in a small coastal town. Our truck is twenty years old and still runs good. We don’t have anything fancy, but we have a lifestyle we can afford in a safe place with good neighbors, peace, quiet and a fantastic view of a beautiful bayou.
We’re doing the best we can to hold our little home together and remain independent. I am so grateful to have a place of our own. But it is scary not knowing how much mold is lurking in the walls or finding out exactly how much mold there is because the wall just falls off or having an electrical fire. And even scarier is the thought of having to be a burden living with others or in a subsidized project at my age. And even scarier is the fact that my husband will be having neck surgery, possible back surgery and surgery on his knees this year. This is definitely not the safest environment for recovering from surgeries.
Winning this would truly be life altering for a couple of senior citizens trying to live out the rest of our years independently in a comfortable and more importantly safe place that is in good repair.
There’s no way we could afford to finance one. I’ve checked and it’s 4-600 a month. Whew! But I can afford to win one!! I still can’t believe I actually found a contest giving one away. Wow.
I am so sincerely grateful for your consideration of my story and giving me 6 weeks of something to be hopeful about.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Bobbie Jean Coker