Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have been traveling in a 29 ft. travel trailer for a couple years. We said when we first retired this would be our first step into RVing. It was not expensive. We wanted to see what others were doing, get some opinions, and try the lifestyle without making a huge investment. We are now convinced that this is the lifestyle for us. We have also decided that we would prefer a motorhome about the same length as our trailer. We started looking for a lightly used motorhome. Recently we found one that was a steal. It was a divorce situation. The wife ended up with it in the divorce and never wanted the thing to begin with. She is a very motivated seller. It was everything we wanted in a floor plan, price, options and color. The problem is, my husband is allergic to cats. This unit had been occupied by the owners two cats on quite a few occasions. He claims symptoms every time he walks into the unit. We have looked at it three times and each time he has complained. I told him we could have it professionally cleaned, but he says he is not willing to gamble on the fact that cleaning would completely eliminate the problem. It is such a great buy and I think we should take the chance. This has caused a lot of heated debate between us. Am I being unreasonable? Should I drop my campaign to buy this unit and try to make it work for us?
--Cats in the Cradle in Coeur d’Alene
Everyone with allergies will have different levels of severity. It sounds like your husband may be at the top of the scale. It would be a gamble to buy the unit and discover it did not solve the problem. There are several ways to approach the issue. If the seller would work with you and hold the sale, you could spend the money to have it professionally cleaned. That way you would know ahead of time. It would be a win-win situation. The owner would have a professionally cleaned unit whether you purchased it or not. You could buy it outright and work on it yourself. If it is truly a great buy, you could always resell it, perhaps at a profit. It is hard to say what all would need to be done. You may have to replace bedding, furniture, and floor coverings, even after cleaning. I have witnessed people walking into professionally cleaned RVs and immediately asking, “Has this unit had cats living in it?” Unless you are sensitive to the presence of some pets, you would not understand completely. If you can’t work something out that eliminates the reaction your husband is experiencing, this unit is not the great deal you think in your circumstances. Move on and forget it. It will be a great deal for someone without your husband’s condition.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink