Cathy, when I bought mine through e bay. Shipping costs was $150 which included crating. I know it is a bit steep, but for $500 or $600 you are getting a great unit, with very presicise and repeateable "times". The unit must weight about 40 pounds when put together, but individually the vacuum frame is maybe 5 punds and the exposure unit is 35 pounds. The only things you must be aware of is that you will need and 20 amp breaker and you will have to have a "dedicated" outlet for the unit, meaning while you are using the unit nothing else can me hooked to the same line and running at the same time. It really is not big deal if you find you are burning the fuse then there are ways to change the set up to prevent this, but the best way is to have a 20 amp breaker and a dedicated line. It is what I did for my darkroom. Inside the vacuum frame you can fit a 20x24 image comfortably and with even illumination from corner to corner.
BTW NuArc has great customer service. I have used them a couple of times, both for parts and advice and never failed to treat me with courtesy and willigness to help me solve the problem.
So the unit I posted is in very good shape, if you are patient you might even get it for $200 or $300. Is up to you.
As I said, my advice is to get it and stop fooling around with FL tubes or the sun. You will notice improved consistency in your print making.