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Old 12-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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The real cost of buying a trailer

As well as the good folks at Escape, a growing number of local businesses are benefiting from our decision to order an Escape 19 (hatch date: May 5).

First, we looked at the RV storage facilities in our area and found them unappealing. Also, winter can be wet here on Vancouver Island, so having AC power for heat in the trailer when stored seemed advantageous.

That left our home as the best location for storage, but there are no flat spots on our lot that aren't wooded. Therefore, we just had a crew fall a large maple and two other trees whose top branches were starting to look like widow-makers (or widower-makers). We then paid two 20-ish neighbours with a hydraulic splitter to split all the wood while I stacked it.

In January an excavator will remove the huge stump from the maple, create a flat trailer pad, and widen and resurface the driveway with gravel. Then an electrician will run AC to the trailer pad, and install lighting up the length of the driveway.

I'm not complaining--just commenting on how much collateral commercial activity our trailer buy has triggered, and wondering if anyone has had one or more projects flow from their decision to acquire their trailer.

Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Brent.
(Note: we saved those great burls on the maple for a friend who does woodwork).
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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Hey. At least it's not a boat.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Sounds like you are set to camp in your back yard soon....kewl.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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Yeppers, done that too. Gravel, asphalt, 25x18 carport, 6' cedar fence with driveway gate, support the local Camping World, etc., etc. Outcome... priceless.

If you really want to feel weak in the knees... figure out how many nights you need to sleep in your trailer vs. a reasonable motel room to "pay off" the trailer. I'll need to live to 115 years of age... and I'm planning on it! But, the memories I'll make along the way cannot be purchased, they must be experienced.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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Glenn, you can see the closest thing to a boat that I'll ever own hanging just above the firewood.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #6
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Donna D, glad your "investment" is paying off so well in experiences and friendships. I'm trying not to dwell on the math. For us, the question was "if not now, when?"
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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I've got to decide if it's worth putting up a more or less permanent structure like the car port or just park it in the yard as I do now. The first costs, the 2nd doesn't. The escape is about triple the price of what I paid for my then new stick built so the 1st option may be worth the effort and cost.
Another cost will be getting the truck ready for a 5th wheel. Replace the truck cap with a Tonneau cover, and the hitch.

Neither is unexpected.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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You can buy a cover (over and over) for the trailer. Or, build a structure of some sort for it. I added to my home asset by building the large carport. When the time comes, I can advertise it as having covered RV storage which is a premium in a large city. For me, it was a no brainer and has already paid for itself and will continue to add value.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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That was some big tree you cut down. Your woodworker friend will be happy to get some good pieces from that. And you also have a great supply of firewood. Your new Escape is going to be happy parked in its new spot. It is nice to be able to park on your own property rather than having to rent a spot at an rv storage lot.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
You can buy a cover (over and over) for the trailer. Or, build a structure of some sort for it. I added to my home asset by building the large carport. When the time comes, I can advertise it as having covered RV storage which is a premium in a large city. For me, it was a no brainer and has already paid for itself and will continue to add value.
And you will be paying for that added value with increased property taxes for the rest of your life, another hidden cost. I opted for the pad only for that simple reason, my taxes are approaching $1,000/month and I did not want them to increase. I figure one of the benefits of fiberglass is it's durability, not like the SOB's we all seem to have gotten rid of in our quest for the Escape. So with electric from the garage next to the trailer and a 10' gate, I'm happy. Wash and wax in the springtime and I'm as good as new.
Now the fact my pad has been lengthened and made wider over the past 6 years several times due to the variety of trailers I have owned is another story.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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And you will be paying for that added value with increased property taxes for the rest of your life, another hidden cost.
Nope, not in Oregon. It's not attached to the house. If it was, I'd be paying tax on it. Because it's not attached to the house, I didn't even have to get a building permit. Obviously your state is different.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:25 PM   #12
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The convenience of having the trailer at home is immeasurable. We are in storage and the driving time alone is considerable, plus the storage fees. You will never know what you didn't miss but I assure you that it's plenty. It will be very nice to have your set-up, Catchlight.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:36 PM   #13
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And, in the off-season, the trailer in the driveway is our pantry. Had to go out there this morning to get coffee filters.
Serves as a spare bedroom and earthquake shelter too.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
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And you will be paying for that added value with increased property taxes for the rest of your life, another hidden cost. I opted for the pad only for that simple reason, my taxes are approaching $1,000/month and I did not want them to increase. I figure one of the benefits of fiberglass is it's durability, not like the SOB's we all seem to have gotten rid of in our quest for the Escape. So with electric from the garage next to the trailer and a 10' gate, I'm happy. Wash and wax in the springtime and I'm as good as new.
Now the fact my pad has been lengthened and made wider over the past 6 years several times due to the variety of trailers I have owned is another story.
Absolutely correct about the taxes. Any permanent structure.

We live in the woods...white and red pines are 110 ft tall. Lots of limbs, widow makers and snow...which means a peaked roof on a structure to protect the egg is a must!
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:36 AM   #15
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If you really want to feel weak in the knees... figure out how many nights you need to sleep in your trailer vs. a reasonable motel room to "pay off" the trailer. I'll need to live to 115 years of age... and I'm planning on it! But, the memories I'll make along the way cannot be purchased, they must be experienced.
When you retire, your nights in the trailer are likely to increase greatly. We will have ours paid off in three seasons if we keep going the way we have. I had estimated five or six when we bought it. Of course, that is one way to look at it. We would not be out there all of those days without the trailer. There is no way we would want hotel bills that high.

The other big advantage to the trailer is that campgrounds and the places that you want to see can become completely different from the world you had with hotels. Of course, in winter, we are back to the hotel world but it is many fewer days.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:38 AM   #16
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Absolutely correct about the taxes. Any permanent structure.
Where I live, the carport is considered a temporary structure like any purchased from Costco, Harbor Freight, etc. I'm not sure why... it has 8 three foot earth anchors and the metal is guaranteed against rust through for 20 years. If it was attached to the house... even by one bolt, the rules change. All I can suggest to folks is to not assume. The rules may be different in your jurisdiction. It pays to double-check. You may be pleasantly surprised. I was.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:07 AM   #17
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When I look at cost of ownership I look at two things. Net cost between what we pay vs. What we sell for down the road. With the high resale value of an Escape, we have a real advantage over the competition. Then there is the cost of money. In US, if you borrow money for it, you can take the interest off your taxable income. (considered a second home, disclaimer - check with your tax preparer) And the big plus for me - I stay in hotels all over NA for business and no locations can rival the campgrounds I can stay in with a tent or small travel trailer.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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Another factor in computing the cost is that having a fridge and kitchen decreases the number of restaurant meals. Aside from cost I think we will be able to eat healthier
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:06 AM   #19
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Real cost

After 25 years of hotel stays, at least 2500 times, I prefer to not see another hotel room. Our children can find nice places to stay on line for $50 to $60 and we pay up to $70 at the state parks along the coast but we eat dinner out only 1/4th of the time, have breakfast, lunch and HAPPY HOUR nearly every day at the camp site. Also, we sleep in our own bed every night and usually never hear our neighbors. We have had our carport or as tax bill shows another covered patio just outside the house next to the garage where we can enjoy just seeing our RV's and dreaming about the next time we can use it. Considering all of the advantages of our trailer it would be cheap at twice the price. We can't wait for April, June, July and August to get the 21 out and really put it to use and ESCAPE the heat.
Jack and Nancy of Tucson
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:26 AM   #20
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Its not about the money (you can't take it with you) its about the life experience that is priceless...
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