trailer research

We’re planning several driving trips in the next five years, and are looking into buying a pop-up trailer instead of renting trailers or RVs. In theory, owning is cheaper than renting over the long run, and it gives us more flexibility.

We’ve looked into the possibility of renting a trailer or RV, but it’s not cheap. It’s not the insanely expensive that RV rentals are (I can go to Disney for a week or rent an RV for three weeks…). Reasonably sized popup trailers seem to rent for about $500/wk. For our first summer vacation, we’ll be gone longer than three weeks, so that’s $2000 right there. I can buy a reasonable used (and sometimes new) trailer for only 3-4 times that, and as we plan to take more than one long trailer vacation, we think we’re better off purchasing. Owning also gives us the option of taking 3-4 day trips across the various weekends that the kids are out of school and have no Holiday Program coverage, instead of sitting at home.

From what I’ve seen of the used market, we shouldn’t have too much trouble breaking even (compared to rentals) even if we change our mind in two years and decide to sell the trailer.

Mick’s uncle has 10 acres in East Gwillimbury and has offered to let us store a trailer there.

Gerry and I are planning to visit a Toronto RV show next weekend, to get an idea on what’s available, what the various sizes actually look like, what features we want vs. can live without, and so on and so on. Gerry already says that an awning is a must. The built-in kitchens are a nice idea, as long as the stove can be moved to the outside of the trailer on hot days.

Towing will be an issue. Even an 8′ trailer seems to be in the 1000-2000 lb range. Our existing car has a 1000lb tow rating (I’m told this is because of the unibody frame, not the engine or suspension); most cars are similar. We have yet to find anyone that rents SUVs or minivans that allows towing a trailer; usually they say it voids the insurance. (We need to find out if our personal auto insurance would allow coverage instead). Renting vans and/or SUVs for 3-4 weeks is also expensive. So we’ve been looking into buying a tow vehicle also, but I’ll write about that separately.

posted at 8:00 pm on Friday, January 19, 2007 in Personal | Comments Off on trailer research

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