Is my math wrong?

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by Detroit_Iron, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Detroit_Iron

    Detroit_Iron Member

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    I have been looking to go hard sides for a few years now. My wife has some heath issues that make camping with the pop up not an option for her in the colder months which means I go alone or not at all. Ive been looking at a 22’ that would fit my needs perfectly. When I break down the math of a new camper I’m having a hard time justifying the cost. Is my math wrong? I’m estimating over a 6 year period. Camper is around 20k and I’m guessing closer to 27k after all payments are made and the hitch and maintenance over the 6 years. Saying $70 a month storage since I don’t have room at home for it and let’s say $200 a year for insurance. So looking like close to 33k over 6 years for all camper costs. We camp about 7-8 times a year. So over 6 years, each of the 7-8 trips will basically cost me around $700 per trip just for the cost of the camper. It’s hard for me to grasp a 20k camper will cost me that much per trip. I understand the more years go by the cheaper the cost and also this isn’t including a down payment on the camper, and the camper might still be worth half it’s original value after 6 years and would put the number closer to $375 a trip but still seems like a absurd amount of cost per trip.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  2. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Subtract the resale value at 6 years.
     
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  3. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    If you want to look at it that way. You will pay for the camper no matter how many times you go camping. If you want the per trip cost lower, take more trips.
     
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  4. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    At least you camp 7-8 times a year. We only go on three trips a year. It would be hard to justify a new camper, but I would anyway if I had the money.
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Only you can make the decision as to what is affordable for you and your wife. Some things are not dollars and cents, such as your wife being able to take more trips in a year. Buying used would save money, but you always run the chance of buying a non-maintained camper with hidden issues.
    We've played with costs per trip many times over the years, mostly in fun, even with new tents. When we renovated our first popup, it cost a lot more than we'd estimated; 2 years later we spend less than $2000 more for a larger new-old-stock one. However, it allowed me to take a 3-week long trip back east to visit friends and family, which was a trip I'd wanted to do anyway. I saved enough over what hotel stays would have been that we did not feel as bad about our miscalculaiton on what the renovation would cost.
    Five years ago, when my back and health issues made camping in the popup not much fun anymore, especially solo and/or in cold weather, we moved to a 17' travel trailer. We plan to keep it for the long run, though if the right two-axle one comes along in our size range, we might change. We actually use it more than we did the popup, which we didn't think would happen. I do take solo trips, mostly to visit friends in the next state or for Sisters on the Fly events, so that does contribute. I've had back surgery and two major health events since we bought the TT, I would not be taking most of the trips we do if not for having the TT. We're not done exploring, but many of the places we go either don't have nearby hotels, or they are expensive, so that is one of those factors that is difficult to cost out.
     
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  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    If you base the decision as to whether to go to The Darkside solely on cost you'll never make the numbers work in your favour. You do it simply because you want to enjoy the conveniences only travel trailer can offer, regardless of cost. And yes, it will cost you significantly more than camping in a popup. Interesting - despite your concerns you never mentioned noticeably higher fuel costs when towing any full height trailer which will average +/- 10 miles to the US gallon.
     
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  7. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Which is why we bough a used ALiner Scout (Low Profile) for $5,600 and put about $1,000 into it for PV system mostly (and a Spring Over Axle conversion).

    And the math is why buying vacation homes don't pencil out for most uf us.
     
  8. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    No Begbugs, priceless!
     
  9. SHFL

    SHFL Active Member

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    Although that cost per TRIP might seem high, you may want to consider the cost per NIGHT. Then calculate how much it would cost for you to take the same trip to the same locations WITHOUT the camper. Look at the per night cost if you stayed in a cabin or resort, and had to eat at restaurants — versus the cost of the camper, campsite, and food.

    With a hard-side camper for a multi-stop trip, you also have to consider how you are free from the aggravation of checking into the hotel, and wondering about room and food quality. We know about this firsthand from our road trip this past summer from Florida to Niagara Falls to NYC to Boston back to Florida (18 nights, 10 hotels).

    And sometimes, the only way to stay where you go is in a tent or camper.
     
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  10. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    My dad does the math and In his mind, hotel costs are actually cheaper than owning a camper. However it's something my mom really loves so he looks at the bigger picture and takes into consideration my mom's feelings and desires and happiness. Pretty soon dad won't be able to do anything with the camper and will get rid of it soon. So I'm trying to invite mom on my trips so at least she can still get her "camping fix". As my aunt loves to state camping is where a person pays a fortune to live like a homeless person. To some it's so worth it, to others absolutely not. To me you can't put a price on happiness or a price on inner peace. So if it's something that means that much to you and yours sometimes you just have to accept the cost within reason. I personally looked for used as I can't justify the cost of new. I spent $700 to fix a $3500 camper to get it road Worthy and overlook the cosmetic stuff, to others they can't do that. The hard part is finding the happy medium between cost and a happy wife/life.
     
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  11. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    My math made more sense to me. A 7 day trip to Florida would have cost me $1400 for just the hotel. My monthly payment on the pup is $98. So I'm automatically ahead. I dont calculate food because we eat regardless. Gas gets a lttle consideration but I still get about 25mpg down from 30 so it is somewhat a moot point. I just see all the trips after Florida as "free". Plus I cant put a value on when the kids say "let's go camp" and we simply load up and head out.
     
  12. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    . I actually ran into a group of ladies last year at Letchworth state park in NY. From sisters on the fly, nice bunch , and some of there campers are truly works of art!
     
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  13. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    First, an RV will NEVER be economically prudent. It is a toy and a hobby. It costs money to buy and maintain. Those costs are there regardless of how often you use it. The deciding factor is whether that cost is acceptable to you for the enjoyment gained from having the RV.

    Second, buying new or used, you will not save yourself from repair work:
    Used, you will likely have some repairs to make due to lack of maintenance (most folks let their camper sit for a year or more before selling it, and don't keep up on its maintenance during that time).
    New, you will likely have to wait in line for warranty work on things not done properly at the factory.

    So, the difference between the two is that New you pay more upfront and spend a lot of time not using it while it's waiting for dealer to repair; Used you pay less upfront and spend money repairing it yourself or taking it in - both will take less time than a warranty fix. Maintenance is required whether new or used.

    Third, if you don't get the hard sided, what will you do? How will you and your wife feel? Will she be stuck at home unhappy while you camp alone unhappy? Will you stop camping altogether? If so, will you try a different type of vacationing or just stay home?

    For me, money is only a factor in regards to "can I afford the cost in and of itself". If I can't swing the money without financial issues, THEN the cost is too much. Other than that, the deciding factor is will I use and enjoy it regardless of cost.
     
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  14. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I would be looking for a used TT.
     
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Ah, Letchworth, my old stomping grounds. I still miss it, and think being there so much as a kid is one reason I love another big hole in the ground (Grand Canyon).

    Yes, the SOTF are a fun group - the ones I've met at events have been in everything from tents to popups (including A-frames) to new and vintage trailers in many sizes. Some don't even have (or bring, anyway) any form of camping, since some places also have cabins, yurts, or dorms available.
    I had not yet joined when we bought our Retro 177 - for me the best of both worlds - ready to camp, but vintage look. We did plenty of mods, but it was nice to just be able to camp. I could no longer do the level of work I put in on the renovation of our first popup, but that experience is still proving handy (I knew my one-time dream of buying a vintage trailer and redoing it was no longer practical).
     
  16. Takamine

    Takamine Member

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    There's no way I could ever justify purchasing a TT. That's when I realized it's really just a toy and people spend all kinds of money on toys. A TT is the toy I decided to spend my cash on.
     
  17. RockyRoo

    RockyRoo Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD

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    Your math is just fine, it's your perspective that is all out of whack. You don't even want to know what I pay per month to go camping twice this year. Why do I do it? Because my wife likes it. She went with me once in a tent, several times in my pups, regularly with the Roo, and every single time with the 5er. We wanted to travel, she said it was going to be something we didn't have to set up every night and tear down every morning. Along with a bigger trailer came a bigger truck (yes, it was necessary). Nothing in life is free, the nicer things cost a little more. Stop pinching pennies if you can afford to let a few go and do what you have to do to take your wife camping and spend time with her, this ride doesn't last forever, who knows how much time you have left together.
     
  18. Detroit_Iron

    Detroit_Iron Member

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    Thanks for the replies, and changing my perspective an this. I can agree with the consensus to not think so deeply on the cost and more on the enjoyment. I have found a unit that I really like. I think this upcoming year will be last last year in a pop up and plan on purchasing at the end of next year... thanks for all the support
     
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  19. vagov

    vagov Well-Known Member

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    will be keeping a eye on this thread
     
  20. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I just made the jump, and im so happy i did. The TT while more $$$, for me is less work and enabiled me to take longer trips. I got mine used. Look around, you never know whats out there untill you look. I think the maintenance will be simmiler for used or new. As long as you find something that isnt roached.
     
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