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Old 10-17-2012, 06:07 AM   #21
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The first couple of years see a lot of small expenses. After that, not so much . . it's more a matter of cleaning out the accummulated small junk that looked so cool in a catalog ("awning de-flapper", my favorite dumb purchase . . if it's that windy, then . . . . )
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #22
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Having had through the years a few sailboats and powerboats I can tell you there is no cost comparison. We bought our Airstream new in 2007 and have over 20k on it. We don't polish it and when not in use it sits in our yard uncovered with covers on the tires. We replaced the battery at 3 years and the tires at four. Had the bearings repacked and brakes adjusted. The skylight will need replacement soon. Other than that and normal lubing of latches, stabilizers, etc. everything else works fine. Nowhere near the cost of a boat.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #23
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But, .... your significant other will always find some doo-dah that he/she likes and $$$. In comparison to our 8M sailing rig, the AS is much more cost effective and both were purchased new. Now, if you factor in the cost of a suitable (read that new) TV, that is another story.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
Having had through the years a few sailboats and powerboats I can tell you there is no cost comparison. We bought our Airstream new in 2007 and have over 20k on it. We don't polish it and when not in use it sits in our yard uncovered with covers on the tires. We replaced the battery at 3 years and the tires at four. Had the bearings repacked and brakes adjusted. The skylight will need replacement soon. Other than that and normal lubing of latches, stabilizers, etc. everything else works fine. Nowhere near the cost of a boat.
I'll second that! Before I bought my Airstream, I looked into the possibility of buying the smallest boat that I could live aboard for a while, and doing America's Great Loop route during my first year of retirement. Right up until I had foot surgery, and gave up on the idea of living aboard something that never, ever stops moving even when it's parked.

Almost everything costs twice as much for a boat as for an RV or travel trailer. Buying a boat costs about twice as much for the same volume of living space and the same age. Insuring a boat costs twice as much, if not more. Marina slips cost about twice as much per night as campground spaces. If your boat is a stinkpot and not a sailboat, it takes more than twice as much fuel to go the same distance.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #25
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Most are addressing maintenance/storage issues. There was a brief mention of fuel efficiency but actually fuel use (gas alone) can be the greatest expense. I have heard of a drop in fuel efficiency...65% mentioned here seems high. A seller states that he typically drops 4 MPG when towing a 20 footer. This translates to just short of a dollar per mile (not including wear and tear on the towing vehicle). So a simple 600 mile trip out (12,000 round trip) might cost about $1,000 in gasoline.
If I am incorrect please let me know on this forum.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:57 PM   #26
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I can't seem to find my records for the trip we took this past Feb / Mar. We traveled from NJ to central Florida, around the gulf coast to New Orleans and then homeward, stopping to visit with friends in SC and NC along the way. Total mileage was 7000 and our fuel cost ( if I remember ) was $1900 or thereabouts. Most of that was towing our 30' Excella. Our truck is a 2006 Dodge 3500 Diesel. I get around 13.5 mpg while towing and closer to 19-21 non-towing highway mileage. This was hand calculated. I don't believe the overhead truck computer. That has me at 15-16.5 towing mpg.

Since this thread has gotten off to boats we must remember the definition of a boat " A hole in the water that you fill with $$$$$ ".

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #27
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Oops, my math was way off. 1200 miles with a loss of 65% fuel efficiency equates to only about $125 extra fuel cost (assuming 18.5 MPG initial).
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:53 PM   #28
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I am sitting here in shock that a fellow poster would have kept financial data for 11 years on cost of trailer ownership...and also impressed. If I kept these kinds of books I don't think I would have been persuaded to just forget it!
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:30 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deloid View Post
Most are addressing maintenance/storage issues. There was a brief mention of fuel efficiency but actually fuel use (gas alone) can be the greatest expense. I have heard of a drop in fuel efficiency...65% mentioned here seems high. A seller states that he typically drops 4 MPG when towing a 20 footer. This translates to just short of a dollar per mile (not including wear and tear on the towing vehicle). So a simple 600 mile trip out (12,000 round trip) might cost about $1,000 in gasoline.
If I am incorrect please let me know on this forum.
Thanks-
A rule of thumb that works -- be it 1973 or 2013 -- is that towing will decrease highway mighelage by from 30-40% from solo. Much is dependent on the rig (how well the vehicles are spec'd in re fuel economy), and then climate, terrain and driver use/skill enter in.

When compariing vehicles -- and an Airstream is the TT in question -- then use the EPA Average mpg as a starting point (for non-mountainous terrain).

Someone who wishes to keep fuel burn to a minimum has first a trip plan of how to minimize the amount of engine hours time between two geographical points, and then works to drive those miles with the highest skill possible.

Keep records of all miles travelled / fuel consumed. The mpg average is what counts. Convert that to cpm (fuel cost as cents-per-mile) for predictive purposes (as in my signature).

For me, a 1,000-mile trip on generally level Interstate will cost 25-cpm where diesel averages $4/gl. Or, $250.

.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deloid View Post
Most are addressing maintenance/storage issues. There was a brief mention of fuel efficiency but actually fuel use (gas alone) can be the greatest expense. I have heard of a drop in fuel efficiency...65% mentioned here seems high. A seller states that he typically drops 4 MPG when towing a 20 footer. This translates to just short of a dollar per mile (not including wear and tear on the towing vehicle). So a simple 600 mile trip out (12,000 round trip) might cost about $1,000 in gasoline.
If I am incorrect please let me know on this forum.
Thanks-
It depends on the tow vehicle and the driver's habits, the roads, the weather, etc.

For example, this last weekend, towing on relatively flat land, I got roughly 11.5 MPG with our diesel truck while towing the camper. That included a number of traffic lights and all, too, so not all highway. With the camper on the highway, I can hit ~12 MPG.

But I get about 11 MPG when I'm driving the truck around town solo, with a lot of traffic lights, stop signs, etc. Like any vehicle, the stops and starts really kill the mileage. On the other hand I achieved over 17 MPG solo on the highways with the truck, even with climbing mountains on the PA Turnpike and I-70. I got roughly 13 MPG while towing a U-Haul trailer with a car on it over those same roads in the other direction, so that matches the 4 MPG that person reported.

The point of the numbers above isn't really about the mileage itself, but the comparison between towing mileage and solo mileage.

But, in general, fuel costs are a huge component of usage. Not ownership as much - if I never used the camper, I'd never pay for any fuel to move it - but it does have to be figured into the costs of a trip. I think I spent about $600 one way for a trip from DC to Disney World in January, 2012. To me, though, that wouldn't qualify as a "hidden" cost - it's pretty obvious that moving several extra thousand pounds around is going to cost more. From a strict cost point of view, it might have been cheaper to fly and stay in a hotel there, but that's not what we wanted to do.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:08 PM   #31
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Quote:
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I am sitting here in shock that a fellow poster would have kept financial data for 11 years on cost of trailer ownership...and also impressed. If I kept these kinds of books I don't think I would have been persuaded to just forget it!
My financial data wasn't really difficult to keep. I use Quicken in which all of my transactions flow in automagicly so I know where my money is going; can't do much about it, but at least I know where it's going. I am somewhat anally retentive in keeping up with my cash transactions, but we all have our faults. Anyway, all I had to do was pull a report in Quicken and convert it for upload.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:49 PM   #32
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I use "mint" as of last year and once it's dialed in it pretty much is on auto pilot as well - love it - quicken is even better I bet
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