I've always liked hotels. You just get there & everybody awaits your orders. Non-Stop. And you disappear as quickly as that, without need to wash dishes or make up bed. And then – everything changes after our kids are born.
We don't have just two bags anymore. We have a pile of large suitcases instead. And a bunch of other things like stroller and diapers. Our car up-sized from an agile hatchback to a roomy wagon. Getting ready for any trip takes now over an hour, at least. So, I've changed thinking in minutes, and switched into more comfortable hours.
Life's Ultimate Solution?
A while ago, I've dreamed about owning a Yacht, like Martin Varsavsky. But after a few sails on various small boats, I've realised, that all the waves had been transferred into my stomach and it was not as pleasant as in my dreams. So I've abandoned the thought. Then I've seen a great presentation Don't be rich, live rich and thought to myslef “Hey, there's something about this!” But, back then it haven't clicked just yet.
In 2011 our family took a few weeks trip to east western Europe with our station wagon. And two special things happened. First – I got fed up of taking all the baggage around, & Second – I've seen a huge amount of RVs passing us on the way. I thought “Gosh, why people buy such an expesive equipment and only use it once a year for a few weeks vacation? It must depreciate in value a lot in the rest of the year, when it's not used. Even a five-star gotel would cost less.” I could be missing the point by a wider margin.
A Few Calculations Later
Long story short – RV and Trailer (Caravan) owners use them more often, then just for a week in a year. Then, RVs and most camping vehicles don't loose that much value as regular cars. And last, a basic used trailer, big enough to fit a family of four, can be bought for under $5.500 / €4.500. Easily.
So I said to myself, that if we spend 2 months in the summer in the trailer, and another month over the course of the year, I could be at 100 days of travels, per year. Doing that the traditional way – using hotels – would cost me at least $60 / €50 per night (so $6.000 / €5.000 per year).
And I don't mention camping & parking in the wild – Boondocking. That would push the average spent even lower. Even in an average European campsite, in the summer season, the price for a night is around $35 / €30. And that still is the higher level of spent per night. You can use a camping discount card (off season) and get to a price under €15/night. That price includes the full package – place in the campsite, people, car, trailer, electricity, water, showers.
So to put it simply – a cheap & used trailer can pay itself in about 100 off season nights. and then you can drop it over the cliff and the financial impact on your wallet would be the same.