Buying a toy vehicle as reward

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills.
User avatar
Posts: 635
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:16 pm

Re: Buying a toy vehicle as reward

Post by JaneyLH »

A truck with camper that you plan to take on and off every week is not a good idea. A more practical solution is a lightweight trailer (no engine, no liability insurance) that you can pull with a regular vehicle. In our case, we bought a 20' trailer 5 years ago, brand new (not advised, but we couldn't find the trailer we wanted used and we're so glad we bought it!), and we pull it with a very comfortable V8 SUV that is equipped to take us on offroad 4WD trails. We set up the trailer once, then we have a fun vehicle we can use to explore. We use it the equivalent of 2-3 months per year.

The value of an RV is (1) you can go to places and stay where others can only visit in a day trip. E.g., many parks lacking hotel or lodge facilities. (2) you have your own bedding, your own pillows, your own cookware, you can make your own meals, you pack once when you leave and unpack once when you return home.

At the same time, you will NOT save money. With the cost of maintenance and repair plus RV park fees now up in the $100+ range it is a toy, not a cost saver. You will have another vehicle to maintain -- even with no engine, there are many systems (water, sewer, 12-volt electric, 220-volt electric, perhaps solar...) you must learn about to maintain and repair. Repairs are often required on the road. There will be a lot of time devoted to this.

Safety is paramount and you will need to understand what load you can carry and where it must be distributed. Tires must be replaced every 5 years whether you use them or not, perhaps more often if the RV is parked outside and the tires uncovered in the sun.

RVs are not in the "toy" category. (Think of people who buy a horses thinking they would be fun to have then wind up dumping them when they understand how much it costs to board them, pay vet bills, shoe them, etc. Here where I live they abandon the poor animals out in the desert hoping they will join a wild herd and learn how to survive.) A toy is something you can enjoy without taking on a burdensome responsibility.

Agree with the idea of renting and seeing what's involved.
Posts: 1129
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 2:59 pm

Re: Buying a toy vehicle as reward

Post by Maverick3320 »

Josh5000 wrote: Sat Mar 30, 2024 2:40 pm I want either a sport car or most likely a road warrior truck camper setup as reward. My finance puts in the the upper 5% of Americans or roughly lower average for a boglehead. I can handle the purchase cost in cash and after much research I can also justify such as. The costs I currently cannot justify is insurance and personal property tax and fees as I am in Virginia.

The truck camper would motivate me to be on the roads more and improve quality of life and health so that is a long term investment aspect of it. I can definitely afford it due to being frugal and keep current vehicle purchases to the minimum and driving the same two vehicles over the period of 23 years; one is 2002 and another is '12 with plenty of life left.

The road warrior purchase would save on hotel cost and afford me to do things I really want.

Should I research on how to lower my ongoing taxes and fees first before buying or just watch youtube videos and live vicariously through dreams of others?
Being on the road more would improve your health?
Posts: 4215
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Buying a toy vehicle as reward

Post by BruDude »

The VA property tax is pretty brutal for cars. I know nothing about campers but do know a whole lot about sports cars and the market for most of them. Which sports cars are you looking at specifically? If you buy right you can probably drive it a couple years at minimal cost/depreciation, but that depends a lot on the car you're considering.
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Buying a toy vehicle as reward

Post by DrakeSRT »

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.
Post Reply