Friday, January 16, 2009

Madd Money: The Economics of “Stepping Up” A Vehicle

This is something I’ve been considering for several years now, and I think it may well be time to do something about it. I’m a snowboarder, I’m a Scoutmaster, I help advise a Dance Team, and I work with Order of the Arrow on various projects. Thus, I am seriously considering getting a full sized 4 wheel drive crew cab truck.

Now, I realize that that is a blasphemous statement to make... What?! A truck in this day and age?! Again, I’m thinking about this based on the things that I actually do. I camp regularly with a scout troop and I often haul youth and equipment with me to many places. The past couple of years, I have been packing up my Ford Escape to the bursting point, adding hitch racks and roof racks and all sorts of other options to it. I was about two steps away from buying a small trailer to better carry stuff when I finally said “you know.. a truck would just plain make a lot more sense!”

Now understand, I am not talking about anything fancy here. I’m not even talking about anything that necessarily looks pretty. All I want is a vehicle that runs well, will be durable, has off road capability, and can, in a pinch, act as a hotel for me and one other person if necessary. It would also be a vehicle that I could put four or five passengers in (i.e. a modest crew cab vehicle with a six foot bed would be very cool).

Let’s be frank... I realize full well that I will be, for all practical purposes, slowly destroying this vehicle. This is not a purchase for cruising or impressing anyone, it’s for going off road, running on non-paved areas, going up to the snow, out to the desert, and any number of other places. Therefore, I’m not looking to spend a lot of money to do this. Ideally, I’d like to potentially take the fair market value of my 2001 Ford Escape, whatever it will sell for, and use it to purchase something that will fit the bill. The good news is that I don’t need this immediately, so I can wait and see what comes around in the coming months. “Crew Cab 4x4 5000 10000” is now a regular expression I’m keeping close tabs on :).

No comments: