Archive for the ‘purchasing a trailer’ Category

Maximising My Utility

April 3, 2009


In first year economics the prof taught us that a util is a unit of happiness and that a rational person will achieve the greatest possible utility from each dollar spent.

Maximising the utility of every purchase is a challenging, and interesting exercise to go through, but when it comes to big ticket items its something most of us take seriously.

We did our best to maximise the utility of the dollars spent on our trailer.  I’ll run through the process we went through when deciding which trailer to buy.

First, we had to decide that a trailer was something we wanted to buy.  Buying a trailer wasn’t a given at first.  We could have gone in a number of directions.

Option one was status quo.  We could have chosen to do nothing, but doing nothing is boring.  Option two, we could have bought a new tent.  Not my favourite choice so lets just cross that off the list right away.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, we could have looked into buying a cottage.  A cottage can certainly be an asset, but it’s an asset with a lot of expenses and hassles.  A cottage would also mean that we’re spending our weekends in the same place all the time.  Lastly, we could buy a trailer.  A trailer is more comfortable than a tent, but isn’t as elaborate as a cottage and won’t appreciate in value.

Long story short, we decided to go with a trailer because it is affordable, comfortable and can be set up anywhere we want to go.  We had a winner!  Then the task was deciding which trailer to buy.  We wanted to get the biggest bang for our buck without paying for extras we didn’t want.  That’s the essence of maximising utility.

When we started looking at trailers, we went to an RV show and discovered just how many options there are.  We were amazed to see the high-end RVs.  There’s a huge range out there, some costing as much as a house.  There’s certainly something out there for everyone.

We wanted something basic, light and inexpensive to tow.  We decided that a pop-up tent trailer fit our needs best, because there’s so much functionality packed into a small, light unit.  We decided we wanted our trailer to have a space heater, a small fridge, a sink, and a three burner cook-top.  A bump-out may provide indispensable square footage to a larger family, but it seemed like an unnecessary expense for the three of us.  We knew, though, that going too small would result in uncomfortable accommodation and a loss of enthusiasm for our trailer adventures.  So, in the end, we opted to look at units that included one queen bed-end and one double bed-end and an extra bank of seating.

With our options and wish-list narrowed down, we started to look seriously.  In the beginning we looked at both new and used models, but soon discovered that a used trailer doesn’t often offer significant savings over a new one.  I’m sure there are great deals on used trailers out there, but we didn’t find one that met our needs and wants at an attractive price, so we went for a new one.

We found great value in the Viking 2107 and were happy with the price we got on last year’s model.  We’re looking forward to it being our home away from home for many years to come.  We took our time researching our purchase and shopping around.  As a result, we feel really good about our choice. We’re confident that we made a sound decision and are looking forward to hitting the road!  Consider my utility maximised.