Boats, boat trailers, ATVs, utility trailers, trucks, campers and travel trailers (what have I left out) are necessary for a life as a ranch owner and outdoorsman, but you can only afford to own, or store, a limited number of toys. Here are some of them and what they cost me.
This 13 ft Boston Whaler ($300 used) is old and ugly, but it is a very useful and stable boat that doubles as a fishing and duck hunting platform. The 20 hp motor ($2,000+ new) moves it along, but not like a bass boat.
This eight foot boat, called the “Final Attack Duck Boat” ($600 new) has been idle for a couple of years, but it rests upon a very useful trailer originally desired for Personal Watercraft, like wave runners ($250 used). It works well with the duck boat and may figure into my future RV plan.
About fifteen years ago, my brother and I had this utility trailer built to haul our gear on out-of-state hunts. It holds two one person ATVs or one side by side, in this case a Yamaha, Rhino. It travels well and is not bothered by rough roads. We have about $2,500 invested in this trailer. It also hauls a nice load of gravel on occasion. The side by side is a nice way to travel when you have company, but it is a noisy vehicle.
A few years ago, I purchased a camper for my F-150. F-150 (42,000+ new).
This Raven camper fits on the short bed of my 2013 F-150. It holds enough gear and has a comfortable bed over the cab. Cost $10,000 new about three years ago.
The camper model is the Raven and it is made by Four Wheel Campers and they are located in Woodland, CA.
My camper is just a shell, which means it has only storage, a fan, a battery and a bed. The bed is located over the cab. It works well for me and I don’t need a stove, heater or potty because I spend most of my time outside the camper anyway.
This camper is fine for one person, but not all of my friends have trucks and campers and I don’t own a travel trailer for guests. Not to mention that I potentially hunt on three duck clubs so I’d have to haul the travel trailer to each duck club during the season.
The advantage of a camper is that you can haul a trailer, but I need a trailer for ATVs, boats and sleeping. I suppose that’s why somebody came up with the toy hauler concept, but I don’t want to tow a 25 foot long travel trailer. And just like with the camper, I don’t need a stove, heater, potty and built-in table. Just not my style.
This line of thinking has led me to search for a solution that will impact and simplify all of my needs. Although this is a never-ending search, I made a specific decision related to the next stage in progress. I’ll explain in part two of this post.