Buying a new toy is a major investment. Whether you’ve set your sights on a new boat, UTV, ATV, jet ski – whatever it may be, sooner or later the harsh reality sets in that the purchase price of your new goodie doesn’t typically include the cost of the required vessel to get it anywhere.
Enter my dilemma.
In the recent weeks our family decided to take the plunge and invest a new Polaris RZR XP 900 4. This behemoth of an off-road machine is the UTV taken to the next level, with room for four and a dry weight of 1,390 lbs. It’s big – and heavy. Unlike an ATV or dirt bike, this thing definitely isn’t going in the back of a pickup, and like most buyers of off-road ready vehicles, a means of transportation for the RZR is an integral piece of our purchase.
No problem, right? Just throw a trailer in with the purchase price and haul it home from the dealership. For some buyers, this option works out fine, but in our case – there’s a minor hiccup.
Not like those people on that weird TLC show who refuse to use toilet paper and ask other restaurant patrons for their leftovers cheap, but the kind of cheap that cringes at a $2200 price tag on a trailer when I’ve already spent $20,000 on a UTV.
Could we afford it? Sure. Would I rather hoard that cash for accessories, gas to get on the trail or a rainy day? You bet. And so began the search for hauling options.
As someone who hasn’t exactly been actively involved in the utility trailer market over the past few years, I was determined to find the most cost-effective way to get a trailer under our RZR and prove to my husband that it could be done on the cheap.
Step one was hitting the internet. Searching Craigslist and off-road classifieds led to the quick conclusion that there were trailers to be had, but that there was a high probability that the lower the price was the higher the chances were that the trailer either came with a free colony of mice living in the toolbox, or the deck was one pothole away from dropping our new UTV on the freeway at 55 miles per hour.
For some reason, internet sellers in our area are the impression that trailers are worth a lump of gold regardless of condition. Likely due to cheap wives like myself causing a ridiculous supply and demand curve on used trailers. Sorry about that y’all.
With the used trailer idea quickly waning, I began to look at entry-level trailers. Which seem like a bargain for a moment – and work well for many purposes – but when push comes to shove the price difference between entry-level and mid-range trailers boiled down to only a few hundred dollars. When considering the proposed long-term use of the trailer itself, and the likelihood of it living on dirt roads and driving long miles, $300 started to sound like a pretty reasonable step up. It was still that overall price that was making me hyperventilate.
So I went old school.
It seems there’s no coupons to clip for trailers – so we resorted to bartering. A tactic, it seems, that is just as acceptable at vehicle and equipment dealers as it is at yard sales.
Knowing that we had just spent a large chunk of change for our UTV from the dealership, we saw no reason not to ask for a break on the secondary section of our purchase. With minimal asking, the dealer offered to sell us a trailer at cost plus 10% – making me capable of stomaching the final price and giving us a reliable trailer at a feasible cost.
In the end, no matter what you need a trailer for, it comes down to a few major factors: can you find a reasonable used trailer that’s not only well-priced, but a value based on condition and required maintenance – and if not, is your seller willing to work with you to buy a new trailer at a value.
Or you could always just pay full retail. If you’re willing to do that, give my husband a call. He’d probably like to shop with somebody that isn’t deal hounding on trailers.