After our last posting “Car Shopping – Part 1” a month ago, we have since learned more about car shopping for a RV toad. As it turns out, many of the newer cars are being built with a CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission).  For more on CVT,

Because CVT cannot be flat-towed, this has severely limited the number of newer cars available today.  Therefore, we had to rethink our strategy on which older vehicle would best serve our purpose.  After much thorough researching (again), we whittled down four vehicles that best suited our lifestyle on the road.  These were Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Jeep Wrangler and Nissan Xterra.  We searched online at cars.com, carmax.com, autonation.com and several other classified ads.  It didn’t take long for us to see what was happening in our geographic area in Colorado.  SUVs are very popular in the mountain states, and we soon discovered that local dealers had priced these vehicles much higher than what you could find across nationwide.  The local demand forced us to look elsewhere, and we soon found a toad that had much lower mileage and better priced.

Now that we found our 2010 Nissan Xterra Off-Road, our next step was to determine how to ship it from Buffalo, NY to Fort Collins, CO.  After preliminary research for a national auto transport company, the price ranged from $1350 to $1500.  This lead us down another path to see if purchasing airline tickets plus fuel cost would be more feasible.  As it turns out, we bought two one-way ticket for $396 total, and our fuel cost was $205 for a total of $601.  That still saved us 55% on the total shipping cost.  We used our free hotel reward points and stayed with family members in Ohio en route from New York to Colorado.

It pays to shop around; not only for cars, but for auto transport and airfare costs too.  Doing your homework carefully with advanced planning can save you time, money and most of all, headaches.

My Favorite Quotes

The mountains are calling and I must go. - John Muir

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Chinese Proverbs

The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. - Edward Abbey

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. - John Burroughs

Not all those who wander are lost. - J.R.R. Tolkien

To travel alone is risky business, especially into a wilderness; equally risky is to have dreams and not follow them. - Robert F. Perkins

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