Contributors to this thread:
Ever shipped a truck?
I'm trying to plan two elk hunts this fall but since I live on the east coast I'm looking for ideas to save money and time. There are pros and cons to both driving and flying. Plus, rental vehicles are outrageously expensive when all I want to do is park at a trailhead.
Ideally, I'd like to fly out West and drive back home so I'm wondering what the options are for shipping my pickup to, say, Denver. This would allow me to fly out, pick up my truck, and go hunting with my truck. Then, when both hunts are over I could drive back home, hopefully loaded with heavy coolers and antlers. I've contacted some transport companies but they charge $1,100 to $1,300. I have a 4 week window (mid August - mid September) and the truck is an older but reliable model.
Is there a cheaper way to ship a truck?
I always wondered about filling my jeep with gear and putting it on a train and flying out and meeting it near where I hunt. Not sure if that's possible but sounds a lot better then the 24 hour drive...
I bought a truck from a dealer in Utah online. They shipped it to my house in Pennsylvania for $1200.
Shipped one to Seattle Wa from Anchorage Ak was less than that. Get a hold of the shipping wars people,
Find someone you trust that has the time. Have them drive your truck to Colo and buy them a plane ticket home.
I've thought about it.... but then I'd have to ship it back......
If I recall the last SUV we rented was around $800 for two weeks. It's about 1200-1500 shipping a car to the west coast from HI..... I've heard deals less.... but I think they were small cars.
Have considered storing one on the mainland but it's really amazing how it gets legally..... complicated. Insurance companies and states don't like registering vehicles where you don't have a "domicile".... you'd think you were buying a full auto Uzi.....
Find you an uber driver to take you from airport to trailhead. Then when you kill, store the meat near trailhead and have same uber driver pick you up and take you to a rental place to rent a vehicle, then stop and buy some cheap coolers. Return to trailhead, get meat, antlers, and drive home. Well it sounded easier in my head never mind.
Now you have my wheels spinning. We now have a brand new guiding service. Picking up hunters from airport, dropping them off at a trailhead, then picking them up. Charge like five hundred bucks and everybody still comes out ahead.
Not sure where folks hunt.... but I'd say our average drive from airport to hunting area is around 3 hours one way..... depending on the state....and that's not counting driving around town shopping for food and stuff.
Shipping a vehicle isn’t an an option. Coming from someone who has shipping contacts and works with trucking companies monthly. Drive out or rent a car.
I'm in the business. You're quotes are right on, but if you are worried about it getting it there on a certain date you will either need to send it early or pay up. If it ends up on a large truck with several other vehicles it will be moved to several different locations before it arrives at your final destination. You can pay up for a hotshot that will move it all by itself and get it there directly. That's roughly a 3 day transit time.
Driving a pickup has a rough average total cost of 60-70 cents per mile, however that's baking in the full cost of owning the vehicle and insurance. Total variable cost is much less, maybe 30 cents/mile for fuel, maintenance and repairs. If you drive it one way cost you about $600 total but then you do it on your schedule and you carry all of your stuff with you. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions. Sometimes auto freight brokers are a tricky bunch so you have to read the fine print.
Sounds like the only think you would be saving is time. SO take the cost of shipping less the operation cost that Roger mentioned above and you end up with your net difference. That number is what you are Paying for your time. Then, decide if your time is worth more or less than that.
Then,, don't forget to add in the pain in the butt factor that goes along with all of this. I say fill er' up with gas and enjoy the peace and quiet of a nice long drive filled with dreams of your upcoming hunt!
Have to have a truck? Some trailheads roads are not too bad. Drove to WY in a Jetta diesel I borrowed from FIL after Katrina when fuel spiked...got a few odd stares with a elk rack stuffed in it on the way home. Headliner only had two holes in it.
Yeah.... but the Adventure Factor driving across the country..... PRICELESS!..... heheheheh.....
Fly out. Buy a Jetta diesel on Craigslist. Use it and drive it home. Sell it on Craigslist.
The cost of driving it will easily eat up half to three quarters of the cost of driving it and you don't have to spend the extra two days driving it. Add to it that you eliminate the risk of a breakdown on the way to your hunt. I have had brand new trucks break down so combine that will Mr. Murphy, and it's always a worry for me. I don't think it's unreasonable at all. Three years ago I bought a truck while visiting my parents in Houston and planned on driving it home. Just out of curiosity I asked how much it would be to ship it to northern WI. When they said $750 and I realized it would cost me $500 to get it home plus a 24 hour drive, and then dealing with my truck at the airport in Minneapolis, it only took about 2 minutes to decide to ship it.
This is a great discussion. I used to drive from WA to my hunts. I drove to OR, ID, UT, CO, WY and MT for hunts. Then I got a place in AZ for retirement and drove from there to NM, UT, CO, WY and MT. I would drive up to 14 hours on Day 1 then up to 10 hours on Day 2. I would average about 55 miles traveled per hour when divided miles driven that day by time from first mile to last mile. I used to average more but I tend to stop and stretch my legs and any sort of scenic point or historical point along the highway.
I would listen to books on CD and that helped the miles melt away plus the AM and FM stations sometimes went to zero at some points along the journey.
I would pack a lot more gear in the SUV than if was flying. I would have the gear in bins and carry a tarp or two. I would sleep in the SUV at times by placing the bins outside and covering them with a tarp.
If my hunt ended early then I could head home or onto the next hunt and take the meat and antlers/horns/cape with me. No need to try and rebook tickets. Sometimes the closest airport is a regional airport that has 30-seater planes and not many empty seats or flights per day if you try to change you flight.
Drive. Is painful. Is not cheap. Burns up 3 or 4 days of hunting time in transit. The only other option is to have someone drive your vehicle there and/or back. If you have an older family member that is retired then they might enjoy that and have the time. You will save a few days of transit. You will have your gear and a way to get the meat home.
You adding a complicated moving part... I like to minimize the hoops I gotta jump through. Airplane ticket 500 bucks cost of movement 1200...rental car...yadda yadda yadda...I have been doing lots of long traveling late to shows and I got bluetooth headphones that tap into youtube and pandora through my phone...kills traffic noise and gives you lots to listen to....
Curt ~~When I bought my F350 (July--2010), I found it @ a new vehicle dealer in KC, Kansas.
They trlr-shipped it to my local dealer here in Utah for $400.
I couldn't have flown to KC, overnight hotel and then drove back here for $400 ~~ so I had 'em ship it to me.
Keep in mind, that was 9 years ago $$$.....
Good luck, Robb
Try rail, I shipped a car to Florida from NY for 400 bucks but that was 16 or 17 years ago. We took a train as well. Shawn
I think you might have fallen into the trap of nickel and diming on time and money...that’s a slippery slope. If you believe someone will ship your truck for $1,500 from the east coast to the Rockies I would say you are begging for frustration. Especially if you expect it to be somewhere on time. I think it is important to not focus so much on cost and time and live with the fact that if you’re going to be a sport hunter you’re going to have to spend a lot of both. Saving money and time has lead to many frustrations that stick with you for a long time past when the savings has been forgotten. You’ve given us some great food for thought on the pitfalls of saving money and time.
This has been an interesting conversation. It seems that a number of us face a similar dilemma. Part of the problem is the need to rent a vehicle if I fly and don't ship the truck. Let's say that I'm hunting two weeks each in WY and then AZ and coming home between the trips. This allows me to stay married and also employed. Also, I have relatives in or near Denver, Salt Lake, and Albuquerque. I'm going to ignore the cost of driving around the hunting area because it won't change. So here we go:
Option A: Fly out and rent a vehicle. The cheapest way to fly to WY I've found is to fly to Denver on Frontier. Airfare out is about $150 with bags. Rental car about $500. Airport parking $120. Airfare back is about $450 with buying coolers and baggage fees. Fly to Phoenix is about $250 with bags. Rental car about $500. Airport parking $120. Airfare back is about $500 with buying coolers and baggage fees. Advantage: travel only takes about 3/4 of a day on each end of trip. Disadvantage: have to hunt out of a rental car with limited room and can't go where a truck can go. Don't know how to bring home antlers because cheap airlines won't do it. Total cost $2,590 and 3 days of travel (that's 4 flights x 3/4 day each = 3 days).
Option B: Drive out and back (fly between). Drive out costs $220 in fuel and takes almost 2 days (assuming 1,800 miles, 20 mpg, gas at $2.40). Hunt out of my truck with camper shell and all of my gear. Park at relatives somewhere and fly home. Flight home is about $300 because I didn't have to buy coolers (they were in my truck) and I left some meat with relatives so the baggage fees are lower. Fly back out for $200 because I'm not flying with much baggage. Hunt out of the truck with all the gear again. Drive home for $220. Advantage: have all my gear and no problem bringing meat/antlers home. Disadvantage: driving across country, which I've done a number of times already and don't need to do again. Total $940 and 5-1/2 days travel days (4 driving plus 2 flights of 3/4 each).
Option C: Ship out the truck, cost $1,100. Fly out $150 (not much baggage) and get to truck (Uber for $50). Hunt out of my truck with camper shell and all of my gear. Park at relatives somewhere and fly home. Flight home is about $300 because I didn't have to buy coolers (they were in my truck) and I left some meat with relatives so the baggage fees are lower. Fly back out for $200 because I'm not flying with much baggage. Hunt out of the truck with all the gear again. Drive home for $220. Advantage: have all my gear and no problem bringing meat/antlers home. Disadvantage: driving across country. Total $2,020 and 4-1/4 days travel days (2 driving plus 3 flights of 3/4 each).
I added the pic to show what an elk looks like next to a cheap rental car.
Looks like I'll be choosing B and driving all of the way.
Looks like I'll be choosing B and driving all of the way.
Always wondered if I could fit a bull in my wife's Lexus...? I guess that answers that question. One more hunting related argument avoided.
I'm with Pat on this one...CRAZY. I have flown to a hunting destination and rented a vehicle to get home. There are some issues with this, but it can be done. On my last adventure, the only car available in New Mexico for a one way journey to Fargo, ND was a Toyota Prius. Problem: I had a elk to transport. Luckily the antlers fit with the seats down, though they surrounded me and I limited the amount of meat I brought home. I got some crazy looks on interstate, but I made it! :) Shipping a vehicle is crazy IMO.
I agree with the last post drive your truck or fly and rent.
Depends where you value things the most, time or money. Driving takes time, but is usually a bit cheaper. Flying is faster, but takes more money (especially getting meat home).
I've gone NH to WY (twice with meat), NH to ID (once with meat, twice without). Flying meat home is no big deal, wrap in 50lb boxes, fork over the credit card (took me about $300 to fly an elk home).
Driving is time, and some money, hotels, gas, food, etc.
If I ever have to do it again, I MIGHT fly out, rent and drive home. A friend did that and it worked out well for him. Left his car in Boston at Logan, flew into Denver, rented a car, drove to WY (tourist along the way), hunted, drove home, returned car Logan and picked up his car.
Be careful shipping the truck, MAKE SURE you can get it when you want. Fall might hit storms, plus they may give you a window of delivery times depending what other things are on the truck.
Kota-man - if I were just going for one trip then what you're saying would make sense. For two two-week trips with a gap in between it makes less sense.
One thing I had looked at last year on a hunt that was a 20+ hour drive to save vacation time was to drive out a weekend or two before hand. Then buy a round trip plane ticket. Obvious con to this would be leaving your truck with your gear at the airport, but if you can find somewhere to safely park it might save you some vacation time on the way out.
I never ended up doing it because work ended up being flexible enough to let me work remotely.
Ok, the most important thing I learned in this thread is that Kota drove a Prius home from NM with an elk rack in it. I'm definitely going to tuck that card away and play it sometime in the future! Kota, got a picture that we can save and use against you in the future??? :)
No pics, but that story always gets lots of mileage/laughs. Luckily the elk was under 300 inches. A 300 incher would not have fit.
The reason shipping Seattle-Anchorage is cheap the truck goes by ship. The cheapest transportation there is. It's even cheaper the other way since the ship is pretty much empty.
If it's easier for ya to leave you rig at my place ( after Wyo Elk hunt) here in the Ogden area, you certainly can, before heading down to Az..
Good luck, Robb
Thank Robb for the offer. I'll be leaving it at my brother's in Park City, UT. Since we live so far apart and he doesn't hunt I don't see him very often. I'm sure that he'll love the elk meat that I hope to leave with him.
A drive from central NY to Colorado 4 corners area costs under $600 worth of gas (and junk food) for the 4000 mile round trip. 2 drivers non-stop takes 32 hours each way
I figured it out, get a pilot license, buy a plane, and an old pickup to leave out west. In the long run this would be the cheapest route when you figure in the amount of time saved.
I drive 1500 miles in 27 hrs so about 32 hrs to drive 1800. I would drive as long as I had 3 weeks to do the whole trip. Shawn
It has been my experience that it is less stressful to just drive out to the hunting areas. Ya, the drive can be long but it gives me more flexibility. That flexibility can save some bucks when looking at the big picture. Plus the drive can be fun.
FWIW....me and mama have driven north (MI) and south (FL) many times snowbirding approx 1395 to 1410 miles each way (depending on route) and it takes us approx 21-22 hours nonstop. We pack our food and drinks. We stop for gas and piss breaks and that's it....no boondoggles. We swap driving duty each gas stop. Sometimes we may get caught in a traffic slowdown but the drive time is pretty consistent overall. Heading out west where the speed limit is 75+ on open highways you can make some great time. I like driving late at night as the traffic is light and I listen to talk radio or Willie's Roadhouse if I'm in a Sirrus vehicle. The miles seem to melt away. Teachable moment time.....as many here likely experienced, one knock driving west on a clear day is the afternoon and setting sun can be hard on the eyes as you drive into it. A good hat and shades can be priceless.
You are Welcome
I drove 22 hours each way Twice last year for my Iowa hunt. So 88 hours of driving.
Once for my scouting/lay of the land/new knowledge of the unit area.
Then of course for my actual bow hunt.
I really enjoyed both driving trips as I saw so much new country and met so many good people along my travel corridor.
Good luck, Robb
Why is it that the only cost anyone seems to be addressing is fuel/food/hotel???
I figure my truck costs me at least 50 cents a mile to own.
How did you calculate the 50 cents per mile figure?