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Old 05-30-2016, 07:04 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,411 times
Reputation: 10

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We are contemplating moving from New England to Latin America for a number of years. Rather than moving our stuff into storage I am contemplating purchasing a used U-Haul truck, moving our stuff to a friend's place in Colorado - he has a ranch and lots of room - then parking the full truck, letting the truck run out of registration, and just use it as storage for several years so that when we return we have some belongings to set up house with. Sounds cheaper than storage cost. The truck only has to be good enough for one 2000 mile one-way trip. I am not mechanically inclined, the truck has to be roadworthy at the time of purchase, so I would need to take it to my mechanic for a look-see, and verify that he would be able to issue an inspection sticker. Your thoughts?
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:21 PM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,891 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
terrible idea. years of wear and tear on a box truck - in a harsh temperature swing environment? Just get new stuff.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,411 times
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If I had lots of money I would not hesitate to get new stuff. I am trying to do this on a shoestring.

If I buy a truck for 2 or 3 grand and drive it myself to Colorado, it would cost the same or less as hiring someone to move our stuff to Colorado into storage. The truck would then be free storage.

I don't care about the wear and tear as long as the truck has one more one-way trip left in it.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, and I value your input.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
330 posts, read 346,993 times
Reputation: 575
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
terrible idea. years of wear and tear on a box truck - in a harsh temperature swing environment? Just get new stuff.
^^^Absolute truth.

How will you make sure that no critters invade that parked truck during the "several years" it will be parked out in the open in the country? What kind of stuff is worth keeping stored for several years vs. just selling it now, banking the proceeds along with the $2000 - $3000 you won't spend on buying a truck, and then using those funds to buy new stuff, several years in the future when you return to the US and need the stuff again?

If some of this stuff is furniture? Wood is subject to damage from temperature extremes and changes in humidity. The ultra-dry air of Colorado is really hard on wood furniture that's not kept in climate-controlled space like a home. And even in a home here you can find that your wood furniture now and then needs a good workover with some kind of oil to give it a "drink." Upholstered pieces would be prime targets for nesting critters including rats and mice. They need only the tiniest sliver of an opening to get into any container.

Rubber/plastic materials or parts might deteriorate from the arid climate and temperature extremes. Or be gnawed by critters.

I suppose that if everything stored in the truck is made of metal and glass, and thus impervious to temperature extremes, extreme dryness, and critter damage, your storage idea might work.

But really, I also think it's a terrible idea.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:17 AM
 
2,073 posts, read 1,816,702 times
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Put the sentimental keepsakes in a box at a friend's house, and sell everything else. Buy "new" stuff when you get back to the states from craigslist and goodwill.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,047 posts, read 11,669,686 times
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It's not the wear and tear on the truck people are referring to, it's the condition your belongings are going to be in after years in a truck in Colorado weather.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:01 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,891 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
You can expect flat tires and a non-working engine on the truck upon your return. It's possible that critter will find your truck appetizing, too.

Even containers let out in the elements would fair well.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
330 posts, read 346,993 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
You can expect flat tires and a non-working engine on the truck upon your return. It's possible that critter will find your truck appetizing, too.
Yep. I missed the comment about wanting another one way trip out of the truck after several years of letting it sit. Not likely, especially if the truck is old and nearly worn out when you buy it. Rubber and plastic (tires, belts, engine hoses), which would mostly already be pretty old in an old truck, are going to dry out and deteriorate while the truck is sitting around for several years. If you want to get "one more one-way trip" out of that truck when you finally return from Latin America? You will need to invest the time and money to prepare the truck for storage. Including changing the oil and removing the wheels and leaving it sitting on jack stands. Lots of online resources have the deets. And even then you'd probably find belts/hoses deteriorated after all that time. Would your friend periodically get into the truck and start and run the engine while you're gone?

BTW, about critters, true story. Years ago - in Colorado - I worked with folks who were managing a large construction project that took many months to complete. There were several mobile homes on the site that had been outfitted as offices, which were occupied during construction. Eventually people moved out of some of the trailer offices into the newly constructed buildings, leaving the abandoned trailers in place though intending to remove them fairly soon, I think after all the trailers were no longer in use.

We had to go out to one of those unused trailers a couple of months after they'd ceased to be in daily use. We were in search of some documents that were still in file cabinets there. We found that critters (we thought mice, but maybe rats - they were shy and didn't come out to greet us) had already made themselves at home, including snacking on some of the documents. Leaving behind, of course, more than holes in pages and teeth marks. Yick. And that was just in a couple of months. Lord knows what would have happened over the course of several years.

In a parking lot behind my condo complex in the city, we've had cars parked for just a day or two, suffer damage from squirrels chewing on stuff in the engine compartment, I think mostly wiring. An abandoned truck would be like family night at the Country Buffet for country critters, IMO.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 979,939 times
Reputation: 421
I spent 12 years in South America. Sell your stuff. The money that you make on the sale, along with the money that you save by not buying the truck, will take you far in Latin America. Also consider that you may enjoy LA and decide to stay there. Your stuff will sooner or later be converted into a giant pack rat condominium so why be burdened with it?

Read "On Mexican Time" by Tony Cohan. Buen viaje.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:35 AM
 
50 posts, read 36,313 times
Reputation: 56
Moved to Latin America and was there 4 years. There was literally nothing I kept in storage I was happy to see. Anything that was of real value I took with me. I was younger, but now I'd have maybe a couple boxes of keepsakes (photos of the kids, etc) and I'd put those in my inlaws house and sell the rest.

We sold most of it for the move here and still think we brought too much crap.

No offense but if you're being this frugal, your stuff likely isn't worth the effort.
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