When it comes to all of the DIY and transport needs of a family on a budget, most people lean immediately towards the purchase and maintenance of a second vehicle. In fact, there’s a way to obtain the necessary resource at a fraction of the cost. Tow-behind trailers. Whether you go with a mesh-sided utility trailer or the enclosed cargo variety, your financial tab will be much lower. When we purchased our first one in Arizona, we paid a nominal one-time registration fee and less than $20 per year to insure.

What’s more, the tires were made of a solid material resistant to wear and tear, making them much more durable than regular vehicle wheels. The only additional cost to us was a towing hitch on the back of our vehicle. While the decision to purchase one of these trailers alone can save you at least ten thousand dollars, the truth is there are other areas of savings as well. (Including the fact that you will likely never need to replace this trailer again, which is not the case with a second vehicle.)

Rubbish Hauling

Many families purchase and maintain an entirely separate vehicle in order to haul lawn refuse, garbage and large damaged items that are otherwise difficult to transport. Having a steep-sided utility cart to haul behind even a smaller SUV is markedly cheaper.


Antique villages frequently offer discounted prices at the beginning and ending of the tourist season as an enticement to customers. Basic pieces are often more affordable up front than the pressed board furniture available at box discount stores. They also hold their value more than those types of products. The problem is that many regular vehicles are unable to transport furniture pieces. Having a utility or cargo trailer enables you to shop for furniture on your own terms, skipping the delivery fees.

Thrift Shopping

Similar to antiquing, thrift store shopping can present an abundance of savings opportunities in the form of furniture you can refinish at home, second-hand appliances and more. They key lies in having an affordable way to transport the items so you can work on them. Why pay high monthly insurance and maintenance fees when a one-time cart purchase can get the job done?

Living Quarters

Equestrians and motorbike enthusiasts have known this for years, which is why many of the tow-behind trailers used to transport animals and dirt bikes also come equipped with full living quarters. Compared to the cost of a full RV? Peanuts. This is the main reason we’re considering a converted cargo trailer to tour the continent with. And we’re not alone. A few minutes on Google or You Tube will result in multiple examples of people who are trying the same thing.

These are just a handful of ways that purchasing a tow-behind trailer can save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime ownership of the item. Considering the upfront cost, this is easily a purchase you can pull off with a modest tax return. To save even more money, consider having a welder custom build one for you. This was what we chose to do, and saved an easy sixty percent over what we would have been charged by one of the chain stores. How do you foresee being able to save money with a utility or cargo trailer?

Myscha Theriault

Myscha Theriault

A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.