Not too long ago we came to the realization that our vehicle was costing us more than it was worth. We had a 2000 Dodge Durango 4 x 4. Yes, that 4WD came in handy for upstate NY winters and the little bit of snow we get here in Indiana (since they plow the roads pretty much when they feel like it). It was a mule...it fit all of our show stuff. Stuff = totes of inventory, canopy, and displays.
It had become obvious that it was time for a new truck. We broke a ball joint last year...which in turn broke an axle. Don't ask. Of course on the day of a show. This year was a broken brake cylinder. Don't ask. Again, of course on the day of a show.
We're pretty loyal to the Durango, so again we choose to go with it again. This time around? A 2008 Flex Fuel. Again, a 4 x 4. Again a V8 (like we would really go to a V6 after having all that power...sheesh!). The nice thing about the Flex Fuel is that it takes both E85 AND gasoline. So while it's not really financially advantageous for us to use the E85 right now, we're glad to have it in the event the price per gallon is better in the future. And it's still a mule. We were super lucky to have found a gunmetal grey (our all-time favorite color in a vehicle) in our price range. Of course, driving 2 hours away could have something to do with that.
So why do we call it a mule? A mule is used to haul everything. Just like we do with our Durango. Don't believe us? Check it out...this is after loading our mule up in preparation for the Fishers Freedom Festival this past weekend:
So what does our mule haul?
~ NINE 30-gallon totes filled with inventory, walls sheers, table covers, and miscellaneous table displays.
~ 7 wooden crates. We have another 4 totes already in the inventory totes. It helps to cut down on setup time at our shows immensely and also saves room in the truck.
~ ONE 10' x 10' canopy with sides, corner pieces, weights, and stakes.
~ 1 bar-height directors chair.
~ THREE 3' tall headband towers.
~ ONE 20 - gallon metal beverage bucket with stand and THREE 1 gallon buckets.
~ 3 smaller totes holding our hair clips, headbands, and merchandise bags.
~ FOUR 6' x 2' grid walls with TWO 2' shelves, ONE 4' shelf, TWO 2' wire baskets, TWO 1' wire baskets, and 1 corner hanging bar.
~ TWO 6' tables (non-folding)
At this point, we could probably get 1 more tote of inventory in the truck before we need to pull out the truck topper. We're a little apprehensive about our fall inventory...we'll have another 3 - 5 totes and 1 more 6' table.
We might need a bigger truck.