a.k.a. Fort Kickass
On 9/25/12, after being online 12+
years, VansAirForce.net expanded from the digital world to
the physical with its own hangar at 52F. Months of crunching
numbers and several conversations with
the CPA convinced me this
will end up being less expensive than 20 more years of renting. I call
it 'The Van Cave', and it is an attempt at making a
portion of the RV hobby more of a micro experience (not macro).
With (2) renters it breaks even. I don't make money...I
don't loose money. There is room for the
occasional visitor and car repair.
Since most employees now are expected to be reachable around the clock, my
business model is targeted at making the renter's time out here more pleasant.
It targets the RVator who wants to come out and fly or
build for a bit (or not), maybe wash the plane or car in the shade, or
get in a workout. When done with that you can catch up on the world (or work) on
your laptop while
lounging on a comfortable couch (spring/fall) or air-conditioned
office (summer) - surrounded by airplanes.
Take a shower if you need to go in to the office. Maybe fix a bite to eat
before you leave (microwave and a small fridge).
you would like to get on the waiting list, shoot me an
- Potable city water
- Epoxy-painted floor.
- Remote-activated 'Ag Style' high lift Schweiss hangar door facing north
(no part of hangar in direct sunlight)
- 70'x20' shaded area to wash your
plane and/or car.
Food, Rest & Hygiene:
- Refrigerator and microwave.
Toilet, Sink, Mirror
- Sitting area in shade with view of runway.
- Air-conditioned office with ceiling
fan ...added June 2013. Finishing out currently.
these are basically 'stored here indefinitely' for ex-airline
pilots on the field that didn't want them at their house
anymore. They are free to come over anytime and use all of
it (including the shower).
- 2-post asymmetrical car lift (9,000 lb
capacity). One of our cars needed $2000 worth of work. The
parts were $500, so I bought a $1500 lift and did the work
myself. Now I have lift to do brake jobs, bearing
replacements, oil changes, tire rotations and more.
The renters use it too.
- Air compressor, drill press, band saw,
- 4-plug electrical outlet every 20'.
- No smoking environment.
Why I did
A growing waistline, a father that died at
69 of heart disease, low interest rates and a
few months crunching future value formulas and depreciation schedules
convinced me to take a chance on expanding our family's small business a
tiny bit. With
three renters and the brain of my CPA, this *should* end up costing me less than the two spots I am currently renting elsewhere on the
field. And it will provide my wife and kids with something for
down the road. Fingers crossed...
Last, a special thanks to Danny King of RV-8
Beautiful Doll fame for letting me rent a corner of his hangar
for the last decade and change. A renter could not ask for a better
landlord. And yes...Danny gets a key.
View from the office
Morning view from
Thanks for visiting theVanCave.
in the &%$ can you afford a hangar?
A: Short answer….it's
cheaper than renting space when you take into account tax
deductions and renters.
Long answer…..I had some
savings in an account that has earned about 1% since 2008. I
got a small loan at a low interest rate to get the rest
needed…to be paid off in the next three months by selling some
stuff. Crunching the numbers, using the actual operating costs
from the previous owner, showed that having two renters would
just cover the expenses. Worded another way, I free up the
money I was spending before on renting space for my stuff.
I can also now write off the depreciation, water, electricity,
Wi-Fi, insurance, runway fees and more to reduce my taxable
income by a sizable amount. I rent the spot for my RV-6 from
myself, also. CPA’s advice.
Doing all this lowered my VAF
business expenses by about $4,700/yr. This is huge, given that
I spend $10K plus/yr hosting/patching/backing up and running the VAF web site! And, at the end of the day my wife will end up
with an asset that she can sell someday, or continue to rent out
(her grandmother lived to 104 and her 86yr old mother is still
going strong). My dad passed at 69, so I’m not kidding myself,
and am trying to plan accordingly for my family. She can rent
out all five spots and make $12K/yr indefinitely, after
expenses, if she has to.
My RV has been flying since
2002, but I don’t spend much on operations. I’ve never been to
the east coast in it, or about 40 of the 50 states, or any of
these fly-ins: Sun’n’Fun, Arlington, Copperstate, SWERFI,
Golden West, etc. Never been. I’ve gone to OSH a few
times, but that is getting too expensive for this part of my
life, so I’m cutting back on that too. I enjoy the heck out of
it…but I need the money for the college years. I’m focused for the next several years or so on
things that save or make our family money, not things that use
I have low operating expenses
also (by choice). I’ve cut my own hair for the past quarter
century, we live in a small house with no pool in a part of the
with a very low cost of living, and I routinely wear $3
Target T-shirts that are 10 years old. They’re comfortable.
I still use the first mower I ever bought (used) – on its third
set of wheels. I have one pair of blue jeans. What I’m
getting at is I don’t spend much money that I don’t absolutely
have to, like flying cross country often. So, that’s how I
ended up with a hangar (and an RV for that matter)….because it
crunched out to be cheaper than renting over the long haul. It
was the next, logical, cost-saving step for our family.
If for some reason we need to
sell the hangar, it’s next to a public road that doesn’t require
access to the airport property or taxiways. Worst case scenario
(airport closes) I could almost certainly sell it to someone
needing it for industrial purposes for most, if not all of what
I paid. A relatively low risk (on paper) investment. Fingers