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Old 07-15-2016, 08:59 AM   #1
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No guts, no glory

We have owned (purchased used) a Winnebago View and most recently purchased a new 30ft travel trailer. Drove/towed both over 7,000 miles in long trips out west. Loved the View; not one problem, but too small for the DW. The Bullet Premier TT was another story. Wheel bearing failed at approx 7k miles. By the time I noticed smoke in the side mirror, the entire wheel was fried. Limped off the freeway at the next exit where the entire wheel came off. Both slides failed; poor gaskets and motors. Water infiltration to pass-through storage. Top of front cap had to be repainted + new decals. Broken jack. No internal surge protection resulting in fried microwave, converter, and TV & Stereo. All this in one year with a "new" unit. Also came understand that "new" in the RV industry is a fungible term. My conclusion is that a TT, given the "quality" of construction, is only meant for local trips of approx 100 miles. They are not designed and built to be towed across the country. Just my opinion.

Sold the TT after one year of ownership ($25k purchase, sold for $18k + $2k in repairs not covered). Therefore, 60 days of camping cost us $150 per day, excluding fuel, campground fees, etc.). The DW and I would like to buy a gently used motor home (pre DPF and DEF) diesel pusher in the $70k range. Even allocating an additional $10k for anticipated repairs, I don't feel this would be enough based on horror stories read on this forum. I compared the cost of owning this motor home (depreciation, maintenance, repairs, diesel fuel vs gas, both MPG and fuel cost diff, taxes & insurance, ext. warranty) to the cost of purchasing a new car ($40k) and renting a condo/TH for 60 days @$2,500/mo. Assuming a 7,000 mi annual round-trip, I calculated that the used motor home scenario would cost $14,200 annually for 6 years vs the new car + condo/TH rental of $9,150 annually. Under the MH scenario, I allocated $1,500 annually for maintenance, repairs, and replacements (tires being the big one). Even with an extended warranty ($1,200 annually), I am deathly afraid of the "Oh, that's not covered" response to a catastrophic engine or transmission failure. There are several systems on a MH which cost more than $1k to fix/replace. I could afford the extra $5k per year for the MH scenario, but an uncovered engine or transmission repair/replacement would result in a major $ hickey, but how big? I love the prospect of touring this great country in our MH, but the financial risk . . . . I know that there are intangible benefits to touring with a MH, but I just can't pull the trigger at this point. I am curious as to how you thought about these concerns before deciding to make the plunge.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:15 AM   #2
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You can see my coach in my sig...I'll take the Pepsi challenge with 90% of the rigs out there regardless of age on reliability/quality. With that said to answer your question, I didn't think about it at all. When we purchased this MH we paid cash and purchased a unit that had a well documented history and was completely up to date maintenance wise (minus air bags which I replaced because I have to have something to work on to stay happy and at 20yrs those were a good preventative maintenance item). I didn't figure anything like cost/day, cost/trip, etc.. etc... as I will NEVER break even or even come close.

I have a wife, a kid, and we like to go "camping" (glamping!) and make memories. I purchased something in my price range that allow us to do that.

If you want a class a MH and want to minimize $$ risk, then I'd think a 2000-2006 gasser is the way to go...cheaper up front and cheaper maintenance.

You have to find the sweet spot between security/enjoyment/risk....once you figure that out the rest is easy.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:29 AM   #3
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We bought the MH on "a wing and a prayer", mostly the prayer! As retirees on a fixed income, a major engine or transmission failure would really hurt. We just try to take care of it the best we can, and do a lot of praying!

BTW, I personally don't go for the extended warranties. I know they have paid off for some folks, but I don't think that's true for the majority. If that were the case, the companies would not be in business! They leave themselves too many loopholes to crawl through!
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Swede View Post
We have owned (purchased used) a Winnebago View and most recently purchased a new 30ft travel trailer. Drove/towed both over 7,000 miles in long trips out west. Loved the View; not one problem, but too small for the DW. The Bullet Premier TT was another story. Wheel bearing failed at approx 7k miles. By the time I noticed smoke in the side mirror, the entire wheel was fried. Limped off the freeway at the next exit where the entire wheel came off. Both slides failed; poor gaskets and motors. Water infiltration to pass-through storage. Top of front cap had to be repainted + new decals. Broken jack. No internal surge protection resulting in fried microwave, converter, and TV & Stereo. All this in one year with a "new" unit. Also came understand that "new" in the RV industry is a fungible term. My conclusion is that a TT, given the "quality" of construction, is only meant for local trips of approx 100 miles. They are not designed and built to be towed across the country. Just my opinion.

Sold the TT after one year of ownership ($25k purchase, sold for $18k + $2k in repairs not covered). Therefore, 60 days of camping cost us $150 per day, excluding fuel, campground fees, etc.). The DW and I would like to buy a gently used motor home (pre DPF and DEF) diesel pusher in the $70k range. Even allocating an additional $10k for anticipated repairs, I don't feel this would be enough based on horror stories read on this forum. I compared the cost of owning this motor home (depreciation, maintenance, repairs, diesel fuel vs gas, both MPG and fuel cost diff, taxes & insurance, ext. warranty) to the cost of purchasing a new car ($40k) and renting a condo/TH for 60 days @$2,500/mo. Assuming a 7,000 mi annual round-trip, I calculated that the used motor home scenario would cost $14,200 annually for 6 years vs the new car + condo/TH rental of $9,150 annually. Under the MH scenario, I allocated $1,500 annually for maintenance, repairs, and replacements (tires being the big one). Even with an extended warranty ($1,200 annually), I am deathly afraid of the "Oh, that's not covered" response to a catastrophic engine or transmission failure. There are several systems on a MH which cost more than $1k to fix/replace. I could afford the extra $5k per year for the MH scenario, but an uncovered engine or transmission repair/replacement would result in a major $ hickey, but how big? I love the prospect of touring this great country in our MH, but the financial risk . . . . I know that there are intangible benefits to touring with a MH, but I just can't pull the trigger at this point. I am curious as to how you thought about these concerns before deciding to make the plunge.
I wouldn't even spend 70k on a DP... I'd spend 30 to 50... that's really all it's worth (to me).

Motorhomes of texas right now has a 98 endevour that I would drive the wheels off... for 34k...
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:43 AM   #5
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I did the math much like you have before buying our MH. We have had RV's or boats for the last 40+ years and have enjoyed using them, and the kids have a lifetime of memories. I retired 4 years ago and in the last 4 years before I retired we weren't using any of our RV's due to being too busy at work, and not having time to get the RV's ready for a trip ect. When we vacationed, we just took off and went somewhere staying in hotels. To us that got old quick, and we just didn't like staying in hotels.

It's not really about the cost of ownership, because no matter whether you buy new or used, it will cost more per trip in the long run to own/vacation in a MH especially if you are still working and have limited available time. But as time available to travel increases, so does the benefit of doing it in a MH. For example when we took a 2 month trip in the MH, I did the math and we figured in the gas/motels/eating out, vs MH gas/campgrounds/groceries ect. and the MH was definitely cheaper. But that did not include the actual cost of the MH, insurance, or license fees.

The bottom line though was we really enjoyed our trip much more, went places that we wouldn't/couldn't have if had to stay in motels, didn't have to lug in suitcases each day, stayed places longer, ate better meals, and slept in our own clean bed every night. So for me I took the actual price of the MH itself out of the equation, bought what we wanted and just enjoyed what I worked so hard to get.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:58 AM   #6
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Fulltiming starts in the head! Our heads were ready many years ago.

We sold S&B and started the Journey without reservation, and no regrets. Our decision came down to having fun as long as possible. And there are certain things that will never touch my hands or take up my time again, like lawnmower, snow shovel, real estate tax bill, paint brush, etc.

Family? Friends? They cheer us on and follow our blog. Hey, we see them every summer! And phone, text, and social media keeps us a lot closer. In the mean time, we have made many new friends around the map, and have reconnected with many distant relatives.

We will do this until we cannot or change our minds. We can never say we missed our chance. Will you?

The value of R.E taxes, utilities, maintenance, etc on the S&B pays for our camp fees, MH maintenance, and more. It is simply a restructuring of cash flow! 💰

Our average MH move is about 200 miles and costs about 100 bucks. Then the toad takes us about 100 miles in all directions for about a month. We go to all of the places we dreamed about, and many more surprise gems of nifty places that pop up via neighbors or pure chance.

We still have hobbies, but they are more compact and mobile now.

Our home rolls, and could break. And we will get it fixed! If you worry about it, you are not made for this life.

A workshop? I have about 65 lbs of tools for simple stuff. All else gets repaired with a piece of plastic backed by the house money. 😄

Being bored is not possible as we keep moving, and expanding the experience! And if it isn't fun, we're not doing it. If you figure on living in a lawn chair, bored you will be, young Jedi.

We are adventurers, explorers, and drifters. As long as the Journey is our Destination, we will always be happy!
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:15 AM   #7
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Go used, but tighten the year span and the amount of mileage on it. I've done the "new" RV thing three times over the past years, the first RV, purchased new out of my own ignorance of the market back in '86, but we kept it for 15 years with some appliance repairs and replacements along the way, one that was a pile of junk MH from day one. I kept for a few weeks and dumped it at a loss for the current one as it was one of few I'd seen that had a second bathroom. Those in between, were of the best value and were bought used with a max of three to four years in age and 20k or less miles on the odometer.
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