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Old 08-06-2013, 08:43 AM   #1
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To garage or not garage

Hii everyone, I am a newbie and am studying this site to garner as much info as possible before taking the plunge into motor home ownership. I read some threads last nite that were rather disturbing; one in particular was about a reader throwing in the towel, totally frustrasted with the never ending repair issues of his new coach. That scared me. Another reader responded that if they sit, they rot. Someone else said a high end coach like he had (Entegra) is meant to be used. If its not going to be, get something else that will sit better. This brings up some questions:
1. How much "use" is enough? We anticipate traveling the country, maybe go for a week or two or three at a time, hopefully 3-4 times a year. The rest of the time it will be sitting. Will that be problematic?
2.When it is sitting, does it need to be garaged? I am looking at preowned coaches, and in most every ad, the coach is described as being in a climate controlled garage, etc. Is this necessary? If it was being "used" it wouldn't be in this environment, it would be outside, right?
I welcome any and all opinion! Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtenn View Post
Hii everyone, I am a newbie and am studying this site to garner as much info as possible before taking the plunge into motor home ownership. I read some threads last nite that were rather disturbing; one in particular was about a reader throwing in the towel, totally frustrasted with the never ending repair issues of his new coach. That scared me. Another reader responded that if they sit, they rot. Someone else said a high end coach like he had (Entegra) is meant to be used. If its not going to be, get something else that will sit better. This brings up some questions:
1. How much "use" is enough? We anticipate traveling the country, maybe go for a week or two or three at a time, hopefully 3-4 times a year. The rest of the time it will be sitting. Will that be problematic?
2.When it is sitting, does it need to be garaged? I am looking at preowned coaches, and in most every ad, the coach is described as being in a climate controlled garage, etc. Is this necessary? If it was being "used" it wouldn't be in this environment, it would be outside, right?
I welcome any and all opinion! Thanks!
We have a 2003 Monaco Windsor that is stored under open air steel building along with several other coaches. We keep it under a full coach cover as well with no problems.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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We use our 08 Rev 4 to 5 times a years for 3 to 4 weeks at a time, she seems happy! I store her in an old airplane hanger with other TT boats coaches and what have you. Found the place on Craigslist they charge me 2 dollars a foot plus I am against a wall on one side and a nice 5er on the other.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I wouldn't let what you've read discourage you... even though there is some truth in it.

If you keep up with the maintenance schedule on a rig and follow a few simple steps when putting it in storage I think you'll find you won't have a lot of issues. Some folks like to exercise the coach every month or so when in storage but there's also a camp that believes just leaving it sit until it's time to use it again is the way to go.

I've stored my rig both under a covered roof and in a climate controlled building. The building was much better but cost twice as much. You'd probably want to cover the tires if you leave it exposed but, as you point out, when in use there's not much protection from the elements.


Good luck

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Old 08-06-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
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Just a thought to bear in mind, your hearing from a minority of RVers that have issues, what your not hearing is the happy ones which will not and usually do not post to say how well things are going with their units. I'm sure the happy ones will far out number the unhappy ones. JMO.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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Keep reading. You'll run into the posts that describe how every time someone goes out on a trip a run-down neglected wreck-a-mahester pulls in the site next to them with five kids and four barking dogs.

Somehow these coaches are still on the road and even in your local Wal-Mart Parking lot.

We use ours for about 6 to 7 K miles a year on mostly short trips and although I do get little things to fix mostly what I do is Mod and make little changes we want. We have parked ours outside since 2007 and since were in New Mexico I honestly donít know if it would leak in the rain. But itís held up well and hopefully hasnít become one of those that people complain about in paragraph one.

A lot of folks here on the board, God Love Em, just have too much time on their hands and the old joints are starting to protest. So any chore seems like a big job and we tend to complain like old guys talk about the weather.

Remember public boards are a collection of personal experiences not a gathering of experts, so what you read, while worthy of consideration, isn't Gospel.

Try a couple sample runs in a rental, they mostly aren't kept up quite as well as one you would own. You'll look at the things that aren't spot on a little differently if you think about fixing them yourself, and fixing them yourself is really best if you have the time and skills, or things will get out of proportion at $100 an hour. Besides, fixing something really makes it yours

Good Luck and keep the faith.

Dick

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Old 08-06-2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Keep reading. You'll run into the posts that describe how every time someone goes out on a trip a run-down neglected wreck-a-mahester pulls in the site next to them with five kids and four barking dogs.

Somehow these coaches are still on the road and even in your local Wal-Mart Parking lot.

We use ours for about 6 to 7 K miles a year on mostly short trips and although I do get little things to fix mostly what I do is Mod and make little changes we want. We have parked ours outside since 2007 and since were in New Mexico I honestly donít know if it would leak in the rain. But itís held up well and hopefully hasnít become one of those that people complain about in paragraph one.

A lot of folks here on the board, God Love Em, just have too much time on their hands and the old joints are starting to protest. So any chore seems like a big job and we tend to complain like old guys talk about the weather.

Remember public boards are a collection of personal experiences not a gathering of experts, so what you read, while worthy of consideration, isn't Gospel.

Try a couple sample runs in a rental, they mostly aren't kept up quite as well as one you would own. You'll look at the things that aren't spot on a little differently if you think about fixing them yourself, and fixing them yourself is really best if you have the time and skills, or things will get out of proportion at $100 an hour. Besides, fixing something really makes it yours

Good Luck and keep the faith.

Dick

Good words.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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Storing your RV in a Garage while not in use is just a excellent way to protect your investment. I own a 1998 Bounder that been stored inside since 2001 and and it's in excellent shape. It just doesn't sit there as we Camp a lot . Everywhere I go people are impressed by its condition for its age, but I do all the normal things to take care of it too. Last year I bought a Class B Pleasure Way off the Internet and while talking to the man as soon as he told me while not in use its stored under a cover, the deal was done ! When I flew to Portland to pick it up I wasn't disappointed as it was like brand new. I don't have room to Garage it so its under a ADCO RV cover. Direct Sun exposure ruins materials even with effort to fend it off.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:23 AM   #9
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When we were looking at getting an RV we saw so many that said that they were always kept indoors, no smoking and no pets.
You would not believe how many had roof problems with leaks, pet hair and/or dog bones under couches and cigarette smoke stains. Not one ever owned up to the fact they had problems. All we got was "Oh we never saw that" or "I have no idea how that got there" or various forms of those. And dealers seemed to be the worst of them for saying things, lol.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtenn View Post
Hii everyone, I am a newbie and am studying this site to garner as much info as possible before taking the plunge into motor home ownership. I read some threads last nite that were rather disturbing; one in particular was about a reader throwing in the towel, totally frustrasted with the never ending repair issues of his new coach. That scared me. Another reader responded that if they sit, they rot. Someone else said a high end coach like he had (Entegra) is meant to be used. If its not going to be, get something else that will sit better. This brings up some questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtenn View Post
1. How much "use" is enough? We anticipate traveling the country, maybe go for a week or two or three at a time, hopefully 3-4 times a year. The rest of the time it will be sitting. Will that be problematic?
I use mine for 'long weekend' trips (3-4 days) during the spring thru the fall maybe 4-5 times per season. The rest of the time it sits (plugged in). So not much more than you are saying. I have no problem at all with 'disuse rot'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtenn View Post
2.When it is sitting, does it need to be garaged? I am looking at preowned coaches, and in most every ad, the coach is described as being in a climate controlled garage, etc. Is this necessary? If it was being "used" it wouldn't be in this environment, it would be outside, right?
Water intrusion is your biggest enemy, and is a relentless foe. If you make sure you have NO water intrusion, you should, theoretically, have no problems. But, you'll never be sure you have no water intrusion.

My advice: if you CAN garage it, do (I do) because it will live longer that way.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #11
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While we do not have 'top end' MH's we do have nice units. With our winters, we store our MH for about 6 months a year. We have built a 'shop complex' that has 14' ceilings and that is where the MH goes during the winter, the open car port side, not inside.. During the summer, she sits outside in the open, waiting for her next trip. We try to go out 4-5 times a year for 3-5 days at a time. During hunting season, our MH is our 'base' camp and may sit for 10-15 days and sometimes in some not too nice weather. We have done this for years and so far no major issues. As has already been stated you need to stay on top of the regular maintenance, but you also need to do that with a SB.
While some MH's are built with better materials, they tend to cost a lot more. Also no matter where you go and how much prep you do, something may go wrong on any trip. That just goes with the 'advanture' of owning a MH. They are fun so keep looking a find one that suits your needs/income.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #12
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We use our motorhome just about the same way you intend to use yours. Our 2001 Adventurer was stored indoors when not in use from the day we got it. The garage wasn't climate controlled but did keep out the weather and the varmints, We just recently traded it off with over 100,00 miles on the odometer. It looked far better than coaches 5 and 6 years newer that had been stored outdoors.

The major advantages of keeping it out of the weather are no sun fading of exterior decals and paint, no fading of furniture, no problems with discolored or cracking dash due to heat and sun, and no shrinkage or drying out of caulking on roof and body seams. In addition keeping it out of the rain will eliminate any damage that could be caused by any open or deteriorating roof or body seams, and minimize intrusion by mice, chipmunks, or other such varmints. If you live in snow country there's also the advantage of no snow load on the roof, and no need to clean it off before using it.

Shelter doesn't prevent all exterior wear and damage but it does minimize it. It also allows you to inspect things and repair them out of the weather. It's a lot simpler to repair a small problem in the comfort of a sheltered environment than come back a month or so later to find something had been leaking since the day you left it and has caused a major problem.

Our new motohome is also stored indoors when not in use. Both my wife and I feel it's more secure and less likely to have problems. If you can afford the cost I highly recommend it. We feel we've saved more than the cost of storage in minimizing the problems and repair costs and maximizing the life of all the components. The the ease, convenience, and comfort of having it indoors when not in use makes the RVing experience that much better.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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I've stored my rig outside next to my house since I live in a rural area. I take it out one weekend a month to camp. I also start it up and drive it around the block once a week, run the genset for a half hour once a week and keep a solar battery tender attached to the RV battery. No problems so far. If I could garage my rig, I would. I do save $$ by not doing so. But I think that running it often and doing the maintenance will make it last.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:24 AM   #14
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Storing your RV in a Garage while not in use is just a excellent way to protect your investment. I own a 1998 Bounder that been stored inside since 2001 and and it's in excellent shape.
A RV is a depreciating item. Not a investment that will increase in value or even stay the same.
A 98 Bounder by NADA retail price is $21K or less. Probably much less then you paid 12 years ago for it.

I bought my 1999 MH 11 years ago in 2002. As I am Full Time It has been keep outside 24/7 in mother natures climate control system.
Never covered even one time other then the tires and hardly ever in any shade.

Probably not in excellent shape but still in good shape for a 14 year old MH.

I don't think anyone that keeps a RV in a climate controlled building or even covered. Will ever get back near the cost spent, for storing one. When selling or trading it. Or come out ahead on any maintenance cost of one not stored covered.

Not that the climate storage places or cover makers don't appreciate the $$$$ payed to them.

My Grandmother didn't cover her couches or chairs in clear plastic either.
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