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Old 10-01-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Should I know the major technology turnover years in 5Wh AC, insulation, roofs, etc.?

What do you think of these types of maxims I've been hearing directed at people like me who are shopping for a used fifth-wheel?

1) "AC has become far more efficient since 2003 or so. If you buy an RV from before that, replace the AC even if it is working fine because you'll get electricity-savings payback in just a few years."

2) "On anything before 2000, expect a lot of uneven heating/cooling and wide swings in temperatures even if you get a newer thermostat."

3) "Major improvements in wall construction---both in savings on energy costs and in avoiding in-wall condensation and mold----mean that all but the higher-end pre-2000 RVs should be avoided and no lower and middle tier RVs before 2005."

4) "At 15 years old, count on a lot of appliances failing soon. At 20 years, consider them shot and needing replacement before you take the RV home from the dealer/reseller."

Yes, generalizations have a lot of drawbacks and what sort of useful concepts might be found within them?

Or do you have any maxims and general advice of your own? I can certainly afford to go newer and pay more if I wish, but sometimes I wonder if an extra $10,000 upfront only gets me an extra $5,000 in benefits? (And now that I'm retired, the value of my time dealing with mundane problem-solving or repairs is not what it was when I was a busy tech consultant. So I will be able to deal with shopping around for the best solution and even educating myself for a maintenance/repair that I would have hired out in the past without hesitation.)

[If your answers need more details about my situation and needs, see my signature below.]

FT'er,38' 5W/ToyHauler but no toys; rural eastern Texas 140mi.from Houston coastline.[On-grid gray/black-water code-compliant.] Interested in feedback re: climate/mold issues, vermin/pests/coyotes, energy-conservation tech & experiments, passive solar, RV security.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Hello from Henderson TX from a fellow East Texan.

There is so many variables, on what your asking, very good question.
I re-built houses on the side and sold them to help me retire early, I would replace ac if they where over 20 years. If your in a park and using park electric, no big deal to me.
Get the ac/appliances looked at and cleaned. But to replace every thing AC appliances I wouldn't! There lots of pre-2000 that are great rigs, built like a tank and well insulated. Seen a 1998 Carri-Lite almost perfect, man has keep it under roof all the time.
Get every thing inspected and some day you'll have to replace something, but I'd wait for it to happen! Look for someone that has taken care of there Used RV like that man's Carri-Lite. I'M like you I could afford new but bought a great 2011 Carriage that they took care of.
Happy trails and keep doing what your doing asking questions.

F/T 11/20/2012
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:26 AM   #3
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I have a 2008 artic fox silver fox and a 1985 fleetwood south wind all appliances are still going strong just got back from a 1000 mile trip to each his own I guess you could get a lemon on the Ac when I full timed my elect bill was right at a hundred dollars a month in 100 degree heat I didn't feel it was bad
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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If its not broke dont fix it!
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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Real simple. Ignore all of the personal opinions. Find the RV you want. There are a lot of RV expert wannabes on the RV forums.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #6
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+1 for Wandering1... Just start going through several of of different ages and decide what is important and what "just doesn't make a difference". An example might be LED lighting, if you don't boondock is it worth getting a newer unit just for that?
I am sure there are older units in great shape, just as there are some newer units that have not been cared for well. Every unit is going to be unique with pluses and minuses. Pick what you want.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Its the same as old house new house reasoning. Slideouts are crap but are worth the problems, and wood frames with rubber roofs will eventually rot.
Good hunting
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by garyswann View Post
Its the same as old house new house reasoning. Slideouts are crap but are worth the problems, and wood frames with rubber roofs will eventually rot.
Good hunting
Are you implying that EPDM rubber roofing prevents "breathing" and thereby destroys the wooden roof components? (I had assumed that such roofs would dry out/breathe adequately toward the living space, etc. ---or at least, assuming that it is properly vented and dehumidifiers handle damp periods.)

Especially if shaded from long-term UV, I had assumed that EDPM rubber roofs were nearly the ideal for RVs. But I'm entirely new to RVs and all of my experience with building materials (which includes some years in retail) has been with conventional structures and some types of portable buildings. I've used EDPM in many kinds of applications with excellent results, but never with RVs.

Thanks for helping a novice to the RV world!

Helping my disabled father and my care-giver sister in getting their fifth-wheels for a long-term, rural Texas site. I hope to do likewise within a year or two so...just trying to learn all that I can. Any & all advice is appreciated!
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