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Old 10-23-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Maintenance costs

We're still trying to decide on what class of RV we want for FT use. I tried figuring fuel costs for truck/TT combo, truck/5er combo, and MH/toad combo. I based all costs on 5000 miles with the RV and 10,000 without. The annual variation in fuel costs was more than the difference in my three combinations. Now I'm looking at another major cost.

Full-timers, what do you spend on maintenance and repairs each year? I've heard $2000 on up to $5000, and figure on spending $10,000 the first year to do the necessary upgrades and repairs. I would assume that if two coaches were otherwise similar (same make and model, same year), and one was several thousand dollars more than the other, the more expensive one may have had some of the upgrades and repairs already done that the other one might still need. Is that a valid assumption?
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #2
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Hi, David

Speaking from my "Capitalist Dog" persona:
I think the only valid assumption you can make about price differences is that the sellers have two different ideas of the maximum amount they can squeeze out of a potential buyer.

But this response ought to bump you to the "active" column where others perhaps less cynical than I will have different opinions!

Good luck in your search

Francesca
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:58 PM   #3
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Maintenace costs can vary depending on a number of things such as age of unit and your comfort level/interest in doing some of it yourself. Yesterday I changed oil on my diesel pusher for about $70 for 5 gal of Mobil Delvac from Wally World, and a $14 Cat oil filter. It was easy to access and easy to do. Last year I had a shop do it for approx the same cost for parts, but they charged $225 for labor and $25 for "shop supplies". I can do it three more times and have the same money invested as last year's one change. Good luck with your information gathering and enjoy the road.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:00 PM   #4
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Poptop, are you fulltiming, or did you change the oil at home? I've heard that it is almost impossible to change the oil yourself if you aren't at home.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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I guess if you are this stressed over the costs Don't buy, just go on vacation to so hotel room. I guess if you go the route of the hotel room you will miss a lot of good scenery and good times, not get to sleep in your own bed every night, and have some of you stuff nearby. Well you make the choice I'll keep my MH no matter what it costs.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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I always budget for special projects (like new tires) individually if I know they are due. The yearly budget is then based on the cost of the coach, and that is 10% of the purchase price. So a $100000 coach would carry a $10000 yearly maint budget and more for fuel. I have never spent the entire budget but having the money put aside takes the worry out of where it is to come from! If I ever do spend it all I will be very disapointed.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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Those that have more money, spend more money. We do as much as we can ourselves to keep costs in check. The things we cannot do, we simply shop around for the best deal without sacrificing quality work. Here is a link to our budget which may give you a starting point... RV Road Trip Expense Summary / Budget - 2011
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVRoadTrip View Post
Those that have more money, spend more money.
Those that save more money, have more money.

Those that have more money and spend it don't "have more money" anymore!


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Old 10-24-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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I travel in my MH vs. staying in one place for an extended time. My operating costs on average based on 10,000 miles per year for 2 people are:
Fuel: $0.57 per mile. This averaged over the year, depending on conditions I see mpg from 6.2 to 8.3 mpg
Food (mostly groceries): $400.00 per month
Tools over and above my initial toolbox: $4.00 per month
Routine Maintenance: $0.13 per mile
Repairs and Modifications First year: $0.50 per mile
Repairs and Modifications subsequent years: $0.11 per mile
Camp Grounds: $34.00 per day
Insurance: $784.00 per year for 3 drivers
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:32 PM   #10
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From what I've read and heard-the 5th wheel/truck is best, both from a livability and cost perspective, and this generally applies if you're talking new or used.
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:16 PM   #11
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rvjimmy, we aren't stressed over this. We're just trying to figure out what will (maybe) work best for us. When I calculated fuel costs I was hoping that there would be enough of a difference that we could rank the three classes we're considering, but there wasn't enough of a variation to give a clear ranking. It sounds like maintenance is about the same way.

puttin, we've heard that, too. In fact, it was a Bighorn that really got is thinking seriously about fulltiming. We've seen some beautiful 5'ers, and we may end up going that way. We've also seen some beautiful Airstreams, and some beautiful DP's.

For us, at least, right now a big part of the fun is looking at different rigs and talking to people about why they made the decisions they did about their coaches. Their situations are all different, but we're beginning to learn how to think and what sorts of questions we need to answer before we decide on what we want.

My new favorite saying is "I'd rather ask a thousand questions before I write a big check than ask the same question a thousand times afterward."
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:40 PM   #12
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We are full timing but two things helped. I changed the oil at my son's place, and we have installed a Fumoto oil drain valve (about $36 dollars delivered www.fumotousa.com ). With it you can drain a few ounces at a time, a gallon, or whatever size container you have. I used a funnel and the gallon containers (milk, windshield fluid, etc) and then recycled the oil at AutoZone. The oil change schedule for my unit is 11,000 miles or one year so I figure I can plan to be at one of my childrens house at the right time. I'd also be tempted to ask a friend to use their place if need be beings it isn't messy this way.
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