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Old 04-08-2015, 08:57 AM   #1
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Owning an Rv while living in Alaska

We are starting our research to purchase our first RV. We vacationed in AZ
last month and rented a MH from Cruise America. We loved staying at the State parks and confirmed that RVing appealed to us. Here's the struggle we are having. We enjoying spending a good portion of our winters in the lower 48 so we would probably store the RV in AZ or NM when not in use. Most likely it will be stored for nine month out of the year. How hard it that on a fifth wheel to set that long without use? we will probably buy a newer used one. Reading about all the maintainance issues scares me. I don't want to spend a week getting things "ready" before vacationing.

I'm starting to wonder if it isn't more cost effective to keep renting an RV for a month or two at a time. Then the rental company does all the upkeep, insurance and storage cost and we just play with it for a couple months and give it back. We rented a small 19' A class and it averaged about $110-120 a day including mileage. One salesman said a class A depreciates about $10k a year. Does that sound about right? I appreciate you thoughts on this subject.

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Old 04-08-2015, 09:25 AM   #2
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Personally if it were me and I had to store it 9 months out of the year I would just rent one when I wanted to go somewhere. Rigs sitting for that long of a period will just tend to get lazy and then you will need to spend the time and money to get it ready for 3 months of use.

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Old 04-08-2015, 10:19 AM   #3
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I would continue to rent. RVs are take a bit of maintenance to keep them up anyway and having one sit for 9 months will require even more before you use it.

Here in AK mine sits on the side of my house so it is easy to get it ready to go and keep up on the maint.

Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:40 PM   #4
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A 5th wheel does not have the mechanical systems to develop "lot rot" the way a class A does so not as much upkeep but in AZ or NM you will want indoor storage which is expensive due to the sun and heat/dust. Then there is the potential for mice, bugs etc.

Seems like a lot of investment to chance leaving for 9 months a year. The only upside is that you could buy a much nicer unit than the rentals.

money wise it would probably be a good bit cheaper and maintenance would be pretty minimal. Caulking the roof and windows every couple years might take you a day or so. Compressed air to blow lines and pour some RV anti freeze down the traps and even that would be optional in those states, especially indoors. Take the battery with you so you can keep it charged. Then just fix whatever you break.
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Old 04-08-2015, 05:57 PM   #5
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I agree, renting would be my preference too. Sitting outside, unattended, most of the year in the AZ sun is NOT good for any RV. By the time insurance, taxes, licensing, and upkeep will go a long way towards rental cost every year.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:40 PM   #6
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I keep an older ('94) 5th in storage fo 8 or 9 months on the Kenai for use a a guest house, no problem. Drain it, remove the batteries to warm storage, good to go. Friends have kept an owned 5th wheel on a leased lot, or a park model, in Arizona and California desert areas and been quite happy. I have never discussed a motorhome in the same situation with anyone.

It all depends on travel. Do you want to move around a lot, or do a lot of day trips and an occasional overnighter.

Among those who fly in and fly out, the happiest seem to be those with a fixed park model or 5th on a leased or owned lot and a driveable car left at same.

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