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Old 06-28-2016, 07:29 PM   #1
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Question What's The 'Real Deal' In Owning An RV?

I'm not ready yet to make the leap and buy one but my reasons being is I am looking like crazy for the perfect one to fit my needs first.

I'm torn between a class C and maybe a pull along.

My biggest dilemma is the fact that so many people buy one and then sell it back to the dealer they bought it from only a short time later, what is up with that?

What is the real deal in owning an RV?

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Old 06-28-2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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Buy what you like, can afford and keep it.
Some people buy too small
Some buy too large
Some buy due to the colors
Some buy because they think it's cute
Then they change their minds
Some get divorced
Some need more room for kids
Some need less room when the kids are gone (we went from the 35' gas rig to a 38' DSDP, then a 40' DSDP and now a 45' since the kids left)
Lots of reasons, and a lot of them are different than others.

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Old 06-28-2016, 07:46 PM   #3
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MR D about covered it all. we had camped with a tent and pop up when the kids were young. Later when we wanted to get back into camping but with an rv. We looked for two years before we found one that suited both of us. Don't be in a hurry and don't let someone convince you that you want what they're trying to sell.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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My impression is this. I knew buying used was the best option because of as mentioned before, making it affordable is the first significant thing. I passed on the amazing financing and the historic deals that seem to be so prevalent at RV shows. People were signing up for units in droves....

Next. They are a LOT of work. Some are under the impression it's a get in and drive situation. Which it is for me now. But it took two years of work here and there just to get it the way I wanted it. Some don't understand that it can take in upwards to a weekend to just polish and wax a unit. That's if you want to keep it looking good.

Misinformation. Overheard a guy at an RV show telling his significant other that this particular E-450 based Class C at around 29 feet would get 17 miles to the gallon. If he bought it I am sure he wasn't pleased with the real figure.
2002 Four Winds 31Z. E-450 V10. Stops at all racetracks!
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:59 PM   #5
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My advice is to not jump into one that you are not totally happy with and especially not let a dealer talk you into something. And to find one like that, you may have to buy a custom ordered RV from the manufacturer. That is what I did because the dealers loaded up their inventory with options that I had no interest in

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Old 06-28-2016, 10:08 PM   #6
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1. It is an expensive hobby. Period. If you have ever owned a larger boat, you will understand. RVs will depreciate at least as fast as cars as a percentage of original cost. That means that where a $25000 car may depreciate $8000 in three years, a $75000 RV may depreciate $24000 in 3 years. Obviously, maintenance and insurance are more costly.

2. Overall reliability is considerably less than automobiles and light trucks.

3. Warranty on the "House" portion of the RV is usually only 1 year. That includes all the appliances, 120 volt wiring, plumbing, etc. The chassis portion is almost always longer, but some dealerships for the RV brand will bounce you to the chassis manufacturer's dealer network for any drivetrain repairs.

4. If you use it for 50 days or so every year, the costs can be justified. If you use it less, it will be a very expensive hobby on a cost-per-day basis.
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Old 06-29-2016, 12:47 AM   #7
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Well, for a brief rundown (we live in north east Florida).
Its for myself and my dad to tour around the US, maybe Canada.
We also do civil war reenacting.
I'm 6' 3', he about 6'.
We want something that has a main bedroom and a solid door that separates the main bedroom from the rest of the RV (for snoring noise and privacy), for me I was assuming I'd sleep in that overhead sleeping area over the drivers and passenger seat, as most of those pull out couches and kitchen tables that fold down are way too short for me.
We were also wanting one with a decent size bathroom that is outside the main bedroom as not to disturb the bedroom sleeping area.
A class C is nice and neat as its all self contained, we figured in this class we would get and hook up to the tow hitch a couple of scooters to get around on when the RV is in camp.
On the pull along the biggest benefit is we can detach the pickup truck from the RV and use the truck to do what ever we need to do but we do not own a large enough pickup to tow one, we only have a mini van.
The class C's are a lot more expensive than a pull along too, tens of thousands more.
We're not looking to spend as much as a small house costs but we don't want no-frills crap either.
Lastly the long term storage issue when not in use is also a consideration.
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:47 AM   #8
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I ended up buying because:

I could afford the fair price

It is a very well kept Class C - actually unbelievable

I know I can drive it and my wife will be comfortable in it.

I wont be way over my head and strapped with years of high payments or big loss

It affords me the opportunity to see how much I like the lifestyle

Gives me insight as to what I may want to do in the future.

I am very comfortable with it and so is the wife.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:19 AM   #9
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Hi IrishRifles,

Have you thought about renting a RV for a weekend to see how you like it? There are companies you can rent from. It is expensive and if money is tight, this won't be an option.

It really is an individual choice. For us, we looked for a year at many, many models and finally went with a used Class A.


Pay cash
bedroom shut off from rest of MH
Bathroom shut off from bedroom
didn't have to climb around bed

We have done some repairs and upgrades. Blue tooth radio, new TV, new controller for levelers, replaced some vacumm hoses, a window. She is tight now but as mentioned, there are always repairs.

Found a farm where we can store it inside which was considerably cheaper than a regular storage facility. Check that out.

Otherwise, if you are buying new, go to the dealership and tell them you want to spend some time inside the MH and just sit a while, lay down and see if you are comfortable. will the kitchen work ok, can you raise your arms to wash your hair in that shower.

If you buy a TT (pull behind). Can you fit the scooters into the back of the van? Or put a system on the back of the TT for the scooters. Otherwise, with the Class C could you pull your truck behind with the scooters in the bed?

Good luck finding your rig. It is an expensive hobby but a very fun one.
Love the sunshine and warmer weather!
Lynne and Jerry RVM 105
2004 Winnebago Itasca Sunova / 2012 Toyota Prius / 2016 ACME EZE-Tow Dolly
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:54 AM   #10
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Many good comments and advice above. I think the bottom line is that it is a commitment. The bigger they are the more expensive they are, especially year to year on maintenance items. Most people I have talked to start small and work their way up (or others just get out of it once they realize what it takes.)
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:23 AM   #11
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Since you do civil war reenacting, see if some of your fellow participants have RV's. They should have some valuable comments regarding Class C vs. trailers and also boondocking at reenacting sites.

We saw several RV's a few years ago at an encampment in St. Charles, Missouri. These were parked separately from the authentic tents, etc. but looked like a good use for the reenacting activity.
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:45 AM   #12
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I think a lot of people buy all kinds of things without doing their due diligence. Mr. D covered most of the reasons, but the bottom line is it didn't turn out the way they thought it would.

You've already received some good advice for reducing your financial risk if it turns out you don't like it for whatever reason.
Dennis and Katherine
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by IrishRifles View Post
...My biggest dilemma is the fact that so many people buy one and then sell it back to the dealer they bought it from only a short time later, what is up with that?

What is the real deal in owning an RV?
I think the answer to your question boils down to a combination of two things: Time and Money

Folks either underestimate the total cost of ownership of an RV - or they overestimate the amount of time they'll actually have to use it. Lots of folks find themselves saddled with an RV sitting idly in storage - sucking them dry with monthly payments, storage expenses, license and insurance expenses, maintenance and repair costs, etc. - and that's before they pay to fill it up, drive off, pay their campground fees, etc. (in most cases while they're also maintaining their stationary home).

It's easy to fall in love with the idea of a mobile lifestyle - but then discover that the RV sits idle far more than you ever thought it would when the rest of life (job, kids, grandkids, other activities, etc.) gets factored in. If and/or when the real time available to use it vs the total cost of ownership gets too far out of balance - folks unload the RV.

As others have said - an RV represents a commitment. If your RVing experience has a chance at being a good one - you need to be honest with yourself in terms of how much you plan to use it - and go into it with your eyes wide open with regards to how the total cost of ownership will fit your personal financial situation.
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:53 AM   #14
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Got money and don't like sleeping on the ground or taking a dump in a 5 gallon bucket? Get a moho or trailer, but expect to have to do "upkeep". RV's are like boats, there is always something to fix! Question is can you do it yourself(everything is really small compared to a house)or will you have to have some one else do it for you. (in that case, make sure you have a wheel barrow of cashola set aside! and have lots of patience!)

Good luck....

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