Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > New Member Check-In
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-19-2014, 01:04 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
H-School Bus's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 11
Unhappy Is being mechanically challenged a deal-breaker?

My wife and I are seriously considering a first-time purchase of a motorhome. Up to this point, we've been a pop-up camper family.

Neither of us are mechanically inclined in the least. I know where gas and washer fluid go in a car and that's about it. I don't understand even basics about electrical wiring harnesses, fuses, or anything of that sort. Basically, if it cannot be fixed with duct tape or superglue, I have to hire somebody.

Have been reading lots of RV forums in trying to figure out whether a motorhome would be right for us. From what I see, it appears that one needs to be pretty mechanically inclined to enjoy the RVing lifestyle (or at least not become completely frustrated with and broke by it). Is that a fair assessment? I would really like to know before we go shelling out six figures on a purchase we might end up regretting. Would very much appreciate any candid thoughts in this regard, especially from those who, like us, are not mechanically inclined (if any of you exist out there in this forum :-)).

Thanks much!

H-School Bus
__________________

__________________
H-School Bus is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-19-2014, 01:08 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
SarahW's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: In a lawnchair
Posts: 11,204
Howdy and welcome! In my opinion, you need to have some mechanical aptitude and physical ability, or you need to have plenty of money to pay someone who does.

Many times, you need all three. Good luck!!
__________________

__________________
.2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

SarahW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 01:16 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
gruelens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,286
Welcome to the forum, all of us here are glad you posted.

If you want to RV, do NOT let your mechanical ability stop you from doin' it. There are many folks traveling in RVs that are not comfortable with doing repairs. Obviously, you will need to have the finances to pay for fixes that will be needed.
__________________
George R. - Fulltiming since January '03
2007 Newmar Mountain Aire 3991
2012 Chevy Malibu LT1
gruelens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 01:26 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
sirpurrcival's Avatar
 
National RV Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by gruelens View Post
Welcome to the forum, all of us here are glad you posted.

If you want to RV, do NOT let your mechanical ability stop you from doin' it. There are many folks traveling in RVs that are not comfortable with doing repairs. Obviously, you will need to have the finances to pay for fixes that will be needed.
I would agree. There are often little things that may go wrong here and there but seldom are these things trip wreckers. I started out with no RV experience but was determined to learn as much as I could. I can't repair an engine, but I can certainly do basic maintenance which most people can do (change a bulb etc.) You may want to secure the services of a good RV shop and avail yourself of a yearly checkup before the season starts. Keep a list of the little things that may be plaguing you. Optionally, join a local chapter of an RV club. Folks are quite helpful and informative. They can share with you lots of good tips and information and even show you how things are done. The RV I bought had been misused and neglected and for the first couple of years, I was always getting this fixed or changing that piece of hose or what have you. Once I got most of the kinks fixed, troublesome things became much less frequent. Getting yourself a well cared for rig would probably help you avoid most of the nasty's It is far easier to maintain a rig rather than resurrect it which is what I had to do.
__________________
1999 - National Tropi Cal
sirpurrcival is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 07:12 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Chiefbvfd's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Buffalo, IA
Posts: 2,825
Welcome to IRV2.....I would think a TT or Popup camper would have fewer systems to deal with and may be better suited for someone who is not as mechanically inclined as others, but they too will have issues that need attention....
__________________
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad





Chiefbvfd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 07:24 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
JohnBoyToo's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2012
Location: DFW, Tex-US
Posts: 4,831
It's not that I am mechanically challenged, just that I am 'motivationally' challenged I don't WANT to work anymore than I have to !

You could consider an rv roadside assistance package like from coach-net or good sam that will come out and repair what ails you... takes a bit more time than if you could do it yourself, but worth it to some
__________________
JohnBoyToo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 07:32 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Cobra1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Maryland
Posts: 464
I would advise picking your dealer carefully as you will need maintenance from time to time and dealer service should not be a bad experience.
__________________
Getting there is half the fun - take your time and enjoy the scenery.
2012 Thor Outlaw
2000 Heritage Softail
Cobra1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 07:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 296
Only you can assess your comfort level. RVs are definitely complex items. Things will always need fixing, it's just an accepted fact. How are you around the home? Do you have to call a repairman for everything? If a hinge comes loose, a door knob falls off, water line starts leaking, and etc., can you tackle it, or do you call a repairman? For me, my RV is more like a hobby. I like using it as well as maintaining it. There is very little that I can't do, but occasionally, I would rather let someone else provide the muscle. If you are the type that doesn't know the difference between a socket wrench and an adjustable wrench, just keep plenty of $$$ in reserve. It is doable if you have very little mechanical ability, but it may become inconvenient and expensive. Best of luck!
__________________
Cbones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 07:41 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Steve Ownby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cosby, Tn
Posts: 6,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-School Bus View Post
My wife and I are seriously considering a first-time purchase of a motorhome. Up to this point, we've been a pop-up camper family.



Neither of us are mechanically inclined in the least. I know where gas and washer fluid go in a car and that's about it. I don't understand even basics about electrical wiring harnesses, fuses, or anything of that sort. Basically, if it cannot be fixed with duct tape or superglue, I have to hire somebody.



Have been reading lots of RV forums in trying to figure out whether a motorhome would be right for us. From what I see, it appears that one needs to be pretty mechanically inclined to enjoy the RVing lifestyle (or at least not become completely frustrated with and broke by it). Is that a fair assessment? I would really like to know before we go shelling out six figures on a purchase we might end up regretting. Would very much appreciate any candid thoughts in this regard, especially from those who, like us, are not mechanically inclined (if any of you exist out there in this forum :-)).



Thanks much!



H-School Bus

I have many fond memories of tent and pop-up camping, first with my parents and then as an adult. This gives you a leg up on the folks who are considering an RV and have never camped.

Mechanical aptitude certainly helps but is not a requirement to successfully enjoy the lifestyle. I have always been a DIYer and have continued to be as a full timer. I picked well when coach shopping. We bought a 3 year old fairly top of the line coach 8 years ago and I have largely maintained it myself. There have been zero major issues so if I had done none of the maintenance myself, at worst, it would have cost me a few hundred dollars a year more than it did.

My best friend and sometimes travel companion has zero mechanical aptitude. Checking the oil and filling the tank are the limits of his ability. He is a very enthusiastic motorhomer. He is currently headed to the Albuquerque balloon festival.

Bottom line, two different ways to enjoy the same lifestyle.


Steve Ownby
Full time since '07
__________________
Steve Ownby
Full time since 2007
2003 Monaco Signature
Steve Ownby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 07:51 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
bruceisla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: St. Lucie West, FL
Posts: 5,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
Howdy and welcome! In my opinion, you need to have some mechanical aptitude and physical ability, or you need to have plenty of money to pay someone who does.

Many times, you need all three. Good luck!!

I'm with Sarah! ....
__________________
2005 Newmar Essex 4502, 2013 Caddy SRX
1997 HR Endeavor 37, CAT, 1996 Geo Tracker
bruceisla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 08:00 AM   #11
Registered User
 
mel s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,777
I know owners who only carry a cellphone and a checkbook in their tool box.
IMO if you aren't "mechanically inclined" fixing everything that wears out, (and/or breaks or needs work), your checkbook will be used often. (or your RV will soon be a useless piece of junk). .....
RVs are awfully expensive to maintain when you can do things yourself.
Mel
'96 Safari
__________________
mel s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 08:17 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,956
FWIW as somebody with a not the top end coach I am happy to note that most of the problems I see are with systems I do not even have. If you want to dip into the Motor Home market I would start with a more basic unit. Anything with a less than $100,000 price tag is a good place to start. No jacks, couple of batteries, simple, basic and more comfortable than tents/tent campers. If you get that figured out and then decide to upgrade you will have spent less than the high end units depreciate in a year. ;-)

FWIW the biggest shock in going from a tent to a Class C was how *little* time it took to get set up. ;-))
__________________
nothermark is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 08:28 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
myshaggydog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: At various Florida State Parks.
Posts: 967
Welcome to the Forum. You will learn what you can repair and what you will need to take to a dealer/repair shop. Before you take to a repair facility be sure to post here your problem. Many of us have had past experience in which we maybe able to help you fix yourself. I have often asked questions on issues that I have been able to correct from someone helping out here on the Forums or at a camp ground. Best of luck.

Good luck on your purchase.
__________________
George and Brenda
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan with CAT7
2013 Honda Fit
myshaggydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2014, 08:31 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 877
As I see it, there are three kinds of RVers; 1. Lots of talent, fix everything, give advice to others, and almost always right; 2. Do-it-yourselfers who try to save money, but it ends up costing them more, with an added dose of frustration; and 3. Those who know what they don't know, and can fix the small stuff, but have to pay to get most things fixed. The pages of this forum are filled with questions about how tos, and what ifs, and help me fix my mistake. The fellows who install their own batteries, and don't remember where the cables go, those who are trying to hook up their TVs, the guys whose alarms are going off and they don't know what to do, and those who cannot get the signal light to work or the back-up beep to stop, are all here; read em and weep! There is no right or wrong, and don't feel you are alone.
__________________

__________________
2016 Winnebago Grand Tour QL
2006 Hummer H2
Blue Ox/M&G
soricobob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


« New member | Hello »

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air conditioner Tripping Breaker budtee RV Systems & Appliances 10 06-17-2014 07:00 PM
Circuit Breaker Problems DavCor Tiffin Motorhomes Owners Forum 4 05-27-2014 05:06 PM
Paint Checking a deal breaker? H20 Toie Class A Motorhome Discussions 2 05-05-2014 11:52 AM
Clicking sound in 120v breaker box & strange indications on control panel's ballard770 RV Systems & Appliances 7 02-14-2014 09:19 AM
Strange breaker problem Cappy58 Class A Motorhome Discussions 34 02-09-2014 10:01 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.