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Old 02-01-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
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Warning!!!! Do not buy a motorhome!!!

As an owner of my third motor coach, it seems that some people thinking about purchasing one need to be forced to read a warning telling them what they are getting into.

Unless you have more money than you know what to do with and plan on buying a $1.5 million dollar Luxury Coach to park in a Florida resort then you're like me and will be purchasing something within a specific budget and intend on using it as much as possible to justify the cost.

Face it, if you are buying a new and untested unit anywhere within the envelope of high to average entry level price range you are buying something that will most likely have issues, bugs, and components ready to fail at a moments notice.

You are giving your money to a corporation that exists for one reason, and one reason only, no matter what their web site says about customers coming first, and that is to make MONEY.

How do they do that? They shop around for the most cost effective components and materials to install in your coach, they build a facility in the middle of nowhere to save on labor costs, they employ as best the local labor pool has to offer to get the job done at a reasonable cost, they only guarantee their product for a length of time proven to affect their bottom line the least!

What does this tell you? This should refer you back to the title of this thread! If it doesn't then it should at least make you think twice about what you are about to subject yourself and your family to. Things will break, things will stop working for no apparent reason, you are going to find things that if you were to build it yourself that you would have done differently and definitely better!

What is going to happen when things go wrong? If you have little to no mechanical ability, you are going to have to get that bright shiny new box TOWED to a place that might have seen a unit like yours and has a good idea where to start looking. But, if you can't figure out how to make it work, you are going to have to pay someone else to do it.

So my advise is, be prepared for the inevitable and stop being surprised when things go wrong, or about the things that were forgotten because no matter who makes your coach, this is the reality of owning a motor home.

First things first: For god sake, do a complete and thorough pre delivery inspection using a printed out list that you follow without fail! Bring a mechanics creeper so you can get under the unit to inspect every inch, climb on the roof and inspect every seam, bring electrical testers and check every outlet, run water through anything that uses water, bring an inspection mirror and flashlight to look in and under anything that has a failure point, slides in and out, levelers up and down. Then do not take it with you unless you first get the dealer to sign off on your list of repairs and are planning on driving it back in a week or more to let it sit for repairs. Don't be in a hurry!

Now that you have it, take it on a short, close to home shake down camping trip to learn all you can about every component in it. My first is to a place just 15 minutes from my house. This will also turn into a secondary PDI and most likely add to your service punch list. Don't take it across country only to write about how you are now a thousand miles from home and you discovered that your levelers are leaking when the PDI might have pointed it out.

Now to the fun part of owning a complex house on wheels, finding a repair facility that actually does good work. There are more bad repair facilities than there are good ones so good luck with that. Or, you can take it back to the manufacturers facility (read the 5th paragraph again) which is a week long adventure but a safe bet it will be repaired well beyond your expectations.

Buy a nice tool set. The “Black and Decker Home Project kit” is ideal for carrying in a MH (I own 2). Buy and learn how to use a multi meter. Carry a compressor. Make sure your roadside assistance is prepared to handle a call from an RV owner.

But most of all, when things DO go wrong, try your best to remember that you were warned and decided that you were up to the challenge. Don't take it out on you wife or husband, the kids or the family pet! You decided that the best thing for you and your family was to buy something that will at some point cause you a lot of grief and cost you money at a time when you don't have it. Relax and breathe!

Happy Motoring!
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:28 AM   #2
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You are correct MH'S,Boats,Planes ect. in my opinion are luxury toys and if you want to play you pay.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:42 AM   #3
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That is why I converted my school bus, looked at so many motorhomes, then I said I can build my own, 25000kms later and still going I can fix any system, and change out the motor or tranny if I had to, and go to my back woods fishing hole or head south for the winter.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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It has been said that a Yatch is a hole in the water you pour money into.

Well, A motor home is a "Land Yatch" and its a hole in a parking lot you pour money into.

That said.. Full timing in this class A, even with repairs and such, (Of course I do most light maintenance myself) is way less expensive than the sticks and bricks ever was.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:37 AM   #5
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If'n ya wanna play . . . ya gotta pay.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:41 AM   #6
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That said.. Full timing in this class A, even with repairs and such, (Of course I do most light maintenance myself) is way less expensive than the sticks and bricks ever was.

Amen!!!!
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:52 AM   #7
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Some people are not cut out for RV ownership simple as that. Your post is a good warning to those that think RV ownership is all fun and no pay. The quality of RV also has a bearing on how much breaks as well.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGShaffer View Post
You are giving your money to a corporation that exists for one reason, and one reason only, no matter what their web site says about customers coming first, and that is to make MONEY.

How do they do that? They shop around for the most cost effective components and materials to install in your coach, they build a facility in the middle of nowhere to save on labor costs, they employ as best the local labor pool has to offer to get the job done at a reasonable cost, they only guarantee their product for a length of time proven to affect their bottom line the least!
This can pretty much be said for anything that is made or built. There was that infamous quote by Scott Carpenter made to John Glenn while he was sitting in the Friendship 7 capsule awaiting liftoff "Remember, John, this was built by the low bidder".

Otherwise it is very humorous and apropos as I sit waiting for the tow truck to get my RV so that it can be fixed and we can salvage some of the 2 week vacation that we had planned.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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I do anything within my ability and some that aren't but I try. I hate reading stories written by people that are in a position where they have to take it to a garage to have valve extensions installed. What if they leak? Do they have to be towed since most roadside assistance do not do work out side of the repair facility?

I'm not saying people shouldn't spend their money on what ever they want but if you buy a plane and never learn to fly.... Good luck with that!

Most people I run into are really talented, ingenious, and problem solvers. But, every now and then you meet those that don't even have a screw driver. I sort of feel bad for them. They're the type I'm trying to warn
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:17 AM   #10
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You are giving your money to a corporation that exists for one reason, and one reason only, no matter what their web site says about customers coming first, and that is to make MONEY.
Every corporation in the world was formed to MAKE MONEY.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:25 AM   #11
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All good points, Don! I think that people who are not mechanically (basic) inclined should not even consider an RV, much less a MH. Also, many owners never, or just scan, their owner's manual. I think that am RV owner of the specific RV being built should help write the manual. There seems to be a lot of information either missing or very confusing to the reader. Again, good information for prospective buyers.

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Old 02-01-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
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Always do your homework before you buy. Some RV manufacturers pay better attention to detail, quality and customer service than others so you will have fewer things to fix when you buy from them. Information on the internet is only a click away, I spent many months looking and lurking before I decided on an RV brand and have not been disappointed. There are still many little things I have to fix or upgrade, I don't mind. It's what I've done to everything I've ever owned that has tires....
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #13
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Good read...Remember that most coach companies are public companies that exist to make a profit. They must compete for shareholders and provide a reasonable return for all our 401k's and retirement investments. I'm concerned with the quality of products. Take a look at their 10K and see the expense for warranty work, big number. With a little more upfront concentration on quality, warranty expense could be reduced providing a better return or a greater investment in R&D. These machines are very complex and things will break. What drives me crazy is the poor workmanship which goes across all brands. Most components are the same but can be installed incorrectly. I had the suction end of the central vac reversed. Simple but stupid.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:05 PM   #14
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BS, That's all, just plain BS.

I buy used, and after a look around, and if things look good, I buy, and in general am very pleased with my purchases, and get good use out of them.

A good used Class A, in good running order, has already had it's "Sea Trial", and is less likely to need anything major done to it IMHO.

But I must include that I am fairly handy at fixing most anything that needs fixing. And I have an affinity for older per-owned things. I've got two class A's right now, a 1967 MCI bus (converted), and a 2000 Bounder. My tow vehicle is a 1985 Toyota pickup. I've got a 1946 rototiller for the garden, a 1960 something motorcycle, and other older things in general. Just think of the savings in insurance alone on older, tried and true things.

With RV's I do not like the glitter box's at all. Not only are they trouble, but do not fit into my full-time boondocking lifestyle.

Just my way!

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