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Old 10-14-2021, 07:12 PM   #1
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Expensive year for repairs

My partner and I are full timers. We always budget $500.00 per month for maintenance.

This year we chewed through the account: 6 new batteries, 3 fantastic fan tops, ignition solenoid, starter solenoid, all new relays (22), clean and reassemble both dash fans, repairs to basement floor, new water heater (last one in Canada), new burners and ignites for both furnaces, wheel alignment front bearings service, new steer tires, all new florcent lamps, new roof vent covers , 2 new toilets, one toilet seat AND THE BIG REPAIR
New radiator, new CAC radiator, new air conditioning condenser, exhaust manifold repair (8 hours labor), new serpentine belt, $1000.00 tow to the shop, $1000.00 motel and food costs (2 people + 3 cats).

Now before everyone chimes in, this is our home, if you own sticks and bricks, what is the cost for a roof, or new complete hvac system?

Others might say new bus time (don't see any sponsorship coming our way), repairs cheaper than a new bus or new to us bus. If we win the lottery...forget what I just said.

We know our bus, it's 20 years old now, shows it's age in some spots, but it's paid for.

Btw when factoring in the time we have owned it vs. our monthly service budget we are well below the 500.00 we set aside.

The above might help those of you setting out on this adventure in RVING.

Safe travels everyone.

Stuart and Terence
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:40 PM   #2
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Fantastic Fan lids have a lifetime warranty, all you need to do it call them and a new replacement is shipped by FedeX; you pay freight.
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Old 10-14-2021, 09:14 PM   #3
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I couldn't help but notice most of your items could probably have been done over time (ie the 22 relays, fantastic fan tops ...why all at once? Batteries and Tires are both major expenses that could be split over a couple of years with some planning, maybe even 3 years. I replace steer tires one year and drive the next. Chassis batteries one year and house the next...(you get it) ...Toilets..Both failed at once? Same with your furnaces? The chassis items and the floor repair, I understand, but to have the other items all fail or need replaced all in the same year is just plain bad luck or bad planning. On the bright side you probably have repaired or replaced most of the major items and you should in good standing for the next few years!
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:04 AM   #4
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Steer tires were because of a loose front wheel bearing which scrubbed one front tire, chassis batteries were do (15 yes old), house batteries we got 13 years out of them, checked every 6 months by yours truly, one house battery cracked and dried up replaced all. Clean and inspect rads, every year, and when shop for routine serve.

Relays were all 20 years old and started failing so replaced all (got a deal).

They weren't fantastic fans.

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 10-19-2021, 04:44 PM   #5
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We had "the battery trip" a few years ago. The first to go were a couple of the tire pressure senders, then the house batteries. A few weeks later it was the chassis batteries.

I was just glad neither one of us had a pacemaker!

This year has been about floors. Back in June my wife noticed a piece of tin hanging down just in front of the rear wheels. The tin was just the canary in the coal mine - the floor under the tanks was badly rotted, releasing the "weather proofing" tin to catch air and bend down. We cut our trip short and headed home. When I tore into it to see what was what and if I could handle the repairs I discovered the drain from the two bathroom sinks had sheared some time ago.

The other floor "issue" was elective. The original carpets (16+ years) looked, well, 16 years old. My wife wanted hard floors (we travel with cats, two of which are longhairs), and we settled on LVP. I decided to replace the ceramic tile in the kitchen area, which made the job about 100 times more work. I also saw an opportunity to do something different with the lounge slide floor. I bought a ton of stairnose, extended the lounge slide floor about an inch to cover the rollers that support it, and did the lounge floor in the same LVP. I've run out of energy, so the bedroom floor will wait until we get home from our winter trip.

The floor project also was my excuse to upgrade the TV and move it to a new location. I'm waiting for cabinet doors to turn the original TV location into storage. When we get it all done, I'll post pics. It is turning out very, very nice, and might be considered innovative.
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Old 10-20-2021, 09:45 PM   #6
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Sounds like you have done in 1yr what I spread out over 4yrs!
I had to cut the entire framework out under the basement and replace it. Foutunately I have the skills, a friend had a barn, and another friend has a sheetmetal shop to fabricate things the way I wanted them.
The rest is just routine maintenance. Now I figure $1500/yr. unless something bad happens. Last year was new rear tires and relocate the TV. This year was front airbags and shocks. Next year will be the rear airbags and shocks, unless I decide to do it in November!
I just haven't seen anything else I like better than our National. There may be more bells and whistles, but not built to the the standard we are used to.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:02 AM   #7
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The framework under the tanks was still sound, so all I needed to do was replace the plywood floor. No way to slide a sheet of plywood over the frame and under the lower tank (freshwater), but I saw that there was enough room between the front of the tank and the forward bulkhead (where we store our dump hose extension) that was wide enough to slip a 2x6 through from below.

I used pressure treated lumber and notched the 2x6s so that they dropped into place snug between the frame rails, with the un-notched portion on top of the frame the same thickness as the plywood flooring originally used. I jacked up the tank a bit and inserted the 2x6s one by one, sliding them rearward into position. Some construction adhesive, a sheet of corrugated plastic (to provide a weather and rock shield for the bottom of the 2x6s) and some Flex Seal finished the job.
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Old 10-21-2021, 03:45 PM   #8
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I won't complain too much. I just spent over $5,000 getting my RV ready after sitting for 8 years during my husband's illness. Unfortunately still more small things to do so won't be able to head south this winter. I have to pay for most of it to be done - stuff I can't do. My big expense was 6 new tires and 3 new batteries.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:35 PM   #9
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Other then bad timing maybe, it's all stuff that breaks sooner or later. It's just part of owning an older motorhome. Hopefully you will be good for a few years now and can build the m/h account back up.
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Old 10-22-2021, 12:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig1960 View Post
... it's all stuff that breaks sooner or later. It's just part of owning an older motorhome...
I agree! Last year the screw holding one of the neutral wires in the gen/shore power switch vibrated loose. The list of stuff that got fried was extensive and expensive. The silver lining is that the new Magnum inverter can augment shore power.

We stay at my brother's place for a few days when we go south for the winter, and only have a 20 amp connection. In the past, we would have to start the generator for the microwave to work correctly. Now I just put the inverter into the correct mode and it picks up the slack.
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:00 PM   #11
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Again to be clear we did/do spread out the repairs.

We have owned the bus since 08, replaced both roof airs, ditched the carpet in the front for vinyl plank flooring, new flat screen TVS, rebuilt the cooler for the fridge, rebuilt the bathroom counter and added new sink, redid the kitchen backsplash (no mirrors), replacement for microwave, rebuilt and recovered pilot and copilot seats, new foam booth cushions, replacement of couch, new slide toppers, new tires every 7 years new engine compressor.

The repairs this year caught us unexpectedly, and or a bit earlier than expected.

Stay safe every one.

FWI, the bus is running like a champ now, she's old, but only has 110,000 miles on her.
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