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Old 08-06-2015, 01:04 PM   #1
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Happy Trips? Happy Miles? Reasonable costs?

We are not new to RV'ing. This is our 8th RV. We started RV'ing in the 70's. I get that the frig can die, the mirco wave bites the dust, a bad tire, the A/C goes a wall etc etc.. That seems to be a given. Some get lucky, some not so much.

We are nearing retirement, and looking forward to longer trips, and more frequent trips. Upgraded to a used Class A 2 months ago. And so far love it. But I gotta tell you, hanging our on this site is scary.

It seems daily there is a DP owner, who has had his trip interrupted and maybe destroyed by a significant failure! The latest got a bill for over $1,000 for a blown fuse,,,,, and seemingly no cause for the failure. Other's have paid 10's of thousands for repairs on their coaches. I am beginning to wonder if we are in over our heads?

Are these the odd ball worst luck cases? Are many of you Class A DP'ing around without these major setback expenses and enjoying the experience?

RVing since 1974!
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:14 PM   #2
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Have spent last 6 months worrying over every noise and rattle sometimes I think I make up new ones. I'm new to motorhomes and like to know how everything works and enjoy solving problems but these are very complex and different from anything I've been around. Finally decided not to worry and not read so much,just enjoy the ride and when something goes wrong worry about then.Congrats on retirement! Highly recommend!
Kathy And John from SC
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:22 PM   #3
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Think of all the RV's on the road and the few that report these bad things. Online, you will always get lots of people reporting the problems cause they need help or want to report vacations interruptions or high repair bills. You will seldom hear from those that don't have problems ... they are out enjoying the RV lifestyle!!!
"Living Our Dreams and ❤️ The Ride!" Kay & Richard, Austin TX
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Old 08-06-2015, 02:41 PM   #4
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I've had various popups, travel trailers and motorhomes over the last 25 years. So far the biggest problems I've had are 2 flat tires (one on a travel trailer, one last week on my tow dolly), a leaky exhaust gasket on my first MH (which I knew about when I bought it), a sticky slide out, and a leaky bath tub. All in all not too bad considering. I too had reservations about buying my current DP MH fearing I'd get stuck with a $20k repair bill for something (even though it's brand new and under warranty).

Then you talk to people on this website and at various campgrounds that have been RVing for years and take the issues in stride. If you're going to lose sleep worrying over stuff like that, maybe RVing isn't for you

And just to put things in perspective, my outside unit fan on my home AC dies earlier this year while I was out of town. My wife called the AC guy we've used for years to get it fixed. I got charged $800 to put a new fan motor in. When a second fan died a month or so ago I did the job myself and it cost me $120 in parts. Rave are the same deal, whenever you have to have a professional fix something, it's probably a minimum of $130/hr plus marked up parts pricing.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:38 PM   #5
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Every trip is an adventure. Whether you have problems or not. As AUSTX says you hardly every hear about the good trips. We just returned from a 2.5 week trip from Florida to WV and back with multiple breakdowns. 3 mobile RV techs and 2 TOAD repairs later re made it home. Cost for all repairs less than $800.00 Aggravating yes, memories for the grandkids 'Priceless' .
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:07 PM   #6
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Sheesh Bub, that sounds like it all came apart!

I've had a few of those trips already, don't need a Class A to do that.

I suppose I will get past this, have to stop worrying about it, and just go with it. Its just money.

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Old 08-06-2015, 09:34 PM   #7
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We worrtird too when we traded up to a DP almost 2 years ago. So far its been fine. Yes I had the daylights scared out of me when the turbo boot clamp broke and the boot blew loose. Talk about a huge bang luckily !y trucker brother diagnosed it over the phone and we were able to fix it ourselves. The refer always gives us a fit. The alternator died but we were able to find a nice shop that rebuilt it for us without charging us an arm and a leg. Right now we are fixing niggly stuff that is just a PIA
But regular maintenance and inspection of systems are keeping us ahead of the game. Go have a good time
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:26 AM   #8
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Lets see, we've been full timing 5 1/2 yrs. In that time we had a fuel pump go bad in the Yukon, that was an adventure, a wheel bearing in Louisiana late on a Friday night, and a couple other piddling things that didn't amount to a whole lot. But nothing that would keep us from this lifestyle.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:49 AM   #9
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It's like watching the news at night.. if it isn't "bad" news, it doesn't get aired. RV sales are at an all time high right now. I read something about 8 million on the road. For the few hundred here that have real issues (I don't consider blown fuses and tv antennas an issue) that's pretty small percentages.

Motor on.. have fun.. cross the 'repair' bridge if/when it comes.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Todd157k View Post
It's like watching the news at night.. if it isn't "bad" news, it doesn't get aired. RV sales are at an all time high right now. I read something about 8 million on the road. For the few hundred here that have real issues (I don't consider blown fuses and tv antennas an issue) that's pretty small percentages.

Motor on.. have fun.. cross the 'repair' bridge if/when it comes.
Exactly. No one comes on here and posts "Took a 3,000 mile trip and absolutely nothing went wrong." If they did, no one would read it, and if everyone who took a trip where nothing went wrong posted on here about it, the forum servers would blow up from too much traffic

This site - and others like it - are invaluable resources of information, but they can inaccurately skew the perception of the reader into believing the few who post bad news on here represent the vast majority when, in fact, we represent a fractional minority at best. That doesn't make the information any less valuable, it just means it doesn't necessarily represent the real world in balanced proportions.

Drive safe. Properly maintain your rig. Enjoy the hell out of it. Worry about what-ifs later
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pulling a 2013 Ford Edge Limited

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Old 08-08-2015, 10:45 AM   #11
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We have owned the Eagle for 6 1/2 years, 38K miles.

Never had any "mission critical" failures. All maintenance has been preventive except for some minor repairs (step switch replacement, low air pressure switch/sensor replacements, HWH ignition board replaced, and of course numerous light bulb replacements).

IMHO if you maintain these complex machines they can be pretty much trouble free all things considered.

The most importance preventive maintenance that I do is taking her out of the highway regularly and exercising all systems regularly (my neighbors think it is funny when I run the furnaces here in S. Florida...but hey I may need them one day!).
No engine, transmission repairs or major appliance repairs except for the HWH.
1998 American Eagle 40EVS
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #12
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What level of expense would put you "over your head"? Even a relatively trouble-free coach is going to be fairly expensive to own and operate, and the diesels more so than gas chassis. You are trundling an expensive house down the road, built on top of a vehicle that itself is complex and expensive. You have multiple power systems, lots of electronic control and switching devices, big tires, etc. All expensive if they need replacement.

We had a rash of problems back in 2008-2009 and spent a bundle on replacing stuff in our DP. Seemed like 3-4 things every month. Since then, it has leveled out and not many issues, yet we still average one $1000 repair each year in addition to routine maintenance. It's not an inexpensive hobby.

Some people seem to have numerous problems, but many others do not. You have to wonder about care vs neglect, and just plain ignorance about the complex systems in these rigs. Unlike a modern car, they cannot be neglected and still survive well.

Another factor is DIY (Do It Yourself). If you have to get professional help for every little thing, the high price of RV shops ($100-$120/hour is usual) is going to be a killer even for trivial things (that $1000 fuse!). If you can do household repairs in a stick house, you can do a lot on your RV house too. The learning curve is a bit tough, but sites like this can help tremendously.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is West Palm Beach, FL
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:10 AM   #13
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Three 6,000 mile trips without a single problem in a very well maintained 2011 DP.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:24 AM   #14
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We've had our DP a little over four years now and haven't had any major issues. But the key here may be that we keep the drivetrain maintained (once a year whether I think it needs it or not).

HOWEVER, I describe RVing as a hobby within a hobby. There is always something that us tinkering DIYers are working on. Mostly small stuff, though, like a wire that has come out of loom an gotten pinched somewhere, or a leak in the plumbing, or a basement latch that breaks, a water pump failure, adding Dicor to a spot on the roof, etc. I am a self-confessed tinkerer and just consider working on that kinduv stuff the hobby within the hobby.

Ken, Deb, & Gadget (WIT Club, FMCA, SKP, and grateful volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and SOWERs), traveling in a well-behaved 2005 Winnebago Vectra 40FD w/1100w solar, some gee-golly-whizbang, and a TRAILERED 2015 Cherokee TrailHawk toad.
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