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Old 08-29-2019, 08:42 AM   #1
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Are they worth anything and keeping with all the problems?

WOW, my 2012 has had a significant amount of issues this past year.

I'm wondering how much care and feeding it will need after 20 years, assuming I keep it this long?

Maybe after I replaced most of my systems it will be great?

How many of you have actually kept an RV for 15-20 years.....I'm thinking you purchased it 5 years old and kept it another 15 years? Or, maybe you purchased new ?

It's a lot of maintenance and repairs...
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:55 AM   #2
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We have a 1999 Fleetwood Discovey with 134,000 miles. Purchased in 2005 with 27,000 miles on it.
Have had some issues, the worst was having to replace the VP44 pressure pump on the Cummins ISB. The aftermarket policy that we purchased took the major portion of the repair. Shocks, new A/C units, misc repairs to various systems that needed attention. Did upgrade the interior.
It is our summer home which we are really comfortable with. Currently(knock on wood) all systems are working ok. Still we know that we will face future issues. Small repairs versus large monthly payments.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:27 AM   #3
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I think a lot depends upon your “handy” factor. Let’s say you’re as handy as a pocket on a shirt, then maintaining and enjoying an older RV is doable. If on the other hand and for whatever reason you’re not handy then maintenance can be expensive and very frustrating.

The first thing to never ever forget is RV’s are not designed to be user friendly. They are designed for ease of manufacture for the lowest possible cost. It’s all about the bottom line for the manufacturer and their dealers.

Every now and then the hands will get busy and the mind will take a stroll thru what if land. One of the quandaries is what to do with Jane if our ship came in, port survived, and we replaced her. I couldn’t in good conscience give her to one of the kids or grandkids because the little things that go wrong and I handle without much ado would drive them crazy, ruin the adventure for them. The same thing when it comes to selling her, I couldn’t sell her to someone who is clueless about RV maintenance and sleep at night. And give me a couple of days and Jane will be ready to travel and I will be worry free, all of the major issues are covered and I am comfortable with hitting the road. The couple of days are about replacing the muffler and repainting the roof, just stuff.

Bottom line, buy the warranty if you can afford it because if something serious does happen it can be very very expensive to repair. Do your maintenance. Or get on that train so many people are on when it comes to cars. They’ve accepted they’re always going to have a car payment and are comfortable trading on set schedule never planning to ever own a car outright.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWeiner View Post
WOW, my 2012 has had a significant amount of issues this past year.

I'm wondering how much care and feeding it will need after 20 years, assuming I keep it this long?

Maybe after I replaced most of my systems it will be great?

How many of you have actually kept an RV for 15-20 years.....I'm thinking you purchased it 5 years old and kept it another 15 years? Or, maybe you purchased new ?

It's a lot of maintenance and repairs...
A 2012 isn’t old or vintage. What type/brand of RV do you own that has had so many issues?

Whether you have a vehicle and trailer or MH and toad, you have a combination of a house and vehicle. It will not be trouble free for the next 15 years.

Something like a vintage Airstream or Westfalia might hold or increase in value over time. Pretty much everything else will continue to depreciate steadily.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:53 AM   #5
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MWeiner,

I guess whether it is worth it or not is different for every person.

Five years ago we bought a 2004 Itasca MH. I LOVE IT! I deoxidized it twice and put four coats of wax on it. Looked great! We replaced the front A/C as the old one quit. It was 13 yrs old. You have to do that on a house sometimes too.

I am repainting the decals now. Started last summer. Looks a lot better and I changed up the colors to something I liked better. Lot of work but it's worth it to me and it is my time to spend as I see fit.

We put new tires on it but we had to put a new roof on our house two years ago. I do twice yearly maintenance on the rig especially the roof because I don't want issues. Is it a pain in the patootie? Sure, but I like to know that the rig is secure and well maintained.

Had to replace the propane regulator, a windshield (twice), a water pump this last winter, replaced the TV to a new flat screen TV and replaced the radio to have a hands free for the phone, and we put UV windshield covers on it.

I have seen rigs that were not maintained and they have a lot of issues and in some cases were ruined.

I guess if you are really concerned with the amount of maintenance or effort to care for the rig then maybe this isn't for you. I LOVE mine and plan to keep it or find another if I can find one better than what I have. I look often.

Hope you figure out what it is or is not worth to you. Good luck to you and with your decision.

Lynne
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
I think a lot depends upon your “handy” factor. Let’s say you’re as handy as a pocket on a shirt, then maintaining and enjoying an older RV is doable. If on the other hand and for whatever reason you’re not handy then maintenance can be expensive and very frustrating.
Exactly. We bought our 1999 Southwind several years ago. It appears as if the previous owner(s) did zero maintenance. I enjoy working on the MH kind of as a hobby. So during the past couple years, the majority of maintenance has been brought up to date, a lot of preventative maintenance has been performed, including a nice paint job.

you can browse my web site and see whats been done to the Southwind as I document the park performed. I see no problems with ownership for the next 10 years..

1999 Southwind 35S – Southwind by Fleetwood – sporting its new paint job


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Old 08-29-2019, 12:55 PM   #7
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A combination of repairs, maintenance and upgrades.
We have a 2012 RS Adventurous on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter platform 3500 with the dual wheels.

I guess just normal maintenance items like, tires, shocks/struts/new antisway bar, batteries.

Upgraded audio system, solar panels, monitoring system for tires and batteries.

Repairs for sewer line, gate valves and replaced generator and refrigerator...

I don't get the benefit of the propane refrigerator....it has been one of most disappointing things on my vehicle. Getting a brand new AC/ battery unit.

We purchased it in 2017 and have put 23,000 miles on it...we now have just over 48,000 miles .

I don't personally work on my vehicles.....it does get expensive.

You're right, it's not that old....
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:34 AM   #8
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We bought our coach brand new 16 years ago. It is an entry level coach. Besides the automotive needs, oil, tires, batteries, we have not experienced any what I would call major maintenance issues other than a brake issue and suspension upgrades due to manufacturing issues.

There are items that that we attend to and check regularly, 2 or 3 times a year such as roof and side seams. I do regular preventative maintenance on the steps and slide out mechanisms keeping them clean and lubricated. I also randomly go through the interior tightening screws and bolts that I can see. This year we had to replace the OEM hot water heater, and 3 of the 5 awnings. And the original overhead CRT TV went out 2 years ago.

There have been water lines that developed a leak over the years and slide seals have been replaced. I used to do most of the maintenance myself which helped keep costs low. Now it costs me more because I'm no longer physically able to do a lot of the routine maintenance such as oil changes and roof checks. It costs us about $2500.00 a year to maintain our coach now.

Motorhomes inherently require more maintenance than other vehicles due to their uniqueness, a house going down the road on a truck frame. Is it worth it. That's a subjective question and depends on the individual. My Wife and I think it is. Some years the maintenance costs have been more than others and as the coach gets older I know there will be more maintenance and items needing to be fixed or replaced. We have accepted this because we enjoy the "RV" lifestyle. We have no plans to sell or trade our current coach any time soon as it does what we want and need it too. How we feel could change though if we started having major issues with the chassis or drivetrain.


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Old 08-30-2019, 07:01 AM   #9
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Like an other vehicle; more bells and whistles give you more things that will need repair. We have a 2001 Roadtrek 190. That means I have basically an oversized van with basic van maintenance issues. Because I drive it more than a larger rig, I eliminate some of the problems associated with units that sit more than they're used. We are VERY happy with our MH, as it fits our needs well.

The answer you are looking for can only be answered by your own needs.

Enjoy your camping!
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:06 AM   #10
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Define more miles than normal please.

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Originally Posted by Trekkar View Post
Like an other vehicle; more bells and whistles give you more things that will need repair. We have a 2001 Roadtrek 190. That means I have basically an oversized van with basic van maintenance issues. Because I drive it more than a larger rig, I eliminate some of the problems associated with units that sit more than they're used. We are VERY happy with our MH, as it fits our needs well.

The answer you are looking for can only be answered by your own needs.

Enjoy your camping!
We have put 23,000 miles on our 2012 since we purchased it in May 2017 or about 28 months.... sometimes it does sit idle and I exercise it for day or weekend trips, while other times we take it on the road for thousands of miles.

I did a calculation and found that with all the repairs, maintenance and upgrades it's about $1.34 per mile.

And, I expect that cost per mile to go down... I can't imagine how the cost of the replacement of the refrigerator and generator would be something that might occur every year?

I could see that it might cost me say $1,500 to $2,000 per year for just routine stuff......
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWeiner View Post
We have put 23,000 miles on our 2012 since we purchased it in May 2017 or about 28 months.... sometimes it does sit idle and I exercise it for day or weekend trips, while other times we take it on the road for thousands of miles.

I did a calculation and found that with all the repairs, maintenance and upgrades it's about $1.34 per mile.

And, I expect that cost per mile to go down... I can't imagine how the cost of the replacement of the refrigerator and generator would be something that might occur every year?

I could see that it might cost me say $1,500 to $2,000 per year for just routine stuff......
If working on machinery stuff and improving it is your hobby, then Motorhomes and Campers are a great way to get your tools on. But, if you have to pay someone to maintain it almost everytime, and you consider the little things an inconvience of the highest order, you might look closely at the Annual cost and determine if Hotel rooms might be a better budget fit.

Besides having to park your Coach somewhere and keep it Licensed and Insured, + there are all those bigger things that will keep your RV mechanic fed.

Some of us enjoy our RV's because they are ours to make improvements, to and we accept
the challenges of keeping them running. HAving something "Factory Stock OEM" is an insult to who we are.

Kinda like those guys who have fishing boats they adore. Just different holes to throw money into.
And Everybody has a hole they throw money into.

EX; some buy Football, Baseball or Basketball Season tickets, others Racing Season Passes. You can enjoy those if your budget will allow, and an RV at the NASCAR Track is great fun.

Depreciation of our investment as it ages is a trade off for us. Mainly because we would be tinkering with some other depreciating mechanical something, if we didn't have the Coaches. And for some of us, we have a lot of other mechanical and project toys that keep us entertained.

It all depends on your budget and personal fullfilment needs.
You just have to pick your battles!

I'm not a ball sports fan above my Grandchildrens involvement level. But I have the BAD RV, 4X4, Motorcycle and Airplane Habit that involves a 3000sqft shop full of tools.

Currently remodeling the S&B from top to bottom inside. Then I'll get back to my Hot Rod RV.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWeiner View Post
WOW, my 2012 has had a significant amount of issues this past year.

I'm wondering how much care and feeding it will need after 20 years, assuming I keep it this long?

Maybe after I replaced most of my systems it will be great?

How many of you have actually kept an RV for 15-20 years.....I'm thinking you purchased it 5 years old and kept it another 15 years? Or, maybe you purchased new ?

It's a lot of maintenance and repairs...
My fairly new Fifth wheel is already needing a new floor due to water entry we didn't see and chipboard construction.

I've had my 74' Slide-in for over 10 years, though its being sold, as it needed work and originally I was going to just build it a new frame and move everything over, making some mods to make it a bit longer and a side entry vs a rear, but then I wound up getting another vintage unit that I've been restoring for the last four summers.

That one will be kept till I either can't travel anymore, or die.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:24 AM   #13
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I think a lot depends upon your “handy” factor. Let’s say you’re as handy as a pocket on a shirt, then maintaining and enjoying an older RV is doable. If on the other hand and for whatever reason you’re not handy then maintenance can be expensive and very frustrating.

X3...

A lot of the things we have gone through with our 1994 rig would have caused many people to bail out long ago. Granted, we've experienced some doozies that most people will never have to deal with, (for example, the harmonic damper coming loose on our last trip - which you can read about in the link to the engine rebuild thread below) but the truth is that if you use your motorhome any amount, you will be repairing and maintaining often. It's just the nature of the beast... and I don't know that it matters whether it's new or old... just talk to some owners of new coaches... stuff is always breaking... and finding people to work on them is difficult and expensive.

We've put a little over 50k miles on our rig since we bought it in 2012. It's now 25 years old and has 123,000 miles on it. With enough maintenance, I know we could run it another 100,000 miles or 15 years, but making the decision to do so is a risk, no matter what. We have always told people that we travel with the title on board because we know that major repairs on the road could cost us far more than the RV is worth (ie the damper falling off )... if something like that happens and I can't figure out how to recover on the road, the RV could end up in the scrap yard. We were close to this on the last trip with the damper issue... but this mindset works for us... we don't have a lot invested, so if somehow it ended up a total loss on the road somewhere, we would not be ruined since we have never owed any money on it. I can't imagine having a payment on something like this and then have to repair all this crap on top of it. Don't get me wrong, the thought of leaving it at a scrap yard 2000 miles from home is devastating... but the loss would be manageable. This is the main reason we still own this old wagon instead of a newer one.

Like Wroughtnharv, if we ever sold ours, I'd be careful who we sold it to. Most people DO NOT understand what it takes to own one of these... I know I didn't when we bought ours... though I suppose each of us will have a little different perception that depends a little on how you use it and what kind of off the wall stuff that happens. Honestly, as much as we love to RV across this country, I almost never encourage friends or people I know to get into the lifestyle... I think that most of the people I know would be terribly annoyed at me for encouraging them to get into it, and in a very short period of time after purchase. Just my $.02.

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Old 08-31-2019, 11:19 AM   #14
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My wife was the original catalyst for getting into RV's. I was perfectly happy with a tent and peeing in the bushes.

We were smitten with the Winnebago Via when we first started looking. It was a pleasure to drive. Great fuel mileage(advertised) The interior was laid out well and didn't look like it was designed in 1967. But the $100K + entry price was creating some hesitation. Then we started learning of the maintenance costs involved. A friend who had a 2011 sprinter van for her dog grooming business complained about a bunch of engine management issues with hers. What killed the deal for us was when we sat down and calculated the fuel savings versus the cost of the motorhome. Assuming that we drove the motorhome 10K miles a year. The savings in running diesel (fuel cost alone) only amounted to <$1300 a year. To us,it wasn't worth the $40K up-charge for the Mercedes diesel platform over a class c Ford gas.
In the end based on research a couple years of rentals and best advice we ended going in the opposite direction buying a 1995 Winnebago Warrior 23' It was their entry level class a at the time. Very basic interior and systems, no frills,not even a TV. 1995 was the last year of the GM TBI injection system which is very simple and inexpensive to repair and maintain. Parts are readily available at any chain parts store. I have been working on cars and boats my entire adult life so maintaining and repairing an older RV is within my skill-set.
I have 14K in this motorhome (8K purchase + 6K in upgrades and parts). Current total loss value according to my insurance company is $5800 If I wreck it it's is a throw-away. Therefore I drive defensively, watch the weather and careful where I park it.

As for the issues you have experienced. It seems 7 years is a window for some modern rv systems to fail. The newer generators are lighter and more compact for a given power but they also run at higher rpm and produce more heat and the way they are wedged into some of the sprinter type MH's I doubt they are getting adequate cooling. I replaced mine with one of the new Suburu powered Onans, I seriously doubt it will last 20 years as the old one did.

Refrigerators, The one in mine was replaced 2 years before I bought it. The original lasted 17 years. The new one, I have my doubts about it's longevity. It works fine but it will never cool like a residential fridge and nothing available in a residential size will fit without going smaller or making extensive modifications to fit a larger one, so we just work with it's limitations. I really like being able to run it on propane. We used it while boondocking for 8 days in our driveway after Hurricane Florence last year. and on several different occasions where we camped and generators were not allowed. I did put in an inverter to keep the refrigerator cooling on 120v while on the road. Solar is a nice alternative but it is a lot of upfront cost and extra weight to lug around. if and when this refrigerator fails I'll replace the cooling unit with the better aftermarket versions.
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