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Old 07-01-2020, 07:11 AM   #1
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Is Renovating an Old RV Worth It?

I'm new to RVing and am really just now beginning planning for our first purchase (travel trailer). I wanted to ask a general question about updating an old RV.

Does cost to reupholster furniture, update appliances, any general updates that are simply give the RV a "fresh" look cost more to do than worth it? I have no idea what one can expect to pay when doing things like that, so I don't know if "Flipping an RV" at a reasonable cost is realistic, or if I should just stick with finding one that I can live with in its present cosmetic condition.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:29 AM   #2
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Labor costs for most RV related repairs/refurbishments are high. Material is less an issue.

If you have the skills, the time and inclination to take on ALL the repairs yourself it may be feasible. Be aware this can be very time consuming.

This forum addresses many of the issues you will face: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f65/

I bought neglected sad motorhome in September 2016. It was fully functional as it was and the interior was in great shape. However the exterior had suffered from UV damage. I've been working or the exterior a little at a time ever since.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:38 AM   #3
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My buddy's sister bought a little trailer this Spring for $2,000, put some elbow grease into it and $3,000 in new tanks, tires, paint, etc.

They just sold it for $9,000 last week.

So yes, you could possibly turn a profit, but you have to be extremely lucky and in the right spot at the right time!

Sort of like winning as lottery.

Happy Glamping
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:40 AM   #4
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Here is my current project

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/201...up-490915.html
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Old 07-01-2020, 12:46 PM   #5
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It is hard to come out much ahead on such projects, though some things are likely to be disproportionately viable vs the cost, general cleaning, and updating upholstery will likely benefit more than putting money into the bones of the trailer, as many people can't see past the cosmetics.
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:17 PM   #6
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If you get into it right and have the skills and knowledge to do it, it can be feasible. It can also get real expensive really quick. I wouldn't recommend it for a new RV'er.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:31 PM   #7
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If you get into it right and have the skills and knowledge to do it, it can be feasible. It can also get real expensive really quick. I wouldn't recommend it for a new RV'er.
Great advice

It isn't a house and the title states the age

99% of old RV's wind up in salvage as do older trailer houses

If you plan on keeping one for a significant time and are highly skilled then a completely different matter

Some RV restorations are amazing and really cool to see

A vintage motor home rally is very interesting to visit and well worth your time
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:37 PM   #8
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Is it work it?

To "flip" the RV? No.

To keep the RV knowing it inside and out and the quality of the workmanship? Yes.
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:28 PM   #9
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We bought a 2001 High-quality Diesel Pusher from a top manufacturer. I spent about $25K bringing it up to current standards, Residential Refer, Solar, Lithium Batteries as well as new electronics (TVs/Internet/etc..), cabinet redesign, Quartz Counters, and more....

I look at it 2 ways:

I could have bought a newer coach with a smaller engine, lower quality but it would be newer and we would have spent well over $150K for something even close to this class of manufacturer (used).............or we did spend about $65K total and ended up with a very nice and reliable coach that will probably be worth only $25- 30K in 5 years, but that $150K coach will probably only be worth $50 - 60K in 5 years and we would have had fewer goodies then we ended up with and spent $100K over that same time period vs the 30 - 40 I project
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Unplanned View Post
My buddy's sister bought a little trailer this Spring for $2,000, put some elbow grease into it and $3,000 in new tanks, tires, paint, etc.

They just sold it for $9,000 last week.

So yes, you could possibly turn a profit, but you have to be extremely lucky and in the right spot at the right time!

Sort of like winning as lottery.

Happy Glamping
This is actually a great way to make money too. RV sales this year is up because of covid, so if you have the knowledge then it would be profitable to maybe do that as supplement to your income.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:25 PM   #11
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Flipping RV's is going to be very similar to homes

Buy low, spend low, sell high and do it in record time

Otherwise be prepared to keep it or loose money
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:21 AM   #12
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If you do most of the work yourself, you can save some serious money in doing this but remember that you will get very little of your money back when/if you sell it.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcreswell View Post
I'm new to RVing and am really just now beginning planning for our first purchase (travel trailer). I wanted to ask a general question about updating an old RV.

Does cost to reupholster furniture, update appliances, any general updates that are simply give the RV a "fresh" look cost more to do than worth it? I have no idea what one can expect to pay when doing things like that, so I don't know if "Flipping an RV" at a reasonable cost is realistic, or if I should just stick with finding one that I can live with in its present cosmetic condition.

Thoughts?
As a hobby or weekend project to keep you busy, sure. Labor of love. We all do it to some extent. You can do it pretty at a reasonably cost with some planning and looking at alternatives other than "RV" stuff. Sometimes you don't have much of a choice such as 12VDC appliances but other times residential materials can be used.

As an investment, buy low/sell high, flip, or such? Not in anyone's life time unless you find something 60+ years old that is still structurally sound like an old Scotty, or a low serial number Airstream. These things rarely increase in value like real estate and I don't think there are auction houses televising bidding wars for the sales of classics RV's.
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:10 PM   #14
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Just be mindful of the TT construction,, alum skin/wood stud walls.. vs. laminated walls..

The older wood framed and be rebiluts, redone, rewired with ease, but are old look..

The new laminated walls , can suffer from delaminating, harder to fix and when you tear one araprt to add or redo,, it is a bit harder to add wirinf and such,, NOT impossible but just a bit more thinking..

I have dome 2 motorhomes, one was a fiberglass clam sheel style,, gutted and redid,, It ws Ok, not fancy but fit budget and 8 great years, till I sold it this past weekend..
Last year a tackled a minnie winnie redo, more face lifts and updates,, Still fun.. but wiring fixes and addons was a pain..
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