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RV---Buyers Remorse?
Old 11-23-2016, 04:18 PM   #1
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RV---Buyers Remorse?

In a few months I can retire. I aways thought I would purchase a small motorhome to use in my retirement. I want to carefully consider everything before I make a purchase of a good small used camper van.
I don't want to have buyers remorse...What has been others experience?
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:24 PM   #2
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If you shop carefully and pay a reasonable price for a well-cared-for used motorhome you should be able to turn around and resell for almost what you have in it (less taxes, etc). Not sure if that will stop you from having buyer's remorse, but it should prevent you from taking a financial hit if things don't work out.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:30 PM   #3
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Rent one for your first trip. My BIL always dreamed of buying an RV and traveling the country after my sister retired. He rented a fancy one (pulled by a truck, expandable sides) for a trip out West with my Dad and hated dealing with it- and this is a guy who'd been a long-haul trucker so he knew his vehicles. He was horrified at the low mileage his truck got while pulling it, had lots of problems getting it hooked up to electrical, etc. Not sure of all the specifics but that was the end of that fantasy.

There are plenty of people here who love theirs, but you might want to rent one first to find out if you're in that category!
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:35 PM   #4
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Don't buy new and fancy. That's a sure way to maximize buyer's remorse if RV'ing is not for you.

My first and only RV is a used motorhome. It was just a generic class C, with just 25K miles on the odometer when I bought it. The thought was that if I liked RV'ing, I would upgrade, but then I never did. RV'ing to me is about travel, not about fancy cabinets and decor, and this one works fine.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:46 PM   #5
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When I was in the process of getting an RV, I was not sure what would work for me. A travel trailer, a class B, a class C, or a shorty class A? While surfing the Web for deals, I also started to scan blogs of RV'ers to see where they travel to, and learn about the problems they deal with. I spent quite a bit of time living vicariously through these blogs, and it was fun being an armchair traveler that way too.

Now, that I have had 6 years of traveling experience, I recall how something so simple to me now was bewildering at first. And I have learned enough about my motorhome that I am really reluctant to get another one that I know nothing about.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:00 PM   #6
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Rent one for your first trip. ...
Good point, but don't make your first trip a two-week, 5700 mile round trip. Speaking from long-ago experience, those mileage charges mount quickly. DW and I were thinking about getting our feet wet by renting from KC [or nashville] to Yosemite and back next summer for son's wedding--a quick glance brought back the nightmares of excess mileage charges.

We will rent before buying [used], but will try to get the experience with short drives and focusing on the overnighting aspects.

Edited to add red stuff
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:01 PM   #7
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Rent, rent, and rent. After 10 times and you still love it buy it used. Same goes for a boat.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:04 PM   #8
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Don't buy new and fancy. That's a sure way to maximize buyer's remorse if RV'ing is not for you.
That's probably good advice. A good friend of mine bought a higher end diesel pusher RV soon after he retired. He had done some RV'ing before retiring so he wasn't a novice. I know he spent in excess of 750k for a new model that was "on sale" and it seemed like a pretty good deal, at the time. He drove it about 25k miles over the next year and then sold it for about 550k. Ouch... That's about $8 a mile if you don't count fuel and mtce cost. Now he stays in nice hotels when he travels.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:45 PM   #9
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Many years ago, I wanted to travel the US. I bought a well used Winnebago moho, based on advice of a fellow at w*rk. The advice of used was priceless!

I did in fact cover all US contiguous states in about a year and a half. Initial learning curve was steep. Once I fixed all the bugs, it was mostly trouble free.

Thus my advice gett a modest sized used whatever. Play with it for a while. Then decide if it is for you, both lifestyle and and as handyman when thing break. And they will.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:07 PM   #10
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Buy a used Westfalia or an Airstream trailer and you'll probably double your money in 10yrs lol. OK that was a tongue in cheek comment but there's some truth to that. I'm more of a Sportsmobile kinda guy so can't quite comment on the Winnebago variety. My personal evolution was tents (still use them quite frequently), good pads and whatever 4x4, truck etc I had at the time, then tent trailers, then fiberglass trailers but realized I prefer being away from the established camp ground crowds. Overall though good advice on renting before you buy or even go hangout at a couple of RV/motorhome events/shows or at least showrooms. I still find it fun to walk around and check out all the cool stuff once in a while.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:28 PM   #11
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Rent, rent, and rent. After 10 times and you still love it buy it used. Same goes for a boat.
Don't know about renting 10 times. RV rental is not cheap.

Just now, I checked at Cruise America Web site to see that a 1-week rental price for the smallest 19' class C is $732 for 700 miles during this off-season.

In August, it will be $1100 for a week and the same miles.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:23 PM   #12
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Last year a used high end 2006 motor home was offered to me for $100,000. It was immaculate, 60,000 miles on a Cummins diesel, it was $636,000 new. I could shave in the stainless steel apron on the bottom 3'. It was leather upholstered, cedar cabinets in bedroom,......all the bells and whistles.

I asked about maintenance issues.

He had some engine stumbling issues, took it to local dealer, who drained the !00 gallon stainless steel fuel tank, cleaned the fuel lines, replaced fuel pump and filters after running a fuel cleaner. Refilled tank, wrote check for $3,000, put away for winter.

Next spring, same issue, only 600 miles away. Took it to dealer, same chain, found algae in fuel tank and fuel system. Drained fuel, replaced fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pump, filters and refilled tank. After writing a check for $6500, after warranty work and credits, and resumed trip.

On other side of city, a wreck, a few cars in front of him, forced him into the median to avoid a chain reaction pile-up. He prevented a crash, but clipped a storm sewer, punctured a tire, and had to get a tow. Replaced 4 tires at $600 each, and wrote a check for $3000.00. His story, not mine.

He sold his beautiful home to someone else for $100,000 a month later according to my BIL.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:42 PM   #13
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Big motorhomes depreciated so fast that when 10-15 years old the price is hardly more than the smaller class B's.

Diesel engines are so costly to repair that I do not think their lower fuel cost is enough to offset the purchasing cost and the maintenance cost. Indeed, for a large class A you do not have the choice, but I now think a gas engine for smaller motorhomes is better than diesel. From what I have read, gas engines in class A's do not last much beyond 60,000 miles; they have to work too hard.

PS: Class A's may be good for full-timers. My motorhome is for travel, so I need mobility. A class C with a toad works out well for me. A B would have worked also. One must know what he wants to do with his RV to buy to suit his style.
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Old 11-24-2016, 07:49 AM   #14
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Don't buy new and fancy. That's a sure way to maximize buyer's remorse if RV'ing is not for you.

My first and only RV is a used motorhome. It was just a generic class C, with just 25K miles on the odometer when I bought it. The thought was that if I liked RV'ing, I would upgrade, but then I never did. RV'ing to me is about travel, not about fancy cabinets and decor, and this one works fine.
I think that this is good advice. RVs have all the systems of both a motor vehicle and a home to break, so if you are handy, you can buy a used one and fix all the little stuff that constantly needs attention. Alternatively, if you have to pay to have every little thing fixed, it quickly becomes a money pit.

Just sitting is hard on an RV, so look past miles and see if it leaks, the tires are dry rotted, the water system has been frozen or if mechanical components are corroded and malfunctioning.
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Old 11-24-2016, 08:40 AM   #15
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Just sitting is hard on an RV, so look past miles and see if it leaks, the tires are dry rotted, the water system has been frozen or if mechanical components are corroded and malfunctioning.
Two close friends of mine picked up a 1994 Ford V8 powered 30 or so foot RV with about 40,000 miles on it last year for $4,500. It had new tires and was in "reasonable' condition, but was not used in a few years. It was in outdoor storage with a cover over it.

Once on the road, the cab A/C went out ($1500 repair), brake cylinders started leaking (new brake job for $1,200), there were several leaks in a rain storm (re-caulk all windows and seams - $800). In addition to those immediate repairs, the fresh water tank plumbing started to leak and had to be replaced (not sure of the cost, but it was several hundred).

They decided to upgrade the dry rotted interior cushions and mattresses and spent another $1000 or so. Other fixes, done by me, were electrical upgrades like USB port installations, a new radio, a digital TV antenna, etc. Parts were about $400, labor free.

The Formica on the counter tops and sinks was peeling up so all that was replaced by a team of myself and them. Material cost was several hundred.

Fortunately, the V8 engine was in good shape and all we had to replace was an alternator and a few coolant hoses.

After use this summer in Hot Texas, the automatic transmission started to slip. A "soft" rebuild was done for $2,500 (clutches, gaskets, O rings, etc).

At the end of this use season, the 4 KW generator quit. The rear field shaft ball bearing failed and I pulled the unit and repaired it. That saved the guys about $4,500 which is the cost of a new Cummins RV generator.

Other than that, the RV has been pretty good and is now in storage for the winter. Here's a picture of the RV after we reinstalled the 4KW generator:

IMG_20160821_161827 (2).jpg
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Old 11-24-2016, 08:59 AM   #16
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I couldn't handle the depreciation on such an asset. If I buy anything over 200K, I expect it not to lose value.
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Old 11-24-2016, 09:44 AM   #17
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You buy an RV for the experience, not for the financial savings. Look at the sister forum to this one for RVs: www.irv2.com and you can learn all you want.


Agree that a rent trial is a good idea. Also buying used 4-5 years will let someone else take the biggest depreciation hit.
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Old 11-24-2016, 09:49 AM   #18
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Rent, rent, and rent. After 10 times and you still love it buy it used. Same goes for a boat.
Yes. We rented a nice class C went a couple hundred miles to a state campground. I was OK with the experience. DW did NOT have a good time.

You need to think about where you desire to camp. State campgrounds are great, boondocking for some folks, private ones can be fine if you don't mind 200 of your closest friends right next door.
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Old 11-24-2016, 10:07 AM   #19
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With respect to all my time and labor helping my two, non-mechanic type, friends with their $4,500 "find" above, they said DW and I can use the RV anytime we want when it is available. When I asked DW if she would be up for going to a state parks to camp for a few days in the RV, she said her idea of camping is staying in a 4 star hotel.
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Old 11-24-2016, 10:20 AM   #20
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............. When I asked DW if she would be up for going to a state parks to camp for a few days in the RV, she said her idea of camping is staying in a 4 star hotel.
My DW's first reaction to camping in a state park was to say that it reminded her of living in a trailer park. She has mellowed over time.
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