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Old 01-17-2010, 07:25 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 14,432,719 times
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Go into your new adventures knowing that your RV is not an investment; it's not going to gain in value like your house or your T-bills.

An RV is a vehicle that loses re-sale value the moment you drive it off the dealer's lot. It will continue to depreciate in value for the next 10-15 years when it's value as a basic unit wil tend to bottom out. In the meantime, you will have all the normal vehicle expenses like tires, brakes, oil changes, etc.........and RV parts tend to be specialized and therefore more expensive.

On the bright side, if you accept this at the beginning, you'll be able to thoroughly enjoy your travels and experiences.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:21 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,652 posts, read 40,029,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmv90 View Post
Great info everyone! ... Are there any negatives or downsides to owning an RV? What about maintaining?
  • Depreciation; as mentioned
  • Maintenance; much cheaper if you can do things yourself, and keep up with it
  • Repairs; Parts are higher priced and often 'specialized'
  • Consumables; Batteries, fuel, propane, tires, brakes, plastic accessories that don't like UV exposure.
  • Rattles; lots of 'stuff' to 'shake, rattle, and roll' (good thing we lose our hearing)
  • Road service;, this can be spendy!!
  • Storage (RV's live much longer 'under cover' and kept warm)
  • Space for RV; Often HOA's restrict storage / parking
  • Space in RV; Usually there is little storage, but worse, is weight restrictions. They are often very nominally designed for light cargo.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,766 times
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Downsides:
1) Buying a problem used unit or new lemon (its been known to make strong men or women weep)

2) Depreciation costs can be significant, most definitely so on new units. Its a depreciating asset, no way around it. The best available data I could find looks like this: (depreciation %s are expressed as a percentage of original buy price)

Current Model Year List Price (Not a leftover) = $120,000
Reasonable/Good Buy Price at 80% of list = $96,000

Predicted 1st year depreciation @18% = $17,200 (retained value = $78,720)
2nd year depreciation @10% = $9,600 (retained value =$69,120)
3rd year @ 7% = $6,720 (retained value = $62,400)
4th year at 6% = $5,760 (retained value = $56,640)
5th year @ 6% = $5,760 (retained value = $50,880)

The above data is not perfect, as noted, it is the best available I could find as of 2009. Bob Gummersall, a long time RVer, did an exhaustive analysis (Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6) on the subject which is pretty reliable and the best I found. The model value at $120,000 is for illustration purposes, substitute any other value desired. In general, the projected depreciation curve was found to be fairly constant across all types of RVs. I am aware of exceptions to the above data for low volume, high demand units and certainly individual deviations exist on particular transactions, especially between private parties. The data appears to be relatively compatible with both NADA
Recreation Vehicle Pricing Information - NADAguides.com Official Site
and Kelly Blue Book RV valuations that I could find.

Two points I would offer: a) The optimal RV unit appears to be a well loved and properly maintained 3 year old unit. That appears to offer the lowest cost/longest useful life snapshot; b) Depreciation is one of the largest costs you will experience with an RV, particularly if you buy new.

3) You (or pay someone) have to learn about various systems and maintain your unit, or it will bite you big time. RV labor rates are not cheap, on the order of $85-$125/hour in my experience. Rigorous maintenance is mandatory or you will suffer. The RV type obviously impacts maintenance requirements, e.g., a trailer is much less complex than a motorhome, but they all require maintenance.

Hope this is helpful.

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 01-17-2010 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,421 posts, read 17,417,313 times
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They all require abundant maintenance. Generally, the more complicated, the more maintenance; the older, the more maintenance. Winterizing, un-winterizing, tires, wheel bearings, leaky holding tanks, hoses and faucets, stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, sagging cabinet doors, creaky floors, leaky roofs, cracked plastics, etc., etc. They're homes and require all the upkeep of a home -- and then some.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:14 AM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,923,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmv90 View Post
Great info everyone! I'm actually excited now. I guess I need to do a lot of research because I didn't know there were that many choices. Are there any negatives or downsides to owning an RV? What about maintaining?
Make sure RVing is for you before buying , so, take one out for a few days first. Possible downsides :

1. Will you have a place to store it when not in use?
2. Will you be capable of doing the required maintenance on it ?
3. You have to winterize it if you live in a cold climate.
4. RV's LOVE gasoline , so long trips can be expensive.
5. Use caution when boondocking (remote camping away from others) ; carry some sort of protection.
6. Be on guard for people getting ticked off with you on the roads because you are in no hurry. Also, some people get jealous.
7. Possible noisy Campgrounds or neighbors who are inconsiderate with their dogs barking or using the world as an outdoor toilet.
8 . Be discreet if making love at a Campground otherwise your neighbors will notice your Rig rockin' back and forth and tell you about it the next morning , followed with a >>>
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:37 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
11,943 posts, read 12,841,501 times
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But, but, but.... it's so much fun. You will experience things you never would have other wise. We are still just weekend warriors and only venture to the state parks within a two hour drip of home and we love it. The people you meet, the things you see and the time spent together is priceless.
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:16 PM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,923,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camper1 View Post
But, but, but.... it's so much fun. You will experience things you never would have other wise. We are still just weekend warriors and only venture to the state parks within a two hour drip of home and we love it. The people you meet, the things you see and the time spent together is priceless.
Agree,
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:45 PM
 
104 posts, read 342,393 times
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There's online resources on RV topics and one of them is on the koa site: RV Educational Videos (http://www.koakampgrounds.com/partners/rveducation.htm - broken link)
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:33 PM
 
584 posts, read 1,767,813 times
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I didn't realize it would need to be winterized or that storage might be a problem. I see people with them parked in their driveways or front lawns, so I thought anything goes. One thing I am seeing is that RV people on here seem to be educated and nice. RV lifestyle seems great to me now. I guess maybe there are books for DIY repair and upkeep? Can someone be specific of what they mean by "winterize" and can you not use it in the winter? Not good enough tires for some light snow? How do they lock? Can someone easily break in if you are off hiking? Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,421 posts, read 17,417,313 times
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The winterizing is to keep water from freezing. Most RVs have a fresh water tank, a black water tank (for toilet), and one or two grey water tanks (shower and sink water). They also have a hot water heater, water pump, and water faucets, toilet and various lines that can freeze. All these need to be drained, blown out with an air compressor and/or filled with RV antifreeze. If the unit will be stored for long without power to it, batteries should be removed also. And that's about it.

Your dealer should show you all this stuff, or if you're not sure about it, have an RV tech do it the first time and watch him (if allowed).

I'd guess I normally spend about an hour winterizing mine. It's not difficult.

If someone wanted to break into one, it wouldn't take much effort. A pry bar should do the trick in about 5 seconds. That said, most campgrounds are pretty safe places. I've been camping for 40 years and have never had anything stolen at any campground, and we leave chairs, lanterns, etc. outside while we're gone.

As for storage, if you have a place you can park it, that'll work. My city lot isn't big enough for it. I pay $15/month to store it in an RV storage lot a couple miles from home.
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