Tuesday, June 11, 2013

RV decisions, decisions

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have been fixing up an older Class “C” motorhome for several years. My wife and I are both retiring soon. We have talked often of traveling a good portion of the year in this rig I have invested so much time and money. Now that we are closing in on our voyage, my wife is balking. She thinks we should shop for a newer Class “A” with more room and less miles. I can understand the desire for a newer rig, but I think it is crazy to spend money on a new motorhome when we already have one that works perfectly well. Please give us your two cents worth.
--Frugal in Fresno

Dear Frugal:
Both sides of this argument have merit. The advantages of traveling in a rig that is paid for, functional and familiar would be the strong part of your argument. On the other hand a newer rig can mean many amenities that you probably do not enjoy currently. The majority have slides if your current model does not. This can make a big difference in square footage without going longer. Basement storage is a huge plus. Having plumbing enclosed in a cabinet instead of hanging down below the frame is another wonderful feature. Newer rigs are usually better insulated and you may even find better mileage with a newer engine and body design. Ultimately, you and your wife will have to work out the finer points of personal affordability. You may want to start with the motorhome you have. I assume you have used it enough to know what you are looking for in a home on wheels. Perhaps your wife already knows she would not be happy living in the current rig for a longer period of time. I would not rush into a decision. The longer you shop and compare, the better decision you will ultimately make.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Anonymous said...

While the RV shrink thinks both sides have some merit, I vote for keeping your old rig is, hands down, the best option if it is running well and all is in working order. I've been in the motorhome game awhile and I'll tell you with certainty that regardless of what you buy, it will be crap and it will take you at least a couple of years to sort out short cuts they took at the factory. Yes, it may be under warranty but you will still spend your life ati
repair facilities in line with hundreds of other RV'ers trying to get their rigs fixed. If you buy a newer used rig, you can count on paying 100-120 dollars an hour from the the time the tech starts the paperwork until he cleans up his work station for any repair. And to top this off, only about 1 in 10 knows what the heck they are doing. Trust me on this, I am speaking from experience. I just got rid of my second class A high quality brand name and bought a new high quality class c and spent my whole winter going from repair station to repair station trying to get this piece of junk right. KEEP your old one!!! Spend your money on nicer RV parks, Better steaks, buy flowers for wife. Be Happy, have less heartburn. Good Luck. Mike M.

Anonymous said...

We struggle with the same things; the desire for more storage and living space vs. the cost of a new unit. We keep going back to the fact that all the money we would spend to upgrade is also the money that would keep us out on the road longer, seeing and doing more of the things we enjoy.

Claire said...

We had an older 24ft class C and, after 10 years travelling in it, have just purchased a newer 27ft class C. I think the storage in a class C is better than a class A. Also, the difference in price means more and better trips. We are only 2, and use the bunk over cab for extra inside storage. You could probably make extra cupboards up there if you take out the mattress. When loading, make sure the stuff you are taking, you will use. I found that every year I cut down on what I have to take as some stuff you never use.

Anonymous said...

I'd opt for the new RV. That's what I did when I retired. I had a '98 36S Bounder which ran and looked great, but it was 11 years old. I'd done all the maintenance and kept it up, but there are a lot of new items I wanted and putting them on an old rig didn't make any sense. We bought a 2009 35E Bounder and love it. Even though it's a foot shorter, we have more storage, an automatic satelite dish, and inverter (and I had 2 more 6 volt batteries installed), a slide in the bedroom which is wonderful, a huge rear bath with the biggest shower I've ever seen, an automatic awning, etc., etc. etc. We loved our '98 and I got a good price for it which helped in buying the new one, but we love our '09 even more and have all the luxuries we need. Now we have a nice new rig with no problems and enjoy RVing even more.

mogul264 said...

Having camped in nearly every configuration, tent to class A, I've found the higher the comfort class, the more complex the rig, therefore, more to go wrong! Any used, but well maintained rig is definitely easier on the pocket book, as most of the niggling items have been corrected, where the new ones ALWAYS have that SOMETHING which is not quite right!
Class A vs C.....here you might need a tow behind for the A when you want or need to go somewhere where parking is tight, or you don't want to break camp to go! And when shopping for replenishment, you automatically look for WalMart Supercenters! Most class C's are easier to park, and breaking camp is simpler!

Anonymous said...

You know your older rig, keep it instead of getting all the nasty surprises of a new one. I have an older class c, travel as a single woman and am comfortable knowing it, can determine what I can fix in the boonies or at home and what I need a professional to do. Nothing replaces that feeling of confidence.