Maintain or Replace the RV?

On Fridays, I write about financial issues that affect Canadian Full-Time Rvers.

Having an RV is like owning a house: things break and wear down.  Even the best RV comes to an age when things start to fail one after the other. It can become tempting to over-exaggerate these routine costs and use them to justify purchasing a new rig.

Even if over the course of a year the water heater needs a new circuit board, the furnace motor burns out, the converter stops working, and the fridge quits, the total cost of replacement parts will be much less than the cost of a new rig.

Structural issues, such as rotted out floors or walls, might also be more cost effective to repair, depending on the spread of the damage and whether there is any mould present.

When crunching the numbers, look at the cost of replacing the current rig with a comparable new one. Keep in mind that new RVs are not without trouble and that newness does not guarantee a rig won’t be a lemon. Then, calculate the cost of routine repairs, some upgrades, and a couple of emergencies over ten years. Chances are keeping the old, well broken-in, RV will be more cost-effective.

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1 Comment

  • A new rig, simply is not worth it. Buy one a couple of years old and let the original purchaser absorb the depreiaticon costs. Many older folks buy a rv, and then within five years sell, they take care of them so you usually end up with a like new unit at less than half the cost.
    I have been at this lifestyle for 15 years now, and regular upkeep and repairs is just part of the game. Having been doing this for such a long time, the fiver that I have now has everything that I require for living in the cold north. The point is, once your into this way of life, you will be come to understand all the things you need. Unfortunately, most when they start, buy the wrong or inadequate rig and through time figure it out. But if your rig is older and your getting it done, yes keep the rig.

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