The truth about most RV's.

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
Absolutely. It takes 30 minutes to load and 30 minutes to clean. No big deal. It takes that long to clean my bay boat after a morning fishing trip.


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Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Absolutely. It takes 30 minutes to load and 30 minutes to clean. No big deal. It takes that long to clean my bay boat after a morning fishing trip.


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^^^^ What he said.

Some people here are painting an overly bleak picture of RV ownership. Interestingly many of the tales are second hand. :rolleyes:

The "truth" about RV's is that they are neither as good as the RV industry likes to pretend nor as bad as the nay-sayers would have you believe. As with most things, the truth lies in the mushy middle.

We are on our 2nd manufactured RV. First one was a 2014 Little Guy T@B Clamshell. Very good craftsmanship, definitely a cut above the standard, with a price to match (just to give you an idea, our trailer had no bathroom, slept only 2 people , no separate eating and dining area, and still retailed for nearly $20k.) We bought that one new in 2014 for about $18k and enjoyed it for 3 years. We bought it winterized and used it "dry" the whole 3 years we owned it (IOW we never put water in the tank, never used the sink or gray water tank.) We did make use of the furnace and the AC. We used that trailer pretty hard, 14 - 16 camping trips per year, everything from developed campgrounds to boondocking. Probably 15,000+ miles of towing including a trip from Denver to Niagara Falls and another to Seattle and back. We had no issues other than a bent axle that was replaced under warranty and a broken heater fluid tank (the T@B uses an Alde heating system which is a radiant system using RV antifreeze as its fluid.) The tank was also replaced by Little Guy at no charge to us.

Our 2nd manufactured RV was an R-Pod 179 Hood River Edition that we bought 2nd hand from the original purchasers. It has many more "systems" than the T@B did (wet bath with toilet, shower and sink, kitchen sink, furnace and AC as well as black and gray water tanks.) Purchased winterized in January 2018, we used it 'dry' for the 2018 camping season which had us camping roughly every other weekend from about April until October, with a bonus trip over Thanksgiving week from Denver to Corpus Christi and Padre Island, TX. This year we have used it every weekend or every other weekend starting in mid April. Our next camping trip (our 15th this year) is scheduled for this coming weekend. I finally de-winterized it in May so we could use the toilet, sink and shower. Turns out we only used the toilet, the sink and shower were never used this year. I winterized it two weeks ago but we are still camping. We've noticed some sloppy wood work and trim, but everything works on our trailer including the slide out, the 3 way fridge (which is a godsend when boondocking - uses hardly any propane and keeps our food ice cold!) Furnace works great as does the AC (obviously only when we have shore power.) We've never owned a generator, because any place we will be camping without power we won't need AC anyway. I upgraded the 2 x 12v Interstate marine batteries to 2 x 6v golf cart batteries for 230ah of power (115ah of usable power) and added a 2nd propane tank to the tongue. Being a "Hood River Edition" it sits on risers and has big, meaty tires that make it easy to get to boondocking sites.

So for those who say RVs are not for weekend trips, I say nonsense -we do it all the time. We do have the luxury of being able to store our trailer at home (it sits in the side yard, the only HOA rule is that it has to be behind a fence, which it is) so we don't have to go to storage to pick it up or drop it off (though there are people in our camping group who do exactly that and don't have any issues with it.)

I admit that we are likely not typical RV users. There are plenty of RVs that are purchased and then used hardly ever. And while there are QC issues on most trailers, if you have the right attitude and can do basic maintenance stuff, most of it is not a big deal.

With regard to the rent vs buy dilemma: IMO the small, niggling issues with RVs support the "buy" option more, because once you take care of those issues, they're fixed. Whereas, if you rent a different trailer every time you go somewhere, it's crapshoot: Maybe it will have small issues, maybe it won't, but either way you will have to 're-learn" all the "systems" for each new trailer which sounds like a massive PITA to me.
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
So for those who say RVs are not for weekend trips, I say nonsense -we do it all the time. We do have the luxury of being able to store our trailer at home (it sits in the side yard, the only HOA rule is that it has to be behind a fence, which it is) so we don't have to go to storage to pick it up or drop it off (though there are people in our camping group who do exactly that and don't have any issues with it.)
Exactly. I swing by the storage unit on the way home from work the day before a trip and pick it up. It gets loaded that evening and we roll the next morning. I drop it off on the way to work on Monday. I leave the house 10 minutes early to make this happen. No big deal.
 
So you go pull the RV out of storage, clean it load it up, hook it up drag it somewhere for a night or two?

VRBO we do that all the time especially for weekend trips, but occasionally we want to be in a Park and are on 9-12 day trips multiple locations which case rent a trailer or take our own.
Or like us, if it's stored in the driveway, just hook up and go.
 

Pilat

Tossing ewoks on Titan
There's also the fact that loading up a rental doesn't take less time than loading up your own. In fact, it will probably take a bit longer to do the rental.

Edit: I don't own one myself, but I liken it to owning a boat: It is always easier to load up your own than go rent one and have to go through all the systems to make sure it doesn't sink from under you.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
There's also the fact that loading up a rental doesn't take less time than loading up your own. In fact, it will probably take a bit longer to do the rental.

Edit: I don't own one myself, but I liken it to owning a boat: It is always easier to load up your own than go rent one and have to go through all the systems to make sure it doesn't sink from under you.
I own a boat and I went out far far more when I was just crewing on others boats. Lol

RVs are nothing like a boat especially trailers. My last trailer rental. We drove 9 hours without dragging a trailer. Picked it up took 25 minutes. Hit the road for 50 miles and set up camp for 2 days. Then took it another 100 miles and set up camp for 2 days did two more stops like that. Then dropped it off took 15 min to drop it off.

Loading it involved 4 duffel bags, 4 sleeping bags and dumping our cooler in the fridge.

Way way easier than storing it, paying yrly insurance, fixing it etc.

Boat rental probably is the same way but most are far more expensive than an RV.
 

jadmt

Well-known member
I owned my Aliner 6 months and spent 35 nights in it. When I would get home I would take whatever needed taken out, out and put whatever needed put back, back. 20 minutes max. I would than back it into my garage to wait for the next outing. It was a Ranger 12 and after 35 nights we decided we needed the next size bigger. It sold right away. Now I need to find a new one.



 
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calicamper

Expedition Leader
I owned my Aliner 6 months and spent 35 nights in it. When I would get home I would take whatever needed taken out, out and put whatever needed put back, back. 20 minutes max. I would than back it into my garage to wait for the next outing. It was a Ranger 12 and after 35 nights we decided we needed the next size bigger. It sold right away. Now I need to find a new one.



Yeah usage and season length theres a clear point where owning makes more sense. I would say 99.99% here are not the norm regarding usage of RVs.
 

Chorky

Observer
we used it 'dry' for the 2018 camping season which had us camping roughly every other weekend

So for those who say RVs are not for weekend trips, I say nonsense -we do it all the time.
Just to chime in on this, for as much as you use the RV for weekend trips, why in the heck would you use it dry?? I see so many people say the same thing. Many, I see from other forums and communities, even have massive 5th wheels, or motorhomes who never even put water in their tank, and sometimes never even use the 'kitchen'. It makes zero sense to me. Why even buy a rv or camper if you never use the systems? Seems such a waste of money and space. To build on that, one thing I find extremely frustrating with all manufacturers (and is the reason I will build my own instead of buying anything in the future) is their seemingly inability to actually use said systems in cold weather. This seems to be the most ridiculous problem to even have when the tech is clearly available to fix such a issue - although that would mean more money on the consumer part or less financial gain on the company part....
 

smritte

New member
This has been an entertaining read.
I can give another perspective. When my dealership decided to work on medium duty trucks and motorhomes in the early 90's, I got a good feel for just how horrifying they were. We were GM so most all were GM chassis.

Most of the vehicles I got stuck working on were less than five years old. I'll just hit a few highlights on things I saw most often.
The vehicle weight being almost at max GVW with a tank of fuel and nothing else.
Having to trouble shoot an electrical issue. Going under the dash and seeing nothing but 14gauge white wire butt spliced together. The entire dash was like that.
Corroded splices around the engine area for obviously non important items like the engine fan, ac condenser fan.
Having two of the same year/make/model of motorhome at the same time, wired completely different using different wire colors.
Some of the longer ones had the frames extended with C channel poorly welded in, supporting the rear 5-8 feet of the coach. OH...add in a hitch on that. This was not uncommon on class C.

I could go on for pages. I saw very few coaches that in my opinion were worth owning. Most of these started at 50k and up. Some were over 200k. Unfortunately the better ones were the more expensive pusher diesels, not the gas.

I'm glad I didn't have to touch travel trailers. Out camping in the desert, I've seen enough of those fall apart.
 

QQQ

Member
Certainly don't want to jinx this but my livinlite 21bhs has been trouble free for 3 seasons now except for the fridge circuit board was replaced under warranty the first summer and the second summer I found some insulation blocking the vent on the burner for the fridge. This camper wasn't cheap (last of the all aluminum versions) but buy once cry once, the only thing that really sucks is now I want a ATC 25 front bedroom toyhauler, lol!

So I guess not all travel trailers are junk but the ones that aren't are few and far between.
 
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