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RV Living in the 21st Century
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Heads-up On RV Maintenance
updated 29 November 2003
MAINTENANCE COSTS - summer 2003
receive many questions about our maintenance
relay this so everyone is aware to expect there are good and bad years,
although in the long run everything averages out, most
years will be within reason and quite low, but
expect some to be higher than others.
RVing good times always outnumber the bad in this lifestyle but not every day is perfect and some may be a bit costly. This is the reason I strongly urge every RVer to have a $5000.00 Emergency Fund so you do not have to use your travel funds for emergencies – ours is a zero balance credit card that we can deal with when we return home in the summer. Consider setting up a Contingency Fund while you are at it.
have recently ‘spoke’ to many RVers by email about maintenance costs
of RVing. Some years, like this one for us, can be exceptionally costly,
BUT most are not. When we drove gas motorhomes we budgeted $3500.00 (Cdn
$) per year for both vehicles and frequently came in well under that. Last
year our diesel maintenance was $3000.00 Cdn$ ($174.00 for the car) – no
one thing in particular stood out. Most of the past four years have been
similar amounts. (PS we did spend $4200.00 on our renovations in 2002 -
see details on The Space of a Slide from the Inside)
windshield cracked in April with a deductible of $300.00. This
meant we needed new website lettering that spans both windshields
(plus an Invisible Bra on the tow car) at another $250.
However we are not done yet this summer. While the coach was coming to life from under a cloud of oxidization due to comprehensive detailing last weekend (approximately $550.00 for service and miracle products) – see photos about our shimmering Kastle, John cleaned the wheel wells and the tires. He discovered the cracks on the sidewalls of our four-year old front tires were becoming deeper and he no longer felt safe driving our motorhome. (RV Tires too have a life between 4-5 years). So last Wednesday he ordered two front tires at a cost of $409.00 each plus tax. Another $1000.00 goes towards maintenance for 2003 (other four are slated for next year.) From the middle of April to the first of August our maintenance for both vehicles is at approximately $6550.00. Guess this will be a costly year.
More as of November 2003
On our route south this fall our furnace stopped blowing hot air - the motor was replaced last spring so we know that was not the problem. At the same time the fan and A/C controls were operating in reverse as well. So the tech determined that our 8-year old thermostat needed replacing - cost $299.00 US ($388.00Cdn) plus 1/2 hour labour and in-park service call of $25.00. However this didn't solve the furnace problem, It will be looked at next week. The culprit may be a $15.00 part or a $110.00 part plus labour of $45.00 per hour - time will tell.
Before we left Canada we were hit with a power surge when a transformer blew; it damaged our expensive 50 amp Power Line Monitor. Finding the replacement part ($56.00) was a challenge but that repair too will be completed next week. Total bill for repairs will be approximately $700.-$1000. more. (If we had replaced the PLM it would have been an additional $400. US plus labour).
We are aware that many RVers do not have this accessory on their unit but with the damage our PLM received, for certain we would have lost many appliances due to that surge. Our PLM also stops us from operating in brown-out conditions as well.
the good side of things all these items will be considered new and
another 8 years. From this point forward we expect to enjoy 3-4 years of
minimal maintenance. The good days definitely out number the bad in this
lifestyle and a
streak of costly repairs happens only periodically. Make it a point
to ride the wave.