How Much do RV Repairs Cost?

How Much do RV Repairs Cost?

You’re considering a tiny house on wheels to embark on new and amazing adventures out on the open road! The possibilities are endless and so exciting! Just like with buying a traditional home where you’d want to have a realtor with a good and successful reputation, you’ll want to find a reputable RV dealer that cares about the condition of the RVs they’re selling. When buying an RV,  keep in mind the possibility of RV repairs. But don’t stress out; when you plan and budget for them, they’re no worse than the car or home maintenance that you’re already covering. You’ll soon forget your daily struggles and be driving off into the sunset on your grand adventure. 

Have an RV Repair Budget

Image of a used motorhome in front of Utah mountains, used for RV repair blog.

Anyone wanting to enjoy the RV life will want to have a budget for repairs beforehand, as it’s not a matter of if, but when repairs will need to be addressed. Any vehicle headed towards adventure will need regular maintenance checks done to keep all functions working safely and correctly.

Schedule Routine RV Maintenance

Man kneeling beside RV performing routine RV maintenance to outside of motorhome.

There’s always a possibility that something can happen, but with the scheduled timely maintenance we’re talking about, you should be able to keep most (not all, of course, but most) repair costs low.

The Cost of RV Repairs

Man performing motorhome maintenance to RV sink.

If something DOES comes up, the cost of repairs can vary widely based on multiple factors, including the severity of the repairs needed and if you are handy type individual and want to take on projects yourself, or if you’re better at driving than fixing and choose to take it to a shop or dealer to have the work done professionally. Repair shops may charge a hefty hourly rate for service, plus the price of parts, or you might sometimes find someone that moonlights for cheaper. Using specialized laborers can sometimes save money when it comes to items like cabinets, furniture, flooring, etc.  A dealer might charge the most, but often a reputable place will cover their work with a limited warranty.

Common RV Repairs

Man underneath RV performing tire care, presumably on the side of the road, with RV tires laying next to RV.

Some of the most common repairs avid RVer’s may see getting ready or on the road might be:

Tire blowouts: They can be scary out on the long, sometimes windy highways making it especially essential to check the status of your tires before and during each trip for wear and tear and also to ensure they are at the correct pressure.

Leaking and Water Damage: Dripping pipes, toilet, and wastewater issues can be taken care of quickly and inexpensively if monitored regularly but if leftover time can turn i to quite an expensive headache

Water repairs can be as simple as fixing the seals around pipes, windows, doors and on the roof, or turn into more significant projects like having to dismantle parts of your rig to clean out damaged areas properly. These types of repairs can be very costly, as water damage can lead to mold issues, so they must be dealt with quickly and thoroughly and aggressively. Regular care and maintenance of the roof and seals can save you a lot of hassles and headaches in the future.

Other Common Issues: Leaking propane tanks and furnaces (which can be dangerous –  keep up on regular preventative maintenance for these), and exterior damage from parking/driving. Most maintenance and repair incidents can be reasonably inexpensive when caught early enough

Proper RV Storage

Family enjoying an RV trip

Properly storing your RV and winterizing your RV is a must, so make sure you know the proper procedures. Storing your RV inside or under a UV protective cover is vital to protecting the roof and sealing during rough winter weather.

Visit Your Local Utah RV Service Center

Recreation RV Sales and Service in Draper Utah

So, in short, when you buy that RV, don’t be intimidated or let repair costs steal the joy of adventure from you. Plan and make sure your monthly budget includes repairs, maintenance, and storage. Spring is the perfect time to schedule your annual RV inspection with your local RV dealership for service you can trust. At Recreation RV Sales & Service, we pride ourselves on quality service at a price you can afford. Whether it’s scheduling your routine inspection or finding a used RV for sale, your adventure is our business! Call us today at  801-571-6439 to schedule your preseason RV inspection! 

Buying an RV: Motorhome vs. Fifth Wheel

Buying an RV: Motorhome vs. Fifth Wheel

When buying an RV, many families are overwhelmed by the number of options available. Just like your home or your vehicle, there is a style and size to suit your individual needs and preferences. This comprehensive list will help you determine which model will best serve your family. It is important to remember that neither a fifth wheel or a motorhome is superior to the other, but rather, each supports a different type of lifestyle. Although you may use this article to help create a pro/con list for your family, it is not intended to say that either one is better overall.

If you are a first-time RV buyer, you’ll want to review common RV lingo to help you understand the terminology. Then, you should decide what you will be doing with your RV. Will you be taking it out for short weekend trips, or do you hope to one day live in it full-time traveling the country? Once you have an idea of your ideal usage, take a look at some of the other factors below to help you decide between a motorhome and a fifth wheel:

What is a Fifth Wheel?

A fifth wheel is a large camping trailer that attaches to the back of a large towing vehicle, like a pickup truck. While it isn’t a full-blown house on wheels, a fifth wheel does offer many of the same perks as a motorhome, in a smaller size.

Benefits of Buying a Fifth Wheel

Affordability

For many families buying an RV, the very first concern is the cost of the investment. While there are many areas to take into consideration, the fifth wheel is almost always at a lower price point. Although this is for many reasons, one of the leading contributing factors for the difference is because the cost does not include the price of the tow vehicle. Consider the following charges:

Initial Cost

The initial cost of a comparable motorhome will always be higher than the fifth wheel. To give a comparison: a new low-end fifth wheel costs somewhere in the ballpark of $30,000 versus a new low-end Class A costs about $85,000. However, this does not include the cost of purchasing a new tow-vehicle, either. A new truck to tow your fifth wheel can easily make up the price difference if you don’t already have a truck.

Insurance Cost

The cost to insure a fifth wheel is lower than the price to insure a motorhome. This is because not only is the cost of replacing a motorhome higher but also because the motorhome is driveable you’ll need to include collision coverage and there are more moving parts on a motorhome.

Maintenance

An RV needs repair and maintenance work just like your daily driver and your home. In many cases, the cost to maintain a Class A motorhome is higher than a fifth wheel simply because the Class A has the engine to include. However, if you want to compare apples-to-apples for buying an RV: an oil change for a motorhome typically runs about $200-$300, versus your average tow vehicle is under $100.

Comfort

In many aspects, the fifth wheel is more comfortable than a Class A motorhome. Let us consider some of the deciding factors:

Residential-Style Furniture

If you’re looking for full-size furniture, the fifth wheel might be your best option. Although many motorhomes have incredibly comfortable furniture, much of it is downsized or altered to fit additional storage solutions. In a fifth wheel, manufacturers generally use typical residential furniture in their models. However, this could be a negative if weight is a concern since the furniture is heavier.

Kitchen Counter Space

Families that enjoy cooking and preparing meals in their RV kitchen often enjoy that fifth wheels come with a kitchen island, whereas motorhomes do not. Although the kitchen island offers more counter space, be aware that during traveling when the slides are in, the kitchen island often makes it difficult to maneuver inside of the fifth wheel, a problem that does not exist inside of a motorhome.

Ceiling Height

We suggest that you walk through both options before buying an RV. If you are tall or become claustrophobic in tight spaces, you’ll love the taller ceilings of the fifth wheel. Although many motorhome models have closed the gap between the height difference, in nearly every case, the fifth wheel offers a substantially higher ceiling.

Living Space

Overall, the square footage of most fifth wheels with pop-outs is significantly larger than that of a Class A motorhome. The fifth wheel is not meant to travel with the pop-outs engaged, enabling them to extend much further, offering more living space when the vehicle is parked. Pop-outs on motorhomes are shallower, therefore does not increase the square footage by a significant amount.

Air Conditioning

Due to the lack of a windshield mixed with the head of an engine, it is easier to maintain a consistently cooler temperature in a fifth wheel.

What is a Motorhome?

A motorhome is an all-inclusive recreational vehicle, complete with living accommodations, an engine, and the vehicle cab.

Benefits of Buying a Motorhome

Ease of Use

Maneuverability

If you can back up your daily driver, you can probably back up a motorhome, even into tight spaces like camping spots. If you have a fifth wheel, we recommend practicing backing up the trailer for a full afternoon before taking it on the road. You will likely need to back up your fifth wheel at some point throughout your trip, and when that time comes, you’ll be thankful that you’ve at least had a little practice. However, at every campground, you’ll always see at least one fifth wheel struggle for 10 minutes until they get their RV parked. Alternatively, a motorhome is more like an extended car and will back up into small spaces with ease. However, you should remove any towed vehicle before doing so.

Preparation Time

The Class A motorhome makes it very easy to just “get up and go.” In most situations, you can simply disconnect from any hookups at your current campground and pack up your belongings before heading out to your new destination. A fifth wheel requires lining up, removing the stabilizers, as well as a few other steps along the way.

Experience

View

Many families buying an RV want to vacation and explore new areas of the country. If you are a fan of taking in the scenery along the way, you’ll enjoy the world-class view of the large windshield of a motorhome. Although many fifth wheels now offer a bay window, it simply cannot beat enjoying breathtaking views throughout the journey. A motorhome makes the travel much more enjoyable.

All-Inclusive

Although it is undoubtedly safer for all passengers to remain buckled and seated throughout the journey, many families enjoy that they can run to the bathroom if they need to, or grab a quick snack from the fridge without taking time off of the road. Additionally, there is no need to shift people, pets, and items from the cab of a vehicle into the living accommodations.

Seating for Everyone

Although a fifth wheel typically has more square footage of living space once the slides are out, motorhomes have more while on the road. Additionally, if you have a larger family, you may want to consider if your tow vehicle can actually hold the whole family comfortably throughout your travel. Most tow vehicles conveniently buckle-in five family members or six in a squeeze. A motorhome will keep everyone, but also offers enough room to put toy boxes, snacks, and other necessities within reach. Additionally, if you travel with pets, motorhomes provide more room for your pets to move around, rather than walking across laps.

Security

It is more difficult to steal a locked up motorhome than it is for someone to hook up a fifth wheel and drive away with it. However, the more commonly stolen item is the portable generator often used by fifth wheels. Motorhomes have built-in generators, making them much more difficult for someone to take.

Test Drive a Motorhome or Fifth Wheel

Before making your final decision and buying an RV, it is essential to test drive your RV options. Schedule a test drive at Utah’s most trusted RV dealership today. The experts at Recreation RV Sales are here to help you narrow down your options and find something that suits your needs without breaking the bank. Check out our pre-owned RV inventory then call us today at 801-572-0525.

Sources:Outdoorsy, Expedition Motor Homes