..I don't own a MH (yet), but will in a few weeks. I've thought over the maintenance quite a bit as well.
Based on the research I've done, when comparing the maintenance on the gasser coach we're about to buy to the maintenance on our current 34' TT and Ford Excursion....I really don't think maintenance costs with the MH is going to be much more, if any (although I reserve the right to be proven wrong, haha!)
Tires? A set of good Michelin tires on our Excursion costs around $1000 (I know, I just put a set on 'bout a year ago). They have to be replaced about every 8-10 years. Trailer tires, at 'bout $450 for all 4, have to be replaced every 4 years. Sooo, current rig requires $1900 for tires every 8-10 years. From what I've seen, a set of tires for the MH (6 of them) can be had for around $2k, and they also need replacing in 8-10 years (right?). Tires turn out pretty close.
Engine/drivetrain maintenance? Well the Excursion has the same engine in it that the MH will, the Ford V10. I already am very familar with the V10, have done all the oil changes and other maintenance on it myself, and plan to do the same on the MH. I'm thinking thats a wash.
As far as the coach is concerned: Like already said, RV trailer and MH have all the same basic appliances. I've done the maintenance with most of those on the TT for years, just as I hope to be able to on the MH. Just as much chance of one breaking or wearing out in the TT as in the MH. That seems to be a wash as well?
Now, the MH does have a couple systems that the TT did not, like a generator, and hydraulic leveling jacks. Those may well end up tipping the maintenance budget a little higher for the MH. There again, though, I plan/hope to handle most of the maintenance with those myself, too. Have already been reading over the manuals for the genny and leveling jacks.
Soooo, those that have gone down same path I'm about to (upgraded from TT to gasser MH), tell me: Am I completely naive and in for a rude awakening here, or is the maintenance of our gasser MH going to be close to the same as it was for our TT and tow vehicle?
Will & Angela
2 children that love camping, Stephen & Allison
2012 FR Georgetown 351DS on F53 (V10) Chassis See it here
Average maintenance on any DP MH is more then a comparable gas MH. I would recommend you read all of the chassis and engine manuals for maintenance recommendations. The yearly expenses will be considerably more then owning a fifth wheel trailer.
Engine oil(22 qts.) and filter changes yearly, fuel filters, etc. Replacing all tires due to age, cracking, etc. can run $350-400 ea. and the list goes on.
It seems to be a little late to investigate maintenance expenses after purchasing it.
X-2, and Nomadac didn't mention the cost of yearly insurance which should be included! It's way more expensive for a DP, then gas or a fiver!
Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions! I know it really sounds stupid to buy something like this without considering the long-term costs. Now, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story". We have been thinking about a Class A for some time, but really didn't think we were close enough to buying to do a lot of research. A friend of mine here has a Monaco Windsor 40PST, almost identical to the one I bought. I really liked the coach and asked some questions about it on a Monaco owners forum. Just about all the comments on this model were positive, so I started checking around on the internet for ones that might be available, mainly just to see what price they are going for now. About a week ago I saw an ad for this coach at a lower price than others I found, so I called the guy about it. He needed to get rid of it because of some family problems that were stretching him financially. Another guy had looked at it the day before and was probably going to take it. I decided to drive to Montgomery, AL two days later to look at it. It was really super-nice and I made him an offer that was about $7000 less than he was asking, and he took it! It was one of those times that I just had the gut feeling that it was now or never, so I went for it! Impulsive? Yes, no doubt, but I really feel like I would have no trouble selling it at a profit if we decide it is too much for us to handle. Again, thank you so much for your help!
If the coach has been well looked after and has all systems in good working order (and you drive the coach on a regular basis and monitor your fluids and tire air pressure)and you are willing to use Speedco for your annual service (and there appear to be plenty in your general area) your once per year P.M. expenses can look something like this:
Chassis lube, oil, oil filter, fuel filter(s)
$169.99 (includes 2 filters...extra filter at a reasonable cost)
Generator Service (oil, oil filter, fuel filter, air filter)
$49.99 + cost of the additional filter
Rear differential oil change/refill with synthetic
$135.99 (good for 250K miles so this is a one time expense)
The above service will also include:
Check Coolant SCA's and freeze point
Check front axle oil filled hubs if applicable
Tire inspection with written report of tread depth measurements
Every 3 years or so you will also be looking at having the transmission fluid and filters changed, air filter changed, air dryer and dessicant filter changed.
These are best performed at a diesel truck service center to avoid the high costs that RV dealers typically charge. These costs will vary, but are not part of your annual P.M.
The best thing you can do for your DP is to drive it regularly. Like a nice 30 mile joy ride every 2-3 weeks....keeps these beasts happy IMHO!