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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Cost of maintaining a MH?

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Posted: 02/20/12 11:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't be worrying about all the maintenance costs, they are livable these things can be awful intimadating when you first get them.


Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 02/20/12 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree that you will want to budget as best you can. I think that $1000 a year is reasonable, as long as you keep putting the money into the kitty, even when you are under budget for a year, so that you will have enough when it's time to get tires or another big dollar repair.

The more that YOU can do, vs the guy at the shop, will help keep you under budget. An oil change is relatively simple, and you can save quite a bit of money. Washing your own coach and general housecleaning, will keep the value up, and also reduce the repairs/replacement of some items.

You may have jumped in with both feet, without checking how deep the water is, but you'll learn how to swim....or learn how to sink...so enjoy it while you've got it, and go do some camping

Bill & Claudia / DD Jenn / DS Chris / GS MJ
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On The Road

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Posted: 02/20/12 11:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MSHappyCampers wrote:

Is there any way to know what the average cost per mile or per year is to have all the required maintenance done, maybe allowing something for things that just break?

A lot will depend on how long you plan to keep it.

I'd like to drive my 2001 DP for another 10 - 12 years and while I think the diesel engine and drive train are up to it, not so for other systems . . .

The microwave, inverter, water heater, fridge, air conditioners, etc on both our units are now over 10 years old. (I'm assuming you still have the original equipment as I do.) There's the rub.

I've already replaced the inverter and the cooling unit on my fridge, and I'm in the process of replacing the microwave and both air conditioners.

Now obviously you can just wait for things to fail, but I'd rather be proactive, and from what I've seen, stuff fails at the worst times, not the best.

BTW, ignore the comments from those who think you should have already known all this. If that were true, very few of us would have purchased something that depreciates even faster than our house.

2001 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095 DP
Full Timer since May 2013



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Posted: 02/20/12 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, so you dove in and now your are nervous, wondering what you got yourself into. That feeling is not all bad, most of us have had it, but stop second guessing your self. You will get over this soon, really.


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St. Augustine, Fl.

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Posted: 02/20/12 11:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of the things that might cost you money can be avoided by using the coach and proper routine maintainance. Likewise, there are many things you can DIY. I do my own oil/filter changes and lubes. My most recent expenses were air dryer changes, a repair call fo a washer that was not operating properly (which was caused by not using it often enough and a sensor drying out, and installing fans behind the fridge to make it work better (about $15.00). I know I must replace all eight tires next year, because of aging, and that will be a major expense. I do have an extended warranty (glorified insurance policy), but it paid for itself several times over when we have to replace an a/c unit and a power surge fried some control boards. Overall, expect to pay an avergae of about $1000/year.


Lake Havasu City AZ

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Posted: 02/20/12 12:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While normally I would answer your question just about like everyone else did in terms of "you'll get over it, and we've all done it etc.etc.etc." but, I have to ask. Didn't you see this coming into it? Didn't you ask anyone who's owned either a larger RV or Diesel one about the expense of ownership and maintenance? I certainly am not criticizing you in any way, shape or form. But, to make such a large purchase, on something that involves lots of thought and decision making processes, I would have surely inquired to as many folks who, (1), that I know own one, (2) folks here on the net and any other RV type forum, (3) maybe even some RV techs at any RV repair facility around you about their thoughts and ideas etc. I apologise for sounding harsh but I'm just wondering.

This way you'd have a baseline of cost, both of running it down the road and, monthly, annual and any other time frame of maintenance costs that you'd incur. Again, not being critical here, just trying to surmise on why you'd come up with any form of worrying about what it costs to operate the beast AFTER the purchase.

They are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and they're the worst "INVESTMENT" anyone on this planet can make. Talk about loosing money as you drive out the dealers driveway, wow! But, you buy them for your reasons, to have fun, see America, stay and camp at YOUR convenience in and almost where ever your hearts desire is to camp, travel and stay in comfort, and many,many more reasons.

I'm one of those who does not only my own maintenance but, just about any and all repair too. And that becomes a real pain when you get older and are not as nimble as yesteryear. So, we save just about as much as possible in ownership of the USS ENTERPRISE but, it still costs, even when you purchase oil and filers, etc because there's so much more to purchase than the average gas rig. But, you know this coming into it.

No one says you have to travel every week. You save, you plan for a trip, you enjoy, you come home, you get ready for another trip when you can afford it, SIMPLE.

Scott and Karla
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Western, WA

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Posted: 02/20/12 01:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you thought of creating or finding a maintenance checklist (such as RV Resources) adding columns for yearly and periodic (such as tires every x miles or 7 years, whichever comes first), as well as annotating what you will do and only requires materials (such as oil change). This will give you some budgeting items and allow you to apply your local costs, which most of us cannot help with.

May God bless your travels

Me, The Wonderful Wife
and two Spastic Border Collies
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2013 Tiffin Allegro 36LA
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Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 02/20/12 01:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are the date codes on your tires? If 02 or older you need to replace all six. Next you need to do oil samples on your engine and tranny... search for suggestions on here. When the oil samples say you need to change then SpeedCo is a good suggestion. I do all of my own work so my answer to your question is $300-400 a year. Be glad it's a 02 as they get even more complicated the newer.

This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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iowa city, ia

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Posted: 02/20/12 01:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've owned 10 Rv's during the past 20 years or so with 3 having been class A DP'ers. I must second the statements that maintaining a diesel will be much higher costs than comperable gas coaches.
Such items like $130 air filters, 24 qts of oil coupled with $35 oil filters, typically 2 fuel filters at about $20-25 each and you can see, things add up quickly. The good news is, these items generally only need to be serviced on an annual basis and if you can do some or all of this yourself, you'll eliminate the labor. It's not uncommon for the labor to basically be close tp the cost of the parts involved in the repair/service. If you have the service performed on a yearly basis, you can probably plan on about $1,000 as suggested by others. If you can learn to do some or all of the service yourself, you'll be closer to $500-$600 a year. Don't let folks scare you with $2,000 a year figures for normal maintenance. However, in addition to normal maintenance, you will also need new tires at 6-7 years at about $3,500 for 6 tires. There will also be coolant changes and transmission service every 25,000 miles at $300-$500.
I realize that if you add all this up, it comes up to a lot of money for maintenance. The key is, they don't all come at once and being spread out, you can plan and budget for them over a time span of a few years.
All this being said, owning our Class A's has definitely been the high light of our RV experience. They are wonderful to travel and live in and driving them becomes pretty comfortable as you gain some experience. Just don't draw too many conclusions before you get some experience using your coach. GOOD LUCK and ENJOY!



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Posted: 02/20/12 02:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you wrench some of the maintenance work, you will be ahead of the game somewhat. As other posters have submitted, there are alot of variables that intertwine with each other that will give you a true picture of what you are dealing with regarding your own personal situation.

Learn by asking questions, observing when you take it in for servicing and reading both the chassis and house manuals. Familiarity and understanding of the coach's systems will do you well.

TZS and Wife
2007 Monaco Executive Sandia IV
Cummins ISX 525 Horsepower
Allison 4000 Six Speed Transmission
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2006 Saturn Vue
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