Video: RVer admits rookie mistakes buying motorhome

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In this 11-minute video, an RVer admits to what he did wrong when he purchased his motorhome. Most of the mistakes, you will likely conclude (as we did), were because he didn’t do his homework before buying. Still, the mistakes he made are the same ones made by others day after day. If you’re in the market for an RV, this is well worth watching.

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Bill T
15 days ago

If you are buying an RV and your biggest concern is depreciation, then don’t buy it. An RV IS an investment in your travel experiences and fun with family. That has NO dollar value attached to it. Now I didn’t watch the entire video because I lost it when he starts talking about depreciation. An RV is what it is. Enjoy it as much as possible. I can’t tell you how many RV’s are at my storage place that have never moved in years. If you paying for it enjoy it, if not sell it. I bought my motor-home new 5 years ago with the floor plan that best suited our needs and have loved it ever since and have never regretted the decision to buy new. Sorry I digress here a little, but far too often I read stories within the RV community about “how buying new is a bad thing.” It’s BS. Find what you like, know your budget and spend within it and most of all have fun with it. If things like expense and depreciation cause you stress, then find another hobby.

Erinn
17 days ago

Video was w-a-y-y too long; he needed to get to the point(s). Don’t need to know as many “hows” as need to know the “whys”…

PS – We traded in our NEW Forest River Sunseeker on a 2007 Class A Fleetwood Expedition 38V. The Sunseeker was $92K, while the Expedition (TWICE the size) wasn’t even $72K. LOVE it! Soo well made, inside & out! Traded in the “new” one cuz it had nothin but PROBLEMS – was always back at dealer for warranty work! Entire galley counters replaced, all new bath fixtures, water heater quit, glass top on stove EXPLODED, & the last straw…. the friggin front slide decided not to work (and YES, we maintained the seals & etc). Will NEVER buy new!!!

Rory R
19 days ago

The troubling thing about this video is, this young man was no newbie. He was a van dweller for a few years, then got a sponsership which made the payments for his used class A. He made two of these videos, one re: what he didn’t like about the rig after spending 3 yrs traveling around the country and to Ak, and this one. One good thing you can take from this video is the points he made are all things that can be researched. Moral of the story is be patient, do your research, and have the rig you intend to buy inspected by a pro…… OH BTW, this young man has built a Skoolie and launched a new channel.

Doug Schwebach
19 days ago

A recreational vehicle is an investment in making memories with family and friends. If we
broke it down into only dollars and cents, no one would ever buy one. You just can’t put a dollar
amount on the great memories, and the great places that you get to visit; sleeping in your own bed
and using your own restroom.

John Koenig
20 days ago

Your depreciation over three years was ONLY $10,000? As far as I’m concerned, you really have nothing to complain about in that regard. I believe you stated you financed for TWENTY YEARS??? If that’s the case, it sounds like you got taken by the RV dealer (I understand 20 year financing is a common ploy at Camping World). I’m also guessing that you never attended an RV Boot Camp. All in all, you’re not doing too badly; things could be MUCH worse for you.

Wendy Bell
20 days ago

This young man was a van dweller before he bought his class A. Actually this video is more than several years old, well before the current fulltime craze hit the internet and YouTube. He has since totally rebuilt a school bus and fulltime boondocks in it. His channel is The Off Grid Schoolie. He’s come a long way since his Class A days. LOL Still, his video can help others avoid the financial and repair surprises that await newbies.

Rory R
19 days ago
Reply to  Wendy Bell

Wendy you are so right, I watched his channel for 3 years and enjoyed his treks to Ak. This video was a surprise to me when he made it, because he was happy until then. How can you count depreciation when the sponsership he got from the dealership covered his payments on the used class A gasser he got. Perhaps like some of the youtubers who downsized to class B’s and just gushed over them, until the manufacturer in Canada filed bankruptcy and all the rigs that were on sponsership were recallled by the bankruptcy court. Naturally no one admitted to a sponsership until it became public and they had to explain to their subscribers why all of a sudden they had no rig. Just another reason to take videos you find on youtube re: rv’ing as entertainment and with a grain of salt.

Hit The Road
2 years ago

I didn’t “scold” anyone. I’m just mentioning how we are going about it. And I don’t have experience with an RV, and know there will be mistakes. To each his own, and this is how I choose to do it.

Robin
2 years ago

Always amazed how more experienced audience members sound off judgements vs appreciating someone’s willingness to share info that could benefit others. I’m pretty sure all the planning and research in the world never fully prepares anyone for real-life experience. I’m sure we’ve all had some rude awakening moments in our RV lives at some point or another. Sometimes we forget that we were “once there” and don’t allow others space to grow. Cut this young man some slack and encourage him and others like him with more productive solutions vs scolding him for “bad” decisions he’s already realized.

Hit the road
2 years ago

We have been researching our purchase for 2 years! We had a plan but moved it up after realizing life is too short to sit home all the time. I understand financing and depreciation. Few things appreciate in value and certainly not RV’s.
We have looked at hundreds of models, quickly eliminated many and have finally narrowed down to one. We have researched maintenance, manufacturer customer service, campgrounds, and all the systems in the RV. Measurements galore. Thinking where this is going to go, that is going to go. Generators, solar, storage, weights, capacities! Now we are just ready to go, not full time yet, but ready none the less. 99% of our research was on the internet! I know editing is involved but I don’t understand these RV shows where people show up on the Lot and drive away with a new rig? Have they thought about sleeping arrangements, cooking, towing, driving, finding a space long enough., storage?
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!

Rob
2 years ago

Unfortunately, this gentlemen’s list are basic research someone does when they purchase anything. I find that our society doesn’t take the time anymore to really plan before they leap. Some additions would be.

6. Maybe rent a unit before you buy
7. Plan and save for large ticket items before you buy
8. Understand that debt is not your friend.
9. Always if possible don’t borrow money for depreciating assets

IMHO

Pat
2 years ago

Really don’t need the big holding tanks. Especially if you’re alone. Doggy bag the waste as if you were picking up your dog crap! Then collect the urine and a different portable container and empty it out when convenient.

Traveling Man
2 years ago

You mention that you are concerned with depreciation…

Go back to the sticks-and-bricks and factor in Taxes, Interest, Insurance, Utilities, Upgrades, Lawn Care, and a 30 Yr Prison Sentence to pay the mortgage.

Now tell me that the RV depreciation is really all that bad.

You still have to buy smart. Buying second hand is an excellent way to reduce the expense and repair of a new rig.

Other things that you HAVE to consider:

Has the rig been engineered correctly?

Do you have the right tires, axles, springs? Many a factory has put on equipment that is not rated for the rig.

You also have to understand your Full Time Lifestyle. DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU BUY! DO NOT be spontaneous and go for pretty.

Do you understand MAINTENANCE? Motorhome expenses are CONSIDERABLY higher than a fifth wheel. Tires alone are good for 6-7 years (without road hazards) and can cost $600 EACH. Want an oil change? That’s $400. Need a tow? That can be $2000. If money is no object, Motorhomes are the way to go for luxury and convenience. If you are budget conscious, go fifth wheel for full-timing. Bigger is not always better. Depending on your use (boondock or parks), you may opt for a shorter rig of 35′. If you plan to stay in parks, many have limitations on 50A services. Spaces are at a premium. No new parks are being built under record sales.

Other considerations…

Where will you store everything?
Is there enough drawer and pantry space?
All electric or the convenience or multi-source appliances? (inverters versus propane features).
Real Wood cabinets or particle board?
Conveniences of a Washer and Dryer or head tot he laundry mat? (Pros and Cons both ways).
Need a dishwasher or do by hand? (Pros and cons both ways).
Tow Vehicles…Do you have a truck that can pull a rig safely? Many under size their tow vehicles and pay for it later with transmission or engine problems.

One thing is for sure about full-timing whether you are single or married or in your senior years…you CAN save a ton of money and enjoy life all over the country if you do this right. Had we done this years ago, we would be sitting on a small fortune NOW!

Rory R
19 days ago
Reply to  Traveling Man

The rig he is referring to was a used class A gasser and not the one pictured.

Scott M.
2 years ago

Not sure if it is funny or sad, but at least he’s honest. Clearly didn’t research issues like he should have. One can camp, talk to others, certainly get some insights before making a major financial decision. Having said that, experience is the real teacher and sometimes an expensive way to get an education.

Frank F
2 years ago

Totally disagree with his assertion that he couldn’t have been aware of some of the issues he complains about BEFORE he bought. He obviously knows about the internet…he couldn’t do some research on the myriad of RV forums out there? Regarding his discovery that campgrounds are not for him, he couldn’t have visited a couple of RV parks and learned what they’re like? Bottom line: do your due diligence…PPPPPPP (Prudent Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance).

Lisa Dupree
2 years ago

I just have to say “Duh” on numbers 1 and 2. Isn’t that just plain old common sense?

Dan Coffey
2 years ago

He is an excellent example of why basic facts of “real” life needs to be taught in high school.

Rory R
19 days ago
Reply to  Dan Coffey

He is a graduate of OSU, he mentioned that often is his videos re: van life and after he got the class A (Bounder – gasser)