Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Wife wants fancier RV; hubby wants to update current one


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
I hope you can help me with my husband’s paranoia about our finances. We have been full-time traveling in our RV since retirement. We took the plunge, sold the house and bought a used 5th wheel. We have been on the road for seven years and both enjoy the lifestyle. Now that we have our sea legs I have a desire for several options that our rig lacks.

We are perfectly capable of buying a new rig but my husband keeps on insisting we save our money and just update what we have. I tell him we can’t take it with us — let’s splurge a bit. He keeps everything we own in tip-top condition so this one will not wear out in my lifetime. I just want some of the new features that our design will not allow him to upgrade. Should I put my foot down and insist on new wheels, or relent and appreciate that he is frugal to a fault? —Abstemious in Albany

Dear Abby:
You could try several approaches. First, explain to your husband that this is America. Saving is not the American way. Explain to him that this is a throwaway society and that he is causing layoffs in Elkhart, Indiana, with his tightwad ways. If that fails to convince him, you might want to suggest a “new” used rig. I am sure you could find the options you are looking for at substantially less than a brand-new rig.

Many people dream of retiring and doing exactly what you are doing. Unfortunately, for many, it doesn’t last long for various reasons including health issues, finances, homesickness and insecurity. From this pool of ex-RVers you can often find a nice unit that has had little use and is deeply discounted. Or you could tell him you want to renew your vows and instead of that five-carat diamond ring you never got the first time around, you will settle for a new RV with all the bells and whistles.

I don’t know your financial situation, so be careful what you wish for. There are people with the fanciest rigs who cannot afford to drive them around the block. Buying used helps with the initial depreciation hit and often the first owners worked all the bugs out. I’m talking about mechanical problems not bedbugs. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.

##RVT792; ##FB5-15-17



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Terri Foxx-Wishert (@guest_6945)
6 years ago

Make a list of what you want and go see what’s available. What is important to you may not be readily available in a new rig. We’ve noticed that a lot of the new models don’t have much in the way of closet space, which is a downer for our full-time life style.
Go look at other rigs, because this could convince one or the other of you to change your mind.

Bill Patterson (@guest_6941)
6 years ago

We bought a rental unit for the reason that rentals have to be maintained by law and to keep customers. The price was right and any little thing that was not to our liking we could repair or change without alot of expense. The unit has proven to be great. It is a 28ft class C and is great. I am handy with mechanics and such so owning a used RV is perfect…plus we could pay cash and now know that no one is going to take it away in the middle of the night for non-payment!!!

Dave (@guest_6820)
6 years ago

Jerry, you should be the one answering RV questions rather than Richard Mallery. He was being a smart alec and you answered with a answer that made sense and gave the lady good things to consider between upgrading the old one or buying a different one. Thank you!!!

Jerry X Shea (@guest_6810)
6 years ago

Dear Abstemious – We found ourselves in the same predicament. After 8 years of full-time in, our motor home turned 10 years old. We enjoyed the RV/full time experience and we decided to go for another 10 years. That would put us in a 20 year old motor home. Over the years we talked with many folks about the problems of owning an old RV. Roof leaks, engine problems, rubber seals (slideouts) leaking. Now, if you put money into “upgrading” you still have a 10-20 year old coach. Another factor, 5 or 10 years from now, your finances may not allow you to buy another RV. As stated, if not a new one, find a 1 or 2 year old one and enjoy the comforts of a modern day RV. We traded in our 2004 for a new 2014 – very pleased we did. Just the new technology on the side outside was worth it.

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