Repair or buy newer?

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Nov 24, 2006
I don't think I've seen this particular topic covered. We are new to RVing and we need to buy a less expensive (read old) RV.  Because it is an older unit we expect that it will have virtualy no resale value.  That being the case...

Would it be better to buy a slightly older less expensive and put some money into it (rebuild engine for example) or spend a little more for a newer model with less milage.

Also as this is my first post I will throw in another question (greedy aren't I) Is there anyplace that calculates cost of ownership for an RV.  Perhaps I might be better off with a new(er) model after calculating resale value.

Thanks.  I have enjoyed reading the posts here and am happy to now be a new member.  Expect to retire and start RVing within the next 18 months.
Whether you buy older or more recent used RV depends more on the condition of the RV and how well it was maintained.  Each case must be evaluated individually.

As far as costs to own are concerned, you will also find that that varies all over the place.  You would need to know what year and model RV you want to know about and do research on that unit.  You can't expect the cost of ownership to be the same for a low end starter RV and a high end Prevost Bus Conversion.

Many on the forum maintain good records of ownership costs, so ask away, but be specific.

Depreciation is horrendous on any RV, so buying used makes a lot of sense. Newer rarely saves money, though you may get 2-4 years of fairly trouble free use out of a new or nealry new model. But its hard to count on trouble free years, even from a brand new one. Mabe even less so with a new one.

In your shoes I would buy an older one hat needed as little major work as possible.  I would limit repairs to  cosmetic stuff or minor appliance & mechanicals that I could do myself. Would not want to put the $$ for an engine or tranny rebuild ora new fridge into a older RV.  There are many  used RVs available that are in excellent condition inside and out and prices ae low, so you don't have to take broken down ones to get rock bottom prices. In a private sale you should be able to pay well under NADA retail book value even for a pristine one.  So go shopping around the country, set your standards high and  bargain hard and you should be able to get a pretty decent rig for a small price.
Thanks for the replies.  I know my question was very open.  It just seems that the major concerns that I read about are mileage-engine, trans, tires, refig.  The price of an rv seems to go to a baseline and then stop (until scrap).  I was just curious if someone had bought cheap and then rebuilt to eliminate those factors bringing the cost to a slightly newer (but still suspect level)  It appears this is not the way to go based on the replies. Thanks.

We have a little time so we are exploring all possibilities so I'll probably ask some more dumb questions  ::) before I'm ready to pull the trigger.
Rebuilding one makes you friends with your closest RV salvage dealer and once you've complete the feat--- You still got and old old vehicle that more than likely aren't very dependable.
Hello. I have gone that way.  I bought an older HM 89 pace arrow. I put over $6000 in a rebuilt engine and $1400 in a new refrigerator. Yes i got the HM very cheap and new before i bought it what it needed. I realize i would not get out what i have put in but I know what i have with a new motor It's called peace off mind and hopefully reliability. So far so good.
Would i do the same thing again ?  If the same scenario happened i would. As it has been said there are some very good deals out there. I would say take some time and look. That is something i could not do was take my time.
Just to let you know i have put about $12000 [motor tires refrigerator etc]  in my HM. Just take your time and weigh your options to see what is best for you. There is no true answer for your question. just go with what is best for you

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