Give Your RV a Facelift

For many of the people retiring to the RVing and RV Boon docking road, the need to efficiently manage the money spent on their rig is a top priority. Trading your RV every few years is really not the way to be efficient! Unless your bank account is a lot deeper than mine, you could bankrupt that puppy in short order with too many, "too soon" trades.

"But" you say, "the rig is 'worn', and we really need some changes to it, to make it fit how we live now. Is there really an alternative to trading your RV?"

You bet! Stretch your RVing dollar with good RV maintenance and then think refurbish and upgrade, instead of trade. You already have a solid structure in your existing rig. Simply maintain and improve it to meet your changing needs.

First, simply take good care of the RV you have. Do the scheduled, routine RV maintenance religiously. That in itself is going to save gobs of cash in reduced repairs and extended life span. Second, you need to resist the temptation pounded into your brain by the endless droning of the marketing wizards. Every time you turn on the TV, or pick up a magazine, you're bludgeoned with the message to buy, buy, buy. "Hurry in now before the sale is over, or you'll lose out on the savings on a 'better' RV!"

Don't hurry in, and save even more! Think about it. If you drove that brand new RV off the Dealers lot, did a U turn in the road and pulled right back in and traded it back, you just lost a minimum of 25% of the purchase price, and sometimes nearer 50%! 25% of a new RV is one sizable chunk of a persons savings.

Also, simply being newer, is not necessarily better. Just newer. Is it really better if it costs you thirty or forty thousand dollars, for a 'cheap' trailer? Over a hundred thousand, as you start into the higher grade outfits and into the Motor homes. You'll also have to work the 'kinks' out of a new rig. It's a fairly common and arguable belief that the workmanship of many RV manufacturers leaves something to be desired.

Think what it would do for your budget, if instead, you spent only 10 or 15% of the cost of a new rig, (often less!) reworking your "Old Reliable" RV. Well thought out, and properly executed, you can actually 'recreate' an RV of better quality and function, than that new rig, for a fraction of the money.

Would you rather depreciate maybe six or seven thousand dollars, for a thorough refurbishing, or many thousands more? (15% OF A $50,000 Trailer = $7,500)

Replace the worn upholstery. Update the window treatments. Swap the hide-a-bed couch for a pair of chairs. Re carpet or change to 'hard' flooring. Install a larger water tank. Rework some of the cabinets for greater efficiency. Replace the axles with some of the better torsion axles, even including disc brakes.

Install solar power. Put on a leveling system. Pull out that bunk bed in the back where your, now grown up, kids used to sleep, and install a desk! .... or maybe your fly tying bench! .... or her sewing machine!

There are a huge number of upgrades, RV add-ons and accessories available to improve your RV for maximum service while squeezing the most from every dollar.

Upgrading a good RV is, almost always, the most inexpensive way to get a better rig. It is almost always, in my opinion, the way to get the RV that suits you the best. You can add the RV equipment you want, piece by piece, far cheaper than the price you'll have to pay for a new rig.

How many Diesel Motor homes. have you seen with 450,000 miles on them? That's the point, with a properly maintained and operated rig, that you may expect to have to do some significant engine repairs, like doing a "top end" overhaul. With gas rigs that number is much lower, but still up in the 150,000 mile range. The point is, these rigs will go a lot farther than most of us run them. So why take the financial hit, when they have so much life left?

Trailers and Fifth Wheels, with proper handling and care, will endure almost indefinitely. Occasional appliance replacement, a roof every 10 years or so, some tires, wheel bearings and brakes every once in a long while are what you'll spend. One heck of a lot less than the many thousand dollar hit you take every time you push pull or tow a new RV off the dealers lot!

Trading your RV, when simply upgrading your existing rig would actually provide the better RV, only costs you precious savings while giving you less for your money.

My last thought on the subject is one of emotion. Do you really want to sell off the rig that has taken you to so may wonderful memories? I would feel like I was trading a friend. If you really do want that new rig, by all means go for it! Just make sure you really want it, and are not just surrendering to the marketing blitz!

Save that "New RV" money and you can buy more fuel, that will take you to more places, where you can photograph more sights, with that fancy new digital camera, you can now afford.... While loading more memories into your good Ole' RV!