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Repair or Replace aging RV?


Velos

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We full timed for 9 years in our 2003 Fifth Wheel pulled by a 2000 FL60 and have part timed in it for 3 years. We just hit the road again and will be traveling until November. We love our fifth wheel but the roof has reached its age expectancy (12 years). and we are debating whether to replace the roof ($6,000??) or trade it in on a new fiver with all new parts. Of course new RV's have their issues too. We have been very fortunate with this RV in that the few items that needed attention in the beginning were covered by the warranty. We have performed routine maintenance on it and remodeled a little but have no idea how much longer it would last? We are not mechanically inclined and for safety DH no longer goes up on the roof. I have changed a tire or two over the years but now we change the trailer tires every 3 years as PM to reduce exposure to blow outs. If one does occur I now call ERS. We have no idea what brand we would consider as our manufacturer went out of business in 2008. For now we plan to part time another 10 years "Lord willing and the creek don't rise". The truck only has 110,000 miles on it and with yearly PM's has served us well so we would keep that. DH doesn't prefer motorhomes so what ever we decide it would be around a fifth wheel: repair or replace.

 

If you were faced with this decision what would you do and why?

 

Thank you for your opinions.

 

 

 

 

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If it were mine the first thing that I would do is to have the roof inspected by a trusted RV tech to see what he believes the life expectancy to be. Most of them last well beyond the warranty period, just as other types of roofing materials do. Our 1998 RV also had an EDPM roof and it was pretty well cared for. At the age of 12 I had ours inspected and the tech felt that it had at least 5 more good years. We did sell it after we left the fulltime lifestyle some two years later but that was because of the combination of other things that needed to be done and the fact that we decided it was time to downsize to something smaller for a host of reasons and so went back to a new RV once more.

 

Part of the question should also be what you would buy to replace this one with. In our case we were able to sell the previous one for most of what it cost us to replace it with what we now own. Since ours was a motorhome with expensive tires that were due for replacement, we actually saved some money and we have been happy in our little RV, even after having spent 5 months in it. Of course, we do not have nearly the storage of our previous one, but seasonal travelers do not need as much.

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Kirk,

 

We haven't been to an RV show in quite awhile so don't know what is out there. I did just rent a car the other day and feel really old when they had to show me how it worked. Push button start, customizable LED screen where the speedometer is and radio dial for shifting. GPS that comes one when you start the car and boy is it chatty. LOL We have added various aftermarket features to our fiver that now standard in new ones and as with the car technology in RV I am sure has progressed by leaps and bounds. Always appreciate your experience and sage guidance, thank you.

 

 

 

Glenn West,

 

Ours is a Teton also. Are you the original owner? Where did you have your new roof put on?

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It sounds like you take good care of your equipment. You could do a lot of repairing for what the price of a new one would be and truth be known your current 5er is probably better built than a new one would be.

 

Good point: I don't know for sure how much it would cost to replace the roof, but even at an estimate of $6,000 we could replace the roof several times before it would equal the cost of a new RV.

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We just got ours a year ago and original owner had roof replaced. He snagged a tree limb. It is 2 years old. He quoted me 13k but it was in Houston and insurance paid it. I have asked others and 6k is going price with a 40'er. Now if there is structural damage it would go higher. Really if your Teton is as nice as ours you will have to go to New Horizons, Forks or Space Craft to get a coach as nice as you have now. There is nothing on the mass produced market that equals a Teton. All those manufacturers have closed. We had a DRV before our Teton. It is not in same category. We are kicking around the idea of a paint job, I/S suspension and Bigfoot leveling system. that would make it look and function as good as anything you can buy. Lot less money. We are very content with our Teton.

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Kirk,

 

We haven't been to an RV show in quite awhile so don't know what is out there. I did just rent a car the other day and feel really old when they had to show me how it worked. Push button start, customizable LED screen where the speedometer is and radio dial for shifting. GPS that comes one when you start the car and boy is it chatty. LOL We have added various aftermarket features to our fiver that now standard in new ones and as with the car technology in RV I am sure has progressed by leaps and bounds. Always appreciate your experience and sage guidance, thank you.

 

 

 

Glenn West,

 

Ours is a Teton also. Are you the original owner? Where did you have your new roof put on?

 

I can really relate to this comment. Just traded my trusty 2006 Ford F150 4x4 in for a slightly used 2014 RAM Longhorn. It's a giant leap forward. The new tech on-board that truck is just amazing.

 

The technology now used in RVs is just as great, the upper end RVs especially.

 

While it might be less expensive to replace the roof on a 2003 RV, the new models do have some things you might really want.

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If it were me I'd check out some new units and see how much one would cost (plus increased insurance on a new one and sales tax) and if I really liked something out there. If you fell for a new unit then so be it if it fits your budget.

If you don't fall in love with a new RV or are not sure then spend some money to spruce up your current one. New carpet, furniture, & full body paint does wonders! It sounds like you have done well maintaining your current RV. Who is the manufacturer? If it's a well known better class RV then investing in it is worthwhile.

From our experience we like our floorplan and understand the quirks of our RV. We easily decided we will keep it so invested in better tires and wheels, furniture, suspension system and exterior paint. Greg

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If it were me I'd check out some new units and see how much one would cost (plus increased insurance on a new one and sales tax) and if I really liked something out there. If you fell for a new unit then so be it if it fits your budget.

If you don't fall in love with a new RV or are not sure then spend some money to spruce up your current one. New carpet, furniture, & full body paint does wonders! It sounds like you have done well maintaining your current RV. Who is the manufacturer? If it's a well known better class RV then investing in it is worthwhile.

From our experience we like our floorplan and understand the quirks of our RV. We easily decided we will keep it so invested in better tires and wheels, furniture, suspension system and exterior paint. Greg

He stated a Teton

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If you have an older Teton and it has not leaked and has no water damage I would strongly consider inspecting the roof as Kirk recommended and replace if needed. Forks RV in Shipshewanna IN has "adopted" the Teton Club International group and is offering repair work on Tetons. If you are near Indiana a trip to their place might be worth your time. The quality and workmanship in the older Tetons will be hard to find in most "production" new rigs. Custom built rigs will match or exceed the older Tetons but the price will be substantially more. We had one of the last Tetons built and it was not as good as earlier models. Many of our friends in the TCI group with older models clearer had better rigs than ours. We ultimately had Forks build us a Continental Coach Elegance which is a much nicer and better built rig that our Teton. But it was not cheap and weighs 26K and requires a big truck to pull it. What that truck and trailer cost would put many new roofs on your (probably paid for) Teton. Best Wishes, Jay

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$6,000 for a new roof? I'd look into one of the new spray on roofs that come with a lifetime warranty against leaks, and no more caulking. I've been quoted $120 a linear foot. Even if your RV is 38', the roof isn't that long with the endcaps. It's only going to be $4000 for our 38' Dutch Star. And I REALLY like the idea of no longer having to go up on the roof, get on my hands & knees to caulk.

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1st From a financial perspective, if the average monthly cost of repairs is less than the monthly payment on a newer model, keep the old one.

 

2nd. You might want to look into the RVFlexArmor roof system http://www.rvroof.com/

The company has been doing the roof system for more than ten years. The new roof has a parts and labor lifetime TRANSFERABLE warranty (meaning that if you sell the RV later, the new owner gets the warranty benefit as well.) I could find no complaints about their service or quality anywhere on the internet. They have two locations in Florida. I used the Elite RV shop to have mine done. www.eliterv.com The cost was $5,500

 

The roof was a three day job on my 1998 38 foot mountain aire. I'm exceedingly pleased that I no longer have to climb on the roof to recaulk seams every few months nor do I worry about leaks.

 

NOTE: This roof system is NOT like a spray on bedliner!

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There was quite an upheaval in the RV market from about 2008 through 2012 and the manufacturers that survived did so, in large part, by cutting expenses (or selling out to some outfit that THEN cut expenses).

 

I think that if you have a good, upper end, RV that you've taken good care of, you're probably better off continuing to take good care of it.

 

That $6,000 roof repair is just one of at least 5 (and probably more) years of monthly payments. I watched my wife's parents buy several motor homes over a 20 year period and I never thought they got a better one than the one they had already traded in. Especially factoring in all the extras he installed on all the motor homes (Pacbrake, steering dampener, better shocks, etc.).

 

If you are happy with the rig, comfortable with the layout, and know the systems then you're ahead of the game.

 

WDR

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Thank you all for your opinions. LOTS of good info here.

 

We are leaning toward keeping the fiver and starting a list of up dates we would like to see. ie roof, flooring, remove decals and maybe window coverings.

 

Now we need to find someone interested in doing the work. We will keep our travels west of the Mississippi. Here are some places I have seen recommended on the forum:

 

Pipe Creek Texas

http://www.texascustomcoach.com/index.php/remodel-services/remodel

 

Yuma Arizona

http://www.rvdecor.com/pages/gallery-of-work/

 

Nacogdoches, Texas

http://www.foretravel.com/conversions/

 

Harrisburg Oregon

http://eliternr.com/

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