We’re more than a quarter into 2017, but it’s never too late to disclose how much it costs to maintain a used RV! In all seriousness, we don’t regret buying used. We haven’t had an unexpected breakdown since our first year–2014. Since then, the only unplanned repairs have been minor. We try to save our repair and maintenance items for our annual trip to Iron Horse RV in San Antonio around the holidays. We rarely get out cheap, but–in better news–we get to travel full-time in a home on wheels.
Here’s the rundown of the repairs and maintenance we had done in 2016.
January: Lit Up by LED
At the beginning of the year, we began the switch to LED bulbs with the help of our friend Greg Young (RV Solar Solutions). You can read all about that project in our article, “Hitting the Switch to LED Lights for Our RV.”
January: Bay Door Malfunction
We had three unplanned RV repairs performed before April. While inconvenient, fortunately none were too hard on the wallet.
In early January, Quick 2 Fix visited us in Fredericksburg, TX to repair our wet bay door, which had become unseated…and may or may not have been temporarily fixed with duct tape.
February: Gas Station Scrape
This was by far the scariest experience for me in 2016, mostly because I was the one driving, so it was my fault. Pulling up to a fuel pump, I took the turn too sharply and ended up getting friendly with a concrete barrier. It was truly a miracle that we got out of that pickle as easily as we did. (Note: Eric was the one who got us out of the mess I made. <3)
–> Get more of the story in “Recent RV Boo-Boos and Repairs”
March: Generator Breakdown
Ah, that one time we tried to wild camp for a week in the most beautiful spot in Sedona, AZ. We had everything set up for the next seven days when we went to turn on the generator and nothing happened.
–> Read more in “Recent RV Boo-Boos and Repairs”
August: New Washer/Dryer Combo
I wish I had handled this one a bit differently, but I learned my lesson. I had been having issues with our washer/dryer combo for months. During the dry cycle, the machine would run for a little while, and then make loud clicking/jamming noises before stopping. It took forever to dry a small load of clothes.
With our new baby on the way, I told Eric I had to have a working unit, no matter the investment. So we got a new Splendide 2100XC on order (the same unit we had) by paying for the parts up front. Then we went about listing the old unit for sale. In the process of figuring out what to ask for it, we contacted the previous owner of our RV and asked whether he put the unit in, or whether it was there when he bought the RV from the original owner.
Why did we not do this first? He said he had put the unit in and barely used it, which meant there was probably nothing irreparably wrong with it.
At this point, I knew I had made a huge mistake. But there was no going back, and I chose not to beat myself up over it. We paid Quick 2 Fix big bucks for a new washer/dryer and its installation, and we sold our old unit for a fraction of what it was worth. Of course, the people who bought it from us were excited to tell us it worked perfectly once they cleaned out the ducts.
October: Annual Scheduled Maintenance
After we finished up our stay at Pecan Park Riverside RV Park in San Marcos, and before we moved to Austin to be close to the hospital, we visited Iron Horse RV in San Antonio to get our annual scheduled maintenance done. Normally we don’t go until November or even early December, but we wanted to get it out of the way before Caspian showed up.
- Oil change – we get this done every year
- Fuel filter change – we get this done every year
- Turn signal repair – we’ve had recurring turn signal issues over the years; this baby had been busted since our drive from Seattle to Texas in July
- Rear ladder repair – we have no idea when we hit something tall enough to completely jack up our ladder, but the crew at Iron Horse was able to salvage some metal and weld us back into business
- Air dryer filter change, slack adjusters lube – this is routine annual maintenance for the brake system, but we’d never had it done before
December: Water and Waste
We brought our new baby back from the hospital to a kitchen without a working faucet. We’d had a slow leak under the sink we’d been bandaging with a bucket. When I was super pregnant, the faucet bit the dust and we couldn’t seem to pay attention to getting it fixed. Instead, I brought Tupperware containers of hot water from the bathroom to the kitchen in order to do the dishes.
I didn’t cook much.
We also had an issue in our wet bay. When connected to city water, a bad valve was letting water into our fresh water tank, eventually filling it up and making it overflow if we didn’t catch it soon enough. Once Caspian arrived, we finally got our act together and had Quick 2 Fix pay us a visit in Austin.
Total 2016 Repairs and Maintenance: $4,369.30
Monthly Average: $364.11
Yay! This is the least we’ve spent in a year since we starting RVing.
In 2015, we spent $9,454.06 and our monthly average was $787.84. In 2014, we spent $5,751.52 total and our monthly average was $479.29.
–> Read more: “Annual Report: 2015 RV Repairs and Maintenance”
–> Read more: “Update on RV Repairs and Maintenance: Second Half of 2014”
Love the review. Thanks for putting it all out there.
Good report. Our Minnie Winnie is hitting 11 years, but (keep our fingers crossed) runs like a e. Big repair bill in 2013 was that a Pack Rat chewed the electrical wires in the engine compartment and the air conditioning while volunteering in NM. Not a fun drive back to CA in 110 degree temp during the summer. About to make the run from So. Texas back to La Hacienda. We love this park. We’ve been long term there since 2005, when it was still in construction and only Section A was done. Your Iron Horse in San Antonio sounds like a “safe” place to get repairs done. Thanks and will keep them in mind.,
@disqus_bdXgXNOPZB:disqus, we love Iron Horse. If you’re at La Hacienda, then it’s definitely worth the trip. We have some big expenses coming up this year, including new tires and probably a new fridge. But still more economical than buying a coach and having a loan payment!
Absolutely. Thanks for the info on Iron Horse. Arlyne
Awesome Post Guys! It’s nice to see what others are up to and what they have experienced in the RV world. The costs can be high or can be low, all depends on what and how you do it. Ours tends to be pretty low each year because we are only part-timers. Great Blog!