Musings on maintenance costs - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-10-2015, 12:35 AM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16, 2013 VW Tiguan SEL
Posts: 153
Musings on maintenance costs

Here I am, fresh after spending almost $900 to get my 1985 Scamp 16 road-worthy again, after a three-year period with only one overnight trip. Several maintenance items all came due at once:
-- tires that had aged eleven years or so. They weren't cracks and had plenty of tread, but every tire and RV vendor shook their heads when told how old they were
-- Replacing an old DC battery
-- buying a replacement roof vent hatch cover
-- overdue registration fee- Is it that time again!?!
-- replacement wheel bearings- the old ones fell apart when the shop tried to pump grease through them!

I'm so glad I took care of the bearings, which might have been in there 15-30 years (they were from Hungary- is that a clue?). But with that exception, everything else aged to replacement while the trailer was sitting still, unusued.

Folks considering a TT for occasional use ought to keep these kind of expenses in mind. I'm disturbed to see the fixed cost of mere ownership, but these expenses shouldn't come around for me in a long time.


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Old 07-10-2015, 12:47 AM   #2
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Glenn Baglo's Avatar
Name: Glenn
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 3,425
I see you tow with a VW Tiguan SEL.
I expect you take it in for maintenance. If you have a home, you have to replace the roof, clean the eaves, mow the lawn.
And, now you have a trailer that you can tow with confidence. I know it's not the same as finding $900 in your wallet, but, it is a good feeling.

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 07-10-2015, 01:25 AM   #3
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 2,081
Well John, after sitting for three years I'm kind of surprised you didn't have more things to replace. But I do understand what you're saying. I've got a couple utility trailers that haven't been moved for a few years too. I'll have to do tires and bearings soon. It's the curse of having to many rolling/low use items .
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,087
Lucky Boat.

We travel every year for months in our trailer and bearings are a yearly front yard task and I hand grease them.. I paint my roof vent so the Sun's UV output does not destroy it. So far it seems to work. We travel a lot and to places where replacement tires may be few and far between. We spend a couple hundred dollars and replace them every 3 years.

AS well every year I try to do a little something to make the Scamp better, it's our home most of the time.. for those that don't travel much I understand why it does not get attention.

Now thta you're up and running have fun.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,037
John, January first for the new year put 300 dollars in the Scamp jar and fix things as they come up and you won't be hit with a 900 dollar repair bill. Tire charges 8 years past due and bearing charges 11 years past due and hit all at the same time will hit you hard let alone if they were to fail on the road. Roof vents they fail when they want to but only show up in the rain. Maintenance isn't too bad for these trailers especially if you learn to do a couple of hours maintenance every year yourself.

Actually proper maintenance would have cost you more money in the long run.

Before I got my Scamp I had a 20 foot Lazy Daze motor home and that seemed to suck 1500 a year in maintenance and 600 dollars every time I took it out, and that's with me doing the work. I soon learned what a mistake that was.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:22 PM   #6
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Name: Sue and Greg
Trailer: 1982 Burro 13 foot
Posts: 509
Now that all of that is done, I hope you are going on a celebratory trip. You and your little glass buddy deserve a reward!

Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:51 PM   #7
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 676
Yep Steve....

you hit on something there....just had a discussion on the very subject of MH vs TT with a friend of mine....

from a friend who just spent 75 days on the road with a TT and travelling with a couple in a "smallish" MH.....(about the same amount of interior space/comfort in both)

the TT guy sorta had to have a full size pickup for his work/lifestyle....the other already had couple of cars for commuting etc....

bottom line, quite apart from all the cost anylises etc.....when they hit the road (sorta rough roads) guy number one just DROVE....and dealt with the mayhem inside the TT when he got there....guy number two could hear all the plates rattling...and all the banging noises INSIDE his "pride and joy" while driving and obsessed/worried about it the WHOLE way.....

there's a difference there......and then the other thing....once parked guy number two was real happy he was travelling with a guy with a TT because he could always jump into the pick-up (unhooked) for a ride into town to buy that quart of milk or visit that museum....without pedalling his ass off on one of those bicycles strapped to the the back of his MH....

more than a few people have an aversion to towing it's going to be a real'm 33 feet long....but at least I break in the me that's a me a MH, even a small one, would be "limiting" fact I have a friend right now who has a small MH he's trying to sell....he now/lately has a decent TV and is looking for a smallish TT for all the reasons mentioned above....he's "been there, done that"....

Happy Motoring, F
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:23 AM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
Posts: 2,081
F, funny you mention all the noise in a MH. Always surprised me in the ones I owned. Thought it was just mine that did that until I went with a buddy in his 34'er for a weekend drag race finals. Can't hear a thing happening in the TT and just pick up whatever decided to move or fall .
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:48 PM   #9
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Name: Kathleen (Kai in Seattle)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973
Posts: 778
Hi, all; our last RV was a GetAwayVan...we camped in it for 8 outings over two years and found the inability to go anywhere from the campground without completely breaking camp was a big downside. It got about 8 mpg (our car with trailer gets about 21). Our son took it (and later sold it) and we missed having the "possibilities" in our driveway. Now we're redoing the rotted floor in the amerigo but the "possibilities" are back where they apparently belong, right at our front door leading to the big world. The van cost us about triple what we paid for it to get it campable (camp-worthy?)...we went through most of the systems...started with mold up top and a rusted out stove and a mattress that left my hip bones bruised, it was so thin or old...spent two years refurbishing it...this trailer is a job, too. So far it's not exactly maintenance, it's all new things to us. We're considering the advantages of really doing it "right" (but highly-priced) and being able to leave each job, then, for a number of years, versus going cheap but "not quite right," knowing that we'll be due for more work probably sooner rather than later.
Haven't licensed it yet in our names, but have only had it a week.
Oh, well, break out another thousand!
Kai in Seattle
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Old 10-13-2015, 02:47 PM   #10
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Name: Rich & Linda
Trailer: Amerigo
Posts: 280
Paul take your time and have fun . It's all about making it your !!

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