[ Edit | View ]
Date Posted: 05/ 5/ 08, 3:01pm
Six years ago, I knew very little about RVs and what it took to maintain them. Then I came across a '95 Safari Trek that a friend of mine was selling as part of an estate sale. His father had became terminally ill three years prior and the RV sat unused since. I agreed to help my friend get it ready to sell. With what little knowledge I had at the time, I educated myself. I ended up buying that RV. Today, it is running fantastically. All systems go!
With that in mind, another good friend of mine recently purchased a '79 33' Foward Control Wanderlodge that had been sitting in a state of rot for the past five years. Keep in mind that anything that sits, has a tendency to stay that way. As Newton's First Law states, objects at rest tend to remain at rest. With that in mind, we know that when getting into used RVs, the first couple of years can seem to drain the wallet like a money pit. Think boats. As they say, holes in the water into which one pours money.
That said, there's value in both knowledge and Wanderlodges. These are no cheap rigs. Folks who see them still ask questions about them. There is a certain "cool factor" in owning one. But owning one doesn't come without a certain cost of ownership. They do have to be maintained.
When I bought my Safari Trek, I knew very little about RVs. I work for a major airline so I know a thing or two about airplane systems and the physics behind those systems. RVs aren't really all that different than airplanes, believe it or not. While that made it somewhat easier for me to grasp the concepts of RV systems, anyone can learn them. I don't do diesel engine repair so that work gets farmed out at as Bill wrote, $100 an hour. My buddy who just bought the '79 33' FC recently dumped almost $5,000 in the engine side of the RV. But then there is still the house side to consider. We just replaced the refrigerator ourselves. While there was an expense, we saved a lot of money by knowing a thing or two about RVs. I feel that all owners of older, pre-owned RVs should know how the systems work and how to repair and maintain them. Great places to start are Woodall's RV Owner's Handbook by Gary "The RV Doctor" Bunzer and Trailer Life's RV Repair and Maintenance Manual by Bob Livingston. Both books are very handy and informative. To a point. If you want to know more, I suggest checking out what I did. I took a distance learning course on RV repair and maintenance. It is taught by Gary Bunzer. Check out:
for more information. I believe that the more you can do yourself on RVs, the more affordable and enjoyable having an RV becomes. Maintaining your RV yourself brings the whole RV lifestyle full circle. You not only get to enjoy your RV when things work, troubleshooting and correcting becomes a hobby itself. Think about how you can help your fellow RVers while on the road! I got into this thing full speed. If my airline job tanks, I have RV repair to fall back on.
If you decide to check out the distance learning course, write to Gary Bunzer and mention my name. Bruce McCoy. He knows who I am!
Anyway, Frank, you can either afford this rig or you can't. You'll have to decide that for yourself. I always like to tell people that there is an RV for every budget. Everything from the smallest pop-up camper trailer to the largest diesel pusher. Only you will know what you can afford to purchase, operate and maintain. I hope that you can snag this 'lodge you are looking at. Keep in mind though, it will need to be maintained.
Best of luck,
Bruce. (For Tom the owner,)
'79 33' FC
[ Post a Reply to This Message ]