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7 Good Reasons Why You Should Never Buy an RV

Updated on February 21, 2017
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an avid RV enthusiast who has traveled, lived, workcamped and volunteered nationwide for more than 50 years and am still going strong!

There are a number of reasons why owning a recreational vehicle may not be a good idea, and people should give them careful thought before making a decision about buying one.

Owning and traveling in a motor home or camper is a dream held dear by many , but for some it can turn into a nightmare. This is why all aspects of this type of vacationing should be taken into account before people become involved.

RV travel is not what it once was, so it is important to understand the way it is now and not be reminiscing about the way it once was.

Owning an RV has its share of risks and problems.
Owning an RV has its share of risks and problems. | Source

1. All RVs Are Expensive to Own and Travel In

I have written numerous articles about how much money it takes to buy and maintain travel units.

  1. If you are not in a position to pay for let alone maintain a coach, you have no business purchasing one because the expenses never end.
  2. As a result, your coach will deteriorate quickly and lose its value. When this happens, you will lose a great deal of money.

There are many hidden costs, and there is no way to sidestep them. So, be aware before you buy that the asking price is only the beginning step onto a long road of unending spending.

2. RVing Is Not for Those in Poor Health

People with serious health conditions should never buy recreational vehicles because if they do, they are very likely to find themselves in difficult situations.

  1. Traveling in these vehicles can make health conditions worse and sometimes leave people in areas where only scant medical help is available. This can be life threatening.
  2. Road vibration, which is constant when you are driving, makes certain health conditions such as Arthritis and back problems more painful.
  3. People often find themselves far from medical facilities or near those that are substandard.
  4. Breakdowns can and do happen. When help is not available, doing repairs yourself is almost impossible.

Time and again I have watched people who really are too ill to be traveling insist on purchasing motor homes and campers. Many were literally risking their lives to do so.

The problem was that in many cases, they were also risking the lives of others, as well.

3. Owning a Coach Is Hard Work

What few people will tell you is that owning an RV requires a great deal of hard work.

You have to

  • load and unload before and after trips,
  • hook and unhook the coach at campsites,
  • deal with maintenance and repair issues,
  • keep the interior and exterior clean,
  • perform regular household chores,
  • drive extremely long distances under all types of weather and traffic conditions and
  • do laundry regularly.

None of this is easy to do, can often be frustrating and can make some people wonder why they ever bought a coach when staying in hotels would be so much easier!

4. Injuries Happen Often

It is very easy to hurt yourself when you are traveling in an RV because you are in a different environment than what you are used to on a daily basis.

This makes it easier to fall, hit your head, slam doors on fingers and suffer from burns than when you are at home

Sometimes the injuries are small, but other times they can be life changers.

  • One friend of mine fell out of the front door of her high motor home and landed on the hitch of her car. She never did totally recover from that accident.
  • Another tripped while holding her grandchild, and to save the baby from injury, sacrificed herself. She landed on both elbows, and it took years for her to heal.

Accidents like these happen fairly often, so people need to be aware of the risks they take when they travel in recreational vehicles.

5. Driving Hazards Are Plentiful

When elderly people buy and travel in motor homes or trailers, they not only pose a danger to themselves, but also to other drivers due to issues such as impaired vision and hearing, slower response times and lowered perception.

There is also a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum. Sometimes young families allow their children to move freely in their motor homes because they feel they will be more comfortable than they would be if strapped in.

Doing this is dangerous and is also illegal.

Just as with driving a car, there are all types of people on today's roads, and they have different driving abilities. RVs don't stop as easily as cars, so reckless or selfish people who are behind the wheel can kill or injure themselves as well as you.

6. Buying RVs Carries Big Risks

I strongly suggest that you take the time to watch the attached video.

It was produced by a Michigan attorney who specializes in Lemon Laws and consumer rights.

The issue he brings up are absolutely shocking, and should make any potential buyer think twice before entering the RV lifestyle.

He talks in great detail about the fact that there are so few protections for new owners from manufacturers and sellers that if things go sideways, the consumer can lose huge amounts of money.

He also points out that things go wrong quite often!

Hopefully you will watch the video before you ever make a purchase!

7. Buying Mistakes Can Cost You a Small Fortune

It is very easy for people to make mistakes when they buy motor homes and campers.

Some are due to lack of research and effort but others are due to information a trusting individual could not possibly know.

Here are two examples:

1. After one of the big hurricanes swept through South Florida a number of years ago, buyers in the know understood that many vehicles from that area had been flooded, and this created a number of serious issues. If a buyer did not know this and purchased one of them because he thought it was a good deal, he most likely would have become the proud owner of a vehicle, for example, whose

  • exterior panels separated from the frame or "bubbled",
  • floor joists rotted and collapsed,
  • engines had problems due to rust and
  • structure was full of mold and mildew.

These types of problems are extremely expensive to fix, and in some cases cannot be successfully repaired.

2. A few years ago I met a man who had purchased a new motor home from a brand he thought he could trust. Unbeknownst to him, the manufacturer had installed a leveling system that was made for a much smaller coach. As a result, he had an accident. It cost him $5,000 to replace substandard leveling system with a good one. He was unable to use his warranty because the manufacturer of his coach had gone out of business!

If you want to read about some that are even worse, read my article called "Motor Home Horror Stories". It will make you happy that you don't own an RV!

There Are Good Reasons for Not Owning an RV

This article points out the facts that people need to take great care before they decide to purchase a recreational vehicle.

They can be wonderful to own and travel in, but only under the appropriate circumstances.

Even then, individuals should be prepared for problems because they are more common than most people realize.

The laws, unfortunately, do not favor the consumer. This is without a doubt the number one reason why people may never want to buy an RV!

Buyer Beware!

Would you consider the issues in this article before purchasing an RV?

See results

© 2015 TIMETRAVELER2

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  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image
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    TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

    PeggyW: Thanks. As you know, I love the RV life, but I felt it only fair to let people know that it is not for everybody. Thanks for commenting and tweeting!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

    This is an important article to read as are your others on this topic for anyone considering buying an RV. My parents owned several different types at different points in their lives. Will give this a tweet!

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image
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    TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

    ecogranny: My advice? Don't wait too long. Glad every minute of every day that I followed that advice.

  • ecogranny profile image

    Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

    Again, I thank you for your expertise. We aren't ancient yet, but we're getting on, and you've given me a good deal to think about.

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image
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    TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

    fullofshoes: Sounds like you guys are on the right track. I do think doing a lot of research is very, very important, and your idea about "practicing" is an excellent choice. If more people would do what you have done and plan to do, many would avoid serious problems down the road. Best of luck...and if you have any private questions you want to ask, feel free to email me privately.

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    fullofshoes 2 years ago

    Great article, great advice.

    We are contemplating future full-time RVing while we still have good health. We have been camping/RVing, both seasonally and on-the-road, for about 6 years. We did live 100% full time in our former 5th wheel for 5 months in 2011 and loved it. In the meantime, we bought a retirement home, sold the fiver and replaced it with a small towable. However, we're really tired of taking care of a house and we do dream about full-timing. We set up our upcoming summer to "practice" what it's like to live for longer periods on the road in our little coach (as opposed to living in a seasonal campground). If we like it, we'll move to the next stage. But not without lots more practice, thought, and analysis.

    I'll be reading all your articles :) Thank you.

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image
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    TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

    jonnycomelately: Thanks so much for your kind words. You are absolutely on target in terms of how much physical labor can be required for RV travel. However, here in the states we have a number of clubs singles can join so that they do not have to travel alone. I recently wrote a hub about that very topic. You can find it on my profile page. It is true that many people don't leave their coaches for visits as they once did, but I am not shy. If I want to chat, I simply knock on the door. Once I do that, you'd be surprised how happy people are to visit and how helpful they can be. Technology will never replace US...never! Thanks for stopping by.

  • jonnycomelately profile image

    Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

    This Hub is awesome, Time Traveler. Thank you. It applies equally here in Australia, although the figures might be slightly different, but not much.

    Other factors which I have discovered over a few years owning a campervan (the slide-on type which goes on the back of my 1-tonne truck):

    It takes me at least one hour to load onto the truck, a Colorado Cab/tray. It needs to be very accurately placed on the tray, strapped down properly, cables connected, reversing mirrors attached, all inside items secured and cupboard doors latched tightly. (Has anyone left a jar of sliced beetroot, with the cap not tight, in the fridge, and forgotten to fully latch the fridge door?!!!) So many small details need to be thought about and checked before driving off. And don't get distracted, you will be sorry if you do!

    Also, for a single person, man or woman, traveling alone and stopping for the night in a caravan park, it's not easy to get good company. In these days of TV, YouTube videos, laptop Internet, Skype and all the comforts of a fixed-home lounge, many people just will not come out of their RVs and meet with strangers, especially if the stranger is single. There's a sort of wariness; "Why is he/she alone?" As if there's a threat to a couple's security as a couple..... So, if you imagine being greeted with open arms as a lone-traveler, be prepared for loneliness!

    There ARE some beautiful people on the road, who will be great company and welcoming; and you might be a beautiful, carefree, innocent, lone traveler yourself, but we live in an age of detachment and isolation....

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image
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    TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

    Marcy Goodfleisch You are much the same as most people when it comes to owning an RV, but the realities can be harsh if you do not have exactly the right combination to make this work for you. Glad this helped you,

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 2 years ago from Planet Earth

    I need this article - I think I have the dream of living the RV life without balancing the realities of it - RVs require a lot of maintenance and responsible upkeep - I need to factor that in! Thanks for the great article, Time Traveler!