More than 25 million people take RV trips during the spring and summer months. If you’re one of them, you know that nothing beats heading out on the road in search of an adventure that only your camper can help you enjoy.
Unfortunately, even the nicest RVs develop issues over time. For many owners, it makes them wonder if the repairs are worth taking care of at all.
If you’re struggling to decide if taking care of your long list of RV repairs is worth the time or if you’d be better off replacing your RV, you’re not alone. Though the answer varies from person to person, there are a few things you should think about to make the best decision for your needs.
Here’s what you need to know.
Look at the Age of Your Rig
Before you start getting quotes for RV repairs or start researching the types of issues you have with your rig, think about its age. Older RVs will develop more frequent and more extensive repairs over time.
The components start to break down and, the older they get, the more often you’ll start to notice problems. Worse, finding parts for those older RVs isn’t always easy. If this is the case, you may find it tough to fix the problem completely without renovating your rig or replacing expensive parts with newer models.
In this situation, buying a new RV will be a better choice. However, if your RV is still new or you’ve stayed on top of maintenance since you bought it, repairs may be a better option.
Consider the Cost of RV Repairs
RV repairs can cost very little or run you as much as an entirely new RV. It all depends on the types of repairs you need to take care of.
Before you make a decision, it’s a good idea to get an estimate for the repair work at your preferred service shop. Let them assess the damage, the types of repairs your RV needs, and the estimated cost for both parts and labor.
Then, look at that estimate in detail. If you can afford to make the repairs and feel that you’ll be comfortable using your RV after things get fixed, get your rig repaired. On the other hand, if the repairs are too expensive, it may be worth looking into a replacement.
Remember, you can always finance a new RV, breaking the cost down into affordable monthly payments.
Understand Your Comfort Level
Believe it or not, it’s possible to handle many basic repairs on your own. You just need to be comfortable doing the work.
Think about the issues you’re having and your comfort level making the types of repairs your RV needs. If you can handle the task on your own, you’ll likely save money in the long run. However, if you’re not comfortable making the repairs but can’t afford to take the RV to a shop, replacing it will be the best option.
Once you buy a new or new-to-you RV, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the rig is in pristine condition. Any repairs you’re likely to encounter will be smaller than the ones impacting your current RV.
Think About How Often You Travel
Anytime you take your RV out, you need it to be roadworthy. The more often you travel, the more minor repair issues can become major hassles.
If you’re the type of RV owner that travels at least a few times a month, you need a rig you can depend on. If your RV keeps breaking down, the sooner you replace it, the sooner you can get back out on the open road with confidence.
However, if you only use your RV sporadically or just a few times a year, taking care of repairs is almost always going to be best. You’ll spend less by fixing one or two issues than you would by replacing your entire RV.
Pay Attention to Trade-in Value
The older your RV gets, the more value it loses. This means you’ll get less money for it if you decide to trade in the rig in seven years than you will right now.
If you’re on the fence about getting a new RV, find out how much your rig is worth right now. Head to your preferred pre-owned RV dealer and see what they have to say about your rig’s value. Remember, you don’t have to trade your RV in unless you want to.
You’re free to get trade-in estimates from several dealers before you make your decision. If the value of your RV is high enough, you may be able to upgrade to a newer rig for less than you’d spend on the cost of repairs.
Look for Water Damage
Water damage has a way of going unnoticed until it’s too late to fix on the cheap. In most cases, it’s best to replace RVs with extensive water damage than it is to pay for the cost of repairs.
Inspect your RV closely. If the sides are bubbling up or showing signs of delamination or you notice soft spots in the floor and roof, selling your old RV is the best choice. Once you upgrade, you’ll have a rig that’s structurally sound and won’t have to deal with water damage in the first place.
The Decision to Repair vs Replace Your RV Is Yours to Make
Ultimately, choosing between repairing and replacing your RV is a matter of personal preference. Some RVers prefer to keep the same rig for decades while others like to trade them in as soon as they start to develop repair issues.
If you love your current RV and are willing to make the necessary RV repairs to keep it on the road, do so. But if you’re not happy with the amount of maintenance you need to do or the amount of time the RV is spending in the shop, replacing it is your best option. Just remember that the best RV is one you can use comfortably.
Once you have your preferred RV, whether it’s a brand-new model or a newly repaired tried and true camper, you’ll want to get out in nature. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you better enjoy your camping excursions.