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Old 10-19-2014, 03:09 AM   #1
racquetballfreq
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Upgrading your rig

Hey all you seasoned travelers, we recently retired and are planning on travelling about 6 to 8 months each year volunteering at various state and national parks.

My question is, how have some of you continuously upgraded your 5th wheel to a newer model?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can pass our way.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:48 AM   #2
DQDick
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There are a lot of open questions in your question. First of all, the basic answer is easy, like cars, if you trade in every few years you are able to stay up with the latest and greatest but you have to come up with some money. For some of us, probably particularly full timers, rigs are different. First we bought a floor plan we love and fits our lifestyle. That means we spent a lot of time and research before we made a deal. That or even a similar floor plan may no longer be available causing a lack of interest in trading. Another thing that happens to a number of us is that we made the rig our own. That means that we've added options and amenities that aren't even available on new rigs. Some examples from our rig would be IS, disk brakes and a much better flooring surface, not to mention all the little things like more shelves, plumbing improvements and stair railings etc. Having spent the time and money to upgrade ours ourselves to fit us and our lifestyle it would be stupid to trade and have to spend that time and money again. I guess you could say that we upgrade our rig to a better model about every six months when a new idea hits us.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:51 AM   #3
1retired06
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You could write a book on this subject. Depends on what options came with the unit. Big ticket upgrades include furniture, tires, 2nd AC, levelers, surge protectors, laminate flooring, LED lighting, disc brakes, trim upgrades, washer/dryer, to name a few.
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:48 AM   #4
racquetballfreq
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Dick and Joyce,

Thank you for your input. I would agree that after getting your rig set up just as you want it, why replace it! I am just trying to get an idea about how other people do replace the rig when the need arises.

Mike and Lorraine,

I notice that you have purchased (4) 5th wheels since 2002. Do you always buy new rigs or have you purchased used models as well?
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Old 10-19-2014, 04:56 AM   #5
CORattler
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Not all of us are able to afford a new RV every few years. For many of us retirement means a fixed income with limited resources. For those lucky ones who can afford to get a new RV every few years, good for them!
We are happy with our current rig (it's paid for) and we make mods to fit our lifestyle and comfort level. We also maintain it to our standards.
Those who full time certainly put more demands on their rig and have different requirements.
I guess the take away here is that as long as you are happy with your rig and it meets your needs/wants, just enjoy. If you are inclined to get a new rig that better suits your needs/wants and you have the resources to make it happen, go for it!
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:57 AM   #6
1retired06
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by racquetballfreq

Dick and Joyce,

Thank you for your input. I would agree that after getting your rig set up just as you want it, why replace it! I am just trying to get an idea about how other people do replace the rig when the need arises.

Mike and Lorraine,

I notice that you have purchased (4) 5th wheels since 2002. Do you always buy new rigs or have you purchased used models as well?
We buy new but use the same dealership. Return buyers with rigs in excellent condition get treated well. From 2002 to 2007 we were full timers and since then we spend six months in Florida each winter and use that heavy usage to rightly or wrongly rationalize our purchases. If you take care of a unit it will last a long time. We had a 1984 Layton tag along we bought used in 1985 and kept it until 1999 and it was still in good condition.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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Another reason to trade the old rig in for a new one:

More and more RV parks require that the age of your rig be 10 years or less, and won't let you stay if it is too old. Just got back from Kalifornia and Nevada, and I noticed this.

We mostly Boondock, so not a real big issue for us. (and our rig is only 5 years old)

I think that going through the process of ironing out all of the wrinkles of a new rig, and getting it the way you like it with modifications and other fixes takes a lot of time and money. Not to mention finding a floorplan that will suit us, is a big downside to buying a new rig. We both had our list of "wants, and don't-wants" when we ordered our 3605RL, and it was the only one that met them all.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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You really have to look at your present floor plan and see IF it can support your needs when living in it full time. If not, then it is time to get a fairly new trailer or a brand new one that can support you living in it full time...and that means that you need to make sure the tow vehicle can handle whatever choice you make. Will there be space to take along what you wish to take and can it be done within the weight limits of the trailer. And if you have visions of boondocking where power is what you bring with you...then you need to zero in on that need and do some serious consulting with those in the moc that have addressed this special set of needs. Staying in campgrounds all the time with utilities...then the questions are more around things like having two air conditioners, power protection devices for power issues, water softener to take care of crappy water in a lot of parks (high iron content, high mineral content, etc), space for whatever clothes will be needed, etc. And good tires on the rig should be at the top of your list...no chinese special trailer tires. Your questioning of the trailer floor plan has to be..."can we live in this full time, not just a week or two or a month at a time. John
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:18 PM   #9
woodman
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Persistent issues with your 5th, your travel habits, your health and certainly, your financial situation all play a role in decisions to considering buying a newer vehicle. We travel south each winter and put on about 3-4000 miles each year. We've been fortunate to have a reliable 2013 Monty and purchased it at a great price, however; we know that there is a direct proportion with age, usage and deterioration. In addition, there are new floor plans and technological advances that excite us enough to think about a new unit. That could very well be in the next year or two.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:35 PM   #10
Artemus Gordon
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My wife and I treat our purchases like investments. Retired we have finite amounts of cash. If you buy right "35-42%" below MSRP then you hedge your bet. I have found some RVs depreciate extremely fast while our Montana's do better than most. I buy highly optioned rigs (more profit to dealer- bigger discount) that stand out when being resold. I constantly make sure all systems are working, decals look new, and I buy extended warrantys. Plus I upgrade certain items if they get or need to be replaced. Better lighting or changing floor grates as example. A unit with warranty has a great advantage in resale along with units that show limited signs of wear and tear. Our 3750 is in escrow and we expect to buy a new unit after first of the year. I was able to get my price and recover most of our original investment. Bottom line, I like new and improved units. We got at least 5 or 6 new RVs in our future, God Willing!
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:05 AM   #11
timandsusan
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I have upgraded many features on my 2006 to meet my travel needs. I don't see any RV as an investment. The dealer will always make money regardless of the discount you get. So I plan on upgrading, towing, enjoying and when we decide to do something else--it is for sell and someone will get a very good rig. I may even get it stripped and painted somewhere in the future.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:36 AM   #12
1retired06
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by timandsusan

I have upgraded many features on my 2006 to meet my travel needs. I don't see any RV as an investment. The dealer will always make money regardless of the discount you get. So I plan on upgrading, towing, enjoying and when we decide to do something else--it is for sell and someone will get a very good rig. I may even get it stripped and painted somewhere in the future.
We don't see RVs as an investment either. Like cars, decrease in value each year.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:55 AM   #13
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Our intention was to stick with our used 2008 3400RL. It fit our full time needs and was almost in "showroom" condition. Well, that lasted about a year and we wanted/needed twice the refrigerator space plus the 6-point level up. Those two requirements plus a couple other options (king bed and side-by-side washer/dryer instead of all-in-one) drove us to the dealer's lot. Never say never, but we have no intention of trading again for 5 or 6 years.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:09 AM   #14
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As so many have said, it's personal choice. For us, it was seeing something new at the RV show that we really liked. We are on our fourth Keystone product, and third Montana. The first 3400 was nice, and I had planned on upgrading it, but then saw the latest and greatest 3400 at the show, and the price was in line with what we'd spend on upgrades. Were perfectly happy with that one, until a whole new floor plan came out (3725) and it was everything we wanted and then some. Six point, LED lights, etc. This one is probably our last one, though. As was also mentioned, all of our units have been purchased at the same dealer, so we get a good deal, and treated well. Also with us, the fiver is a tax write off. Since it is considered a vacation home, we can write off the interest. Yes, we could have paid up front for it, but we're retired, and everything else is paid for, so we take the tax break, such as it is, and leave the money in the bank, earning interest....such as it is. One other key factor was the interest rate on the new RV. It was really low at the time, and that made the difference.[/font=Arial Black]
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:01 AM   #15
racquetballfreq
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Thank you all for your wisdom and ideas. We do enjoy our current rig but look forward to upgrading to a different floor plan in the future. We do not borrow money, so, instead, we will put aside money each month/year in order to pay cash when we decide to make the move.

Blessings,

Mike and Cathie
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:16 AM   #16
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My upgrades in order done
1. Solar and 4 six volt batteries with whole unit 2500 watt inverter
2. Hydraulic over electric disc brakes I included MorRyde Independent Suspension because I was afraid the extra 40% breaking torque on the old springs and spring hangers would not hold. Not sorry. It survived 6500 miles over Canadian and Alaskan roads with no problem.
3. Lippert levelup.
4. 17.5 rims and Good Year G114 "H" rated tires.
Lost of showy stuff: inside and out side multicolor LEDs.
Roof mounted Sat dish.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:56 AM   #17
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If I was going to call our Montana an investment, it would be my investment into enjoying a wonderful lifestyle of traveling and meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends. My Apple stock is giving me a much better return than the Montana. If there comes a time to upgrade, it will be based on continuing this lifestyle and hoping my health holds out to do this. Like John and many of you, I have upgrades that make our rig pretty darn comfortable. I also know Montana's new floor plans look pretty enticing at times. I might have to make a decision in the future to leave the kids something or upgrade and continue our journey as we are doing now!
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