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Rent or Own?

Gwyn Dykstra - 2017-04-21
30 comment(s) - View or write a comment

Renting an RV vs. Owning an RV

I recently came across an article on the advantages and disadvantages of owning vs.renting an RV, and although I thought it had some good information in it, it really didn’t go deep enough. I thought I’d share the article with you, but also expand on it just a bit.

Being a trailer rental and repair facility, which includes owning a small fleet of travel trailers, we’ve become pretty familiar with the maintenance costs related to RV ownership.  I hope you find this information helpful.

Here are a few things to consider when you are thinking about making an RV purchase:

1. Monthly expenses to consider

    a. Monthly payment (if a loan is taken out.) This can be an ongoing monthly expense for up to 15 years.    

    b. Interest accumulated to the cost (if loan is taken out.)

    c. Insurance cost (Full coverage is required if you have a loan.)

    d. Storage fees (if RV's are not allowed to be parked in your     

         neighborhood and or winter storage)

2. Regular maintenance

    a. Winterizing and un-winterizing

    b. Caulking roof seams to protect against water damage.

    c. Brakes and wheel bearing maintenance

    d. Cleaning before and after camping

    e. Keeping away those critters that want a roof over their head too.

3.  Major repairs

    a. There are some major repairs such as water damage, which is very common in the RV world. This is especially true for owners that don't have the option of keeping their RV in a storage building. It is very important to stay on top (literally) of keeping those seams caulked!

    b. New Tires - This is something that you may consider regular maintenance but I call it major because tires are expensive! Trust me, it puts a damper on your vacation when you are sitting along a busy highway changing a tire.

   c.  Appliances - YIKES! Did you know that the cost of an RV 3-way refrigerator can cost more than buying a new full size residential fridge? Don't forget about the water heater, air conditioner, and furnace.  All play a major role in comfortable camping and I know that some of you reading this can relate to the expense involved in replacing RV appliances.

   d.  Roof re-coating - Lets face it, month after month and year after year of sitting out in the elements takes it toll not only on your house roof but especially your RV roof!  Your roof is protecting everything on the inside so don’t forget to make that a part of your regular maintenance check-up.

    e.  Awnings don’t last forever! We consider our awnings our “patio” in the camping world and it protects us from the hot sun and rain if needed. 

If your family has a handy man (or woman) it will help on the labor cost involved in maintenance and repairs but not everyone has a qualified repair guy/gal to dig in and do those must do projects. Depending on where you take your RV for maintenance or repairs, you can plan on spending as much as $100 per hour or more to check off those needed repairs.  Arrowhead Trailer’s repair fees are a little easier to swallow, as they are much less than the average repair shop. 

All this being said, whether it is better to rent or buy an RV really depends on the following.

  1.  How many weeks or weekends you will be able to camp to offset the monthly fees and repairs of owning your own.
  2. If buying, are you going to have to buy a bigger/less mpg vehicle to tow an RV?
  3. Do you have time and money to sacrifice in maintaining it?
  4. Do you have space to store it?

Arrowhead Trailer would love the opportunity to serve you whether you decide to rent or purchase your own RV.  Our rental units and repair fees are very competitive.  We have a delivery/pick up option available so all you need to do is make your camping reservation and move in.  We will have it delivered and set up, and when it is time to leave we will tear down and take care of emptying the waste tanks, which is probably the worst chore of camping.   Or you can save that added fee and pick it up yourself, as long as you have a suitable tow vehicle and are comfortable with towing an RV. 

This blog focuses on our RV services but at Arrowhead Trailer we service all your trailer needs, rental or repair.

  Our website has all our available rental trailers from an equipment trailer, 2 cargo trailers, 2 horse trailers, 11 RV’s, a tow dolly and we just added to our fleet a car hauler with a electric wench that Tim reconditioned and it is SWEET!  Check out our the menu above and see what we have available.

I hope this blog helps you make that BIG decision to rent or own, because it really is a big decision.  Keep us in mind whichever you choose.  We would love to do business with you, rent or own!

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