Six Months Fulltime RVing, What Has Broken?

So we have officially hit our 6 month mark of hauling our family in an RV around the country. There’s the constant back and forth when buying an RV if you should buy new or used. There are for sure benefits to both and here is why.

Although we have never owned a used RV, we have owned a used house before and we can back up a lot of these statements. When you buy used you are hoping the previous owner fixed all the major things unless your buying as is and your job now is gonna be routine maintenance and some aesthetic updates here and there. The older the property for sure major things like roofs and flooring along with major appliances will need updating and replacing. Our home was 20 years old when we bought it and while living in it we replaced the roof and gutters and updated all lighting, painted and bought a new fridge. The previous owners had just replaced the furnace and water heater, stove & dishwasher before we moved in and for sure the next owners will need to think about siding and windows in their near future. So like a regular house an RV home needs the same kinda love and upkeep.

So why is buying new just as big a gamble as used?

Originally we were not gonna buy new, due to the previously stated facts above as well as budget. We went to a few RV shows just so we could walk in a bunch of models all at once to get a feel for our wants and needs. At our first show we discovered the Midbunk model and it was all down hill from there. This is a fairly new concept in the RV world and it is very rare to find any used ones for sale at the time we were looking. So new it was gonna be for us so we focused on the pros of owning new!

Buying new means no one has lived in it previously so everything should be new and work like new, right? Depending on the company and RV dealer you purchase from you will get a warranty for a few years to utilize in case things do break, and they always do. Being new to the RV world this was appealing to us. A new RV means no one has lived in it so any allergies you may have to pets or smoke will not be a factor to have to worry about. We have relatives who purchased an RV that was stationary and previous owners hid mothballs everywhere, even under the trailer where it sits all year round. They have found most of them and removed them but I still cannot linger inside of it for long do to the smell. A new model should also not have any hidden things wrong like leaks, mold or infestation that sometimes goes unnoticed even upon an inspection. Then there is the fact you can decorate anyway you want and not have to reverse others personal style and tastes. The RV industry is pretty standard with its interior design or lack there of, so most know what their in for with the decor upon a new purchase.

When you live in your RV fulltime and travel with it a lot of things are gonna need more tending to than if your a weekend warrior and only doing a handful of excursions a year. We knew this and were prepared, or so we thought! We decided on Grand Design because of their reputation for producing a far superior RV and above and beyond customer service. We looked at a couple of competitors midbunk models and you could tell the workmanship in the Grand Design was higher quality. But and it’s a really big but, most of these RV companies purchase the same parts from the same companies. It’s like buying a can of peas, you can buy generic or a trusted mainstream companies. Most likely they are the same product, packaged in the same warehouse just with a different label and one costs more.  You may be one of the lucky ones who just happens to get the rig where everyone who assembled it was on their A-game or it could have been assembled by a disgruntled employee who is overworked and has health problems and couldn’t care less if there is 1 or 10 screws holding up the cabinet.

So all that being said it’s a crap shoot and in the end we wanted a company that if things went wrong would work with us not against us to get it fixed fast. Grand Design (now owned by Winnebago) again and again gets all of this hype and in our experience has lived up to it. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about other companies not handling warranty work well. But warranty work is a whole other beast of a blog unto itself for another day to discuss. Check out a video of the first day we picked up our Grand Design Reflection 2016 367bhs

OK, here is our good, bad and ugly list of what has needed to be fixed in our first 6 months:

  1. Water pump – bought new one
  2. Furnace – had it serviced and now it works (out for pocket)
  3. Toilet -GD shipped new one & we installed & it happened again, its the foot petal (GD send another one)
  4. Floor divot from slide – covered with peal & stick flooring
  5. Wall outlets – bought new ones(box, outlet & cover)
  6. Closet hanging bar broke off- replaced our self
  7. Back window seal – still leaks when it rains sideways 
  8. Slide rubber seal – GD sent replacement to dealership and they adjusted slides. 
  9. Propane regulator – bought new one
  10. Leaky breaks – Lippert sent out techs to fix, so far so good!
  11. Door clasp that keeps it shut – our fault, Replaced our self
  12. Slide molding – our fault, still not fixed
  13. Outdoor water filter attachment, got different water filter
  14. AC in midbunk – DIY fan fix
  15. Propane pigtail – bought new one
  16. Shower sealed incorrectly – silicone
  17. Cargo Carrier hitch bent – user error as well as I-10 in Louisiana should be avoided at all costs! We went with a different model 2nd time around, this was the 2nd cargo carrier & upgraded generator cover we purchased!

So do we regret buying new after looking at this laundry list of things that we’ve had to fix the past 6 months?  No way! We love our rig, the midbunk has been such a great layout for our families needs.  There was no way of knowing any of these things would happen and there is no way of knowing what will need fixing on a used RV either.  Some of the things listed were completely rookie mistakes on our part, others are what you should just expect when you travel fulltime.  Some are personal concerns cause we want to boondock more that not and need things to function properly w/o being hooked up to power.

Hopefully we have shook out all the major things that need fixing for a while and can enjoy our lifestyle a bit without having to be in fix-it mode.

If you follow our Facebook page you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

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Pirate Matthew Argh

So as I mentioned in the last post I’m 2 weeks behind and really want to fill you all in on everything but with my really especially horrible short term memory, the farther I get from the actually happenings the likelihood of me recalling such events drastically plummets. I’ll remember this week really well in 2 years, I gots rockstar long term memory! With Hurricane Matthew that just raged along the East coast it kinda ties into our 2nd week at Tybee. So here we go…

Our family has a timeshare at a condo on Tybee Island, GA and it is a numbered week that usually falls the last week of September into October. But remember, everything shifts early this year due to Moon phases and tide changes 🙂 Our week was really early! If it had fallen as usual we would had evacuated that Thursday due to the mandatory evacuation of the island. So thank you Universe and all your Moon/tide juju working in our families favor.

OK now let’s talk about all the fun stuff we did at a Tybee while we stayed in the Condo. We went to the beach, end story!  Literally I don’t think much else took place. We parked our truck on Saturday in the condo parking lot and didn’t move it to go somewhere again until the following Friday. When you can walk out your back door to the beach why would you go anywhere else?  I should mention this was a particularly warm week as well, highs in the upper 80’s and lows in the low 70’s. I don’t even think it did more than a light sprinkle once all week either. In the past we’ve been freezing and rained out so it’s a crap shoot this time of year. But the major perk is that it’s off season and no one is really there but us. The following week is the islands Pirate festival which we sadly always miss and sadly was cancelled due to the hurricane.

The one major obstacle we faced this week was where to store our home?  I started this search way back in July. I knew our rig would never fit in the condo parking lot, our Dulley was a tight squeeze. I called the islands visitors center, police dept and city hall and they all said the same thing, check with the River’s End Campground. Yes the camp ground we stayed at the previous week. I actually called them first and the response I got was they did do storage but only for locals with a Tybee drivers licence!  The fact that none of these official depts. knew this is kinda nutso.

So as recommended by the campground I called a couple of local storage facilities and none had enough space to accommodate us. I also reached out to several marinas that stored boats and again hit a roadblock. I even tried to pull some strings with family members and see if their local business owners/friends had any pull with our situation and again nothing was looking in our favor. Every inch of public parking on the island is run by the city and you have to pay every day from 8-8 no exception. I reached out to them to see about a special permit and the lady helping me was able to speak with her boss about allowing us to park on the street across from city hall. We would take up 2 spots but we would only be charged for 1. Great, problem solved, kinda!

The week before while at the campground we swung by the spot they suggested to park and it for sure would fit, we know because we busted out the measuring tape and measured it!. But it would only fit if all the stars were aligned in our favor and no one parked at the two spots near the cross street. Backing into these would be our only shot, there’s no parallel parking this beast. The road we were to park on is also the main road on the island so relatively speaking its busy. The thought of leaving our rig alone was starting to not seem so awesome. Day before the relocation we started calling camp grounds further outside of Savannah as well as storage facilities.

We really lucked out and found a secure and fenced in storage area where the guy who ran it lived on site. We really couldn’t get any safer and it was cheaper then if we parked on the original street spot, by half!  So an adventure in finding this spot that started out 3 months previous was pulled together 24hrs before Go time. Wow didn’t expect to talk so much about this parking issue but it was rather stressful and if I can help one person out by giving any helpful tips then I did my job!

I should add that with storing the RV we had to deal with all that lived in the fridge, we were not hooked up to power while stored. Do we bring it with us for the week at the condo or leave the propane tank on and cross our fingers it don’t run out? Well in the end not knowing much about how much propane suckage a fridge on full time eats up we decided to relocate the goods. It was a pain in the butt, however it made grocery shopping light and we were able to toss some extra things we really were not gonna eat anytime soon away.

So yea we wrapped up our 2 week Tybee tour on a good note and headed inland back to our hometown HOTLANTA!  One swing through the mother-ship before our big adventure out West truly begins.  You will not want to miss out on all the Westerly adventures.  Make sure you subscribe to our website to get emailed updates on all the newly posted blogs.

If you follow our Facebook page you already kinda know all the awesomeness we have been having, please “like” us. Don’t forget to follow us on here as well to keep up with our families trail! Also, our families main source of income is Hippie Hoopla, any purchases on-line allow us to keep our adventure going. Please stop by our site and take a look!

Thanks for your support!

💕HELP SUPPORT our TRAILin adventure at no cost when shopping through our Amazon link!