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Old 02-07-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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Service life and expected use

I'm terribly afraid this is going to quickly devolve into manufacturer bashing and rehashing the whole Q/C topic, but this thought has rolled around my noodle long enough that I want to let it out.

Basically- do you think that RV manufacturers plan for a particular service life into their camper's? Like they expect it to last for 9 years. And then, adjunct to that- do you think there is an expected usage (e.g. number of nights per year)?

For instance, I know that many (most?) brands aren't rated for full-time use. But what do you think the average number of nights camping per year is? 30? If I camp for 100-nights per year, is that effectively like 3 years of camper service?

And yes- I'm waaaaayyyy over thinking this.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:00 AM   #2
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I don't think most RV manufacturers even consider this other than the high end units
I'm convinced Engineering typically considers cost as a determining factor before designing durability into these RVs
I'm speaking from experience because I sell into the market


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Old 02-07-2015, 10:04 AM   #3
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I think it's like any other mass produced product - the more you use it the faster it wears out. Keep up with the necessary maintainance and you can prolong the life expectancy. A better produced product using quality materials should last longer than one made with cheaper materials. I am at my seasonal camper 4-5 days per week for 6 months, that's 96 - 120 nights per year.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
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As taken from the following link:


USATODAY.com


Washington, DC: What are the greatest costs associated with maintaining an RV once you've made that big purchase? How long does the average one last?

RVIA experts: Any vehicle requires routine maintenance and the average life-span of an RV can be 20 years+ if properly maintained, depending on the amount of usage.

--------------------------------

So there you go Doug, in plain vague language. It depends on how much you use it. Just like a roll of toilet paper.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:11 AM   #5
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I dunno. I believe that manufacturing is done to make it good enough to match expectations with no or minimal thought given to life expectancy. A max number of days?? I doubt it. Just like aircraft, if one does the needed maintenance, it could last a long time. Of course more use = more maintenance.

Our TT is now 15 years old. Its still in excellent shape inside, but getting a little "aged" outside. I'd say we're at the point of maintenance costs vs perceived value.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:16 AM   #6
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X2 On engineering cost into the equation. But isn't engineering designing? Simply dividing high end from the low end units further deepens the theory of RV end life. I watch way to much television, however on a travel channel is was stated that RV coaches were designed to last 100-150k miles. They didn't elaborate on supportive documentation but they were enforcing the "frame" design on a particular manufacture. Could this then be applied to the double welded aluminum frame design? Maybe manufactures should install odometer or install a mileage counter on the axels? I have a very low end 5r. Ultra super light weight. I have about 20-25k miles on her. One thought that ependy did not say was life of the loan. Are RV not expected to last much past the max loan period?
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:07 AM   #7
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I would venture a guess that they base a lot of their decisions off of an "average" user. Maybe 20-30 nights a year. And I doubt there is much emphasis on total lifespan. Too many variables.


No experience in the RV industry, but a lot of experience making components for farm and industrial equipment. In the past 15 years, the big manufacturers have shifted focus from long term durability and best possible product to "zero warranty defects" at the lowest cost. Obviously zero warranty defects hasn't arrived in the rv industry, but I would think the focus is there (reduce defects in the first 2 years) vs trying to make something that will last a really long time.


Besides, selling replacement parts and then a new unit when the cost of repairs gets too high is a lot more profitable than just making a camper that lasts forever...


But, if you take good care of your tt, it should last a long time. And for anybody lucky enough to have indoor storage, that can really keep an rv looking good for a long time.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donanddona View Post
X2 On engineering cost into the equation. But isn't engineering designing? Simply dividing high end from the low end units further deepens the theory of RV end life. I watch way to much television, however on a travel channel is was stated that RV coaches were designed to last 100-150k miles. They didn't elaborate on supportive documentation but they were enforcing the "frame" design on a particular manufacture. Could this then be applied to the double welded aluminum frame design? Maybe manufactures should install odometer or install a mileage counter on the axels? I have a very low end 5r. Ultra super light weight. I have about 20-25k miles on her. One thought that ependy did not say was life of the loan. Are RV not expected to last much past the max loan period?

Im not sure that the manufacturer takes life of the loan into account. That said with 15-20 year loans on some of the higher dollar RVs and trailers I have my doubts about them lasting that long, not to mention most people's attention spans don't last as long as the loans


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Old 02-07-2015, 11:57 AM   #9
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As has been mentioned I feel that RVs that are cared for and proper maintenance last longer that ones that are not. To say a 2015 X should last so many years is a tough question....... depends totally on the owner (s)......

I have seen 2010s that you could not give me that looked ready for scrap, but some 1980s & 90s that look like they came off the showroom floor.......... But all will need maintenance along the way just like a car or a house........

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:13 PM   #10
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fx2. Very well said!
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