RV’ers No More


It’s a done deal!

The process took us a little over 3 months but we are no longer RV’ers.  The coach sold a couple days ago after a few misadventures.

There was the first “deal” that fizzled after the buyer lied to the dealer on several accounts and ultimately couldn’t come up with financing.

There was the second “deal” that got to the point of closing and then all manner of intrigue broke loose.  I had phone calls and emails from the buyer. The lender wanted all sorts of unusual stipulations.  It was a mess.

But the second buyer was sincere. They found a different lender. The details were worked out and after about a month we finally closed!

So, that means we are no longer RV’ers!

It sounds funny to hear myself utter the words; and it’s also a relief to hear myself utter those words.

RV’ing was fun while we were out there wandering up and down the highways but over 5 1/2 years the world of RV’ing has changed and for us it was time to be out of the lifestyle.

It’s no secret that AARP has made a big noise over the fact that 10,000 baby-boomers are retiring every day.  The uptick in retirees and the uptick in brand new RV’ers has without a doubt impacted what it’s like to live the lifestyle.

When we took our first trip it was easy to find an abundant choice of RV sites without reservations.  That has changed, it’s not so easy now and for an increasing number of weekends during the year reservations are almost mandatory if you want to stay at any place worth staying.

I won’t lie and say that RV drivers are as good as they have always been.  (For one thing we haven’t been around long enough to talk about “always been”.) But the fact is that I see more and more RV’ers doing unsafe things with their units — both on the road and in campgrounds.

I won’t say anything about the people — RV’ers are always a cross-section of humanity — it will always be thus. So there will be good apples and bad apples among them — that’s to be expected.  Most of the gang that we met we loved.  They are good, down to earth people.  As a community of souls it’s a great bunch of people!

The question of how to get your motorhome repaired was a sore point with me.  Not that we often needed repairs, but when we did the experiences were always a bit painful — and getting worse.  During the peak summer season it’s hard to find service in a timely manner.  The number of specialty services within a coach are so numerous that finding technicians qualified to handle them all is tough.  I’ve known more than a few RV’ers who were stuck for 4 to 6 weeks waiting for a service bay; if they could find a shop that wanted to work on their unit.

We were never in a campground where we felt our safety or security threatened.  That being said, with more and more issues about concealed and open carry I don’t think campgrounds are as safe as they were.  Not just because of full time RV’ers — because full time RV’ers will never be the “average” RV in a state or federal campground.  The fact of the matter is that lots of people of all ages and sorts go camping/RV’ing, and the world in general is changing.  For us, it was time to hang up our keys, turn in our pass to the diesel fuel islands and go back to living a more conventional life.

PPL Motor Homes

As a customer I have to say that our experience dealing with PPL in Houston TX was a pleasure.  They have three locations, we selected the one in Houston for personal reasons — and because it was larger than the second choice which was slightly nearer geographically.  Houston has a huge market, New Braunfels simply doesn’t get as much traffic.

From our first contact with the company when we met one of the owners at the Rio Grande Valley RV Show on through our face-to-face visits, and their regular contact with us by phone and email we could not be happier.  I felt that the costs associated with having them sell the coach on consignment were reasonable; their treatment of us as customers was exemplary, and I would recommend them highly to anyone looking to sell their motorhome.

Would I do anything different? I don’t think so.  We researched our options pretty thoroughly before committing to do business with them — and they were understanding of our delays in listing with them.  Their performance was as advertised and the final sale price was fair.  Of course selling an RV is almost never as profitable as the seller would like to think. That’s a fact of life.  Still, I’m happy with the deal we made.   There are a lot of RV’s on the market and finding that ONE right buyer is always tricky.  Our unit was older than 10 years — that seems a big thing in the RV market, with some parks not wanting to accept campers with units over 10 years.  So, the sale needed people with skill and with financing options.   I felt PPL did their job with our best interests in mind and they wanted to do a deal.

As an aside,  I don’t see us buying another RV in the future.  We have met several couples who full time RV’d, sold out, and then went back to RV’ing all over again.  I don’t think that will happen to us.  It was a lovely experience while we had it, but for us that time has past and we are on to other things. We have changed.  My health is not what it was when we started and it’s not really advisable to go back to what we left behind.  New chapter.  No regrets.  Time to move on!

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

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16 Comments

    1. Thanks. It’s a load off our minds. The first coach we had paid off; this latter one we still had a mortgage on, so being done with the mortgage payments was a good thing. And like I said, we know people who have been trying to sell an RV for +2 years and still haven’t succeeded. It’s easy to buy them. Not so easy to sell them — even when they are in great shape as ours was — there are just so many to choose from.

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      1. To write a check each month for something you are not using must be painful. I’m glad you didn’t have to wait two years for the sale. Enjoy your new freedom.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Actually, it wasn’t like that. The payment was a reminder that we have (had) options. It’s not like it was a burden — and plenty of people put their RV in storage for 6 or 8 months per year — so we weren’t doing anything exceptional. The first one we had paid off, and it was a little crazy of us to go back into debt for the second coach but it was our choice and we didn’t regret it. I don’t look BACK at decisions and re-think them. We make the best decision we can at the time with all the info we can get and that’s it. No rethinking. Just looking forward.
        Enjoy we will!

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  1. So glad you were able to sell your RV in a reasonable amount of time. We are facing that here in MN and are seriously thinking of driving it all the way to Texas this fall to PPL as we are not aware of a similar dealer in our neck of the woods. Selling it now would be better but we want one more summer up north with it.
    As always, I so enjoy your well written thoughts.

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  2. Congratulations on your sale. We drove our RV from Minnesota to Houston to let PPL sell it on our behalf. We are happy we chose that route. I do miss the idea of having an RV but not the reality of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda — I think that last comment hits the nail on the head. The idea of having an RV is sometimes better than the reality of it. It represents options and freedom but the reality doesn’t always live up to the dream. We were fortunate in the time we spent in it. So that the only thing we miss now is the idea of it.

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    2. It is helpful to know that you drove your RV from MN to Houston as that is what we are contemplating. I know we will miss it but health issues are making its use more and more challenging. Any suggestions you have for making the process as simple as possible?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz, my answer to a request for suggestions really comes down to my 3 rules for life.

        Be specific

        Plan ahead

        Don’t assume

        Call the people up and talk with them first. Only use them if you are completely happy with how they treat you and how they communicate. Other people have used them and come away very UN-happy but that was because the seller’s expectations were different from what the dealer was able to do. Make sure you’re happy with them representing you.

        Do a reasonably good job of cleaning up the coach before you go, or before you deliver it to the dealer. The better it looks the better off you are — you’ll be selling in a market that has a lot of competition, your unit has to have something to commend it over other units.

        Show up prepared — have the paperwork, etc. that you will need.

        Communicate with the dealer. After you sign papers stay in touch with them, so they know you expect them to stay in touch with you. It’s not about the squeaky wheel getting the grease, it’s about making YOUR expectations known. Not every one wants to be in the loop — the only way they’ll know what your expectations are is if you tell them.

        Be prepared for the big question: What’s the lowest you will go to sell your unit. Ideally your unit will bring a good price, (ours did and we were happy with the final sale price, but every unit is different) You have to know your bottom line. And you have to be prepared for the reality that in selling an RV it’s not what you think your RV is worth, it’s how much someone is willing to spend for it.

        The dealer is smart about how much to change the price over time, and they will attempt to get the most for your RV but knowing YOUR limits is an important part of having a happy customer when the deal is done.

        And after all that — try to be patient. Some people get a deal in a few days, others in a few months, some take longer. The ones that take longer can often be a function of trying to ask too much, but the unit gets older and worth less each and every day so don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

        Friends of ours have a 5th wheel they have been trying to sell “For more than 2 years” — but I know they were only $500 apart on a deal many months ago and they would not budge on their price, and the deal fell through. Since then — many months — they haven’t had another offer. Don’t be foolish. If you want to sell your RV realize it’s a two way street. And it’s only worth what someone will pay for it. Book value means nothing.

        Let your representative do their job. Relax. Live while you’re waiting.

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      2. Thanks for all the great suggestions! I really appreciate your wisdom. Our biggest issue will be our toad as ideally it would sell with the rv. But we will figure it out.

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      3. Liz, We weren’t sure about our toad either. However, the toad is a car we had bought before going RV’ing, and we have liked it (except for the seats in that base model CR-V). It’s old and we will probably sell it eventually, but I have a great SIL who will find a buyer for the car I’m sure. So for us the choice was easier.

        I would check with PPL and inquire about that. I’m not sure if they would or could sell a package — I don’t know about dealership licensing in Texas — The state is so weird about so many things that is one I would not take for granted. Ask them.

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      4. And again, thank you, Peter. We also have a CRV and it is pretty basic but very reliable. Given that it has the Blue Ox base plate and a Brake Buddy system, it would be nice to sell it with the RV and give someone a good deal. It seems these days that fewer and fewer cars are towable four wheels down. We will see what PPL has to say.

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      5. WE thought about the same thing, but as I said, my SIL is pretty good about selling cars and the baseplate will help when the time comes.

        Right now I have the hots to buy a new Subaru — but my brain keeps holding me back. Sigh. Sometimes you just wanna go with your gut but we’ll see what happens.

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      6. You can’t go wrong with a Subaru I am told, Peter. A dear friend of ours whose husband died about 6 months ago and would only drive Buicks, has just bought a 2014 Forrester and she loves it! She does miss the cushy Buick seats, however!

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