This beach is a 5 minute walk from where we are staying near Kas, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Kas, Turkey until December 8th.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Motorhome repair and maintenance costs... and Sherman's future

We are back on the road this morning after spending another $798 USD ($1076 CAD) on repairs, this time to Sherman's water pump. But, we not only got a new water pump, we also got a new fan clutch, a new serpentine belt and a new thermostat. The labor and the parts were split pretty much half and half.

Rock Springs Auto Repair looked after us really well, They gave us an accurate estimate before starting the job, they ordered the parts right away, and they got to the job as soon as the parts showed up. They were also very fair on the labor costs, charging a total of 2.5 hours when I know the guy spent close to 4. I would not hesitate to recommend these guys if you need something done while in the area.

Some readers of this blog have suggested over the past two years that Sherman is getting past his due date.

Let me tell you some history, so that you can understand why we are still doing what we're doing with a now 25 year old motorhome.

Back up to 2007.

We spent $16,500 CAD (which at the time was about $13,000 USD) to purchase, licence, and do some necessary repairs to a 12 year old motorhome that had 25,000 miles (40,000 kms) on it.

The first time we met Sherman in August 2007.

Hey, there's the little blue car too!

Between then and now, Sherman has taken us to a lot of neat places. He has been from the Guatemala border to the far reaches of northern Canada. He now has 130,000 miles (208,000 kms) on the clock. 

We don't baby him. He's got scratches and war wounds from taking us to places that many motorhomes would never venture. He did 1,100 miles (1,800 kms) of rough dirt roads getting us up to the Arctic Ocean. He's been from the British Columbia Pacific coast to the Mexican Pacific coast to the Florida Atlantic coast to the Nova Scotia Atlantic coast. And pretty much everywhere in between.

And throughout it all, he's been a trooper. There have been only a handful of times where he has let us down. And considering all that we've put him through, we think that's pretty good.

I keep track of all of our expenses. So, from the day we bought him we have all of his expenses documented.

Not including the purchase price, associated costs to get him roadworthy, or insurance, we have spent a total of $20,000 CAD (maybe $15,000 USD averaged out) over the years to keep him running. This includes everything from oil changes to tires to solar panels to roof repair. Everything.

A little more than $1,500 CAD ($1,200 USD) per year.

Admittedly, the last three years have been weighted to the downside. We spent $9,000 CAD in 2018, and we are so far up to $3,000 CAD this year. 

But when we consider that he is probably still worth $7,000 to $9,000 CAD to sell in Canada... we're okay with that. He owes us nothing. If we can get that money without having to spend more to get us there, we're okay with that.

And that is what we will probably do. Sell him when we return to Canada in August. We think he's better suited to retire to a seasonal site somewhere, or someone's property out in the middle of nowhere. That's what the current thinking is, but of course that can change! There is too much going on in the world that can mess things up! No point in making firm plans!

And so we really are due for a newer motorhome. But we're pretty much done with RV'ing in North America. No, we haven't seen it all, but we've come pretty close. Our next RV will be based in Europe.

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And in Canada...



25 comments:

  1. I feel a little sad that I never got to meet Sherman or you guys. It’s like having a good book come to an end. Yes there might be a good sequel, but still the last page is sad.

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    1. Yes, it is sad that you didn't get to meet him. Although we still haven't made firm plans about his future we have always learned that we never quite know what is going to happen down the road, especially with the way the world is at the moment. Anyways, you still have at least a couple of more months of adventures to read about him before the book closes. :-)

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  2. Are you familiar with Nana of https://wheelingit.us/ ? They moved to France a couple years ago and blogs about RVing in Europe. Good site. Publishes weekly on Sunday.

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    1. Yes we are familiar with them. Kevin has followed them for quite a while but not so much lately. I think they were either preparing to head there or had just got to Europe when we were RVing in Spain and Portugal back in January and February of 2017.

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  3. I'd say Sherman has been pretty cost effective.

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  4. It will be a sad end to your North American Travels.

    It's about time.

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    1. I wouldn't say that our North American travels will be over but they most likely will be at least for a few years, unless this COVID thing has any other impacts to our travels, then maybe we will have to rethink things.

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  5. Sherman has served you well. Just like our Safari, we put money into it, but when you average out what it would cost per year, it's pretty reasonable --- compare that to what other families spend on vacations, airfare, condo or hotel rentals, and restaurant eating because they don't have their own kitchen or refrigerator along. I think we've done pretty well. And so have you!

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    1. Yep, you are totally right and it is also a whole lot cheaper than if we owned a house. We have no regrets and we have always been totally happy with Sherman's performance, he has served us well indeed. :-)

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  6. I've been lurking amongst your readers for awhile and rarely comment, but I want to propose a toast to Sherman. I have long thought that his length, width and particularly height are what is needed for a good RV, especially considering his interior layout. I'm not a fan of slides (done that). Wish some RV manufacturer would reproduce a Sherman today. Farewell old boy.

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    1. Thank you Peter and Heather for taking the time to comment, and thank you for your toast to Sherman. It certainly will be a sad day when we actually have to say good-bye to him but we always knew that we would have to do it some day. We agree, he is perfect in size and we love that fact that he doesn't have the slide outs or the levelers, we have heard about so many issues with either of those. To us simple is better. We have to say though that if we were to get another unit it would probably be a little shorter than Sherman but it will be hard to find one without slides and one that has an oven and walk around bed in it. It should be easier to find something like what we are looking for in Europe, we hope! :-)

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  7. How will I visit you for a red wine in Sherman if you are in Europe? Have to do some flying to see you.. haha. I think you got out of Sherman what you wanted, time to move on for sure.

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    1. You can still have red wine in Sherman, we haven't packed him in yet! :-)

      I think we got more out of Sherman than we ever expected, he really has taken us to some amazing places. We sure will miss him when the time comes. :-(

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  8. May I suggest a fifth-wheel, instead? Ours cost about $17,000 -- but needed a new water tank, which was another $1,000. We've been in it a year now, and it's done very well traveling, from Colorado (our main home) to Arizona and our mom's in Michigan. We will take it to North Carolina in the fall/winter.
    It can hookup to electricity, but we also have 8 solar panels on the roof to provide power when we're boondocking. Big windows everywhere -- two pull-outs -- even a shower and electric fireplace.
    It's just as comfortable as yours, I'm guessing, but we also have the truck to unhook and take places the trailer shouldn't be going.

    I'm sure you'll still be heading down to Mexico and points south. Why not consider a fifth-wheel, instead?

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    1. We know that a lot of people love their 5th wheels but we have absolutely no desire to ever own one.

      First off, we are wanting to buy our next RV in Europe not here in North America. Secondly even if we were going to buy another RV here in North America we would again buy a motorhome but one that would be slightly smaller than what Sherman is, we definitely don't want to go bigger. Plus a motorhome already has an engine in it, if we were to buy a 5th wheel that would mean we would have to buy a truck too! For the type of traveling that we like to do a 5th wheel just wouldn't be suitable, especially for traveling down in Mexico, unless you are going to a destination park for the winter but that isn't what we do. We don't care about slide outs or any of the extra perks that come with a 5th wheel, we like to keep things simple. So for as many reasons why you like a 5th wheel, we have as many reasons why it just isn't suited for us. It's a good thing that everyone likes different things or life might just get boring, lol! :-)

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  9. I often wondered how you kept batteries charged with no generator. Can you give us a bit of tutorial on your solar?

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    1. Hi there Debbie, we have been using solar on Sherman since the fall of 2008 and have never looked back, we love it. We hate noisy generators and we rarely ever stay in an RV park so solar really is the way to go, at least in our minds it is. Kevin did a post a number of years ago about solar basics, even though it was written in the summer of 2016, things haven't changed much. Here is that post, www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2016/08/solar-panel-basics.html I hope it helps, and don't hesitate to contact us if you need more info on the matter. :-)

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  10. Good ole Sherman! We love him and we have had dinner or a get together in Sherman it's like home. I hope he hangs around a few more years. At about $100 a month for maintenance and upkeep that's nothing for you primary residence!

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    1. Yep, he just keeps on ticking! :-)

      I think you guys have had dinner and drinks in Sherman quite a few times as we have tried to solve the worlds problems, lol. We were so sad that we weren't able to meet up with you both this winter in Mexico :-(

      Sherman owes us nothing, and yep he is way cheaper to maintain than a house and he moves onto of that. :-)

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  11. We bought Sherman’s big sister (‘99) in ‘17 for $9k with 28k miles. Had sat in a barn for 5 yrs due to owner’s health. Sitting is not a good thing we found out. We are certainly not full time and have gone to FL 3 times and WI once. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop and it usually does. I think parking her is a good decision too. Can’t take the stress lol! If I were you I wouldn’t tell Sherman till you get closer to home. :) Sure enjoy your travels and will continue to!

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    1. Nope, sitting around and not being used is not a good thing for a motorhome, especially over a long period of time. Sorry that you have had issues with your motorhome. All in all we have been very lucky with Sherman considering how long we have owned him and the places that we have taken him. Like owning a house there are always repairs and maintenance to do but at least our home moves. :-)

      I think Sherman is coming to the end of the road, at least for us. He would be good for shorter drives but not so much anymore for our long drives to and around Mexico.

      Trust us, we won't be telling him about this until we arrive at our final destination, lol! :-)

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