I will wrap up my three day RV stories with a bittersweet goodbye to my 32 foot friend. You see we bought this RV with the intent of driving it all over for vacations and trips for years to come but this RV happened to be almost 20 years old now. Granted it only had 38K miles on it, a great interior and everything worked but… several things have led us to decision to part ways with our home on wheels. When we bought this back in 2011 and went to NJ and through the town of who the fuck knows where – I tracked our fuel consumption. We are in the northeast where there are many hills and we were also driving in some city traffic but our gas mileage was less than 6 miles per gallon. A Chevy 454 engine powering over 18,000 pounds doesn’t really sound too economical and it just plain isn’t.
On our trip to Florida with the broken shock incident we got a little bit better mileage because of the flat land driving down South but we were still around 9 or 10 miles per gallon. I had looked at plane tickets for that trip as well and we could have flown for about $300 or $350 per person. In the RV we spent over $2K on fuel – not counting the hotel rooms because there were 7 of us. Oh and we still had to rent a van when we got there because who wants to drive a 32’ RV down route 192 and into the Disney World parking lot? If you’ve been in the traffic on 192 you know exactly what I mean. So we could have flown for about $500 less that it cost us to get the RV down and back. We love our road trips but they certainly shouldn’t cost more than flying.
So there my RV has sat since that trip in July of 2011 – on the side of my garage just waiting for nothing. Tires dry rotting, fuel sitting and aging and insurance deducted from my account every month. The last thing I want is for this thing to sit here and then when I do want to take it out again for a week the tires are no good or the hoses and belts start breaking from dry rot. I could just start her up every week and take it for an occasional drive but what’s the point? It is better to just go back to a van or conversion van that fits us all comfortably, gets us around town and doesn’t cost a small fortune to run. So alas – I have sold my RV to someone who was looking for one to use all the time. I sold it for what I bought it for nearly two years later so I think we made out all right.
Then as I get back from our winter road trip to Ohio and the guy comes over to buy it I am walking around the RV with him, showing him how things work and open up the cabinet where the clean water tank is and I realize that I never drained the tank – meaning that all of the lines to the sink, shower, water pump and hot water are also full of frozen water – recipe for pipe bursting disaster. He buys it with cash and drives away. I proceed to go to the bank, pay off the loan and deposit the remainder in our account. Then he calls and tells me that the water filter under the sink has turned sideways so he’s sure that it was because of the frozen water. I panic and start googling what happens when you leave water to freeze in the tank. Yep – frozen burst pipes that are hell to get to and repair or replace, hot water heaters split in half and a dozen or so other nightmarish scenarios that can happen. Then it all flashes before my eyes – shit I’m going to have to buy this thing back which would entail taking out another loan to get the money back that I just paid off, fix the pipes which could run me a grand or more and other shitty scenarios that I really don’t want to deal with.
Now one could say that I already sold it to him – in the state of CT all used vehicles are sold as is so legally I am off the hook. But morally I just could not do that. I couldn’t stand the fact that I sold this guy an RV that I may have totally screwed up by being stupid and forgetting to simply drain the water and winterize before my Ohio trip. My wife sensing my obvious panic and near heart attack behavior talks me off the ledge by telling me that there’s nothing I can do about it now – just relax and pick it up again in the morning. I call the guy again in the morning – he also has been panicking thinking his new RV is screwed because the guy who sold it to him is an asshole. So he let the RV run all night with the heat on and had an electric blanket on the water tank. I call an RV place and they tell me to bring it to them so they can bring it inside for a few hours and thaw it out. Then they can assess the damage and talk repairs. In the meantime a mechanic and the guy I sold it to thawed everything out and drained it. He calls me and says everything is fine except for the water filter and that they have no properly winterized it. Thank God I don’t have to worry about buying it back or worry about repairing for him or how much more this thing will cost me. I guess I just don’t have what it takes to be an RV owner yet. I’ll try again when I’m an old man. Good bye Winnebago and good riddance.