February 9, 2021

How Long Does An RV Last?

Nicholas Bates

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Nicholas Bates

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Have you ever wondered how long an RV lasts and what you can do to enhance your RVs' lifespan? Make sure to read the whole article to learn more.Have you ever wondered how long an RV lasts and what you can do to enhance your RVs' lifespan? Make sure to read the whole article to learn more.

The topics that will be included in this article are how long does an RV last, the average lifespan of every popular RVs that most people used, the perfect mileage of a used RVs just in case you decide to go for the cheaper option, and how to increase the durability of your RVs so that it can be used for a longer time.

The average lifetime of an RV is approximately 20 years, which is equivalent to 200,000 miles. However, the exact time your RV can be used depends on some factors like the frequency of maintenance, how well you manage it, and the class of your RV.

Bear in mind that all of the information provided in this article is purely based on my experience as an RV owner. Without delaying any more time, let's get right into the article.

How Long Does An RV Last? | Today I'm Outside

Table of Contents:

How Long Can I Truly Use My RV?

RVs don't last forever as they can only be used for a fixed amount of time before it finally breaks down, but just how long can I use my RV before that happens. The average lifetime of an RV ranges between 10 to 20 years. The reason for this huge gap in time is that some RV owners tend to be able to take care of their RV way better than others, which explains why some owners end up having to use their RV in only ten years while others tend to be able to use it for more than just ten years.

Are There Any Examples of RVs with High Durability?

Certain RVs were built some decades ago but can still be used up to this day. This is because either these types of RV are refurbished to make them look great and durable, or it has been kept in an excellent condition. Hence, to give you a deeper insight into some of the most durable RVs ever made, I've listed the top 2 most durable RVs ever recorded in history.

The Shasta Compact

One of the 1972 Shasta Compact was successfully sold last year on the eBay platform for approximately $11,000. During that time, it was considered by many to be one of the best RV to be used for camping and perceived by many to be roadworthy. The RV was an updated and remodeled version, but most of the original parts are still intact in the RV to preserve its classical value.

In the year 2021, the Shasta Compact can be considered 49 years old, and nobody knew exactly how long this RV could survive in the future. At the same time, some argue that it won't make it till 2030, some state that it will still function normally for the next 30 years. Hence, if you manage to get your hands on one of these, it's highly recommended to buy them as their durability is undoubtedly high.

The Airstream Torpedo

In the year 1930, the founder of Airstream himself goes by Wally Byam's name to sell a limited amount of Airstream kits that allow people to manually build their Airstream for themselves. It is said that a physician, namely known as Dr. Holman, did manage to purchase one of these kits in the past.

He then decided to build an Airstream for himself by using one of these kits, and the result is unbelievable. This is because he could use the Airstream that he built from the ground up for over more than 80 years. This RV is known to have a wood interior and aluminum exterior. You may find this spectacular torpedo being preserved up to this day in the Traveland Museum of Amarillo, Texas.

Which One Tend to Last Longer, Campers or Motorhomes?

Motorhomes and campers are both different and unique in their own way. Both of these RVs have their own advantages and disadvantages; however, when it comes to durability, I would say that it's easier to keep a camper running for a long time compared to that of a motorhome. This is because most motorhomes are equipped with an engine and the other essential mechanical parts that would usually be working together with the engine.

A standard engine that runs off the gas would typically be rated by the manufacturer to have a lifetime of 200,000 miles. In comparison, the engine that runs off diesel would typically be rated to have a lifetime of around 300,000 miles. The moment parts begin to break down in a motorhome that is getting older; it can be quite hard for you to get them.

On the other hand, a camper does not have many parts, and you may easily replace them with new ones if one of them is faulty. On top of that, the only moving parts of a camper comprise only the trailer, which needs little to no maintenance throughout its lifetime. You would only need to replace the brakes and tires while at the same time keeping your attention on the axle. Don't worry about the trailer, as it can last for your whole life.

How Long Can I Use My RVs Components?

It doesn't matter if you own a camper or motorhome; there will be a lot of internal components that will soon wear or break down in an RV. Electrical appliances such as ovens and refrigerators have the potential to break, other electrical components may also become faulty, HVAC systems may stop working, and the plumbing within the RV will also leak from time to time.

When all of the essential components available in the RV are being replaced or repaired from time to time as soon as they are faulty, then there's no reason why you can't keep using the same RV even after ten years of using it. The sad reality is that most people tend not to send their RV for repairs even though most of the internal components are faulty and can no longer be used.

As a result, when the RV can no longer be used and need to send it for maintenance to their local workshop for repairs, they have to spend thousands of dollars just to fix the whole components that have long been ignored. In this case, most people would choose to buy a new one rather than fix the RV they currently have.

The majority of the RV components would usually hold up to RVing riggers somewhere between 10 to 15 years, and you would most likely have a lot of difficulties that would usually involve engine complications and leaks right before you begin to have any problems that are related to the appliances. This is true especially for owners who keep a close eye on their appliances to replace them from time to time and take all the necessary measures to increase their RV durability.

How Do I Increase the Durability of my RV?

Search For Any Signs of Leak

One of the most catastrophic events for any type of camper aside from having a road accident is a small leak. This tiny leak will cause your RV's wooden interior to develop mold, which will eventually lead to rotten wood. If you ignore this small leak and allow it to seep into your RV for some time, then brace yourself to witness the destruction of your walls, roof, and floors.

For you to prevent the potential damages caused by a tiny leak, then be sure to regularly inspect your RV for leaks from time to time. Starting from the moment you spot any leaks in your RV, don't waste any more of your time and just get it fixed right away. Even if you don't have the money to instantly fix the leak during that time, the least you can do is dry it out and use a tarp to prevent any water from passing through it.

Send Your RV For Maintenance

Regular maintenance is one of the vital keys to having a durable RV in the future. This is true, especially if you're trying to get the best out of your motorhome. As mentioned earlier in the article, a gas engine can easily be used up to 200,000 miles or higher, while a diesel engine can last up to 300,000 miles if proper attention and care are provided to your RV.

I've seen multiple times in the past some of the gas engines that have over 300,000 miles and diesel engines that have over 400,000 miles on them. One way to ensure that your engines possess this level of durability is by providing them with preventive maintenance while ensuring that they get inspected from time to time.

Perform Additional Upgrades and Repairs

Additional upgrades and repairs are vital to your RV's future durability level, so it's highly recommended for you to invest some money into your RV to make sure that they would perform well later on. By doing this, you can minimize the potential expenses and prevent the cause of potential damages right before it could cause you to lose more money.

For instance, an HVAC duct that is clogged is an example of a simple problem to fix. However, if you choose to ignore this problem and decide to abandon it long enough, the simple obstruction will surely cause the entire ductwork system to malfunction. You will then need to put the whole ductwork system together, which is a very difficult and time-consuming process.

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About THE AUTHOR

Nicholas Bates

Hi there! I'm a 30-year-old RV owner. My wife and I started our RV journey back in 2013 when we had our first son. The first RV that I purchased was the 2007 Tiffin Allegro. One of the things that I love the most about this lifestyle is that it allows me to travel to multiple places with my family while having the comfort of being at home in my lovely RV. Currently, we're using the 2016 Forest River Grey Wolf 26DBH Travel Trailer, which we tow behind our truck.

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