So many people dream of owning a roadworthy RV that they can take on extended road trips, or even for weekend getaways such as for hunting or fishing. However, few people can afford the luxury of a brand new RV simply because the cost is often in the six-figure range. If you just bought an old RV you found for cheap, sometimes even for free, you may be able to restore it so that you can safely take it out on the open road to have the time of your life. These four tips should help you with your project.
Remodeling vs. Restoration
The very first thing you’ll want to do is think about how you want to go about restoring that old RV. Do you want to restore it to original, if not mint, condition or do you want to remodel it to fit your needs? Some people like the idea of having a four or five-decade-old RV restored to original factory condition while others want to change a bit about the look to give it an updated appeal. Also, some features probably weren’t available in older models such as top-rated GPS and digital sound systems.
Plan Your Project in Stages
Depending on how far you want to go with your project, you will surely want to plan it in stages. The most important part of the entire project is to focus on making that old vehicle roadworthy. Yes, you’d like to remodel or restore the interior, but that isn’t critical in taking it on road trips. What is critical is making sure that everything necessary works such as the engine, transmission, tires, breaks and steering mechanism. You can’t afford the cost or inconvenience of having it break down on your trip, notwithstanding the safety issues involved, so make these things a priority.
OEM Parts vs. Aftermarket Parts
Now you will probably need to do a bit of research. Are there still OEM parts available or do you need to find aftermarket replacement parts that will work with the RV you have just purchased? Also, are there upgrades and new technology that will offer you such things as ease of use or money savings by using updated aftermarket parts? For example, the water heater in that old RV is kaput and so you may want to think about new technology that wasn’t available back then. After all, you couldn’t get a Tankless Water Heater for RV technology back in the 1980s or even the 1990s, so these are important decisions you’ll need to make.
Know When to Call in Professional Help
While you would like to rebuild that engine or transmission, do you really have the capabilities to do so? You may know how to do it, but do you have the appropriate lifts and other tools necessary to complete the job? If not, it really could be more expensive on a DIY project than to have the motor rebuilt by a professional. It behooves you to know when to call in a professional for the job because of cost and safety features you may not be well equipped to handle.
Yes, you got a great find in that RV you bought for cheap, but it may take some time to get it in shape to handle road trips. If you were lucky enough to find one with few mechanical issues, all the better. However, always fix the parts which will get it running, and then worry about those aesthetics which will have it looking better. Safety is always first. Everything else comes after.