Dear RV Shrink:
I hope you can help me with my husband’s paranoia about our finances. We have been full-time traveling in our RV since retirement. We took the plunge, sold the house and bought a used 5th wheel. We have been on the road for seven years and both enjoy the lifestyle. Now that we have our sea legs I have a desire for several options that our rig lacks.
We are perfectly capable of buying a new rig but my husband keeps on insisting we save our money and just update what we have. I tell him we can’t take it with us — let’s splurge a bit. He keeps everything we own in tip-top condition so this one will not wear out in my lifetime. I just want some of the new features that our design will not allow him to upgrade. Should I put my foot down and insist on new wheels, or relent and appreciate that he is frugal to a fault? —Abstemious in Albany
You could try several approaches. First, explain to your husband that this is America. Saving is not the American way. Explain to him that this is a throwaway society and that he is causing layoffs in Elkhart, Indiana, with his tightwad ways. If that fails to convince him, you might want to suggest a “new” used rig. I am sure you could find the options you are looking for at substantially less than a brand-new rig.
Many people dream of retiring and doing exactly what you are doing. Unfortunately, for many, it doesn’t last long for various reasons including health issues, finances, homesickness and insecurity. From this pool of ex-RVers you can often find a nice unit that has had little use and is deeply discounted. Or you could tell him you want to renew your vows and instead of that five-carat diamond ring you never got the first time around, you will settle for a new RV with all the bells and whistles.
I don’t know your financial situation, so be careful what you wish for. There are people with the fanciest rigs who cannot afford to drive them around the block. Buying used helps with the initial depreciation hit and often the first owners worked all the bugs out. I’m talking about mechanical problems not bedbugs. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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