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Old 09-05-2023, 05:01 AM   #1
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is this typical for a new Winnebago/RV?

My wife and I spent last year trying out a few different RVs, and last November bought a Micro Minnie FLX. We couldn't use it through the winter, since it's a three-season RV, but since April we've used it on several trips for about three dozen days.

We have experienced a steady stream of problems, minor and major. We read that typical RV problems are with the tires, windows, and roof, but only one of ours was with those. It seems like we can't go out without a significant problem or, as this past weekend, three. Our plan is to do a 12-month/nationwide trip starting in September, 2024, but I don't have confidence that we could go on that trip which at times would take us hundreds of miles from a dealer/RV repair shop.

- The first few days the battery stopped in the middle of the night, although not much was running and it had plenty of charge. If we hit the On button, it would restart and then work fine. After a few days, it mostly stopped doing it, although a few weeks later it happened in the middle of the afternoon.

- The roof leaked around the AC unit on rainy days, and the dealer fixed that.

- The back inside of the GE fridge freezes and builds up a quarter inch or so of frost on hot/humid days. It freezes items near it, even on the middle setting.

- The murphy bed broke and had to be down for all of a three-week trip. Winnebago supplied a replacement part to the dealer which fixed a design defect.

- We've experienced porpoising several times. Apparently you're supposed to load an RV with more weight toward the front, but that isn't possible in the FLX which has tanks and storage areas farther back.

- The FLX comes with a 31 gallon fresh water tank, and 25 gallon grey and black water tanks. However, the dealer has told us that the supports for the fresh water tank weren't designed to hold the weight when it's full (although we did drive that way a few times before they told us). So apparently we need to carry 30 gallons of fresh water in our truck to put in when we arrive. That's really annoying, considering that Winnebago markets this as a rig that you can be off-grid for 4-5 days; but you can't bring water in it. WTF. We might need to get an auxiliary grey water tank, too, to be able to stay out at least a week.

- The sheathing around the 7-pin plug cable is short and the wires inside are exposed. We've covered it with electrical tape until it can be fixed.

- A piece of dried black foam around the fresh water release valve under the RV has come loose, exposing a disconnected wire which the dealer says is related to the hot water system.

- This past weekend, when we turned on the inverter we could tell that it was on, but it was not providing any 120v power to the outlets, microwave, etc.

- The fridge has developed a loud, annoying buzz when the motor kicks on.

- A couch is now disconnected and moving around the RV when we drive.

Is this typical for a new RV and we're just not used to it? Or what? Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2023, 08:48 AM   #2
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I would call it a combo of several different things!
One is the lack of experience with many new users. We get used to the easy style of things at home and don't figure in that we ARE NOT at home! We have to adapt and many are finding it is not the full time luxury life that was expected!
Too many thought remote work was going to be more practical than the folks who have done it for a while knew about!

Then it is certainly true that the world is not longer the place it was before we let covid run wild and kill so many of the folks who did the work!
Lots of folks died and lots of folks quit when they woke up to the fact that they might die any day!

If you hire almost anything done now, it may be a big question if the folks have ever done the job before, whether it is simple RV repair or or paperwork!
We have just spent WAY too much time geting a simple deed of release finished as the bank notary no long does real estate papers???
If a bank doesn't handle real estate paperwork, what DO they do? The girl who now holds that job at our bank has no clue, so they stopped doing things they always did!

Bottom line may be that we will never fully recover to the same level we were before, whether it is in RV building /repair or just getting air put back in a tire!

EDIT?
Maybe we are lucky if it is only an RV problem?
https://abcnews.go.com/International...y?id=102923507
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Old 09-05-2023, 12:46 PM   #3
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I suppose it depends on your tolerance for problems. For the record, we’ve owned several new and used RVs; trailers and motorhomes, and feel Winnebago is no better or worse than other manufacturers.

Porpoising: put 12% of GVWR on the tongue and use a WDH with built-in sway control. You didn’t indicate your tow vehicle or your hitch type. Put heaviest stuff in the front pass through, and carry at least 2/3 full fresh water. Do not put bicycles or anything else over 50lbs on the camper bumper. Get a Tpms, so you’ll know if your tires are properly inflated at all times. Make sure the top of your hitch ball is 1” above the trailer coupler when the trailer and tow vehicle are level. Measure squat before and after coupling. No more than 2”. All of these things if not done properly can induce porpoising, or sway, or both. Our 2108 tows rock solid with about 600# on the tongue, towed by a 128” wheelbase midsize truck.

We bought ours new, and we e had our share of problems; more than a dozen; a couple of them serious/severe. I don’t like going to dealers for warranty repair. It means long periods of time with you RV on a lot somewhere waiting for parts or shop time. If you’re not with tools, troubleshooting and fixing stuff, owning an RV will be one frustration after the other. If you’ve never owned an RV, the first thing you learn is they are not cars. Never have bee, and never will be.

Be aware that component failures are common to all RVs. When it happens, you can seek warranty repair or replacement without going through Winnebago. Look in your owners kit and find the manual for the component. It will have warranty info in there.

This won’t make you feel better, but my fresh water tank did fail on a long trip away from home. The bolts on one side fell out, and the tank nearly hit the ground. I effected a field repair using my truck jack, larger diameter tapping bolts and baling wire. It’s better than new now. If you’re concerned, you can take a preventative step by using U-bolts, and galvanized struts to add some additional support. I haven’t done that yet, but probably will. Until I do, I travel with 2/3 tank.

My fridge fell out of the cabinet when we were on a forest service road. Poor design from Winnebago for securing the fridge. I argued with them on the phone until I finally gave up and engineered a more secure mounting design, which I installed myself. Winnebago agreed to pay for the parts.. Range basically shook itself to pieces. Another DIY fix. Cabinets falling, interior trim coming loose, Murphy bed struts broken due to improper installation, etc, etc, etc. What I want to convey is that our issues with our Micro Minnie have not diminished our enjoyment of our camper. But that’s probably because we’ve been there done that in 40 years of RVing.

People who own RVs fall into one of three categories.
1. Those who get frustrated and sell their RV, buy a different one, and get frustrated a second time.
2. Those who take their RV to a repair shop whenever it has a hangnail, and forego using it, sometimes for months.
3. Those who buy some good tools and fix almost everything themselves, and get back on the road for a fulfilling RV experience.

Category 3 above are the “happy campers”. Nothing except the most severe or unsafe problems will ruffle their feathers. They just continue on enjoying the RV lifestyle despite things that break, because things will break all the time, new or used. Inexpensive or over $300,000. So, in a way, you just need to determine which category you fall into. But by all means pursue warranty claims when necessary.

Hope you get out there and have a blast.
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Old 09-05-2023, 02:56 PM   #4
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Thanks, Jim, that's a helpful response. Fortunately it hasn't taken our dealer months to fix anything, but it feels a bit like playing roulette -- which problem will randomly come up on this trip? We can figure out/fix some, not others. (No way to figure out why the inverter suddenly stopped delivering power, but we were fine just using 12v fine for the weekend. We would not have been as happy if it was 90 degrees and couldn't use the AC.) So, as you said, we'll just have to decide if we like that tradeoff. Cheers.
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Old 09-05-2023, 08:38 PM   #5
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By RVIA regulations the tank supports must be capable of supporting a full tank while driving.

Anthony Mikes of Winnebago Industries is on the RVIA plumbing subcommittee that writes plumbing codes.

I would ask that dealer to contact Mr. Mikes with his statement about the weak tanks supports for confirmation.
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Old 09-05-2023, 09:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
By RVIA regulations the tank supports must be capable of supporting a full tank while driving.

Anthony Mikes of Winnebago Industries is on the RVIA plumbing subcommittee that writes plumbing codes.

I would ask that dealer to contact Mr. Mikes with his statement about the weak tanks supports for confirmation.
You can have all the codes you want. Once you go off pavement, the game changes. I don’t think code is designed for that.
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Old 09-05-2023, 10:34 PM   #7
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The kinds of things you’ve mentioned are typical of ALL RVs regardless of brand or cost. RVs are not designed, tested or built like “mass produced things” like cars and trucks. And, expectations need to be realistic. Take any 3-travel trailers on a typical dealer lot. One can be fairly problem free, the second can be a nightmare of problems and the third just in between those two extremes. It’s the luck of the draw.

One important thing about your FLX, that electrical system is pretty unusual and complex. Most dealers are not well versed on its operation or even its setup. So be sure to read the others posts here about the FLX systems.

I’ll call your attention to the following thread where an electrical engineer at the Lithionics battery company helps users with problems and questions. Perhaps you want to run your battery shutting off experience with him in that thread:

https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...es-366502.html
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Old 09-06-2023, 03:39 AM   #8
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I thought I was frustrated but your experience does sound way worse. Are you generally the DIY type? I get the impression that RV ownership is a lot less frustrating if you are. I found trying to get help to be so generally unpleasant across the board that simply accepting that I was my own warranty and service center just instantly made the whole thing more enjoyable. Note to self, remember to cancel the dealer warranty ASAP.

What you said about the tank sounds bonkers to me. Where did you hear that? I did hear several people say don’t carry water. I promptly completely ignored that advice and have been happy. A full tank of nothing else is a known quantity. I KNOW what the trailer weighs, both overall and at the tongue, with everything full. Instead of trying to remove weight from the tongue by removing stuff, I just added a back rack (my Hike 100 is clearly designed for that) and now just treat it as a ballast approach. If the tongue is too heavy I move something aft, and vice versa. Yesterday I somehow found my tongue too light and experienced what you are describing, I solved it by moving my auxiliary gasoline supply from the rear rack to the vehicle tank. Bonus, doing so saved me from having to fill up in Chicken, Alaska at $7.99 a gallon.

What do you mean about the Micro FLX being three season? It’s got heated tanks, enclosed underbelly, and 2” foam insulation all around. I suspect it’ll do better than you expect.

I don’t have an FLX though, I have the hike 100 non-FLX so I bought my own lithium battery and can’t speak to their proprietary system.

Anyway the bottom line is that RVs are cheap manufactured houses on barely legal trailer frames. Expect problems. Don’t expect support. Learn to maintain and fix it yourself and adopt a problems are challenges mentality.
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Old 09-07-2023, 12:57 PM   #9
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Hi Ray - I contacted Tony Mikes and he confirmed that the tanks are built for at least 2X their weight when full. He said that he owns a Micro Minnie (the FLX without the additional sustainable tech) and said he often drives it with a full tank. Thanks for your suggestion.
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Old 09-07-2023, 02:41 PM   #10
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If Tony Mikes is a customer service rep at WBGO, of course heís going to say that. Have you ever heard a company employee employee admit that there are things about their product that are poorly engineered and constructed? Of course not.

Iím telling you that 95% of owners will never be at risk for tank failure. But thereís the 5% who go off-pavement onto roads that the Micro Minnie suspension can handle but the tank restraint bar canít handle. The support bar is held in place by only two tapping bolts on each side. And they are not substantial at all. See the picture below. I can almost guarantee you the support bar will fail if youíre carrying a full tank on a bumpy road. I can also almost guarantee you that your refrigerator (compressor model) will break free from the meager two tapping screws holding it to the front cabinet bracket. Thereís no support for the fridge beyond that! But, of course, Winnebago will tell you that itís designed and engineered to spec. On bumpy or rutted roads as youíre likely to encounter on Forest Service, and BLM roads, the screws will strip out of the fridge and the fridge will fall out of the cabinet. See 2nd photo. DO NOT BELIEVE WINNEBAGO ON THESE THINGS. Iím telling you from experience. You can ignore my advice at your own peril. But, if you carry good tools, and a bit of McGuyver talent, you can repairs these fails even in the field. Iím not trying to trash Winnebago. Itís a good trailer, but be aware that Winnebago employees are paid to toe the company line, and are the first line of defense against warranty or liability claims. They will always deny design defects, and sub-par construction.
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Old 09-07-2023, 05:11 PM   #11
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Sounds like you got a unit with more problems than most. I had similar random battery/inverter issues that were corrected with parameter changes found on another thread here. (Link is in post 7 of creativepars’s link above). If you haven’t verified them you should. The fridge freezing in the back is unfortunately just the way it operates. We bought a small battery powered circulating fan that has helped but completely corrected. As mentioned already, the porpoising is more of a towing setup issue than a trailer issue. We put several thousand miles on ours this year with the fresh tank both full and empty and the black and gray at various levels and have not experienced any porpoising. I don’t think your situation is typical but I wouldn’t say it’s unique either.
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Old 09-10-2023, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgudema View Post
My wife and I spent last year trying out a few different RVs, and last November bought a Micro Minnie FLX. We couldn't use it through the winter, since it's a three-season RV, but since April we've used it on several trips for about three dozen days.

We have experienced a steady stream of problems, minor and major. We read that typical RV problems are with the tires, windows, and roof, but only one of ours was with those. It seems like we can't go out without a significant problem or, as this past weekend, three. Our plan is to do a 12-month/nationwide trip starting in September, 2024, but I don't have confidence that we could go on that trip which at times would take us hundreds of miles from a dealer/RV repair shop.

- The first few days the battery stopped in the middle of the night, although not much was running and it had plenty of charge. If we hit the On button, it would restart and then work fine. After a few days, it mostly stopped doing it, although a few weeks later it happened in the middle of the afternoon.

- The roof leaked around the AC unit on rainy days, and the dealer fixed that.

- The back inside of the GE fridge freezes and builds up a quarter inch or so of frost on hot/humid days. It freezes items near it, even on the middle setting.

- The murphy bed broke and had to be down for all of a three-week trip. Winnebago supplied a replacement part to the dealer which fixed a design defect.

- We've experienced porpoising several times. Apparently you're supposed to load an RV with more weight toward the front, but that isn't possible in the FLX which has tanks and storage areas farther back.

- The FLX comes with a 31 gallon fresh water tank, and 25 gallon grey and black water tanks. However, the dealer has told us that the supports for the fresh water tank weren't designed to hold the weight when it's full (although we did drive that way a few times before they told us). So apparently we need to carry 30 gallons of fresh water in our truck to put in when we arrive. That's really annoying, considering that Winnebago markets this as a rig that you can be off-grid for 4-5 days; but you can't bring water in it. WTF. We might need to get an auxiliary grey water tank, too, to be able to stay out at least a week.

- The sheathing around the 7-pin plug cable is short and the wires inside are exposed. We've covered it with electrical tape until it can be fixed.

- A piece of dried black foam around the fresh water release valve under the RV has come loose, exposing a disconnected wire which the dealer says is related to the hot water system.

- This past weekend, when we turned on the inverter we could tell that it was on, but it was not providing any 120v power to the outlets, microwave, etc.

- The fridge has developed a loud, annoying buzz when the motor kicks on.

- A couch is now disconnected and moving around the RV when we drive.

Is this typical for a new RV and we're just not used to it? Or what? Thanks!
Sorry to hear about your problems. There are lots of good responses to your question. I’ve owned 9 different RV’s over 30 years and more than 200,000 miles. I’ve owned various brands. They all break. I’ve learned to fix many issues on the road myself. Modern RV’s have so much electrical drain in them it’s hard for standard batteries to keep up., And unfortunately none perform like our homes. Salesmen don’t tell you the truth about RV living.

I presently own a Winnebago class A gasser built in May 2021. Yes, I’ve had some kind of issue on most trips but most I consider small, but that’s my perspective. . I’ve traveled 33,000 miles in 25 months.

Most issues I’ve had are with the failure of parts made by suppliers: step motor, propane regulator, awning failure, battery failure,, Ford ignition wires, Lippert auto leveling system. I can’t blame Winnebago for those.

Bottom line, they ALL break. Unfortunately it isn’t the carefree life they try to sell us.

Hopefully your troubles diminish and you get to have some fun.,
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Old 09-10-2023, 06:06 PM   #13
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Thanks for your feedback, and all of the informative comments.

I understand that things break. But I've never encountered a product/industry before in which so many customers say, Yeh, they're unreliable and break, and the dealers take months to fix them, so we fix them ourselves. You wouldn't accept that from a car (which also moves at 65 mph), furnace, internet provider, professional (doctor, lawyer, accountant), etc. (As a businessman, I'd be embarrassed -- and out of business -- if I operated that way.)

I frankly don't get it. My wife and I are experiencing an issue, on average, every three days. RVs are built and sold for a particular use, and they should be reasonably reliable when used for that.
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Old 09-10-2023, 06:34 PM   #14
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Of course you wouldn’t accept that from a car. But RVs are not anything like cars.
An RV is a conglomeration of components, many of which can be found in a home, mounted inside a flimsy enclosure which gets moved down the road as if it we’re in a category 8.5 earthquake for hours. There simply is no other manufactured product that has to be used in that environment, and be expected to work 100% of the time. First thing is you need to get over thinking you can hold RVs to the same expectation level as a car or truck. If you can’t mentally make that disconnect, you will always be frustrated in your RV experience. If you can’t get over that, then RVing is not for you. That’s OK, and not a condemnation. If you can’t reconcile the added repair and maintenance burden that RVs demand, don’t ever buy a boat, or an airplane. Both of those make RVs seem like child’s play.
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Old 09-10-2023, 07:18 PM   #15
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An issue every three days is highly unusual and I would be put off too. I understand your frustration. The RV industry isn’t regulated like the auto is. I wish it was. But I love the camping lifestyle, so I put up with it. Outside of some loose nuts or bolts and screws, I’ve only had four items in 32,000 miles and 25 months on my class A Winnebago that I attributed to the factory not doing a proper job. Most were supplier related issues. I’ve never waited months to get warranty service but have had to wait anywhere from two to six weeks for an appointment. Then usually two weeks in the shop if they needed parts.

I hear you when you said they should be ashamed and you would be out of business if you worked that way. Me too, but it’s amazing, with all the YouTube and social media posts on all the problems, the RV industry had record sales for several years. Now sales are decreasing but since these units are mostly handmade, they just slow production.

There should be more detailed pre-delivery inspection but unless laws are passed to change things, I tell folks to find a trustworthy dealer or repair facility. They do exist. Don’t buy any RV without doing lots of research. We studied our present model for FIVE years before trading in our 2014 model.

Best wishes and I hope you have better luck.
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Old 09-10-2023, 09:30 PM   #16
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Totally get it. I was a new to the world of being an RV guy. Bought a six month old supposedly high end pull trailer. Horrified me what a cheap nasty thrown together piece of crap it was. Two weeks in the trim around the slides literally fell off. Anywhere we touched the drawers it rubbed through the garbage finish, and on and on and on... Spent a lot of time on line and looking at other new units finally determined that if I wanted an RV that wasn't third rate I had to buy an OLD class A ( 2004-2007) or a new half a million dollar Class A. Not being a guy that half a mill laying around I bought a 2005 Class A. Real wood cabinets! Nothing falls off when driving down the road. It's far from perfect but I can accept having to "play" with it. RV's are basically **** unless you spend north of a million dollars as far as I am concerned. Now I've lit the fire lol.....
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Old 09-10-2023, 09:46 PM   #17
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RV's are basically **** unless you spend north of a million dollars as far as I am concerned. Now I've lit the fire lol.....
See, youíd think that, but these issues persist at every level, even in the million dollar plus levels. And those top Oíthe top levels are mostly only serviced at the factory.

Just like a million dollar yacht, these things are built one at a time by a small group of regular everyday people. People without a lot of training, company loyalty or involvementÖ and at low wages.
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Old 10-31-2023, 07:42 AM   #18
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How to get regs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
By RVIA regulations the tank supports must be capable of supporting a full tank while driving.

Anthony Mikes of Winnebago Industries is on the RVIA plumbing subcommittee that writes plumbing codes.

I would ask that dealer to contact Mr. Mikes with his statement about the weak tanks supports for confirmation.
It's been a while, and the dealer says that they've seen multiple tanks drop off. Do you know how to get a copy of the regs? I've looked all over the RVIA site but can't find it. Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:30 AM   #19
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Rvís are low standard.

Every rv has itís host of problems. If you have your doubts about owning an rv, I recommend not getting one. Our more expensive Winnebago has as many issues as any other rv brand that we purchased. All were brand new from a dealership. At least we had warranty coverage for a year and we used our trailer every 2/3 weeks and shook out most of the bugs and got those problems fixed through dealers. The easy stuff I fixed on my own. You can also get some stuff replaced on its own warranty. Itís a wonder that a major law firm has not had a class action lawsuit against the rv manufacturerís as they are really not worth the money. My brand new home in 2019 and my pickup truck have less issues combined. 2022 winnie 2208 fbs owner.
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:44 AM   #20
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This has been the state of the RV business for more than the 40 years I’ve been RVing. If somebody felt they could win a class action suit, they would have brought the case many many years ago. Nothing will change on that front. Maybe if an RV manufacturer is consistently putting out exceptionally bad RVs there could be a class that a big law firm might be interested in. Bottom line is, unless you build or outfit your own RV yourself, you’d either get good at making repairs, or crank in to your cost of ownership the cost of paying somebody to make repairs. I chose the former. My camper, which is supposed to be a better built brand, has had dozens of problems, some serious, many more just crappy build with stuff falling apart. Fixed everything myself. Never went in to a dealer for warranty service or repairs. If you’ve ever owned a boat, you’ll know that the ownership experience as far as repairs is not much different. Same with airplanes. You either spend as much time fixing them as using them, or you sell some Apple stock to pay for repairs, or you get rid of it and enjoy weekends at home.
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