Our Never Ending Story – 2020 Edition

2005 Northern Star

The best of owning and renting our coach

Remember in my last post I talked about the advantages of renting our coach for income and also to offset or eliminate our expenses? Remember that I was touting that we would have it at the rental agent’s lot under surveillance ?

So what is the problem with this scenario?

Those that have followed us know we have a 2005 Newmar Northern Star which was is in very good condition up until the first of this month.

So, I get a call from the rental agent saying the front two opposing slides won’t operate (They worked when I dropped it off in March).

Then he says that the only way they will work is with the generator running or with the coach plugged in. (Immediately my mind went to the batteries aren’t charged). So I ask him what the battery voltage was and he said his tech told him 14.4 volts (that’s what is supposed to be).

After talking about the slide problems for a bit, he drops the next bomb on me. He says the generator won’t run more than fifteen minutes. Huh? It worked perfectly when I dropped it off.

So what happens now?

The coach is in Phoenix, We are in Tucson. I am assuming that it wouldn’t be worth my while to drive five hours round trip, and replace the batteries in triple digit heat. So, Elite Rental took the coach to La Mesa RV in Phoenix (a Newmar dealer). After talking with the service manager I authorized battery replacement at a cost of $988. The bottom line is that the batteries were indeed shot, they wouldn’t hold a charge long enough to run the slide motors very long. The batteries were over five years old and served us well. It was time to replace them.

Our generator on the other hand is a different story. It is now fifteen years old. If you own or are about to own a coach, you know or need to know that stuff doesn’t last forever. In this case the generator was running about fifteen minutes and shutting off. After the generator guy at La Mesa inspected our generator I was told that the water pump impeller was shot and while it was being replaced I should replace water pump gaskets, coolant, fan belt, temperature sensors and the unit required a new breaker as the old one had a broken toggle on it (meaning you couldn’t shut off the power from the generator or reset it if it tripped).

Our coach does not have a generator slide out. This means that the front hood needs removing and the generator extracted with a fork lift, repaired, and reinstalled the same way. Not cheap! This repair is going to cost us $2300. Oh the joy of ownership.

The bottom LIne

We’ve decided that we won’t be using our coach until late in the year if then. These repairs were not unexpected but needed to be done, we are just glad that they didn’t happen when we were full time on the road. And, as they say, “Life goes on.”



  1. Still seems like the rental money would help offset these repairs. Sounds like these repairs were due – caused by the passing of time – not by misuse or abuse. Correct? So, would you say your rental idea is still a good one? Other than not being near the coach to repair it yourself? In any case, enjoy your day!


    • Betty, thanks for your comment. Yes, the rental money will quickly cover the costs. It’s rented the first week of September so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be finished.

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