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Author Topic: Newcomer With Questions!  (Read 470 times)


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Newcomer With Questions!
« on: July 09, 2017, 03:37:17 PM »
My husband and I are looking for a used Class A motor home.  We are new to this, and we are having trouble when we go to look at units that are being offered by individuals. 

We've gone to look at multiple motor homes, sometimes driving several hours each way to see them.  We have yet to go to one that is ready to look at.  What I mean, is that the batteries are dead, the generator is out of gas, can't check the slides or appliances, etc.  Is this normal?  We call and arrange a time to look at what the individuals are selling, and can't make an informed decision when everything isn't operational.

Granted, we are looking at older RV's (2000-2008), but I want to know what does and doesn't work.  It's as if I were going to sell a car and told the buyer, "The battery is dead, but trust me, it runs."  I'm sure we might not run into this working with a dealer, but would much prefer to work with individuals.  (At least, I thought we would prefer that!)  Am I asking too much to expect a home to be ready to inspect when we come to look at it?  Has anyone else run into this?  And should this be a big red flag when we do?

Looking forward to finding the right RV for us, and hitting the road!

« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 03:58:36 PM by CMorrow »

Larry N.

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Re: Newcomer With Questions!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 06:26:20 PM »
Well, a lot of this is subject to opinion, but I agree that anyone serious about selling their RV should have it operational, clean and ready to show. What you describe doesn't sound reasonable. There may be some dealers the same way, but many can demo rigs the minute you walk in, without even a previous call. Certainly there are dealers to avoid, but there are also some that can be pretty good. I know there are private sellers that can demo well, too, but I don't know how to identify them in advance.

Seems to me that you're getting an insight into the particular seller when you encounter that, but it's a big waste of time and money for you. It also, to me, would be a red flag that probably one or more things don't work. When you call for an appointment, you could try a mild comment to the effect that you've occasionally had problems with a rig not being ready to show, and that that would be an automatic, "You've wasted my time -- bye!" But you'd have to be careful in your wording (much better than mine) to minimize the chances of them taking offense, causing you to miss a gem. Perhaps someone else has some thoughts on this.

I certainly wish you luck.
There are some beauts out there in that age range, but there are plenty of dogs, too.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
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Re: Newcomer With Questions!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 06:48:48 PM »
I ran into  the exact same thing every time I have been shopping for an RV. There is nothing you can do about it other than walk away when an RV is not ready to show. I once went to look at an old Beaver that "everything works" and nothing worked. The front bumper was laying in the hallway. What a joke. I doubt I have ever bought an RV that I did not have to shop for 4 months to buy. Just keep looking.
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muskoka guy

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Re: Newcomer With Questions!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 07:27:31 PM »
Prepare to be lied to when shopping for an rv. I have driven four hours to find the counter top broke in three pieces and the front corner punched in. I asked specifically on the phone if there was any damage and what did and didnt work. Walk away. Another time drove two hours, and the guy didnt want to put out the slide or take me for a test drive. Walk away. Just got to keep looking and be patient. Dont get in a hurry. The deal will come along. I started looking two years ago for a dp to replace my current gas model. Nothing wrong with the gaser, just wanted to upgrade to a pusher. I found the deal, but it took me two years and looked at many models that were not what they said they were, in spite of asking very specific questions on the phone. Dealers quite often take models on consignment. They will not clean them or repair anything until they have a buyer. They usually say it just came in, even though it could have already been there for months. Look for an older couple or widow getting out due to their age or health. Hopefully kept inside all its life. If you can find a really well cared for model, with up to date records and service done, its worth a few extra dollars instead of getting one not taken properly cared for. Everything that doesnt work can add up to thousands fast. Good luck  on your search.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Newcomer With Questions!
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 08:43:20 PM »
What you are encountering seems incomprehensible, yet many sellers, including some dealers, seem to do nothing at all the prep an RV for sale. It's stupidity on their part, but you can't fix stupid.  All you can do is ask lots of questions ahead of time, request numerous and detailed photos, and warn them in advance what you expect to be able to test/check when you arrive.

There are well-cared for coaches out there, including many 10-15 year old models. Maybe you have been selecting a lot of bargain-priced rigs?  Or shopping venues that attract lazy sellers?

I don't consider a 2008 coach old either. It's a house, not a car, and 10 years of age isn't yet "old".
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Newcomer With Questions!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 07:13:50 PM »
Thanks for the input; I guess I just needed to vent just a bit!  And, you're right, Gary RV_Wizard, 10 years for a motor home isn't old.  I admit, we would love to find a "bargain", but are willing to pay a fair rate if we find just what we want in good shape.  We've learned so much from our trips to look at RV's, even when the outcome isn't what we were hoping for.  Every time we look at another one, we find out more about what is or isn't important to us, and the questions we need to ask before we go again.  That being said, one person's "it's in great shape", isn't what another would consider great shape.  More questions before taking a long drive are a must!  Lots of pictures (recent ones, please!  ;D ) and insisting that it be ready for us to check out are also something we have learned we can't take for granted.  It's a journey that even with the frustrations, we are enjoying - most days!