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Author Topic: new versus used  (Read 819 times)


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  • 2017 freedom Elite 29 fe
new versus used
« on: September 08, 2017, 02:01:38 PM »
with the cost of a class a motorhome would like to get some opinions on the new vs the used diesel motorhomes
2017 Freedom Elite 29 fe

Kevin Means

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Re: new versus used
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 02:13:05 PM »
There's a lot of room for interpretation in your statement, but we'd be glad to help if you could be more specific.

2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 960 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California


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  • 2017 freedom Elite 29 fe
Re: new versus used
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 03:17:00 PM »
don't really know what I am trying to say , but here it go, just trying to find out if you have more problem with a used motor home with the house part of the motorhome,
2017 Freedom Elite 29 fe

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: new versus used
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 03:31:10 PM »
Probably not, but like any used house, a lot depends on how old, how much it was used, and the care taken (maintenance). Generally, a 3-5 year old motorhome is already over the new rig "teething problems" that are so common.  If you were thinking a new rig would typically be trouble-free, you are mistaken.

Think about it: if you bought a 3 year old house, would you expect to have problems with plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc?
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 05:52:45 PM »
Adding on to what Gary said, at three years old you would avoid the depreciation hit you will get on a new vehicle.
John and Becky
2004 Alfa See Ya DP
2008 Honda CRV

Experience comes from mistakes.  I have a lot of experience


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 10:47:24 PM »
I bought a 15 year old Safari Trek last year, while not a diesel, it is a quality built rv (full body paint, Aluminum roof, solid wood cabinets, etc.) Since then I have put about 6,500 miles on it, and so far I can list number of "house" side problems on 1 hand:

1, the low point drain valve has started to drip when the system is pressurized (leaks 1-2 gallons per day)

2, I have a clip on plastic light fixture cover that is prone to falling off, I keep finding it on the floor.

3, I had an 18x18 inch mirror on the wall fall off a couple of weeks ago (factory adhesive gave out)

The previous owner installed new carpet, and new seating, even though it just hit 80,000 miles one has to look very close to see signs of wear anywhere in the coach, build quality does make a difference along with how it is maintained.  This is not to say it is perfect, the floor inside the cabinet under the kitchen sink where the trash can sits has some damage (looks like a drain cleaner spill ate into it), and there are some fine scratch marks on the kitchen table, but those could probably be sanded out and resealed with little effort, the carpet on the entry steps is also showing wear even after being cleaned even though it is only 3 or 4 years old.
2002 Safari Trek 2830


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 07:38:28 AM »
It looks like the comments above are right along with how I searched out our new(ever-so-lightly-used) MH. Make a decision on a floor plan so you can eliminate walking thru dozens of MH's (and getting confused). I used the floor plans on rvusa.com to help my DW visualize the layout better. https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/specs-guide
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 12:01:09 PM »
I was asking the same question a few years back.  We had found a used model about a year old and a new one the same model that was sitting on a dealer's lot..... for pretty close to the same money, just a bit more...
We ended up going for the new.
Was it worth it?  Hard to say.
I did have a few things fixed under warranty, one of them very major...tail lights leaked rotting out the back wall and they replaced the whole back wall.
But I also fixed more little things than I can even remember.  Loose screws, missing screws, drawer slides out of adjustment or needing replacement, adjusting door latches, and on and on....

With the used one, you might assume that many of those things would have already been addressed
but then again maybe not
or maybe they were to a lesser standard than I would have liked...or maybe even done in some worse way...
and perhaps it had the same back wall rot but would have been out of warranty and up to me
and may have had some other lemon issue on top of it all....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Mile High

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Re: new versus used
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 12:30:05 PM »
There is something to be said for new, especially if you are going to own it forever, because you control the care and maintenance from birth. 

However, for us as vacationers it wasn't a realistic option because we wanted a DP.  We figured there was a sweet spot in age where it is modern enough but depreciated enough.  Whether we hit it or not I don't know, but I'm not looking back. 
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2017, 10:40:41 AM »
You'll start from square one when you go for new, but it would likely cost you more;

Used, on the other hand, would be the bang-for-your-buck. This would be likely true provided that you get to deal with a reputable dealer, but would cost you more than the price of a new one in case of hidden defects appearing in the long run.


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 03:45:25 PM »
The way I see it when it comes to higher quality class A motorhomes, either diesel or gas powered, but more so with diesel is if you can afford to buy new you can easily afford to buy used.    As though you will tend to have more maintenance expense with an older used coach, the difference will likely be less than the depreciation hit you are taking on  buying new.     The problem comes about when people that can't afford the cost of ownership of a  class A motorhome go out and buy a cheaper used one,  then can't afford to repair and maintain it then end up blaming the motorhome.    The simple fact is that it costs at least a few thousand dollars per year to maintain a class A motorhome, with many of these expenses being periodic wear items, $3,000 -  $5,000 for new tires every 7 years, 3 to 6 new $150 batteries every 4-5 years,  then you get into those $1,500 - $2,000 appliances that typically have a 12-18 year life expectancy (fridge, air conditioner, water heater, ...), all of this before we even talk about drive train parts, rubber bushings and hoses that age out, ...   .
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Ernie n Tara

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Re: new versus used
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 09:51:59 AM »
Amen to the above! :)) Not only do I plan on $3, 000 per year maintenance but recognize that it is not evenly distributed.  My peak year for the MH listed below was about $5, 500 and that's for a relatively new unit that has been properly maintained. Granted, it's not that bad if you only see occasional use, but a set of tires plus say a transmission control module (happened to me) adds up to over $4, 000.

If you can't write that check, consider getting a trailer or other less complex unit.

Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler


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Re: new versus used
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2017, 08:39:13 AM »
We buy used and pay cash... want to be able to afford to fix what breaks and keep on moving...  ;)
We've heard of too many instances of problems with new MH's. With new, you kinda expect it to work and are surprised when it doesn't. With a used vehicle, its less of a surprise. I think the trick to buying used is to find a vehicle that has been maintained in a fashion similar to how you would do it. Beyond appearing in good shape, I like to see documentation on maintenance and repairs.