EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Looking for used - mileage and year  (Read 477 times)

slam308

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
Looking for used - mileage and year
« on: September 24, 2017, 05:32:26 PM »
Looking for a new (used) RV.  What would you suggest for year and mileage parameters?

My thoughts - Year
I've read that the first three years are the worst for depreciation.  I'm not sure how that works if I'm not the original owner.  Is it better financially to buy a four year old motorhome vs. a one or two year old motorhome?*

My thoughts - Mileage
Would you be more inclined to look at a newer motorhome with more miles or an older motorhome with less miles?  Is there a "break-in" period?  At what point do you say the mileage is too low and it likely sat for too long?  What's a good "happy medium"?

*I've seen 2018 models with upwards of 20-30,000 miles.  How is that possible?  When do the new model years come out?
Would you be more or less inclined to buy a used rental RV? 

Isaac-1

  • ---
  • Posts: 501
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 07:17:11 PM »
There are a lot of variables here, how do you plan to use the coach (vacations, full time, snow birds, etc.), how was it previously used (snow birds can put of a lot wear on the interior of an RV, and few miles on the chassis),  how many years of service do you expect to get out of it, ...

With that said, all RV's depreciate, all have an ongoing cost of ownership which includes maintenance, storage, and insurance.  The depreciation curve on motorhomes flattens out considerably after they get to be 10-12 years old, older than that and the price becomes much more about condition.  Under the umbrella of condition, I am including not only the physical shape it is in, but also mechanical features like which engine and transmission it has, as well as styling, purple and teal accents just scream 1990's.

As to mileage, it is very rare that one will find a used motorhome that has so many miles on it that mileage itself will be an issue, unless perhaps you plan to go full time and travel back and forth coast to coast repeatedly.  Generally modern (anything built in the last 15 or so years) motorhomes will be equipped with engines that have design lives of 200,0000 (gas) to 400,000 (lower end diesels) miles or more.  What is important is what maintenance has been done, have those components that age out (anything made from rubber) been replaced for tires that means they should be less than 7 years old, belts and hoses about 10, suspension and steering rubber bushings, should be inspected and changed as needed likely after 10-12 years. 

For me personally knowing I would likely be taking one big trip per year, and the rest would be long weekends here and there, I opted to buy something in the 12-15 year old range when I bought my current coach last year.  I paid $20,000 for the coach, have put another $6,000 into it in maintenance and upgrades (mostly upgrades), and feel based upon current market prices for the same model that I have, but 5 years older, that in 5 years I could sell it and only take a $3,500 - $5,000 hit.  If I would have bought the same basic coach, but 5 years newer which would have been a 9 year old coach (of course with a few updates, 6 speed vs 4 speed transmission, etc.) I would have paid around around $60,000, and in 5 years it would likely be worth $25,000 or so.  Which is a loss of $35,000 in value over 5 years.

What would that $35,000 have bought me, a little better performance, though likely less than 1 mpg better fuel economy, a more contemporary color scheme on the exterior paint, a flat screen TV straight from the factory vs my retrofitted TV with cut down wood cabinet., oh and a curved glass shower door instead of my neo-angle glass shower door and maybe a little more contemporary faucets and bathroom fixtures as the polished brass look on my bathroom fixtures is a bit dated.

8.1 Vortec V8 engine, both have it
DSI electric water heater, check both have it
Sharp Convection Mircrowave, check both have it
......
LED lighting, check both have it, mine has been updated
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 07:20:58 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60741
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 08:48:45 PM »
The depreciation is a fairly consistent percentage of the value for the first 8-10 years. The first year may appear huge because it is usually compared to the MSRP, but the original owner rarely paid MSRP or even close to it, so the first year statistic looks bigger, If the actual new selling price was known, it probably would be no different than year 2 or 3 or 4.  Of course, the biggest dollar amount is early on, each years percentage is applied to an ever-smaller value.

Personally, I think neither year or mileage are all that important.  Condition is what matters, and a well-kept 10 year old rig is every bit as sound a buy as a 2-3 year old. Most RVs don't have a lot of miles anyway.  6000 mi/yr is typical, so a 10 year old rig often has only 60k or so on it.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

slam308

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 06:51:37 PM »
Thank you!  That's a huge help.  I've been looking at used RV listings and had no concept of what I should be searching for as far as those two items. 
Isaac, I too figure I'll be using it for one big (2 week) trip per year plus a couple long weekends, so I understand your logic and it makes sense to me.  I can retire in 6 years, so we'd probably reevaluate at that point.

Gary, my next question was going to be what's an average yearly mileage, so thanks for that.

I still don't understand completely the whole depreciation thing, but this info gives me something to work with.

Coincidentally, we had some people over Saturday for a BBQ/campfire and I learned that one of my husband's friends has a new job where he works on RVs among other things.  How many cases of Coors Lite would cover an oil change/service??   ;D
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 06:59:13 PM by slam308 »

slam308

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2017, 06:57:18 PM »
All have an ongoing cost of ownership which includes maintenance, storage, and insurance. 

I know this is a very general question, but what are ballpark figures for maintenance and insurance, storage is not an issue.  Assume a class C gas.  $2000 a year?  $5000 a year?  Just a real basic idea...

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 10940
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2017, 07:02:37 PM »
Personally, I think neither year or mileage are all that important.  Condition is what matters, and a well-kept 10 year old rig is every bit as sound a buy as a 2-3 year old. Most RVs don't have a lot of miles anyway.  6000 mi/yr is typical, so a 10 year old rig often has only 60k or so on it.
:)) :)) :))As usual Gary hits the nail on the head. Most newbies seem to think that buying an RV is like buying a car and they are as different as night and day. The only similarities is how much lying the dealers will do to sell you something.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

Isaac-1

  • ---
  • Posts: 501
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 08:20:38 PM »
Insurance, registration, etc varies considerably from location to location, for me in Louisiana Insurance is running about $850 per year through state farm (where I have other car insurance), I may shop it around before renewal, registration here is under $50 per year, I don't recall the exact amount though.  Some states registration is based on percentage of book value, so can be much higher.

As I mentioned in my previous post I spent about $6,000 on maintenance and upgrades in my first year of ownership, which on the maintenance side included $450 for professional brake inspection, and bleeding and flushing the brake system (I had a cap failure on the master cylinder which allowed loss of fluid and moisture into the system).  $750 on dash air conditioner repair at a local auto shop I have used for years, it took them 2 solid days, but they ended up finding 3 corroded wiring connections and a bad connection on the back of the fuse box for the compressor relay, so they earned that money.  I did change out the power steering fluid, and generator oil myself before taking it on a 4200 mile trip this summer, however I ran out of time to get the rest of the fluids changed (I had limited service history going back only a couple of years before I bought it).  So I ended up paying a local shop $430 to change oil, trans fluid and filter, diff fluid and radiator coolant.  I also need to spend a $250 or so on a new tire, I bought a mounted spare for the big trip and had to use it on the  drive home when a steer tire developed a strong vibration (belt separation?).

Another $400 was spent on DIY nickle and dime stuff right after I bought the coach to get the marker lights, headlights, etc. all functional.

Of the rest it was upgrades mostly updates (TPMS, shocks, GPS, etc.), or some long term wear items that will likely not need to be replaced for another 15 years or more (sway bar bushings, ...)
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60741
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 09:45:20 AM »
Quote
I know this is a very general question, but what are ballpark figures for maintenance and insurance, storage is not an issue.  Assume a class C gas.  $2000 a year?  $5000 a year?  Just a real basic idea...

Insurance cost varies tremendously by location and individual, not to mention the amounts and types of coverage chosen and the cost of the coach, but $1000 is a ball park figure. Higher in metro areas, often much less in rural communities.

Maintenance is equally hard to estimate. If you have to take it to an RV dealer for every little thing, you could easily spend $1500-$2000/year on nits and lice, with no major repairs at all. If you can handle some basics things yourself, the cost should be under $250.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Isaac-1

  • ---
  • Posts: 501
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 03:05:20 PM »
When it comes to maintenance a lot depends on how you count things on an  RV's as components age out, tires for example have about a 7 year life span and depending on size, brand, etc. will cost something over $1,500 on the low end, likely over $2,500.

$2,500 / 7 averages out to something around $350 per year alone

Then of course there are those other big ticket items the $1,000 air conditioners and $1,500 RV refrigerators that seem to last about 15 years give or take a few, as well as those little ticket items like the sub $100 rubber sway bar bushings that dry rot over time,...
2002 Safari Trek 2830

slam308

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 06:47:01 PM »
The only similarities is how much lying the dealers will do to sell you something.

Oh great, that makes me feel better, lol.  ::)

I had limited service history going back only a couple of years before I bought it. 

Is a service history something you're likely to get from a dealer?  Which brings about another question, would you pick dealer over private sale, or does it all depend? 


SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 10940
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 06:57:52 PM »

Is a service history something you're likely to get from a dealer?  Which brings about another question, would you pick dealer over private sale, or does it all depend?
No, most dealers won't have the service history. I would pick a private seller every time. They don't add on dealer fees and lots of other crap to jack up the price.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

99dart

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
  • If it ain't broke...don't fix it!
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 09:41:54 PM »
If looking at an older RV ( say 10- 15yrs old) look for receipts for things replaced/repaired. Roof resealed, new tires or brakes. On our 98 I had replaced quite a few things. Hot water tank, I stoopidly didn't drain ours one year. Thus, new tank. New convertor, ours quit working. A nice new one went in. Mattress, we upgraded to a nice memory foam in the old unit. I wish we still had it!  I installed a new backup camera system when the old camera filled up with water. I upgraded the faucets from cheap platic ones to new single handle units to better mix hot/cold water when trying not to dump a bunch off water down the drain. Simple but efficient things can really make an older unit stand out.  Good Luck in your search!
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60741
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 11:51:10 AM »
Quote
Is a service history something you're likely to get from a dealer?

No. Privacy laws and lawsuits have made it nigh impossible for a dealer to retain and pass on service-related documents. Unless they have signed release documents from the former owner(s), they have to remove any and all "personal" or "financial" information from invoices and work orders, and missing just one item can be grounds for legal penalties. If they find records left in the RV, they near always remove and shred them to protect themselves legally.

A private owner may willingly turn over whatever records they have. I did when I sold our coach last winter, but I had researched the buyer a bit and was confident he was on the up & up.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Isaac-1

  • ---
  • Posts: 501
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 03:25:38 PM »
As I see it these used dealers do often go above an beyond on this topic, throwing out all paperwork, including the original owners manuals as it is much easier to toss everything rather than make sure someones credit card info is not on a receipt stuck between the pages of a manual.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

slam308

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 05:23:32 PM »
Can you think of any "plus" to buying used from a dealer?  (Just covering my bases.)

SeilerBird

  • ---
  • Posts: 10940
  • Everything I state is my opinion.
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 05:37:30 PM »
Can you think of any "plus" to buying used from a dealer?  (Just covering my bases.)
Yes, they will take care of the DMV stuff for you and it will be washed when you pick it up. You will however be paying indirectly or directly for these services.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

Isaac-1

  • ---
  • Posts: 501
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 07:31:02 PM »
Also at the giant consignment dealers like PPL in Texas you can view 50+ used coaches on the same lot.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

slam308

  • ---
  • Posts: 42
Re: Looking for used - mileage and year
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 05:24:38 PM »
Also at the giant consignment dealers like PPL in Texas you can view 50+ used coaches on the same lot.

I'm thinking look around at dealers and shows, but buy private once I decide what I want.

 

Hosted by Over The Network