All are great points, and please, keep the advice/suggestions flowing!
We really like the Tiffin product, and the Phaeton is the #1 selling RV in the US, so there have to be some very good qualities for this unit. I have spent quite a bit of time looking at many different manufacturers, and keep coming back to a Tiffin. All the online forums rave about Tiffin products. The rep I spoke to at Lazydays in Florida couldn't say enough good things about the Tiffin lines. For our first class A I think this is a great choice. We will make mistakes, and I'd rather learn on a good used model so that our next unit can be chosen based upon our own experiences.
Here in Ontario there is only one Tiffin dealer, McPhails, and they have a stellar reputation. A down side to one dealership is the lack of local competition controlling price. So, we have looked at other authorized Tiffin dealerships in Canada and find a few in Alberta and British Columbia. When I searched their respective online inventories, there were not many used Tiffins to choose from. So, I searched major US dealerships and found many to choose from. The down side to purchasing in the US for a Canadian are the import taxes.
The tax that gets us is the Provincial sales tax, like your state tax. Ours is called the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and it hits us up for 13% of the purchase price. Quick math says that on a $100k purchase all sales taxes and import fees will add up to ~$15k. That's quite a bit.
Here is the Nada guide pricing for a 2003 Tiffin Phaeton:
TOTAL PRICE Base $75,260 Average retail $90,750
So, if you add in the import tax, the base price becomes almost the reduced price, without the hassles of importing.
Keeping all this in mind, I don't want to take every last ounce of profit from the dealer. That builds bad blood and you will pay for it every time you deal with them in the future.
So, with everything said here, do you think I am being reasonable to request all new tires, all hoses, belts, filters, fluids and driving lights to be replaced, plus any repairs that need to be done, for $85k? We plan to hire a RV mechanic to do a thorough exam prior to signing the final paperwork.