Is buying used wise?

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psiegert

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Aug 26, 2006
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2006 and 2007 new RVs have enticing features -- but big $$$$.  Being our first RV, I am thinking a used RV risks less money and if selected wisely, can be nearly as enjoyable.  I looked through the classifieds on the web at over 600.  My thinking is to buy 38'-40', 2003 or newer with under 15000 miles.  I considering a 2006 Tifin Allegro (very low miles but lots of living); a 2003 Safari Zanzibar, a National RV, and numerous Newmars and Fleetwoods (enough to scare me away from them).  What warnings and advice can anyone offer?
 

Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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You probably saw more Newmars and Fleetwoods because they probably sell more new. Newmar is on the top end of motorhomes and Fleetwoods are middle or lower priced, depending on the model.
As you may have noticed, mileage doesn't tell the whole story. Age and wear and tear can be more important. Look for a coach that has little w&t and has a well documented history.
I personally would never buy a new coach because I have read too many horror stories on this and other websites and talked to too many people that have had many, many things wrong with their new coach and heard what a hassle they had getting them fixed.
A dealer wants to sell you a new coach, badly. And will often tell you whatever they have to to get you to buy. Often, but not always, their repair facility is small or non-existent.
Motorhome buyers are often not repeat buyers, they will buy one and keep it so there is not as much incentive to make you happy as there is for a new car dealer.
Just my two cents.

Woody
 

jimmymiko

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Aug 12, 2006
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My wife and I just bought a Jayco class c from a private owner.  I know it isn't in the same class as the one you are looking for but it was used.  We found our home on eBay, it was local to us so we went and took a look.  The home is a 2002 Jayco and the owner had bought it new.  We had looked a several homes but this one was the best we had seen for the best price.  The home only had 12,000 miles on it and was basically new, it even smelled new.  We bought the home for less than half it cost four years ago.  The shower still had the stickers in it.  The long short of it is that if you keep looking you will find a great deal out there, just don't give up.  We are very happy with our purchase and have not had one issue with the RV.

One point to note is that the original owner had detailed logs of what was done and when.  He also only took the RV across country once and took two shorter trips in the RV.
 
D

D2

Guest
In 2004, we purchased a gently used 2000 Newmar Mountain Aire DP (15,000-16,000 miles on it when we bought it).  We purchased from a reliable dealer we knew and purchased the extended warranty to cover any major repairs.  We have been thrilled with our decision.  We have had a couple of repairs done and new tires put on but so far we are still way below what the cost would have been new.  An RV, like any vehicle, depreciates as soon as you drive them off the lot.

We have heard some folks will trade in RV's every 2-4 years and buy a new one.  We are not in the income bracket that we can afford to do that so we buy when others trade up.

 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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I've owned several MH and the last 7 have been used.  Would do so again and will do so perhaps  within a  year a so. The last 2  a 93 Coachman with in 95 with 6200 miles  and we sold it with 72000 on it.  This Pace Arrow is a 98 we bought in 2001 with 4300 miles on it and now have 29000. 
Both bought from estates after a death of one of the spouses.  The 2 prior to them were purchased due to the people getting a divorce.  Saved boocools of $.  Something to think about.
 

Jeff

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We have owned five motorhomes over 30 years, all purchased used. The current one (2001 Tradewinds LTC)  was three years old with 10,000 miles when we acquired it three years ago. Our total repair bills have been less than $1,500 over 3 years and 35,000 additional miles, most of which have been what I would classify as routine chassis maintenance (valve lash adjustment, wheel seal, starter solenoid, air dump valve, etc). That just about equals the service costs for 35,00 miles including oil, filters, and lubes, a radiator flush, and tranny switch to Transynd.

We purchased extended warranty on our last coach and never recovered the premium so it becomes a personal decision on the level of comfort you desire- we opted not to purchase any for the Tradewinds.

As has been pointed out the maintenance does not come close to the cost of depreciation and cost of money.

Incidentally, I am not questioning the wisdom of our fortunate friends who purchase new coaches regularly, without them we could not enjoy the hand-me-downs. ;)
 

Jackliz

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Hondo, TX
Howdy.
Buying is wise because you are spared from the big depreciation in valve. We bought a new coach in 1995, ordered from the factory. We were going to fulltime and figured that this coach would be our home forever. WRONG!! Jack began to lust after buses!!  I.E. BLue Bird Wanderlodge, Newell, Prevost.  After looking for a long long time, we did buy a 1993 Wanderlodge in 2004.
There are firms that will go over a coach and give a unbiased report for a fee. I personally know of a person that does this.

Regards,
Jack and Liz Pearce
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I strongly recommend buying used for your first RV and probably for subsequent ones as well.  New Rvs depreciate horendously, so buying used is one way to escape that. And new Rvs have lots of litttle problems that need correcting (just like a new house) and you usually escape that in a used one as well.

There is really no advantage to buying a new one, except to say "I have a new RV".  If warranty coverage is a concern, buy an extended warranty for a used one.
 

Jeff

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RV Roamer said:
There is really no advantage to buying a new one, except to say "I have a new RV".  If warranty coverage is a concern, buy an extended warranty for a used one.

Gary:

The one big reason I see for buying new is to choose the options and decor you desire. I spent a year looking for a HR Endeavor only to end up with the Tradewinds when Sue saw the interior of our coach.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I agree about the importance of decor but there are so many used rigs available that you can find anything you want if you are willing to shop. And, like you did, you fall in love with a style you didn't even know existed until you see one.
 

wendyann

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Aug 17, 2006
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17
RV Roamer said:
I agree about the importance of decor but there are so many used rigs available that you can find anything you want if you are willing to shop.

And speaking as an interior designer, you can also always change just about anything to do with the interior decor if you want to, same as you can in a house ;->

Wendy
 

Scott Townley

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Feb 27, 2007
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Location
Fullerton, California
We bought a used 2000 winnebago Journwey 36L.  We looked for weeks for the right one.  It has 31,000 miles on it and very very little wear and tear.

WE LOVE IT!!!!!!

Diesel Pushers are the best and we save LOTS and LOTS of $$$$$$ buying used.

Had to put on new tires and three new house batteries that's it. Perfect!!!!

No problems....

Scott....
 
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