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Old 12-30-2015, 07:54 AM   #1
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Old Motorhome Vs New Motorhome

We were set up in a campground this past fall and we were surrounded by some of the newer motorhomes that I had been reading about. I was very interested in these new RVs because we do a lot of traveling.

I bought my old 1994 Fleetwood Coronado in 2007 when it was 13 years old. It was all that I could afford at that time. That 1994 Fleetwood Coronado was built good and had served me well for the past 8 years. The 1994 Coronado is 21 years old now and I had saved up some money sense 2007 and I am ready to pay cash for a new 2015 model. I could hardly wait to get to talk with the new owners and find out more about these new RVs.

The first gentleman was very disappointed with his new RV and only told me about all the negatives of his new RV. I had to really dig to get some of the RV information I wanted from him. He was still working and does not use his RV as much as we retired people do.

The next owner was happy to have his new RV but he wanted to show me all the things that were wrong with it. He showed me how cheap some things were made and lots of construction flaws. I quickly realized his goal was to talk me out of buying a new RV. He told me and my wife that we would be a lot better off keeping our old 1994 Fleetwood Coronado and just update it. He was more knowledgeable about RVs and had owned 6 different Class A motorhomes. He was 75 years old and had just bought this new RV. He financed it and his payments were $550 per month for 20 years! That right, he will never get it paid for unless he lives to be 95. He knew this when he signed the loan agreement, we talked about that a lot.

I was somewhat disappointed since I was ready for a new RV but I have always made smart decisions when it comes to finances. We bought the 1994 Fleetwood Coronado 8 years ago for $5,000 and I have spent $7,000 on upgrades, repairs and maintenance so my total investment is $12,000 over the past 8 years. I have also learned that we travel and use our RV a lot more than most people do. I retired early at 53 and we have really enjoyed the traveling. If I sold the RV now I could still get a lot of my investment back.

I guess I will just keep driving my old 1994 Fleetwood Coronado and leave my RV money invested.

How do you folks feel about Old Motorhome Vs New Motorhome?
NC Camper
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:10 AM   #2
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:14 AM   #3
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I enjoyed reading your perspective and share very similar thoughts.

We currently have an older 1996 Class C. I've repaired the genset, installed AGM batteries with solar and much more. I have so little invested in this RV I've even loaned it to a friend a few times.

I retire at the age of 56 in 4 years. Right now I'm hoping to budget about 150K on an RV when the time comes.

It looks like I'll be able to get a 5-10 year old near luxury model. I'm hoping to find one that was stored inside and not lived in. From what I've seen up to this point and with my background of being able to fix most things......I think I'll be much happier with an older model that was out of my price range when new.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:10 AM   #4
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We went to the Hershey RV Show this past fall and put money down on a new 38" Holiday Rambler DP. Needless to say 2 days later after investigating HR of today we rescinded the purchase and decided to keep our 2008 38" Gulfstream FRED. The Holiday Ramblers of today are a far cry from the Holiday Ramblers of the past! Long story short we ended up purchasing a gently used 2008 40' Tuscany DP .... much higher quality & 50K less than what we would have paid for the Holiday Rambler. Like you... we buy cash no financing.

We are not retired and living in PA do not use during the winter. Perhaps when we retire we will upgrade again however the probability is that we will seek out another higher end gently used coach in our price range as opposed to buying an entry level new coach.

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Old 12-30-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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We just entered the RV world by buying a 25 yr old Class C. So I'm certainly no expert. However, since our purchase I have joined several forums and Facebook groups where it has come to my attention that the new models are in need of very frequent (and very costly) repairs. While the vintage units seem to keep on going with minimal failures. It's just my observation but, for now, I'm tickled pink with my purchase and have NO desire to "move up".
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:45 AM   #6
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I work at a large dealership and see regret on both sides. We have customers who happen to get a new unit that it seems everything goes wrong with it. We also do alot of repairs on customers who just bought a used unit and bring it to us to fix alot of problems. The most recent is a motorhome that needs a new $30k roof.

I suspect 10 - 15 years down the road we will be hearing how they really knew how to build them back in 2015, and people will be complaining about the new stuff. Contrary to some peoples belief on forums, not everything new is a piece of crap.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:15 AM   #7
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Old motorhome? That means different things to different people. When we went full time over 5yrs. ago I knew I did not want a new coach. I wanted a quality diesel no older that 10yrs. of age with complete maint. records. After about a year of searching I found our Dutch Star. It has served us very well taking us from Maine to California, Alaska to Florida, and many, many places in between. Of course we've had to have a few things fixed over the years, but the same will happen with a new coach. But we didn't have to lay out an arm and a leg to purchase our RV. We hit the road in 2010 completely debt free which has given us a lot of flexibility to be able to do just about anything we wish. So an older coach...yes. Old...no.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:22 AM   #8
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We are transitioning from a 40' fifth wheel an a Volvo tow vehicle to something smaller. At first we wanted a used motorhome to save money but the differences in 2016 models compared even to 2015 models made our decision to buy new.

We were spoiled with having a household refrigerator (standard in many units), a washer/dryer (optional in most). The 2016s, in the gas motorhome case, have elevated floor frames for more basement storage.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:39 AM   #9
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About 18 months ago I traded for a 2005 Winnebago Journey 36G. I really like the rig, but every time I think I have everything fixed another thing pops up. I retired last May and plan on spending more time in the rig. I am headed out the 16th for Florida for a couple months with another MH. Before we go I need to get the rear leveling valve fixed and a leak in the leveling hydraulics. I bought the coach with 53k miles and I have over 60k on it now. Paid 70,000 for it and have put about 10,000 into it. Shocks, safe-T-Steer, tires, springs in the levelers, and still have a few issues. I like the 350hp cat c-7 and drive train, it seems to run well and handle well. I have toyed with the idea of trading in for a new one too, but going to wait and see if we use it every winter or not. We do travel in the summer a lot, going to several of my inline Skate Marathons, and we have lake land that we use our rig as a cabin instead of building one. Decisions, Decisions.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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Old Motorhome Vs New Motorhome

We are retiring in 2 years and have owned a couple of A class motor homes and a couple of B Vans and have only owned a few new vehicles , ever , always had used , sometimes fairly old classic muscle cars . I have been a mechanic when young and went into parts and service when older to save my body , so for our retirement my plan was a 5-8 year old motorhome , with 2 couches , washer/dryer , slide , a big basement and 10,000 lb towing .
Always searching and keeping abreast of current prices ,
I found "OUR COACH" even though it is much older than planned .
A 99 American Coach Tradition 40 TVS , at a deal about half of normal , and a solid drive trainalways stored inside and needing some repair to awnings , batteries and minor fixes here and there . These things are easy for me , and not rushed as I have 2 years to get it ready for a few years of cross country traveling . It is a luxury coach and I could never justify spending $500k for a new one , so for less than $40k with all repairs we will have a decent DP , with a beautiful interior and a very nice look on the outside and in 5-8 years I probably would do it again .
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:02 AM   #11
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We bought a new motorhome to replace a used one in 2002. Had the common litany of issues for the first 18 months or so, very frustrating. I consider myself a knowledgeable buyer and tech-oriented, but the issues occurred despite my best efforts to prevent surprises.

Five years later we decided to upgrade in size and comfort, and chose to buy used instead of new. Much more value for the dollar, allowing us to afford a higher end model for both amenities and better construction. In our opinion, no greater risk of problems than with a new one. Still have that coach 9 years later, and still happy with our decision to buy used.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:10 AM   #12
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First of all EVERY RV new or old, will need repairs. Expect it.

Buying a used motorhome serves most people well, if they are careful to buy one that is well maintained. This is crucial. Two identical year and model motorhomes can be totally different. The well cared-for one can be a gem, and the neglected one could be worthless.

The reason to buy new is to get the latest features and designs, a warranty, and to take away the questions about previous maintenance. But, it will still need repairs! Expect it and be prepared for it.

Everybody's financial situation is different, so there is no right answer, but regardless of new or old, be reasonable in your expectations, and careful in your selection.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian W View Post
I work at a large dealership and see regret on both sides. We have customers who happen to get a new unit that it seems everything goes wrong with it. We also do alot of repairs on customers who just bought a used unit and bring it to us to fix alot of problems. The most recent is a motorhome that needs a new $30k roof.

I suspect 10 - 15 years down the road we will be hearing how they really knew how to build them back in 2015, and people will be complaining about the new stuff. Contrary to some peoples belief on forums, not everything new is a piece of crap.
Don't see anywhere on here where the new ones were called a "piece of crap" But, a term I would use if I were to spend that kind of jack and have the issues I have read about on this site.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:52 AM   #14
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Over the years I've owned 4 used, fully paid for motorhomes and each and everyone of them had issues ranging from very minor to really expensive. All but one had faded paint, leaks, engine issues, appliance issues. One had an issue of where to buy tires that could handle the load. There was always something.....

So this time, I've decided to try the other option which is to order one just they way we want from a brand known for quality, all new appliances, tires, etc with multi-year warranties on all components, free roadside service, and use my SS check to make the payments.

Do I expect there to be issues? Yes but one can hope....
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