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Old 06-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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1997 40 foot Safari Continental

We looked at one at Giant RV in Murrieta, California this afternoon and are going back tomorrow afternoon for a second look. We like the layout and equipment in the RV but would appreciate any advice on this model.

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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Price? Keep in mind that anything over 10 years of age experiences huge depreciation. The drop off in value from 10-15 years is STEEP. This is because most lenders will not finance anything over 10 years of age. For those rigs, buyers need to come up with the cash and that severely limits the number of potential buyers. For high-end rigs figure on a coach going down to about 10% of its original list price in the 10-15 year old period. From 15-20 years of age figure on it reaching 50% of THAT value, ie nearly worthless from a $ standpoint. That said, there are many out there with lots of service life left and it is their maintenance history as well as condition that counts. Keeping the above in mind, use NADA http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs as your starting point. Best of luck with your hunt. Right now it is an excellent time to buy a nice used coach as it is an incredible buyers market!!
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Price? Keep in mind that anything over 10 years of age experiences huge depreciation. The drop off in value from 10-15 years is STEEP. This is because most lenders will not finance anything over 10 years of age. Keeping the above in mind, use NADA RV Reviews | Review RV Value, Camper & Trailer Specs, Motorhome Value & RV Prices | NADA RV, Recreational Vehicle Appraisal Guide | NADAguides as your starting point. Best of luck with your hunt. Right now it is an excellent time to buy a nice used coach as it is an incredible buyers market!!

Interesting viewpoint on value progression.

I know our rig lost 60% of its MSRP in the first 7 years in a strong market. $21,000 per year. We are not the first owner.

It has lost @ 32% of MSRP in the next 10 years. $9,000 per year.

At its current value, and either of those depreciation rates, I would have to pay someone money to take my rig because its value would be below zero in two years!!!

I have not seen any 1993 vintage high end rigs offered for someone to take if the new owner will also accept a cash payment from the "seller". So, I suspect the annual depreciation becomes negligible after year 15.

NADA uses a mathematical calculation for RV's, not actual transaction data to establish its values. So even though they are used as a reference point by many, they may not reflect actual values in the market place. This is especially true on older rigs.

But unfortunately I cannot offer any advice to the OP on the Continental except I recall it as a very nice rig.

I seem to remember that it did have hydraulic disc brakes and a torsion bar suspension system instead of air system driven brakes and suspension. That would be, and maybe was, a negative for us.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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Safari's are great rigs.. looking to 'upgrade' to one myself..
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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See my posting in another Safari thread here recently, especially regarding the use and misuse, and mostly the complete misunderstanding about NADA and Kelly Blue Book pricing guides as the relate to motorhomes. Questions about RV Inspection
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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If that Safari is in 100% working order, full maintenance (it won't) records throughout life, stored properly and excercised properly... and you pay $31,000... it will depreciate less than $1,000 a year if you take care of it. (costs $$ to take care of it)
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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I would and almost did buy one, but we got there too late, and it was sold. They were high-end rigs before 2001, after that I wouldn't be interested. The aluminum skin always intrigued me.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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It's probably an ok coach, but priced far too high. No surprise considering the dealer ("Giant"...) For reference, PPL has a similar 1997 40' Safari with 55k miles listed at $31,000. That's their ASKING price. It took me about 30 seconds to find that, I bet if you spent five minutes you would find plenty of others at similar prices.

Concerning Safari... They look good. Nice style. We flew to Portland to look at (and BUY) one a while ago. All we really knew is that it was a reasonably priced coach, as Safari's typically are. Meaning it APPEARED to be a mid-level coach at a fairly low price. After looking at it, and more importantly driving it, we turned it down and flew home.

Here's why we didn't buy that coach or the other Safaris we saw (NOTE: WE did not look at the "Continental" model, only "Serengeti" & "Cheetah" models)
  • Poor weight distribution. The generator was mounted in the REAR of the coach, next to the heavy diesel engine and transmission. I've not seen that on any other production coach. It makes the front end too light, inducing wandering, poor ride etc. Look a little, and you will find shops specializing in "curing" Safari handling problems. Why spend the money, and then spend another $5,000 to make it handle acceptably? And it still won't have air brakes...
  • Rubber suspension. NOT air suspension. Advertising guys call it: "Velvet Ride" Foretravel also uses a version of this type, but apparently it's not really the same. In our opinion from driving a few Safari's; they rode like a Mexican bus, (literally) which is where that "Torsilastic" suspension is widely used... SOME Safari's have air suspension, but none we looked at did...
  • Hydraulic brakes. They work fine on small gas coaches, but pretty much every other quality diesel pusher has full air brakes & suspension. I thought the Safari's disk brakes would be an advantage, until I drove one and the front brakes kept overheating and literally smoking. Interesting fact: real air brakes (drum) on motorhomes typically last well over 100,000 miles before needing relining.
Bottom line, the coach is likely worth NO MORE than $29,000. If it has Torsilastic aka "Velvet Ride" suspension and hydraulic brakes, I wouldn't even consider it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #9
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Correct me here, but i dont think the OP said what the price was...?
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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Check it out, INSTANT SAVINGS of $29,996.00!!!





1997 Safari Continental 4006SO
Stock # MDI0288B
Location: Giant RV Murrieta
RV Type: Class-A-Diesel
Miles 75855

List Price: : $79,995.00
Our Price: $49,999.00
We Save You: $29,996.00
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Safari's are great rigs.. looking to 'upgrade' to one myself..



Jim,

We really wanted to like the Safari's, especially because they tend to be somewhat cheaper than similar coaches, they typically have nice interiors, and from about 1999 up they look pretty good. But we didn't like them, because of the suspension, brakes and rear generator.

What is it about them that you like, and why should the original poster buy one?
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:18 PM   #12
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Well I will go against the consensuses so far, I have a 1997 Continental and love it. I have all the service records from new, very few problems before I got it and none for me. They are built totally high end for 1997 and don't compare them to the rest of the Safari line. The Continental was built with the high end consumer in mind. The four wheel disc brakes works great, the generator is mounted in the front on a pull out slide, easy to access and service. The Continental also has the Diesel Aqua-Hot water heating and coach heating system, No propane heater to worry about. Mine has 39,000 miles and is used at least once a month, I normally stay within 200 miles of home, so to be fair I don't use it for extended travel, but for comfort it is excellent for the wife and myself. Others may not like the torsion suspension, but mine works fine and rides really smooth. We all have different taste and if you like it, can afford it, feel good about the price you pay for it, then don't worry about what everyone else says. It's all in the eye of the beholder, and they might just wish they had one, but never admit it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:14 PM   #13
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Good. I've posted why they weren't our choice, but it's valuable to read what owners think of them. Agreed: something different for everyone, according to their wants and needs.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:50 AM   #14
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Well I will go against the consensuses so far, I have a 1997 Continental and love it. I have all the service records from new, very few problems before I got it and none for me. They are built totally high end for 1997 and don't compare them to the rest of the Safari line. The Continental was built with the high end consumer in mind. The four wheel disc brakes works great, the generator is mounted in the front on a pull out slide, easy to access and service. The Continental also has the Diesel Aqua-Hot water heating and coach heating system, No propane heater to worry about. Mine has 39,000 miles and is used at least once a month, I normally stay within 200 miles of home, so to be fair I don't use it for extended travel, but for comfort it is excellent for the wife and myself. Others may not like the torsion suspension, but mine works fine and rides really smooth. We all have different taste and if you like it, can afford it, feel good about the price you pay for it, then don't worry about what everyone else says. It's all in the eye of the beholder, and they might just wish they had one, but never admit it.
In a nutshell

And, the interiors were great..
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