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Old 08-27-2015, 12:20 PM   #1
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Dealing with RV broker?

We are looking at a different coach thru a broker. Our first coach we bought was from a private party. We are looking to upgrade. I have big reservations about dealing with a broker. I don't feel they have enough knowledge about the RV they are listing. Has anyone ever worked with or purchased a RV from a broker or a place called PPL Motor homes? Input, opinions and things we should know when working with a broker!!
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:46 PM   #2
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Not all RV brokers are the same ... We used PPL in Texas to sell our Class A in February and were very pleased with them. We have looked at their RV's over the years and to check out prices. Never bought from them as we bought new. I know most of their RV's are on consignment. They seemed very knowledgeable about RV's. We used their New Braunfels TX outlet. I have seen good reviews of them. Search above for PPL and you should find other posts. Good luck.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:55 PM   #3
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PPL is a consignment dealer. You aren't buying from them - it's a private sale and you are buying from the coach owner, with PPL facilitating the sale (showing it on their lot & website, handling inquiries, etc. So you are right - they don't know much at all about the RV. If you have questions for the owner, write them down and ask that the PPL get them answered for you. If you can't get satisfactory answers, tell them so and start looking for a different rig. It's probably not PPL's fault - some owners don't know much about the RV, or simply don't want to be bothered (one reason they used a consignment lot to begin with). Another rig on the PPL lot may have a much more forthcoming owner. May also be willing to make price concessions too. It's really no different than any private sale in that regard.

Also remember that PPL can't promise to fix anything without the seller's OK and agreement to pay for it. Or your own authorization to pay for the repair yourself. It's not their RV, so they are not warranteeing it or making repairs on their own.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:58 PM   #4
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Advantage of PPL - sometimes they have a "file" that will show prior maintenance / service on the RV.

I've been to PPL - they are high volume and they deal with a lot of non-sales. The motorhomes I looked at were great looking on the website and generally described as "significantly above average" - but their grading system also tracks that grade in the fine print to "average wear and tear" - not that exactly, but something similar.

Before you travel, call them, get a sales guy to give you the "honest" walk through of what he sees with his eyes. It'll likely save you a trip.

We looked at 20+ of their DPs (high demand time) - lots of them had great descriptions, photos, and grades, but none of them disclosed the odors, water damage, etc that I could easily find with an inspection.

They probably sell a good unit here and there, but when I went (Houston) - it was all junk that was pretty trashed. My guess is the good ones sell quickly. 5th wheel selection seemed to be a bit better and not so worn. Again, this was all timing.


They don't guarantee condition, but for some not-so-small-fee they will have the RV systems tested.

Stick with private party if you can.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Let's face it - PPL (and other consignment sales brokers) are being paid to sell whatever people bring to them. Their job is to get you to come look at the merchandise and hope you will buy. As cb1000rider says, the nice clean ones go quickly and the rest hang on until the price gets reduced enough to attract somebody.

On the plus side, they don't have any money invested in the RV and so have little motivation to hide things from you. Obviously they would like to get a sales commission sooner rather than later, but they do sell a lot of RVs (you can see the list on their website), so I doubt if the sales people are desperate. And they have flat rate fees for doing inspections and such (price list also on their website).
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:10 PM   #6
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We purchased our RV from and sold our old RV through PPL. They have some good units and some units that need plenty of TLC. But what I have found out about PPL is that they try to price the unit based on its condition. They will tell sellers upfront that they want to sell the RV well before the 90 sales contract period ends and they can only do that if the Rv is priced right. They discuss the condition and the sold prices of comparable RVs. They give a brutally honest estimate of what they believe an RV will sell for and what the initial list price should be. Some sellers listen, a lot don't. That's why you will see Rv sitting on their lot for a long time. If they have had it on their lot for a while, the condition doesn't justify the price.

The really good deals go instantly. We put a contract on our RV the first day it hit the market (subject to a test drive and our inspection). Some will hit the website with the sale pending sign because someone was waiting for that type of Rv and jumped on it before it was added to the website.

PPL has its positive and negatives. In my search I saw both (I visited all three locations). But the three salespeople that I dealt with were very honest about the condition of the rvs that I was looking at. I ask all three to personally look at the rvs and give me their assessments (do not - I repeat - do not base a purchase decision solely on the price and pictures). All assessments were accurate. We were very, very happy with the Rv we purchased. We sold our Rv in less that two weeks (while we were enjoying the new Rv on a 3700 mile, three week east coast trip). All in all, we had very positive experiences with PPL.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:41 PM   #7
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All I've done is contact PPL for info on certain MHs that were of interest; the latest being a Travel Supreme at a pretty fair price, but it had been there months. Salesman Sam guesstimated that there was $15-25K worth of work to get the coach in to decent condition. Photos showed none of that, so kudos to Sam.

My adventure at MHSRV in Alvaredo was the opposite. Not one statement from the sales rep was honest or accurate. He lied, plain and simple.

As far as I know, PPL tells it like it is, and MHSRV in Alvaredo is a typical white-shoe lying sales operation with their consignment rigs.

P.S. yes, we made contact with the Consignment Manager at MHSRV, and neither he nor his salesperson has contacted us.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:19 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your input and experiences....greatly appreciated!!
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
All I've done is contact PPL for info on certain MHs that were of interest; the latest being a Travel Supreme at a pretty fair price, but it had been there months. Salesman Sam guesstimated that there was $15-25K worth of work to get the coach in to decent condition. Photos showed none of that, so kudos to Sam.

My adventure at MHSRV in Alvaredo was the opposite. Not one statement from the sales rep was honest or accurate. He lied, plain and simple.

As far as I know, PPL tells it like it is, and MHSRV in Alvaredo is a typical white-shoe lying sales operation with their consignment rigs.

P.S. yes, we made contact with the Consignment Manager at MHSRV, and neither he nor his salesperson has contacted us.
Sam at PPL is great. He was one of the salespeople that I worked with. I can tell you from experience that he will give you an accurate assessment of the condition of the RV. My mistake with Sam was relying on pictures and underestimating a negative that Sam told me about an RV. The pictures didn't show that there was a problem. When I traveled to Houston to see the Rv, all Sam said was "I told you so". He was right.

This is something that I learned about pictures of RVs. Photos will not show some things even when they are in the pictures. The cameras taking mid to low resolution pictures just can't pick up some things that are easily seen by the eye. To see some damage, it would take a very large, multiple megapixel, closeup picture. For instance, I took a picture of an RV that we were interested in. The RV had a diamond shield that was badly damaged and covered in rust spots. That damage did not show up in my pictures, even though I used a Canon DSLR to take the pictures. While serious body damage will show up, don't expect things like water damage, Upholstry damage, peeling clear coat, and delamination to show up in regular Internet sales pictures. Just won't happen unless someone is trying to actually document the damage. That's why I say (and have learned) don't trust the pictures.
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