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Old 04-20-2016, 08:14 AM   #15
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They cost you when you buy them, they cost you while you own them, and they cost you when you sell. That is one fine investment!! They are also fun, so don't buy one unless you can afford the fun!!

Rick and Lynda Smith
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:04 AM   #16
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On the financial side, while we did not get a killer deal on our then used coach, we did get a fair deal. This was during the last economic cycle downturn, and as a result of this, we picked up our coach for I'd estimate 20-25% lower then just 1-2 years earlier. (I adjusted this, as I would have expected a normal yearly depreciation drop, my 20-25% is above what the normal 1-2 years drop would have been.)

Then over the next 2-4 years as the economy improved, prices of the middle to higher end coaches started to climb again. At year 4, I did a marketing analysis on the value of our coach. I also checked with my Salesman Pro, Steve Wilson from Holland Motors (No longer with us, as he lost a fight to cancer.), an honest straight shooter. I shared my numbers, he did some poking around, and actually suggested that I adjust my high side by another $5K.

So for us, we started our experience with a very unusual cycle of appreciation!

Now, we've also dumped a good $35-40K into this coach, making it 'our coach'. While some of these mods will help on resale, none of those mods were factored in the pricing analysis mentioned above.

OK - So what? I'm on the same them as Grams and many of you. Our enjoyment of life has appreciated so much as a result of the usage of this home on wheels coach. While I will not put a $$ value on this, I will say we measure by our 'Smiles by the miles!'.

We planned for about a 10 years life cycle usage out of coach when we selected it. We then agreed we'd step back and take a look at our usage at 10 years out, and make a decision on what to do then. We thought 4-5 years ago, that we'd probably downsize to a smaller weekend warrior and short trips RV of some kind. Now we're not sure. I don't expect to ever wear out the chassis or mechanicals. One thing I've learned from many of our other fellow RV'ers, that are so graceful at sharing their knowledge, that having an exit strategy (Even if you are not Full Timing, and we are not, you need to have a plan on what to do in the years ahead!).

But for now, we're three-four weeks away from starting our 2016 big trip - and ready to go!

Gramps - Thanks for the post. We all need to remember that it is much more then just the money....

Best to all,

Roo II is our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:49 AM   #17
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Enjoyed the assessment very much. Thanks for providing it!

Over the years, we have made purchases that made us money over time and we have made purchases that cost us money (sometimes rather quickly!). Some purchases have brought us great joy and a few of our purchases not so much . When our financial advisor said (to quote Dave Ramsey) that we had lived like no one else long enough that we could now live like no one else, we bought the MH and paid for it outright. It is now a sunk cost and rather than thinking about the initial price outlay, we focus on the enjoyment we have from using it. When it comes time to part with it, I doubt we will think about the original cost at all. Rather, we will consider ourselves rich in experience and memories.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:26 PM   #18
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There are a few definitions for the word investment. If you buy an RV for the purpose of the first one, maybe an RV is not for you. If you purchase for the purpose of the second, maybe it is.

1.the action or process of investing money for profit or material result.

2. an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.

We just purchased our RV in December. I never went into it thinking it was a investment that would make us a financial return rather, as an investment in time with my wife and two young kids. Is it expensive? Of course it can be, but it's given our family an opportunity to make sure we spend time together, not be glued to our phones and the kids have had a great. Having a 2 and 4 year old, one thing I can almost guarantee is that one day we're going to look at our kids and wonder where the heck the time went. We're comfortable spending the money knowing that we're building memories and spending time with our kids.

I grew up having an RV and some of my fondest memories as a kid involved being in one of the RV's we had. Building those memories now with my kids is why we made the purchase. And getting the grandparents join us in their RV from time to time is just icing on the cake

So again it all depends on what your definition of investment is.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:53 PM   #19
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"Gramps".....Nice post and well written!

I've been camping since I was 5 years old and bought my first RV at 20. I've always bought what I could afford and paid attention to value, but never spent a minute worrying about depreciation. RV's are a luxury and everyone decides at what level of luxury they want to camp.

"LETMGROW".....from your description, you weren't RVing, just flipping RV's.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:04 PM   #20
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We let the first owner of the Magna take the depreciation, paid about 43% of sticker. Now we get to enjoy the unit for as long as I can drive it. Told the DW I was going to be buried in it!
Could have paid cash for it but we earn more on the annuity than the loan costs us.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:26 PM   #21
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We only choked on the depreciation after we sold our Itasca Horizon. But after 11 years of memories the $50,000 we had to come up with to get out of it paled in comparison to the millions of great times we had traveling with the dogs, cat, kids, grandkids and friends around this beautiful country! We're starting on a new set of adventures with a new TT and can't wait! Happy RVing to all!
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:03 AM   #22
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Sometimes I think we forget that a MH is like a big expensive car. The difference is that we buy a lot less of them over the time we can spend behind the wheel. I just sold a sixteen year old Toyota for 1000 bucks that I paid 26,000 dollars for new. I have owned eight cars If I add all the depreciation up...

I sold a 1963 Triumph Herald for a bunch more than I paid for it (if I don't count repair cost) ....that car was a lot of fun. I have not enjoyed having a vehicle as much until my bought my UFO .
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by -Gramps- View Post
From my blog:


This subject pops up every now and then in the Internet forums, rv.net, IRV2.com, FMCA.com, where I hang about on a regular basis. It may be a post titled "Is your Class A a Money pit?" or "A motor home costs a whole lot more than you think it does!" The people who post these kinds of entries may or may not really have a problem with what a coach or any other large RV may cost. They might just be bored. It's Sunday night and the DW is watching "Real Housewives of xxx", so there is nothing better for

So, I don't worry about "depreciation" I try to appreciate the emotional and spiritual return I get from my poor financial investment. I hope that all my fellow Coachers and RVers do the same.


aka "Gramps"

Well, it's not a "financial investment", it is an emotional "investment".

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Old 04-21-2016, 07:22 AM   #24
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"Depreciation"? No way. If any of you look at this as your "deciding factor" you will be depriving yourselves of ANY fun.

Life is NOT "all about money". Life we were all given (without asking) is about treating yourself to ANYTHING your heart/personality desires. Money is not important. If you need more, you go and make more. The important rule is "never to do something to another being (human or not) what you don't want done to you".

As far as vehicles,.......I have extensive experience in buying and selling all kinds of vehicles. Motorcycles, automobiles, off road vehicles, and airplanes. I had five new franchises (new cars) as a dealer. Before I was a dealer, I "curbed" cars for fun (for over 20 years). Not just for profit,.....I genuinely love motor vehicles, love to work on them, and love to learn about them.

I had them new, I had them used, and I had them abused/neglected (and restored them). My idea of a successful life is making a LOT of money in my lifetime, spending it all, and dying broke. I think I "inherited" this from my parents. They did know how to live, and they both died broke (I didn't inherit a penny). All the money I ever had, I made by myself. My kids will inherit plenty, but I WILL indulge in any "high cost" hobby in the meantime, regardless of "how much this will cost me" question.

Regarding MHs.......I purchased mine in order to be able to take dogs to the beach (that was the reason!). We have big dogs, big SUV, but not enough room for them and us. We were all cramped. Purchased one (to try it out), remodeled it, and sold it after the first long trip. Didn't make any money on it (sold it to a friend), but didn't lose any either.

Purchased my current one for less than 10% of the sticker price. It's 21 years old this year, and everyone that was allowed to see it, can not believe it's not new. It looks "retro" (retro is what my wife and I LOVE!), but it looks (and smells) like it was made to look "retro" last year. It has 100K on the odometer (documented), and has every feature wife and I ever wanted in a "big bus". Plenty of room for everyone. I could sell it today (had MANY inquires) for a nice profit, but why? It took me a long time to find it. I found another one I would love to get (recently), but since I'm in the process of packing/moving, I don't have time to travel three states over to check it out. It would "cost me" about 3% of the original sticker price.

Some of you don't like used coaches, I get that. I've seen some (in my search) I wouldn't let my dog set a paw in it. But there are coaches out there, that people used responsibly (like many of you do), did all the maintenance/updates on time, kept them garaged, and loved them just the way you love yours. There is NOT ONE new coach being driven out there! Think about it. The very minute it was driven off the assembly line, the very first time the toilet/shower was used, after the very first time someone slept in that bed,.......the coach is NOT NEW. IF the fact that the toilet was used before you put your bum on it bothers you,......replace it. Mattress? Replace. TVs/entertainment? The way technology is progressing, I guarantee you,.....every electronic gadget you put in your coach TODAY, will be obsolete in less than five years. You will be replacing it again.

Example,.......you can purchase NEW Prevost for about 1.5Mil. You can purchase used one 20-25 years old (from the original owner, that took a great pride in it's ownership) with less than 100K on the clock (NOTHING for that coach!), for under 100K. It might have "old entertainment" system in it (most were already "upgraded"). How many "upgrades" can the difference in price buy?

I understand that some of you LIKE swirly paint scheme, slides galore, "transformer" look, "plastic" EVERYTHING. Maybe I'm just lucky that I like "retro" look, leather, real cherry wood, and stainless steel. If you really think about it,......Aquahot is still Aguahot, OTR air is still that, residential refrigerators are still the same, rims are still Alcoa, diesel engine technology is still the same, tires.....the list goes on. So in effect,.....one is buying new TVs (that will have to be replaced with "new" in the close future), new mattress, some other electric gadgets, and the "new car smell" for 1.4Mil (in the above example of Prevost).

Don't get me wrong,.......IF you want it "new", by all means....go for it! Life is too short to deprive yourself of ANYTHING.

As far as "depreciation"? I have no idea what it is. Like the OP said (to paraphrase) "appreciate what this thing is doing for you in your life, and forget about money". There is NOTHING "free" in this life, EVERYTHING costs money, as do all the memories, experiences, even love. IF one wants to put "monetary value" on everything,...... even the love of a pet costs money (some say "a pet will love you for free"). I spend upwards of $1500 (IF there is no vet bills) a month on my pets. Why? Because I can.

Remember,......."they" will be printing money long after you're gone.

Sorry about the long rant.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:32 AM   #25
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Bought ours assuming the value when we are ready to get rid if it will be $0.00. Anything greater than that I will be happy. Like many, this is how we plan to see the country in retirement and the cost of our particular RV (purchased used) didn't matter to me because I assumed a total loss of the value of it going in. Can't take it with me. We are by no means "rich" but we did plan and save for years for this time in our lives. My bigger fear is the government decides to take a bigger bite. We bought used so we could absorb the financial depreciation, new would have been another story. The money saved will pay for all our trips
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:02 AM   #26
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Buy what you can afford and enjoy it. I've never seen a Brinks truck following a Hearst.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:39 AM   #27
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My brother thinks I'm nuts by having the RV. He, on the other hand, "invests" in race horses. Now he has made some money but not nearly as much as he has lost. So which one of us is the dummy? Actually I would say neither one of us. We both are just doing what we enjoy.

Yep the rigs depreciate. But, then again, so do our bodies and our minds as time relentlessly marches on. Enjoy what you can afford. In our RV world it may be a million dollar Marathon or a hundred dollar used pop up. If it is what you enjoy then what difference does it make?
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:05 AM   #28
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I am not sure what all the fuss is about. Depreciation is not "lost" money. It is money you spend to get what you want.

It comes with benefits such as getting the latest appliances and features, you get to pick your colors and appointments. You spend a bit more but are able to get what you want without having to go through the search for a suitable unit that is in good shape.

Lost money could also be construed by going out for dinner at a nice restaurant. You pay for eating in the restaurant. For that you get the benefit of not having to cook or clean up but the surcharge on food and drinks makes it more costly than eating at home. Is that depreciation in some form or other?

You pick your poison and enjoy what you want. Depreciation or not we still spend our money on what we want and what makes us feel good. I am disappointed when someone suggests they are smarter than me because they saved the depreciation. Maybe - but you enjoy your money your way and I will enjoy mine my way.

Neither is right or wrong, smarter or not.

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