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Old 03-24-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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Help with Picking Out A MH

We are in our 11th year of fulltiming and are seriously considering moving from our Travel Supreme fifth wheel to a new used motor coach.

We looked at a 2004 Beaver Patriot Thunder today at a dealer and really like the rig. It was a custom ordered rig traded in last week by the original owner. It has the 500 HP Catepillar engine, the 6-speed Allison transmission, the aqua hot system, and many more fancy upgrades. However, it has 90,000+ miles on it and they're asking $139,900. I'm concerned that this might a lot of miles for the price they are asking.

Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #2
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90K is not a lot of miles. That engine is the same one they use in big trucks that get 500K+ miles. If you are looking for that type of MH look at floorplan, then the floorplan, and finally, the floorplan that you really like. Nearly all have third party mfg components. We bought the Spartan chasis with the 500HP Cummings engine and love the performance. You will be able to do so much more with a MH that size. We get 8mpg. Not the best you can get. But it takes us up and down the mountains like a piece of cake. I'll let others comment on things you need to look for in a MH. But I think you are on the right track.

Dave
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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We bought our Country Coach 2 1/2 years ago with 85,000 miles on it for 138,000. At the time that was 30,000 under wholesale blue book. Our motor home likely has the same motor as the one you are looking at, a C12. Ours is rated at 505hp. We now have just over 100,000 miles on it. Absolutely nothing is worn out on our motor home. '

How does the asking price of 139 compare with whole sale NADA?

We have been extremely happy with our purchase. My impression from reading thousands of these forum threads is that owners a usually happy with Beavers too. When we were looking 2 1/2 years ago the brands we were mainly looking at were Country Coach and Beaver.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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You don't say which model Patriot Thunder it is, but in any case, I believe they are high on the price. The largest, most expensive model should retail from 115k to 135k.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info.

The model is Patriot Thunder Gettysburg. The original owner added items like the Aqua Hot, Girard auto patio awnings, in-motion satellite, duel leveling system (air/hyd), carefree power sunvisiors, upgraded wooden blinds on all the windows (which I love), and a lot more items.

I did a NADA as much as I could, and the low retail was $131,000. The average retail was $158,000. Does that help?
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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I know that when I traded last time the dealer shrugged off all of my add-ons, including a full Banks Power Pack, etc.. They seem to want to go base retail to base retail. Just saying, that I think you should at least try the argument using the base retail. The other thing you might want to check is - whether the items you mention are actually extras - many times coaches come standard with the things you listed. Anyhow, the base would make a good starting point for negotiating.






2004 Beaver
PATRIOT THUNDER Series GETTYSBURG 505 - 41' Pricing Suggested List Price Low
Retail Average Retail
Original Price: $350,798 Low Retail $109,360 Avg Retail $131,760
)
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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I agree... add-ons are given no value by dealers at trade in... they go by straight wholesale book and then back OFF of that by a good bit! No reason it shouldn't work BOTH ways, then - selling AND for the buyer when buying!
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:17 AM   #8
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It's a buyer's market.

More than seemingly anything else, RV dealers seem to ask outrageous numbers and then when pushed collapse and take massive discounts. I guess that comes from the new units, where people seem to never actually pay more than 80% MSRP (and often less than that). We just finished our long shopping adventure, and I can't tell you the number of motorhomes sitting on lots with $79,999 pricetags that dealers would actually sell or $45,000 or less.

My thoughts are that 20% under low retail (no adds) is where you should be; if the unit is in truly exceptional condition maybe pay a bit more than that.

But most importantly, make sure that it is the motorhome you want to own. Floorplans are much, much harder to change than adding a Girard awning, etc.

Steve
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:37 PM   #9
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Ozark RVer - All of us commentators here in the thread have only partial information. You are the only one who really knows what is going on. A loaded Beaver is a great coach to full time in. If you really want the coach and the condition meets your standards then get the lowest price you can on it. In my case I got significantly under wholesale book because the sale was distressed and the coach needed a lot of work. Right now is about the most popular time for people to buy RVs. Some friends of ours just bought a 40' Monaco and I can tell you that in several cases by the time they went to see a coach it had sold.

Our seller wanted out bad and hence the low price we paid. But he offered the low price. In your case just say to the seller, "what is the lowest price you can sell me the coach and we still remain friends." See what he comes back with. Most good sales people will tell you. If the sales person tries to play games don't walk, run, to the next coach.

I have been selling and buying large machines for 40 years. Using the approach above will get you good results. Only buy from someone that you can trust.

I recommend a policy of extended warranty. That way you know about how much problems will cost you.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info. Wow! Now I have some actual info to take back to the dealer. The coach seems to be in good condition, but it is a used 8-year-old coach and shows some wear in the carpet and some other items. But we'd be trading a used 10-year-old fifth wheel that we have lived in, so I guess I tend to overlook some of the wear.

Demoon, we have a copy of the actual sticker showing all the extras the original owner added. But it's good to know that they don't really come into play. Thanks also the the $$ info on pricing. I had tried to do a NADA price, but it didn't seem realistic.

SteveLevin, this is a great floorplan with a lot of storage, which to me is really important. I quilt, knit, and cook, and my husband has his tools. Plus, being full-timers that travel with his job, we have 4 seasons of clothing that we carry since his company can have us in New York state in the winter and Phoenix in the summer. This is one of the first rigs I've seen that not only seems to have adequate storage, but the floorplan is roomy enough, even with only 2 slides, to not feel claustrophobic in after my big fifth wheel. However, when we looked at the rig Saturday we didn't get to look in the basement or check any of the systems out since they had just got it that morning, so I don't know what the basement storage will be like.

The information I've received here has been extremely helpful. B Bob, we will definitely look into extended warranties for the rig.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
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Just wanted to catch all of you that were nice enough to help with what's going on.

We decided to go for the rig, my husband negotiated a really good deal, we were qualified and approved for the loan. Then the bank decided to throw a wrench in the deal. We own a small vacation home in the Ozarks of Southern Missouri. The bank decided, after approving the loan, that the only way they would finance the rig would be if we registered it in MO instead of SD where our residence is. They wanted the rig financed in the state where we held "real" property. That would have meant over triple the amount of dollars for sales taxes and a annual personal property tax, which was quite a large amount. We checked with our credit union, of which we had been a member for almost 20 years, and was told that they could no longer lend to a member who resided in a state where they don't have a presence, and they're not in SD.

To make a long story short, we walked away from the rig after the banks made those demands.

We're not giving up on our dream of full-timing in a motor coach. We're looking into buying some property in SD to fulfill the "real" property clause. We're also checking into options that a large RV dealer may have that weren't available to this smaller 1-location dealer.

I just wanted to thank all of your for your help. I printed off all of your advice and my husband used it in the negotiation. Couldn't have done it without you guys.

Nancy
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:37 PM   #12
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Nancy,

I'm in a similar position and have been patiently looking for a motor home.
For financing, checkout Good Sam RV Financing. https://www.goodsamrvloans.com/

Also, find someone that will let you use their NADA RV price guide. Look at the wholesale value and of course use the NADA retail value available online. Another good price guide is to do a search on RV Trader for the year make and model. Use the nationwide search option and you can use lower priced coaches as bargaining tools to get your price down.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #13
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Call destination financial in boseman, or suntrust bank immediately if not sooner.

You will have no problem getting the financing you need.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #14
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OzarkRVer - I second JimM68's comment about Suntrust Bank. I just paid off our loan to them, but they helped me out when I needed it.
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