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Old 05-13-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
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How Much Effect Does Odometer Have on Value in DPs?

The NADA guide says not to include mileage in calculating mileage in diesel rigs; but, salesmen are making a big deal of it.

Is this just another negotiating ploy, or does it truly affect the value of the rig?

I bought a 2005 Fleetwood Excursion from friends who'd used it regularly and given it top maintenance. It had 84,000 miles then, and we've quickly put another 5,000 on it. It has performed flawlessly.

Interestingly, a broker found our friends a Newell from the same year, and it had even more miles.

I understand the inventory-saturation notion, and can appreciate why they'd avoid higher-mileage rigs if ones barely driven are available.

But, on the open market, there appears to be no correlation between miles and asking prices.

Anyone have experience in this area?
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:35 AM   #2
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Salesmen make a big deal about mileage because many buyers mentally equate mileage with "use" and because most of us are accustomed to thinking about the "life-span" of a typical gasoline car engine. Obviously, a rig used by snowbirds might have a lot of "use" even though it could have low mileage; the drive train may have little use but the remainder of the "systems" would show their age. As for "life-span", these large truck diesels are built for hundreds of thousands of miles of use, if properly maintained. For example, my CAT engine doesn't need its valves adjusted again until ~250,000 miles; I'm currently at 58,000! Somehow, I don't think I'm going to have to worry about this maintenance item. LOL
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:50 AM   #3
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If someone came to buy my '02 with 90,000 on it and said that it was way to many miles, I'd tell them not to waste my time.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #4
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As any number of posts have shown, for example, while the core of a diesel engine might not need overhauling for hundreds of thousands of miles, there are lots of ancillaries that need repair along the way. Not to mention that with a bit of mistreatment, you can still ruin even the "million mile motors." Not to mention, while the motors might be good for a million miles, are the houses built on top of them that good?

You can make a lot of arguments about it, but I still think that if you see 5 ads for similar motorhomes, with mileages of 4750, 15000, 17000, 22000, and 89000, that the odds that the the 89000 mile motorhome is going to get 20% of the interest is pretty much zero. The fact is, one of the other 4 is almost certainly as nice as the high mileage one, and if you put 50,000 miles on them over the next handful of years they will all be under 75,000 miles instead of approaching 150,000 miles.

And when someone goes to sell with 150,000 miles, they will be in a very small pool of motorhomes (growing, I agree, but not very large even 6 or 7 years from now).

When I look at dealer sites, etc., the market reality is that when they DO have high mileage rigs, they are discounting them noticably, because that's how you get people's attention to them. Otherwise, on a lot with lower mileage coaches, they tend to sit.

Now, as a private party seller, you can significantly narrow the price differential because you can really sell the motorhome and the time and care you've put into it. In private party sales, people are buying the seller as much as what they are selling. But when buying from a dealer, people can't really do that, and the gap widens.

In your case, though, you will need to keep your story tight on why you are selling such a great coach onwards so quickly. People will think to themselves "hummm... I wonder if they just quickly figured out that this higher-mileage coach needs a bunch of work and want to dump it" (remember, these folks don't know you from Adam)

Steve
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #5
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Dead on correct, Steve. Reality is; every mile the coach lumbers along, there's vibration, shocks, etc. that slowly deteriorate the structure and its ancillarys. Two coaches: neither has been lived in, one has 90k the other 30k. The 30k coach should be in better condition and certainly command a higher price. I also tend to reject coaches that have been lived in or snowbirded.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:28 PM   #6
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All these posts make it clear, when buying a used MH, you should buy a high line coach such as a Country Coach Affinity or Magna, Beaver Marquis, Monaco Signature or Dynasty, Foretravel U 320 and etc. This level of quality will give you 100,000 miles are more with little or no repairs.

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Old 05-13-2011, 07:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pairajays View Post
All these posts make it clear, when buying a used MH, you should buy a high line coach such as a Country Coach Affinity or Magna, Beaver Marquis, Monaco Signature or Dynasty, Foretravel U 320 and etc. This level of quality will give you 100,000 miles are more with little or no repairs.
I have never owned a high end coach. All my Class A's have been manufactured by quaility companies and given me plenty of happy miles.
In my travels in have seen coaches made by high end companies in the shop with issues just like the budget coaches....Gas power miles matter, DP, miles not as much...IMO...Peace....D
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pairajays View Post
All these posts make it clear, when buying a used MH, you should buy a high line coach such as a Country Coach Affinity or Magna, Beaver Marquis, Monaco Signature or Dynasty, Foretravel U 320 and etc. This level of quality will give you 100,000 miles are more with little or no repairs.

Jim E


That's not really the point. Many coaches should give similar service when properly cared for.

I generally don't like to communicate merely anecdotal information, versus solid empirical data. However... An acquaintance who runs an RV rental fleet owns primarily Bounders, a coach considered by most to be pretty entry level. He has several units with over 100k, a couple pushing 175k, and very little if no major repairs needed. He relies on RV's to make a living, and finds the lowly Bounder a good business tool.

Conversely, there are undoubtedly many "High End" coaches that have required mucho expensive repair prior to 100k miles.

The original question related to how mileage affects value. I think you'll find that ANY higher mileage coach will be worth less than a comparable low mileage coach. "High End" coaches would probably suffer a larger proportional depreciation because they start out much higher, and are expected to be low mileage.

The kicker is that everyone generally believes their coach to be the best, and their usage to be a non-issue come sale time. Most folks fail to accurately see the wear & tear, where a potential buyer focuses right away on it.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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The problem with high mileage coaches is not the drive train...a Cummins/Cat/Detroit with an Allison should be good for several hundred thousand miles. The coaches themselves are basically heavy duty trucks, also meant to be driven many miles. The problem the is appliances and the systems in those coaches. The appliances, and the electrical, plumbing, heating, A/C, and propane systems are not heavy duty and can't take the pounding for all those miles without breaking or coming apart.

Bottom line...I would not buy a high mileage coach.
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:31 PM   #10
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I think a high milage diesel that has been maintained and has all the service records will GENERALY give you better service than a older low milage one. Sitting around or short intermitant trips are hard on them.
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:35 PM   #11
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I looked at a low mileage coach but the problem was they had lived in it full time for 5 years and only moved three times. Interior was crap and sat on Fla coast. Rusted out.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:09 PM   #12
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The problem with high mileage coaches is not the drive train...a Cummins/Cat/Detroit with an Allison should be good for several hundred thousand miles. The coaches themselves are basically heavy duty trucks, also meant to be driven many miles. The problem the is appliances and the systems in those coaches. The appliances, and the electrical, plumbing, heating, A/C, and propane systems are not heavy duty and can't take the pounding for all those miles without breaking or coming apart.

Bottom line...I would not buy a high mileage coach.
that's why an older high line coach will have fewer problems than one of lesser quality. All those things subject to failure are of higher quality and therefore less likely to fail. Remember, you must use comparable usage, milage, care and etc.

Jim E
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:39 PM   #13
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With sincere respect, Jim; what systems are different on "high end" coaches versus a run of the mill Winnebago or Fleetwood? All the items mentioned above were to my limited knowledge, generic. I've often wondered what makes one coach double (or triple) the price of another. Same chassis, powertrain, etc...
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:29 PM   #14
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With sincere respect, Jim; what systems are different on "high end" coaches versus a run of the mill Winnebago or Fleetwood? All the items mentioned above were to my limited knowledge, generic. I've often wondered what makes one coach double (or triple) the price of another. Same chassis, powertrain, etc...
Well I'll take my 12 year old Foretravel over a 6 year old Winne,Fleetwood, ect any time, IMHO. The diffrence is how it's put togather, just one example there is no particale board any where in my Foretravel.
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