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Old 06-24-2016, 12:07 PM   #1
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New Dutch Star or 8-10 year old high end Country Coach or Monaco?

Seems to me the better financial choice is a new Dutch Star or equivalent, though it might be $50-100k more and maybe not quite the quality. I know depreciation is an issue, but getting 35% off the MSRP on a new year end model, gets me all the latest technology and should we sell it in ten years, we will still get something for it. I don't think we would get much for a 20 year old Magna or Signature. Plus keeping an older coach in top shape, requires more dollars than keeping a new one in top condition...generally.

Could I please get the opinions of some experts?

I have been lurking here for a long time and have learned so much from you guys. Thank you.

Planning to full time for several years, once wife retires late next year. I have a long history of owning RVs and traveling throughout USA, but never in a motor home. I am mechanically inclined and will maintain it myself.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pduggs View Post
Seems to me the better financial choice is a new Dutch Star or equivalent, though it might be $50-100k more and maybe not quite the quality. I know depreciation is an issue, but getting 35% off the MSRP on a new year end model, gets me all the latest technology and should we sell it in ten years, we will still get something for it. I don't think we would get much for a 20 year old Magna or Signature. Plus keeping an older coach in top shape, requires more dollars than keeping a new one in top condition...generally.



Could I please get the opinions of some experts?



I have been lurking here for a long time and have learned so much from you guys. Thank you.



Planning to full time for several years, once wife retires late next year. I have a long history of owning RVs and traveling throughout USA, but never in a motor home. I am mechanically inclined and will maintain it myself.

I can only give you my experience. We purchased a 3 year old Signature several months before our full timing started. That was 10 years ago. The decision to buy used top of the line has worked out wonderfully for us. At the 5 year mark we sprang for an extensive remodel of our interior and over the 9 years of full time we have replaced our TVs with current LED types. The "latest technology" ages out pretty fast and most components in that category aren't that expensive to up date. I have spent less on all the repairs and up grades to my coach than I would have lost in the 1st year deprecation had we gone with a new coach.

As you, I've done most regular maintenance myself. My maintenance expense has been level and predictable over the years and up grades are accomplished as we schedule them.
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #3
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It sounds like you are setting a budget and trying to get the most bang for your buck but really like the looks of a new coach...nothing wrong with that but only you will be able to decide which one is best. I much prefer to pick up a used coach with low miles and minimal wear and tear. I'm sure you are aware of all the reasons to go this way but that new coach smell is haunting you!
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:21 PM   #4
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The only equivalent chassis with 10 outboard air bags in new is Foretravel, Newell and Prevost, that I'm aware of. Drive a Executive or Magna see what you think. Risks can be minimized if buying used by used fluid analysis oil, transmission, cooling and hydraulic. You could buy a used Dynasty put a $50k renovation on it and still be $150k ahead of comparable new without outboard airbags.

YMMV
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:34 PM   #5
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Go with the Dutch Star, PM Mr.D and get his personal opinion, I'm sure he will respond to this thread though. Can't beat the Newmar quality, and when spending that kind of money I would rather have something new, that I know how it has been maintained, driven, and taken care of, and will have a warranty as well. Plus there are really a lot of new amenities and technology in the last 8 years.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:13 PM   #6
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:27 PM   #7
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The only equivalent chassis with 10 outboard air bags in new is Foretravel, Newell and Prevost, that I'm aware of. Drive a Executive or Magna see what you think. Risks can be minimized if buying used by used fluid analysis oil, transmission, cooling and hydraulic. You could buy a used Dynasty put a $50k renovation on it and still be $150k ahead of comparable new without outboard airbags.

YMMV

The higher end used Monaco rigs have RR10S chassis with 10 outboard airbags. Roadmaster is a grand ride for a fraction of the $.


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Old 06-24-2016, 07:22 PM   #8
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Dutch Star's while not the top of the food chain for DP's and or Newmar, are not an entry level coach. Your logic is pretty sound.

That being said, the key words in the above sentence, is 'not the top of the food chain'.

IMO, 5 years down the road, a 5-7 year old top of the food chain coach - will be better to live with then a Dutch Star. (And, not a knock of Dutch Star, as mentioned - I see them as a solid above entry level coach. Say a C+ to even B- in the pecking order of DP's.)

That high end older coach, will usually have a more solid chassis, bigger block engine with Jake Compression Brake, better components and material choices. And as mentioned, the lower purchase price point, allows a reasonable investment in 'making it your specific coach' modifications.

I personally feel the years of usage with a higher end coach, pays dividends that more then make up for the possible lower sale price (and not sure how much lower the older higher end, and yet upgraded coach, would be...) - way down the road.

But, only you can make a decision on what you feel is right t for you...

Best of luck to you on your choice. Enjoy, whatever way you go!
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:50 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. Buying top-of-line used versus middle of the line new, does make sense to me. If I can do it smartly, I can save money and still get a great coach. I will have to do more research.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:45 PM   #10
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That's what we did. We by no means bought top of the line but in comparison to the new stuff it rates right up there.
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Old 06-25-2016, 02:19 PM   #11
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We bought used high end (though not the very top) and it has worked well for us. The new ones still don't have any better/newer technology and we have all the electronics and neat features. And other than the first year of factory warranty, I don't see a big difference in maintenance costs either. Obviously, though, you need to do your "due diligence" buying used, and figure in some dollars for repair or remodeling when you evaluate each one.

I do think, though, that the standard equipment on a mid-class coach of today is very close to what was high end 10 years ago. Some things, especially electronics, have gotten cheaper and become widespread in the mid-range. So definitely consider new vs used after establishing what features and floor plans you want. However, I think you will find the difference is in the $100k range. And remember, that new one is going to depreciate just like those "old" high line coaches did.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:51 PM   #12
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How about a 2-5 year old top of the line coach? Save you a bunch of money and still have the newer gadgets. Just a thought. Won't be CC or quality Monaco or Beaver but Foretravel comes to mind,
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:26 AM   #13
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How about a 2-5 year old top of the line coach? Save you a bunch of money and still have the newer gadgets. Just a thought. Won't be CC or quality Monaco or Beaver but Foretravel comes to mind,
From what I have seen, that 2-5 year old top of the line coach will be more costly than a new Dutch Star or equivalent.

You raise a good point that I have not found discussed on this forum. Many posts here about the big depreciation on a new coach, but they may be working off the MSRP, and no one pays that. Most buyers get 25-35% off the MSRP. I have seen 1-2 year old coaches with asking prices HIGHER than a new coach.

Foretravels are great, but a 2-5 year old one is likely more costly than any mid-range new coach.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:11 AM   #14
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I'm in the middle of one of the suggested paths. We owned a 1997 Allegro Bus and wanted to upgrade.

Only because I'm handy and can do most of the grunt work myself we purchased a 2004 Country Coach Affinity with 40k miles. With the expectation of spending 30-40k in maintenance and upgrades. Not so much upgrades but bring a really solid coach up to more modern standards.

Even though we've had a few minor setbacks we couldn't be happier. Nothing will be perfect. Budget for a couple big items with new or used.

Another huge advantage I have going forward is we've been through every major system in the coach. I understand them and am very comfortable maintaining them or discussing the repair with a tech. In order to own a high end coach you need knowledge. Education cost money. You get it by experiencing a breakdown or you get it by maintaining/replacing systems. Even if you're rich and repairs/maintenance costs mean nothing to you the ability to fix something quickly or patch it up on the road will save a trip.

My one firm recommendation buying a older top of the line coach is the inspection. Have engine oil sent for lab results.

I think buying older vs new is more about your ability/tolerance for maintenance than anything else.

Best resource is this forum and the folks contributing past experience.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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