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Old 05-11-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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New RV'er-Can't decided what's best for me

Never owned an RV. Want a Class A to tour the country for 2-3 yrs. Not too mechanical so I don't want to spend a lot of my time repairing or replacing things. So I want a dependable rig. Size: 34 -36'. Used price range: $70- 90K.

Talked to several experienced RV'ers who have suggested that I consider buying a new rig in the 150-180K range. My 2-3 yrs of travel would be covered under warranty. By the time I resold in 2-3 yrs my net cost of ownership would be about the same. The reasoning was that the depreciation on the new rig would about equal the total repair costs on a used 3yr old rig over the 3 yrs of ownership.

That's hard for me to believe. Depreciation on a new rig after 3 yrs would be about 40%. On a 160K new rig that would be about $64K. Resale would then bring about $96K. If I paid $80k on a 3 yr old rig it might depreciate by 20% in those 3 yrs ($16K). Resale: $64K.

In the first case I'd lose $64K(repairs covered under warranty): in the second case I'd lose $16K.That's just on depreciation. In order to break even on total cost of ownership I'd have to spend about $48K over 3 yrs (48+16=64) for repairs to the 3 yr old rig. That seems unlikely. Hope that's not to hard to follow.

Any thoughts?

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:42 AM   #2
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New motorhomes are typically discounted 25%+/- off MSRP when they are sold for the first time. So in your example that new rig discounted is more like $110-125k to drive off the dealer lot. You should price 2-3-4 year old rigs, look up their MSRP when new, deduct 25% and compare the two figures to see how much those coaches actually depreciated. Also keep in mind that 2008-2011 was the big recession for RVing, many companies went bankrupt, and the surviving companies built many fewer coaches during that time period. Because of supply and demand, good used motorhomes built in that time period are in short supply, and with the current stock market surge many buyers are now entering the market competing with you for those 2-3-4 year old motorhomes, driving used prices higher. So buying new is not so expensive as your example would appear. That's my 2 cents, hope your search goes well!

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Old 05-11-2013, 02:11 AM   #3
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Suggest you check into a lease or up-gradable rental if you are concerned about spending time on repairs. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:45 AM   #4
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Buy what you can afford and enjoy yourself. Travel and forget justification. It is not easy to justify the price of your "Bucket List".
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:13 AM   #5
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A couple of thoughts. Your cost of ownership depends a lot on market timing. If you had bought either new or used in 2007 and then sold in 2010 you probably would have had a hard time selling as well as taking a bigger than normal hit on depreciation. The cost of fuel, as well as the general economy, dictates prices on both RVs and boats. Obviously you cannot predict this.

One advantage of used vs new is that there has been time to work out bugs on the rig, since all new designs have some problems and it can take some time for manufacturers to develop a fix.

We bought our rig used in January of 2011 and sold it in March of this year after completing our dream trip. We were also first timers to RVs. The only thing I would do different is go for the 34 ft. rather than the 37 ft. length if I could find the right floor plan. We really didn't need the extra space for the two of us, and there were a few times that the 37 ft. length was a bit too long for some places that we stayed.

I hope you have as much fun as we did.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RV Wizard View Post
Suggest you check into a lease or up-gradable rental if you are concerned about spending time on repairs. Good luck and keep us posted.
x2 - If you're concerned about resale, then don't buy.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Heber Eason View Post
Buy what you can afford and enjoy yourself. Travel and forget justification. It is not easy to justify the price of your "Bucket List".

It is a life style!! Certainly not an investment!
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
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Unless you buy a pig in a poke, there is no way repair bills would get anywhere close to depreciation on a new unit. However, if you try to approach a buying decision purely ona n economic basis, I believe you're going down the wrong road. My recommendation would be to compare features of coaches, decide which features are the most important to you, and then look at the cost/features equation. For instance, after we tried a heated floor at Country Coach last year, our next coach will have that feature. Only you can decide whatis best for you. I consider a new coach warranty useless if you end up spending half your time getting the coach fixed right! Go for quality rather than new!
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Peralko View Post
Go for quality rather than new!
I'm with you 100% - an older, quality unit will be far more reliable and depreciate far less than a new or nearly new rig.

The downside is you miss out on some of the newer features - but as a new RVer anyway, you won't miss what you never had.

The other issue is that older, quality units tend to be longer and so if you want to stay at State Parks then that might factor into it - or you might prefer staying at more luxurious private parks and resorts in which case longer is better - as new RVers, having a bit of extra space and features such as a side by side refer and a washer dryer can make it a far more pleasant experience.

If it were me, I'd be looking at Foretravel, Country Coach, higher end Monacos, Tiffen and maybe even an early Prevost. YMMV
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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I recently purchased a previously owned Winnebago from a consignment dealer. I trusted the dealer on instinct. They said the MH would be thoroughly inspected prior to delivery. The lesson I learned (one of them) is ask to see the inspection checklist to understand what is meant by thorough. What it meant to this dealer was coach systems only. They didn't check fluid levels, tire pressures, filter conditions or anything else chassis related. I know this because the tech they have didn't know how to open the hood where the dipsticks and reservoirs are.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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We have a 2000 Newmar and love it. That said you might want to look at a Thor ACE. It's in your price range, NEW. It's a hybrid unit (melding of a class A and a class C). You have some very specific criteria which could make your search difficult. Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:39 AM   #12
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Check for new last years models. We bought one for approximately used price and got warranty.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lincolnier
Any thoughts?
I think you are pretty much correct in your thinking.....albeit your numbers will always be open to debate. However...

The fact is....(1) all new rigs will depreciate at an alarming rate for the first few years....(2) new rigs often have an alarming number of things which require warranty fixes (& often trips to the factory) and while these things will be covered, your time and inconvenience will not....(3) where/what manufacturer offers a 3yr warranty?

Personally, I would take the time to find a well cared for "used" rig and add an aftermarket EW ( extended warranty) to cover unexpected repairs and peace of mind to your purchase . You will get...(1) a much higher end rig for your (same) money....(2) a rig where the initial QC problems have been addressed and resolved....(3) a rig which will have a number of thoughtful and often expensive aftermarket options added by the first owner....(4) a rig which will depreciate...but...at a much slower rate than the brand new rig!

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