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Old 05-23-2017, 10:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by wildeflowers View Post
I would check RV trader for private sales. That's how we purchase our first. We found an owner selling a great deal, was lucky to be the first to inquire. It was a babied, and a great first RV. Good luck!
I comb rvtrader.com, rvt.com, and craigslist a couple times a day. CL is not for the unwise. Wow, the trouble people get themselves into and then post on CL about how the got taken advantage of and how to prevent others from having the same thing happen. It says right on the bottom of each listing what to avoid. I guess the excitement of a good deal is blinding. I know myself Ive responded to a couple "reasonable" listings only to be asked for my email so they can send more pics and info or click on a link. Or the famous, I don't have the motorhome here.... Uhhh....no.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:44 PM   #16
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Craigslist can be a good way to buy a motorhome, it is how I ended up buying mine. Of course by that point in my shopping I had narrowed my shopping list down to a couple of brands and maybe 4-5 floorplans and I was shopping within about a 1,500 mile radius.

A couple of other things I did was to do google image searches for the last 7 days on the specific models I was looking for, this found a few potential candidates listed on consignment lots, etc. that were not listed nationally, I also looked at the lesser used online classifieds like bookoo and oodle
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:24 PM   #17
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I do have a question about book value and what you should pay for it. If anyone ever asked book value all of the ones Ive been looking at would be in the 15- 17K range. They seem to not want to go below $20K regardless. Haven't found one worth haggling yet, how much over the book value is usual.

I tried image searches a few times, in particular on CL ads just to see how sketchy the post was. lol They have pennysaver here, totally forgot about it.

I dont know how you worked out the huge search radius. Ive considered it since we are close to FL but cant seem to find any at the north part of FL which would be an 11 hr drive one way for the ones farthest south. I think if we were looking in at least the 35-40K price range it would be doable to possibly locate something decent in one trip. Wouldnt mind shopping in TX. Im terrified of trying to make it back in a short turn around without putting it in a shop first to give it a once over. Although I have heard many tales of getting a once over before heading out and not making it 200 miles. Makes you wonder if its worth bothering. lol
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:28 AM   #18
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In my opinion NADA book value on motorhomes is at best a rough guideline, take for example my 2002 Safari Trek, it has a NADA average retail price of just under $16,000, in 5 months worth of shopping the lowest asking price I saw for a supposedly road ready 2001-2002 model Trek was about $18,000 and typical asking price was $21,000 - $29,000 from private sellers, and more from dealers. Mine had an asking price of $25,000 and we settled on $20,500, of course what NADA does not account for is condition and upgrades, mine had over $10,000 worth of parts added to it since 2014, and I have no idea how much labor, with new seating, carpet, fridge, tires, inverter, 400 watts of solar, and close to $3,000 of suspension upgrades.

As to the issue of buying at a distance and road worthiness, I admit having concerns, however I did a fair amount of research. First I contacted the seller through craigslist asking some specific questions about the coach, the wife was handling the online stuff, and she gave me her husbands phone number to call about the technical details. We then talked on the phone about it for about an hour. I then composed an email making an offer, explaining that I had been shopping for a while, compared their asking price to a couple of others I had in consideration, as well as pointing out my added expenses with the distance involved, airline tickets to fly down, expectation of condition and risk, ...

Involved in this process was asking why they were selling (there were upgrade projects that had not yet been finished), it turns out they had ran across a deal on a summer home back home in Michigan and had bought it while there in the Trek a few weeks before. I also researched all the online posts that the seller had posted on the Trek Owners forum, which totaled about 40 posts over 2 years. These posts about various issues and upgrades matched the information from the phone conversation, even including the trip to Michigan a few weeks earlier. So I took a chance assuming that if it made it from Florida to Michigan and back within the last couple of months that it would make it the thousand miles to Louisiana, and it did. Of course in the last 7 months of ownership I have found a number of things that still needed attention and upgrades. These have been a mix of gaps in maintenance, updates I wanted to do, and routine service, totally on average about $700 per month, and a lot of sweat equity doing stuff myself.

By gaps in maintenance, I don't mean to imply a lack of care by the prior owner / owners, but instead there are those things people don't tend to think about like changing the power steering fluid, or the rubber suspension bushing which were well on their way to dry rotting after 15 years. There were also some headaches on the retrieval drive home from Florida, with non-working high beam headlights (a wiring clip stuck in the lever, the previous owner told me he never drove it at night so probably did not know about it) and a shaking passenger side mirror. Things that were easy fixes once I made it home, but added a great deal of stress to the drive.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:28 PM   #19
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Thats typically the route I take talk to the owner and get a feel for who they are and what they consider maintenance. I never believe them until I can confirm what is really going on. This last guy is a real good example of how careful people really need to be when buying any type of RV motorized or not.

Discussion with the guy, says he loves it, looked all over for this particular one and wants a slightly larger one to tow. I can see that, its 34ft on a ford v-10 and he restores cars.

Gushes about how great of shape its in and how he knows all about roof leaks and that its been maintained and not leaking. Got it from a guy that used it to follow his daughter while doing the soccer thing. Says hes had it a while. There is no way he ever used any forum ever. The good ole boys round here are a different kinda man. Dont need no internets to help them out. haha

I hoped he was straight up, we liked the floorplan and the coach itself.But Im pretty sure he could boondoggle anyone into believing he knew about RVs and this and that until they got the skinny from his verbose wife. haha

I had already done the walk around. Decided it was toast from water leaks. The whole drivers side was 75% delaminated and crunchy when pressing on the sides. It was also cooler near the bottom of the wall due to active moisture behind it. Thinking it might be a monaco thing went around to the other side and it was much better. Check the roof and the fiberglass cap was very flexible, not sure if that was a monaco thing but it allowed the seam to gap. Aluminum was in excellent shape.

Get inside with my moisture meter, now out of curiosity as to where it failed. Being aluminum not a whole lot of maintenance except sealing the seams and around stuff on the roof. Find the shower skylight full of water and wet running over the wall into the kitchen and some other spots from lack of maintenance. The strongest mold smell was near the slide out.

So the skinny from the wife...since he wasn't around she came out to talk our ears off. Told me he goes through them like changing underwear. Just when she gets used to one he picks up another. Havent had one longer than a year. As well as her rotten teeth she just had pulled and all her other issues. As soon as we could get a break in the convo we excused ourselves, blaming it on the chickens lol After a while, get a call from the seller. Told him we werent interested but didnt go further. Then he asked me if we found anything wrong. I told him about the leak in the bathroom skylght and educated him that just because you dont see water spots doesnt mean it isnt leaking.

In the dept of good news/bad news. Bad news, found this thread about steep drives and I think we will have better luck with 34ft or shorter. steep driveway - new unit?

Good news, found a floorplan that checks all the boxes and it comes in 32-34 ft models all across winnebago and itasca lines. It gets us in the price range, newer model, fiberglass roof. And possible features like reclining couch and basement air. And the ones that dont have the washer spot like the 04 Sunrise 34D the others have a makeup vanity next to the bathroom and the sink is on the other side of that wall. Negative, the newer ones in the adventurer, suncruiser, brave line that is the only egress window and could be slightly blocked by the washer. Which really doesn't look large enough anyway. Have to see how high the bottom of the window is, the washer is around 34" tall. Still climbing over something to get out the window either way.
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