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Old 09-14-2016, 10:23 AM   #1
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Used MH research

I don't retire for a few more years and thought I'd start collecting a little data on used Class A MH's.

I'm leaning towards a more "luxury" used model with Tag. I'm using NADA (without options) for the MSRP. I'm also guessing that the MH sold for about 75% of the MSRP. I'm just getting general depreciation info for now.

The file is Excel but had to be converted to PDF to upload. You're welcome to the Excel file if you want it.
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File Type: pdf Research.pdf (41.9 KB, 38 views)
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:35 AM   #2
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It isn't clear what you are trying to quantify. The used price is based upon condition, demand, history of power train, mileage, how it was used, how well it was maintained..

any correlation to msrp is happen stance in my opinion. Just because it had a list price of xxxx does not mean the current value is 70%. The market place defines the value, look at what they sold for, PPL has a listing, follow rvtrader, rvt, rather than ebay and craigs list are poor indicators IMHO.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:15 PM   #3
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If retiring and buying in a few more years, why don't you look at new ones now? Make a selection of ones you'd consider then when it's time for you to buy used in a few years, you'll have a list of more current ones and you can zero in on those for your searches.

The ones you've selected now on your list will be a lot older when you're ready to buy....unless that's the age you want.

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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It isn't clear what you are trying to quantify. ....
I'm really just trying to figure out what model year I'll be able to afford for a given MH.
Ex. If my budget is about 150k I'll need to look at 20 year old Prevost. I couldn't find MSRP for Prevost though. The column "95% of Asking" is roughly what the MH will sell for now IMO. So if I want a U320 Foretravel I'll need to look at models that are at least 10 years old.
In all honesty my wife and I were looking at used MH's and she asked why there was such a difference in asking price when they all look similar. That's when I started looking up MSRP. So now I can tell her that if the motor/tranny is bigger than it cost more, etc.
Oddly enough I've found that the luxury models add something to the ceiling as well. Weird but true.

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"any correlation to msrp is happen stance in my opinion".....
My research tells me that every MH has a direct correlation to it's original selling price or even the MSRP. If you eliminate the poorly maintained coaches and the "divorce" sales most MH start at the selling price and depreciate from there. IMO.

I am guessing that the MH sold for 75% of the NADA MSRP. It's just a reference point though. The current asking price " Price column " is mostly from one of the respected dealers not far from me.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
If retiring and buying in a few more years, why don't you look at new ones now? Make a selection of ones you'd consider then when it's time for you to buy used in a few years, you'll have a list of more current ones and you can zero in on those for your searches.

The ones you've selected now on your list will be a lot older when you're ready to buy....unless that's the age you want.

Good luck!
That's great advice and possibly what will happen now that I know my wife "really" cares about the floorplan. They don't say, " If husband is happy....."

But for now; I've found that many of the 500k plus MH spent much of their life in a custom garage. Many of these owners have the money to do all the maintenance and in many cases even do a major upgrade at some point. I'm actually going to try and get my wife to look at an older Prevost without slides. I'm a cabinet maker and remodeler in my spare time. My attention to detail causes me to see "cheap" in about a couple seconds. This is probably a curse but it is pointing me towards older "luxury" models for now.
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #6
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wow, it is apparent that we both approach the same issue from very different methods. I research the chassis and engine that are good or ones to avoid... then certain yrs of engines were better than others due to the pollution stds, and attempts to meet them. Also, the size of the diesel compared to length or weight. Guess what I'm saying there are a lot of high end coaches that I would never consider at any cost due to the limited track record posted on this site, for example I would not consider a cummins ISX. I would not consider a coach with a r4r chassis.

Just glad to see we are all not the same or my shopping would be more difficult...
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:46 PM   #7
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Since you are looking at older high end coaches I would encourage you to add Beavers in the 2000-2007 range to your list. When you walk in the coach your "low quality detector) will not go off. Safaris and Monacos in the same year range are worthy of your list also. Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:53 PM   #8
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,.... for example I would not consider a cummins ISX....


I know, I wouldn't be caught dead in this MH.....lol

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Old 09-14-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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Since you are looking at older high end coaches I would encourage you to add Beavers in the 2000-2007 range to your list. When you walk in the coach your "low quality detector) will not go off. Safaris and Monacos in the same year range are worthy of your list also. Good luck.

They are already on the radar ........ thanks. Very nice coaches!
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:30 AM   #10
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I would start by writing a list of the features you must have and features you would like to have. Establish a budget. Get a list of quality manufacturers. When the time comes to buy, look at coaches that have been well cared for and driven that have complete maintenance records. Look at the web to see what that year and model are selling for. You need to take into account the condition of an older coach and be prepared to pay more for one that is in great shape.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:35 PM   #11
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You've probably realized this by now, that NADA is not as an 'exact or accurate' method of determining the 'value' of an RV - as say Kelly Blue Book is on automobiles.

IMO, it gives you a baseline to start with, but it is at best + or - 20-25%. Also IMO, the higher up the coach food chain you go, the harder it is to obtain a reasonable NADA price point.

In my research about 6-8 years ago now, looking at higher end coaches it blurs more. And becomes very subjective. Why? Well from my personal observations, quite often the older higher end coaches, have had much more higher end customizations made to them.

What a seller will sell their coach for, and what a buyer is willing to pay for a coach - determines the actual value. (Pretty obvious statement. But NADA is not even close on many of these higher end coaches exchange of ownership prices.)

Also IMO, you have two kinds of owner and coaches. 1) Those that are 'get in and drive' owners, with 'use them as they came out of the factory' coaches. 2) Very involved with maintenance and care owners, with 'I've customized them to how I want the coach to be' owners. Customization? Improved mechanical: Engine upgrades, suspension upgrades, cooling upgrades, expanded battery banks/solar panel, etc. Improved house: Updated electronics via TV's, stereos, Silverleaf, GPS, WiFi/Cellular Amplification, Inverters to PSW, Residential Fridges, carpets, wood flooring, tile flooring, fireplaces, window coverings, cabinet storage modifications, etc.

These costs can be easily from $10 - 20K. And $40, $50, $60K + modifications are also very prevalent.

I also saw two avenues of selling: 1) Ebay/RVT/Craigslist, and 'move them out' consignment locations (PPL for example.). These by owner, or 'move em out' consignment's - are usually at a lower cost sales point. Probably closer to NADA values. 2) Higher end and heavily modified coaches, seem to be also either sold by owner, or higher end Consignment shops. Premier, California Coaches, others, for example.

After I looked for just under a year, and spent about $3K and about 6 days of vacations to go visit and look at more distant coaches that turned out not to be what was advertised. I elected to retain the help of a Professional Salesman. I asked here on IRVE, RV.Net and Escappees for recommendations. And ended up working a gent in my own city of San Diego. Steve Wilson from Holland Motor Home. (No longer with us, as he lost a battle with cancer.) The common thread between the Professional Salesman that were recommended to me, was a true desire to match the needs of a customer with an appropriate coach. More concerned about doing this right, then just making another sell. Why? Well, repeat business and referrals were the major reason why it was more important for them to help a buyer, then just make a sell. This paid off in the long run.

I remember a comment that Steve Wilson made to me on my second sit down with him. 'The good coaches are quite often never advertised. The salesman know of people looking for that certain type of coach, and put the two together.' For example, my coach was coming in on consignment at Holland Motor Homes, Steve called me and told me about it, and when it was due into the facilities. I met it at the gate as it came in. Not cleaned up or prepped for show. I spent two house alone with it, crawling over, under with with a flash light, and thru the full coach. It met what I was looking for, so I took the next steps in due diligence of reviewing all maintenance records (All of which had been done by Holland Motor Homes, so that was easy!), took it to Cummins for dyno tests, fluid analysis, and full inspection of the chassis (Sure, all on my dime.).

Another example, as I was in working on the offer with Steve, he asked if he could take a call. A former customer called, the husband had died, and the wife wanted Steve's help in selling a Country Coach Affinity. When he got of the phone with her, he commented that he knew exactly who to call, as he was helping another buyer looking for such a coach. (Higher up the price point budget wise then we were. He figured this was a $250-275K value, we were shopping in the $150K range.)

A long story here, to show that I do believe that many of the best coaches, never make it to market!

OP - Keep doing your research. And sure NADA is a guideline, and your numbers could show trends for specific makes and models in relation to depreciation. Also, if planning to look Prevost. Going the Prevost Owners User Group, and start reading and asking questions. A wealth of knowledge.

Best of luck to you, and all,
Smitty
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:40 PM   #12
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If my budget is about 150k I'll need to look at 20 year old Prevost. I couldn't find MSRP for Prevost though.

Prevost is not a brand of MH, just the chassis one is built on.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:08 AM   #13
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I sure appreciate the thoughtful comments.

Smitty77- It's awesome that you were able to find a "professional" salesman.

I probably won't actually buy my MH until after retirement. This way I'll have the time to travel to find the right one for us. My wife loves to travel and this will give us an excuse. It looks like there's a great chance I'll be able to find what I want somewhere in Texas.

My goal right now is to take a driving course so I'll be able to drive different models.

Cranemec- Thanks for the input. I knew that different company's ( Country Coach, etc. ) did the conversions I just didn't think to look in NADA the correct way until your post.
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