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Old 09-01-2014, 12:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
We are approaching the 10 year mark for our coach and opted to upgrade it for "keeps". There is nothing fundamentally wrong with what we have and nothing out there just screamed at us to save the upgrade costs for a new model. Sure, there are some great newer units out there but with our buy in costs and upgrade costs, we just don't see a reason to spend more than that for a newer unit.

Granted, as we pass 10 years old we will see the second tier of major depreciation and that is a tad unsettling but we sorta figured that out going into it. After our first year we became comfortable with keeping this MH for the long haul.

I suppose the next major event where we would think about trading it in is in 5 years when we need new tires. More coaches are traded in instead of replacing tires than you might think. LOL

Same for me and the DW. Decided a few years ago to keep it and up grade it ourselves. Been fun and cheaper too!
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:02 PM   #16
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This thread has been a great and exceptionally educational read. Thanks writers!
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:08 PM   #17
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Reflecting on the theme of this thread also reminded me of a few other factors in coach selection.

1. An older coach with good records is no guarantee that things that didn't break won't break later. Still, a well maintained, used coach won't just go sideways for unknown reasons most of the time.

2. Consider selecting a model year based on features you can get you from a higher level of coach that might be a couple years older. By that I mean I look at my 2006 DSDP and when I look at 2004 MADPs I find I have a lot of features they had that were not available in the 2004 DSDP line. The theory is that when upper level coaches get upgraded, they pass down some of the items to lower level coaches as part of their upgrades.

3. Don't sweat image, buy what you can afford to meet your needs and desires. I'm not knocking anyone that can afford to get a new coach and trade them in on a very regular basis. Keep passing those used coaches down to us. LOL My self image is not based on whether I have the newest, greatest, snazziest coach. Our needs are for a solidly built chassis, coach and room to live like we want to. It doesn't matter if it is 32' or 45' or a TT/5ver/MH. When I pull into a place all that I care is that the coaches on either side of me are proudly maintained and my neighbors are nice people to be around. The bottom line is to carefully weigh out your wants and needs and buy to those standards and not get caught up in the chrome and glitter of any coach whether that is new or used. But..if chrome and glitter is your style...that is cool too.

4. It is often said to by your last coach first. Nice in theory but, IMHO, not normally achieved. Those working on the second coach are much more likely to get it right than a first timer. Consider that in your first purchase and don't paint yourself into a corner buying too much and not being able to get out of it without taking a cash bath.

In the end, the odds are that a quality, well maintained, used coach between 3-6 years will be good both for newer features and enough time to get out of it in reasonable shape before the 10 year wall hits.

YMMV.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:47 PM   #18
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Another reason I prefer to buy a used coach.

I read about so many people that buy new coaches and spend months getting all the bugs out! Chances are, someone has already done that on a used coach!
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:05 PM   #19
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We went on our first "shopping trip" yesterday for our fulltime-in-2-years RV.

To me, the difference in build quality between high-line, mid-line, and budget RVs was very obvious. I don't care about the snazz, I very much care that the thing will hold up, and that it will be "worth fixing" when the inevitable happens.

As to new RVs and "peace of mind", consider this: with a new RV your largest expense, by far, will be depreciation. And it's not even something you can avoid or reduce with prudence or good luck; it's built-in. By the time an RV is ten years old it will have lost 75-80% of its value, so far as I can tell. That would pay for a lot of repairs!

Also, as to "peace of mind", consider this: what's the worst thing that could happen, mechanically? I guess having complete engine failure on a diesel pusher. What if that happens to you? Well, you call your RV "auto club" and get it towed to the nearest repair point. You spend a couple weeks in a motel, and get a repair bill for, what $25-30k? And then you have an engine good for hundreds of thousands of miles. $30k in repairs is a lot less than $150k in depreciation. Further, this sort of engine failure is actually quite rare. It's very unlikely to happen to you, unlike depreciation, which is in the same category as death and taxes.

The other repairs are pretty minor, in the big scheme of things. A few grand here or there, every year - how much does your house eat again?

We went into our shopping trip thinking we were maybe going to go for a mid-line DP like an Itasca or similar. After climbing in and out of many units all day, nuh-uh. We're pretty set on a Country Coach. Why? Because the Country Coach felt solid. It felt like a home. The Itascas, etc., were mostly "acceptable", and they seemed like they would work, but they just didn't give us that solid, comfortable feeling the Country Coaches did. Plus the Country Coaches very much felt like they would be worth repairing, if and when. That if you fixed something it would stay fixed, not break again in a month.

It was clear to me after the day's research that I'd rather have a 10-year-old Country Coach than a 5-year-old mid-line. You could insert other high-line brands here as well, I'm sure.

Just my (very limited) experience and opinion. Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Gannet View Post
We went on our first "shopping trip" yesterday for our fulltime-in-2-years RV.

To me, the difference in build quality between high-line, mid-line, and budget RVs was very obvious. I don't care about the snazz, I very much care that the thing will hold up, and that it will be "worth fixing" when the inevitable happens.

As to new RVs and "peace of mind", consider this: with a new RV your largest expense, by far, will be depreciation. And it's not even something you can avoid or reduce with prudence or good luck; it's built-in. By the time an RV is ten years old it will have lost 75-80% of its value, so far as I can tell. That would pay for a lot of repairs!

Also, as to "peace of mind", consider this: what's the worst thing that could happen, mechanically? I guess having complete engine failure on a diesel pusher. What if that happens to you? Well, you call your RV "auto club" and get it towed to the nearest repair point. You spend a couple weeks in a motel, and get a repair bill for, what $25-30k? And then you have an engine good for hundreds of thousands of miles. $30k in repairs is a lot less than $150k in depreciation. Further, this sort of engine failure is actually quite rare. It's very unlikely to happen to you, unlike depreciation, which is in the same category as death and taxes.

The other repairs are pretty minor, in the big scheme of things. A few grand here or there, every year - how much does your house eat again?

We went into our shopping trip thinking we were maybe going to go for a mid-line DP like an Itasca or similar. After climbing in and out of many units all day, nuh-uh. We're pretty set on a Country Coach. Why? Because the Country Coach felt solid. It felt like a home. The Itascas, etc., were mostly "acceptable", and they seemed like they would work, but they just didn't give us that solid, comfortable feeling the Country Coaches did. Plus the Country Coaches very much felt like they would be worth repairing, if and when. That if you fixed something it would stay fixed, not break again in a month.

It was clear to me after the day's research that I'd rather have a 10-year-old Country Coach than a 5-year-old mid-line. You could insert other high-line brands here as well, I'm sure.

Just my (very limited) experience and opinion. Good luck!
Great post...your reasoning is the same my wife and I are using in our research process. I think we have pretty much narrowed it down to a used 2007-2010 Foretravel Phenix or a 2008-2009 Country Coach Magna or Affinity, in no particular order.
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:55 PM   #21
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Wow...Lots of great information! There is a lot to consider and I appreciate all the input.

I am a pretty practical guy and I am definitely leaning towards the gently used, pre-owned model with a great chassis, engine and "internals"...the rest I can update/fix/upgrade as needed.

Have I mentioned how much I dig this website!
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #22
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Great post: don't forget to add, 1st. Floor plan. 2nd Fuel type. 3rd. Length (State park restrictions). 4th Make (big differance in unit quality) and most importantly $$$. Stay within your budget. Wait for the deal, they are out there. Just be patience... We waited almost 2 year and got a great deal. 2012 with 5,622 miles, used twice.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:17 PM   #23
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Great post...your reasoning is the same my wife and I are using in our research process. I think we have pretty much narrowed it down to a used 2007-2010 Foretravel Phenix or a 2008-2009 Country Coach Magna or Affinity, in no particular order.
For people looking for something that is a great driver, as well as solid quality, and bang-for-the at the high end, I think you have it exactly right. There are NO new coaches built today outside of a Prevost conversion, Newell, or Foretravel, that are built to this level. NONE. The high-line coaches some of you may suggest are, in my opinion, lacking in the construction of the house and how it attaches to the lower chassis.

It really is true -- they don't make them like they used to! With the demise of new Dynomax and Roadmaster S-Series the only thing comparable left in plastic coaches is the Travelride.

My only caution would be to be cautious or avoid Country Coach units made at the end when they suspected things were going to shut down.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:34 PM   #24
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If you want to up the ante to a Prevost class RV take a look at the Forest River Charleston you are hitting $235K now but comparable to the $400K+ Prevost.
This leaves scratching my head. The underlying construction of these is not very comparable, IMO.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #25
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Question: Does the depreciation ever end? Or level off?

It must, especially if you maintain the coach well? Otherwise, wouldn't it eventually be worthless?
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:22 PM   #26
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The other thought not mentioned so far is diesel engines have changed quite a bit since somewhere around 2007? Then again in 2010? The dates I may have butchered but IMO none of those changes was for the better.
Just another thought.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:44 PM   #27
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I think depreciation does level out some, but I don't think it ever stops. We've had our '97 HR for 4 years now. Even though overall condition has likely improved since our purchase, I can only wish it was still worth what we paid for it. Still, the amount of depreciation we have suffered with it over those 4 years wouldn't hold a candle to what a coach 10 years newer might loose in one year?

Another point I'd like to make, coming from somebody that spent the first half of his working career working on these things professionally (and loving it for the most part).

I'm thinking of that "worst case" scenario above. IMHO, looking at something over maybe 5-7 years old, it's about the condition of the walls, ceiling and floors when picking out a "winner" that's not going to eat your shorts when it comes to repairs. You need to be very careful of water intrusion issues (some brands more than others). A delaminated sidewal or roof, a big soft in a floor, a slide out that's seen better days, problems like those are a complete disaster when it comes to valuing the coach, or repairing the damage. ANYTHING else (OK, maybe shy of the engine) can be EASILY repaired or replaced reasonably. I would suggest your inspections start there, especially when you get back into the early 2000 and older coaches. If it passes that inspection, then look at the rest of it. Oh, and the comment "that leak has been fixed"? Not in my experience...

Best of luck in your hunt. Have a blast obsessing over your purchase!
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #28
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The value continues to drop but it does flatten out.

Ours came with the build sheet, we are third owner.

Out the door price new $243k in 1989 dollars...our cost 5k.

deals are there and pride of ownership wins over worries about loan payments.

It is old but paid for.
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