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Old 04-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #1
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New or used?

Thank you all in advance for your help! We are still looking at 5th wheel options and while we think the Redwood is wonderful inside we are hearing loud and clear from many of you about importance of quality structure underneath. So we are now looking at Mobile Suites. It's much more difficult to find one in the $80m range so we found a used one (2011). What do you look for in a used one? How do you know whether it has any structural damage or defects? Without a warranty we are nervous.... we have always bought campers new, frankly because we are really funny about things like what goes into the black tank, if you know what I mean. Advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:17 AM   #2
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I would buy new. We bought a new Jayco fiver in 1994. Had it for 14 years and it was never in the shop. Bought a new Newmar last August and it has been very trouble free. A lot of people don't take care of their RVs and when you buy used you never know the full story. But you can save some money buying used, and if you look around you can find a great rig. It's all about personal choice and budget.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
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IMHO it's not much different that buying a used car. If the inside is clean and well-taken care of, chances are good that it's a good buy. You never really know 100% but it's a good indication. We bought ours used, two years ago from a couple just a few miles from us and so far all is good and they have been more than helpful answering all our questions.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:32 AM   #4
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Personally I've taken the position I'm never going to buy another new car, truck, boat or RV for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of cost. Having said that, buying used requires one to use good common sense, along with having the ability and knowledge to evaluate the condition of a used item, or by using the services of an expert to evaluate the item. Still, one could get burned by a used seller who's hiding something that you don't discover. So, it's a very personal thing to the buyer and his/her acceptance of risk and only you can make that determination.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
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So far I have always looked for used but have bought 3 units all new. I have been able to find units that I like at what I consider very good discounts of 35-40% off new MSRP.

The last unit that I bought was a left over that I really liked.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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We have some good friends who always buy new, top of the line, everything because they can and want that "no body has ever slept in our bed" thing. And that's ok, but think about it you go to resorts or hotels and sleep in beds hundreds have slept in so for us it is not a big deal, nor do we have the residual income that allows us to spend so freely. We like to get the best deal and believe if you do you homework, go with a good brand with high marks, then your investment will be worth more down the road.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Buy used - save lots of money.
Ensure a clean coach, preferably buy from an individual so you get the feel for how the coach was used and cared for.
Budget for tires if needed, any services needed, and a contingency.
To mitigate risk, buy a 3rd party service/warranty agreement.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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A used Mobile Suites? Great choice! If I were again looking for a used 5er, DRV would be on the top of my list along with a (small) handful of other high quality 5ers.
And if $$ was not a concern, I would still buy used - let the first owner shake out the new unit problems. Then I would search out a very clean unit that suited my needs.

This is a formula that has worked well for me over the years... My 5er is an '02 and DW and i love it. My TV is an '06, I purchased 2 years ago... Love it too. My everyday truck is also an '06, I bought it 5 years ago and I have 170,000 miles on it (replaced tires, brake pads and alternator - that's it!)... My boat is an '86 (throttle cable and carb, that's it). IMHO, if you buy high quality, you can buy for less and live large. Again, just my opinion.

As for knowing if the unit is in good shape, well, DRV is a quality unit and they use a box frame. Very strong and not prone to problems.

Find a good inspector, find a great floor plan and hit the road!

Lots of luck and enjoy!

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Laker17 View Post
A used Mobile Suites? Great choice! If I were again looking for a used 5er, DRV would be on the top of my list along with a (small) handful of other high quality 5ers.
And if $$ was not a concern, I would still buy used - let the first owner shake out the new unit problems. Then I would search out a very clean unit that suited my needs.

This is a formula that has worked well for me over the years... My 5er is an '02 and DW and i love it. My TV is an '06, I purchased 2 years ago... Love it too. My everyday truck is also an '06, I bought it 5 years ago and I have 170,000 miles on it (replaced tires, brake pads and alternator - that's it!)... My boat is an '86 (throttle cable and carb, that's it). IMHO, if you buy high quality, you can buy for less and live large. Again, just my opinion.

As for knowing if the unit is in good shape, well, DRV is a quality unit and they use a box frame. Very strong and not prone to problems.

Find a good inspector, find a great floor plan and hit the road!

Lots of luck and enjoy!

Laker
Thanks Laker! Great insights. I agree on buying used. We follow Dave Ramsey's financial advice and he would agree with you too!
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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Watch out for weights. DRV's are heavy. This is good but can run into problems towing. We come across scales at 17,000ish. This is well over the limits of a pre 2012 3500. My truck does well until I get in hilly country. Have to slow way down to keep ETs in safe zone
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #11
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Depends on your priorities.

Our next 5er will be a full-time rig that we will be living in for several years. From our experience with our current 5er, information from RV forums, and looking at other rigs, we know what we want for our next "house".

Because few manufacturers build a 5er with the floorplan we want, we have narrowed down our list to 3 or 4 models. If we can find a gently used rig with all or nearly all the features we want, we will consider buying it. However, if we have to do a lot of modifications to add features we want, it could get to be as expensive as buying new.

Chances are good that our next rig will be a new one for these reasons. Plus one more reason - we have never bought a new house or RV, so perhaps it's time.

Jim
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Depends on your priorities.

Our next 5er will be a full-time rig that we will be living in for several years. From our experience with our current 5er, information from RV forums, and looking at other rigs, we know what we want for our next "house".

Because few manufacturers build a 5er with the floorplan we want, we have narrowed down our list to 3 or 4 models. If we can find a gently used rig with all or nearly all the features we want, we will consider buying it. However, if we have to do a lot of modifications to add features we want, it could get to be as expensive as buying new.

Chances are good that our next rig will be a new one for these reasons. Plus one more reason - we have never bought a new house or RV, so perhaps it's time.

Jim
Thanks Jim! We have had 4 campers from popups to our current 5er and all except our first popup have been new. We are crazy particular even to the point that I scrub the thing every time we use it and such. I bet it will be challenging to find a used one that we feel good about! We have narrowed down to a Mobile Suites that we like and we have pretty much decided unless a great opportunity presents itself we will wait until next winter and order a new one.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:21 PM   #13
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Watch out for weights. DRV's are heavy. This is good but can run into problems towing. We come across scales at 17,000ish. This is well over the limits of a pre 2012 3500. My truck does well until I get in hilly country. Have to slow way down to keep ETs in safe zone
Thanks, great advice. We have been checking carefully. We have Dodge Dually 3500 with the special rear end and transmission to haul up to around 21,000. I think we should be good on the model we want.
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