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Old 10-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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Three family members buying used 5thW's soon. Should we shop/negotiate together?

My step-father and sister are shopping for used fifth-wheels presently and I had originally planned to buy one in the fall of 2014. (But I have a good place to store mine for free if I bought sooner in order to get a potential price advantage.) In fact, my retired step-father needs to move to his rural permanent site in just a few weeks and plans to get a second unit thereafter for additional space for his large library. So, the extended family plans to buy as many as four used fifth-wheels in the coming months in the same general area of Texas and could conceivably shop together at a big reseller such as Houston's PPLmotorhomes if there are likely to be price advantages. (All but one of the RVs will end up parked permanently on the same rural site.)

I don't know what percentage of a large reseller's 4 to 13 years-old used fifth-wheel inventory is likely to be consignment units rather than trade-ins, so obviously that is a big factor in any pricing advantages of "quantity purchases." But because all of us plan to pay cash, I naturally wonder if we should coordinate our RV shopping and purchases to get a better deal.

I assume that this end-of-vacation season time of year could be when inventory moves more slowly and therefore pricing may be advantageous. (?) Does anyone have any advice about our coordinating our RV shopping and purchases? (We have all seen multiple units in the PPLmotorhomes inventory which fits our needs so we aren't really concerned about restricting ourselves. None of us feel like we want to hassle with the private seller market through Craigslist and RV trader because of all the driving around and not necessarily finding better pricing.)
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Helping my disabled father and my care-giver sister in getting their fifth-wheels for a long-term, rural Texas site. I hope to do likewise within a year or two so...just trying to learn all that I can. Any & all advice is appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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I would wait until the end of the model year. Then when the new models are coming out and dealers are taking trade ins to get existing stock off the lot you might find what you are looking for. As for quanity discounts, you would have to go to one dealer/retailer.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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Just a quick note about PPL. The units are on consignment from individual owners. So you would be buying individual units from individual owners. No real advantage in a group purchase.

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Old 10-02-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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I should have added: Due to zoning and code issues, the extremely advantageous rural site does NOT give us any residential options other than RVs. So dreams of manufactured/modular homes, park models, and various other obvious alternatives are simply not viable options.
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Helping my disabled father and my care-giver sister in getting their fifth-wheels for a long-term, rural Texas site. I hope to do likewise within a year or two so...just trying to learn all that I can. Any & all advice is appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by glarnold View Post
Just a quick note about PPL. The units are on consignment from individual owners. So you would be buying individual units from individual owners. No real advantage in a group purchase.
I thought PPL also handled trade-ins at all of their locations. Apparently I was in error in that regard so I very much appreciate that correction!
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Helping my disabled father and my care-giver sister in getting their fifth-wheels for a long-term, rural Texas site. I hope to do likewise within a year or two so...just trying to learn all that I can. Any & all advice is appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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I would wait until the end of the model year. Then when the new models are coming out and dealers are taking trade ins to get existing stock off the lot you might find what you are looking for.
Having spent much of my life outside the U.S., I admit to having no idea when that would be. Does it correspond with the calendar year or the autumn? (In the country I used to call home, new products/lines tended to correspond with the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. So we thought of the new year as starting in October.)

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As for quanity discounts, you would have to go to one dealer/retailer.
LOL! (I like your sense of humor! Here in the States I get the impression that there are not many of us dry humor types. My kids role their eyes when I make jokes like that, but I don't care. Keep it up!)
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Helping my disabled father and my care-giver sister in getting their fifth-wheels for a long-term, rural Texas site. I hope to do likewise within a year or two so...just trying to learn all that I can. Any & all advice is appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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They do say that they can take trade-ins. They will "buy" your unit (way below book) and allow that amount toward a purchase of another unit (that they may or may not own). In my experiences with them (one unit consigned for a few weeks and another unit purchased from them), I decided that they were a great place to buy, not-so-great to sell.

Just my opinion. Continue to do your research.

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Old 10-02-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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They do say that they can take trade-ins......I decided that they were a great place to buy, not-so-great to sell.
Thanks for the info. Fortunately, none of us have any RVs to trade-in so at least we don't have that complication.

In terms of used fifth-wheel inventory, I figure the moving costs make it practical to shop anywhere within the Houston/SanAntonio/Austin/Dallas region of the state. So in being able to see a lot of 5 to 13 years-old selection in one visit (or perhaps a group of nearly-adjacent dealers in one city), do you have suggestions in addition to PPLmotorhomes?

(We are all inclined to let the depreciation curve flatten out, so units in the 8 to 10 years old range are probably going to get our closest scrutiny----although we are all open to going older if a unit has been well maintained/preserved. Seeing how these units will probably all stay in Texas, we don't have to worry about harsh winters up north. Mainly we want to be able to keep condensation out of the walls and do our own common-sense winterizing to get reasonable year-round energy costs. Each RVs but one will have a single year-round occupant and mine will have just the wife and I and we all plan to minimize our humidity production. So we aren't so sure that we need to invest in a higher-cost Exel, Carriage, or Nuwa to full-time at one site in Texas.)
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