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Old 01-10-2005, 03:44 PM   #1
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We are saving to purchase a 5th wheel next year. We have the option to either buy new or used.

Our dilema? If we buy new and within our prospective budget, it would put us in the entry level price range for a new 5th wheel. If we buy used, we could get a mid 90's higher end unit.

While the new 5th wheel would come with a warranty, we aren't real certain we like the quality of the entry level 5ver's we've seen. On the flip-side, we've seen some great looking mid 90's higher end units (say Holiday Rambler & Avion) but they won't have a warranty.

Which way would you go.....new with warranty but entry level, or used, no warranty but higher end unit?
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:44 PM   #2
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We are saving to purchase a 5th wheel next year. We have the option to either buy new or used.

Our dilema? If we buy new and within our prospective budget, it would put us in the entry level price range for a new 5th wheel. If we buy used, we could get a mid 90's higher end unit.

While the new 5th wheel would come with a warranty, we aren't real certain we like the quality of the entry level 5ver's we've seen. On the flip-side, we've seen some great looking mid 90's higher end units (say Holiday Rambler & Avion) but they won't have a warranty.

Which way would you go.....new with warranty but entry level, or used, no warranty but higher end unit?
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:42 PM   #3
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If you buy new with a warranty, in one year you will have a used entry level trailer with no warranty. If you buy a used mid to high end unit now, in one year you will have a mid to high end trailer that is one year older than when you bought it with no warranty. IOW, if you can find a quality unit that meets your needs, go for it. I would also recommend adding Hitchiker to your list.
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Old 01-10-2005, 08:44 PM   #4
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When we were looking a sales man advised that we buy used first. We then can evaluate what we really need as we use the used trailer, and then we could trade it in on a new one that would meet our needs. We did that, but liked our used unit so well that we have kept it. By buying a 5 year old unit we got a very high quality unit for a reasaonable price. If you are at all handy with tools most of the maintenance tasks are within your capability.
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Old 01-11-2005, 03:37 AM   #5
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Also keep in mind that the original owner worked out all those kinks that were taken care of under the warranty. Most people trade because they want something different or better in a new rig, not because the old rig is no longer functioning well. They just want a unit with more new gadgets. If you can find a used unit that fits your needs go for it.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:21 AM   #6
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For a real education in cost, look at Nada Guides and compare the way a new entry level trailer vs a one and two year old trailer holds value as compared to a 4 or 5 year old higher end trailers.

The depreciation on a new trialer is heavy and the entry level trailers do not hold resale as well as a higher end trailer.

It is unusual to have a trailer sales person try to seel you a used trailer unless he has it way over priced. Check the pricing.

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Old 01-11-2005, 03:40 PM   #7
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Go look at the new ones to get an idea of the type of floor plan you want, then start shopping the used ones until you find "the one". After that you can spend the next year or two deciding what you really like or don't like, then you will be ready to make a wiser choice the next time around without putting up with the loss of money and the entry level trailer that might turn you off of camping completely. Be sure to look over the used one really well for signs of leaking, dryrot below windows, and things like that which could cause you a lot of headaches. If you have a friend that knows trailers take them with you to look it over. Four eyes are always better than two.
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Old 01-11-2005, 06:44 PM   #8
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Many problems will have been worked out already on the used RV. Also, with the money you save you can fix things up the way you want. If a warranty makes you more comfortable, there are warrantys out there that you can purchase, or better yet, if you buy used from a dealer, have them throw that in as part of the deal.
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Old 01-11-2005, 09:12 PM   #9
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I see you have a Cardinal 33LX....how would you rate it...my wife and I are looking at a 2005 33LX



<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lynnvt:
Also keep in mind that the original owner worked out all those kinks that were taken care of under the warranty. Most people trade because they want something different or better in a new rig, not because the old rig is no longer functioning well. They just want a unit with more new gadgets. If you can find a used unit that fits your needs go for it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:30 AM   #10
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We bought new in 2000, it was our first fiver and we were trading a class B that we had bought used. If we had to do over again, we would buy used, no question.

We just did not know at the time where to look for quality used units. Good Luck to you.
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:51 AM   #11
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Vernkathy, we are very happy with our Cardinal. We bought it used, but only for a few months. Original owner had it from Jan. to June. We have had very little problems with it. Nothing that has necessitated a trip back to the dealer. The quality is good. We have used it quite alot and it is holding up well. I would recommend a Cardinal to anyone. We like it enough that we don't have the itch to be thinking about buying a new one for quite some time.
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:43 AM   #12
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We bought new this time around but will never do it again.....do a lot of research on the rig you want and before you accept it, look it over with a fine tooth comb....you will get more for your money and be light years ahead with getting the type/quality of rig you really want.
Depreciation on a new rig just isn't worth it...
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:07 AM   #13
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We have ordered our last 3 rv's new to get exactly what we want. I don't feel like I'm really saving if I'm not getting what I want. Maybe we're a little wierd but we can never find a used model we want with the floor plan, color and extras. Ed
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Old 01-17-2005, 11:08 AM   #14
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We bought used twice, a 1990 HitchHiker 34.5 fiver in 1997, and a 1998 two year old Challenger 36 footer in 2000. No comparison. The older HitchHiker was abetter unit seven years old than the two year old, never used Challenger.

The best units do weigh more, so plan accordingly. Getting the best trailer and too little truck is as bad, and because of safety issues, can be worse, than having a junk trailer!

But buying used presents its own set of challenges. Can you evaluate the condition of a used rig? Do you know how to check for signs of leaks or frame problems? Know how to pull the wheels and brakes? Check the furnace? etc?

However. As said so well already, even a major goof on a qulity used purchase can be fixed for a few thousand at most. You lose four or five times that when you drive off the lot with a new one.

Stay with the ones that are the usual suspects vis a vis quality.
Excel
New Horizons
Newmar
Teton
HitchHiker (Not HHII)
Automate
Arctic Fox
Glendale
and a few others.

I would never buy new. I can always change the drapes, blinds, countertops, furniture, etc. And make it my own, as I did with my custom mods on both my fivers.

But others who buy new are alright for them too! If you don't mind swapping a bit of labor for the lower price, used makes sense.

If you never modify anything you buy, or work on them, new may seem the way to go. But as so well said, you still end up a year later with an entry level unit with no warranty.

You can replace any floor covering reasonably yourself including the vinyl. You can change the furniture, TVs, appliances, etc.

So you can much cheaper make it better than new, as with a little skill, or help from your friends, you can make it trick, not just OEM.

Just look at Ken Lenger's pages or some of the others here.

I am not advocating starting with a junker and doing everything by any means. But one or two changes are reasonable. I usually have 10% at least of the purchase price reserved for unexpected repairs or expenses, for my used purchases. Be that a house, a used car, or an RV. No one can catch everything, just come close.

One more thing. The brands I listed work with their second hand owners as well as their warranty owners. And much cheaper than going to a dealer for repairs, with the work done right the first time.

RVs are mobile right? Make a factory trip! More fun with the good brands than you cn imagine!

Too many times the cheaper brands do not have factory repair centers, a must for me, new or used. Or they won't ship parts direct to the owners. The ones I listed do.

Decide which you are. Lose it up front, or spend a bit to make it your own. Gawd, if I bought new I'd have the initial loss, AND my mods as costs to boot!
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