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Old 03-21-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Looking of for Input on trailer purchase

My husband and are are looking for our first new travel trailer in Michigan. We have a smaller truck (2004 Dodge Dakota) so we are looking for a lighter trailer 3000-3800 lbs. We have spend several weeks visiting many dealers and have narrowed down our choices to a McKenzie Star Lite 8230, a Coyote Lite KZ-CL180 new, and also found a used 2006 Zeppelin Model 242. It sounds like Monarch who makes McKenzie may be having problems. Is it still safe to buy the trailer? And then on the use one..We are leary of buing used. and I am not so sure of the price. The two new ones have been quoted to us for a price of 14,900 +tax&title. THey seem like okay prices and the dealers won't budge, but seem a little high. The Zeppelin is 10,000- which seems a lot for a used. It is from a dealer and seems to be in nice shape. Does anyone have any input on these three trailers? Are the prices reasonable?
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I am sorry but I don't know any of these trailers.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #3
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CamperMI it sounds like you are taking a pragmatic aproach to your purchase and being careful with your weights. That is a good start.

Like a car, there is tremdous depreciation of a new unit as soon as you tow it off the lot. A used rig can be a great experience. I've had new and I've had used. I'll take the used when it meets all my requirements, which is exactly how I came by my current 5'er.

If you are new to buying RVs maybe you are not aware that there are inspectors out there that will go over a used rig for you and give you a report on its condition.

But then again, just like that new car smell, there is nothing like buying a brand new trailer and breaking in every system yourself.

I am not familiar with the brands you are asking about but in today's economy any of the RV manufacturers could go down at any time. There have already been 14 in as many months. And many of those were really big names in the industry.

If you find a rig you like (manufacturer & model number) I would widen your search area. Go ahead and look at prices and negotiate with dealers or individuals at least in surrounding states. Coming across somebody nowadays that "won't budge" sounds a little off.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:01 AM   #4
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If you are haveing questions about pricing there is always the NADA guides. They provide at least one reference point, also look at Craigs list and other ads to try and get a feel for the used market. Some folks are way upside down with their rigs and are pricing them way over market. Dealers will always want to deal, and unless they are still selling lots of units, I would think that sooner or later they will budge on their prices.

In the RV world there is really no set markup - and often there is no factory sticker with a price (there are exceptions). All you know is what the dealer tells you.

Monaco Coach is back in business - they are the parent company of McKenzie. I am not able to find your Star Lite model listed for 2009 - however I think their Ion series would be a good match for your truck. According to the web site they start around 16k. The KZ also looks like a good match for your rig. I think you will find the 90" width of either of these units will work well with your narrower Dakota truck - you will probably still need some kind of mirror extensions however. KZ appears to be a smaller company - that can be both good and bad - this economy seems to favor the small family businesess that are well run with low overhead. They are probably also more flexible with their work force and product flow - they don't rely on volume to make a profit.

However anything is possible - look at Fleetwood.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:38 AM   #5
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I agree. If the dealer will not budge, use the net and search MI., IN. & OH. I did that with my 99' Coleman pop-up and traveled 90 minutes to PA. and saved $1800. The 2 local dealers would not budge here in Cleveland. If you go new, and know your options, call around. With my 05' Aerolite I got quotes from first Columbus, then a place in MI. and finally my home dealer where I walked out the door 3 times till they came down to my price......
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. I think we have decided to go with the used 2006 Zeppelin 242. It has the floor plan we like and the price seems to be decent. On the low end of NADA retail. The dealer agreed to do a 6 month warranty. And we have the name and number of original owner to talk with. So we are feeling farily confident. I guess there is always a risk buying used, but then you don't even know if new trailer warranties will be covered because the manufacturer may go out of business. The dealer seemed to negotiate a good price in good faith...so guess that is the best you can do.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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I forgot to ask one thing. If we wanted to have an independent RV inspection- how do we locate an inspector?
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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If you don't know any qualified RV mechanics who would like to make a few $$$ in their off time, you're pretty well limited to taking the RV to an independent RV repair shop.

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Old 03-31-2009, 05:23 PM   #9
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Being a 06' and getting a 6 month warranty will at least cover your systems. But if something does fail, remember being the start of the season everyone and his brother is trying to get stuff done. Will the warranty cover water damage? I would look in all the floor sections and the back of cabinets especially at floor level. If water got down the wall, sometimes its hard to detect. Systems can be fixed, but water damage is a hard to replace.....Even on mine I'm always checking my storage cabinets and such. Note: I use silicon spray on all my door seals at least 3-4 times a season including slide seals.
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