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Old 07-27-2005, 12:28 AM   #1
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After a weekend of checking out TT's that local dealers were hoping to sell, I had a curious thought. Does anyone really "pay off" their bank financed RV? To be honest I have the next 10 years to pay off my '04. But practically speaking, would that be a wise choice? What will I have in 10 years? A worn out beat up TT that wouldn't be fit for a storage shed. No matter how much TLC I put into that TT, time and mileage will take it's toll. So knowing that I wonder if Dealers think this as well? I thought it was odd at the time when he asked if I was ready to trade one year after I purchased it. (mine was bought new in July of '03, labeled as an '04)Was he trying to get me into the cycle buy, use for a couple years then trade? Is it better to trade while you still oue? Or do most payoff then trade? Just last weekend he offered a more than "payoff" offer for my TT. Of course the newer model cost more, so I guess he allowed more for my trade. I turned him down. His Sunline wasn't long enough for my taste. So, is it better to trade while it's still young? Or wait, and hope for a good trade in offer when it's paid? I know. Pointless questions. Sorry, I'm bored.
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:28 AM   #2
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After a weekend of checking out TT's that local dealers were hoping to sell, I had a curious thought. Does anyone really "pay off" their bank financed RV? To be honest I have the next 10 years to pay off my '04. But practically speaking, would that be a wise choice? What will I have in 10 years? A worn out beat up TT that wouldn't be fit for a storage shed. No matter how much TLC I put into that TT, time and mileage will take it's toll. So knowing that I wonder if Dealers think this as well? I thought it was odd at the time when he asked if I was ready to trade one year after I purchased it. (mine was bought new in July of '03, labeled as an '04)Was he trying to get me into the cycle buy, use for a couple years then trade? Is it better to trade while you still oue? Or do most payoff then trade? Just last weekend he offered a more than "payoff" offer for my TT. Of course the newer model cost more, so I guess he allowed more for my trade. I turned him down. His Sunline wasn't long enough for my taste. So, is it better to trade while it's still young? Or wait, and hope for a good trade in offer when it's paid? I know. Pointless questions. Sorry, I'm bored.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:47 AM   #3
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I am on my fourth RV. The first two were used and never financed. When I traded up I just about broke even on both. The third was a new 5th wheel. Having a trade with no money owed on it, I was able to finance a minimal amount and paid that off in the first year. About a month ago, we bought our new wildcat, and back to having a camper payment. Our goal is to have that paid off in 5 years, although we did finance it for 12. I agree with you about long term financing. You will find you can't build equity as fast as they depreciate. I do believe a properly maintained RV can last at least ten years though.
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Old 07-27-2005, 05:09 AM   #4
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Having retired, I would never buy anything on terms. My pension income is not that generous or flexible, so any plan to "upgrade" would have to come out of capital, that really temperates the urges to trade!!!

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Old 07-27-2005, 05:53 AM   #5
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I am on my 4th RV (new PUP, new TT, 1yo MH, 24yo PUP). The first 3 were all financed, and making payments while my wife AND I were gainfully employed was no problem. But then we both abruptly lost our jobs, and it was impossible to keep the MH.

Frankly, I consider myself blessed to have the RV we have today. No property insurance required because is is not financed and liability insurance is extended from my tow vehicle, and NO PAYMENTS.

Beware of dealers playing with numbers (especially with trades) to show positive equity on your financing of the new one. If you find yourself in need to sell, you'll be shocked at the difference in value vs. payoff.

Friend, I wish you well in what ever you decide.

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Old 07-27-2005, 06:35 AM   #6
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We try not to buy anything on "terms". Our car & truck were bought at an auto auction (paid cash). We bought our pop-up second hand (15 yo at time) so we paid cash for it. We are self-converting an Eagle 05 into a motorhome, out-of-pocket because we don't want payments (and we can build it better for way less $$). If it has wheels then it depreciates, financing something that depreciates isn't very smart. We don't feel the need to "Keep up with the Jones". David has worked mostly in construction and we have seen & experienced the ups & downs of that field. We have never been in deep debt to where we have lost everything but then we've never financed everything (like some folks we've known). We also taught our kids limitations and never financed Christmas like some of our neighbors have. I like knowing that if something happens (and it always does) that we will have a roof over our heads (even if it is a pop-up) and no one can take our vehicles from us. I am currently looking to pick up a Class A or C (fixer-upper) to replace the pop-up (I'm getting too old to pop-up the Apache by myself & the kids will be gone soon). It amazes me the shape so many of these RV's are in to be only 10 yrs old. They are falling apart. Even the "top-of-the-line" ones are in bad shape. I'm beginning to think that I should keep my Apache. And a lot of these junker RV's either still have payments or were just finished being paid off. After looking at a Winnie Class A that had been "babied" (their words not mine) and finding all the exterior damage (roof leaked - - lots of patching around vents & side seams; front & rear caps leaked to the point that the rear cap was pulling off the RV; sidewalls bulging under the windows, under the water heater & under the water hook-up; driver's door was rusted away at the bottom) but the interior looked "pretty", I asked David just how much worse a "Hunters Special" could be. We looked at another Class A that had delaminating sides, broken vents, looked like someone had tried to "leave" the awning somewhere, etc and it wasn't over 10 yrs old. Given how my Apache looks at 30 yo and looking at 5-10 yo Class A's & C's, I beginning to think that I might be making a mistake.
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:17 PM   #7
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Well, we don't have a top of the line 5th, and our hauler isn't brand new, but we did pay cash for them, and hope to get 10 years out of them.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:07 PM   #8
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I have five years to go. I am constantly looking at used diesel pushers for under $50K. Suprisingly there are many to be had. I could sell current RV and move up to a used DP.
That's the plan. However if fuel costs sontinue to rise those may change to a tent and my motorcycle. And then the circle will be complete!
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Old 07-27-2005, 06:39 PM   #9
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I am on my 4th camper with no payments, all new. But am thinking of buying a new MH and financing 30-40-% of it after knocking about 25%off the list. I am hoping to beat the depreciation that way. Although the thought of a ten year loan is kind of frightening. The interest wont add up to what I knocked off the top so I will never be upside down but still a long time. C-vet it is too hard balencing three dogs on the lowrider to bike camp and Broom Hilda (my bride) wont let me leave them home. Scotty
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:24 PM   #10
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Well I have to agree Lorna. I'm no big fan of the installment plan. But, when I lack in capital and want to have an RV, I gave in and borrowed what I didn't have. Getting into the camping scene took a long discussion between the DW and I. We figured our kids could grow up not knowing about the fun of camping, or we could "invest" in a TT and give our kids something to talk about with their kids someday. Trading this early is just a thought for now. As much as we enjoy our Caravan right now, we still wish we had a little more of a few things. SPACE! STORAGE! And sepparate bedroom for the wife and I. ;-) A 25 ft. TT is long enough for most. But stepping into a 30 or 34 ft. with more than enough storage is so sweet. And to find one with quad bunks is iceing on the cake. Because you know sooner or later a friend or two will be invited along, and that 25 footer is real small now. It's a pity I didn't have enough foresight 2 years ago. Duh! Then I wouldn't be typing this reply right now.
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Old 07-28-2005, 03:44 AM   #11
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Well, A.C., it sounds like you are in the same boat as the rest of us. You start out small and enjoy the lifestyle so much, then realize you have outgrown the trailer. I started with a pop up, then 30' TT, to a 28' 5ver, and now 32' 5ver. I think we finally have what works for us on the fourth try. We have also gone from a 1/2 ton tow vehicle to 1 ton diesel dually crew cab. It is an addiction, this RV thing. The nice thing that helps ease the pain of an RV loan is the interest is tax deductable as a second home. It is not much, but every little bit helps. Just my view, but it doesn't matter wheather it is a tent or a 40' diesel pusher, camping is an experiance the kids wil always remember. You take them once, they will always want to know when you are going again. Best investment I have made in our family.
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Old 07-28-2005, 02:51 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by A.C.:
As much as we enjoy our Caravan right now, we still wish we had a little more of a few things. SPACE! STORAGE! And sepparate bedroom for the wife and I. ;-) A 25 ft. TT is long enough for most. But stepping into a 30 or 34 ft. with more than enough storage is so sweet. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You will NEVER have enough space! Some how your stuff magically expands to fill or over flow all available space!

David & I started out with a 3-Man mountain tent (K-Mart Special) and upgraded 6 months later to a canvas 10x12 Cabin tent (Sears Hilary) which we used for about 6 yrs. Didn't get the pop-up until after the kids were born and then we bought it to stay in while we rebuilt our house (burned but problems with insurance & county meant we didn't rebuilt). Picked up the bus shell a few years ago and are doing that as time & $$ permit. Haven't gotten very far on it due to weather. It's always too hot, cold or wet. Need to get it under roof to work on. Meanwhile David has been in S GA (work) for 2 weeks (back this weekend for a couple of weeks), then we may be off to Hilton Head (work) for a couple of weeks (means we will stay in the condo we would be working in) and after that it's back to S Ga (possibly) to build a house for someone. At that point we need a new-to-us RV as I really don't want to stay in the pop-up. Although the only good campground in the area is GA Veterans SP and their bathhouses are very clean.

The only problem with starting out in a tent is that we still think of "good" campgrounds from a tenters viewpoint (lots of trees and shade with clean bathhouse)
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Old 07-28-2005, 05:01 PM   #13
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Anyone who trades an RV that is not paid for is probably far upside down the moment they sign papers for the new RV. I have a good friend who sells RVs and he says that 70 to 80% of the financed RVs that come in for trade are upside down. And most leave with the new RV and a worse financial picture. The key is that RV loans have a very low default rate and so the financial institutions loan more on them than they should, and they frequently do not know what the real value of the RV is.

We bought our new motorhome for the experss purpose of living in it fulltime and we paid it off after three years. We did so because the stock market was falling and it just made more sense to do so. There are many fulltime RVers who choose to pay off the RV and live debt free. And many live in RVs that are much more than ten years old. There is no reason why your RV won't last 20 years if you take good care of it and do all maintenance needed, if you choose a quality RV to start with.

We may not have a big, fancy 40' pusher, but the gas chassis motorhome we live in has no payment book!
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