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Old 06-04-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
M2D
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Do I Have This Right?

I have been reading the forums here for months now. I/we are very grateful for all we have learned here and the great advice given to us.

My husband is retiring soon and I am already retired. We want to snowbird and also do some cross country trips.

So far my understanding is that if we are lucky a used fiver will have all of the bugs worked out and may be reliable with proper care and servicing.

If we buy a new fiver we will not be able to count on making a successful trip anywhere for some time. The trailer, however expensive or of whatever make, will have many things wrong with it and be in need of constant returns to the dealership or we will have to drive it to whatever factory it came from to have it repaired. It may sit for many weeks at these places while we continue to make the payments on it.

I am not being sarcastic and have great respect for all of you here. I am "just wondering". It is a little scary.

Thank You.

Michele
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:30 PM   #2
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You're right on what could happen if you buy new, but either way, it's not luck. It's understanding how things are supposed to work and recognizing when they don't. It's conducting a thorough walk-through and inspection (PDI) before signing ANYTHING or handing over any money. You can hire a certified RV inspector or do the work yourselves. No matter which, I'd recommend you look into RV Consumer's Group as a first step. If you're going to drop $30+K on a good used 5er, the membership fee is peanuts.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:40 PM   #3
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Yes, thank you, we belong to the RV group and also have the guide by Randall Eaton. We now have a short list of qualifying brands.

I am meeting with a certified RV guy tomorrow to seek his advice and see if he is willing to be paid to do a checking over of any trailer in which we may be interested. He has also recently started selling used trailers on consignment.

I wonder if you can have a certified RV person do the check of a new unit as well? Could time be saved in the break in period if we hire "our own gun" to argue on our behalf?

Thanks,

Michele
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:46 PM   #4
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FWIW the other issue is what you are buying. A high end unit filled with bells and whistles has a lot more things to go wrong. I'm not knocking the folks with a deluxe unit. Their money and they can spend it as they wish. Just pointing out that a simpler unit will have less systems to learn and get sorted out. It might be better to start that way and then move up as you gain some experience.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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You could be right or wrong.
On this forum you read about all the problems but very seldom is there somebody who says: hey, this is a great trailer with no trouble. It's just how we are. Someone started a thread on a different forum asking: Who bought a trailer and had no problems, you won't believe how long the list has grown in a very short time. It largely depends on the manufacturer and the selling/supporting dealer how they perform the PDI.
Some people keep a trailer and put up with all the problems for a few years and then unload it on a dealer as trade in (don't look at me ) and let someone else deal with annoying problems.

Hint: Somebody please start a thread: Who bought a new RV and had no or very minor problems?
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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You've correctly interpreted the conventional wisdom concerning new vs used. It's certainly not something that happens with every new unit, but many of us who've bought new quickly came to realize that we were serving as the manufacturer's final inspection and test station.

However, I don't believe that you need to make that a deal breaker when it comes to considering a new rig. New or used, I would plan to stay in the rig for a night or two right at the dealership if that's possible... and at a near by CG if it's not possible.

Work out every single system and doo-dad on the rig and make sure you know how to operate it and that it works properly. Make the dealer understand that you will not be able to allow them to have the rig for warranty repairs for weeks at a time and see if they're receptive to working with you.

Most major manufacturers have dealers across the country who can perform repairs and many are willing to accommodate repairs for travelers who have to remain in the rig while repairs are underway.

I'm not advocating that you buy new... I would never do it again... but don't let the "debugging" phase become more of an issue than it needs to be.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:59 PM   #7
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Oh yes, it would do me a lot of good to hear about people who bought trailers and are happy with them.

We started out being interested in Casitas, the fiberglass eggs from Texas. I know several people who love their Casitas and have few to no complaints about them. I have spent time on the fiberglass forums as well as the Casita specific forum. They are great for one smallish woman and two small dogs. I know four who fit that category. Four Casitas with few problems and relatively easy upkeep.

I just finished traveling with my friends who have a 26 foot 2003 Jayco Eagle fifth wheel. They bought it used when it was four years old. They have had few problems. They do most of their own repairs. They had to replace one window this year and had it done at the dealership.

We have decided to buy a Ford 350 diesel unless husband changes his mind and goes for a Chevy 3500. We have had trucks and towed boats and utility trailers in the past.

Would love to see the list of happy owners,

Michele
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
You've correctly interpreted the conventional wisdom concerning new vs used. It's certainly not something that happens with every new unit, but many of us who've bought new quickly came to realize that we were serving as the manufacturer's final inspection and test station.

However, I don't believe that you need to make that a deal breaker when it comes to considering a new rig. New or used, I would plan to stay in the rig for a night or two right at the dealership if that's possible... and at a near by CG if it's not possible.

Work out every single system and doo-dad on the rig and make sure you know how to operate it and that it works properly. Make the dealer understand that you will not be able to allow them to have the rig for warranty repairs for weeks at a time and see if they're receptive to working with you.

Most major manufacturers have dealers across the country who can perform repairs and many are willing to accommodate repairs for travelers who have to remain in the rig while repairs are underway.

I'm not advocating that you buy new... I would never do it again... but don't let the "debugging" phase become more of an issue than it needs to be.

Best of luck.

Rick
This is exactly what we did, the dealer is 400 miles from our home and we made it clear that we wouldn't be able to come back for little things plus they did let us stay behind their shop (definitely not a resort setting) and I must say it worked out for us and the dealer did a good job on the PDI.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:11 PM   #9
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Michele,
one important thing I forgot to mention: trust your gut and not the salesman, whether buying used or new.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
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I think the big disappointment comes to those who expect spending top dollar on a new unit and think it means no issues. Sadly the quality is not always there. A used unit has hopefully been maintained and the issues repaired, but not always. As Rick said, do a very thorough test of EVERY system and feature. Make notes and get in writing what will done in the case of any problems.

I personally don't like the instant depreciation that happens when 'new' instantly becomes 'one owner, used' the moment you sign the papers and haul it off the lot, but I have confidence I can inspect and find most issues in a used purchase. You have to do what you are comfortable with and move forward.
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