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Old 04-17-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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new/used - where/when

hello all!

i'm planning on getting my first small tt/5er to fulltime in sometime in the next 12 months - and once i do, (though being open to part-time workamping) i will be retiring from full-time employment considerably earlier than your average bear with a very modest nest (with out the egg).

do i really need to get one of those rv buyers guides books? or could the collective knowledge & experience here give me what i would need and possibly more before taking this first step?
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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Hi into-the-rv,
Welcome to iRV2. Floor plan sells the RV. Depreciation will have you keeping what you buy. I know this is hard to do. After 32 years owning a coach, the wife and I still have a difficult time figuring out what our requirements are. Look into your future and determine how you will live in the RV. Will you be touring around the country; moving every couple of weeks? Will you be staying in once place for months at a time until you move again? Will you be following the warm weather. This means going south in the winter and north in the summer. These things help determine priorities with different RVs. An example might be an RV is built to be used in very cold weather. If you are not going to be in cold weather, this feature may not be of value to you. Another example is weight. If you are going to tour, a lighter RV may make more sense than one that is larger and much heavier.

Next is to shop. Go to RV shows, as many as you can. Visit the manufacturer's web sites and compile a list of RVs that fit your life style. Collect sales persons' business cards. Ask questions here and/or call the sales person. As you shop, look only at RVs that meet your needs. There is so much to choose from walking through every RV on the lot or at the show can become very tiring and confusing. As you shop, look as new as well as used. A visit to the RV will quickly determine if it will be considered for purchase.

Now it is time to narrow the list of RVs to no more than 5 that you will consider for purchase. 5 seems to be a good number to keep your sanity. Determine the book value of all the pre-owned RVs you are considering. New RV discounts vary widely by brand. For new, a good way to get the best deal is to play one dealer against another dealer. This gets to their best price as quick as possible.

Post often and let us know how you are progressing.
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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Hi Gary,

thanks for the quick reply!

iím currently & primarily considering areas having a more temperate climate; northwestern california / southwestern oregon for instance, and donít suspect iíll be on the move that much Ė the less i travel the less iíll have to spend is more or less the thought there. would insurance on a rig be less if itís parked most of the time?

as luck would have it i have been to the show in town 2 years running and have been trying to check out all thatís out there. the 24-27ft wildcat/cougar 5ers is where my eyebrows are raising for the moment. If I had to pick 3 more, maybe a chaparral, cherokee or a laredo? though i prefer the layouts of the 5ers, saving on a hitch and what also appears to be cheaper options leaves me open to considering a tt as well.
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:04 PM   #4
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For motorized RVs, one can get a cheaper rate if the coach is in storage (not just not being driven). Call a couple of insurance companies and let them know what you are going to do. When full timing, there is a RV Full timers insurance policy. I do not know the details.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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I just read where Indinana does not charge sales tax on RV purchases - could this be the answer to the WHERE question? There also seems to be quite a bit of "show" and "begining of the season" hype going on now - would later on in the year be the better time?
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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I'll throw out a couple thoughts. If you're not planning on being on the move much, a TT or 5-r are better for the stayin' put part as motorhomes are meant to be on the move & you might as well not have to maintain an engine/drivetrain that does a lot of sittin'.

IMO, 5-rs offer more living room for full timing & there are some nice ones out there that you don't have to spend a fortune on to own. Going used is always a penny saver as long as you know the unit has been well taken care of.

The 2011 models are just coming out or will be very soon. Just like with cars, dealers want the old off the lot before bringing in new so they might be willing to deal on something that's been in their inventory a while.

Gary's point about lower insurance rates while an RV is in storage is correct, at least for us. Our coach goes into "hibernation" from Nov 1 to April 1. For that time period we only have loss coverage. Since it's not on the road, no reason to pay for liability or collision. Saves us a great deal. Although, if you're doing the fulltime thing, this might not be something you'd be interested in.

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Old 04-25-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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Thanks Lori,

I share your thoughts about the advantages of a 5er over a MH in my case.

Knowing that appliance items will only last so long, I'm leaning toward purchasing new - as I see the money I may save in initial depreciation at one point being lost in having to replace things earlier. I agree that getting a last year's model would be a good way to go.

Another thing I read was that some manufacturers do not cover full time use in their warranties... I briefly looked at a buyers guide at the news stand the other day and it seemed there were a very limited number of 5ers in it. Aside from relying on a dealer or reading through lengthy legal speak - is there an easier, more reliable way to identify a full time "approved" make/model?
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
I just read where Indinana does not charge sales tax on RV purchases - could this be the answer to the WHERE question?
Indiana changed there tax law so they do not charge sales tax on OUT-OF-STATE purchases. Residents still pay tax. That change merely makes Indiana tax law similar to the other states, few of which charge sales tax if delivered to an out of state resident. Details differ from state to state, of course.

An even better solution is to buy where there is no sales tax at all, e.g. Montana. But the buyers home state may still be entitled to tax the purchases under their own law. That's whole other question for another thread.
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
But the buyers home state may still be entitled to tax the purchases under their own law. That's whole other question for another thread.
Actually, it seems to me to be part or the "where" question, so I think we won't be discussing it a bit more here.

Our experience is if you buy out of state, even if the selling state does not charge sales tax if you're home state has sales tax, you'll get charged a "use tax" equivalent to the sales tax when you try to register it in your home state. As RvRoamer pointed out, the only way to avoid this is to establish a Montana LLC (lots of threads on this one, pros and cons are well-discussed, in this forum) or establish residency in a state which does not have sales tax (again there are several threads on which is the best state for full-timers to establish residency).
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:54 PM   #10
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In-to-the-RV,

The best way to see how well an RV is built is to look at units 4-5 years old that have been used a bit and see how well they have held up.

You can save a lot of money on used, 2 to 4 years old as they depreciate a lot the minute it leaves the lot.

Best to rent one for a week like you think yo will like and try and see how you like it in close quarters for a week. When you think you have a floor plan, tell the salesman to get lost and let you spend an hour or so trying the RV on. Stand in the shower and see how you fit, sit on the toilet (keep you pants up though), pretend to get ready fro bed and see where all of the linens and toiletries would be kept, pretend you are cooking a meal and see where all of the pots, pans and flatware would fit, sit and see how it would be to spend some time watching TV or reading a book.

After you have tried it on, decide if it firs or not and if you can live in it long term.

Have fun looking.

Ken
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by into-the-rv View Post
... is there an easier, more reliable way to identify a full time "approved" make/model?
Yep. Contact the manufacturer (if they are still in business). Don't rely on buyer's guides for full-time warranty info.

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Old 04-26-2010, 07:26 AM   #12
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The stipulations about no full time use is actually a legal disclaimer. The building codes specify that Recreational Vehicles are just that - for recreational use rather than fulltime residence. If the manufacturer admits or states that the unit is intended for living in fulltime, it would legally have to conform to the manufactured home building codes rather than the RV codes. That's a HUGE difference!

I'll grant, though, that saying that fulltime use voids the warranty is an opportunistic use of the RV legal status to avoid claims.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:32 AM   #13
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Actually, it seems to me to be part or the "where" question, so I think we won't be discussing it a bit more here.
Did not mean to suggest it was off-topic. Just that the sales tax question alone usually leads to pages and pages of responses. Besides, it has been discussed ad nauseum before and a SEARCH will turn up a lot of existing opinion and a modest amount of fact on the sales tax and Montana LLC question.
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