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Old 06-22-2015, 10:18 PM   #1
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The frustrations of RV buying...share yours

We've all been there. You looked for a model you liked, you did your homework, you asked the questions you needed to. Finally, you studied the pics, and made arrangements....but the deal still didn't happen. Either because the RV wasn't what you expected it to be, or other factors beyond your control. So you dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes, and try try again.

Well after 4 RVs, you'd think you would be a pro. But I'll say, bad encounters happens to the best of us. For the last week, I've been working a deal on a new-to-me Class A that had everything you could want. 3 slides, 2 baths, massive master bedroom, full paint, low miles. I asked all the questions (tire age, battery age, generator hours, service history, leak/damage history, you name it). The seller seemed like a stand up guy (well off retired 67yr old banker that seemed meticulous). "It's in perfect condition!". But after 20hrs of traveling, a hotel stay, meals, and time off...the detailed pics I got still didn't show the real story. Cracked paint/sidewalls. Delamination everywhere, paint color variation, bad tires, improperly installed floor, foggy dual paned windows, bad roof with patched, moldy smelling storage compartments, cob webs, worn furniture, mickey-moused electronics, rusty frame etc etc etc. It looked great from 20ft away, and no matter how hard I tried to get shots of how bad it was, it looked good in every picture I took.

I always say that after everything, you still need to see, touch and even smell things before you buy them. Further proof. I asked all the right questions, and this guy had me convinced. I've been in this situation before, but never after investing this much time and traveling that far. I was sure I had found a good one, even had the bank draft ready. After just getting back, I thought I would share my experience that even a seasoned RV buyer can be taken for a ride. But it wasn't a complete bust, we saw some sights along the way

That's my rant. What's your yours??

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Old 06-22-2015, 10:34 PM   #2
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We looked at one that was not as advertised (private owner 75 miles away) and also rotten and moldy and he got mad because we didn't buy.
You've got a good attitude. Good luck in finding the right one.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:49 PM   #3
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Looked at a 33' Newmar DP in Waukegan, IL. Limited photos. Low mileage. Lengthy conversation with seller. Among other things, specifically asked seller if unit had sustained damage by any cause, and seller emphatically said "no." I obviously believed the seller and traveled to Waukegan with check in hand to inspect and if purchased drive back to CA. Within five minutes of arrival I could see coach metal frame parts that were completely corroded through and dangling beneath the coach. A quick glance under the coach showed the extensive damage from front to back due to salt corrosion ... And seller's response was "Well, you still won't find a similar coach in better condition." Not "I had no idea" or "I'm so sorry, I didn't know." Last I knew, he had raised the price $10k and it was still for sale. Obviously, some people have no conscience.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:07 AM   #4
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I buy one almost every spring and sell for a profit in the fall so I've looked at 100's. Nothing like the guy who posts pics of when they first bought it 10 years ago and has since sat outside and rotted.


Everything works is another great one to hear, until you get there and start trying systems out and half don't work.


Never leaked a drop, any motorhome more than a few years old will have at least a spot or 2, maybe very small but still there, unless stored inside.


That brings up outside like new always stored inside. Looks great in pics until you get there and of course one side is faded with decals cracking from front to rear or the clearcoat is flaking off. Plus we washed it last year one time so it shouldn't need it again for awhile.


No pets/smoking. Nothing more pleasant than to drive a couple of hours to be hit by the smell of dog/cigarettes and Pine Sol the moment you open the door.


Meticulously clean in and out. What this should mean is moldy storage compartments on the outside and they swept and vacuumed it for the first time ever a week before you showed up.


One owner, unless the issue date on the title is the same as the year of the MH this is almost never the case. Also Joe Bob unless your name is really Irving Wellington like it's printed on the title I find that hard to believe. Just because the original owners name is still on the title and you never bothered to have it transferred does not make it a "one owner" rig.


Nothing surprises me anymore. People will lie to you no matter who they are. I have come across a few honest people that will answer your questions truthfully but I'd say that is less than 5% of the sellers.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:56 AM   #5
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Man, I guess I feel lucky. Looked online for over 10 months. First one I looked at was a 1 owner 32ft Beaver Patriot in damn near perfect shape, with all work done with paperwork. Only reason I didn't buy was I felt it was a little small for full time living. Second one I looked at was a 1996 Country Coach Intrigue with just 3 owners. Last 2 were brothers. After lots of questions and chassis/house inspections I bought it at a good price. Only real problem is clearcoat peeling. Sucks but I will have it redone, since coach looks much newer than its age... Already replaced the fridge and I'm sure other stuff will break, but these things happen...


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Old 06-23-2015, 03:27 AM   #6
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I have learned to trust but verify. Sellers want to sell and sometimes, lets say, embellish the truth a bit. I can and have been disappointed, but looking on the sunny side, I say thank you for letting me look and move on. Nothing to get your underwear in a bunch about. When working with dealers, I just assume if the lips are moving, there is a pile of stuff hitting the floor somewhere.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:29 AM   #7
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There's a thread on the Class-A coach Forum here about this very thing. The sellers lie without guilt or shame to sell their unwanted RVs. We've been through it also. We lost a lot of money on an older Class-C we bought 2 yrs ago. And now we recently bought a Class-A, sold the C and find this seller lied as well. But this RV is in much better shape. We just didn't expect to have to lay out $2000 for all new tires and a commode right off the bat. And he said the white spots and streaks on the windows was soapy residue - it's not, the glass itself is stained with God-knows-what.

Don't think for one minute because you're a fellow RVer they will be honest with you. Don't believe a word any of them say. Of the 4 used RVs we've bought, only one seller was completely honest with us. The other 3 lied shamelessly. Like the old saying goes, "If their mouth is moving - they're lying."

Before we found our Southwind we looked at RVs that appeared so nice on Craigslist or wherever, sellers sounded so sincere, just to find them as you said, foul smelling from smoking, cooking, dogs or body odor. Some were just filthy - no one cleaned them since they bought them. One had no shelves at all in the dirty smelly fridge. Some had so much damage you would think apes lived in them. Broken shades, torn screens, stained or ripped carpets, shredded cables of some kind handing down from the belly. One had a slideout that jerked and kicked and bucked and never did go all the way out.

Before anyone insults me as they did on the other thread, I didn't accuse 100% of sellers to be liars, just, in my experience, 75% LIED to make the sale.

So no, I will never believe another person selling an RV.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_vfox View Post
I have learned to trust but verify. Sellers want to sell and sometimes, lets say, embellish the truth a bit.
And some do a lot more than simply embellish the truth.

Quote:
I can and have been disappointed, but looking on the sunny side, I say thank you for letting me look and move on. Nothing to get your underwear in a bunch about.
That's easy for someone to say, but after driving maybe a 100 miles to look at something totally misrepresented, you're undies may bunch also. Especially after it happens a few times in a row. You start to resent being lied to. Most of us have better things to do with our time than drive around the state to look at RVs that the seller lied about in hopes some sucker will take off his or her hands. After about the 10th RV anyone's undies will bunch.

Quote:
When working with dealers, I just assume if the lips are moving, there is a pile of stuff hitting the floor somewhere.
Sadly, the same can be said for many private owners.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:09 AM   #9
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You can ask all the questions you like. Nothing short of an inspection by YOU will work. Buying a house is the same.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:15 AM   #10
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You can ask all the questions you like. Nothing short of an inspection by YOU will work. Buying a house is the same.

I agree and will add that if you're not qualified , hire an Rv tech for a few hours. I like the old Fram Oil commercial . " pay me now or pay me later " 😀
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:30 AM   #11
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I agree and will add that if you're not qualified , hire an Rv tech for a few hours. I like the old Fram Oil commercial . " pay me now or pay me later " 😀
Yup ... except for the "sniff" test ... there's no substitute for your own nose. I "almost" walked into a 1 year old RV at an RV show ... the smell of mildew hit you on the stairs!
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:31 AM   #12
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I agree and will add that if you're not qualified , hire an Rv tech for a few hours. I like the old Fram Oil commercial . " pay me now or pay me later " ��
Not everyone has that kind of money. What did you pay the last tech per hour? How many RVs did he pass before he agreed yours was a good one? Most RVs are not around the corner or down the road but can be 25, 50 or even more miles away. He may have to drive many miles and look at many RV.... $$$$$
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:39 AM   #13
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Not everyone has that kind of money. What did you pay the last tech per hour? How many RVs did he pass before he agreed yours was a good one? Most RVs are not around the corner or down the road but can be 25, 50 or even more miles away. He may have to drive many miles and look at many RV.... $$$$$

You posted that you had $2000 in unexpected costs. An inspection by you or a qualified person would have cost you less than 10% of that. " pay me now or pay me later "
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:45 AM   #14
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We have had new and used campers of various sizes and models over our 47 years of marriage. But the used we bought from dealers. Had pretty much luck with all of them. But hopefully this is our final rig. We are to be buried in it LOL Will have to be opened at least once if we go separately LOL Just looking ahead folks and kidding of course.

Although hubby's been looking at DVR WHY? I have not a clue. We just got the cardinal
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