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Old 01-23-2016, 02:00 PM   #1
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The Math of New vs Used

This is my second thread...the first one being my entry into research and wanting to buy an RV. As I continue to read and educate myself I have come across a question where your knowledge can help.

A lot of members suggested that I consider buying a used RV (as this is our first MH) as I continue to look on dealer websites, RV Trader, RV registry etc I notice that some RVs that are 2 yrs old are quoting prices close to brand new ones. Here is an example: on RVDirect a New Jayco 2015 Grayhawk 31 FS is listed for $75K (not even started negotiations and I know its a model year close out) vs a used one on RV trader for $72K for 2013 31FS with 8000 miles.

Now my question: If I end up liking the unit on RVtrader do I negotiate a 20-30% rate on used ones too? Is this the usual mark up by dealers on used RVs too? I don't want to be disrespectful towards any seller and I dont want to be a dollar more either.

I want to sense how this market really operates

BTW - We are off to the Des Moines Show today. Some of you strongly suggested that one of the steps in buying an RV is to keep looking. So there we heed to it
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:07 PM   #2
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My guess is that some people with RVs only a year or two old are pricing them to try to recoup all their expenses including registration fees which can be considerable in some states. Just because that is what they are asking doesn't mean that's what they're going to get.

My advice is to use the NADA guide as a starting point for what you offer; the free online version of NADA provides "low retail" and "average retail" prices. Accessories are added to the NADA price ONLY if they were truly optional; no allowance should be given for anything that was standard for a particular model.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by docj View Post
My guess is that some people with RVs only a year or two old are pricing them to try to recoup all their expenses including registration fees which can be considerable in some states. Just because that is what they are asking doesn't mean that's what they're going to get.

My advice is to use the NADA guide as a starting point for what you offer; the free online version of NADA provides "low retail" and "average retail" prices. Accessories are added to the NADA price ONLY if they were truly optional; no allowance should be given for anything that was standard for a particular model.
yeah...we checked that too...almost every dealer says they offer below NADA guides - and we check that NADA is closely linked to MSRP.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:15 PM   #4
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I would do a Google search for the exact model you are looking at. This will give you an idea what others for sale around the country are going for. I would do the same thing on RVTrader.com, although those will probably come up on the Google search.

Personally, I would much rather buy an RV a few years old, primarily for two reasons...the original owner has already taken the depreciation hit from driving a new rig off the lot, and he has probably got most or all of the bugs out by then. JMHO!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:16 PM   #5
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Dealer mark up varies but a good rule of thumb is ~30% off of MSRP.

Back in 1997 (yes I know this is a long time ago) I bought a new RV at a dealer auction. They were liquidating stock. MSRP was $56K and I paid $36K, 20K off of MSRP ~35%. The dealer showed me his cost and I got it for what he had into it.

As far as looking at used RV's, I have noticed that some of the sellers must highly chariest their unit and are asking unrealistic prices. They either owe way more then it is worth (and are underwater on it trying to make up the difference) or are completely ignorant of the value.

I would expect to buy a used coach at under the NADA value base cost. If you shop around you will start seeing good values. Be patient and you'll find you a nice coach at a goo price.

We started looking for a used coach in 2006, we owned a Class C at the time and wanted to upgrade to a diesel pusher. In late 2008 we happened across a listing in Florida while on vacation and went to look at it, it was in excellent condition and a really nice coach. We got it for ~1/2 NADA value at the time. It was a repo but we couldn't pass it up.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:27 PM   #6
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Buying new makes no sense financially so I don't try to rationalize how it might. But in our place in life we can't take it with us so might as well spend it.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:57 PM   #7
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Since I have actually purchased an RV in the last year, here is what I encountered on buying a higher end gas Class A, which however may be different vs. Class Cs.

For reference, I buy my cars new too. I have little patience for chasing a great deal on a used vehicle, only to find out it is a pos all to often. I value my time, even more so when I was working.

I also believe in buying what you really want the first time, because it costs a lot of money and regret getting something you don't really like just because it is a good deal, and the getting what you really wanted later.

Just another point, we wanted to stay under 35'.......

We found that given the gas Class A market, we were not interested in anything more than a year or two old given the significant changes in those coaches over the last few years. With Tiffin specifically, it was really only 2014 and 2015s we had interest in.

What we quickly realized was that to buy used was going to involve some compromises we really didn't want to make because the true "all in" price savings (coach, paying for things you didn't want and adding things you did, taxes, outfitting, tow set up, etc) was not significant enough for a year old model vs. ordering exactly what we wanted. And if you amortize that over 5 years, it is entirely irrelevant (even more so when you figure our annual operating costs being on the road 1/3-1/2 time). That's it, plain and simple, I could go on, but that it the net of it for us.

Our teething problems with a new coach have been minimal, and of course all covered under warranty.

We have yet to see anything new or used, bigger or smaller, gas or diesel, that have made us 2nd guess our decision. And that is with 8,000 miles and 135 nights on the road this past year.

Just get what you want, don't get something you don't like just because it's a good deal. You'll be far ahead in the long run.

Regards and good luck in your search.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jones47172 View Post
Buying new makes no sense financially so I don't try to rationalize how it might. But in our place in life we can't take it with us so might as well spend it.

Buying new versus buying used is an on going discussion that just depends on where you stand. If you buy new you will take a hit on the depreciation over the first five years or so. You may also have things go wrong with the unit that will have to be repaired. On the other hand you also have a warranty to fall back on and some brands, such as Entegra, have a two year warranty.

Buying used can save you money or it can cost you a bundle. When you buy a used unit, remember that the former owner got rid of it for a reason. In some cases that reason is that his or her particular unit became a money pit and spent more time in the shop than it did on the road. When something goes wrong on a used unit, there is no warranty to fall back on. We bought used just one time and almost got killed when our used unit didn't have any brakes while driving down I-75. Would an inspection discovered the potential brake problem? Maybe, but maybe not.

Bottom line is you take your chances either way you go. It's up to your particular situation as to which way makes the most sense.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:14 PM   #9
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I sold my 2010 class C for $20K under what I paid for it to buy a 2012 Winnie class A gas we just had to have......
Sold that for $38K less than I paid for it when we ordered the DutchStar 4018 in 2014....
My point is......
Both of my rigs we sold were perfect.
When people pulled up to our house they could tell we take very good care of everything.
Both rigs were bargains because I was a motivated seller.
We still sold them for thousands more than the dealer offered on trade.
Search the ads on the Internet.
Good rigs are out there.
Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
...Personally, I would much rather buy an RV a few years old, primarily for two reasons...the original owner has already taken the depreciation hit from driving a new rig off the lot, and he has probably got most or all of the bugs out by then...
Very true. Even the new ones seem to come off the line with many many problems, from small easy fixes, to fixes that require many trips back to the factory...not the dealer, the factory.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #11
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The math for me was, I couldn't afford what I wanted, in a new coach. What I could afford was about 3 models down in the lineup. It would have had a small engine and transmission and wouldn't have fit my needs.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #12
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We bought our Bounder new. It was our 1st motorhome & our "starter" for figuring out what I like & don't like in a coach. Now that I know, I've found I have luxury-diesel tastes on an entry-level gas budget. So, just like Scotty, to get next what I want, it'll be used with NADA as my guide for making an offer.

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Old 01-23-2016, 04:17 PM   #13
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The Math of New vs Used

We bought our dream MH with everything we wanted. It was 5 years old, and about 1/3 the selling price of new.
Here are the problems we had in the 1st two years...........
What warranty?
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
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I've always bought used, and mostly really used. Paid $20k at the time for a 11 year old entry level Thor Hurricane 30Q. It was in need of some work, mostly neglected maintenance, and if I had kept it would need new tires, and soon, a new rubber roof. Plenty of people will buy older units to save money and get more for their money. All good. Some people worry about buying new because of the depreciation hit, others are concerned about having to fix the "New" issues. I figure fixing old or fixing new you're still fixing. I don't really worry about depreciation.

This time I wanted what I wanted, and had a number I was willing to pay, and thus figured out how I was going to pay for it. (Thank you Social Security Check)
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