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Old 07-30-2014, 07:44 AM   #1
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To buy or not to buy!?

I am brand new to the world of RVs and boy do I have a lot to learn!
My partner and I have been visiting a campground in Truro Ma for a few years when we vacation up there. We dream of owning a RV that we will keep at this campground and visit every other weekend for three or four days.

Every year that we visit we check for any RVs that are for sale. This year we thought we found the one! There was a notice on the RV bulletin board for a 2005 Open Road 357RLDS-5. We dropped by the site and immediately fell in love with it. The asking price was 16 OBO. It has all the bells and whistles and appears well cared for. We made an offer the next morning for 14k, which was accepted. We based our bid on NADA guide and this seemed like a fair offer.

When I got home the owner emailed me the purchase agreement. The purchase agreement said that I was buying a 2003 not a 2005 unit. I immediately contacted the owner, who explained that the ad on the bulletin board was posted by the woman staying in the unit and she for some reason she thought it was a 2005. It is indeed a 2003. The next line was "is this a problem". Well yeah, it is a problem. I based my bid on a 2005, not a 2003 and my bank will only offer financing for a unit that is 10 years or younger.

I sent an email to the owner apologizing but pointed out that I thought I was buying a 2005 etc etc. Never heard back. He said at the time that he accepted my offer that he had another offer for 14k, so I figured no harm, no foul. I did say that if the other offer did not work out I may be able to figure out financing but for less than I offered.

I just noticed that he is advertising the RV on Craigslist now, correct year of 2003 for 16OBO. I still am interested in the RV. I don't want to insult the owner, but based on my research I think that it is only worth 10-11K. I am not sure how to proceed. I never heard a word back from the guy which leads me to believe that he is angry- although I'm not sure why he would be.

My question is this, should I avoid a RV that is over 10 years old? The manufacturer, Pilgrim, is out of business, so that is another concern. Since my offer is so much lower than his asking price do you think I should just forget it. I don't want to be insulting.

Sorry for making this so long. I am really torn about this. i was so incredibly excited, but I don't want my excitement to lead me to making a big, expensive mistake!


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Old 07-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #2
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I personally wouldn't be that concerned with a 10 year old RV. we purchased a 2004 last year. Regardless of what his asking price, buyers are not willing to pay more than is worth. Plus when is for sell by owner they expect to pay a lot less than if sold by a dealer. I would recommend if you buy it from him or anyone else that you test all systems front to back. I would run all appliances, check plumbing for leaks, run it with connected to shoreline and on with the generator. If not this one, you find yours..good luck

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Old 07-30-2014, 08:39 AM   #3
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Age of an RV is not as big of an issue as some might think. Rather the condition it is in and the care that has been taken in it's maintenance is much more important. Best of luck with your search.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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Definitely have it inspected by a RV Tech. Unseen water damage will be extremely cost prohibitive. Check to be sure if your borrowing money for purchase that the lender will finance a rig of that age? You may have to search hard to find a qualified RV tech for the inspection. Look for a mobile certified RIVA repair tech in your area or contact an RV service center lots of folks will help after hours? Expect to pay $300.00 or more. It will be the best monies you have ever spent. There are volumes of what to look for on the google search section top right of the header in this forum. Be patient, use due diligence, shopping is great fun!
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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Thanks all- this community is great. I think I am going to put in a new, lower offer and add that I have the right to rescind based on the findings of the inspection (something like if repairs are over $800.00 I have the right to back out). I did find a place on the cape that does inspections. His purchase agreement was "as is" but I don't feel comfortable with this based on what virtually everyone on this forum has recommended. I will then leave it up to the powers that be- if he takes it great, if not there is always another fish in the sea!
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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I wouldn't worry about the age if it's in good shape.

I always put "sold as is" on all my vehicle contacts as every used auto dealer does in California. That's normal.

I'd offer what I thought was a fair price and see what happens. The seller wants to sell it so he may take your offer if no other offers come in.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:12 AM   #7
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Get the MH inspected and offer a fair price, keeping in mind that he hasn't yet sold it. I don't accept his explanation that he didn't realize that the year had been misrepresented. Make an offer dependant on an inspection. Don't worry about contacting him again, its business......and its your money.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:52 AM   #8
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As-is just means once the deal is done the seller has no more responsibilities. You can do any inspections prior to sale completion, and if you find something, then hold your money and no sale. As-is nothing to be concerned about, but once you complete the sale it is yours - no going back, so do your inspections and decide on what you find out.

The age is not so much concern as stated the issue is more how well it is kept up. Also mfr being out of business is no really an issue, it is long out of warranty. Most appliances and other parts are fairly common to all RV's and so go with the appliance mfr for any service parts need.

Whether your bank will finance on older than 10 years, that is something you have to work out.
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Thanks again for all of this info. Just one more question- from what everyone is saying, age is not as important as the condition. Does this mean that the NADA guide might not be an accurate way of determining value? I don't want to insult the seller, but even if the unit is in really good condition, wouldn't there be a price difference between a 2003 and a 2005? Maybe I assumed there should be a drop in price due to the year, but in reality it doesn't matter? I talked to one friend who is an RV owner and their opinion is that RVs have a limited life span, unlike houses. Most are coming towards end of life at the 15-20 year mark. They inevitably develop leaks by that time, according to him. There is just so much to learn !!
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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Just my thoughts so take it as that: Most will have to offer their rv either at low NADA value or below in order to sell it. So making an offer below NADA is starting the negotiations price. Yes, there is definitely a price difference in a 2003 and a 2005 rv. The older it is the lower the price. What matters the most of all is the condition which is where having it looked at by a professional becomes worth the price you have to pay for his services. There are some very expensive things that could need addressing at the age of 11 such as belts and hoses, tires, air conditioning, furnaces, you get the idea. No way would I make an offer cut in stone until it was thoroughly checked out by a professional. Do keep in mind that you might have to pay the inspector even though you don't get the rv. You have to want it badly enough to deal with a seller who has already wanted more than you were willing to pay, enough so that he put it on Craigslist so he probably doesn't want to play around with a fair price for it.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:51 PM   #11
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On-Line/free NADA quotes are "List" (MSRP new), "Average Retail" and "Low Retail."

"Retail" is a dealership sale, where the buyer has protections under state law and the dealership is licensed, can offer financing, prep the RV, and all that stuff.

If you buy a NADA guide, then you can get fair trade-in and private sales prices too.

So if looking on-line, the prices listed are going to be higher than what a private party sale "should" expect. Of course, the difference is up to you and the seller.

Best luck

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