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Old 08-24-2014, 10:23 AM   #1
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Used RV buying - where to start?

We're interested in purchasing a class A diesel soon - plan is to live/travel for a few years after we retire. We're looking for a used unit but find that ones we like are scattered all over the country. Surely potential purchasers aren't flying around checking these things in person - do people buy them sight unseen?
Would appreciate some words of wisdom from anyone who's been through this process.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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I would start checking the internet. But do your due diligence looking at forums and talking directly or through forums, owners of the units your looking at. Never buy a rig without having it inspected by a qualified tech...rvservicereviews.com has RV repair centres around the country which could help you with an inspection. Don't get emotionally tied to a unit....be prepared to walk away from a unit that has problems or the owner wont dicker on the price.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:35 AM   #3
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Just my two cents worth:
1. Decide what you want. Admittedly the hardest part. You do that by looking at a lot of them. Dealers, private parties, rv shows. You look at (and maybe kiss) a lot of frogs. Note the features you like.
2. Find one or more of them. Again, a hard part. Read the ads. Lots of them. Internet, craigslist, newspapers. Decide how far you're willing to travel to examine.
3. Negotiate a fair price from a distance. (Not easy to do.) If the person is reasonable and wants to sell, you'll get a feel for that. A good question to ask - "realistically, what would you have to have to close this deal" - and don't be afraid to ask for concessions - new tires, warranty, new TV, etc.
4. Make the trip and be willing to buy or walk away. Good idea to have a professional do an inspection.
5. Most important, don't fall in love with a unit when you're looking.

Again, just my opinions.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfainaire View Post
We're interested in purchasing a class A diesel soon - plan is to live/travel for a few years after we retire. We're looking for a used unit but find that ones we like are scattered all over the country. Surely potential purchasers aren't flying around checking these things in person - do people buy them sight unseen?
Would appreciate some words of wisdom from anyone who's been through this process.
Yes. The first thing to figure out is what are you looking for in a DP. Horsepower, size of coach, how old is too old for you, floor plans, budget, etc.

But, maybe you already know the manufacturer or model coach that you want. For example, if the used coach you're looking for happens to be a Foretravel, Newell, then Texas seems to be a place with a good concentration of them.

Look at Foretravel Luxury Motorcoaches, Luxury Pre-Owned Motorhome Dealer for Foretravel Newell Country Coach. and Texas RV Dealer, Used RVs for sale, motorhome sales, new RVs

In addition, here is a link to an article on depreciation prices for RVs. It is based on the purchase price driving it off the lot when new, not the MSRP.

http://www.squidoo.com/consider-used-rv
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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www.pplmotorhomes.com is a good place to look. They're a consignment dealer and have a large inventory. They also have a place on their web site that will tell what RV's have recently sold for. It's a good place to see what a particular coach went for no matter where you're looking.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:01 AM   #6
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The first thing we do is to get financing in order. I want to know how much money we can spend and the interest rate. Once I know what I can spend, then I start looking for MH's. Look at as many different MH's in your area to get a good idea of what floor plan and chassis you want. Now here is where it gets 'mind blowing' all of the ones out there that 'might' fall in to what you are looking for. Our last (current) MH took us several months to find and then a few more to work on a price. The MH was in California and we live in Alaska. I was lucky in that I was able to have my sister and her BF do an 'eyes on' inspection for us. For me I wanted a Cummins engine, did not want a newer engine that uses DEF, that is just me. I would also look closely at a side radiator, but there are other things to look at, so that would not be a 'show stopper' for me. The list can go 'on an on' but you get the idea. Ask LOT of questions and do not be afraid to ask them!
Have fun, take your time and enjoy the search!
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfainaire View Post
We're interested in purchasing a class A diesel soon - plan is to live/travel for a few years after we retire. We're looking for a used unit but find that ones we like are scattered all over the country. Surely potential purchasers aren't flying around checking these things in person - do people buy them sight unseen?
Would appreciate some words of wisdom from anyone who's been through this process.

Boy, that's a tough question to answer! I think I would first determine how much money I would want to spend. Then I would go to RVTrader.com. They have a really good site that lets you search by make, size, fuel type, year model, etc. Once you find some that fit your requirements you can start checking floor plans, know problems, etc. JMHO

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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Good luck with your search.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:02 PM   #10
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Excellent advice from glarnold. Once you have a good idea of what brands, model & floor plans suit your needs, start serious price shopping across the country. Narrow it down and visit the best candidate, but you MUST be prepared to walk (fly) away. There will be others if that one doesn't meet your standards.

Buying an expensive item sight unseen is too foolish to even discuss.
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:44 PM   #11
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Know how much you can spend and then (if you have time which it seems you do) go look at MHs locally just to get a feel for what you need to look at. You need an education on what to look at and you can only get that by looking and reading.
1) NEVER BUY THE FIRST MH YOU LOOK AT, NEVER!
Educate yourself also by reading threads on this forum on what to look for when buying and what can go wrong.
2) NEVER TRUST ANYONE SELLING A MH TO REPRESENT IT HONESTLY 100% (dealers or PPs)
I know that sounds harsh but believe it. Every MH for sale has issues and its up to you to find them. It can be done if you educate yourself.
3) YOU WILL NEVER FIND ALL THE ISSUES BEFORE YOU BUY
That's part of the process. You will always have something pop up after sale. If you did your part it will most likely be a small issue.

Now given all this, it can be fun to look and learn. Take it that way and go have a good time about it! Make a game out of it. They're trying to toss you a curve ball and it's your job to catch every one of them.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:14 PM   #12
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Glad you're aboard. I've been looking for a few years while I wait for the housing market to come back a bit. Read all you can in the threads here on IRV2 to get an idea of what other RVers are happy or having problems with on the different manufacturers and models. Go to any RV shows you are able to attend and check out what you think will work for you. Once you have decided on a brand, model, floorplan get your finances ready and then search all the places previously mentioned. Narrow it down and have an RVIA certified tech check the house systems and coach; and, a qualified mechanic check the chassis before any money changes hands. As others have said be ready to walk if there are problems with no reciprocity from the seller in repairing those or reducing the price to allow repairs to be made. Best of luck in your search and decision. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:13 AM   #13
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you can try to search here http://claz.org/classifieds/vehicles/rv?q=class+a anyway, I wish you good luck in your search
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:44 PM   #14
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I'd suggest looking for a dealer that handles consignments. We just put our MH with one in Burlington WA. This particular company offers financing and trade-ins on consignment rigs. We were quite impressed. Friends of ours sold their 98 Bounder with the same dealer and were very satisfied.
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