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Old 11-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #1
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Where, what, why, when and how did you buy your RV?

Looking for an RV and would like to know how you went about it. New? Used? Dealer? Private Seller? What worked? What didn't? How was your experience? What would you do differently?

Thank you - Bob
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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Here are some tips in this sticky and here is a site that you can do some pricing of MH's they carry if your looking new.
Good luck in you quest.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:28 PM   #3
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Determined via research a specific model and floor plan we wanted. watched and searched the web for a few months. Found one about 500 miles away via private seller. Exchanged pictures and conversation with seller. Negotiated a price, and tendered a deposit, with final sale contingent upon satisfactory inspections. Had the seller take the coach local to him for inspections. After correcting a few things, I flew to the coach and made my final acceptance inspection. Finalized the transaction and brought the coach home.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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My wife and I started looking for a used RV, mostly looked at Class C types, my wife wanted a very small rig because she was intimidated by the size of some we looked at. By chance I happen to see an ad in the paper about an RV Dealer having an auction to liquidate stock. It peaked my interest so I went and long story short I bought a new 31' Class C that we ended up owning for ~12 years and drove +68K miles visiting almost every state east of the Mississippi.

We started looking for a larger Class A, both gas and diesel. We scoured the paper and went and looked at several. We visited RV dealers and went to RV shows. I also started searching RV sites including Ebay. I believe Ebay is a good starting point because you can look at a variety of RV's, floor plans, options, size, engine type etc. You can also follow specific RV's and watch what the bidding does, this tells you what similar ones are going for. We looked for 2-3 years and on a trip to Florida I had found one on Ebay listed that looked interesting. We took the time to go look at it and were pleasantly surprised as to the condition and the value. I ended up buying the RV ~ 1 week later just before the auction ended. Still have it, a 2002 Monaco Windsor, a great coach.

I still look at RV's on Ebay, never know if you can get lucky twice. I also watch other sites. We still go to RV shows and we still stop at RV dealers and do walk through. If we see one on the side of the road we will stop and look.

In other words take your time, learn all you can, don't make any rash decisions but if you find one you like and it meets your needs buy it.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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Lots of research & narrowing down what we wanted by spending hours and hours over weeks and weeks of comparing different coaches on several online sale sites & combing through forums (especially iRV2).

We found our coach on Craigs List for sale by a private individual. After lots of emails and pictures we made the 500 mile drive to look at the coach then drove back a few weeks later to bring her home.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:04 PM   #6
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We were in Tucson for a month one winter, and decided to begin a search for a National Dolphin, specifically the 5320 model for its shorter 33' length. We had already looked at similar coaches, this was about 9 years ago and we were really impressed with the National products. We were unable to find one, but left our mark on one salesman who did his homework and found one for us in less than a week. We told him we wanted a slightly used one with good maintenance records, and that is what he found. We did our homework concerning our trade and the Dolphin, and rejected the first offer. The second offer was better than we had wanted, so it was a very easy process after accepting the deal.

No regrets, would not do anything different, still love the Dolphin. We saved a lot of money buying a coach that was only a year old, and would definitely try to do it that way again if at all possible.

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Old 11-19-2014, 09:49 PM   #7
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RVTrader.com is the top place to find any RV. You can filter the search by type, distance, etc. It's also easy to figure out which dealers are willing to compete for your business by charging a fair price. They have thousands of good used units listed, too.


I had prices on 3 different dealerships on a new fifth wheel bunkhouse trailer. And I knew one of those dealers was a dominant sales operation. Went to a 4th dealership who had a 2015 model on order, and the salesman called the manufacturer's sales rep. He hustled and had my new fiver to me in 3 weeks--at $6K less than my local dealer offered. I shot the salesman straight on other dealers' prices, and he beat the other dealers' deals.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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The first one on Craig's list 3weeks before vacation July 2013.
The 2nd one on eBay 1200 miles away. Made a vacation out of it. April 2014
The 3rd one on eBay 100 miles away, inspected before auction end July 2014
Our current one was on eBay 300 miles away. bought from dealer and auction was canceled. September 2014

We traveled nearly every weekend this summer looking at motor homes on Craig's list.

Only owned number 3 for 2 weeks and never even used it.
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:44 PM   #9
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We bought ours from Legacy Coach in Rockwall, TX. We went down intending to buy a Prevost and bought our 04 Monaco instead. Brandon and James are really good people and went over and above to help us select a coach. Here's a link to their website: Prevost, Diesel Motorhomes, Coaches

I had been looking at different RV's on the web for a couple years. I got serious about a year ago when my wife started to agree with me about full-timing.

Financing any RV over 10 model years of age will have a degree of difficulty. Financing a Prevost more then 10 model years old will be very difficult in part because there's no NADA values on Prevosts. I found that my local bank and credit union would finance an older Prevost once they learned what they were. We used the bank due to a better interest rate and they had no issues when we changed from a Prevost to a Monaco.

I would arrange your financing before trying to make a deal. Financing an older RV can take a week or two for all the paperwork. Large dealers have on-site financing, but that gets tricky on older RV's. Expect to put at least 20% down, more is better.

Newer RV's are much easier to finance, but you take more of a hit on depreciation. The depreciation on brand new RV's can be so steep that you may need "Gap" insurance when only putting 20% down. Of course you do have warranty that you likely won't have on an older RV.

It's all a series of compromises and everyone's situation, desires, tastes, and needs are different.

Even with all my research, I didn't feel entirely comfortable buying from a private party. Brandon and James at Legacy Coach were very patient with us and really helped us decide on the coach for us. My previous research showed us that they didn't try to BS us or hide anything about any of their coaches and they earned our trust. I'm sure a good private party could do the same, but I doubt that many private sellers would have allowed us the time to really poke, prod, and inspect several coaches over the several days it took us to make a decision.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:49 AM   #10
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Thanks great info - more about my situation

This is all great info. Plenty of useful links and tips - nothing like learning from those that have been there.

Our plan is to purchase before Feb. of 2015 and take it on a trip of 6 weeks or more. Then continue to use it on weekends etc through the spring. If we like it we will consider going full time. Our 'tryout rv' would be inexpensive, less than 30k. If we decide to go full-time we would be selling the stick house and the 'tryout' RV and using some of the proceeds to buy a larger RV. In both cases we would not be financing and would be buying used.

Could rent to tryout but renting for an extended period may be more expensive then buying and selling/trading. Of course this would be dependent on how well we did purchasing the first rig.

Comments or suggestions on any of this "plan" would be appreciated.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:51 AM   #11
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Is this a biz venture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizzly View Post
The first one on Craig's list 3weeks before vacation July 2013.
The 2nd one on eBay 1200 miles away. Made a vacation out of it. April 2014
The 3rd one on eBay 100 miles away, inspected before auction end July 2014
Our current one was on eBay 300 miles away. bought from dealer and auction was canceled. September 2014

We traveled nearly every weekend this summer looking at motor homes on Craig's list.

Only owned number 3 for 2 weeks and never even used it.
You're turning over a lot of rigs are you doing it as a business?
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:30 AM   #12
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We belong to a Caddie Car Club and for about 6 years we spent looking for a finished oldie. At a Club brunch we sat across from a couple that had 2 - 64 devilles one a white Eldo convert and a Burgundy deville convert that they were selling. I went out there to look at them and in the driveway was a 1982 Pace Arrow.
I bought the Burgundy convert (a beaut I might add).
About a month later I got the itch about his MH and I called him and he still had it. So we went out in the 64 to look a little closer. The exterior was in pretty bad shape as far as Blk mold from the Maple tree it was sitting under summers for the last 6 years, He had a stroke and was downsizing his collection, but the interior was just mint and all original and I new I could get it too look alot better with a good cleaning of the outside. We made a offer and they accepted it. Joe drove the caddie home and I followed in the Pace Arrow and the rest is history.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:36 AM   #13
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IMO, a search for a MH is not unlike how I found my wife and most of my dogs and homes; curb appeal.

If you like what you see and go an a few dates/inspections/comparisons there will be a little voice in your head that says to go for it. All this is said, presuming that you want and are prepared for what you are searching for.

We thought we'd like a MH and passed a dealer on the way to do something else. The coach hadn't even been washed after being delivered the night before. Looked right, had everything that we thought we'd need, and was priced right. A deal was made within the hour.

The only thing I'd do differently would be inspecting tire ages, not tread. We spent an un-planned several thousand dollars on tires, and a planned several thousand on alignment, full service, and various do-dads like TPMS and ScanGage.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bmattei View Post
This is all great info. Plenty of useful links and tips - nothing like learning from those that have been there.

Our plan is to purchase before Feb. of 2015 and take it on a trip of 6 weeks or more. Then continue to use it on weekends etc through the spring. If we like it we will consider going full time. Our 'tryout rv' would be inexpensive, less than 30k. If we decide to go full-time we would be selling the stick house and the 'tryout' RV and using some of the proceeds to buy a larger RV. In both cases we would not be financing and would be buying used.

Could rent to tryout but renting for an extended period may be more expensive then buying and selling/trading. Of course this would be dependent on how well we did purchasing the first rig.

Comments or suggestions on any of this "plan" would be appreciated.
I like your idea, but would refine it just a bit. I would try to buy that second coach first, even if it meant stretching your original budget. You can get a LOT of coach for your money when looking at the late 90's and early 2000 stuff. Worst case is you don't like the lifestyle, and you have to sell that coach!

3 reasons I can think of you might want to do that.

First, you might increase your (her?) chances of enjoying your time on the road, or just sitting, with a larger, possibly more deluxe coach.

Second, you'll have saved yourself from potentially taking a loss on the sale of the first coach (not to mention the hassle of selling it) due to depreciation AND the fact they generally need several thousand dollars of "fix up" (e.g. tires) prior to becoming roadworthy.

If you're careful with your selection of the first coach, you may find there's no need to sell it to go full time, not for several years anyway?

Many people spend MONTHS coming up to speed and asking questions prior to becoming comfortable enough to make this decision. Some even longer!

When it comes to picking one out, budget first, then floor plan would be my priorities. I would most likely buy through a private deal. I can't stand the complete nonsense spouting from sales people's mouths. Have found trying to sort the truth from complete BS a waste of my time, knowing full well I could likely buy the same coach privately for much less.

Geez, have fun making your decisions. Don't worry yourself to death by setting unnecessary deadlines. Best of luck!
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