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Old 02-01-2015, 08:07 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Have you ever bought a MH through video?

Just wondering if anyone has bought a MH or RV before actually seeing it in person.

I live in MI and have found two Newmar MHs in Texas that I want to possibly buy. The problem is I can't get to Texas to see them until the end of May when I can get off work.

It was suggested that I have someone go look at them down there and that will happen (hopefully) the end of February. It was also suggested I have a video look with the salesman so I can instruct him to look at whatever I want and basically walk through the MH.

Have any of you ever bought this way? Lynne
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamisl View Post
Just wondering if anyone has bought a MH or RV before actually seeing it in person.

I live in MI and have found two Newmar MHs in Texas that I want to possibly buy. The problem is I can't get to Texas to see them until the end of May when I can get off work.

It was suggested that I have someone go look at them down there and that will happen (hopefully) the end of February. It was also suggested I have a video look with the salesman so I can instruct him to look at whatever I want and basically walk through the MH.

Have any of you ever bought this way? Lynne
You can get a fairly reasonable flight from MI (i.e. GRR) to Dallas, as an example for only a few hundred dollars. I have bought several MHs and some cars online, but gone to see them after. Of course, the purchase is pending inspection. The other thing you might consider is to hire an inspector and have the coach inspected - this could cost anywhere from $200 to $700 including fluid analysis. Well worth it, in my view.
Good luck with your search/purchase!
PS: I, too, live in MI
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:37 PM   #3
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Have you ever bought a MH through video?

Hi Lynn!
I would not.
Pre delivery inspection by a pro (no idea how to enlist one) and your own personal rig review and test drive over good and crumby roads is what I would suggest.



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Old 02-01-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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I bought our current coach from a distance. Viewed pictures and questions back and forth with the owner (private party, not a dealer). Then negotiated the purchase price and terms, tendered a refundable deposit, with contingencies of positive professional inspection and my final positive acceptance inspection. I arranged and paid for the inspections (house and systems, another for the chassis). A few things came up during inspections. Some the seller corrected, others we renegotiated the price. I then flew to where the coach was, made my final inspection and test drive, and finalized the transaction.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:02 PM   #5
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I bought mine prior to seeing it. Now it was just a deposit and of course conditional on inspection and all, but it was in FL and I was in CT shopping for one and didn't have the time to fly around looking at things.

I told the salesperson I wanted to see every single knick and scratch and any imperfection - to take a close-up pictures and send them to me. He did so when I finally got to see the coach, there were no surprises in terms of condition.

I feel I really lucked out - it was a one-owner coach and it was in great condition. There was something wrong with one of the bedroom windows (crank was messed up) which was fixed while I stayed at the dealership for a couple of days while I checked things out.

With over 8,000 miles racked up on it since, I've only run one or two minor issues that I've resolved on my own and I'm no mechanic (one was a slide locking mechanism issue, others were mainly fixing things I broke like the antenna on the roof, etc.).

As long as there are conditions to not purchase when you finally get there, a small deposit (mine was $1,000) should hold it until all the details of purchasing are worked out.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
I bought our current coach from a distance. Viewed pictures and questions back and forth with the owner (private party, not a dealer). Then negotiated the purchase price and terms, tendered a refundable deposit, with contingencies of positive professional inspection and my final positive acceptance inspection. I arranged and paid for the inspections (house and systems, another for the chassis). A few things came up during inspections. Some the seller corrected, others we renegotiated the price. I then flew to where the coach was, made my final inspection and test drive, and finalized the transaction.
I bought a 2007 Allegro Bus and did exactly as you. Had the coach inspected by an RV dealer. He reported back to me with a list of his findings. The seller corrected all those. Then I went to see it, did my inspection, took a cashier's check to him and drove the coach home. It worked out perfectly. In my case, the inspection fee was $600. I had arranged with the seller, if I purchased the coach he will pay for the inspection, and if i didn't, I will pay for the inspection. As it turned out, I bought the coach and he paid for the inspection. The other reason for hiring the inspector was that I do not know as much about all the chassis and the house side aspect, the inspector did.
Hope this helps!
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:12 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your responses. This has been a scary prospect for me. How do you find an inspector in another state. These MHs are for sale at RV dealerships.


I am assuming the inspector should be from (another dealer) someone else. I don't understand the importance of the chassis. Is this the frame and what are they looking for.


We also plan to take classes in properly driving the MH. There are classes available in Indiana a days drive from us. I have driven a MH before but my DH has not. I still think it would be a good idea to learn from someone who can see what we are doing wrong and or right and make sure we know what to look for before driving at all.


Thank you for all the help.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:18 AM   #8
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I have another question. Both of these rigs are Newmars. I see two of you own them. I was told and have read that Newmars are high quality coaches and that is why I am looking at them.


Are they really worth the extra money (I am buying used)? I love the look of them but I am more concerned about the mechanical. I want low miles, these are 2003 and both below 30,000 miles. They are pretty much identical but about $3,000 different in price. One looks like the couch needs replaced and the other has leather which I do not like. One is 36 ft the other 38 ft with a WD which I do want.


I have also seen Monaco's I like and Pace Arrows. So could you please comment on that.


Thank you, Lynne
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:50 AM   #9
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Lynn - we brought online - the coach was advertised as being at La Mesa RV in Mesa Az. I hit the button for the low Internet price. In 5 minutes the phone rang. It was the Internet Sales manager calling to tell me the coach had been driven to Oakland California for an sale at the Oakland Coliseum.

That was mid day Saturday. He began emailing me photos and videos on the spot. Tons of them. I made an offer - he declined it. I then made my second offer and said I'm not negotiating with myself anymore. He said let me take it to the manager. He called back and said it's a deal. The deal was closed by Sunday - 24 hours from hitting the button.

HOWEVER - The deal was contingent on inspection etc - we put a $5k refundable deposit on the coach. As part of the deal they offered to deliver the coach to San Diego, Mesa Az, Albuquerque NM, or Florida. Or we could pick it up in Sacramento. We opted for Albuquerque. They took the coach to their Sacramento location - and put me in touch with their service department.

Service did an final inspection, replaced the batteries - all 6 of them - added a satellite to the roof and got her on the road to New Mexico. She arrived the day before the appointed date - and we flew to Albuquerque. There were a few things we wanted taken care of - carpet steam cleaned - nothing much really. Within 3 days - we drove it to American RV Park - stayed a week to check everything out - not one issue. While there, we called a Mobil RV Oil service out to the site and he went through it - changed the filters and oil - changed the fluid, filter and oil on the generator, lubed it and said - you done good folks.

Now many will tell you and rightfully so to find a independent to perform a PDI for you. I had a guy ready to fly from AZ to do it in Albuquerque. In the end the facts kept us from doing it. Those facts were - 14k miles - was driven from AZ to California to New Mexico in a 3 week period. My test drive. My friend and I were over, under, around and through it.

When I told the sales guy - don't send me a mess - because I'm flying etc. He said - there is nothing in it for me to to deliver a coach to you 1,100 miles away if I didn't believe you would buy it.

I guess we were lucky given some "new to us" deals I've heard. And some people love La Mesa and some hate them. I would use them again and found them to be stand up folks. The have drivers and move coaches around the country between their locations (or did in 2012) and sales shows - and I like that. One way to know a coach is road worthy and keep it that way is to drive it.

We now have 20+ K on it now and are happy campers on the full time journey!!

So I would say this - it can be done - we had fun doing it - stayed a couple nights in Sandia Casino before pick up - which was our advance reward should we need to walk away from the deal. We had a rent a car while there - saw the sights and made a vacation out of it. It was going to be a fun filled time in a casino for 10 days or our motor home. Worked out great.

BTW - my accepted offer was 18% below the lowest Internet price. My friend Dave always says make them an offer that makes em look at you like you have 3 heads... it's an excellent idea. Nothing personal - and ya can't offend the salesman with a low price. It's the game. You want lowest price, he wants the most he can get. You want a motor home - he wants to get rid of one. Make him think he wants to get rid of it more than you want it. You options are almost infinite - his are finite. Stay emotionally detached.

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by beamisl View Post
Thank you all for your responses. This has been a scary prospect for me. How do you find an inspector in another state. These MHs are for sale at RV dealerships.


I am assuming the inspector should be from (another dealer) someone else. I don't understand the importance of the chassis. Is this the frame and what are they looking for.


We also plan to take classes in properly driving the MH. There are classes available in Indiana a days drive from us. I have driven a MH before but my DH has not. I still think it would be a good idea to learn from someone who can see what we are doing wrong and or right and make sure we know what to look for before driving at all.


Thank you for all the help.
It appears that you are getting some good advice. Some of the things that flaggship1 pointed are great points.
As far as how do you find an inspector, you can do a Google search in the city where the coach is for something like "Motor Home Inspection name of city". Then contact them by phone. If you don't like that one call the next one. Yes, the inspector should not be from the same dealership you are purchasing.
Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamisl View Post
I have another question. Both of these rigs are Newmars. I see two of you own them. I was told and have read that Newmars are high quality coaches and that is why I am looking at them.
I bought into Newmar because of the reading I did on this forum prior to purchasing. They are known to be of high quality, the company stayed in business where others failed back in 2008 and purchasing used allowed me to get something that fit my needs and desires. Now there's likely always a bad unit out there so one has to still perform due diligence, but as I noted in another reply above, my experience has been great so far.

And miles on a diesel are not all that important unless they're really low as that means the coach sat around more than being used. Mine had a little under 50k when I purchased it, almost 60k now
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:19 PM   #12
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Hi Lynne;
It appears to me that you want to look at a motorhome before you consider it. Since you are not able to travel the best option is to have a video walkthrough.

If the looks of the MH are to your liking then it is time to get the inspection done and put down a conditional deposit. It could be expensive if you paid for a couple inspections and then upon viewing the MH decided you did not like it.

The other option is to be patient. Wait until you have the time to travel before making any decisions or offers on a MH. There will be more MH becoming avialable so purchasing one right now is not critical.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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I'm from the same school of thought vsheetz describes above.

Regarding your question about the chassis inspection, 99% of dealers, along with most mobile RV repair techs know NOTHING about a DP chassis. You need to deal with somebody used to, and qualified to work on, trucks, big ones. Do not trust an RV dealer to do this inspection!

In most areas there are generally quite a few companies with mobile diesel techs qualified and equipped to work on trucks that have broken down on the side of the road. For a qualified independent chassis inspection, I'd be tempted to contact somebody like that to have a look at a coach I was interested in.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:56 AM   #14
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IMO - I would never buy a sticks home or motorhome sight unseen.
Too many dollars to drop trusting someone else.
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