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Old 04-25-2015, 09:33 AM   #1
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Dealer vs Private sellers

Just wondering what peoples experiences, pros/cons, of buying a MH from a Dealer vrs a Private seller?

Trish & the pack
2004 Newmar Dutch Star 4025
2005 Jeep Liberty Limited Trail Ready
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
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Trish, I've only bought one MH, and that was from a private seller. Generally speaking, I think an individual will be more honest with you than a dealer, and you will probably be able to negotiate a better price! The only thing in favor of the dealer is that you might be able to get a short warranty, and you probably won't get that from an individual. JMHO!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:54 AM   #3
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I think you can wheel and deal more with private seller, and they should know the coach better than a dealer. Often a private sellor is looking for a good new home for their baby.

Dealer has larger selection, so driving/retrieveing a new purchase can be easier. Dealers will negotiate if pressed very very hard,but remember, they do this all day long, you do it once a lifetime.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:16 PM   #4
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Bought both ways. Much prefer dealing with a private party. No games, more honest, know the history of the coach, better price.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:29 PM   #5
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I prefer private sellers, no sales tax! Plus you can get a better deal most of the time.
2008 National SurfSide 34E (Bunk Model) Ford V10
Sold- 1990 Hawkins Chevy P30 454
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DDDonkey View Post
I prefer private sellers, no sales tax! Plus you can get a better deal most of the time.
sales tax handling depends on the state...
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:36 PM   #7
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With a private seller you get the history of the RV - maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:31 PM   #8
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I have purchased from both, one was a consignment with a dealer and the other was from an individual seller. I didn't notice any huge difference from a pricing difference from either, I felt I did ok on both prices, slightly below NADA for low retail, in fact I just checked my 2009 pricing and I paid less than today's low retail on NADA 3 years ago when I purchased mine on 5/23/12.

The '09 was still under Cummins warranty so I wasn't overly concerned, but my '99 was out of warranty so I purchased a extended warranty after having a Cummins examination of my pre-purchase including compression check.

I purchased both of mine online, I negotiated the price and deal based on IF the motorhome was as represented when I arrived I would purchase on the agreed to price. Both times it was exactly as represented and I purchased both of them. I did ask about specific scratches etc and requested close up pictures of any flaws.

It takes a while to find sellers that understand a fair price for their unit and selling online means dealing online and NOT wanting to call you etc, but I have done this with motorhomes, boats (40' Sea Ray Express Cruiser), motorcycles and cars. Good Luck!
Johnny Rotten
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Trailering HD Road Glide and Saab 9.3 or Cadillac Escalade ESV
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:50 PM   #9
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We have purchased 9 RV's in 35 years, 4 from private sellers, and 5 from dealers. We have never had a lemon, but we did not like the quality of a Thor class-C. None of the private sellers lied or misled us and we enjoyed the transactions. Same with the dealers, we bought 3 from the same dealer in Colorado, even the same sales person. One from a dealer in Albuquerque, and one from a dealer in Tucson. We still have maintenance performed from the dealer in Tucson every winter, actually had the same service adviser for 10 years. That helps, they know us by our first names!

I guess we have been lucky, or naive, probably a little of both. . . . .

Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:05 PM   #10
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Dealers are BIG liars, private sellers tell little fibs
07 Itasca Ellipse 40fd, 2014 Honda CRV, greyhound lab mix, pit pointer mix(RIP bessie) , shar pei mix, stupid cat, wife
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Old 04-25-2015, 06:32 PM   #11
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We've had 3 RVs. Our first we purchased used from a dealer and felt we were treated fairly. The 2nd one we purchased new from a dealer and it was an okay experience. We sold both of those to individuals and we were honest about
them. We purchased the Ventana we have now from an individual and it was exactly as it was represented.
Karen & Gary
Glamping is not for the faint of heart!
with furkids Gypsy & Cody &
traveling in a 2011 Ventana 3433!
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:01 PM   #12
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it's really more about what you are most comfortable with, or what fits your style best.
Compare buying a used MH from:
-a New MH dealership, who also sales used units
-a Used MH dealer, who only has used units to offer, or
-a MH owner, who only has one unit to sale

There's a little advantage with either one, and a slight disadvantage as well

-Do you need financing? New MH dealership might be best
-Need more personalized service, and a future service relationship? a Used dealer might work
-need to 'save' that few dollars of taxes, and you can check all the mechanicals yourself? maybe buy from an owner

As a full timer family, we chose option 1.
The Turners 2014 Thor Palazzo DP 33.3 35'

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Old 04-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #13
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I think there is not much difference overall. Private sellers run the gamut, just as dealers do. There are the liars who will say anything to make the sale, and those who are forthright. There are ignoramuses who know little or nothing about that RV, and those who have useful information. Manuals and service history may or may not be available in either case. Maybe the private sellers are a little better on average than salesmen, but I wouldn't want to bet on that across the board. I would no more assume a private seller is telling the whole truth than a dealer sales person.

Do your "due diligence" regardless of where you buy.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:08 AM   #14
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I'd go to a dealer only to check out coaches/floor plans/options. Once I had that established, I'd go private, or possibly consignment. A lot would depend on how difficult a time I was having coming up with examples of what I'm looking for?

1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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