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Old 07-08-2019, 08:42 PM   #1
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New RV or Used RV, Which one should A beginner Choose?

Hi Rvers!
Last year, I have rented an RV (Model: ITASCA, Manufacturer: Class C Motor Home, Year: 2004, Length: 22 ft) but this year, I would like to get a nice one in middle budget for camping the next winter.

Already, I got some pieces of knowledge from https://rvside.com/index.html/new-vs-used but till now, I'm confused and can't decide "which way should I choose". Because my heart is telling me "there are many worries".

Only for this reason, I need all of your help and good and bad experience. Hope, you consider a lot of sharing here for a great guide.


Best Wishes to All!
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:06 PM   #2
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Well... How handy are you? That would be the deciding factor for me. If I feel up to fixing things, fiddling or keeping up with maintenance versus writing the check.

I'm kinda handy but I'm not above writing that check when I've tried everything else. Maybe a good inspection prior to purchase would set your mind at ease. IRV2 user Waiter21 just posted 2 used inspection guides under the thread "Buying a used RV - pricing, inspections".

When I bought my last MH no kidding it took me 4 or 5 hours of checking this and that. You already know how they work from your rental experience. They do depreciate and you can fix a lot of things for 1/2 the price of a new MH but new is nice. Me, I'm a used guy for awhile yet. Just do the homework first. Good luck and for what its worth If I could afford it I guess I'd go new and keep it for 20 years. Maybe.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:17 PM   #3
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My take on it, is that your first RV should be expected to be a learning tool, do your best to pick the right one, but expect that after a year or two of use, you will have a much better idea of what fits your style best, as well as lots of things that never ocured to you to consider when shopping. Therefore, buy used the first time around as it is further down the depreciation curve, and will hurt less when you trade it in on what you should have bought to begin with.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:22 PM   #4
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We have always bought used. We looked for 2 years for this one. I've had a couple friends buy new. Most say 3 times back to the dealer for repairs. We've found that with a well kept unit the owners have done the warranty and upgrades.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:07 AM   #5
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I'm a DIYer, so I buy used. We ar on our third RV. we've learned from each one and then fine tuned our requirement when we bought the next one.

ALSO - our first and second RV's, we weren't sure how we'd use it or what would be the life style. Again, when we got to #3, we had a very good definition of how we use it and what we wanted.

We went to a LaMesa RV show last winter and looked at new Southwinds. Very nice. $130k new.. Ours cost $16k. Of course we've done a lot of work on it to clean and fix up the way we want it.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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Used is almost always better financially, but a newbie needs to worry about his lack of knowledge and the risk of buying a pig in a poke. It may also take a lot of shopping to find the right RV in decent condition.


New gives some peace of mind (often an illusion, though) and a warranty, plus the dealer ads and sales lot is easier to search.


Personally, I buy used. We did new just once out of 8 Rvs and were not impressed.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:02 PM   #7
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Hi Alan, and welcome to iRV2.


There is good advice from experienced RVers up-thread so rather than repeat it I'll try to amplify some things...


EVERY RV will need fixing. Yes, even - or especially - the shiny new units on the dealer lot. The difference is that if you need warranty work on your "new" RV it can take weeks or months to complete. A lot depends on the manufacturer's relationship with the selling/servicing dealer... which brings me to another point.


Where you buy, if you need service, is more important than the purchase price (mostly, anyway). Why? Because unlike automobiles, a dealer is not obligated to quickly service units they did not sell. The vast majority of RV manufacturers at slow-pay for warranty service and dealers are loathe to tie up money & personnel only to wait 90-180 days to be paid. If you purchased from them there is a bit more incentive to make you happy but don't count on much.


Many buyers of new Class A units schedule warranty service at the factory for shortly before the warranty expires. Yeah, it's that way...


Purchasing used, it's suggested you hire an independent RV inspector (RVIA is the trade assn). While an inspection can't guarantee a lack of future problems, it's pretty good at identifying damage, defects and previous repairs the seller did not disclose (or may be unaware of if not the original purchaser).


Either way, you'll be miles ahead (pun intended!) if you're proficient with common hand tools, a VOM (volt/ohm meter), and have a basic understanding of electricity (12v DC and 120v AC), HVAC, plumbing, and general automotive principles. And those are important whether you purchase new or used...


May good luck and safe travels be you RV companions always.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:15 PM   #8
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Story of both ways... My brother bought new TT - 3 times! I bought used class A once. In the last three years:

My brother bought three TT's in 7 months - all new. Each was in the shop just about till getting the next one. #1 was always in the shop and when they did use it - it turned out to be too small. #2 was unable to be repaired correctly and had the fridge cavity built wrong so it would not draft the heat up and away from the back. It was traded on #3. #3 spent most of the first three months in the shop chasing build quality problems. It was used twice in those three months. After six times out it has a bent axle and the slide leaks while in storage so it get no use...

We bought a 1996 class A to see how we liked it. Simple DYI stuff broke and was fixed at home. Spent a few thousand at the truck service center getting everything just right. But we factored that in to the purchase. We use it 14 times a year. Love it but the wife wants a full wall slide...

Older quality built RV's hold up to the test of time. After what my brother went through I would not buy new. We are looking to upgrade but just cannot talk ourselves into paying three times as much for something to go camping in. AND, more bells and whistle to brake! For us finding something used where most of the problems (if any) were worked out was a bonus to us. Having new with warrantees only meant my brother's TT's spent more time in the shop then the campground in three years.

Also, you should have a very good idea of what you want before jumping in, three new TT's in less than a year is an expensive learning curve. Sit inside one and think about spending 2-3 days inside when it pouring down rain or you have a 100+ degree heat wave. Can you live in that box for that long and not kill someone!
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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I would much prefer to buy a gently-used RV, maybe 3-5 years old, than a new one. Someone else has taken the huge depreciation hit when driving off the lot, and hopefully gotten all the bugs out that the manufacturer missed!

I would also be able to buy a higher class rig!
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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I agree with other posters about purchasing a gently used, 3-5 year old RV where someone else has taken the first, big depreciation hit. Before purchasing, visit a few large RV shows to look at types of RVs, floor plans, amenities, etc. you and your family would like. Once you know what you want, then if looking for that gently used 3-5 year old RV, "patience" will be the virtue needed until "the" RV is found.

RV consignment businesses are a good place to look for used RVs of all types. PPL Motorhomes in Houston is an example of big RV consignment business --> https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:42 PM   #11
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I bought my 1st used camper in 1976. I bought my last used camper in 1976. Sometimes I upgrade in 2 years, sometimes in 5 years. When I talk to used buyers some say they got a good one, some say there were so many hidden problems by the time they fixed them it was the cost of a new one. New is not always good either. I recall my last 4, all 5ers. Not one had anything but minor cosmetic stuff. My dealer gets me in fast.
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:52 PM   #12
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Before buying anything you need to educate yourself, as much as possible, about the different types of RV and how they might fit your needs. In particular learn about OCCC and do a realistic assesment of what you will need to carry and what it all weighs. That may narrow your search a lot.
We have never purchased a new RV although we are now on fourth. Whether you end up purchasing new or used, looking ar used RV's will give you a better idea of how a particular brand holds up over time.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:27 PM   #13
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We have camped for years but never in a class A. We didn't know if would like it or not. Started to look for an older one to see if we liked it or not. Found an '04 Georgetown that was in good shape, low miles and it was at a dealer who had fixed everything that didn't work. Negotiated for $24k out the door. We thought it had everything we wanted. We loved the unit. Spent about $2k on upgrades.

After a year we had a list of things we really wanted in a class A. Started to look for our next one. We ended up buying our new one. It checked every box we had plus some. Sold the '04 for $28k so made $2k after upgrades on that one.

So...no matter what you think you want/need in a class A, you really don't know until you try it for a while. It takes some people 3 or 4 motorhomes before they get it right.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbonner View Post
Hi Rvers!
Last year, I have rented an RV (Model: ITASCA, Manufacturer: Class C Motor Home, Year: 2004, Length: 22 ft) but this year, I would like to get a nice one in middle budget for camping the next winter.

Already, I got some pieces of knowledge from https://rvside.com/index.html/new-vs-used but till now, I'm confused and can't decide "which way should I choose". Because my heart is telling me "there are many worries".

Only for this reason, I need all of your help and good and bad experience. Hope, you consider a lot of sharing here for a great guide.


Best Wishes to All!
As others have said, it's true that your first RV is a learning experience no matter how much you think you know. If you buy new these days you have to be prepared for lots of warranty repairs at the dealer to get it in good shape and fix all the little things that QC seems to miss at the factory. And if you don't like what you get you will not have a lot of wriggle room to get out of it without losing your shirt because you will take the first depreciation hit.

If you buy used, look for something that has obviously been cared for by the owner. Having all of the repair records would be a good thing. Hiring a certified RV inspector would be good too. It takes a lot of time to go through all the systems on an RV and know what you are looking for. I would also suggest getting a fluid analysis on the engine and generator fluids, just to see if there are any obvious serious issues starting to become apparent.

And if you don't like the used RV, and if you got a reasonable deal, you can probably be out of it and on to the next one without losing too much.
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