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Old 07-30-2022, 12:27 AM   #1
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$45,000 Purchase Budget

Hello, we're new to the group!

For those of you that consider yourselves diesel pusher experts in today's rv market I have a couple of questions following:

My wife and I will be returning to the U.S. this coming November and will be in the market for an rv. We have been living on a yacht for the past 10 years while sailing the islands in the Pacific. The nomadic lifestyle is not new to us in planning to make the transition from yacht to rv as full timers.

We will be looking for a diesel pusher that we can purchase up to $45,000. This will allow us to have remaining money set aside for initial startup expenses and possible improvements/modifications for the rv we buy. The following are our parameters that we will be seeking while searching for an rv:

1. Diesel Pusher
2. ISL engine or CAT equivalent with minimum 1,000 pound of torque
3. 1996 to 2004 models
4. Under 150,000 miles
5. 36 – 40 foot length
6. 1 or more slides
7. On a scale of 10, the condition and upkeep being between 8 – 10
8. Preferably indoors or covered storage.
9. Used mainly as a vacation home and not full time living.
10. Good maintenance records

We will be looking for a model that would be a step up in the “pecking order” than Newmar's Dutch Star which was a very popular model for the years we are considering.

Questions: Are we being realistic with our $45,000 purchase price? Suggestion on what models would fit within our parameters and still maintain still be able to maintain our $45,000 purchase budget?
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Old 07-30-2022, 12:44 AM   #2
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I would say that number is pretty low for a name brand, indoor storage with a decent motor, Good luck with your search
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Old 07-30-2022, 06:25 AM   #3
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Same thought here, when I hear your list I think $60,000-$65,000 coach, though a lot will depend on what the economy does in the next few months, to top it off we are possibly coming off the covid camping craze, and a lot of people are concerned about what will happen with fuel prices.
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Old 07-30-2022, 08:08 AM   #4
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Looking for something nicer than Dutch Star? MountainAire or Essex I think would be a stretch in your price range.

This was the least expensive MountainAir I could find.

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Old 07-30-2022, 09:44 AM   #5
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You might want to start looking here. You will be into the older units...around 20 years old so there will be maintenance issues to consider and replacement or repair on things like, roof, tires, brakes, refrigerator, generator, etc.

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Old 07-30-2022, 09:48 AM   #6
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Not sure if it's going to change, but lately used RV prices have been crazy high. Even those sold by individuals. Guess everyone has heard that it's a sellers market. Selling 10+ year old RV's for not much less than they probably paid for them. At least if they paid 25 - 30% off list. Hopefully with the high price of fuel that will change.

Been in the market for a similar Class A diesel. My price range is $100,000. I'm looking at newer units up to model year 2007 or Pre DEF. Based on what I've seen, you're not going to find much in your price range.
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Old 07-30-2022, 09:54 AM   #7
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My initial thoughts were the price point was too low. The proof is in the pudding though.
Right now there are 21 Newmar Dutch Stars from '96 -'04 below $45k on RVTrader. The newest one is 2001. You'll have to look and decide for yourself if they are in the condition you are looking for.
I don't subscribe to threads I reply to so will not see your reply to my comment. Drop me a direct message if you want a reply from me.
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Old 07-30-2022, 10:00 AM   #8
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I don't think you can get the coach you want in the condition you want for $45,000. Maybe that was possible 2 years ago, but with new prices escalating like they have, good clean used units have increased in value too. My 2013 Bus listed for $438,000 nine years ago and is over $600,000 now. It's worth 10% more today than it was two years ago. All that might change in a year if many of the RVs purchased and financed in the pandemic get foreclosed on and flood the market with used.
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Old 07-30-2022, 10:19 AM   #9
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Gona be tough to find anything in decent condition in that price range, let alone a high end coach.

I have a 2006 Winnebago Journey 39K with 76k miles. In July 2020 I found a private owner, well cared for, a farmer who's yard, house and machinery were spotless (a good indication of how they cared for the coach) and kept it in his shed all summer. Only drove it to Arizona for the winter, then home in the spring. The asking was $70k. Settled on $65. While at the factory service center this spring (yes it has been factory serviced since new) a guy looking to upgrade offed me $85k. And yes I have kept up on all the maintenance and it is in very nice coindition.

While contemplating a $20k profit I started searching. The best I could come up with was a 2000 HR Endeavor with 100K miles on it, needed tires and batteries and was in good condition otherwise for $45k.

Since you know the nomad lifestyle, and living on a boat requires lots of maintenance, you should understand. You probably should up your budget to about $100k between purchase and work you will want to do right away. For 40k your going to get a 22-year-old Winnebago that has had no upgrades and is in average to above average condition.

Sorry to burst your bubble. Maybe stay on the boat another couple years and see if the Covid induced prices of RV settles down.
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Old 07-30-2022, 10:26 AM   #10
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Anything is possible. Is your list a wish or must have type of thing. Buying from a private seller you might be maintenance records, buying from a RV dealer I doubt you'll see them.

Keeping money in reserve is a good idea not only of upgrades etc but for big problems.

A lot will depend on the economy as others have mentioned. We bought ours during the great recession. Bought it in late 2008 and paid ~1/2 what NDAD listed if for.

I've been keeping track of what is listed on Craigslist in my area. In the past when I used the search word "Monaco" dozens of coaches would pop up. Today there are only 2 in nearby areas. For a while nothing would come up. So the market is still tight
But with the economy and uncertainty in the future people may decide to hang it up and sell.

If you have time to look you might get lucky. We were actually looking for several years and honed our knowledge during that time figuring out what we liked and didn't like. Just got lucky when we found ours, we happened to be in Florida when we saw an Ebay listing. Couldn't believe the asking price and the condition. I could not find anything wrong but there were no maintenance records but the coach looked great and I got the sense it was taken care of. Didn't buy it that day, went home and thought about it for a couple days and then called an made an offer which was accepted. Flew back down to FL and drove it back.
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Old 07-30-2022, 11:19 AM   #11
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Very unlikely at that price point, particularly if you are on a timeline. I spent two years looking for what I wanted and found something I liked about 30% less than that, but a bit lower on the "quality" spectrum. It is possible, but you are going to have to sift through a lot of problem coaches to find what you want. Note that I had to spend about half of that 30% less on misc. stuff like new tires, filters, belts and hoses, etc. which was completely expected when you buy a coach that old.
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Old 07-30-2022, 12:29 PM   #12
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In terms of the Newmar “higher-end” coaches you want to avoid or at least negotiate a deep discount if it has the Eplex system. These systems are proprietary and when they break you either will spend a lot of money for parts to repair or, alternately, you will pay a lot of money to replace Eplex with some other way to control the systems. Eplex is the only control for the 3 A/C + heat pumps, the Inverter/Charger, the tank monitors, the EMS, the water pump, AGS, etc. Newmar generally did not install any other backup controls.
Eplex parts are very expensive and I only know of one source for parts and repair service.
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Old 07-30-2022, 03:58 PM   #13
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I think you can find a pre-2000 coach with one slide for around that price. Whether it meets any of the other criteria is a matter of luck and your willingness to search long & far. Coaches like that are scarce at any price.
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Old 07-30-2022, 05:15 PM   #14
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Be patient now is not a good time , prime RV season. By November there may be more choices at a reasonable price.
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