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Old 12-24-2016, 07:29 PM   #43
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The answer is: Whatever serves you best. All of the advise given is skewed in the authors opinion and works solely for themselves.

Read all of the advice and do what gives you the biggest satisfaction, most comfort and confidence.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:12 AM   #44
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I asked at Lazy Days in Tampa and they will not put you in contact with the PO. I asked if they would allow the PO to contact me if he was willing and again stating privacy concerns they said no. I don't know how they would react if I made it a contingency, never got that far. Does the title list the PO?

Dealer allowing you to stay in the coach a couple of days is a great idea. Would any allow this without payment first? After it's paid for what's the incentive to fix anything, especially something major.
I may be wrong on this, but I am pretty sure that the State of Florida allows the dealership to provide previous owner information IF the previous owner doesn't have a problem with it. We were at a dealership in southern Florida about two years ago, saw a coach we liked, asked if we could get the PO's contact info. They said yes, if the PO agreed, but only if we were serious, by putting making a down payment. I asked if we could make the purchase contingent on our liking what the PO had to say, and the independent inspections on Chassis and Coach. They said yes. That's fair for both parties. We didn't end up getting that far in the deal as we found some things we didn't like while looking it over. Laws differ in different places.

Another option is if you have a friend in Law Enforcement, they may be able to run the VIN for you. I've had this done before, not sure if policy prohibits it in some jurisdictions, but in those cases it gave me the name and address of record, it was up to me to find phone numbers, which I did. Just food for thought.
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Old 12-25-2016, 05:00 PM   #45
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I asked at Lazy Days in Tampa and they will not put you in contact with the PO. I asked if they would allow the PO to contact me if he was willing and again stating privacy concerns they said no. I don't know how they would react if I made it a contingency, never got that far. Does the title list the PO?

Dealer allowing you to stay in the coach a couple of days is a great idea. Would any allow this without payment first? After it's paid for what's the incentive to fix anything, especially something major.
Both dealers were independents and the coaches we bought had been traded in by customers they knew. Both the dealers readily gave me the name and phone numbers of the previous owners. Now I suspect the prior owners had already agreed to talk to potential buyers.

We did not expect to be able to live in the coach before payment. However, in both cases, we had the dealer agree in writing (on the purchase agreement) to allow us to stay on their lot (in one case in a nearby RV park) for up to 3 days. One dealer offered a 90 day warranty while the other offered no warranty after sale but did agree to fix anything we found during the 2 -3 day stay. In fact, that second dealer (Tom Johnson in Concord, NC) fixed a couple of things we found weeks later after a stay in Myrtle Beach. They are now owned by Camping World so I am sure that no longer happens.
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Old 12-25-2016, 08:43 PM   #46
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I recommend going used if that is what you need to do to purchase a high quality coach. When you purchase used, you should buy one that has been meticulously maintained by the owner and there are records to prove it.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:14 AM   #47
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Used is a great way to go IF you can find a seller who is realistic about what their coach is worth. Unfortunately, a lot of folks pay way too much initially and then have their heads in the clouds about what the used value is. This is also why people talk so much about the "huge" depreciation hit you take buying used. If you buy right the depreciation isn't as bad as it often gets made out to be.

I'm more knowledgeable about 5th wheels and trailers so there may be a different % with class A but with 5th and TTs a good deal is paying somewhere around 65-70% of MSRP. Trailers are usually worth somewhere in the ballpark of 50% of MSRP around 2-3 years old. With the used value being basically static you can see how you can be burned MUCH worse if you pay 80% of MSRP rather than 65%.

Of course, there are always other factors like demand for a certain brand or model, time of year, condition, etc.
Forty grand for a 20 year old rig? I'd say there is a bubble in the coach business. With the amount of them on the market when the bubble pops they are going to get affordable in a hurry. Its the same for boats but beings I own two of them thats ok
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:59 AM   #48
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Yes to doing what is comfortable for you, as it is your hand writing the check(s)!

I'm also in the the higher end used camp. I always recommend:

"Buy the highest quality coach that meets your needs, while remaining in budget. Dropping years as needed to do so."

I also recommend that when developing a budget, to:
> Retain an allowance for catch up/baseline maintenance that might be required. (If not documented with receipts, assume that maintenance is required. If not done as part of the pre purchase PDI - get fluid analysis so you have that baseline too.)

> A second line of budget for 'Making it your's!'. (Maybe electronics update. Or modifications of cabinetry. Etc.)

> And a final line item as 'Contingency' funds. It's not 'If' it's 'When' something will pop up!

Best of luck to you on your decision,
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Old 12-26-2016, 11:34 AM   #49
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I am in the buy what works best for you ideology. Find the floor plan, accessories and amenities that work for you.

If you are going long traveling vs short trips to the lake a much different unit may be the best for what you are planning. For example - purchasing a 45' coach to take the kids to the local beach for weekends may not be the most practical purchase. Not saying it won't work but may be overkill.

Everyone is providing advice based on their experience and set of standards. What you buy comes out of your bank account. Get what you need.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:07 AM   #50
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Forty grand for a 20 year old rig? I'd say there is a bubble in the coach business. With the amount of them on the market when the bubble pops they are going to get affordable in a hurry. Its the same for boats but beings I own two of them thats ok
You can NEVER have too many boats, especially if you are out of site of shore, and one of them has a hole in it!
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:02 AM   #51
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I'm going to toss in another gotcha to ponder. High end used to mean better construction materials and details. In recent times that has changed to more goodies and glitz. I understand the systems involved well enough to do most of my own work if I have the tools. I don't because the tools for some of it tend to be expensive and have a learning curve. Think modern diesel engines. That same creep comes into systems like using your Ipad to control everything. I also understand those systems and would much rather have a real switch. More reliable and less prone to mystery problems.
There is a thread going on in the American Coach forum on another site regarding the drop in quality since around 2008. I have an 02 American Eagle that i believe is built better that the new ones i see at the shows. My next coach will be an 07 or 08 American, Newmar or Foretravel.

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Old 12-27-2016, 12:14 PM   #52
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There is a thread going on in the American Coach forum on another site regarding the drop in quality since around 2008. I have an 02 American Eagle that i believe is built better that the new ones i see at the shows. My next coach will be an 07 or 08 American, Newmar or Foretravel.

Jake
I believe you are really correct. The issue is people want more product and less cost. Addition of glitz is cheaper than quality materials and is much more noticeable when you step into the unit.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:38 PM   #53
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Excellent points, Any time you can find a used MH that's been store indoors you are on plus side of the depreciation slide!
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