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Old 01-15-2017, 01:27 PM   #1
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Buying “Class A” is a OK... Buying New or Used what can you lose?

I have another thread called and you can click on the threads name above if you wish to read it.

I chose not to include this in the above thread because it already has over 100 posts. Someone new to the forum seeking information may not want to sift through that many posts. That said; there’s is some excellent things to read there if you’re interested. With that stated, lets get going...

I was thinking about the “New & Used Class A” conversations we often have on the forum. One point we often discussed is the dreaded “D” word” for Depreciation. It’s often used in the context of buying New or Used and is often times championed as a good reason to “NOT” buy new! With your kind indulgence I’d like to expand on this conversation a bit!

Most of us when we go out to make a major purchase set a budget. Sure we’ll increase it a bit because it’s “just the right one” but a budget none the less! I know some have resources to the point a budget is unnecessary and we’ve never liked you by the way!

Lets say for the sake of this discussion that we decided on a budget of $250,000.00. That’s the amount we’re budgeting to buy our coach and new or used is irrelevant at this point. The budgeted amount is $250,000.00 and that’s where we are!

With a new coach you know what the MSRP is and its the same amount for that coach at every dealer. The only thing changing the MSRP price is the cost of the options. But you load up the options the same way and the price is the same. No guesswork!
Now the question is the negotiate price? If the MSRP is $335,000.00 and you negotiated 25% off you bought the coach for $251,250.00, Wow you’re right on budget, what a man - what a man! So $251,250.00 is the starting point of YOUR REAL depreciation! Now just for the fun of it lets say you don’t get 25% off? Lets say you’ve developed negotiation fever and you don’t get 25% off, you get 30% off MSRP? The price of your new coach now becomes $234,500.00 a difference of $16,750.00 and you are a negotiation animal and the top of the motorhome food chain, the king of the jungle, and I could go on but you get the point... You did “More Gooder” with 5% more off MSRP. And YOUR REAL depreciation starts right there at $234,500.00.

In these two examples, which one will pay the greatest depreciation in REAL MONEY? If you said the one who paid $234,500.00 you are absolutely WRONG! It’s the first guy who paid $251,250.00. If you want to get yourself underwater in a hurry, pay too much for your coach! When you sit down with your accountant at years end you may hear someone say oops... Whats worse is that someone is you!

With a used coach you can find out what the MSRP was back when the coach was new but it may have little basis on what the price is going to be for the actual unit you’re looking at. You can look at NADA, PPL and other places on line as a guide. You can also ask questions on the forum to give you direction as well.

Just be cautious in discussing new or used because there are some on the forum (not this one of course) who have no filter on their likes and dislikes and what all of us need is objectivity. Thankfully for me I have no such problem with objectivity, Chevy is better than Ford, always has been and always will be! Wow, fair and balanced and objective to a fault right?

My point, check your sources and know FACT from SUPPOSITION, not necessarily an easy thing is it? But something you hear repeated three times by three different people may be more to consider than that which you heard once!

We’ve all seen how it works sometimes, you mention Thor and the entire eco systems falls apart. You mention Newmar and God’s blessings are upon yee! I mean no disrespectful to you the reader, and certainly not to the deity (I’ve been good God, really! And it was Zelda’s fault!) And for the record, I don’t know a Zelda, so please don’t call or write!

When buying a used coach you’ll be looking at Condition, ownership, maintenance documentation etc, not typical concerns of a new coach! And lets remember the more you know about motorhomes the more apt you are towards the selection of a good one. The less you know about motorhomes the more you have to depend on others. Yes you have the forums, the internet, videos etc to help in your process and progress. But it’s a YOU thing to learn, retain and go forward in the selection process.

In the example of the New coach, if you pay too much for a used coach your in the same BIG TROUBLE MISTER from the depreciation scenario. Pay too much and your depreciation is greater. The Numbers don’t lie!

The new coach comes with a 12 month warrantee. You can get a warrantee with a used coach but its expensive and if you decide to get it you need to factor it into the actual cost of the coach. You also need the ability to read and understand the fine print... You don’t want to buy a group plan where the only time it pays is when everyone in the group has the same problem!

A question; How many of you have been driving, maybe in the Rockies, looking out at the wonder of it all and said or thought to yourself “what makes this trip so wonderful and the Rockies so beautiful is my depreciation is 5% less than it could have been?

Let me see a showing of hands? OK the Nays have it! Hey Harry you didn’t call for a voice vote! See, fair and balanced!!!
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:35 PM   #2
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Well said and good point!
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:50 PM   #3
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Very well written.

I might add that an extended warranty is not the equal of a new-coach warranty. New coach warranties cover just about everything. Extended warranties (more accurately called service contracts) cover everything EXCEPT this that and the other thing. The exception list can be very long and usually excludes from coverage some of the most costly and difficult problems you can have, such as water leaks.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:51 PM   #4
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Almost right EXCEPT...even at the 30% off the deal still made about $30k. So your coach when you drive away now worth about $204K...

Aw shoot...just lost more, good luck selling iit for even $200K

Now that's about where you need to look at as a starting point on a slightly used coach and let the original owner take the bite. MSRP is a fools game perpetuated as myth/truth on the forums. If $$ is no object buy new and get what you want

Just sayin' flame suit on

Per the Rockies view...on a good day it's a magnificent beast...when she stumbles...just a beast!!!
Happy Trails,
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:53 PM   #5
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In my opinion, there is little difference between all the assembly
line coaches. Thor, Tiffin, Newmar, etc all assemble the coaches
from components made by other companies. (Freightliner/Spartan,
Cummins engines & generators, Atwood, Magnum, Xantrex, Dometic
or Carefree, Lippert, etc. The quality of the fit&finish varies,
but is mostly corrected by the dealer and the first owner.
I've heard long horror stories about all the brands from
their owners. All that should matter is the floor plan, the appearance
of the coach, your budget, and the reputation of the dealer
and its service department. Used is all about the same
items, however, you have to have proof of proper maintenance,
and then establish a base line of service and the replacement of wear
items (tires, batteries, flooring, upholstery, etc).
An ugly coach with a bad floor plan will be a nightmare at any price.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:57 PM   #6
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We have friends who always buy new . The house was new , every car & truck new , every camper new . They want the warranty . In the end it seems like expensive warrantys to me .
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for your post Twomed,

I wasn't trying to show the percentage you can expect off. As a matter of fact that amount can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacture. I was just talking about things to look at towards the real cost!
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
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A lot depends on how long you keep it and what the purchase and selling experiences are like. We probably used the least favorable of each.

We bought our '02 32' Georgetown Class A from the original owners in 2010. It had just under 12,000 miles on it and was still on the OEM tires. We got it for about $3500 below blue book because the owners had medical issues that prevented them using it any more. I put 6 new road tires on it the second day we had it, since the OEM tires dated back 9 years from when the chassis was built.

We used it quite often the first two years, less the third year and only as supplemental residential accommodation for visitors the fourth year. It was our Golden wedding anniversary that year and we had a lot of visitors. Altogether we put 6000 miles on the rig, all in WA and OR.

When we realised we'd been raiding our IRAs for operating costs, we decided that was not a good idea. We'd had some repair expenses, too, including replacing the fridge. We sold it on consignment with what turned out to be a very shady dealership. They first tried to convince us that they'd only had one offer, of 1/3rd what we'd paid for it. I rejected that offer and they said to come take the rig back.

After some discussion we finally agreed on a different price that the dealer said he'd had been informally offered. He called the next day to say it had been sold. When we went to settle up a few days later, the rig was still on the lot and we discovered that the owner of the dealership had bought it himself. He'd had the minor problems rectified by his techs, and tried to strong-arm us into paying the full tech rate for the fixes. After more acrimony, we finally agreed on a price that was about 55% of what we'd paid when we bought it which was about 10% below blue book. It certainly soured us on consignment sales.

Although it turned out to be an expensive experience, we enjoyed using the rig, but couldn't afford to keep raiding the IRAs to pay for the enjoyment.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and ex-RVers.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:31 PM   #9
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Harry, the point is well made. The problem is that people get hung up on depreciation as if it were a venonmous animal. If you can't afford depreciation, either new or used, then by all means, don't get into RVing. Depreciation is a fact of life and generally applies to everything with the possible exception of real property which also has its pitfalls. (See Florida real estate circa 2008 for examples.).

If a buyer of any asset lives in fear of depreciation then they probably shouldn't be looking at buying that asset. An RV is not an investment in anything other than lifestyle. It costs like most fun things do and depreciation is one of those costs.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:04 PM   #10
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How many times can we beat a dead horse? Regardless of how good of a "deal" you get on a new coach, the hit in depreciation will ALWAYS be more than the depreciation on a used coach. Period. Does that mean that it's stupid to buy new? Of course not, and contrary to what this (and the previous thread referenced) is trying to allude to, no one here is saying that it is. Some people want new and budget accordingly. More power to them. Some people want used and budget accordingly. More power to them. Some (me included) don't care one wit about depreciation because we don't buy any vehicle with the intention of selling it. I purchase what I want, for what I feel is a fair price, to USE. If, at the end of my use, it's worth $0, then so be it; the price I paid was obviously perfect for it's intended use.

My point is this; why are some here so obsessed with justifying their purchase decision and proving others wrong? Do you really need everyone else's approval? Buy what you want (new OR used) for a price you're willing to pay. Allow others to do likewise. I don't care what others think of my spending habits; why do you?
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:13 PM   #11
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Very good point Ed, it's a cost of doing business and is something to be aware of before the sale so you know it's coming when you sell!
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:19 PM   #12
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4X4 I remember when I had my first beer!
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:20 PM   #13
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My DW and I will be in a similar setup next year. We have a particular budget amount that could buy a new model DP or an upper class used but old model DP. We have discussed the depreciation several times, but it will come down to what deal are available at the time that we buy. If a great used model pops up for less money then that will be even better. We are not that concerned with the depreciation factor, being this will be our last RV and we expect to use it for at least 10 or more years.

I like the new option for the year warranty being I am DP ignorant. For this same reason I am leary of an used DP.
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Old 01-15-2017, 03:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WyoFree View Post
4X4 I remember when I had my first beer!
Ummmm.... OK?
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