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Old 03-24-2014, 08:49 AM   #1
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New 5'er vs a new/used for a few months same model

Hi Folks,

Long time lurker but seldom poster. I have learned TONS of stuff from this forum from you fine folks who have forgotten more about "X" than I would ever know. I kinda hate to throw out another pricing opinion question on a unit, but again, I want to defer to the experts, so I hope you will indulge me.

After years of looking, the DW and I decided during our last camping trip last Labor Day to finally pull the plug and upgrade out of the old popup. We have looked and looked at travel trailers up to Class A's, but until a couple weeks ago had never found anything remotely that even whispered or begged me to "take it to the house " - much less flat out jumped up and the wife takes just one good look at and smiles, saying, "This is home", until now.

It is a 2013 Heartland 5th wheel, model 3596RE.. The one we looked at is a 2013 model, but actually a used unit in near perfect condition. When I asked the salesman how they acquired this unit, he told me that a couple had purchased it new ( in another state), but decided on a motorhome after a few months and traded it in there at their (ahem) "large chain camping planetary and outdoors stuff place". The only defects or blemishes that we can find is the mattress is stained, ( we would replace it anyway - no matter) and the coroplast underneath needs some sealing rectification work around some of the edges. Other than that, it looks like she just came in off the assembly line. We have only looked at the unit twice so far and we assume that everything is in perfect working order.

They have it priced at $50k rounded up, literally, a very few bucks. Now, after online just glancing around, comparison shopping, lo and behold, I discover another identical, except for color and fabric on the couch and recliners, but brand new 3596RE, model only a couple hours away at "Joe's Camper Sales" at a listed price of $69,5K. Optimistically praying for a 30% d/c puts it within a $1K 'ish of the asking price for the same, but branded as used, model locally.

We're on a budget as we have to also purchase a tow vehicle as well. But we are planning on paying CA$H, straight out. I am aware of the new unit with a warranty aspect which brings me to my question. With the used unit priced at a couple bucks under $50K, generally, what kind of d/c could we maybe hope for from "large chain planetary camping place"? I checked NADA on the used unit and it's within $1K as LOW retail of what they are pricing the unit at now, which is in like new condition. We are hoping that we could get it for $40K, but, being a newbie rookie at this ( the popup was bought new waaay back in '98) I am just looking for some advice on perhaps what I could reasonably offer and expect "THEM" to accept for the used unit. As I said, the new unit, with a 30% d/c is within about a thou$and'ish of what the slightly used unit is now priced at. And again, that is ASSUMING, that the newly used unit's components are all working as they should with no problems. It has no slide toppers ( a deal maker/breaker perhaps?) on the 4 slides. As far as I could tell, the roof is like new, not even discolored at all.

I am also going to ask to speak to the couple who traded in the newly used unit to hopefully get their comments on anything wrong /problems with the unit. We are planning on paying CA$H for the unit, and, of course, "THEY" want us to finance, blah blah...

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #2
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I think by far the best thing to help in your decision is to talk to the previous owner. Perhaps they loved it and just wanted to upgrade, or it might be a lemon they wanted to unload. They might also point towards issues you'd want fixed upon sale.
You also might deal and dicker for best price, let them assume you're going to finance (they usually get a cut so they reduce price to reflect that) then when the price is written down, pay cash.

Good luck!

Bob & Donna
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:39 AM   #3
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1st - go Bucs!!! It's baseball season. Need to change your picture.

So if I read everything correctly you think you can buy the used trailer for around 40k and the new trailer for around 50k.

If that is correct, go over the used unit again a really look for any damage or paint flaws. If it is again clean I would say buy the used unit. Especially if you can find out that the previous owners did buy a class 'A' and the salesman was not telling a fib.

Just a guess. If the rig does not have an upgraded pin box maybe the previous owners did not like 'chucking'.

Wow - going from a pop-up to a Big Horn 5th wheel is a big step. Just so you know - you will not be 'camping' when in a really nice 5th wheel.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:12 AM   #4
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You might want to go over to the Heartland Owners forum at Heartland Owners Forum - Forum Portal and ask there.
You will also need to consider that you will need at least an 350/3500 series truck. I have a F250 diesel and it just is big enough. We really enjoy our Heartland Big Country.
I am sure you will enjoy RV'ing in a fifth wheel. It is definitely not "camping"!
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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Be aware that the 2013 5th wheel could be 2 years old, the 2015 models are rolling out as we speak. This will affect the resale value later on.
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:22 AM   #6
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In 2012 we bought a 2009 Carrilite that was used but unused. It had been bought, taken to a fulltime site in a park, set up, winterized and never used. The stickers were still in the shower, the dishwasher still had packaging in it, the kitchen sink had the blue plastic stuff on the drains to protect the finish still. The gentleman who owned this unit had gotten sick and never used it. The family didn't live close enough to use it either. He recovered and traded it in on a DP in 2012. That's when we bought it for the USED Nada price.
I say if you like it and it fits the bill then go for it!
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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If they are asking 50k, offer 45k. Always be prepared to walk away from a sale though. As for a tow vehicle, you will be in the 1 ton ball park for sure. Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:32 AM   #8
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If you can buy a lightly, seldom used trailer why pay retail for a brand new one. You will be paying thousands of dollars just to say it's brand new. They are the same as cars, as soon as you drive them off the lot they drop thousands of dollars. Oh and do not go by the NADA, it is worthless on RV's for anything other then just a guide. Go on line and look for other units similar and see what they are selling for. Besides no matter what unit or brand you but there is always something wrong or broke or not installed correctly on all brand new units the will need fixed. On a used unit the previous owner already dealt with that and had the problems fixed. If it is the same model the thing will look exactly the same and no one will know what year it is anyways. Now I know there will be someone jump in as say, but when you go to trade it you will get less money for the used one.......But you paid less up front for it so yes you will... Both 5th wheels I have bought have been hardly used. This one I bought 2 years ago and it is an 06 but yes it still have the cardboard and plastic on the micro and other fixtures and was stored in a barn.. I'm not sure if the people every took it out anywhere , if anything they used it to sleep in for like races or something. Yes I know it was stored indoors because the graphics are still new looking, on a Montana that is the first thing to go. If it is the color and it looks new go for it.

Just did a quick search on line and found a couple of 2013's of that model selling from 40 to 42K. I would take 40 as a starting point and offer them something in the upper 30's...all they can do is say no.....
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:24 PM   #9
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I also went the slightly used route, we were able to buy a 1 model year/2 year old build date fiver for half of the original msrp. There are deals out there you just gotta look.
Good Luck
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:36 PM   #10
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Based on this I wouldn't offer more than $45,000 for the slightly used one.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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I am also going to ask to speak to the couple who traded in the newly used unit to hopefully get their comments on anything wrong /problems with the unit.
I wouldn't think they would let you talk to the original owners, unless they mentioned it that they were willing.

I always say "CASH" talks.....that is the only way I deal. I always ask for a "out the door" price. If the new one was 50k. Was that after any negotiating? If it was, I would threw a 40k offer out there for the used one with at least a 90 day warranty. You hopefully can assume the original owners took care of items being a new unit. There always are punch list things to fix, adjust....on any new RV.

It sounds like you have not negotiated anything on that new unit. I would go that route first acting like you have settled on that one to see how much under the 50k they will go. Here is a posting ( buying a 2013 trailer, Post #10) I did this morning about how much of a difference there was in pricing between dealers. Granted this was two years ago, and only for a RV trailer, but when the dealer I bought it from quoted me the price over the phone, I didn't know what to say.... I was speechless. The price was so good, I couldn't even negotiate. Again this was a cash price.
Jim & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:18 PM   #12
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Another thought is about warranty. Is the dealer willing to offer some type of extended warranty on the used unit or is it a case of you're on your own if you buy it?
I have to question, if used so little, what kind of stain on the mattress?? Possible water from a leak?
There are very good deals on used units out there, but I always question why almost brand new things get traded in, this goes for cars, trucks, RVs, etc. I understand that some times people just find they made a big mistake. On the other hand sometimes they're unloaded because of more problems that the owner wanted to deal with.
I wish you luck and hope everything works out for you.
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:37 PM   #13
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Maybe either a very old person, or a very young person wet the bed. As far a trading a so new unit I do this all the time, rv, trucks, and cars, my dw will attest to that.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:15 AM   #14
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I bought slightly used and saved big$$$$$$$. That is how I like to buy. Many times the used unit has all the bugs fixed already. Good luck.
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