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Old 07-09-2017, 12:34 PM   #1
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Question New Vs Used.. size of 1st TT

I'm sure this topic has been beat to death.. I did a search.. but there were so many hits.. I'll just ask..
I'm helping my 24 year old niece (a single Mom with 2 young kids).. look for her 1st Travel trailer.. we are both newbies.. But I do have a lot of experience with good sized boats that I lived on for years..
Obviously, a used unot will be less than new.. but I get concerned about issues and problems, that she e may be ill equipped to deal with. She is looking at good sized TT's with dry weight in the neighborhood of 6.000 LBS.
My thinking is that anew unit will have a warranty and dealer support (a Good Sam dealer) will be helpful. She has a vehicle that will tow the weight.. and th experience will be good for her and her kids and her brothers and sisters.. She is pushing toward more amenities on a used TT.. but I'm not sure she understands the demands of system maintenance and so on.. that I dealt with on the boats I had.. Looking at a Coleman 295qbs at the moment..
I'm a little concerned about her ability to drive.. but there are camp grounds close by so everyone learns as they go I guess.. Because I am financing this.. I want it to be a positive experience.. not a negative one.. Thoughts? Thanks..
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:06 PM   #2
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If you search the forum you'll find many issues with new RVs, just like used ones. I wish manufacturer's quality control and inspection was better than it is, but many buyers of new units have had to make their first trip back to the factory to have repairs made.

A used unit will be much cheaper, so you don't take the big hit of driving a new unit off the lot. In addition, the previous owner has had all the mistakes corrected and it should be in good shape. You might hire a pro to inspect the RV, testing every system to be sure it's operating as it should.

Repairs can be very expensive, your niece should have a working knowledge of how to turn a screwdriver and do simple troubleshooting of problems instead of relying on an RV service shop and big $$ per hour. While she might want all the bells and whistles, I'd suggest she go simple as a first RV.

My family had the best experiences camping in a tent or a conversion van, we didn't get into an RV until much later.

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Old 07-09-2017, 03:10 PM   #3
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New vs used is always a hot topic. I've done both and had problems either way.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #4
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There is a big difference between a 2018 and a 2007 model compared to a 2018 and a well cared for used 2014-16 models. I would think you'd want a good newer used unit.
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:38 PM   #5
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That's great info... and as I think about it.. it's the same with a boat. Always stuff wrong with a new one and then you have to deal with things. People are used to a new car that is pretty much perfect when you get it. Not so with RV's or boats I guess. Hopefully we can locate an acceptable unit that is used. We are out looking again tomorrow.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:23 PM   #6
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I just bought a 2016 Solaire camper as a lightly used unit. Got a great deal and everything works really well. Couldn't be happier.

My parents bought a new Coleman 2855BH and it's been great also.

I agree with others that you can have issues either way. Selection is better on new units, prices are better on used units. Pick your poison.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:17 AM   #7
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Don't shy away from used, just do a good inspection prior to purchase. Talk to RVers in your area, there are always some dealerships who provide better service after the purchase than others. Find the one near you that has the best reputation and shop there. I'd point her towards something like a 25'-30' bunkhouse. Don't let her go too big right off the bat. Maneuvering, parking and stopping a big RV takes practice. We started with a 29' before moving up to a 38', and I'm glad I had the opportunity to practice with the smaller unit for a while. Don't get her close to max tow weight. If her vehicle can tow 8K lbs, keep the RV under 6K. You want too much truck, not barely enough truck for safety and control while towing. Best of luck, great that you are helping your sister out, I know she and her kids will enjoy it!
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:14 AM   #8
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I've done both as well and my #1 rule is there will always something that needs to be fixed. New or used. The advantage of the new is you usually get at least 1 year manufacturer warranty to get it resolved but you do take a hit on the price. Usually around 20-30% so keep that in mind. My first 2 RV's were used and my last 2 RV's have been new.

If she is new to towing and RV's I would recommend a small TT that can sleep 4 comfortably, as light as possible, and as short as possible. A PUP is always a good place to start and used they are very affordable and easy to tow. Being her first, I recommend a used one only a year or two old and definitely a pre-purchase inspection by a pro. I know you are trying to help your niece out but if you are the one financing the RV I think she should be grateful for whatever gift you provide. And the more bells and whistles the RV comes with the more things that can break. Of course, you already know about this based on your boating experience and it seems you have the right frame of mind.

I just hope your niece has money put aside to afford any necessary repair/maintenance work because even if everything works now there will be something in the future that needs addressing. Tires, batteries, hubs, pumps, slide motors, wiring, leaks, winterizing and so on. It's a house on wheels subject to stress from vibrations, wind, rain, etc and the maintenance isn't something you can usually put off if you want to arrive safely at your destination with everything in working order. The bigger the RV the lower the gas mileage is. My 30' motor home got 7 mpg average. Towing my luxury PUP I averaged just under 15 mpg. Most TT's are 8' wide and you can expect around 8-12 mpg depending on weight and height (YMMV and these are just averages).

And who will be paying for the RV insurance? The bigger the RV the more the insurance costs. You get one with a motor (conversion van, class A,B,C) and the insurance goes up exponentially. So do the repair costs. Where is it going to be parked? HOA issues? Lot fees? Room enough in the driveway/front yard? In most cases your insurance cost goes up if you aren't parking your RV at your home. I am only pointing out issues that quickly get over looked and only become a problem once you bought the RV.

There's my short list of things to consider when buying an RV and to help determine some of the hidden costs. The more handy you are at tackling most issues by yourself the more money you will save. Several people have asked me why I don't just rent a cabin or hotel room and my reply is always the same. I know who slept in my bed, how comfortable it is, I always know the food is good and where I am eating all my meals. The views from the windows are completely up to me. I don't have to deal with air ports and the only reservations I have to worry about are if I am going to a campground.

I am sure your niece is going to enjoy her trips because you are there to help her get a good start on buying the right RV to start off with. It's always a good thing when you see a family taking care of each other like that. Good hunting and there is no right decision on which RV you pick if it is good shape and you are happy with it in the end.
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:36 PM   #9
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the first thing popped out: "good sam". Just an advise: STAY FAR, FAR AWAY FROM CAMPING WORLD. Just read the reviews, which is not depending on location, but the brand. It's awful. We didn't want to listen and I thought- well- usually only unsatisfied customers complaining on the internet- and now I'm one of them. Trust me- you can believe the reviews. I made this painful experience and everything I read happened to me. Starting from the promised price, promised discount to weight distribution hitch, which appeared to be $500 more suddenly and added up, they pulled us over the table. The also did not put everything in the camper, what came with it, which we noticed after our first trip and we was even accused of fraud, as we asked for it. We ended up to get the repairs done at a independent dealer and had to pay for some of the missing things (gas hose for gas grill, stove cover, etc...) on our self. Also the promised slide topper was not installed and as we picked it up, they said, that we would have to pay for it. As we signed the contract, it was included, but "just not installed yet".
I don't even start about the warranty repairs and that our brand new camper was months on the lot without touching it, until I found it over and over with bird poop and mud in the last corner of the lot.
you might pay a little more elsewhere- but if you need your dealer, you will see- it's worth every penny.
My first camper was used too and very well taken care of. Of course the new ones look nice- but they are as functional than the new ones- and if it's well maintained, you're even better off, because not one camper goes off the lot without warranty complaints. and nothing worse, when you spend $20K+ and can't use it, because it's at the dealer for repairs.
good luck.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:57 PM   #10
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Ditto a "newsed" (newer used) travel trailer. Single mom and 2 young kids, I would caution getting "too big" of a travel trailer that could become more of a chore than a joy for the first time camper.

The Hybrid travel trailer has become an often overlooked best kept secret. Smaller size, and popup style expandable beds create lots of room inside a smaller footprint trailer. Now folks will tell you correctly there is a little more headache packing up wet, and a little more work camping in cold temperatures, but I think these are still a great option for a beginner, especially regarding towing.

I pitched this particular one to some folks recently since it it literally a "turn-key" setup right down to the pots and pans. It's been posted for sale in the forest river owners forum, and the seller appears to be very meticulous. Shamrock and Rockwood Roo are the same unit under different brand names.

It's in Grafton, MA, see what you think:

If she's dead set on a hardwall travel trailer, it doesn't get much better than this one if shopping used:

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Old 07-10-2017, 09:46 PM   #11
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I do agree with the other post-er who said to avoid Camping World. Shadiest place I've ever seen. They treated my parents awful when they were trying to buy a camper there. Ended up going to a different camping world and got treated ok, but I will never go into another camping world ever again.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by patriot07 View Post
I do agree with the other post-er who said to avoid Camping World. Shadiest place I've ever seen. They treated my parents awful when they were trying to buy a camper there. Ended up going to a different camping world and got treated ok, but I will never go into another camping world ever again.
I have heard so many negative things about camping word too.There service is awfull know of someone with new rig that has been there tons of times with nothing done right the also ran into it with a forlift.I want to get a older travel trailor to see some of the country and though I love the looks and interior of the new ones there is too much to go wrong and they are all thrown together with no quality control.Gonna look for something with only 1slide probably in the early 2000's
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