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Old 03-11-2021, 10:28 AM   #1
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How to value a used coach

The million dollar question.

When I see a coach I am interested in, I check NADA. I know it is just an estimate but it seems to vary wildly.

A 2003 Newmar 3781 Mountain Aire, low miles, workhorse chassis, one owner, mint condition was offered for $22,500. NADA said $19,500. It sold in hours.

Considering the quality of the coach, the condition, history and options I would have thought the value would be much higher.

A 2004 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 36R has a NADA of $28,500 with an asking price of 45k. Same condition as the Newmar but more miles and less options.

Im finding it hard to compare apples to apples on coach pricing.

Should I use NADA as a guide or is there a better way to value a used coach?
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:37 AM   #2
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NADA and Kelly's are just estimates, better than nothing and worth what you paid. For the real answer, do your own research. Lots of research. What are other coaches like this selling for in your area? What options are available in your price range?
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:41 AM   #3
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NADA pricing is all over the place, and, IMHO almost never accurate.
That 2003 MA may "book" at $19.5 but what is the actual condition?
That price may be accurate at Bubbas used RVs for an unloved, under maintained average unit needing God knows what for maintenance and repairs.
The same 03 MA that has been well maintained with all service records, tires within service dates, upgraded electronics, AGM batteries, late model inverter, interior upgrades etc will always command a higher price, no matter what NADA says. Watch and familiarize yourself with real world market values by looking at and road testing as many as possible...
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:52 PM   #4
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NADA might be a place to start but I haven't found it, or Kelley, to be that close to real world pricing. For me, the research might start there but then continues on with sites like PPL, RV trader, RVT, and the local classifieds.

You gotta look at more than just the prices you find. Mileage, an estimate of a rig's condition, and its options are the kinds of things you can find out online. If you see something you think you might be interested in, then you need to take off and go look at it.

Expect the asking price to be higher than the average if that particular rig happens to be in great shape with newer tires, newer batteries, good service records, etc,,.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:19 PM   #5
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Agree NADA only one data point and it is based on history. I will guess todays seller market has a major influence.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:22 PM   #6
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Ditto what the others said. NADA & KBB aren't just estimates; they are one-rifle-shot at a target that varies wildly, in condition, popularity with buyers, regional preferences, seasonal prices, and options/amenities. Further, unlike cars, the sales volumes are so low for many models & layouts that trying to compare book values to the actual market is nigh impossible.


It's very convenient that car book values are well-established and well-documented via dealer sales and auction data and there is enough weekly data to firmly determine values. That degree of precision in the market analysis is the exception rather than the rule; RV pricing is more like figuring the value of a collectible item or used furniture. It's worth only what somebody will pay for it and there aren't an unlimited number of buyers shopping for each one.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:47 PM   #7
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I'm going to disagree with the crowd......Nada for cars is pretty accurate. When it comes to an RV, there are so many variables, that you just can't plug them all in. Even with the variables, NADA gets you in the ballpark. On a $150K motor home, it can very $20K in either direction depending on the options and condition of the coach. At least NADA gets you close to the middle. Once you're close, then you have to do your research. You also have to use common sense and realize that added options and a well maintained coach will have an increased value, that you and seller have to determine.

I think many buyers use NADA prices as a bargaining tool. If you do, you can't argue that it's of no value and then later that it is for bargaining purposes.

Lastly, the OP discussed a Bounder that was way out of whack on price. Typically, those prices are what the seller owes and thinks they can get.
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Old 03-11-2021, 05:21 PM   #8
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You are on the money with the Bounder.

The seller emailed me and told me his asking price is payoff.

Most of the for sale ads from private parties are lacking in detail. Often, not even the model number, or a vague "many upgrades" statement.

I dont want to waste the sellers time or play endless email/phone tag.

A well written ad with pictures will bring in potential buyers and those not interested will pass.

I hate selling stuff so I tend to keep my stuff till it wears out.
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:00 PM   #9
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It is a science. When I sold my Minnie class c I printed the factory brochure for the 2016 I owned. I discovered the roof ladder, 2 remote maxair fans, bedroom tv, stabilizer jack, heated tanks and gas oven were all options. I bought it used. I had to plug in the options to get a closes value. It helps if the manufacturer tells you this in the brochure. Wife was sick it was unused. Now after her surgery, this woman wants to keep going until she cant. I bought a used unit, in my price range, at a dealer I asked to keep an eye out for me. Prices were crazy on used class c's. I negotiated a decent price and feel fortunate. In the NADA range. Did not get the brand I wanted and it is a year older that I wanted (2015). But at our age we cant wait for the deals that are about to come. I also took into consideration I didnt have to catch a flight somewhere to look one over that may be a dog. In our 70's and life doesnt wait.
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:19 PM   #10
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One of my all tie favorites was an RV add that said non smokers, no pets. In their photos, one had a picture of a dog food dish and water bowl.
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Old 03-12-2021, 07:15 AM   #11
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When we sold our Class C last year during the middle of the RV boom we listed it higher than NADA and it sold fairly fast.

In our current search for a Class A, when I see a rig Iím interested in I still check NADA but also look at RVT and RV trader to see what comparisons are listed for.

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Old 03-12-2021, 07:28 AM   #12
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If you are looking everyday on Rvtrader in your price range you will start to see the coaches that are selling and the ones that are not. Condition, price, location all come into play.
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Old 03-12-2021, 08:10 AM   #13
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In addition to NADA, I would do a search at RVTrader.com for the same make and model, just to see what others are asking for them!
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Old 03-12-2021, 08:24 AM   #14
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Well, I've been searching myself. What you have to realize is that right now we are at the TOP of the curve. For whatever reason, the china virus has caused a run on motorhomes which has rocketed prices upwards. I've been looking at later models. I don't know about older models. NADA used to be accurate but the market has screwed it up. NADA is based on actual sales. So, its slow to react to the current market. But if you've been looking at NADA, you'll notice the prices have been increasing for the past 6 months that I've been looking.

Hopefully, the motorhome dealers have paid attention to what happened to Harley Davidson. Dealers in the mid to late 2000's treated customers like crap because demand was high. Now, those same dealers are out of business. I think the RV bubble will burst within the next year. I could be wrong.
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