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Old 08-18-2022, 07:39 PM   #1
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Question Rent -vs- Purchase for 1 season of tailgating

I would like to buy or rent a Class C several times this fall for (4) round trips of 750 miles for tailgating/sporting events. I did quick cost projections at a few RV rental sites and come up with ~$1,750-$2,000/trip for an RV that can sleep 6. I would anticipate ~$8,000 over the next 4-5 months.

Question to those experienced/knowledgeable Class C RVers. If I were going to buy a Class C for the season with the intention on reselling in the spring, is it feasible for $30,000-$35,000? I would like the unit to (1) sleep 6 (2) efficiently boondock for 3-4 nights (3) have strong resale value (unit can sell for $8,000 less than purchased assuming proper maintenance/use)

Can you please copy below and paste in your response? Appreciate any input which will allow me to make a decision in the next 14 days.

Year Range:
Make:
Model:
Engine:
Odometer Range:
Chassis:
Generator:
Comment:
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Old 08-18-2022, 08:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bills_Mafia View Post
I would like to buy or rent a Class C several times this fall for (4) round trips of 750 miles for tailgating/sporting events. I did quick cost projections at a few RV rental sites and come up with ~$1,750-$2,000/trip for an RV that can sleep 6. I would anticipate ~$8,000 over the next 4-5 months.

Question to those experienced/knowledgeable Class C RVers. If I were going to buy a Class C for the season with the intention on reselling in the spring, is it feasible for $30,000-$35,000? I would like the unit to (1) sleep 6 (2) efficiently boondock for 3-4 nights (3) have strong resale value (unit can sell for $8,000 less than purchased assuming proper maintenance/use)

Can you please copy below and paste in your response? Appreciate any input which will allow me to make a decision in the next 14 days.

Year Range:
Make:
Model:
Engine:
Odometer Range:
Chassis:
Generator:
Comment:

There are some variables that would make it hard to determine if this is feasible or not. Since you are talking about a relatively short term "flip", I would say that the year/make/model/engine/odometer/etc isn't very important. Also, you aren't putting too many miles or too much wear and tear on it with just 4 trips. So you are buying an RV and you want to know if you can basically resell it in 5 months and lose less than ~$8000.


Short answer: If you buy an RV today that is worth $30-35k, and nothing goes wrong with it while you own it, you should be able to sell it in 5 months for probably close to $30-35k.


Things to consider... Not sure what state you are in, but here in California just paying the sales tax and registering it would cost you ~10% ($3000-$3500). Insurance will probably cost you about $300 for 6 months. If you have to store it somewhere for 6 months you might pay 6 x $150 = $900. So without doing a single thing to fix/customize/etc, you are already out $4000-$4500. That is more than half the $8000 you are trying to save.


As most RVs can tell you, you will most likely find issues with your RV once you start using it that you didn't notice before. So you will pay to fix things. Minor fixes could be just a few hundred dollars. Major fixes could cost you $1000-5000 easily.


Important factor: What kind of a DEAL can you find, and how good can you do when it is time to sell it? If you are an experienced RVer, you might know all the things to look for when inspecting an RV. Or you might hire a professional ($300-$400) to do an inspection for you. If you can get a great deal when you buy, that will help your overall calculation when it is time to sell. If you can get a $35000 RV (truly worth $35000) for $30000, well then it will help your overall situation. Conversely, if you buy an RV that is truly only worth $30000 but you pay $35000, then when you sell it you will likely only sell it for $30000 (or less) eating up much of the $8000 you were trying to sell.


Small factor: If you are buying NOW, it is a good time (end of the season). When you sell it in 5-6 months, it will be a good time to sell (start of the 2023 season). That might make you $0-$3000.


Add it all up and where does it get you?? Not sure, you'll have to answer some of the above questions for yourself. I would say that because of the transfer/sales tax and insurance and storage possibly eating up a chunk of that $8000, you would probably be better off just RENTING an RV 4 times.


One final note: Every time you rent an RV, you will have an expectation that it is working properly because SOMEONE ELSE should be making sure that is the case. And if/when it happens to break down on the freeway, or the generator doesn't start or whatever, guess what....it costs you $0 and you simply get to walk away from the rental (and maybe even get a refund).


Rent.


Enjoy your stress free RV usage!
Chris
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Old 08-18-2022, 11:41 PM   #3
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I may have missed it in SJ-Chris' post but the fuel cost for a 750 mile round trip will be an additional expense. A roundtrip of 750 miles divided by 10 mpg (if you're lucky) comes out to 75 gallons of fuel. Times $3.50 a gallon? comes out to an additional $262.50. Four trips would be over $1000.

OP, have you thought about taking your own vehicle to the city the stadium is in and picking up a rental once there?
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Old 08-19-2022, 12:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mudfrog View Post
I may have missed it in SJ-Chris' post but the fuel cost for a 750 mile round trip will be an additional expense. A roundtrip of 750 miles divided by 10 mpg (if you're lucky) comes out to 75 gallons of fuel. Times $3.50 a gallon? comes out to an additional $262.50. Four trips would be over $1000.

OP, have you thought about taking your own vehicle to the city the stadium is in and picking up a rental once there?

I wouldn't put gas expense into the equation, because if the OP rents locally or buys then they will spend the same amount of money on gas. BUT, Mudfrog brings up a good point....renting an RV close to the venue might save you $300 per trip. I guess that would favor renting even more.


Good luck!
Chris
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Old 08-19-2022, 04:54 AM   #5
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Thank you Chris...good stuff.

Short answer: If you buy an RV today that is worth $30-35k, and nothing goes wrong with it while you own it, you should be able to sell it in 5 months for probably close to $30-35k.

I feel if the unit is desirable to the market, I act with pride of ownership during the year, I should be able to sell it near the same amount next spring.

Regarding sales tax, I have a local friend who said to register in Montanan (I think that's the state) to avoid sales tax.

Good point on insurance cost. I don't have a storage problem...I have several outbuildings on my property.

I am mechanically inclined access to mechanical knowledge and tools/resources.

I'm in the market for a Diesel Pusher and almost ready to buy but I don't want to rush into that purchase due to the pending sports season. I've become familiar with proper DD, inspections prior to purchase, tires, roof/water issues.

I don't have a tight budget and can handle losing a reasonable amount of money during use.

I've reached the heck out of Diesel Pushers and have narrowed my desired unit down to the 2005-2009 Monaco with a Cummins 400 hp engine. I'm wondering what would be the "safe" Class C to meet my requirements? What engine is battle tested, which chassis is ideal, what is the best generator/boondock features to have?

Thanks again Chris...you provided really valid input.
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Old 08-19-2022, 04:57 AM   #6
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As mentioned there are a lot of cost of ownership unknowns here, sales tax and registration cost vary considerably from state to state, some states have relatively low sales tax, but high yearly registration, some are the opposite, and some are high on both, so location matters. The same is true of storage cost, in some parts of the country you can find indoor / covered storage for under $100 per month, in others you are lucky to get a semi-secure outdoor parking space for $300 per month. Then add in insurance which may run you another $500-$1,000, all total this may break even, or may not, and this all assumes nothing breaks, so better add an extended service warranty $500+, road side assistance with towing plan $150, etc.


As to the make and model, it really does not matter in this case, the bigger question is getting a good deal. The RV market is fairly competitive with more well built models tending to sell for more than less well built, so condition is everything here. Being a class C with room for 6 to sleep you are likely looking at a Ford E-350 or E-450 chassis, if price is equal the E-450 is preferable, probably around 30 ft long (shorter is probably easier to resell). The generator is almost certainly going to be an Onan 4000 on most of these coaches.


Working on a $35,000 budget I suspect you will be looking for something like a 8-10 year old mid range class C, or a 4-5 year old high mileage former rental coach (It looks like Cruise America is doing a big sale right now with their 28-29 ft 2018 refurbished former rental models going for under $40,000)


p.s. of course if gasoline prices go back to $5 per gallon in the spring all bets are off on resale value.
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Old 08-19-2022, 10:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SJ-Chris View Post
I wouldn't put gas expense into the equation, because if the OP rents locally or buys then they will spend the same amount of money on gas. BUT, Mudfrog brings up a good point....renting an RV close to the venue might save you $300 per trip. I guess that would favor renting even more.


Good luck!
Chris
Another plus would be having a smaller vehicle to run errands in while the RV was parked.

I noticed the OP mentioned Montana. Don't know anything about it but I have read a enough on here to know that it's not for everyone. He probably needs to research it to make sure he doesn't get into a bad situation.
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Old 08-19-2022, 11:04 AM   #8
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Is it feasible for $30,000-$35,000? I would like the unit to (1) sleep 6 (2) efficiently boondock for 3-4 nights (3) have strong resale value (unit can sell for $8,000 less than purchased assuming proper maintenance/use).

YES & NO......YES, IF the motorhome is in perfect condition and has adequate battery and inverter capacity or a working generaor and there is a strong market for that mfg/model motorhome. NO, IF you have to put $$$ into it to make it suitable for boondocking and safe / reliability trip, including tires, wheel, engine and general maintenance and depends if there is a market for that mfg/model motorhome.
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Old 08-19-2022, 01:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bills_Mafia View Post
Thank you Chris...good stuff.

Short answer: If you buy an RV today that is worth $30-35k, and nothing goes wrong with it while you own it, you should be able to sell it in 5 months for probably close to $30-35k.

I feel if the unit is desirable to the market, I act with pride of ownership during the year, I should be able to sell it near the same amount next spring.

Regarding sales tax, I have a local friend who said to register in Montanan (I think that's the state) to avoid sales tax.

Good point on insurance cost. I don't have a storage problem...I have several outbuildings on my property.

I am mechanically inclined access to mechanical knowledge and tools/resources.

I'm in the market for a Diesel Pusher and almost ready to buy but I don't want to rush into that purchase due to the pending sports season. I've become familiar with proper DD, inspections prior to purchase, tires, roof/water issues.

I don't have a tight budget and can handle losing a reasonable amount of money during use.

I've reached the heck out of Diesel Pushers and have narrowed my desired unit down to the 2005-2009 Monaco with a Cummins 400 hp engine. I'm wondering what would be the "safe" Class C to meet my requirements? What engine is battle tested, which chassis is ideal, what is the best generator/boondock features to have?

Thanks again Chris...you provided really valid input.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law are fulltimers. I believe they might have their RV registered in Montana for a similar reason. So perhaps you save some "overhead" money there.


You mention you have storage available, so no "overhead" there.


You mention you are mechanically inclined. That will help to reduce the chance of too many extra expenses.


Based on all that, it seems like it's probably reasonable (lowish risk) for you to buy, use it 4-5 times, and then sell it.


Suggestion: Why don't you do that for 3-4 years and then sell it? You would save ~$8000 in rental fees each year and the RV will not depreciate that much (since it is used and currently worth ~$35k most of the depreciation already happened). Then you certainly should come out ahead even if you sell it for $5-7k less than you bought it.


Warning: When covid hit, used RV prices went up 60-70%. We are finally starting to see prices come down, but they are still up 30-50%. If you buy a used RV and hold onto it for 3-4 years, you might catch the price wave (down) and it could drop an extra $5-10k. Might be best to buy/use/sell over the next 6 months, or I still like the idea of renting for your scenario.



One more thought....How much do you value your time? If you rent RVs for your trips, you will simply pick up the RV and enjoy. If you buy one, you are likely guaranteed to spend hours and hours and hours doing "stuff" to it...only to sell it 5 months from now. Fixing, cleaning, oil change, tires, tinkering, flushing, charging, washing, etc. What if instead you spent all those hours over the next 5 months doing <insert stuff here>?



Good luck!
Chris
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Old 08-19-2022, 01:19 PM   #10
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OP needs to consider the added ownership costs of registration, insurance, routine maintenance, storage, personal property tax and upgrades, if required.
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Old 08-19-2022, 01:44 PM   #11
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I strongly recommend renting in the area you're traveling to .

It will provide you the opportunity to try different Motorhomes , type , size , power , accomodations , to determine what works best for you and your family .

With a rental unit , you can be reasonably sure the MH's have been maintained and everything works. You won't have that buying a used MH from a private party.

There are companies , like Cruise America to rent from , or there are numerous private rentals anywhere you're traveling to .

If you do want to purchase , the used Cruise America MH's are good deal . They check and recondition if necessary all the systems and come with a warranty .
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