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Old 09-18-2021, 10:48 AM   #1
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When is the best time to purchase from Cruise America?

Hello all,

I've been following RV lifestyle threads for about a year now and am wanting to take my first plunge into a small Class C motorhome as a solo guy for full-time living/working. I like the idea of buying a Cruise America 23A. It is now the middle of September 2021 and the prices are all around $45K. I'm wondering if they usually fall back down to something quite a bit more reasonable in December/January. I live in Denver, CO and that would definitely make it "off season". Any ideas would be greatly welcome. Thank you.

Ross
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Old 09-18-2021, 12:11 PM   #2
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We bought a used RV from El Monte and we bought ours in the fall because the prices were a teeny bit better. CA might be the same.

For the most part I don't think the prices vary much seasonally especially these days with the high demand for used rigs.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Any ideas would be greatly welcome.

Have you done a lot of research on Cruise America units, or, better, rented one for a week and lived in it? We rented one maybe 3 years back. They are custom built to CA's specs, and are very much "lowest common denominator". CA has put a lot of research into the designs.



In my experience (50 years of motorhoming, starting with my parents), the water and wastewater tanks are small, storage space was limited, and the house battery (only 1, not 2) was small. I seem to recall that the manual even said that it wasn't big enough to run the furnace overnight dry camping on a cold night.



They are rentals and tend to get used hard. Ours was a little over a year old and already had over 100k miles on it.
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Old 09-19-2021, 12:33 PM   #4
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Without a doubt, the best time to buy a Cruise America RV is anytime BEFORE 2020!


Here is a good link to a post on the topic:
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f87/clas...ra-539283.html


The cost of used RVs is through the roof because of Covid. Is it the new norm? Who knows. If they do drift back down, I think it will be a gradual decline over the next 3-4 years as life gets back to normal. The ~same RV I bought from CA for $26,750 they now sell for ~$44,000. I'm not bashing them...I'm just stating facts. I actually like Cruise America. They have the right to sell RVs for whatever price people are willing to buy them for.



That being said, I am actually a big fan of buying a Cruise America ex-rental RV (I own two of them, plus another RV). For the most part, they seem to be built sturdy and logic would dictate that the owner (CA) keeps them well maintained while in their rental fleet. When they are selling them, if you buy a refurbished one, on the exterior they will strip all the decals, clean it, reseal everything, PAINT IT, and then put on brand new decals. From the exterior it looks almost like a brand new RV (which is nice). They will also make sure everything on the inside is working and it comes with a 3 month/3000 mile warranty (peace of mind).


I strongly strongly suggest you google around to find a certain post on a certain other RV forum. It contains 156 pages of posts from owners of previous Cruise America rentals and has a wealth of information. PM me if you would like the link.


Happy Camping!
Chris
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SJ-Chris View Post
Without a doubt, the best time to buy a Cruise America RV is anytime BEFORE 2020!


Here is a good link to a post on the topic:
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f87/clas...ra-539283.html


The cost of used RVs is through the roof because of Covid. Is it the new norm? Who knows. If they do drift back down, I think it will be a gradual decline over the next 3-4 years as life gets back to normal. The ~same RV I bought from CA for $26,750 they now sell for ~$44,000. I'm not bashing them...I'm just stating facts. I actually like Cruise America. They have the right to sell RVs for whatever price people are willing to buy them for.



That being said, I am actually a big fan of buying a Cruise America ex-rental RV (I own two of them, plus another RV). For the most part, they seem to be built sturdy and logic would dictate that the owner (CA) keeps them well maintained while in their rental fleet. When they are selling them, if you buy a refurbished one, on the exterior they will strip all the decals, clean it, reseal everything, PAINT IT, and then put on brand new decals. From the exterior it looks almost like a brand new RV (which is nice). They will also make sure everything on the inside is working and it comes with a 3 month/3000 mile warranty (peace of mind).


I strongly strongly suggest you google around to find a certain post on a certain other RV forum. It contains 156 pages of posts from owners of previous Cruise America rentals and has a wealth of information. PM me if you would like the link.


Happy Camping!
Chris
Hey Chris,

I'm thinking that the prices might come back down somewhat for the following reasons:
1. Manufacturers are pumping out a ton of new RVs (crap, though many of them may be), thus refilling dealers' lots
2. People probably don't want to buy an RV at the very beginning of fall/winter, only to pay to store the thing over the colder months (unless they want 4 seasons lifestyle), thus a potential slowdown in the purchasing of RVs
3. Sellers also probably don't want to pay to store it over the colder months, and may be more eager to sell with a better price
4. After 2 seasons now (COVID time frame), some newbie RVers perhaps are now deciding the lifestyle is not for them and are want to sell.
5. This one is just a guess, but I know home builders really want to sell their inventory before the new year to avoid paying all those taxes, and so provide some smoking hot perks. Car dealers want to move out 2021 inventory (if they have any cars) to make room on their lots for the 2022 models and so also are willing to deal. Perhaps RV dealers like CA do the same thing.

For these reasons, it seems possible (if not likely) that December might be a good month to really start shopping. If there is a glut of new RVs from the manufacturers as well as private sellers, doesn't it stand to reason that the market slightly flips into the buyers' corner?
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SJ-Chris View Post
For the most part, they seem to be built sturdy
That was my impression of the rig we got from El Monte. It seemed way better built than similar rigs from Fleetwood. Even though it had over 100k on the dial, I didn't worry too much about mechanical worthiness. The Ford E450 chassis is designed to go at least 200k in hard service applications. We loved ours and we only got rid of it because we wanted a class A.
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rossei View Post
Hey Chris,

I'm thinking that the prices might come back down somewhat for the following reasons:
1. Manufacturers are pumping out a ton of new RVs (crap, though many of them may be), thus refilling dealers' lots
2. People probably don't want to buy an RV at the very beginning of fall/winter, only to pay to store the thing over the colder months (unless they want 4 seasons lifestyle), thus a potential slowdown in the purchasing of RVs
3. Sellers also probably don't want to pay to store it over the colder months, and may be more eager to sell with a better price
4. After 2 seasons now (COVID time frame), some newbie RVers perhaps are now deciding the lifestyle is not for them and are want to sell.
5. This one is just a guess, but I know home builders really want to sell their inventory before the new year to avoid paying all those taxes, and so provide some smoking hot perks. Car dealers want to move out 2021 inventory (if they have any cars) to make room on their lots for the 2022 models and so also are willing to deal. Perhaps RV dealers like CA do the same thing.

For these reasons, it seems possible (if not likely) that December might be a good month to really start shopping. If there is a glut of new RVs from the manufacturers as well as private sellers, doesn't it stand to reason that the market slightly flips into the buyers' corner?

Well, I hope they don't go UP in price any more....


A strong and unusual demand got placed on used RVs (Covid) and the prices shot up ~50-60%. Some of the people who got an RV will decide they like it and keep their RV (thus increasing the overall number of members of the RV community). Others will decide it is not for them. My guess is that over the next 1-3 years the prices will get back to where they were +20%-25%.


I don't look at new RVs. I'm guessing the depreciation on a brand new RV is even worse (maybe a lot worse) than the depreciation of a regular new car (...which is already a lot). I also don't know if the supply from dealers is MORE or LESS than usual since there is a huge component/chip/material shortage on various things. I knew recently I checked on buying a new Onan generator and the Onan dealer told me there was a 29 week delay.


All that being said....If you are looking to buy and RV and you are ready to enjoy it and make some great family memories/etc, and you are okay buying now (or in a few months) when the prices are still inflated, then absolutely you should buy and start enjoying your RV. Life is short and there are more important things than just trying to save a little $$$.


Happy Camping!
Chris
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:53 PM   #8
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I don't see the price at CA coming down anytime soon, there are just too many factors in play currently. There is this second Delta variant Covid surge, out here in the west we have had our butts handed to us by wildfires leaving a lot of folks looking for temporary housing. Not surprisingly the highest demand is for travel trailers not so much with coaches, and the last I checked prices are still real low on used coaches in California. If I was shopping for a coach myself, I don't think I would get too serious before December, and about February the panic sales should start when people start doing taxes(happens every year).


No matter what anybody says I would not even consider a rental fleet RV. Contrary to what everyone thinks, rental vehicles are not as well cared for as one would think. It all comes down to the bottom line, and outstanding maintenance is not compatible with max profits. Rental fleets do not sell profitable units, they sell problem units or they sell on a preset schedule. And then there is the rental history, how many times have you heard someone say, "Oh, I don't care, it's a rental." People will do things in a rental they would not even think of doing in their own car. I live less than 50 miles from Burning Man. Burning Man is held in the Black Rock Desert, which is an enormous dry lake bed. The entire area is a very fine powdery dust called Playa, and the stuff is very invasive. It gets into everything! Every year there are plenty of rental units including CA units at Burning Man, some of the locals even have units they own and rent just for Burning Man. I've talked to people that take rentals because they don't want to ruin their own. I am sure there are other places as bad in other parts of the country, too.

If I were you I would look for slightly older unit that has moderate mileage, has been well loved and has complete records. I would also look for more coach than you really think you need, especially if you are planning to live in it. We started looking for a class c about what you are thinking, stumbled or fell into the class A we bought, and we are already considering upgrading to a bit bigger unit. Remember, you can always find a use for a little extra room, but too small is just too small. A privately owned coach is most likely going to be better taken care of than a rental, and $44k can buy you a lot more than a cramped 23A from a private party. I've seen some really nice DP coaches for that kind of money that didn't have enough miles on them for the engine to be fully broken in.
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:18 AM   #9
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Personally, I would not buy a used rental unit. They get a lot of hard use over a relatively short time period. Many of the renters have little to no RV experience. We have hosted at several campgrounds and see the way most people treat the rental units.

Sure they clean them up prior to sale, but it is still well worn.

Ken

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Old 09-21-2021, 09:03 AM   #10
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Tax season is a great point...I hadn't considered that. Thanks,
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:55 PM   #11
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Cruise America?

[QUOTE=rossei;5918407]Hello all,

We too looked at Cruise America units in Carson California. We passed, those units were "beat". Take your time and look around, we found a used unit from a private party with only 25,000 miles and at a reasonable deal. Good Luck!
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:56 PM   #12
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El Monte RV

Yes, we looked at El Monte RV in the LA area. Nice units, clean and well cared for.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:46 AM   #13
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Thanks for the heads up.
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