Author Topic: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer  (Read 3215 times)

wwilberforce

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Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« on: June 04, 2018, 06:45:07 AM »
Hey Mustacians,

I'm 15 months out from FIRE and am beginning to look at life after work. I'm up in Canada and I find I can't handle winter like I used to-- too long, depressing, and a nerve condition where the cold and damp seizes up my body. So I want to snowbird, but don't want to own in the US for tax reasons, and to keep things simple.

So I have a pick-up and have been looking at camp trailers--there's a Starcraft that looks like it fits the bill: no too big, not too small, I can stand up in it (I'm 6'7"). Can anyone give me advice on buying new from a dealership? Is price highly negotiable like buying a car? Can one get around all the price add-ons: prep, freight, etc.?

I know the more Mustacian approach would be to find a late model used trailer to take advantage of depreciation, but I would like to start off with everything working and some warranty.

Any advice you could give would be much appreciated!

Fishindude

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 07:51:24 AM »
Just beat them up best you can, but prepare to suck it up and pay buying new from a dealer.

Buy one three years old from an individual off Craigslist or similar and you'll save at least 30%.  Most RV's only get used a few weekends a year, so it's not going to be wore out.   Drop it off at a dealership and have them go thru everything before you take it out.

mm1970

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 08:13:30 AM »
Hm...I know a few people with RVs/ trailers, and the new ones are usually in terrible shape - something is broken, and they always have to take it back 2-3 times within the first few months.

One would hope that a used one has had all the kinks worked out.

Dave1442397

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2018, 08:40:20 AM »
Do some research. As posted above, just because it's new doesn't mean it'll work. Search YouTube for videos about how terrible most new RVs are, and how many months you'll be without it because the dealers don't have the staff to deal with timely repairs.

Sample video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NvPIzK0VtU

debbie does duncan

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 10:10:10 AM »

TrMama

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 10:58:53 AM »
Hm...I know a few people with RVs/ trailers, and the new ones are usually in terrible shape - something is broken, and they always have to take it back 2-3 times within the first few months.

One would hope that a used one has had all the kinks worked out.

This. My parents are RVaholics. I think they're on their 9th, or some crazy number. They've bought both gently used and brand new and both required multiple trips to the repair shop to fix things. Their current ride is a very fancy pants motor home that appears to have been built on hangover Monday. However, they got a great price on it because of the reasons below.

Price is highly negotiable. So are some of the installed gizmos. Don't want a battery operated fridge? Refuse to buy until they replace it with a propane fridge. Price is especially negotiable if you're willing to buy last year's model in the least popular color from the back of the lot. Best time to buy is probably winter, or late winter (aka around the time the new models start arriving and space is getting tight on the lot).

Pay very close attention to how the roof is constructed. Lots of them leak like sieves. If water tightness relies heavily on caulking, don't buy it.

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 11:06:14 AM »
Thanks to everyone who replied! I've watched the suggested video, and a few others about RV build quality, and have come to the conclusion that maybe this isn't the best option for me. I don't want to get involved in owning something that will likely have tons of  issues due to shoddy workmanship. Perhaps there's an RV company out there that is known for quality workmanship and reliability?? If yes, I'd love to know which brands so I can investigate further.  Thanks again!

canyonrider

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 12:40:43 PM »
Look into molded fiberglass trailers by companies like Escape and Bigfoot. Bigfoot may even make a truck camper, IIRC. You will still have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of RV appliances and some other components, but the overall construction quality and durability of the "bones" is much, much better than stick-built units. Resale value is also very high (so of course the downside is that you won't get one for cheap). Ceiling height could be an issue for you to stand up tall, although I can't imagine too many small trailers where it wouldn't be tight.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 12:48:56 PM »
http://www.forestriverinc.com/camping-trailers/rockwood-tent

we use(owned by inlaws) one of these. no issues. lots of room, easy to pull. The only bad/good(?) thing is they depreciate quickly. The boys and I stayed in it last weekend in the yard. It is a pleasure.

Also, if you are snowbirding then this should be quite comfortable, even with the vinyl flap sides. I won't stay in it with the kids if the temp gets below 50, prefer 55 as the most low though. That is just with blankets, socks, etc(no heater needed). I would stay in it myself or just other adults something along 40, maybe lower.

EDIT if this is just for you and given your height you may want to check out A frame pop ups. Both of these options are pretty light weight and easy to pull and easy on gas.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 12:59:02 PM by hoping2retire35 »

Car Jack

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 12:55:28 PM »
Is it just you or will you be dragging a spouse with you?  If just yourself, consider a used conversion van or just buy a full sized van and build it out yourself.  I was into the custom van scene from the time I was 18 and lived out of it for quite some time.  It's certainly doable and you're not carting around some giant monstrosity of a trailer, wearing out your vehicle. 

use2betrix

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2018, 01:05:33 PM »
My wife and I live full time (typically, or rent depending where we are) in a 2013 42í fifth wheel. For reference, msrp was like $83k and we paid $56k. Things break a lot. Weíve replace both ACís, amongst lots of other repairs. You get pretty handy, especially when you full time and canít eeally bring your ďhomeĒ in to be dropped off for a month.

Itís a good lifestyle that fits my work as we move all over the country 1-2x a year. We may end up downsizing size wise, but upgrading quality wise, into something like an airstream and then get an enclosed trailer for our belongings (bikes, tools, clothes, etc.) most trailers are incredibly cheaply built to be, well, cheap. But also to be light weight and easier to tow. The incredibly cheap EVERYTHING gets a bit old when itís your permanent residence. Often, you get what you pay for.

the_fixer

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2018, 03:37:19 PM »
My understanding is that new RV's off the lot can typically be had for 30 - 40% off MSRP

Check out this dealer for an example that offers them at deep discounts.

mhsrv.com

I would also recommend looking at the molded fiberglass trailers, they last a long time, are built better than stick trailers and hold their value amazingly. We have a scamp and they sell almost at full MSRP and even over sometimes due to the demand.

Escape is in Canada so you would be buying with CAD vs USD. I really love their products and if I had a truck I would have purchased the 5.0 TA and it is still at the top of my list for retirement.

Bigfoot is Canadian as well.

Oliver travel trailers hold their value really well but are $$$$. They are out of Tennessee

Casita is in Texas

Scamp is in Minnesota

It would not surprise me if you could purchase an escape, Oliver or scamp use it for a few seasons and only be out a couple of thousand if you decide to sell it. And they typically sell fast like within a few days to a week if reasonably priced.

In the stick built world the articfox is known for quality and hold their value better than most. I sometimes go drool over the 25w model and dream about the day I can hit the road.

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« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 04:05:52 PM by the_fixer »

use2betrix

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2018, 05:43:24 PM »
My understanding is that new RV's off the lot can typically be had for 30 - 40% off MSRP

Check out this dealer for an example that offers them at deep discounts.

mhsrv.com

I would also recommend looking at the molded fiberglass trailers, they last a long time, are built better than stick trailers and hold their value amazingly. We have a scamp and they sell almost at full MSRP and even over sometimes due to the demand.

Escape is in Canada so you would be buying with CAD vs USD. I really love their products and if I had a truck I would have purchased the 5.0 TA and it is still at the top of my list for retirement.

Bigfoot is Canadian as well.

Oliver travel trailers hold their value really well but are $$$$. They are out of Tennessee

Casita is in Texas

Scamp is in Minnesota

It would not surprise me if you could purchase an escape, Oliver or scamp use it for a few seasons and only be out a couple of thousand if you decide to sell it. And they typically sell fast like within a few days to a week if reasonably priced.

In the stick built world the articfox is known for quality and hold their value better than most. I sometimes go drool over the 25w model and dream about the day I can hit the road.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Good post. Arctic fox is popular for their solid frame and build, and incredible job in cold weather. That being said, like many of the others. The interior finished feel cheep. Flooding, furniture, cupboards/cabinets, etc. as much as it fits this bill, Iím just getting sick of the cheap finishes.

It really depends on planned usage and such.

Dave1442397

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2018, 05:05:12 AM »
I really like what this guy did with a double-decker bus - https://youtu.be/xeMT1d_L-hw

You still have maintenance to worry about, but the build quality seems way ahead of most RVs.

JoJo

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2018, 12:30:47 PM »
The sweetest thing I saw on my 6 week roadtrip was a Mercedes 4x4 Winnebago conversion Revel.   Met a couple from Colorado that got an early new one for $105K but looking online that price is impossible. 

The headroom looked pretty good in that one.

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2018, 10:47:44 AM »
Is it just you or will you be dragging a spouse with you?  If just yourself, consider a used conversion van or just buy a full sized van and build it out yourself.  I was into the custom van scene from the time I was 18 and lived out of it for quite some time.  It's certainly doable and you're not carting around some giant monstrosity of a trailer, wearing out your vehicle.

Hope to travel with my honey, who will be retiring soon too!  Not really handy, so not too likely I'd take on a van build. I know there are lots of engineers in the MMM community, but that ain't me!  LOL!

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2018, 10:51:53 AM »
My wife and I live full time (typically, or rent depending where we are) in a 2013 42í fifth wheel. For reference, msrp was like $83k and we paid $56k. Things break a lot. Weíve replace both ACís, amongst lots of other repairs. You get pretty handy, especially when you full time and canít eeally bring your ďhomeĒ in to be dropped off for a month.

Itís a good lifestyle that fits my work as we move all over the country 1-2x a year. We may end up downsizing size wise, but upgrading quality wise, into something like an airstream and then get an enclosed trailer for our belongings (bikes, tools, clothes, etc.) most trailers are incredibly cheaply built to be, well, cheap. But also to be light weight and easier to tow. The incredibly cheap EVERYTHING gets a bit old when itís your permanent residence. Often, you get what you pay for.

Agree, you tend to get what you pay for, but these days you can put out lots of $$$ on something and still have lots of problems. The quality of many products ain't what it used to be! Just got rid of a 60 year fridge that finally quit.  It came with the house and we used it for about 5 years before we got tired of defrosting. Bought a new fridge and moved the old Kenmore to the basement.  Since then we've been through 3 fridges while that Kenmore just kept chugging along!!!

RWD

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2018, 10:52:58 AM »
Do some research. As posted above, just because it's new doesn't mean it'll work. Search YouTube for videos about how terrible most new RVs are, and how many months you'll be without it because the dealers don't have the staff to deal with timely repairs.

Agreed, lots more due diligence required for an RV compared to a car. Warranty issues can be especially tricky.
https://oppositelock.kinja.com/dont-buy-an-rv-the-podcast-and-video-1725116437

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2018, 11:00:10 AM »
My understanding is that new RV's off the lot can typically be had for 30 - 40% off MSRP

Check out this dealer for an example that offers them at deep discounts.

mhsrv.com

I would also recommend looking at the molded fiberglass trailers, they last a long time, are built better than stick trailers and hold their value amazingly. We have a scamp and they sell almost at full MSRP and even over sometimes due to the demand.

Escape is in Canada so you would be buying with CAD vs USD. I really love their products and if I had a truck I would have purchased the 5.0 TA and it is still at the top of my list for retirement.

Bigfoot is Canadian as well.

Oliver travel trailers hold their value really well but are $$$$. They are out of Tennessee

Casita is in Texas

Scamp is in Minnesota

It would not surprise me if you could purchase an escape, Oliver or scamp use it for a few seasons and only be out a couple of thousand if you decide to sell it. And they typically sell fast like within a few days to a week if reasonably priced.

In the stick built world the articfox is known for quality and hold their value better than most. I sometimes go drool over the 25w model and dream about the day I can hit the road.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

A really helpful reply, thanks!  I've checked out all these brands online and it's giving me hope that I can find something that will be fairly good quality and won't require an engineering degree to keep running.

Some of these brands are a bit limiting for me because of my size (6'7").  One other brand that I came across was the Little Guy Max - interior height works, bed is big enough for me, cabinets seem higher quality. Exterior is fibreglass, not molded and still a stick trailer, but it seems that the build quality looks fairly good from what I've seen online.  Lots of happy campers with Little Guy Maxes--as opposed to lots of unhappy campers who have Starcrafts, etc.

Do any of you have an opinion on this trailer?  There's a local dealer that has a couple in the lot so I'm going to check it out tonight.  It's about $10K more expensive than a comparably sized trailer from say Starcraft--so I hope there's some attention to quality and detail there. I'm willing to pay more for quality....

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2018, 11:02:57 AM »
http://www.forestriverinc.com/camping-trailers/rockwood-tent

we use(owned by inlaws) one of these. no issues. lots of room, easy to pull. The only bad/good(?) thing is they depreciate quickly. The boys and I stayed in it last weekend in the yard. It is a pleasure.

Also, if you are snowbirding then this should be quite comfortable, even with the vinyl flap sides. I won't stay in it with the kids if the temp gets below 50, prefer 55 as the most low though. That is just with blankets, socks, etc(no heater needed). I would stay in it myself or just other adults something along 40, maybe lower.

EDIT if this is just for you and given your height you may want to check out A frame pop ups. Both of these options are pretty light weight and easy to pull and easy on gas.

Do you do extended stays in a pop-up? I guess it's doable, but I'm not sure I'd do that.  I might do an A-frame for an extended period of time, but it seems like very few A-frames or pop ups have a bathroom, etc. I'm old, man--need to pee 2-3 x per night! One of the joys of being 50+  LOL!

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2018, 11:09:56 AM »
Look into molded fiberglass trailers by companies like Escape and Bigfoot. Bigfoot may even make a truck camper, IIRC. You will still have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of RV appliances and some other components, but the overall construction quality and durability of the "bones" is much, much better than stick-built units. Resale value is also very high (so of course the downside is that you won't get one for cheap). Ceiling height could be an issue for you to stand up tall, although I can't imagine too many small trailers where it wouldn't be tight.

Yup these molded FG trailers look high quality.  Fitting in them might be an issue. And then there are Airstreams--seem to be the Ferrari of TTs. Uber-pricey!  Thanks for the suggestions--gives me hope there's a rig out there for me.

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2018, 11:13:22 AM »
Do some research. As posted above, just because it's new doesn't mean it'll work. Search YouTube for videos about how terrible most new RVs are, and how many months you'll be without it because the dealers don't have the staff to deal with timely repairs.

Agreed, lots more due diligence required for an RV compared to a car. Warranty issues can be especially tricky.
https://oppositelock.kinja.com/dont-buy-an-rv-the-podcast-and-video-1725116437

Haha! I'll check out that video. Surely there are companies out there that still believe in quality--spend the time to build a good product and charge a bit more for it, respond when things go wrong, and care about their reputation...  I think these business types still exist!

wwilberforce

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2018, 11:25:09 AM »
Here's a link for the Little Guy Max...love to know what you experienced folks think:

http://golittleguy.com/lg-max/

hoping2retire35

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2018, 11:28:47 AM »
looks like the interior height works for you!

My brother in law has one of these. I was going to suggest something smaller like this with less places to have leaks.

the_fixer

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Re: Advice - buying a new RV from a dealer
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2018, 11:30:04 AM »
When we purchased our scamp we looked at the T@b and the fit and finish was nice, it had a more European feel to it and we liked it.

We ended up buying the scamp because the shower in the T@b was towards the front and I could not come close to standing up in it, the resell value was better on the scamp and the price of the T@b was significantly higher.

I drive by a dealer that has the new larger one T@b 400? everyday  and I have been tempted to stop and look at one, if they had the new larger unit and our car would tow it I am sure we would be tempted.

The Oliver might work for you on the height

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