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Trading in a fifth wheel


JPtravel

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We want to know if this is the norm. We found a new fifth wheel we like, told dealer about our trade and wanted a price. We knew the NADA price and dealer actually quoted us the same range. They gave us a price but it was for too high and they would not deal anymore. OK we left. One week later I see RV online for a lot better price. We call and said if we can have that price plus our trade in we will take it. They said we could not have that price with a trade in. They raised the "sale price" by $10,000 and then deducted our trade. We said no thanks. Is this what we should except trying to trade in used fifth wheel?

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Trading in a used RV can be pretty challenging, maybe even insulting.

 

In 2013, we were looking to trade our 2011 FW in at the same dealer we purchased it from new. We were interested in purchasing a 40 foot toy hauler of the same brand.

 

We knew what the NADA was but were going by the "rule" that, for trade-in, you'll only get base value (no upgrades) for the trade-in.

 

We negotiated a good price on the new FW but then it fell apart. They were only willing to give us less than 50 percent of the purchase price. Yes, less than half of what we paid for it two years before. And well below the NADA base value.

 

I actually asked the guy "how can an RV depreciate by 50 percent within 2 years?". Needless to say, he was not amused. Neither were we.

 

They did contact us about a week later trying to sweeten the deal. Truth be told, their follow-up offer / deal was pretty good but, by that time, we'd already soured on the whole idea.

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Sometimes they don't even want a trade so one way around it is to make the deal uncomfortable in hopes you will dispose of it on your own. It can actually cost them money to get rid of a trade. I almost did a trade last summer I told the sales person they did not want my TT so lets just get the numbers on the one I was interested in. They insisted they could get me something on mine. We got the numbers and then took the info on mine. Of course she had to take it to the sale manager and when she came back she said they did not want it at all. Believe it or not depending on the value or your rig you might even have trouble getting rid of a rig if the value is low enough. Even some salvage yards don't want to take them. My first 20+ year old TT, I was lucky enough to sell it as a deer camp trailer for $1200. as I had no where to store it or place it for sale without getting stuck in that area in hopes of selling. Of course I only paid $4000. several years prior and save a lot with it and made alot of my learning mistakes on it.

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They are going to give you wholesale price for your rig. They also know what they have to have on the new unit. Want more for your trade in? Great! They will just up the price of the new one. Never forget--no matter what anybody thinks--they no more than you do and will get what they need/want. I smile when people think they got the better end of a deal with a dealer. It won't happen. When they advertise a "sale" price on a new unit, they are going to give you less for your trade in. Now there is nothing wrong with all of this. They are in business to make a profit. They won't be in business long if they don't.

 

You'll do the best if you do extensive research on what your rv is worth and what the new one is worth and go in to the dealer and give a fair offer where both of you win. Don't haggle because you know it's a fair deal for both.

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It could be a cash flow issue for the dealer. Most dealers have their new units on a floorplan (usually at a very low interest rate bought down by the manufacturer for a specified period of time.) This floorplan financing must be paid off when the unit is sold. Most dealers floor their used units themselves as the interest rate for used vehicles of any type is very high. If they take in a lot of nicer, but high dollar trades (like yours) tying up their operating capital they may not have been too keen about going from a new unit at say 2% interest (or possibly even free flooring in many cases) to a used unit at 10% interest. Unless they feel they can turn your unit sooner (get it at a good price and sell it quickly below its book value.) This is one reason why a dealer must make a larger margin on used units than new ones. Now if the dealer is nearing the end of their free flooring period and approaching a curtailment (where they must pay a say 5% of the value of the unit to the floorplan company for depreciation as the new model year is near) then they are more likely to be motivated to accept a marginal deal to turn their inventory. It doesn't make any real difference to the consumer, unless you can plan your new purchases at curtailment time. Hey, you could always ask. It wouldn't hurt and the dealer might just treat an insider a little differently, giving you a killer deal on a model he really needs to turn. I hope this insight into the mind of a dealer helps explain their sometimes irrational appearing decisions. We as consumers don't usually see what's going on behind the curtains by the wizard pulling the levers.

 

Chip

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I never trade...I sell either privately or on consignment. I also dont buy from dealers...mostly private.

 

When you can walk in to a dealer if that is what you prefer....having a cash sale puts YOU in the drivers seat for the transaction. That's the only way to do it.

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We were staying at Parker, Az and an elderly couple next to us were just getting settled into a new TT. He said he traded in his gas MH for it. i asked him what they gave him for his MH and he replied 20K. A few days later I went to the dealer to see what they wanted for this MH and they were asking 60K.

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Thanks for everyone's insight. When we looked the first time, the sales guy said the 2016 would be in soon and TT season was coming up. So our take was they wanted to sell the 2015 fifth wheel we were looking at. When we talked the second time, we reminded him we were paying cash. He said he could work on the price if we financed. No way! Full timing makes it hard to sell ourselves. We probably will wait till Fall now because we are starting another workamping job soon. Hopefully by then we will decided how of an insult we can handle.

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It can be a problem. I had this issue with selling my towing P/U when I have bought a newer one. I have bought all my tow vehicles at auctions since about 1996. Twice I had to move the truck to Dallas area where I had a winter vounteer position to sell. 3 years ago I had a older PU that developed a bad valve just before I was to leave. I was lucky enough to get a good deal on a low mileage one at auction but due to time frame involved and the bad valve I ended up having to sell it at a salvage for $1000. Book value without the bad valve was only about $2500. but without the bad valve I would have easily gotten 2-3 more years use. Just to complicate matters I ended up getting a pacemaker installed in my chest during all that.

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