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$40K to spend on a used Class A


kpetrey1

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My wife and I(in our 40's) plan to full time mainly in the Western half of the US. I can work remotely and plan to stay in RV parks and boon dock 50%-%50%,depending where we are. I'm looking for something that will hold most of its value, even if its an older reliable one (32-36 ft) Any ideas would be great! Thank you

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Older, high quality coaches do tend to hold their value better than new, entry-level ones. Often owners of older coaches have done quite a bit to upgrade them, so you can get some of the benefits of the newer ones for less than what the new ones cost. We've spent quite a bit on upgrades to our coach since we bought it three years ago, but we know we won't get it all back. We do expect to get part of it back, though.

 

I'm partial to Foretravel (I own one), but Newells are also great coaches. Check out newelgurus.com for the owners forum which has a classified section. Check out foreforums.com for Foretravels. motorhomesoftexas.com is a consignment dealership with quite a few Foretravels and Newells, although I think the Newells they have will probably be a bit out of your price range. pplmotorhomescom has quite a few coaches for sale.

 

Do your research before you spend money. Ask lots of questions and compare what you learn to your own situation. What fits us may not fit you. Go to as many RV dealers and shows as you can and look at everything there. There are only so many ways to arrange the inside of a box, so find those that fit your needs and then concentrate on the high quality coaches with those floor plans.

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We got our Class C from a private seller on Craigslist.com. If you buy from a private seller, make sure that you have the rig inspected, first. We had a guy meet us at the sellers location, and he went over all the engine stuff, checked the generator, and some of the insides stuffs. I HIGHLY recommend it, it is worth the money to get it inspected before you buy it.

 

You can also check out http://www.rvtrader.com

 

Good Luck!

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For an older quality motorhome you might look for a Newmar (we're partial), Country Coach, Beaver, Alpine, Travel Supreme. Ours was a '04 Newmar Dutch Star and we had excellent experiences with the quality of workmanship, Spartan/Cummins/Alison all served us well.

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Ok.. Well one that is 8 to 10 yrs old that has taken most of the depreciation hit ,at least

Generally, an RV will loose 10% of it's value each year, assuming that it is well maintained, more if it is not. That doesn't mean that a $40k RV will loose $4000/year but it means $4000 the first year, then $3,600 the second year, $3,340 the third and so on. A motorhome that sells for $500k actual price(not MSRP) will bring about $290k after five years. Most $200k new rigs should be at around $70k at year 10, possibly a little bit less. For example, a 2001, Winnebago Journey, now 15 years old is listed on NADA at $43,000, average retail. You will also see NADA lists the 36', 2000 Foretravel at $40,600.

 

On the other hand, an Allegro Bay riding on a Ford chassis, 35' long and 2005 model is NADA listed at $41,000. On the other hand, if you are thinking of a fifth wheel an already own a tow truck, then your $40k will go much farther with a more recent model. You can find NADA lists the 2012 Heartland fifth wheel of 35' at only $43K. There are brands that sell for less, but there are also good reasons why some brands cost less than others of the same age. It has to do with their history of quality, reliability, and manufacturer support.

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I'm pretty convinced that depreciation is largely proportional to how much you spend. I recently shopped with a $40K upper limit, but decided to drop it to $30K to limit depreciation. They pretty much depreciate about 8%-10% a year, even the best ones. Around $10K-$15K, depreciation might slow down, as long as they're still working well.

 

The best way to avoid depreciation on a used RV is to get a good price to begin with. Always check the NADA guides, look for something that's in great condition with relatively low mileage, and close to the "low retail" price.

 

Another factor to keep in mind is that you might be paying 25% of the new price, but repair parts are going to be full price. I once inherited a nice BMW, but sold it because maintenance and repairs were so steep. RV parts are more generic across brands, but it's still a factor to consider.

 

Also... you might be paying 25% of the new price, but repair parts are going to be full price, so keep that in mind as a cost factor.

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A couple of things to keep in mind depending on where you plan to park this RV is some parks have a 10 year rule, meaning

they normally do not accept rigs over 10 years old. But if your MH is in good physical shape (no broken windows or panels

missing) you should not have a problem.

 

In a big class A you should not have a problem with size of shower or storage.

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In 5 years of full-time, we have not run into any campground that has even asked the age of of our rig. Keep it looking nice, you won't have any problem getting into a place, except maybe some higher priced resort type campgrounds.

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In 17 years of full-time, I have not run into any campground that has even asked the age of of my rig.

First MH was 16 years old when I started Full Time. Traded it off at 19 years old for a almost 4 year old MH. Now it will be 18 years old in Aug.

 

And I still haven't been ask "How old is it" If that ever happens.

I will know that Campground/Resort doesn't want my money and they will be one right down the road that will be happy to take my money. :)

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The 10 year age rule is mostly at longer term parks and typically only applied to the monthly residents with separate areas for transient visitors and looser rules about who can stay there. It seems like fewer parks are pushing that line today but some do still have it and others want to look at an older RV before they commit to a monthly rate. There are also some that require a look at older RVs before admitting them to be sure that they are well kept and appear nice and some also prohibit any home-built RVs such as school buses and such. There are also some parks that limit to motorhomes only and most of those don't accept any but the top line motorhome. Each one is a business and they cater to a particular type of traveler and so attempt to deter those who would not fit into the social order of their clientele.

 

If that ever happens. I will know that Campground/Resort doesn't want my money and they will be one right down the road

I rather think that this is exactly what the owners of such parks have in mind. Kind of a "make my day" attitude. More modest RV parks do not have such restrictions or are less particular about enforcing them and want all of us, with older RVs or even home-built ones. We have stayed in parks with a 10 year rule but because we kept our motorhome clean and waxed as well as in good repair, most never bother to ask the age as usually the purpose of the rule is to deal with appearance and not age. They use age as a tool and only ask if the RV is ratty in appearance.

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