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Old 03-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #1
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2012 FORESTER 3171 Purchase?

Hello! I'm new here and already found some great info browsing around. Our family is planning a year long trip, leaving in June 2014. We are two adults, two kids (boys 9, 12) and a large dog, all new to motorhomes.

We looked at a 2012 Forester 3171 at a local dealer here in San Diego, with mileage of about 16,000. The floor plan is the big seller for us because we really want the bunk bed option.

Our plan is to travel around and then resell in about a year, hoping to sell for about $10-15K less, max. Dealer is asking around $56K. While this is low retail per NADA, I don't know how much stock to put in that and wonder how much negotiating room there is? We didn't really want to buy from a dealer but we keep circling back to this model.

Is this a model that is thought to be in demand enough for a reasonably quick resell a year from now if it had, say, 30,000 miles and we were looking for about $45K? That still seems like a lot of money to us and we wonder if buyers are wanting to go to dealers for financing or trade-ins vs. private seller at that range.

Besides a general inspection by an RV mechanic, are there any specific concerns about this model/year that we should look for?

Thank you - I think we'd be excited if this worked out and we can get on with the rest of our trip planning, but we don't want our lack of experience to get us into TOO much trouble!

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Old 03-13-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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The 3171 is a popular floor plan for families so you shouldn't have a problem reselling it. Price seems a little high for something that is almost 3 model years old, the 2015s come out next month, even if it is fully optioned with full painted body and automatic leveling jacks. However prices on the west coast seem to be higher than here on the East coast. I bought my new 2012 with paint and jacks in December 2011 for $67K.

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Old 03-13-2014, 07:48 PM   #3
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Just for comparisons sake you might check out RV Wholesalers. They are a big online RV dealer that also deals in the Forester line. They make if fairly easy to fill out a form get, an MSRP, then request a "discounted" price from them. I honestly believe their "discounted" price really is pretty much that and you wouldn't find it much cheaper at any local dealer. This would at least serve as a pretty good comparison against brand new. BTW -- the
"discounted" price should be about 35 to 40% of the MSRP ..

I recently bought a 2014 3010 Sunseeker and have been shopping around. I had actually gotten a quote for a really loaded 3011 Forester 2014 back in December for 72,600. The 3011 is a slightly different floor plan, but also a 32 ft and I'm pretty sure similar price. I'd be making a guess, but I would think a pretty good one that the new 2015 3171 would be around 75,000 to 76,000. You could easily get a quote though. If I am right, then that would be about 7,000 over what ATVer paid in 2012. If the 2012 is really fully loaded, then at 56,000 for a probably still very good and usable MH, then maybe 20,000 less than a brand new one is not too bad???

Also, as ATVer alluded to, options do make a difference. The two big cost options are Full Body paint and Big Foot jacks. Even at "wholesaler" prices, the full body paint is about $4,000.00 and the jacks are about $2000.00 .
MH Sunseeker 3010 DS (2014)
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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Thank you for the replies. I did, in fact, check with RV Wholesalers because that reference must have come up somewhere else too and piqued my interest in checking new prices for comparison. I don't know that I did apples for apples on the options and I'd need to follow up with a conversation to understand better but the immediate quote was about $74K.

What ended up happening with the dealer was a phone call saying they are lowering the price to $53,000 to make room for new models. So, we went back to look again and with all the blah, blah, blah on negotiating, the sales manager asked us if we'd go for $50K. We said yes and then it got weird. He said he had to talk to the owner and then came back and said, "Sorry, it didn't pass," and walked off without wanting to shake my husband's hand or talk any further. What sort of a sales tactic is that? (Wasn't a credit issue.)

So, we'll see what happens when the original sales person gets back next week from a show. In the meantime, thank you for the input and any other thoughts you might have. It's a nice model throughout and I thought it would work for us. For now, we are back to waffling on whether we'd prefer a smaller size for easier driving and just add some more nights renting a cabin or other arrangement.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:52 PM   #5
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Just a data point. Here in Salt Lake, there is a dealer offering a 2012 Sunseeker 3170 that has been used as a rental for the past 3 years for $56,000.00 No full body paint..

I do like the 3170(Sunseeker)/3171(Forester) models. However, if you end up looking at more Sunseeker/Foresters, you might also consider the 3010/3011 models. I looked at both models. We also have 2 girls. In the end, we settled on the 3010/3011 floor plans. We figured we really didn't need a bunk house. The girls could sleep above the cab or on the pull out couch and the extra counter space is really nice. Also, the 3010/3011 have more storage space..

Also, if you are open to either and Sunseeker or Forester then you could consider 3010/3011 3170/3171 then you would have a much larger inventory to consider ? You can also compare new Sunseeker prices through RV Direct.

I guess you are on a Forest River forum, so most of us are somewhat partial to FR

Just thoughts ...
MH Sunseeker 3010 DS (2014)
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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We bought our 2014 3170 here in San Diego, and initially had sort of a weird dealer experience as well. We love the floor plan though, and if you can get it to work out, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:05 PM   #7
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Here's a great inspection list for you whether you buy new or used.
Wish your family well and safety. Do you have a plan for home-schooling on the road? Just curious as more and more people have flexible lifestyles these days. I think others with children can benefit by knowing.

RV Inspection Checklist.
MI Camperz
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:55 AM   #8
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Thought I might share some of our findings when cross shopping these florrplans and what we've found with the 3011.

We did a similar comparison when buying our 3011. What made the 3011 win out was the increased walk around space, counter space, and the fact that the bunks are only 24 inches wide and right next to the bedroom. However, post purchase we've found that the cab over works well but the jack knife couch is a bit short. The converted dinette has a small rectangular cushion that sits on top of the table and like to scoot out from under you during the night. velcro sown onto the back of the cushions and straps to attach them together combined with a mattress cover takes care of the squirrelly cushions but makes setup a pain.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
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In case you were not aware...the arms of the sofa remove to get you some extra length.

Unless its a visionary sofa...then they do not, but the bed is a queen then.

PLEASE do not send questions via Private Message, my inbox fills up too quickly. Post questions in the forum as a new thread so that other users can benefit from the answers. Use Private Messages for sensitive information only (VIN, Contact info or things you do not want the public to see).
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2012, forester

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