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Old 04-18-2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 513
Positive Experience Buying USED & Recommendations...

We had to buy our TV & TT in the same year, so buying new was not an option... Therefore, exactly a year ago we bought a used 2011 PT Tracer 3150 w/WDH & tax for 25% less OTD than the best wholesale/sale price of a new one (w/WDH, tax, new "delivery" fee, etc.)...

Compared to some folks who wasted part of their camping season having warranty work (slowly) completed on their new units, we have had ZERO issues with our used TT... IMO buying used not only meant a better price, but also more time camping! We figured the previous owners took care of the warranty work & our dealer took care of everything else before we drove off the lot...

However, buying used means assuming more risk, so here are some things I did to find a quality TT at the right price:
  • IMO 2-3 year-old TTs are the best used bang-for-the-buck... Anything older means having to replace appliances sooner & anything newer can be almost as pricey as new... Ours was approaching 3 years but looked & smelled new. It had just arrived on trade-in so it's not like the dealer cleaned it up or anything...
  • We purposefully shopped for TTs in April because local dealers were still honoring "RV Show prices" on new units which kept prices on used units in-check. Also, lots of trade-ins were arriving daily because folks were picking-up their RV Show upgrade...
  • Eventually I stopped looking at private owners' TTs because they wanted the same/more as dealers but could not provide the pressurized test & re-caulking, slide & awning adjustments, replacement of parts, 2 hour PDI, or include a WDH & WDH setup like our dealer could to seal the deal... Dealers make their money up-front by offering low trade-in values, so you should offer a similar price when buying privately.
  • When repairs are needed, dealers in our area prioritize folks who buy from them, especially during peak camping season. It's a business philosophy. Folks who buy are likely to return when its time to upgrade.
  • I did not consider used TTs that were on the lot for more than 30 days during peak sales... I figured more knowledgeable folks had passed on those units for a reason... Rather, I started working with a salesperson who called me as soon as a quality trade-in arrived. IMO the best are snatched-up before they are listed online, etc.
  • I also passed if the dealer had a large number of the same used brand/model. Folks were trading-in for a reason. Locally, we had a large number of 1-3 year-old hybrids & entry-level TTs on the lot meaning folks weren't happy w/those units.
  • During April rains I purposefully viewed new & used TTs in heavy rainstorms... Even new ones were leaking whereas my used unit was bone-dry. (And not from open windows/vents - salesperson had to write-up a work order while I was there...) I also took a flashlight & spent 2 hours looking for prior water damage behind every access panel before committing to buy... When the salespeople see you doing this, they will not waste your time trying to pass-off junk.
  • I would replace the "China Bombs" & stock mattress on a new TT anyway, so buying used meant I could negotiate the cost of new tires & comfy mattress.
  • I spent 5.5 hours total in my used TT before driving it off the lot which included 2 hours in heavy rains, 1 hour a day later with my entire family, and another 2.5 hours during the PDI. At each stage I wrote-down things I wanted the dealer to fix/adjust & they were completed before we left.
  • I also videotaped the PDI so I could remember stuff & also hold them to their word... When you order a new TT they appear to rush you through the PDI & remind you that you have a full year (warranty) should anything not be satisfactory. Once you are off the lot you have to schedule warranty work & hope they fix it in a timely manner. Buying used meant they fixed it NOW & I was there to see the work completed.
IMO we made the right decision buying a quality-made used unit vs. a new entry-level model in the same price-range...

2011 RAM 2500 ST Crew Cab 5.7 Hemi
2011 Primetime 3150BHD Touring Edition
Days camped in 2016-36
Days camped in 2015-37; Days camped in 2014-31

The_Rhino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2015, 07:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Carlisle PA
Posts: 64
We bought a used 2007 Freelander with 7800 miles on it and it has been fantastic - runs and looks like new but at a fraction of the new price! We are using it for business (my wife is a musician), we have been, and will be, traveling most weekends.

We consider ourselves lucky to have found this unit and we do it again in a heart beat!
2007 Chevy Couchman Freeloader
klspahr is offline   Reply With Quote

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