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Old 11-17-2018, 09:32 PM   #1
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Purchase new or used? Worth it for warranty?

I looked at 2 Forest River Salem Cruise Lite 261BHXL trailers today. One is a new 2018 model for $17983. The other is a used 2017 for $14990. They are basically identical trailers as far as features. The 2017 is in excellent shape...I don't know that I would have even known it was used if he hadn't told me when we looked at it.

Obviously the 2017 doesn't come with a warranty while the 2018 would. Granted, I have no way of knowing whether the 2017 has any invisible issues, but it doesn't appear to. The dealer that has them is one of, if not the, highest rated dealerships in my state...so I don't think they would sell something that was jacked up. Is it worth the $3000 to buy the new trailer and have a factory warranty?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:55 AM   #2
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Buy new. You can get a better deal on RVtrader. a NEW 2019 Salem Cruise Lite 261 BHXL sells for under $ 15,000. We bought our 2018 Surveyor 243RBS from Couch RV nation in Hamilton Ohio in June of this year and saved over $5,000. We live over 900 miles from the dealer, so we had it delivered for $1,000. Rule of thumb is 30% off of MSRP. Hope you get a good deal!
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:13 AM   #3
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I ALWAYS buy new. I have traded units that "looks so new you couldn't tell it was used" - problems with them, some fixed and some not. Everyone makes bonehead mistakes with their new RVs, even seasoned folks. Often tiime they are hidden on the used units but they are still there. When you find them, only after camping in them a few times, too late, no warranty. IMHO paying extra for a new unit, if your budget allows, is always a better bet.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:48 AM   #4
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if you read these threads at all, you will find that most people do all the minor warranty work on their own because taking it to the dealer usually results in long wait times... too long, shoddy workmanship, delays in travel plans, or it just does not get fixed right resulting in a take back to be fixed again...

only thing the warranty will do is fix those major items that maybe you can't do, but those might be apparent with a through walk-thru or trial driveway camping trip...
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:01 AM   #5
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We bought used this fall, and one of the benefits offered by our dealer was a 30-day appliance warranty. That gives a little piece of mind on the major items. If you're handy enough to fix minor issues, perhaps ask if your dealer would offer the same on that used unit.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:15 AM   #6
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You can probably get a much better price on a used camper...

But if you are financing you will get a way better interest rate on a new camper.

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Old 11-18-2018, 10:16 AM   #7
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Buying new gets new bedding. I'd not buy a used mattress for my home, would you? Didn't think so.

The only way I'd by a used camper is if new mattresses were available. Include that expense in your price comparisons. Otherwise a sorted out year or two old camper might be a good deal.

Check the "wholesalers" prices on new trailers and compare.

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Old 11-18-2018, 10:24 AM   #8
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The pro/con list can be large, so I'll summarize what I believe to be the conventional wisdom arguments. Some are natural converses of one another, so I'll skip those. For example, if one of the pros to buying new is that it's fun to buy brand new things, I'll skip the con of buying used that it's not as fun to buy used stuff (the converse is implied):

Used:
The pros are:
  • Cheaper. Someone else paid a lot/most/all of the depreciation and you can get it for much cheaper used ... and resell it for a larger percent of your purchase price later.
  • Warranty items have been fixed. All new trailers are build with a handful of problems. A used trailer is seasoned and the owner has probably corrected these items.
The cons are:
  • Selection. Probably have to settle for what's available, rather than buy/order exactly what you want.
  • Buying someone else's problems. Used vs Used Up. Hidden, latent problems. No known history of maintenance.
  • Not as emotionally fun as buying brand new.

New:
The pros are:
  • With careful shopping and willingness to travel, there is a lot more selection and price negotiation. Depending on where you are, the season, and where you travel to purchase, your new price might be lower than a local used price. Thus, you get more for your dollar with careful shopping.
  • All of the obvious stuff -- fun to buy new, warranty, components aren't fouled/exhausted/used up, etc.

The cons are:
  • Massive depreciation when you drive if off the lot.
  • Potential for a bunch of warranty items that will occur and you just hope that it's nothing major.

Wanted to keep it short, so I did.

Some of these things are really dependent on the RV you want. For example, if you want a 27-32' bunkhouse trailer, there are about a million of these on the market. It's been a super popular floor plan for a long time. Thus, it ends up being more of a buyer's market and, therefore, the gap between used and new pricing grows.

If you want one of the newer Murphy bed models, then the used market shrinks by a ton. When I was shopping in 2016-2017, the used market for these trailers was virtually nonexistent. The few that were available were within 10% of new ... locally. Driving out of state meant that I got a new trailer for less than used.

Even when buying used, look to travel ... particularly if you live west of the MS River. I bought a Fleetwood Utah Popup in 2011, used it for 6 seasons, and then sold it for exactly what I paid. I was able to do this because I drove east to buy it and sold in the crazy inflated CO RV market.

I have no problems buying used. I've done it before. For the trailer I wanted this time, it simply wasn't a viable option.

This ultimately becomes a fairly personal decision. You can get bits and pieces from others' experiences, but it really comes down to all of the unique elements of your specific situation.

Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:28 AM   #9
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Buy new with warranty. I don't buy used or other people's problems! (Smoker's smells or tons of pet hair)
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:42 AM   #10
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if you can find a good deal on used . check it out and buy it . the factory warranty many times is a joke and not worth thousands for a 1 year warranty . plenty of great units out there that have already had the problems solved by the org owners . don't worry about things like a mattress being used as most all rv mattress are junk and you can get good new mattress for your unit fairly cheap . not much benefit to buying new . many times you will read how new rv are in the shop more then on the road . a good used unit can save you lots of headaches and won't cause anymore then a new one would, . JMHO
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