(The Aviator owner head count on forum
post is too old to respond to now... )
Hi Everyone... I just purchased #1921 (Wright Flyer Touring Edition with premium paint) from Lazy Days RV in Tampa. Whoo Hoo! Lazy Days RV was great to work with BTW... great experience. I think this makes at least three known Aviators (soon to be) in Texas.
My wife and I live in Abilene, TX, but the trailer will serve as my home away from home when I'm working at the university in Beaumont, TX. I don't need to go in often, but when I do I have an 840 mile round-trip commute so I try to cluster all my on-campus activity together.
There has been quite a bit of speculation on the depreciation/resale value of these units. The Aviators are so rare that there are almost no comps and thus NADA and other sources are just estimating with an algorithm based on original MSRP -- which was generally far above what anyone actually paid when new.
If this were a typical RV, the depreciation rate would be around 40% to 50% at year 4. The RV.org depreciation schedule
(p. 4) cites 43.2% (21%+22.2%) as the number for 4-year old RV’s.
What number to depreciate from on an Aviator took a bit more detective work. I pulled all the sales data from this site (and other sources) and it appears that most people purchased when the Aviators hit the mid $40K range. Some early sales were in the $60Ks and some late sales in the upper $30Ks, but the meaty part of the bell curve appears to cluster around $45K.
If this were a typical unit (which is isn't) used value would be around the $25,500 range based on a $45K sales number. Of course true
market value is what someone will actually pay for it, and that took a bit more investigation.
In my search, I found three identical Wright Flyers Touring Edition units on the market (British Columbia, Utah, Florida). Asking prices were $59,910 CAD ($45,814 USD), $48,995 USD, and $51,850* USD (*but we'll work with you).
By the end of the negotiation, I ended up at $33,423 with weight distributing hitch install and dealer provided warranty (About $18.5K below where I started negotiations). During my research I was also able to uncover a similar Wright Flyer Touring Edition that was listed on eBay almost exactly a year ago from Mid-State RV Center in Georgia for $28,500 that didn’’t sell
but was then was resisted at $28,500 and finally sold with two bids for $30,000
Not sure what that says for our resale values going forward, but clearly the market economics that doomed the Aviator line when it started are still somewhat at play in the used market. The average Joe will look right over the higher price listing looking for something less expensive. Those that want to spend for quality look for Airstreams. I found that nobody outside this forum knew anything about the Aviator line, the quality materials, or the cool interior. Dealers weren't even aware the line even existed.
I searched every possible trailer make and model in North America (and beyond). As you know, there is nothing like an Aviator anywhere. This is a extremely rare bird and they aren't making any more of them. In theory, that should
be good for resale values and many of you have speculated it will be (and I now want it to be).
However, the issue appears to be to be when these units get puled into the used market churn, they are not being treated separately. I paid a premium above a wooden box unit of similar size and year model, but not that much more. The number of buyers looking for an Aviator is currently too small to justify a seller's market. I had no competition in my negotiation and appeared to be the first serious inquiry at the two dealers in quite a length of time.
In my opinion... if we want to grow our Aviators' value, we as a community are going to need do more outreach to educate the general public about what makes these units so great. It sound like that happens at every campground you visit, but we might think about holding more rallies (crashing the airstream ones), generating youtube video's and other social media activity, etc.
As for me, I'm SUPER happy to have one and can't imagine selling it. Great to be part of the community!