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Old 10-11-2016, 08:32 AM   #21
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Thanks

Thanks for all the helpful hints etc!! We decided to keep looking at different models layouts etc right down until we plan to purchase in Feb/Mar. We are going to attend a few camping shows as well. So far my wife likes the 3171DS. My concerns are with under storage.

Also has anyone heard of the new models:
http://www.forestriverinc.com/produc...elID=3183#Main


Thanks,
Kyle
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkool83 View Post
Thanks for all the helpful hints etc!! We decided to keep looking at different models layouts etc right down until we plan to purchase in Feb/Mar. We are going to attend a few camping shows as well. So far my wife likes the 3171DS. My concerns are with under storage.

Also has anyone heard of the new models:
Sunseeker Motorhomes by Forest River RV


Thanks,
Kyle
Here is what we are storing outside in the bins on that model to give you an idea of what it fits:

- Cooking gear (camp stove, cast iron griddle, skillet, flippers, pokers, etc.)
- Outdoor picnic stuff (lights, tablecloth, clips, rope)
- Toy bin, a lot of them (this is the water filter access bin)
- Back pass-through bin: 3 full size chairs, 2 kids chairs, tent, charcoal grill, charcoal, wash bucket, all water hookup equip, table, bike trailer, stroller, drying rack, wood)
- Parking blocks/legos
- Tool bin (tool bag, coax cable, extension cords, air compressor, spare parts, ax, shovel, saw, tape)
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:41 AM   #23
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You will buy again....

I was in your shoes 5 years ago. I rented an RV to get the feel for what the lifestyle was like before purchasing and purchased based off my rental experiences. That allowed me to narrow my list but it didn't narrow it enough. I was originally centered on sleeping space, assuming that our family of 4 (6 with dogs) would spend most of our time outside. What I didn't consider were how different things would start to grate on the wifes nerves or the kids for that matter. After 2 years we ended up trading our 24ft Thor for a 3011 because the family was done with having to wait to move around one at a time in the mornings. I'm not saying that a 3010 or 3011 floor plan is the way to go (the garbage hole rocks). What I am suggesting is looking around for a used rig instead of new. While your extended family is all about camping this will be your first long term foray together as a family and you just can't plan for how those family dynamics are going to play out in your new rig. Let someone else take the first depreciation hit and save some $$$ for the second go round when you think you really really know what you want! My family is at the really really really know stage but since we bought new we will be there for a while
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:06 AM   #24
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I totally get where you are coming from on this one!! My only concern is that I would be buying someone else's problems. What if it has had bad leaking, engine issues etc. That is my biggest concern buying used. Is this typically not the case when it comes to used campers?

Thanks,
Kyle
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:42 AM   #25
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I would suggest looking at a reputable dealership near you for a 1 year old rental unit. These units normally have less than 20,000 miles and are only 1 model year old. They are normaly meticulously cleaned and maintained, and you should be able to get one for considerably less than new of course. Be sure and ask for the maintenance records. I paid about $55,000.00 out the door for a one model year old Sunseeker 3010DS with 18,000 miles which is almost 50% lower than MSRP new or more realistically about 30% below the average sales price for a new unit. 3 years later it is still worth what I paid for it in my area according to NADA.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:28 AM   #26
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I would suggest looking at a reputable dealership near you for a 1 year old rental unit. These units normally have less than 20,000 miles and are only 1 model year old. They are normaly meticulously cleaned and maintained, and you should be able to get one for considerably less than new of course. Be sure and ask for the maintenance records. I paid about $55,000.00 out the door for a one model year old Sunseeker 3010DS with 18,000 miles which is almost 50% lower than MSRP new or more realistically about 30% below the average sales price for a new unit. 3 years later it is still worth what I paid for it in my area according to NADA.
NADA is known to not reflect actual market values, hopefully you're using the "Low Retail" number so you're not disappointed later. Check RV trader/eBay and see what is actually selling and for what price, that will be much more accurate.

Here is another source of sold RVs...
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/sold/cl...otor-homes.htm
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #27
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I agree, checked RV trader price range from $49,900 with 56,000 miles to $59,500 with 9,800 miles. Mileage will not effect a MH value too much until you get over 50,000 normally assuming they have bin well maintained and are in good condition. Also geographic location is a factor we are in the SF bay area higher prices. Fact is when you buy used you don't take that large hit of depreciation when you drive it off the lot.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:15 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkool83 View Post
I totally get where you are coming from on this one!! My only concern is that I would be buying someone else's problems. What if it has had bad leaking, engine issues etc. That is my biggest concern buying used. Is this typically not the case when it comes to used campers?
Kyle,

This was always our concern as well - and more so since you are looking at a Motorhome (not so much if you were getting a pull behind).

No data to back it up except my experience with friends who have purchased used rental autos, but assuming there is a corollary I would not purchase a used rental motorhome unless the dealership offered some sort of warranty (or you could purchase a stem to stern warranty from, say, Coach-net). I have seen how people treat rental cars and I would assume the same goes for rental RVs.

Also, another point (that I believe was made earlier) is no one pays MSRP. Typically you want to know the MSRP so you can apply the "RV buyers rule of thumb:" to find the selling price of a new unit, 20% off MSRP is a bad deal, 30% off is a good deal and 35% is a great deal.

As for you will buy again. Assuming you are truly bit by the RV bug, this is a completely accurate statement! According to a friend of mine in the industry, the typical RV owner replaces or upgrades their unit every ~3 years. Of course, not everyone will; this is a statistical average that does not apply to everyone (it did apply to us though )

So what's a guy like you to do!?! We have force fed you and your DW a LOT of information. I will leave you with a couple of bullet-point thoughts below and then I suggest you and the DW go into a huddle and write out a PRO-CON list for each scenario (buy new, buy used, buy rental)

  • RVs are never forever. the only "forever" RV you will see is the unused RV rusting in someone's back yard.
  • If you and the DW become addicted to the RV lifestyle this does not necessarily mean your children will as they get older.
  • RV needs will change; this leads to the upgrade path
  • As empty nesters our new motto is: This campsite entertains 20, feeds 10 and sleeps 2! (I suspect someday this will apply to you )
Again, welcome to the crazy world of RVing! More questions? Ask away!
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| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 • 2014 - 42 • 2015 - 56 • Jul 2016 - Fulltime •
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:12 PM   #29
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Oh...forgot to mention, the Sunseeker 3250DSL floorplan is a knockout for a family with pre-teen children!
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Bob & Anne-Marie [BamaBob & 6 Actual]
| 2017 Berkshire XLT 43A with Ultrasteer Tag | Blue Ox Avail + KarGard II |
| SMI AF-1 Air Brake | 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland TOAD | Pedego Bikes |
Nights Camped: 2013 - 24 • 2014 - 42 • 2015 - 56 • Jul 2016 - Fulltime •
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:18 PM   #30
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I agree with a lot of the last post. But would like to add a used one year old rental will come with a complete set of maintenance logs. The remainder of the factory warranty If its a Ford chassis that would be 6 years or 60,000 miles.

And In my life I'v heard about 3 people that are happy with extended warranties.

Agreed People that rent don't normally care too much about damaging the Vehicle, but the dealership makes a lot on rentals and most do maintain them well.

I have a good friend that had been selling RV's for many years direct me the particular dealership I purchased mine and told me what to offer. After I inspected everything. Mine also still had about 3 months left on the coach warranty. Also I'm a mechanic and know what to look for.

Not for everyone, just my experience so far has been great. I also agree that most people trade after about 3 years. I on the other hand had my last 5th wheel for 14 years. There are a lot of opinions out there so you will have to pick out what you can and go for it. but by all means go for it!
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:39 PM   #31
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I look at this a bit differently, If you need to ask others about their concerns, you probably are not ready to buy. Instinctively you seem to sense that your knowledge base and experience is too limited.

Reconsider buying and instead rent so you can gain some additional experience. And spend more time reading and investigating.

On the other hand, there are plenty of owners who were impatient and in a hurry to live the dream they see pictures of, bought and then discovered that they made a poor to bad decision, and then 6 months down the line traded-up or quit altogether. This is a valid way to gain experience, though a bit expensive.

Note: salesman and dealerships make a very good living from first buyers who come back within a year to trade up. The owners are shocked at the lousy trade-in value that is offered, but it really is only a new bank loan away at a bit higher payment.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:13 PM   #32
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New, Used or Rental purchase, I am going to pay for a mobile RV mechanic to go through the rig with a fine tooth comb, checking the appliances, looking for roof, slide and side wall condition etc etc. I also like to ask the technician what he is going to look for and to talk to me as he checks things to let me know what he is looking for, what he is seeing, and any recommendations. That way the 500.00 charge for the 4 hour walk thought and inspection is worth your time. Yes it takes that long. That 500.00 includes a tip if the mechanic does a good job sharing and inspecting. Some things I look for:

- pull the fridge and do a visual inspection, visual and functional test of all appliances.

- water pressure test

- Generator load test

- high pressure water test on external surfaces

- mechanical inspection of chassis

A good mobile mechanic will be happy to educate you and have an easy day of inspecting at his normal shop rate especially if you tip afterwards. Post inspection you also have someone to call if you get in a tight spot.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:05 PM   #33
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Yep $500.00 is a real good investment especially when you can be saving tens of thousands on a used or rental unit

But at the end of the day its your call!!
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:18 PM   #34
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We have 2 kids, aged 12 and 9. We looked at the FR3, 32DS?, I believe. It had a bunk and a couch mid-coach.

We have a bunkhouse fifth wheel right now and we do like it, but we were looking to upgrade to something with a larger living area. DH happened to step into this and really liked it....me, not so much, we will still have to tow a car behind us.
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Old 10-16-2016, 10:19 PM   #35
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Hello HappyGuy,
My process would be a bit different:

If it is out of state, I would hire an RV inspector and request a written report. I think the cost, depending on the level of inspection is between $300 to $1100. Before I got on the plane I would want some confirmation that the coach looks like the pictures of the coach, no smell of smoke or pets, or evidence of such, no evidence of a water leak or damage, etc. However, an RV inspector is not a chassis expert or diesel engine expert.

Local unit Or after traveling to the unit with the written report in hand, I would access a PDI checklist and go through the unit myself. Top of my list would be looking for evidence of a current or past leak. I would look under the chassis to see how much rust there is, look at the DOT date on the tires and decide to replace somewhere in the 5-7 year range regardless how they look on the outside.

If all is going well, I would hire a leak detection service to do a pressurized soap bubble test, pull sample of all fluids and send them off to the lab, take the unit to a chassis center and then take the unit to a diesel mechanic. They have test equip on hand for that and the expertise.

Confirm the unit can be transferred to me, do a VIN check to see what pops up (both as to accidents or theft), if not too old call the mfg and see what they know about the coach as to the work done on it,, call the current mechanic (with owners permission) and discuss what they have done and recommended be done with the coach.

Keep an eye open for screwy stuff. Crappy body damage repairs, make do repairs, problems that should have been fixed if the owner was on his game. Recently looked at a Newmar Ventana. The valances had been replaced in the main section, but not in the bathroom or bedroom...sketchy. Damage on the underside of some of the baggage compartment. Lots of rust underneath, 10 year old tires.

Be sure to get the repair history if available or phone access to all prior mechanics.

Do a general internet search on the year, make, and model of the coach for recalls and problems. If there is a problem with that model coach it likely was discussed in one of the forums.

Be sure to look the owner in the eyes when you ask him why he is selling the coach.

We'll that's enough info for tonight.

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Old 10-17-2016, 06:56 PM   #36
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True, if the rig passed the coach inspection I would then be looking at getting a mechanics inspection on the drive section. The important thing here is that the inspection should be performed regardless of whether the rig is new, used or a rental. Never take the current owners word for it if for no other reason than your own peace of mind. Philos3 went into more detail and I like the suggested tests. Especially the bubble test.
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