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New Fleetwood for $69,900?
Old 12-22-2014, 05:37 PM   #1
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New Fleetwood for $69,900?

I see a thread called "Motorhome," but I don't want these questions to be buried on page 15 of that thread...

A reputable Houston RV dealer had a $100K Fleetwood on sale for $69,900 last summer and I hope a similar deal comes around in another 6 years (5 to FIRE and 1 more to work around the homestead and stay up late in front of the TV, seven days a week). It was on the Internet and advertised on TV for a while, so it didn't appear to be a bait and switch. Gas, automatic, all the amenities and it was brand new.

I thought I'd love to buy the motorhome, get a KOA membership, do 48 states and DC in a year, come home and hope to sell it for $40K to $50K.

Could some folks with experience in the RV universe answer a few questions?
1. Does the price sound to good to be true?
2. Is a year too long or too short (I don't intend to let moss grow on the tires)?
3. Is a KOA membership the way to go?
4. Kept in good shape, will it fetch 40 or 50 grand on the back end?
5. For those of you who've tried something like this, do you have any advice?

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:00 PM   #2
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NW-Bound (user name) is our fairly active RV'r. Send him a PM or jump into one of his RV topic threads.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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Somebody rang?

No, I am not the most active RV'er here. That label should go to a full-timer like Heyduke, but he has not posted for a while. The OP can reach his blog by searching for "On the road of retirement blog". But I can answer the posted questions with my limited knowledge and experience.

1. Does the price sound to good to be true?

Depends on what the RV is. For that price range (less than $100K new), you must be talking about a class C. My guess is that this one is a 26-28 ft, which is a medium-length class C. Then the price is about right. I have seen 24' class C going for $55-60K new. That price should include the A/C and the generator.

2. Is a year too long or too short (I don't intend to let moss grow on the tires)?

One year means 1 week per state. Do you think that is enough? A lot depends on what interests you. Many just want to see all the highlights, while some people want to spend time in some remote places, and take the back roads to do so. I have read some blogs, where a RV'er keeps returning to Utah and to spend months around Moab.

I have had my class C since 2010, and have made one or two long trips each summer. Each trip lasted 1 to 2 months, and covered 3 to 10 thousand miles. That works for me, because I am not and do not want to be full-timing.

3. Is a KOA membership the way to go?

Depends on your style of travel. Once you are into RV'ing, you will find that besides commercial campgrounds (CG), there are RV parks operated by federal agencies (National Park, BLM, USDA, Forest Service, Corps of Engineer), the states, counties, cities, towns, etc... There are resources that let you search and plan your stay. There are discount commercial CGs that vary in price and amenities. For a place to park for a night or two, you do not care if the park has a swimming pool or children's playground, for example.

4. Kept in good shape, will it fetch 40 or 50 grand on the back end?

The rule of thumb is an RV loses 20 to 30% the 1st year. I bought mine used, but with only 25K miles, and paid 1/3 the price of a new one but it was 10 year old.

5. For those of you who've tried something like this, do you have any advice?

This is my 1st and the only RV I have owned. I realized I did not know anything about RV, even camping for that matter, so I searched the Web and read a lot to know about different classes of RV, different floorplans, the care and feeding of them. Then, I read about where RV'ers go, how they live on the road. I found stories of full-timers interesting, though I only take long trips then come home.

My RV trips have taken me through the Olympic Peninsula that I had not been able to visit even though I had been to Seattle too many times to recount. I have camped out under the giant Sequoias, among the roaming buffaloes, by the foggy seas, in the forests of Sawtooth Mountain in Northern Idaho, etc... These are places that you can visit by car road trips during the day then driving to a motel in a nearby town for the night, but spending more time in the location provides a different experience.

Recently, I came back from a 10K mile trip that took me to the Canadian Maritimes. When traveling by RV and with more time, one has time to explore and see different things than people who travel by fly-and-drive, and can get into more depth than people taking road trips by car.

I don't think we can do a road trip by car that is 2 months long, but with an RV, we feel more like at home because we can bring more "stuff" with us. Having to find a place to eat every meal becomes a chore quickly. Now, when we eat out, it's by choice. And parking at a bad campground is nowhere as bad as spending a night in a bad roadside motel.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:43 PM   #4
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The guy (Andy R) who owns this website also owns several RV themed websites that may be a better source of information than E-R.org. Try posting your questions on iRV2 Forums
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
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The most active forum is rv.net

We plan to full time starting next year but we built our own RV from scratch so probably can't be used as a reference on what to buy.

Doing research while preparing for and during our build I did find out retail RVs are built like crap. This is most likely the reason you see them listed for 30% of new when they are 10 years old. Sometimes you can find 20 year old models practically free. Repairs can get expensive. When researching what type of roof to go with (EPDM or TPO) I found a new roof job for a typical class A/C could cost $4,000 or more. (We ended up going with a continuous roll of aluminum for the roof, coated with truck bed liner for extra durability).

Having said all that, if I were doing it again I would probably buy the best used RV I could and just ignore most problems
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
Doing research while preparing for and during our build I did find out retail RVs are built like crap. This is most likely the reason you see them listed for 30% of new when they are 10 years old. Sometimes you can find 20 year old models practically free. Repairs can get expensive...
Yes, RV's are generally poorly built, but the good ones are expensive and can cost twice as much. However, I do not live full-time in it, and so do not worry too much about it not lasting 20 or 30 years. And with my motorhome being a vehicle for travel, I did not care too much about luxurious appointments. Mine looks like those generic Cruise America rentals (but without their decals and graphics ). When shopping, I only worry about major structural problems like fiberglass wall delamination, and engine problems.

With any RV bought new or used, one needs to pay attention, to inspect and perform repair and maintenance as needed. I have recoated the elastometic roof membrane to help it last. I have recaulked window seals and around exterior running lights, in other words nothing major. Most importantly, I have not had to do anything with the engine other than to change oil and oil/air filters.

Oh, I have also washed and waxed it once every year to keep the fiberglass shiny and presentable. I even apply "303 Aerospace" protectant on the vinyl decals to keep it looking good.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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When I first looked into RV'ing, I was not sure if I would like this mode of travel. So, I did not want to commit too much money. Then, my wife found one on craigslist, and the price was too good to resist. It turned out to work well for us, and a new one would not serve us any better.

Class C RV's are not at all expensive. Here's one that is 2-ft shorter than mine, and a dealer is offering it on RVTrader-dot-com for $59K spanking new.





Being even shorter than mine, it may be tough to live full-time in, but for traveling I may enjoy a shorty like this for better mobility, though I would still pull a car behind to make excursions.

I once saw a guy pulling a car behind his Roadtrek, and the Roadtrek is just a full-size van.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
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Or I could buy one used like the following, a few years old, but a diesel hence with a higher new price. Only 26K miles, asking price of $57K. So many to chose from...

In the end, it does not matter that much, if your goal is to travel, to go places. The RV is just the means of travel. It lets you be closer to nature, yet keep out of the rain and storm. It lets you sleep in comfort, and not to have to wander out of a tent to look for the bathroom in the middle of the night. It has a fridge for you to keep food and cold beers, a stove top to let you cook your meal. So, any of these would have worked for me.



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Old 12-23-2014, 12:18 AM   #9
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If you want to look for a good used one around Houston... this site seems to have the most...

Used RVs, Motorhomes for Sale, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:34 AM   #10
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Uh, looking at the RVs on that site makes me want to go shopping again. My neighbor bought one based on the Sprinter diesel chassis like the following one. It is narrower and shorter than my current one, and my wife said that she might be willing to drive it. 3 year old, 17K miles, asking $57K. It's tempting.



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Old 12-23-2014, 06:06 AM   #11
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I've been RVing since 1999 and am on my second motor home. The first one was a Class C on a Ford chassis and worked great when I was younger. The bed was over the cab and I got tired of crawling down from the bunk. This RV was only about 24 feet long and could be parked almost anywhere.

We've since upgraded to a 35 foot Winnebago Sightseer Class A and love it. It has three slides, three TVs, satellite dish and automatic hydraulic leveling. From the time we pull into a campsite until we're connected amounts to about 10-15 minutes. It's relatively easy to drive and tow our Honda CRV behind it.

It REALLY helps to be a bit mechanically minded if you pursue this mode of travel.

I highly recommend iRV2 Forum | - RV Forum Community and RV News as they are a friendly lot and always welcome newbies.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texconsin View Post
I thought I'd love to buy the motorhome, get a KOA membership, do 48 states and DC in a year, come home and hope to sell it for $40K to $50K.
It has been my experience that the "thinking" and the "doing" are not always the same. I have noticed, in our 140,000 miles of RVing in the last six years, that there are two groups regarding RVing; those that love it and those who don't at all.

My suggestion is to rent for a couple trips before diving in full steam.

Could you re-sell it a year later? Most likely...
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:26 AM   #13
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I'll add in my $.02 to the discussion. I have a motorhome also, and the biggest comment is you have an RV to be able to see and do things that you can't do with a car and hotels. It is not necessarily lower cost for RV. An RV lets you get into parks and have experiences not available otherwise. It is more of a lifestyle choice than a pure lower cost of travel choice.

Some answers to your questions from my perspective:
1. Does the price sound to good to be true?
Typical to see up to 30% discount from MSRP (which seems to be a very inflated number most of the time); so it may be a legit decent price. I agree that a slightly used one will be a much better deal from a pure financial perspective.
2. Is a year too long or too short (I don't intend to let moss grow on the tires)?
Depends on how long you stay at each location. I would say to really enjoy the 48 continental states you need longer than 1 year. What is it you really want to see?
3. Is a KOA membership the way to go?
KOA have a not so good reputation as being on the high cost side and more tailored to families with kids. Most commercial RV parks will be more than state or federal park camping. Lot of real nice state parks to check out and many have RV sites with elec, water and sewer. I like to stay in the state and fed parks vs tightly packed commercial parks. I also boondock (no hook-ups) and enjoy being able to be away form the crowd.
4. Kept in good shape, will it fetch 40 or 50 grand on the back end?
I would say that is reasonable expectation for depreciation and the use for 1 year from new. About 25-30% hit the first year is typical.
5. For those of you who've tried something like this, do you have any advice?
have not done more than 1-2 week trips so far, that pesky work thing keeps cutting my trips shorter than I like!
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Uh, looking at the RVs on that site makes me want to go shopping again. My neighbor bought one based on the Sprinter diesel chassis like the following one. It is narrower and shorter than my current one, and my wife said that she might be willing to drive it. 3 year old, 17K miles, asking $57K. It's tempting.





Funny.... that was the one that I clicked on to view....

But, just bought a Honda Pilot 4X4.... so nothing else for us for awhile...
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:34 PM   #15
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I think there are more choices of decent used RV's than a few years ago. I think with the booming economy, perhaps more people are upgrading. And it's winter, a good time to buy an RV I think.

I also saw a super C of 8 years old but in very clean condition, with only 34K miles and an asking price of only $56K. Diesel Duramax engine on Chevy 5500 chassis. What's wrong with this thing? New MSRP is around $200K, I think, and I'd rather have it than a class A, if a big motorhome is what I want. I don't want to drive it though. At 37', it is longer than some class A's.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:50 PM   #16
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We almost bought a super C with a garage before we started building our own. It is hard to beat the price of a used diesel motorhome when you price out just the truck/chassis with similar miles.

For example, that Sprinter diesel you linked for $57k with 17,000 miles? Just a new Sprinter van by itself is that much or a bit more.

Some of them it would almost be profitable to scrape off all the RV stuff on a low overpass and resell the cab/chassis to a truck dealer.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Texconsin View Post
I see a thread called "Motorhome," but I don't want these questions to be buried on page 15 of that thread...

A reputable Houston RV dealer had a $100K Fleetwood on sale for $69,900 last summer and I hope a similar deal comes around in another 6 years (5 to FIRE and 1 more to work around the homestead and stay up late in front of the TV, seven days a week). It was on the Internet and advertised on TV for a while, so it didn't appear to be a bait and switch. Gas, automatic, all the amenities and it was brand new.

I thought I'd love to buy the motorhome, get a KOA membership, do 48 states and DC in a year, come home and hope to sell it for $40K to $50K.

Could some folks with experience in the RV universe answer a few questions?
1. Does the price sound to good to be true?
2. Is a year too long or too short (I don't intend to let moss grow on the tires)?
3. Is a KOA membership the way to go?
4. Kept in good shape, will it fetch 40 or 50 grand on the back end?
5. For those of you who've tried something like this, do you have any advice?

Thanks!
You really should go to Google and put in "RV Forums". They cover your subject in detail.
Before going full time, someone must be prepared mentally, physically and fiscally.
The price on the RV sounds very good if it's a Class A. If it's a Class C, you need to do more investigation. You may need to put in additions like a better bed and you'd want to have a toad (another car) to pull behind it.
I would suggest you start by taking a number of 1 month trips before you sell your home. You or your DW might not like the lifestyle.
KOA's are overpriced. Many camp out at state or federal owned campsites--or in Walmart parking lots when in route to places to stay.
RVTrader.com is a great place to find RV's. There will also be RV/Camping Shows in most major cities in the upcoming months, and you can really see what suits your needs at the shows.
If I was starting out in camping, i'd be buying a good low mileage RV. If it suits your lifestyle, you can then trade up to something newer.
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #18
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KOA's are overpriced.
Not strictly correct. You can certainly spend much less in other places than you can at KOA... all the way down to nothing, in fact. Actually ,we have stayed in campgrounds that make KOA seem like a place for paupers. As always (qualified, of course), you get what you pay for. This is what I wrote in the Wynns' Blog at Our First Kamping Adventure in San Diego

(You should visit their website as part of your research anyway.)

Quote:
We have VIP status with KOA (since 2008) — we spend between 20 & 30 nights each year in a KOA Kampground. We are “travelers” so we rarely spend more than a single night in each one. KOA is always our first choice because we know what to expect and can show up late and not find that “gross” campground mentioned above with no time [or energy] to “move on.”
Quote:
And speaking of acronyms: The old joke was/is that KOA stands for Keep On Adding. That is somewhat true because they have “a la carte” pricing — 50a is more than 30a, TV is more than no TV, pull through is more than back-in, etc. This is not something they tell you so be aware that to save, it is up to you and you alone to avoid the “up-sell.”
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:25 PM   #19
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