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RV Pricing (crystal ball), RV in general discussion
Old 11-13-2022, 08:22 PM   #1
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RV Pricing (crystal ball), RV in general discussion

Short version,

Have had a number of RV's in the past, pop up, little travel trailers etc. Got out of the RV's when the kids were busy in sports etc.

Fast forward we were about ready to pick a little travel trailer then covid happen, pricing got out of hand. Knowing that travel trailers are a crap shoot and built with a pencil race to the poor house in mind by most manufacturers we decided to just hang back and see what happens.

Watching all the people jump into a RV without a clue knowing what they were getting into, not to mention they were stacking up our campgrounds so getting into one was/has been a little crazy. Watching this unfold has been intresting to say the least.

We have 3 big RV dealers within a few miles that I drive by 5 days a week or more. Have noticed the lots are full of inventory (for a good chunk of the summer and still today), online pricing is starting to head south from what it was a year ago.

Far as Im concerned prices have to drop a good chunk more before we buy agian or offer a better built product (butterflys may fly out my backside before that happens). So here we sit and make posts on the internet and talk about it!

Maybe this next year will be the year but thinking it may take another year to flush this all out.

For those in the RV know whats your crystal ball telling you about the next year or two?
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Old 11-13-2022, 08:26 PM   #2
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What about something quality, like one of the Casita? I have always loved the look of the fiberglass Casita and they seem to be built well above the level of the normal rubber roof box trailers.
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RV Pricing (crystal ball), RV in general discussion
Old 11-13-2022, 08:33 PM   #3
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RV Pricing (crystal ball), RV in general discussion

I’ve only had a 5th wheel… Montana High Country and loved it…. Planned to get another 5th wheel in the years ahead now that we are empty nesters and can travel.
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Old 11-13-2022, 10:42 PM   #4
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I believe you have the right idea in mind. Over the next year or two, I'd suspect a ton of used RVs, of all categories to be hitting the market and you should be able to get a very good deal for what you are wanting. A glut of used inventory may also help create pricing pressure and opportunities for new as well. I'd say to be as patient as possible and wait for the deal to hit you in the face.
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Old 11-13-2022, 11:03 PM   #5
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Compounded with all the factors already mentioned, is the higher interest rates. This will pressure people with lots of debt to get rid of something to reduce or pay off some debt, for some this will be the RV.
Also it will slow sales of RV's since now folks have to pay real interest rates and not 0%. Which will force sales/price reductions, and push down the used prices.
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Old 11-14-2022, 06:54 AM   #6
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The 2 things from our viewpoint... And several others at our last camping trip.. The Quality of stuff built during the covid era is seems even worse than the before, so I would suggest you get something with a warranty. The other is there are/ will be tons of used units coming into the market due to repossessions, or folks discovering its not for them. We just bought a two year old toyhauler that may have been used once... You could smell the manufacture oils burning of both the oven and furnace when we used them. Paid about 60% of the same unit new. Good luck with the search.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:05 AM   #7
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Yeah we just sold our tiny little A frame pop up (Aliner) for $11000. Only paid $8000 for it 3 years earlier and used it for about 60 nights. It was 5 years old when we bought it and 8 years old when we sold it.
We are in no rush to replace it and will be waiting for another bargain.
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Old 11-14-2022, 07:44 AM   #8
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Who knows what the RV market will hold. It's been pushed in recent years by the aging Baby Boomers that are looking for good, clean recreation.

Then the Pandemic hit, and more people were looking for recreation since they couldn't easily go to their normal places on vacation.

Most of the really good RV dealerships have been bought out by chain store operations, and the cost of doing business is not nearly as low for the new operators. Buying any RV even close to dealer's cost is not going to happen.

Inflation and high labor prices have hit the RV industry, and I'm surprised they've been building so many units. Now that wholesale interest rates have gone up so much, dealers will not be willing to stock so many RV's.

I'm with everyone thinking the used market will be strong in the near future. Unfortunately so many buyers paid too much for their RV's and they may not be willing to take such a blood bank when they sell.

I'm just glad I bought my 36' fifth wheel with 4 slides 5 years ago for perhaps 50% of what it would cost today. My cost of storage and dues in a member owned campground is only about $900 per year, and I can use it 14 days a month for $1.00 a day.
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:58 AM   #9
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We went through a similar process as the OP. I say “we” but it was mostly me, as my wife isn’t as enthusiastic about RVing as I am, which probably saved us many headaches. I fell in love with RVing after renting a Class C in Alaska 20 years ago. When I retired in ‘17, I started researching, and decided a trailer would be the best fit for us, as National Parks are our primary interest, and I didn’t want a 6 figure purchase sitting idle more than 50% of the time while also paying storage fees. Our SUV will only tow 7800 lbs, limiting trailers to 5000 lbs or less, so we felt like a new truck would also be necessary. Even though we wanted a small trailer, we wanted the safety of a larger tow vehicle that also had plenty of carrying capacity. While evaluating, we started traveling to parks and found that outstanding housing options exist within the parks themselves.

Then COVID hit and RV prices, as well as truck prices, went through the roof. And I started reading on RV forums about how crowded parks were getting, requiring booking months in advance. The allure of RV travel is the freedom of being on my own schedule, and not tied to things like flight reservations, so some of the shine was starting to fade.

Even with all of that, we have good friends who had recently purchased a 5th wheel, so we were still moving ahead with purchase plans. We had landed on an Airstream and a 3/4 ton diesel pickup. Together, they were going to cost well over $200k, and I felt fortunate to find dealers who were not charging over MSRP. And the used market wasn’t any cheaper, at least not last Spring. The cheapskate in me bowed up and I realized that this really was a bad idea.

Our friends discovered that they were not using their RV nearly as much as they thought they would, yet they still had monthly expenses related to storage and maintenance. When they did travel, fuel costs were much more than anticipated, as their truck is a 3/4 ton diesel. RV sites were costing $100/night, as their 5th wheel really needed full hookups to be functional. They sold their RV after only a year.

We’ll still travel to parks, pay a premium to stay inside them, and even go on long road trips, as I truly despise air travel. But we’ll find hotel or VRBO accommodations. In the end, we’ll save money. But I understand that RVing is a lifestyle and I still yearn for it, so I can relate to those who do it even with the high cost.

Now tent camping is another story. If only my wife agreed…..:-)
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Old 11-14-2022, 08:59 AM   #10
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I agree that wait until next year. Combination of the interest rates, inflation eating into disposable income, and the buyers who decide that RVing is not for them, will cause a reduction in prices for both new and used. RVs in general depreciate pretty quick; maybe not past couple years, but that should return to historical norms.
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Old 11-14-2022, 09:05 AM   #11
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We sold our 2008 Tiffen Allegro 30’ motorhome in June this year. I did a lot of research and negotiating to get a good price when we bought it new for $82,000. After using it for 14 years I sold it for $40,000 and was thrilled to get that much. We were not using it often, paying over $200/month for storage plus maintenance and repairs. I realized that it was a good time to sell when demand was high.

One of the biggest factors in our decision was how crowded RV campgrounds and popular destinations have become. It’s nearly impossible to get reservations in many of the national parks, and even some of the private campgrounds. And once there, everything is crowded. Our last trips to Yosemite, Zion, Moab, and Monument Valley were all disappointing because of the number of people.

We had a lot of fun over the years and went to some amazing places, and I don’t mean to discourage someone who is considering buying a RV. Just know what to expect. We were able to experience places like Antelope Canyon in near solitude, where I could spend a couple of hours photographing with my 4x5 view camera on a tripod, which is impossible today. We were definitely spoiled.
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Old 11-14-2022, 09:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fotodog View Post
One of the biggest factors in our decision was how crowded RV campgrounds and popular destinations have become. It’s nearly impossible to get reservations in many of the national parks, and even some of the private campgrounds. And once there, everything is crowded. Our last trips to Yosemite, Zion, Moab, and Monument Valley were all disappointing because of the number of people.
This was a big factor in our decision to hang up our RVing spurs and sell our RV last year. All of the above plus so many in the now crowded campgrounds are new to the RVing world and either oblivious to or could care less about how to behave.

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Old 11-14-2022, 10:12 AM   #13
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We had a 26 ft TT pulled by a F-250 3/4 ton (gasser)...
we'd bought the trailer used ~5 years ago and the truck new at that time. We'd experienced a lot of camping out west when we lived out there as then there was more availability with national parks and more state parks available.

We sold ours this spring.... we'd even had already made reservations for August for Yellowstone (with the 60 ft pull through!!, which are hard to get) for a week (!!)....
We ended up selling the TT first (for just a bit over 8k, we'd bought for 10k) then sold the truck, where we'd got more than we'd paid new. (The problems with the flooding in Yellowstone occurred just after that.... a sign??).

Like others, considerations included the cost of gas to the site, lack of site availability going to and from the vacation site, knowledge of how many visitors are going to the various parks (we'd been to Yellowstone a few times before so knew other areas of the park that weren't as crushed with visitors), .... and the knowledge that not all visitors were going to be COVID "appropriate" (shall we say) {and we didn't want to unduly expose ourselves}. [we didn't have to worry about storage since we have small acreage and a covered area for the TT, so that didn't enter into the equation for sell/keep]

As for the future, as I'm starting SS next year that will enable more cash flow... but we're considering waiting a while for people to start getting rid of units that they find they just can't use or afford. Likely looking to replace the truck/TT we had for a reasonable class C (unless we find a big enough class B). This mostly because we're not getting younger and setup/pull down gets a bit old and driving that big of a rig when I'm older might be getting too much, especially compared to a smaller B or even C unit. But as was noted above, the prices for sites have increased significantly (also have to consider price of gas, tolls) and any RV vaca has to be balanced versus the ease of just driving (flying) to the area and using local facilities (hotel, B&B, etc), which might become more available.... and right now (and foreseeable future?) the RV approach doesn't make much sense.
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Old 11-14-2022, 10:22 AM   #14
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RV Pricing (crystal ball), RV in general discussion

While hoteling through the west earlier this year I managed to view a few private RV camp sites usually when stopping for gas nearby. Most of the RVs appeared to be of the very large and expensive variety yet they are parked close together like sardines in a can, on gravel lots with little shade or greenery. They did have hookups. So people pulled out a few folding chairs, placed them on the gravel maybe 12 feet from the next RV and sat there for hours at a time. The view was of other RVs crammed onto this gravely lot.

I don’t understand having an RV that must cost at least 50k and using it to ‘camp’ in such a lousy, unaesthetic, crowded and boring place.
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Old 11-14-2022, 10:26 AM   #15
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While hoteling through Colorado earlier this year I managed to view a few private RV camp sites usually when stopping for gas nearby. Most of the RVs appeared to be of the very large and expensive variety yet they are parked close together like sardines in a can, on gravel lots with little shade or greenery. They did have hookups. So people pulled out a few folding chairs, placed them on the gravel maybe 12 feet from the next RV and sat there. The view was of other RVs crammed onto this gravely lot.

I don’t understand having an RV that must cost at least 50k and using it to ‘camp’ in such a lousy, unaesthetic, crowded and boring place.
Exactly. This is why we pulled a tiny A frame "off road edition. Don't like NASCAR style camping
Also because it didn't cost much didn't mind it sitting for 48 weeks a year.
It worked out great for remote and private sites.
ETA. many we saw on our x country trip this spring were way more than $50k, some easily 3 to 4 times that.
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Old 11-14-2022, 10:57 AM   #16
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My son purchased a diesel pusher at an auction. He had done a lot of research and visited the auction yard (didn't discuss it with the staff). It had a couple of dings but was otherwise in excellent condition. He made the best offer.

I recommend inspecting the RV as it may be misidentified. His was and that error on the part of the listing owner was what made the difference.

I think with the economic downturn a lot of relatively new RVs will go to auction. Do your research, know what you want and watch.
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Old 11-14-2022, 01:10 PM   #17
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The nice thing about a RV is you can be inside a national park which saves a lot of time. When we went to Yellowstone 6 years old I had to make the reservations a year in advance. The downside is all the costs. 4 years ago it was cheaper to drive the car and stay in motels then to take the rv on a 6k mile trip.
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Old 11-14-2022, 01:23 PM   #18
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Exactly. This is why we pulled a tiny A frame "off road edition.
That really describes the difference between RV'ing and camping.

We have a 2010 Aliner we purchased new and have used for 13 seasons. We've put about 70k miles on it with no major issues. But I do maintain it myself which, fortunately, is reasonably easy/cheap with a small, simple camper.

We tow with a light duty 1999 F150 which also doubles as our second car. The truck is also handy for fishing trips where we don't bring the camper. It has about 170k miles on it now so one of these days I'll have to think about replacing it.

We've camped from coast to coast and almost always stay in public facilities such as state parks, COE campgrounds, national parks, county parks, etc. Costs vary from $10 to about $40 per night.

Yes, the past few years things have been getting crowded in some situations. We've been going to Florida for a couple months the past few winters and that trip requires early planning for sure. But we've been successful and are looking forward to some great water front sites in nice parks.

Other popular destintions, such as Yellowstone, require doing your homework early too. Of course, getting a room in the lodge is just about as tough!

The rest of the time we're with a group of friends at various state parks or off by ourselves at places we really enjoy. For example, the COE has a series of campgrounds associated with lock and dams on the Mississippi River which are beautiful and nicely maintained. Only about 120 miles west of here. On weekdays (we're retired!), it's always easy to get in for a few days.

Anyway, in 13 years of camping with the Aliner I figure ours has depreciated about $8k total and has cost a few kilobux to maintain. So maybe a kilobuck a year total depreciation + maintenance. It's been a lot of fun

OP - since you said you were looking at getting a "little travel trailer," will it really be worth it to wait and try to save 10%, 20% or whatever? We bought ours in our early 60's so time was an important factor and I'm glad we didn't wait any longer.
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Old 11-14-2022, 02:08 PM   #19
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The nice thing about a RV is you can be inside a national park which saves a lot of time. When we went to Yellowstone 6 years old I had to make the reservations a year in advance. The downside is all the costs. 4 years ago it was cheaper to drive the car and stay in motels then to take the rv on a 6k mile trip.
I used to think an RV was needed to stay inside the parks, but discovered that almost all national parks have lodging options, at least the ones in the west. Arches is an exception, but there are lots of options in Moab, which is less than a 10 minute drive away. We’ve stayed so close to the Grand Tetons, it felt like we could touch them from our cabin at the Jenny Lake Lodge. The Old Faithful Inn is right next to Old Faithful. We found a VRBO rental inside of Yosemite with amazing views of Half Dome, as sun and full moon both rose directly behind it. And there’s always the Ahwahnee deeper inside of Yosemite. Grand Canyon has the El Tovar right on the rim.

And if it was cheaper to drive the car and stay in hotels 4 years ago, I would think RV commuting is even more expensive now.
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Old 11-14-2022, 02:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
That really describes the difference between RV'ing and camping.

We have a 2010 Aliner we purchased new and have used for 13 seasons. We've put about 70k miles on it with no major issues. But I do maintain it myself which, fortunately, is reasonably easy/cheap with a small, simple camper.

We tow with a light duty 1999 F150 which also doubles as our second car. The truck is also handy for fishing trips where we don't bring the camper. It has about 170k miles on it now so one of these days I'll have to think about replacing it.

We've camped from coast to coast and almost always stay in public facilities such as state parks, COE campgrounds, national parks, county parks, etc. Costs vary from $10 to about $40 per night.

Yes, the past few years things have been getting crowded in some situations. We've been going to Florida for a couple months the past few winters and that trip requires early planning for sure. But we've been successful and are looking forward to some great water front sites in nice parks.

Other popular destintions, such as Yellowstone, require doing your homework early too. Of course, getting a room in the lodge is just about as tough!

The rest of the time we're with a group of friends at various state parks or off by ourselves at places we really enjoy. For example, the COE has a series of campgrounds associated with lock and damns on the Mississippi River which are beautiful and nicely maintained. Only about 120 miles west of here. On weekdays (we're retired!), it's always easy to get in for a few days.

Anyway, in 13 years of camping with the Aliner I figure ours has depreciated about $8k total and has cost a few kilobux to maintain. So maybe a kilobuck a year total depreciation + maintenance. It's been a lot of fun

OP - since you said you were looking at getting a "little travel trailer," will it really be worth it to wait and try to save 10%, 20% or whatever? We bought ours in our early 60's so time was an important factor and I'm glad we didn't wait any longer.
You're right.
The Aliner we sold was a 2014 Classic. It was great, towed easily with the Toyota Tacoma and only lost 3 or 4 mpg. The only problem we had was it was tight for a 5+ week, 9000 mile trip we did this spring with a 75 lb dog. Also no indoor shower. We are carefully researching alternatives but no rush.
I also do all my own maintenance and DIY mods etc. and enjoy doing that.
As an example here's the new rear bumper I made to replace the wimpy sheet metal one that was there and cracked all around the welds during our long trip and was ready to fall. off
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