Guidelines on Buying a New Fiberglass Rig - Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-19-2015, 11:52 PM   #1
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Guidelines on Buying a New Fiberglass Rig - Questions

Hi All,

Over the last 12 months as I have delved into researching RVs, I have discovered the general goal in buying a new rig. . .Try your best to negotiate 30% off the MSRP. Now, this may mean getting 25% to 28% off, but shoot for 30%. Over the last couple of months, my research has focused on smaller travel trailers, particularly molded fiberglass rigs. However, most FG rigs seem to be sold directly from the manufacturer, so the above goal does not apply.

There are direct sale manufacturers of other RVs as well, such as Class C rigs like Lazy Daze, Nexus, and Phoenix Cruisers. These rigs are priced less than the competitors MSRP and are high quality units, yet these manufacturers (not Lazy Daze) will still discount their rigs somewhat, particularly during the late fall/winter months.

In researching FG rigs, I have noticed the following:

1. New rigs have wait times up to the current wait of 16 months for Escape models.
2. It is hard to determine what a new rig will cost (at least based on information from the website). It seems like Escape is among the best in terms of listing their base prices along with the price list for options.

Given the two items above, is there any discounting associated with the purchase of new fiberglass rigs?

Historically, I have found it easier to research new car prices vs. used car prices. Get dealer invoice and negotiate up from there. The internet has made it is easier to even research used car prices for those willing to devote the time. In terms of FG rigs, it "feels" like it is easier to get a handle on used prices. There are FG related websites that can be researched for prices for current used rigs as well as archived information. NICE! By the way, it does appear that FG rigs hold their value well and sell well on the used market, thus one has to know the market and be prepared to act quickly if a used rig that meets one's expectations shows up. OK, I think I kinda understand what one needs to do to buy a used rig.

Are there any guidelines for being a smart shopper of a new FG rig beyond contacting the manufacturer and pricing a unit with the options one wants, ordering it, and then waiting?

As always, your expertise and wisdom is much appreciated.

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Hi All,
Over the last 12 months as I have delved into researching RVs, I have discovered the general goal in buying a new rig. . .
Are there any guidelines for being a smart shopper of a new FG rig beyond contacting the manufacturer and pricing a unit with the options one wants, ordering it, and then waiting?
As always, your expertise and wisdom is much appreciated.
Dean
Ahh Dean, you're over thinking it again. There are no discounts from new FG makers, stick built yes, just how it is. Toss anything about buying cars out the window, apples and squash....worse than oranges. So with that said, you can scratch that research off your list . The biggest thing I get from your questions and I may be wrong, but got to say it. As you say you have no RVing experience, to me even considering anything new as a way to find out if camping is going to work for you is putting the cart before the horse. You might consider renting an RV for a week also.
There is a good buyers checklist in the doc center that will give you the info for what to look for in a used trailer. If RVing doesn't work out for you, you should be able to get your $ back. A new rig, $$$$ less. I'd be looking online at the layouts and info of the different rigs out there, then go see them at rallies and look for the one you think will work the best for you.
OK, there's my wisdom for you. Now you have more time to grade papers .
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:54 AM   #3
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No dealers. No mark up. Buying direct means you are buying at invoice. Besides, it's a sellers market right now. A few years ago things would slow down in the winter and some manufacturers might offer discounts, but not now. They can sell every trailer the can make and people are happy just to get a trailer. Raz
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
...
Are there any guidelines for being a smart shopper of a new FG rig beyond contacting the manufacturer and pricing a unit with the options one wants, ordering it, and then waiting? ...
I think the hard part is knowing what the (almost) perfect rig is for you. Even though I did a lot of research, in hindsight I would have bought different tug a year ago. With a tow capacity of 5000 instead of 3500 I could have and would have considered more options in brands, size and options.

But then I would have had to research even more, and gone to see more brands, talk with more owners, etc.

So a smart shopper is a (very) informed shopper.. but that does not seem to result in any money savings.

Scamp does give a discount for options, but I think its just built into the retail price for the packages that are listed on their price list. I still had to get multiple quotes from them to get the exact figure for different options. They will gladly send you the price list in email or snail mail so I don't know why they don't put it on the website. Of course they don't really do anything with the website anyway. I have the price list from April in email if that helps.

If you get your place in the production line, you can still make some changes for some months. I have three re-writes of my order all done before the actual manufacturing started in the last month of my wait. If I were even remotely considering a trip all the way to BC (and had the tug that I should have bought), I would order an Escape today and maybe buy a used Scamp in the meantime. I don't know how I would configure an Escape but I would figure it out in time.

Scamp does get some unsold trailers at the factory on rare occasion and I always wanted to know if any 16's became available. I never heard of any however. If you can go by the factory in person you might get lucky and find one that didn't sell, but they don't seem to make those generally known. I did read from one guy who saw two 13 footers for sale at the time, when he was there on other business.

I'm not too worried about paying full retail since it's still a good price, and the deprecation is so much less than other campers. In fact, I have seen a present year Scamp (that was reportedly used only one time) go up for sale because of a change in the owner's circumstances. They buyer didn't want to wait six months for a new one and so paid more than the original price. That's the exception but does show the value.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:17 AM   #5
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I agree with all that's been said, especially about starting used.

As to buying new, molded fiberglass costs more to build, so the invoice price is higher, foot-for-foot and feature-for-feature, than conventional construction. But the dealer margins (that's where the 30% comes from) have already been eliminated. No negotiating means less stress in the buying process. You'll never be left wondering if the next guy got a better deal.

Another thought that helps me accept the price of a new molded fiberglass trailer is this. For the most part, the owners of these companies are hands-on, hardworking small business entrepreneurs, and none appear to be getting obscenely rich doing it. I tend to buy on the merits of a product more than the ethics and philosophy of the business, but when the two align, that's added value in my book.

And, of course, the merits of the product include the long-term durability and high resale value of molded fiberglass.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:53 AM   #6
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I worked for a manufacturer of 5th wheels that sold direct. Even they didn't offer any kind of discount and the only time there was an extra incentive to buy were during a slow time of the year, they might offer some upgrade at no extra cost, nothing big but to the frugal, it was attractive enough to keep the lines running.

Keep in mind that smaller manufacturers have to pay more for components than a big manufacturer who will order 500 units or more of something like a refrigerator or furnace and price breaks help keep the prices lower giving them more wiggle room.

Sometimes, but rarely, a manufacturer has a "show" model that has a reduction, usually a year old or so that they sell at a discounted price.

Discounts come when the seller is "hungry" for cash.
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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The thing that is evident about the direct marketing by fiberglass mfgrs is their reluctance to negotiate the final retail selling price...it is their way or the highway. I will never do business with any company that does business in such a fashion. The consumer facilitates this by accepting the dictatorial policies of these manufacturers.

The above marketing techniques explains that while traveling for the last three weeks while covering about 10 states and countless miles with my quality built "sticky" travel trailer I have seen ZERO Fiberglass Travel Trailers on the road.
If they came to market with dealer networks in the real world the prices would come down. Shoppers would be more confident with a dealer service standing behind their product.

Until they come to market like all the other major manufacturers they will forever be in the fringe market...overcharging for a product without dealers and service locations....forever in the little league in the RV industry.
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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My way or the highway, eh?
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Gee Patrick, you seem to be pretty much against molded trailers. Kind of wonder why you even bothered to join FGRV as you have a stick built unit.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
...overcharging for a product without dealers and service locations...
Prices are ultimately determined by supply and demand. Since they are selling every one they can make at full price and, in one case, running over a year out on production, basic laws of economics would indicate they are actually underpriced.

Warranty service locations are as close as your local independent RV shop… i.e., the one you pick, not the one the manufacturer has a contractual relationship with. For me, that's several hours closer. Other than warranty service, remind me of what I need a dealer for… besides supporting salespeople and their loved ones?
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:29 PM   #11
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Cool Ha, Ha, Ha

When you have a 16 month backlog, manufacturers of ANYTHING won't budge on MSRP.

Consumers are lucky they don't RAISE the price.

Ever hear of supply and demand?
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:10 PM   #12
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All of this negative attitude about FGRV's, as their current order backlog is ONLY 4 to 14 months, must have all of the FGRV builders shaking in their boots. LOL


What a lot of stick-built buyers don't want to realize is that they are just being shmoozed with inflated MSRP's so they can "Bargain" the prices down to what the units should be priced at once dealer mark-up is included. In short, everyone gets that big special discount. But it helps Joe RV Buyer with his bragging rights, because in discounts, real or otherwise, size matters to Joe.


If one looks at the prices being asked for the newer FGRV's just coming on-line this year, it is apparent that building a low production molded fiberglass units is a lot more expensive than the mass produced stickys.


Now, I went on a 5000 mile trip in May and June and I didn't see a single Rolls Royce, is that supposed to mean something about Rolls Royce????? Are they in the Little League of automobile builders and, if so, who cares? (But I did see 5-6 FGRV's and about 20 peeps that asked us about ours)


For what it's worth, here is a known high quality stick-built RV builder. Note how they do business:


Lazy Daze, Montclair, CA
Motorhome Dealer | Low Profile Motorhome | RV Manufacturer | Quality Motorhome
In business for 58 years
Perfected a proven construction that no one else can afford to duplicate
Factory Direct sales only, No Dealers
Backlog for delivery, you order and then wait for yours to be built.
They only go to two or three shows a year, sell the demo unit and take orders for future deliveries
Fixed Prices.....


Sound Familiar?
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:16 PM   #13
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A car dealer friend, no- make that an acquaintance once said "a good deal is a state of mind".

Regarding MSRP, it gives a dealer some opportunity to manipulate the numbers. Say for example you want to buy a stick built trailer with an MSRP $20,000 and if you were paying cash you could negotiate a selling price of $15,000. Now lets assume you have a trade in and it is worth almost nothing and you want to finance the transaction and borrow all $15,000. The dealer would write up the deal at $20,000 and show your trade as being worth $5,000 .nd finance the $15,000.

No money down and EZ credit. Lots of people like that. 3 years later you will still owe more than the trailer is worth. That's called "upside down". Happens all the time.

Years ago someone I know purchased motor home. He thought the payments were reasonable. After he had the unit for several months he realized that the contract was for 15 years not the 5 that he had originally thought.
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
A car dealer friend, no- make that an acquaintance once said "a good deal is a state of mind".

Regarding MSRP, it gives a dealer some opportunity to manipulate the numbers. Say for example you want to buy a stick built trailer with an MSRP $20,000 and if you were paying cash you could negotiate a selling price of $15,000. Now lets assume you have a trade in and it is worth almost nothing and you want to finance the transaction and borrow all $15,000. The dealer would write up the deal at $20,000 and show your trade as being worth $5,000 .nd finance the $15,000.

No money down and EZ credit. Lots of people like that. 3 years later you will still owe more than the trailer is worth. That's called "upside down". Happens all the time.

Years ago someone I know purchased motor home. He thought the payments were reasonable. After he had the unit for several months he realized that the contract was for 15 years not the 5 that he had originally thought.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sounds like you friend is the ideal buyer that RV dealers drool over.... LOL

My ex wanted us to get pulled in with the same hook buying a class "A" with a 15 year contract. When I told her what the best of current 15 y.o. Class "A" motorhomes were selling for there was a great big OOOPS, and off we went. We bought a used one and discovered how much it cost to keep & repair, or even go anywhere, and that was gone (at a loss of course) in 6 months.
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