Hi from Kansas City! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-14-2016, 05:43 PM   #1
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Name: J&L
Trailer: 2014 Casita LD
Missouri
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Hi from Kansas City!

Hey ya'll!

We're a mid 40's couple in the Midwest, actively shopping now. We're excited!
First question: what determines used prices? NADA? Kelley Blue Book? We are looking at a couple of pre-owned Casitas (a 2014 and a 2015) that are priced about $4k over the NADA values, which is what our bank uses to determine RV loans. Is that typical? Neither RV has upgrades that justify $4k over the NADA guide price from a private seller. Should I post this elsewhere?
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:30 PM   #2
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Welcome, J&L!

Like anything else, the market determines prices. Guides like Kelly Blue Book and NADA don't set prices, they track them. The problem is that there is really no mechanism for tracking prices of used fiberglass trailers, since upwards of 80% are sold through the private market, not dealers. I have no idea how they establish their valuations, but I suspect they apply depreciation formulas derived from the general RV market, not actual sales data. Fact is, molded fiberglass trailers hold their value much better that most conventionally constructed trailers. So they significantly under-value fiberglass trailers.

Depending on how flexible your lending institution is, they might be swayed if you gather data from classified ads of similar units for sale with their asking prices. Many of us routinely collect and archive such data for use in the event of an insurance claim. If that doesn't work, you may have to bite the bullet and pay a much higher portion down.

The alternative is to buy a new one. There, at least, they ought to accept the MSRP on the purchase contract as the basis for financing. Some folks have found a new one is not that much more expensive that a late model used one.

Best wishes, whatever you decide!
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:31 PM   #3
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The prices are set by the market, which is very strong, not NADA.

When I went to the NADA site, everything in the primary listing was stick built. Didn't see a single molded FG trailer. When I looked in the expanded listing, I found Casita, but it looked like they were pricing new units. Though I have some respect for NADA, I don't think travel trailers is their strong point.

Probably the best thing you could do is ask them if they would accept a number of comps, based on several sales of similar trailers in your part of the country. Then spend some time on the net looking for those comps. I would bring them printed copies of what you find, but include the URLs so they can confirm

You might try looking here first:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/s...archid=2509845

This is a search I did in the FGRV Classified archives for Casitas that have sold. For the most part you are going to see only asking prices, but if you find any that roughly match, you could PM the seller and find out what price they settled on. In the current market you will likely find that the seller didn't have to give much.

Good luck in you search. No luck with the bank; start stuffing the cookie jar.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockemSockem View Post
Hey ya'll!

We're a mid 40's couple in the Midwest, actively shopping now. We're excited!
First question: what determines used prices? NADA? Kelley Blue Book? We are looking at a couple of pre-owned Casitas (a 2014 and a 2015) that are priced about $4k over the NADA values, which is what our bank uses to determine RV loans. Is that typical? Neither RV has upgrades that justify $4k over the NADA guide price from a private seller. Should I post this elsewhere?
Welcome, neither Blue Book, Kelley or NADA apply when it comes to fibreglass trailers. The prices can swing widely from region to region in NA - often it is about how common or uncommon the fibreglass trailer for sale is in the area it is being sold. The rarer it is to see a particular brand of fibreglass trailer in a region the more it is likely going to go for.

A great place to get a feel for whether or not a used trailer is reasonable priced is to take a look through the website Fiberglass- RV-4sale.com. Keep in mind that the prices are asking prices but it will give you a pretty good idea as to what you might expect to pay for the same brand, year, size, trailer with such an such options. There is also a historical SOLD section as well that you can go through.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:50 PM   #5
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Name: J&L
Trailer: 2014 Casita LD
Missouri
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Thank you, Jon, Minimalist & Carol, that's helpful. If we buy new, which brands offer the best quality?
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RockemSockem View Post
Thank you, Jon, Minimalist & Carol, that's helpful. If we buy new, which brands offer the best quality?
LOL now you really are opening up a can of worms! :lout best you use the search function at the top of the forum to read on that topic - the bottom box is Google and will give you better search returns.

But as you asked quality is something you pay for so when it comes to fibreglass it goes something like this: Olivers, Bigfoots, Escapes, Outbacks(trilliums) , Casita and Scamps with lots of other smaller manufactures in the Outback, Casita and Scamp range... Do not get me wrong on this. Scamp builds a very nice very usable trailer for the price - I know I have a 25 year old one that has stood the text of time & lots of use, which would suggest it is a quality trailer.

Perhaps a better question might be which trailer manufactures is the more popular one these days? - I would suggest its Escape.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:19 PM   #7
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Name: J&L
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Lol! Sorry, I should be more specific! My top priorities are insulation/ thermal windows and durable interior. We need to use it in Oregon winters & Texas summers, with two small boys and dogs.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RockemSockem View Post
Lol! Sorry, I should be more specific! My top priorities are insulation/ thermal windows and durable interior. We need to use it in Oregon winters & Texas summers, with two small boys and dogs.
Well Bigfoots are 4 season trailers and if I am not mistaken the Oliver is as well. Escape does not call their trailer a 4 season but a 3 season trailer and it does come with thermo windows and extra insulation underside as option..... lots of Escape owners in the Oregon area who use their trailers year round. You may want to check in over at the Escape Owners Forum for more info on that.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
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Hi from Kansas City!

To see lots of brands and talk with owners, you might consider attending some of the rally
events that are posted in another part of this forum. To camp at a rally location, perhaps
you could borrow a tent or rent a pop-up from Camping World (just past Blue Springs on I-70).

Alternatively, you could check with some of the manufacturers to see if they have any owners in
the KC metro area that would allow you to look at their trailers. (I know that Scamp maintains a
list of owners in various locations.)

I think it is extremely helpful to see several trailers in person before making a decision.

As you have already discovered, resale values for fiberglass trailers in good condition are
very high. The good news for you in that is that there probably won't be a huge penalty for
a sub-optimal decision. If you buy a FGRV and then discover that there is another brand and/or
model that would suit you better, you shouldn't lose much money by selling your first FGRV
and purchasing another FGRV that suits you better.

In addition to your multi-season requirement, pay attention to the size (width) and number of
beds and the overall weight of the trailer. (Will you be trying to use an existing tow vehicle or
planning on purchasing a tow vehicle, in addition to the trailer, that is capable of pulling your
new FGRV?)

Good luck with your search and decisions! 😊

Ray




Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:22 PM   #10
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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Welcome to the forum!


Some brands, especially Escape with their long lead time of over a year, are commanding prices in excess of the original selling price if they are in really good shape here. The NADA and KBB book is kind of a joke unless you find a seller that is not market savvy, which is highly unlikely.


If your concern is financing the purchase price, most banks will insist on using the KBB or NADA value. A new trailer can usually be financed based on selling price, but used is a different story. If you have a personal line of credit or access to a home equity loan, that would be a more workable option. We are starting into peak season so asking prices do go up and will stay a little higher until winter, but if you do find something you like and can accept the selling price be ready to move fast. Desirable trailers sell very quickly. Also some older units the KBB and NADA prices seem to be further out of line with reality. The KBB on my 22 year old Bigfoot is about 1/3rd of what I would sell it for.


Another word of caution. All the brands mentioned here are MOLDED fiberglass meaning 2 pieces put together sort of like a clam shell. The shell is structural unlike a stick built trailer. Some trailers are built from fiberglass panels on a wood or steel frame and they are not the same as a molded trailer. Fiberglass has become a buzz word used by dealers to sell a trailer regardless of the construction technique. Best of luck finding one.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #11
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockemSockem View Post
Lol! Sorry, I should be more specific! My top priorities are insulation/ thermal windows and durable interior. We need to use it in Oregon winters & Texas summers, with two small boys and dogs.
Lots of fiberglass trailers in Oregon & Washington. Escape and Bigfoots are popular as they're built in Canada - Texas is largely populated with Casitas since they're built in Texas. One thing to consider is interior headroom; fiberglass rigs aren't as tall as the stick built trailers. Bigfoot and Escape have several models, Casita not so many. Check out all their trailer forums for used trailers for sale and post a wanted ad once you decide.

Both Bigfoot and Escape have insulation options available. Not Casita or Scamp. Oliver and Parkliner build very nice units but are heavier and expensive.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:22 PM   #12
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 2015 Casita 17SD
Miami, FL
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We just purchased an almost-new 2015 Casita 17 used and paid pretty close to what the previous owner paid. All of these brands are relatively low production, have good reputation and typically have a waiting list for new trailers. The book values don't mean much.

With two boys and dogs you'll probably want a 19' or more. The Escapes and Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) are nice, you'll have to find the balance between elbow room and how much you can tow.

Good luck, my wife has family in KC (go Royals!)
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