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Old 09-21-2015, 09:58 AM   #21
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Resale value, maintenance costs, initial cost, and cost to use all come into play if figuring out a good deal.

Light weight and aerodynamic form reduce towing cost and possibly cost of tow vehicle required. Simple tends to require less maintenance than complex. Resale value really matters if you decide after some experience or time that a different size, floor plan or features suit your needs better.

I guess what I am saying is buy used, try to buy with a list of must have features. Avoid going overboard with amenities. You may find that you must have a clothes washer and dryer but skip it in the first model and you may well find you don't need it.

The features are the thing no matter what the age. Typically new takes some depreciation hit (but not always with scarce models) New can be easier to finance if you are going that route.

Questions to ask include (but not limited to):
  • How many does it need to sleep?
  • Head room and bed size? Too small a bed really detracts from the 8 hours you are trying to sleep. Slightly stooped is no problem for short use but retired and multi-month trips?
  • Do I require a toilet, or toilet and shower, or is there no need so I can use the space for other things?
  • Do I plan to boondock off grid back in the woods with no hookups, or more state and private park camping with electricity?
  • Do I intend to cook and eat indoors? Or mostly outdoors.
  • Is camping the purpose or travel? Hard sided tent vs. personal motel room for site seeing and travel.
After decades of camping I can tell you it is all about the trade offs between size and what you use the space for. I like to park, kick back, do some grilling a chilling, read and walk the dog. Not doing month long tours of the country.

What suits my needs is totally wrong for retired sister that parks then drives around to see the sites. I'm happy if I don't have to put on pants to go out and start the morning coffee. She likes it if there is 50amp electric service so the microwave and AC work without having to shut off the water heater electric and switch it to propane.

Figure out how you will use the tool, then you can determine what features the tool must have. That will lead you to what it takes to get a good match at a good price. Some folks have very specific needs. Needs best met with a new unit built to meet those needs, others are more flexible.

Wife and I don't really need front bunks, it might be a dinette for two would be a better use of space, or a bathroom. But neither dinette or bathroom is on our "Must Have" list so front couch/bunks were acceptable at the trailers price. Once you know your must have items you can decide if used will work.

Last item: Sweat equity. If you can do work to improve or repair the used models there can be some real deals in the project campers. If not able to do the work, or not inclined to learn how those fix-r-uppers can be a money pit.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:21 AM   #22
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Anybody in sales kows the "show price" is the new price. The reason there is a shell game played at the dealership is just to test your knowlege. People who don't know pay more, so find out the show price when negotiating things without a fixed price.

Me, I would rather pay more for a better product and service. I can't say that about my Scamp because I bought it used, but other things I tend to go new and pay more. My cars are Honda's and even though they cost more than say a kia, they make a nice product and I don't beat up the dealer and they take care of me. I believe its more important that they make a profit than for me to "win", because in the end I will need them and if I treat them like jerks it will come right back. But I know people thrive on that stuff and I am amused by it, so carry on if that's you. As for stick built, I have two sisters with stick built hybrids that are not going to last ten years. They are leaking like sieves. Long after they are done, my 1988 Scamp will be trucking on.

Take Care,
Steve
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:30 AM   #23
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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.
Small companies like this know what their costs are, and know what they need to make a profit. Beyond that the market itself will control their prices, as if they charge too much for what they offer for sale, they will lose customers. Obviously these moulded FG manufacturers are doing something right as far as offering value for what they charge.

It if very similar in many other businesses, such as my own. I do custom building and renovating, and I have never, and will not ever, negotiate what I charge. I know it is fair, and it is what I need to survive, and most of my customers realize this too.

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People tend to think that bigger is better and they want cheaper, and that is much of why the market is stickies.
This is so very true Cathy, and is a great description of what drives much of the RV industry. So many people these days want more, for less, and very often disregard quality in making their decisions. It is just another part of our disposable economy.

This is not true of all RV's not moulded FG, as there are a few that put good quality an product into the build, but this also comes with a significant cost attached to it.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:16 PM   #24
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My way or the highway, eh?
I'll take "highway".
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #25
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Guidelines on Buying a New Fiberglass Rig - Questions

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I'll take "highway".
I guess we all have chosen the highway, in whatever sort of RV suits our personal budget and style. There's room on the planet for all sizes and build types, certainly.

I just found irony that the prior post, accusing molded fiberglass manufacturers of a "my way or the highway" attitude, expressed exactly the same attitude about how all RVs ought to be marketed and sold.

Wish I were on the highway right now! Fall is the best season to travel in my neck of the woods for those not tied to work and school calendars. Sigh...
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:54 PM   #26
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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.
Fiberglass trailers are far cheaper than stick built, my kids will find that out when they sell mine thirty years from now for more than I paid for it new!
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:38 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Wish I were on the highway right now! Fall is the best season to travel in my neck of the woods for those not tied to work and school calendars. Sigh...


Tell it for the truth brother! It was not looking good but I have managed to shoehorn a long weekend trip in next month (October) when the kid has a Teacher Planning Day.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:20 AM   #28
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Fall Vacations.....
Headed for Canada in the morning (Ooops, I mean Headed for British Columbia in the morning) It's a looong 2 hour drive, but should be a lot of fun with my British Columbian (I mean Canadian) friends. (Actually they are a German & a Brit, but that just confuses things.


And I thought that being P.C. in America (Ooops, I mean Washington, the state, not the District of) was difficult.
LOLOLOL



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Old 09-22-2015, 09:34 AM   #29
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You may joke Bob, but there are many, many Americans who know absolutely nothing of Canada, it's people, and it's geography. I think that many, like most in this community, that own RV's, know better as their focus is travel.

I had a fellow in Driggs, Idaho a few years ago, upon hearing I live in Calgary, ask me if I knew a friend of his who moved here a while back. Um, maybe not. We now have a popluation just over 1.2 million, not counting surrounding acreages, towns and cities. LOL

At a wedding in New Jersey about 30 years ago, only three people who knew I was from Calgary,AB, had heard of it, or knew where it was. One person had heard of the Calgary Stampede, only the biggest outdoor show in the world, one had heard of Alberta beef, again well know worldwide, and the other was big into sports betting, and knew of the Calgary Flames.

I would be willing to bet that a much higher percentage of Canadians are familiar with American geography, than the other way around. We still all have lots to learn, thus my yearning to retire and explore all of North America.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:32 AM   #30
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Good Points Jim, But......

Last time we went north were asked by the border inspector the purpose of our visit. We replied "to visit friends in Summerland". When asked for a specific name I said, "Klaus & Liz Haverkamp". He said, "The VW Guy, I know him....."

But we have been to Calgary several times and know that it is a lot bigger than Summerland. Several years back I sold a Meyers Manx SR-II to a fellow in Calgary, He had it picked up in Riverside and I haven't seen or heard of it since.


And last..... The state of New Mexico added USA to their license plates because, apparently when out of state NM residents were getting stopped, the local PD's thought that they were from Mexico. !!!



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Old 09-22-2015, 11:11 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
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.
You show some strong convictions - do you negotiate at the gas pump, the grocery store, the hardware store, the doctor's or dentist's office, or the IRS?
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I had a fellow in Driggs, Idaho a few years ago, upon hearing I live in Calgary, ask me if I knew a friend of his who moved here a while back. Um, maybe not. We now have a popluation just over 1.2 million, not counting surrounding acreages, towns and cities. LOL
Sounds like an honest question from a fellow trying to be friendly and make conversation. We folks from Idaho are generally a friendly and inquisitive lot. And picking on somebody from Driggs is not really fair anyway.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:36 PM   #33
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Considering how long Scamp has been in business, and their current back-order time, the "My way or the Hiway" business model must be working.....


Take a look back a few years ago at how many of the "other" business model companies disappeared from the RV marketplace.



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Old 09-22-2015, 02:42 PM   #34
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Fall Vacations.....
Headed for Canada in the morning (Ooops, I mean Headed for British Columbia in the morning) It's a looong 2 hour drive, but should be a lot of fun with my British Columbian (I mean Canadian) friends. (Actually they are a German & a Brit, but that just confuses things.


And I thought that being P.C. in America (Ooops, I mean Washington, the state, not the District of) was difficult.
LOLOLOL
Upon leaving the Pistolet Bay Provincial Park in Newfoundland last year, I told the ranger on duty that I was going back to Canada (Labrador) that day. I got a curious look that changed into a friendly smile and he gave me a couple of maple leaf pins as souvenirs. Nice.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #35
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Hi All,

Paul, interesting comments regarding general RV manufacturers designing rigs to only last 5 years. It does appear to me that the FG units are built to last, thus there will be a price associated with this quality whether buying new or used.

RogerDat, WOW, very good advice in terms of how to approach buying used. Great bullets. For my DW and I, it will only be the two of us as empty nesters. So, our first rig can sleep as few as two. Call us wimps, but we must have a wet bath (shower, sink, toilet). So, bare minimum means a decent size bed (54" wide) and a wet bath. Beyond that, it becomes more negotiable. I really think a small dinette would be nice since I tend to get up earlier than my DW. Might be nice to be able to stay inside on some mornings rather than going outside. I think our "necessities" will probably result in a 16' to 17' rig. It is definitely about trade offs. Great discussion regarding the RV as a "tool" and what "features" the tool must have to serve its function. I have to be careful with sweat equity. I am solid at maintaining, servicing, and doing minor projects. I am not a hard core DIYer. A used rig is fine, but we will not do a fixer-upper.

Steve in NY, I too, tend to be attracted to quality and a better product rather than the biggest rig at the lowest price. Rules of engagement for buyer from a dealer: 1. Never pay MSRP. 2. A discount off MSRP is still not necessarily a great deal.

Jim, I too, like small companies even though my girls have converted me into a Starbuck's fan! However, I tend to like privately owned pubs, restaurants, etc. when eating out rather than one of the many chains. So, FG manufacturers with their quality products appeal to me.

Jon, I am a road-trip guy, so I think that is part of the appeal of RVing to me along with enjoying hiking and the outdoors. Plus, I love to cook and grill (along with a cold beer). I think these preferences blend well with RVing! Yes, Fall is wonderful time to travel.

Floyd, LOL, hey if your kids will be able to sell your rig 30 years from now at more than you paid for it, my girls will be happy with what they will inherit. Funny comment in terms of making your point regarding how long FG rigs last.

Tim, enjoy that long weekend with the family next month!

Bob, LOL, nice job with your being sooooo PC! I hope your trip to BC was safe and enjoyable.

Jim, I love geography and look forward to traveling and visiting Canada. Along the way, I will brush up on my Canadian culture!!! Heck, the other day I was on a parkway in my home state of Kentucky on my way to a meeting in the capital city of Frankfort. About 50 miles from Frankfort the clerk at the convenience store did not know the capital of Kentucky!!! Oh my. Not only do some of us Americans need to learn about Canada, we need to learn about our own states!!!

A nice evening to all,

Dean
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:04 PM   #36
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Miller's headed for CANADA...

Where in heck am I supposed to go now??????....
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:10 PM   #37
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Where in heck am I supposed to go now??????....
You do realize that us moderator types might see this as a bit of a personal attack...

... but seeing it is so funny, I think we will let it go.

Maybe somebody should alert Homeland Security. Oh wait, we don't have that.

Besides, Canada is a big place to hide. Maybe get yourself an atlas and check that out.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:25 PM   #38
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Miller will be easy to find. Either in the Home Hardware, or across the street at the organic grains gluten-free bakery and coffee grinder.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:42 PM   #39
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Miller will be easy to find. Either in the Home Hardware, or across the street at the organic grains gluten-free bakery and coffee grinder.
I might run into him then. I shop there too.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:44 AM   #40
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Actually our planned shopping hits are Canadian Tire and COSTCO, be forewarned..... Eh..... LOL



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