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Old 04-03-2015, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default Price Transparency

Hello. Thanks for the add! I am brand-new to the bulletin board. I have been reading posts for several months--thanks to all the contributors. This has been a great resource! I am retired from active-duty in the Air Force and now work as a federal civilian...for about seven more years, then I'll really retire. My youngest son started college last year, so I now have an empty nest.

I'm looking (very seriously) at Roadtrek CS Adventurous, Pleasureway TS or FL, and LTV Free Spirit class Bs. I plan on attending my first RV show--at Hershey--this fall, unless I purchase before then. 98% of my research has been over the internet, and I've only visited one RV dealer (Fretz RV) so far. I am most interested in camping "out West," in national forest and BLM campgrounds, and at boondocking sites. Other than being able to take off a couple of weeks now and then each year, my near-term camping will be lots of long weekends in the DE/PA/MD/VA area.

As somebody completely without first-hand experience with purchasing an RV, it looks to me like a typical Class A or C discount might be 30% off MSRP, with the Canadian class Bs selling for about 18-20% off MSRP. Is that right? And, if, say, I purchase about the time the 2016s are about to arrive, do you think I should be able to get 30% off a 2015 Canadian class B? (I'm cheap by nature, and this is a huge purchase!)

Once I do purchase, I am happy to post where I bought, what I bought, and at what price. When I buy a car, I can figure out on the internet what a "good" price is. But it seems to me that there's nearly a complete lack of transparency when it comes to class B prices. Winecrasher recently posted about what he paid for his new Travato--which I thought was just great. (Congrats!) I wish there was more of this transparency in the class B community. Dealers, of course, are entitled to a decent profit...but more transparency would definitely make purchase negotiations smoother and quicker, and help purchasers to save some money, IMHO.

Anyway, thanks for this great website! Any information on the "best price" I'll be able to get on a class B would be much appreciated. Best, Hamster
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Price Transparency

Welcome aboard Hamster. All the Class B RVs you are considering in Pleasure-way, Leisure Travel Vans and Roadtrek all have dealer networks they have to satisfy and you have to work through. Thus, they establish and publish a MSRP price for dealers to use and then your haggling begins. I doubt all dealers are equal and maybe some can work better deals than others with the converters. So, maybe they haggle too. Well anyway, Class Bs are like autos. There is the MSRP and then there is the dealer's cost. Somewhere in between there is a real price and there are so many variables at play. It can be anywhere from about 10% to 20% off the MSRP depending on those variables and occasionally a customer gets a "steal" higher than 20% off. At least if you read long enough online and the many reports, which you don't know if true or false, that that is the range. Class As and Class Cs have higher discounts. But have you driven by dealers and seen the seas of those kind of RVs on the lots begging for owners? Class Bs are but about 2% of the overall RV market. They're precious and the owners treat them less like commodities than Class C and Class A owners do. The dealers know this. It really is all transparent once you understand the game. I'm on my third new Class B and the circumstances in buying each one were entirely different for me. There was no single rule of thumb for me.

Now for those RVs you are considering. If you are absolutely serious about boondocking and camping without hookups in national forests and BLM lands, I think you have only one choice to consider and that would be the Roadtrek CS Adventurous with the ETrek setup. Pleasure-way and Leisure Travel Vans are quality Bs, probably slightly better than Roadtrek in overall quality and interior design layout (my opinion), but with their one and two battery configurations and maybe lip service solar panels will frustrate you to no end. With P-W and LTV you can easily do overnighters and you might be able to eke out a few days off grid with constant monitoring and energy conservation, but then you would be desperately seeking a campground so you could hookup to electrical. In other words you will be doing a constant seesaw routine in your stays. You will also be unable to use your 115v AC appliances and systems off-grid. To me that is living with one hand tied behind my back. You live with what you have and develop routines. Most Class Bs on the road have P-W and LTV capabilities in that regard. So you would not be alone. But if you are serious about boondocking, P-W and LTV are simply not designed for that.
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Old 04-03-2015, 03:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Price Transparency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamster
Hello. Thanks for the add! I am brand-new to the bulletin board. I have been reading posts for several months--thanks to all the contributors. This has been a great resource! I am retired from active-duty in the Air Force and now work as a federal civilian...for about seven more years, then I'll really retire. My youngest son started college last year, so I now have an empty nest.

I'm looking (very seriously) at Roadtrek CS Adventurous, Pleasureway TS or FL, and LTV Free Spirit class Bs. I plan on attending my first RV show--at Hershey--this fall, unless I purchase before then. 98% of my research has been over the internet, and I've only visited one RV dealer (Fretz RV) so far. I am most interested in camping "out West," in national forest and BLM campgrounds, and at boondocking sites. Other than being able to take off a couple of weeks now and then each year, my near-term camping will be lots of long weekends in the DE/PA/MD/VA area.

As somebody completely without first-hand experience with purchasing an RV, it looks to me like a typical Class A or C discount might be 30% off MSRP, with the Canadian class Bs selling for about 18-20% off MSRP. Is that right? And, if, say, I purchase about the time the 2016s are about to arrive, do you think I should be able to get 30% off a 2015 Canadian class B? (I'm cheap by nature, and this is a huge purchase!)

Once I do purchase, I am happy to post where I bought, what I bought, and at what price. When I buy a car, I can figure out on the internet what a "good" price is. But it seems to me that there's nearly a complete lack of transparency when it comes to class B prices. Winecrasher recently posted about what he paid for his new Travato--which I thought was just great. (Congrats!) I wish there was more of this transparency in the class B community. Dealers, of course, are entitled to a decent profit...but more transparency would definitely make purchase negotiations smoother and quicker, and help purchasers to save some money, IMHO.

Anyway, thanks for this great website! Any information on the "best price" I'll be able to get on a class B would be much appreciated. Best, Hamster
Well you asked so i'll tell. i orderered a Roadtrek Zion for late april/early may delivery-I hope.

I got the Engine generator system/cherry interior/solar panels/tv package/faux leather/extra screen package/plus the shipping to dealer for net price of 85,600. that was about 16 percent of msrp(roadtreks)
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Price Transparency

Davydd's 10-20% is probably very close to where good deals will be. Roadtrek seems to top out at about 18% for a very good deal most times, it appears. Market is a bit tighter now than a while ago, but still in that range, I think. If you can find older model year units they might be cheaper. Our 15 month on the lot, but 2 model years old, Roadtrek was at a bit over 25% off.

There are lots and lots of discussions on this board about power systems, batteries, chargers, solar, alternators, engine generators, Onan generators that will help you determine how much "system" you need to be able to do what you want off grid. How you would use it all, and how "homelike" you want it will determine what you need. And of course cost . If you are a DIY nut and tinker, lots more options are out there. There are folks out there with B's that will spend a week or more offgrid with a single 90ah battery and 100 watts of solar without issue, and on the other end a setup like Davydd's with 800ah of battery to cover how he wants to be able to use it.

I am sure you will be able to figure it all out well, especially once you start zeroing in on the models and features so you can compare them to what you need and want.
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Price Transparency

I haven't heard of anyone getting 30% off MSRP on a Class B. I have seen 20% off noted on forums and in private messages. Booster did really well

The best value might be in a nearly new unit. I bought a nearly new unit once. One model year old with 8,000 miles on the odometer. My guess is that it was 35% to 40% off new MSRP if what the dealer said was accurate. There were 3 other brand new units on the small dealer lot next to the one I bought so there probably was some incentive to make space. Also, the one I bought did not have a generator so that would have been a factor.

If buying used find out if the warranty on the coach part is transferable to a subsequent owner. There a list here - http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=9&t=2669 - but double check with the dealer and or manufacturer in case the list is out-of-date or inaccurate.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Price Transparency

don't overlook used units- there are those who gotta, gotta have the latest and greatest...and they take the $ hit.
Like motorcycles, boats and other stuff, some buy and loose interest or decide they want a 43' toy hauler

If the B works out, you can sell it after a year and buy your own new unit- Davydd has chronicled his custom ordered build



Like You, we are new to RV's...we rented in Ireland last Sept. to see if we would BOTH like it and once back home started looking in earnest. ( I work for rock bands and have traveled in coaches for 35 years)

we realized a couple of absolutes:
1.) no "climb over beds"- no sideways sleepers
2.) don't consume alot of room with a wet bath if you don't need it- campgrounds have showers, our unit has an unused aisle shower...we also have an outdoor shower on the van...good for muddy boots and cleaning fish
3.) length- superlongs are not allowed in some campgrounds, parks and street parking in some cities, we are just under 21' with spare
4.) easy to drive ( my wife has been doing solo trips to Ca. when I have been tied up or traveling with work)
5.) 2 + dog, don't need 2nd row seating...front seats swivel- usually leave the rear made up as a bed.


the youtube demos were great and after narrowing down likely units we went and looked at some.

bonus hint:
the 2 best values I found on craigslist had the manufacturers names mis-spelled...so they didn;t come up in normal searches
( "Roadtrac", "Pleasurewey").

mike
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Price Transparency

One thing I don't understand about the retail end of B's (any maybe C's and A's also) -- sometimes you'll see a rig sitting on the dealer's lot for ages. I watched a CS in Arizona for at least 15 months, and during that time its quality appearance declined as more folks traipsed through it.

Yet there it sat, I'm sure taking its spot in the dealer's floor inventory, baking in the sun, and requiring him to pay interest on it.

Yet they declined to even think about a pretty lowball offer. I think it finally moved, but they could have avoided a lot of expense earlier on.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Price Transparency

Well, if you are driven by discounts, look no further than Winnebago. They typically go for 25-27 off MSRP depending, of course, on model. The margins on their B's must be about the same as their A's and C's.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Price Transparency

I think Wincrasher is correct-unlike strictly small manufacturers-roadtrek,pleasureway,ltv are small in the realm of things

a Travato from Winnebago is part of a Big manufacturer-overhead per unit is probably less and bigger discount available. go with winnebago
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Price Transparency

I agree that there needs to be more transparency. At a car dealer they have to show you what they paid for the vehicle - their invoice price. I don't think that is the same for class b dealers.

Everyone should share what they paid for their vehicle from the dealer.

I'll share my used purchase, even though it is not relevant to anything.
I paid $17,000 for my 1995 Eurovan Camper 4 years ago at 105,000 mi.

I hope to share the price I purchase my class b for in 2016.

JP
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