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Old 08-26-2018, 01:51 PM   #1
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Default The Dereaded "D" Word

No not death, debt or divorce. Depreciation! Currently, it seems hard to find a used Class B near me that the previous owner and in most cases a dealer is willing to sell the camper taking into account the true depreciation value.

Do I come up with my own math formula or is there a website that is used as the absolute go to source like NADA that sellers respect when considering my offer?

If I buy new with cash and plan to keep for 20 years, does the "D" word even matter in this circumstance? I read other suggesting to never buy new to avoid the initial "D" hit, but if slightly used is not abundant and the market is keeping the used prices high what is a fence rider to do??? Is buying a new clearance van out of season the way for me to go?
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:02 PM   #2
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You will get an amazing array of answers on this topic. it'll be interesting to read them all.

Assuming that you plan, as you say, to keep the coach for a significant period; essentially until it's fully-depreciated out. (I BOUGHT mine as a fully-depreciated, twenty-year old coach, BTW.)

The difference between a new coach and a lightly-used three year old coach can be as much as $40k on a coach that was $120k new, with very little difference in condition or amenities. Strictly as an exercise in finance, the odds of you spending $40k on maintenance on a low-mileage, 3 year old coach during the entire time you own it is slim. $40k buys a LOT of travel, or a really nice sailing vessel for you to winter over on in Florida. Or is a pretty good start on an annuity for retirement. Or it's a pretty nice down payment on investment income property.

It's a matter of how you value your money and what your goals are in life.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
No not death, debt or divorce. Depreciation! Currently, it seems hard to find a used Class B near me that the previous owner and in most cases a dealer is willing to sell the camper taking into account the true depreciation value.

Do I come up with my own math formula or is there a website that is used as the absolute go to source like NADA that sellers respect when considering my offer?

If I buy new with cash and plan to keep for 20 years, does the "D" word even matter in this circumstance? I read other suggesting to never buy new to avoid the initial "D" hit, but if slightly used is not abundant and the market is keeping the used prices high what is a fence rider to do??? Is buying a new clearance van out of season the way for me to go?

The selling price and thus the depreciation is determined by the market, not a depreciation chart or formula, which are just compilations of what somebody thinks the market is doing.


In general, everyone needs to realize that what they are selling is worth what somebody will pay for it, not what the seller thinks it is worth, or NADA says it is worth.


The longer you keep it the less depreciation matters to your ownership time, but will have nothing to do with what you pay for the van.


When we were looking and buying in 2007-2008 timeframe, we didn't find offseason to have hugely better pricing. Model year change times could give some better pricing if you can find what you want in a model year old, but new, unit. We did manage to do that in 2008 and got a very good price, but class b sales weren't as robust then.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:32 PM   #4
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There is no rule on the depreciation. Class B's are famous for keeping their value better than the other RVs... mainly because there are fewer of them and they were expensive from the start.

The value is whatever the seller can get a buyer to pay.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:37 PM   #5
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There is no rule on the depreciation. Class B's are famous for keeping their value better than the other RVs... mainly because there are fewer of them and they were expensive from the start.

The value is whatever the seller can get a buyer to pay.
That's certainly true of older coaches... but used coaches up to about seven or eight years old pretty much sell by NADA values, give or take, because that's what lending institutions use as value guidelines. Some will finance a ten year old coach... but past that magic ten years old mark, it's condition, condition, and condition that determines the asking price as those are largely cash sales.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:01 PM   #6
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That's certainly true of older coaches... but used coaches up to about seven or eight years old pretty much sell by NADA values, give or take, because that's what lending institutions use as value guidelines. Some will finance a ten year old coach... but past that magic ten years old mark, it's condition, condition, and condition that determines the asking price as those are largely cash sales.

I think that I would have to say that we have not seen the NADA pricing to be very accurate at all, at least for the ones we have looked up that had sold already so we knew the price. It would appear that the dealers, and other sellers often use NADA to justify a higher price than the vehicle will sell for, hoping to find someone who believes NADA is correct. In the rarer case of NADA being lower than the normal selling price, they don't list at NADA and will tell customers NADA is not accurate if the customer shows them the lower pricing. We have personally seen that.



One very major cheat that sellers do, sometimes unwittingly for private sellers, is to misuse the NADA pricing calculation to show a much higher price than NADA really would list. The NADA pricing includes a really long list of "options" which appears to be the same list for essentially all motorhomes, and has very plain instructions to include only those "options" from the list that were really sold as options on the RV model you are looking at. This would mean you don't check off items on the NADA pricing that are on the RV you are looking at, but were standard features on the RV you are looking at. My favorite on the list is "driver side door" option which shows up all RVs, including class b vans. When I have looked at many posted NADA pricing sheets for class b's for sale they have that box checked, thus increasing the price. I doubt any of us have ever seen a class b where the driver side door was optional . Other stuff like microwaves, air conditioning, full body paint, etc may or may not have been options when the van was built, so you need to go back and find some old literature to find out. I have checked at least a dozen Roadtreks on ebay that had NADA sheets listed, and all but one had inflated pricing for the above reasons. I would almost guarantee you will find similar issues at the dealers. Maybe NADA has changed all this lately, as I have not done any pricing comparisons in the last 2-3 years, but probably not.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:09 PM   #7
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I think that I would have to say that we have not seen the NADA pricing to be very accurate at all, at least for the ones we have looked up that had sold already so we knew the price. It would appear that the dealers, and other sellers often use NADA to justify a higher price than the vehicle will sell for, hoping to find someone who believes NADA is correct. In the rarer case of NADA being lower than the normal selling price, they don't list at NADA and will tell customers NADA is not accurate if the customer shows them the lower pricing. We have personally seen that.
Caveat emptor ALWAYS applies... new OR used. As a buyer, you have to be better informed than the seller, and always be prepared to walk away.

I have seen the same mis-uses of NADA values as you describe as well, but being an informed buyer means you don't have to fall for that.

All that aside, NADA and similar pricing guides remain the gold standard by which financial institutions lend on RVs, so NADA remains the go-to standard for valuation if you're planning on seeking financing. If you've got cash, then the book value doesn't mean much in negotiations.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:47 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, the high demand of all rv's right now is keeping prices up on both new & used class b's. I bought last October and paid too much. But, I had shopped for a full year on-line and when I found the right RV I made my purchase because there did not seem to be price decline in sight.

In my case, I paid $56,500 for a '2012 Airstream Avenue Suite class b. The price was $10K less than the rare others I had seen or comparable Roadtrek 190P's and was only 200 miles away so I pulled the trigger. Why do I say I paid too much? Because the Avenue was not a successful model for Airstream and only made from 2010-2012. I'll bet I could have new one lingering on a dealer's lot 5-6 years ago for the mid $70's. Mine is in excellent shape and had only 25,000 miles, but $20 grand in depreciation for a 6 year-old model shows how I purchased at the top of the market price-wise.

I don't regret my purchase, it was time and we've already been on a great trip to Yellowstone and back. It's just a seller's market right now.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:00 PM   #9
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We paid a little above NADA when we bought a 2004 Roadtrek 190P last year. We looked hard at the prices that people were asking (and seemed to be getting as the units vanished so fast) and it seemed like NADA was low. I think the deal we got was fair.

There is a strong advantage in buying from a private party. They know a lot less about how to screw you over. RV dealers have a whole world of fees and hidden costs from “undercoating” to “prep” to “transport”. And the financing shenanigans get you paying double for the RV by the time you are done. With private parties you agree on a price and make the deal.

There are frauds out there - a lot of them - but I found them pretty easy to spot. Just keep the deal simple. Meet face-to-face. You pay the money. They sign over the title.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:24 PM   #10
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Right now, the class B market for roadtreks is a seller's market.. lots of buyers, not enough sellers... Desirable RT's that are priced right are moving quickly.. There was a 2015 210P that was priced in the 90's since may.. they lowered the price to 79k and it disappeared in 3 or 4 days...
I've seen that with 4 or 5 units i've been considering... if there is one that is "reasonably" priced, it's probably going to move quickly...
I'm just hoping there will be an increase in inventory due to people not wanting to hold their unit over the winter..
I keep looking in the mirror chanting "patience.. patience.. breathe.. breathe.."

that being said, overpriced units are staying unsold..
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:37 PM   #11
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Default Depreciation v maintenance

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You will get an amazing array of answers on this topic. it'll be interesting to read them all.

Assuming that you plan, as you say, to keep the coach for a significant period; essentially until it's fully-depreciated out. (I BOUGHT mine as a fully-depreciated, twenty-year old coach, BTW.)

Agreed. Here is how I looked at it.

After shopping for over a year, comparing new, slightly used and “fully depreciated” I bought a ‘99 Pleasureway $14,000.

All original equipment (stove, ac, heater, pumps, storage tanks etc. functioned properly) my math was as follows. I could replace engine, transmission and suspension (if needed) for under $8,000 and have all travel requisite items better than in a used unit selling for $45-60k. since these are the “biggies” I felt that any additional replacements would be WAY less than the $100,000+ difference between new and my purchase.

I have since put over 30k miles on it and spent $1400 on suspension $400 on electrical system and $700 the cab a/c. All other expenses have been cosmetic (things I wouldn’t have done but my wanted wanted).

30 months of travel with around $100 a month in repairs, used made sense to me.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:19 PM   #12
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I just read some stats on RV sales.... overall sales are up 314% and class B type vehicles are the majority of sales... good news for B owners!
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:59 PM   #13
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Default Reasonable is a relative term.....

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Right now, the class B market for roadtreks is a seller's market.. lots of buyers, not enough sellers... Desirable RT's that are priced right are moving quickly.. There was a 2015 210P that was priced in the 90's since may.. they lowered the price to 79k and it disappeared in 3 or 4 days...
I've seen that with 4 or 5 units i've been considering... if there is one that is "reasonably" priced, it's probably going to move quickly...
I'm just hoping there will be an increase in inventory due to people not wanting to hold their unit over the winter..
I keep looking in the mirror chanting "patience.. patience.. breathe.. breathe.."

that being said, overpriced units are staying unsold..
Roadtrek models are certainly more scarce.... especially used models in EXCELLENT CONDITION.... you're going to have a difficult time finding one near you in the first place ... let alone price.....

Which is WHY you hear many people buying one NEW ...
Yes, I was lucky finding my 2012 in May 2017 ... substantially less than a new vehicle....but, realize that any used vehicle needs things like new tires and batteries almost right from the start...plus whatever else you want to add....

All of this does add up...do it for yourself and don't expect to recoup this at resale.... own and enjoy your RV... it's a personal thing...

I made a lot of changes for my personal safety....do I regret doing it.....

NO.. not at all......it will definitely be a sales point when I go to sell it... people appreciate safety....

Between my rig with the upgrades and another non upgraded model... it's more likely to sell.. when I'm ready to do so......

Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:47 PM   #14
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I'll throw this in here. Used 2 and 3 year old Winnebago Travatos in excellent condition are selling for what they sold for new to original owners. (assuming the original owner didn't get ripped)

I'm talking 16's, 17's and 17.5
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:33 PM   #15
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I'll throw this in here. Used 2 and 3 year old Winnebago Travatos in excellent condition are selling for what they sold for new to original owners. (assuming the original owner didn't get ripped)

I'm talking 16's, 17's and 17.5
I don't know WHY someone would purchase a brand new unit and turn around and sell in 2 or even 3 years... unless they had buyers remorse, financial reasons, or just didn't like it....

It's a pretty large and expensive purchase... without doing your homework??

Maybe they want a diesel after all???

If you were paying the full price they paid... you'd better really like that rig with ultra low mileage.......

For me...the diesel engine and dual wheels were an absolute essential..... would not have considered anything else.....the safety and stability of the dual wheels set up was really high on my list.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:03 PM   #16
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IMPO one of the issues with the newer "B"'s (and perhaps all the newer RV's) is the amount of electronic technology they are stuffing into these vehicles to make them more attractive to people especially those downsizing from "A"'s. Reading the forums on a lot of the B's you often read about the problems people are experiencing with this new technology which will only become more frequent and expensive as these units age. So buying a used unit 3-4 years old that has been well cared for with a reasonable number of miles on it may not be such a bad idea to avoid repair bills on this newer technology.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:12 PM   #17
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I don't know WHY someone would purchase a brand new unit and turn around and sell in 2 or even 3 years... unless they had buyers remorse, financial reasons, or just didn't like it....

It's a pretty large and expensive purchase... without doing your homework??

Maybe they want a diesel after all???

If you were paying the full price they paid... you'd better really like that rig with ultra low mileage.......

For me...the diesel engine and dual wheels were an absolute essential..... would not have considered anything else.....the safety and stability of the dual wheels set up was really high on my list.
Easy answer. Lots of folks buying Travatos are first time RV buyers. Some have buyers remorse, some want the new one with all the upgrades. Most don't want diesel, let alone a Sprinter. You need the duallys on a Sprinter because it's so narrow and top heavy to help with the rock and roll, which helps just a little bit. (We've had 2 of them, both 3500's)
Anyway, some in the case of Travatos, we know 5 different folks, that have bought multiple ones being able to because of the resale value, and they got a great price to begin with on them. 2 of those five are on their 3rd for one and the other is on his 4th, already talking about his 5th which will be a model year '20 or '21 Lithium unit.

Getting off the OP's subject here so I'm done....
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:47 AM   #18
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Default Oh ..you've had two 3500s....tell me about your experience... please

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Easy answer. Lots of folks buying Travatos are first time RV buyers. Some have buyers remorse, some want the new one with all the upgrades. Most don't want diesel, let alone a Sprinter. You need the duallys on a Sprinter because it's so narrow and top heavy to help with the rock and roll, which helps just a little bit. (We've had 2 of them, both 3500's)
Anyway, some in the case of Travatos, we know 5 different folks, that have bought multiple ones being able to because of the resale value, and they got a great price to begin with on them. 2 of those five are on their 3rd for one and the other is on his 4th, already talking about his 5th which will be a model year '20 or '21 Lithium unit.

Getting off the OP's subject here so I'm done....
Bob...SO...you had the 3500 dual wheels...?

What year were your vehicles and WHY did you bail... twice?

They are narrow...but so are the Travatos...main difference is the gas vs. diesel engine...
I'll be the first to admit that the diesel is probably a little more expensive to maintain ...but, the way it handles mountain passes is just amazing...and I'm getting 18 to 20 MPG.....longer intervals at service ....and from all accounts..the diesel engine should outlast gasoline engines..... I'm talking 350,000 to 500,000 miles... I have met people with this kind of mileage on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter......now.. that doesn't mean that they didn't have other issues... I've even had some early emissions issues and it was all replaced under warranty.... thank God.....

As far as the vehicle is concerned.. most of what I had to do was either maintenance or house related repairs.... not technology....let me explain....

After getting my rig... needed new tires, 3 batteries.. starting and house, after 11,000 miles and USA trip..new shocks anti-sway and track bar...at 39,000 miles... new sewer line ( old one cracked), new macerator, black and gray valves, glow plugs..( even Mercedes Benz was surprised by that)..

And, for safety reasons I had additional cameras front and rear.. back up sensors... satellite navigation and new sound system plus solar panels..

FINALLY..IM GETTING a small repairs on my generator for the voltage...

That's a lot of stuff and money..... but, it's beautiful....and I didn't pay the full price..for it brand new..... which would have been a lot more... here's a link to my rig..... purchased May 2017...

https://www.conejowholesaleauto.com/...beffb59e9eb708
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:11 AM   #19
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Default Yes ....and the tarrif on new vehicles will make used vehicles MORE expensive

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I just read some stats on RV sales.... overall sales are up 314% and class B type vehicles are the majority of sales... good news for B owners!
I agree..it is definitely GOOD NEWS.... Class B's are increasingly popular for their fuel efficiency and being able to take them anywhere.....

REMEMBER, resale value is ONLY IMPORTANT when you intend to sell.....

I wouldn't worry about deprecation while you own it and intend to keep using it....
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:44 PM   #20
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Default Used RVs have crazy pricing

When we compared New to used, we thought the price of used was insane. We were looking at 10 year old units selling for 50% the price of new. And surprisingly they were flying off the lots so I don’t think the buyers were getting much off asking.

I figured it came down to the fact that a lot of people set a price cap around 50K and bought what they could get for that much money - even if it was a complete rip off.

Being from Canada, the options are slim. Many US units can’t be imported to Canada, and further, with the high US dollar, the price of used looked that much worse.

In the end, we decided buying new was worth it. And getting some new features like lithium batteries, DC only fridge, tall high fuel economy chassis was icing on the cake.

In the car market, 4 years is typically the 50% point, and thus I’ve found buying 4 year old cars has generally worked well for me - usually off lease cars. RVs as a wake up call that just didn’t sit with me. There is no way in my opinion that a 10 year old RV should be worth anything close to 50% the value of new - more like 30-40% makes much more sense. Remember that the vehicle it’s sitting on at 10 years is far into its life.

Good luck, and if you plan to keep it for a while I’d seriously look at buying new. Used just doesn’t seem to be worth it.
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