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Old 01-24-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Purchasing a Class B Van from another part of the country

Please share your knowledge and / or experience of purchasing a pre-owned Class B Van (or other RV type) from another part of the country.

Would you buy from an individual (out-of-state) or only from a dealer?

I've recently been corresponding with someone who wants to purchase a pre-owned Class B RV. They actually found a good unit at a good price and made an offer that was accepted. They sent the money and had to make plans to travel to pick up the unit. Then, the seller returned their money and informed them that hed sold it to someone else. Disappointing to say the least.

Would you buy unseen?

If no, how about if the price was good enough to allow for repairs?
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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We bought one off of Ebay from a dealership in Valdosta Georgia. It was brand new, but had been on their showroom floor for about 6 months. We cut the final deal over the phone and had the financing all arranged. They told us "come and get it", so we drove all night to get to Georgia on Friday morning.

When we got there, we found that the could not get it to run. They had ordered a part from the manufacturer (the engine manufacturer) and it would be in on Monday. They paid for our hotel for the weekend.... on Monday at noon we went to pick it up, still wouldn't run. We stayed one more day, then drove home. The dealership did reimburse us for our gas, hotels and one meal per day.

We got home and continued to shop, bought the PW about 2 weeks later at a dealership about 50 miles north of our home.

IF you do buy, new or used, from someone across country. Ask them to take a test drive and make sure that it's in working order before you go pick it up. Unfortunately, these guys had listed it for sale before they checked it out. They didn't try to drive it until just before we arrived. Duh!
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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I bought mine from another part of the country. We had a set dollar amount agreed upon before I saw it. The unit turned out to be as good as the owner was telling me so I got it. Had it not have been I would have either said no and left or negociate a lower price. All depends on what was wrong and price.
I believe I was almost a victom of a scam on another deal. The buyer wanted me to send money then he would tell me where I can pick it up in California. I said I have a friend living in the area (yes I really did) and I wanted my friend to inspect it and he would pay for it on the spot if it was good as I would have sent my friend the money. They had all kinds of excuses but I wouldn't budge.
As for buying from a dealer. I did that once on another vehicle but I went to pick it up and that is when they collected the money.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:02 PM   #4
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I was alerted to a 2002 PW Traverse located at a resale dealer in South Carolina. It was an ebay sale and the dealer went through great pains to say what was wrong with the unit. I was also able to make a much better Buy it Now deal and decided to take a chance. The dealer had 500+ 100% transactions. The problem was in arranging transportation to get the rig to my home in Idaho but it finally got here and was as good or better than the dealer described. Transportation added $1670 to the cost (oversize and distance) so that can be a real factor.

Still, it was a great transaction and these are hard to find used. Next rig though, I'll try to buy closer to home. I doubt I'd do a long distance private party sale.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:11 AM   #5
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Default Buying site unseen

I have now bought 2 used class Bs on eBay and so far both experiences have been good. I bought both site unseen and flew a thousand miles to drive them home. I'm such a trusting sole.

About three years ago I bought a 1987 Xplorer with about 49,000 miles from an individual. I bought it to see if I would like a Class B and found that I really did. The previous owner had converted everything to 110 volt with two marine batteries and a 1500 watt inverter. I really have enjoyed it but discovered that it did not have some things I wanted -- like an awning, twin beds, a generator, HW heater, furnace, etc. I will list it on eBay as soon as I get it cleaned up.

A couple of weeks ago I puchased a 1996 Coach House on eBay from a dealer in Jacksonville, Florida. I was a bit concerned because it has 135,000 miles but I think I got a pretty good deal and am willing to do a major repair if I have to. It's 11 years old but its paid for. (I just couldn't justify the RV/motel tradeoff cost if I paid 30 or 40 thousand for an RV. Five or six thousand a year in depreciation would pay for a lot of La Quinta rooms.) My "new" Coach House is a 192SD (side dinette) layout and I love the floor plan. The two way fridge in it had quit and the dealer agreed to get me a new replacement (I'm still waiting on it but believe it is on its way).

I boondocked my way back from Florida to Arkansas and had a four great days on the road. The Onan 2.8KW generator worked great to make coffee and microwave breakfast every morning. The Fiamma awning is an ease to open and close. The passenger seat is loose and I am currently looking for a replacement swivel seat base.

I'm doing a bit of minor remodeling on my Coach House right now and looking forward to spending a lot of time in it this coming spring and summer. I teach so I will be able to travel a lot this summer. The van is big enough for my wife and I and our chocolate lab, but much roomier with just one person. My wife doesn't like driving as much as I do so I will be by myself much of the time. When I am on the road I use a Sprint broadband card in my Dell notebook and am able to get online from anywhere I can get cell phone service -- of course with Sprint that leaves out a number of places.

I'm really enjoying reading the posts on this forum and hope to learn much more from all of you.
I recently purchased a 1996 (Dodge) Coach House 192SD.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:39 AM   #6
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Bought mine from a private owner in another State. Found it on craigslist. Would never buy one unseen. Drove there, looked at it, drove it, came home, researched it, then set up a time to return and purchase it after we agreed on a price. No problems - happy with purchase.
2003 Forest River M-B Cruiser
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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We almost went down that path when we were considering a VW Eurovan or Westy, but since went with a cargo van to use as a platform for conversion.
It almost seems like you have to jump out on faith a bit when it comes to buying VW, Sportsmobile, Roadtreks, etc. We're in KY and there just aren't that many of those types of used rigs for sale in our neck of the woods. Now if we were on the left coast it might be a bit easier, seems there is more of a supply out there.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:33 PM   #8
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I am amazed at the trust some people put into words and pictures from afar. Maybe it is my Iowegian upbringing ("...if we greet you, which we may not do at all," as Iowan Meridth Wilson wrote for The Music Man). But to put so much trust without verification into a multi-thousand dollar purchase seems fraught with potential for disaster. Admittedly some have done it and done all right. But, search for the other sided of the story, from those who were really taken by unknown, unprincipaled sellers.

I prowl the internet for bargains, but never would enter into any agreement on purchase without seeing the merchandise first-hand and having an option in any pre-sale agreement that it must meet either my, or a professional appraiser's okay.
GMC Conversion Van and WellsCargo traiiler
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