Monday, September 7, 2015

New or used?

After deciding to get a Class A diesel pusher, the next decision was whether to buy new or used.  Buying a used DP has the potential to save a lot of money, but how much it saves you depends on how old it is.

Obviously, a 2000 DP is a whole lot cheaper than a 2013 DP.  Things to consider if you buy something too old:

  • Some parks won't allow older RVs.  I've often heard that these parks only accept RVs that are less than 10 years old.  Granted, it's a very small number of parks overall, but it still happens.
  • Older RVs may have technology that needs to be upgraded.  I see posts every day about people who are exchanging older TVs for newer LED TVs. This also applies to hot water heating systems, air conditioning, power inverters, and a lot of other systems.
  • Maintenance costs are higher.  
In our case, we decided that we wanted something that was no more than about 4 years old.  This was after we looked at a lot of the features available on RVs and the technology that they used.  We realized that we would save anywhere from 15-25 percent off of a model that was a year or two old.  This was off of the price that we would probably pay for a new one.  So while there is the typical depreciation that happens as soon as you drive it off the lot, diesel pushers hold their value pretty well. As I was writing this, I just looked on the Internet and found the 2014 model of the coach that we have decided we want for about $50,000 less than we can buy a new 2016.  Given that the 2016 offers many new features and has a full warranty, it doesn't seem like that much of a difference when you consider that the 2016 will "lose" about $15-$20K when you drive it off the lot.  So, in our case, a new 2016 will be only about $30K more than one that is two years older and doesn't have some of the customizations we want.  

We also have a philosophy that a lot of people may not share.  We believe that our experiences traveling around the country in our own motorhome are worth something.  Everything has its price, and the money we'll lose through depreciation by purchasing a new motorhome will be the price we pay for the great times we're going to have.  Rationalization, maybe, but that's how we see it.

And so, our decision was made.  We're going to get a new 2016 diesel pusher.

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