Before we purchased our new RV to begin our journey as full-time RVers, experienced RVing friends warned us that a new motorhome would be fraught with problems and that we would be better off buying a used one that was already broken in by someone else. So we first narrowed down the type of unit and features we wanted and the manufacturers we liked, then we looked very aggressively both locally and on the internet for a used unit that met our requirements.
Unfortunately, after many months of unsuccessful searching, we were butting up against the time frame we needed to begin our travels. We just couldn’t find a used coach that offered the layout and features we were looking for at a reasonable price point. So we broadened our search and look at new units as well.
When we found the unit we wanted in Florida (we were living in Massachusetts at the time), we put down a deposit, flew to Florida, drove the coach around some before we made the purchase; it seemed pretty good. I (Mitch) had previously rented privately-owned RVs for weeks at a time while vacationing so I was pretty familiar with using many of the subsystems in big coaches. But we knew to try and address every problem before we took final delivery of the vehicle.
The dealer hosted us at a beachside RV park nearby our first night. When we returned to the dealership the next day, we had a “punch list” of 24 items that we found that were nonfunctioning or defective in the unit. In a few cases, we just had questions about operation that neither we nor the dealer could answer. The dealership agreed to resolve everything before we took delivery, but they required a month to do so. We flew home to Massachusetts.
Five weeks later, in July 2014, the dealer had replaced all the parts in question and resolved (nearly) everything on our punch list. We took a one-way flight to Florida and drove the coach back home.
After three days and two nights on the road and in RV parks on the way home to Massachusetts, we amassed a punch list of ten more items. None of them were critical, but we hoped to get a few of them fixed while in New England the month before we started our year-long journey. But no dealers had room in their schedule to help us.
By Valerie C.
Whether you’re buying an RV, or just curious about them, buyers have an important decision to make right off the bat. New or used?
“Don’t buy a new RV,” they say, “because it will depreciate 25 to 30% the first year!”
“Don’t buy a used RV,” they say, “because it won’t be under warranty and so many things need service and repair.”
“Don’t buy a new RV,” they say, “because so many things go wrong with motorhomes the first six to twelve months.”
“Buy a new RV,” they say, so you can get exactly what you want custom from the factory.”
Who to believe? What to think? New? Or used?
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Posted by RVLuckyOrWhat in RV Life, RV Ownership, RV Trouble, Travel Stories Tags: 2014 Thor Tuscany 45LT, Buying an RV, Camping World, Full-time RVing, Motorhome, New RV, RV Industry, RV Life, RV Refrigerator, RV repair difficulties, RV service, RV Warranty issues, Thor, Travel, Used RV