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Old 02-07-2016, 01:30 AM   #1
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Advice Needed: Shopping for an RV

Good evening,

We have been shopping around for an RV in the past few weeks and we may have found the one we liked. We are in the military and constantly on the move; so our main purpose is to travel visiting family.

Today, we found a lightly used Thor Axis 24.1 with options such us x3 32in TV's. This is our first RV buying experience, I am treating it as if I am buying a car. For those that are experienced in this field, what should I be looking for when buying a used RV?

Thor Axis 24.1 w/ 4,000 miles and the asking price is between 65k-70k. Is this a good deal or should it be less?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:26 AM   #2
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See my response in your other post.

In general many of us Axis/Vegas owners on here love our units. You really want to treat buying an RV like buying a house (when buying a car you assume everything is ok when buying a house you get everything inspected).

Since you are buying a used one it is likely that the prior owner's have worked out many of the bugs in the system(s).

Make sure the selling dealer shows you that every system in the unit operates without problems (the front bunk lowers & raises without issues, the slideout extends and retracts without jamming or skipping, the water system has no leaks on both city water and self-contained, the water heater works, the furnace works, all appliances work, etc.).
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post

....cut....

Since you are buying a used one it is likely that the prior owner's have worked out many of the bugs in the system(s).

....cut.....
Personally, I wouldn't assume that. It's possible the owners couldn't get bugs worked out which may be why they are selling it.

Also, if from a dealer, getting them to fix remaining bugs may be easier than if buying from an individual. Not sure if they stated source.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:25 AM   #4
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Personally, I wouldn't assume that. It's possible the owners couldn't get bugs worked out which may be why they are selling it.

Also, if from a dealer, getting them to fix remaining bugs may be easier than if buying from an individual. Not sure if they stated source.
What bugs are you referring to?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
See my response in your other post.

In general many of us Axis/Vegas owners on here love our units. You really want to treat buying an RV like buying a house (when buying a car you assume everything is ok when buying a house you get everything inspected).

Since you are buying a used one it is likely that the prior owner's have worked out many of the bugs in the system(s).

Make sure the selling dealer shows you that every system in the unit operates without problems (the front bunk lowers & raises without issues, the slideout extends and retracts without jamming or skipping, the water system has no leaks on both city water and self-contained, the water heater works, the furnace works, all appliances work, etc.).
Thanks for the informative response. The dealer is camping world and they offer a lot of incentives when its comes to purchasing an RV from them. We are sold on the salesman and customer service. What bugs are you referring to? Is this specific to the THOR RUV Vegas/Axis models?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:44 AM   #6
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When purchasing a rv, regardless if it's driveable or towable in any price range from any manufacturer, it is going to to have bugs/issues to be dealt with some minor some worse. The main thing to consider is will your dealer/manufacturer stand behind their product, in reading these forums it's about 50/50 on the dealer service departments & in my case the manufacturer has been very good, just do your homework on both.
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Old 02-07-2016, 04:06 AM   #7
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What bugs are you referring to?
Radnee, nothing specific. If you do a search of this forum, you'll find that some buyers of new motorhomes spend a lot of time -- sometimes months -- trying to get their units fixed under warranty. I don't like to assume much, so would consider that a "lightly used" motorhome could have been sold because owners got tired of trying to get issues fixed. Or maybe it was perfectly fine and are selling for other reasons. My point is that I wouldn't "assume" many bugs have been fixed just because it had a previous owner.

Don't get me wrong, I bought a lightly used motorhome once (not quite this new though) and it worked out great for us, although we checked it out top to bottom.

I do agree with Jamie 100% that I wouldn't treat this like buying a car. It's more like buying a house than a car. It's a big investment and there is much more to consider than with a car.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chance
Personally, I wouldn't assume that. It's possible the owners couldn't get bugs worked out which may be why they are selling it.
Yeah I had that in there but removed it--wanted to stay positive; but yeah it is possible they dumped a lemon and ran as fast as they could.

If it was a lemon, however, I would suspect it would have fewer miles on it than 4000. Our very first camper was a lemon. We had it for only a year before getting rid of it and we didn't have nearly 4000 miles on it (since it was a trailer and they don't have an odometer I'd have to estimate based on the few trips we took).

There is someone on this forum that had their Axis/Vegas for only a year and then upgraded to an ACE--they liked it but it was too small for them.

The reason they got rid of it could be anything.

Another good indicator is we really don't have that many Axis/Vegas owners coming on here complaining about a crappy unit (yeah ok there was the one with the bad axle that locked up). The ones that do complain about their unit sitting at the dealers lot for months on end for repairs seem to really be the dealer's fault making them leave their unit while they wait for parts and then the dealer not doing the fixes correctly.

It really seems to come down to finding a good dealer that will stand behind their service dept.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:12 AM   #9
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First thing we did before buying was to check the service dept. reviews. The salesman can be great , but if there are bad reviews of the service dept. walk away go somewhere eles. We were first looking at a Class C w/ a gas engine, bit the bullit and bought the Mercedes Blutec diesel. 14-16 MPG. Once I knew I could get a 15 years loan, I went with the better engine. Small dealer with a great service dept.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:45 AM   #10
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Radnee
bevedfelker has put together an owners manual that might help you. Send him a pm (private message) & he'll send you a copy via email. I found it helpful.
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:00 PM   #11
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If you are purchasing from Camping World, ask them what their drive-off price is, excluding sales tax. They attempt to charge all kinds of add-on fees ... documentation fee, freight fee, transportation fee, etc.
You didn't say what year it is. RVs depreciate 12-15% the 1st year and 8-12% until year 5, so at year 5 it's worth 1/2.
Check rvtrader.com to see what other dealers and individuals are selling similar used units for
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:13 PM   #12
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Radnee,

I agree with Jazz, request a copy of Ed's manual and use the PDI checklist in it.

Another idea, ask for the name of the former owner and contact them to see why they traded in the unit.

As most on this Forum we have had a few problems with our Vegas 24.1 (the Axis' South Eastern Cousin). Fortunately persistence, patience and a good service department at the local CW of Statesville and most of the problems have been corrected. We are still awaiting a replacement panel for the cover over the water heater in the hall...Thor has sent the wrong part three times (hence the need for patience).

Except for the problem I had with the Harris Batteries, the WFCO Converter and THor warranties (thread can be found on this Forum) all other repairs on our RV have been covered by Warranty. I would advise you to check out the coach batteries. These are the two batteries under the steps and provide 12V power to the RV part of the rig and the dashboard radio.

If yours are Harris Batteries see if the dealership has had any problem keeping them charged while they have had the unit on the lot. At 4 months of ownership with 2000 miles I had to buy two new batteries when I learned about "Sufate Dead" batteries not being covered by any of the warranties (Harris blamed WFCO, WFCO blamed Harris and Thor, everyone blamed each other for not properly recharging the batteries - BEFORE I even took ownership).

If your Unit has Harris Batteries maybe you can get the Dealership to swap out the Harris Batteries to "seal the deal".

Overall we really like the RV and recently swapped out the Couch for two recliners!

Good Luck and happy RV'ing
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:34 PM   #13
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....cut.....

Another idea, ask for the name of the former owner and contact them to see why they traded in the unit.

....cut....
Great idea Doc. We did this with our "small" used motorhome. It turned out the previous owners were older, heavy, and large individuals. And they found out the hard way after buying it that it was too difficult to use the large over-the-cab bed in Class C. They traded for a larger motorhome with a permanent bed.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:35 PM   #14
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We have had our Axis 24.1 for a little over 2 years now. We have been really pleased with it, but we did have quite a few warranty items needing repairs the first year.

Unless there has been a recent change in Thor's warranty policy, when purchasing this slightly used coach you will not have the Thor warranty, as it does not transfer to the second owner. The price on this used Axis is really close to what a new one would sell for. Unless Camping World is willing to deal a lot more on it, my advice would be to check some online dealer prices of a new one with the warranty. In my opinion your used price is too close to some of the new deals out there.

Good luck with your new RV adventure!!!Let us know what you decide to buy!!
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:42 PM   #15
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Inspect the RV! If you feel you are not qualified to properly inspect the RV hire an independent Mobile Tech to do the inspection for you. During the inspection make sure the RV is fully connected (water, electric and sewer) and then run every system, check every faucet, flip every switch and dump every tank.

After doing the above, take the coach out for a good test drive to include in and around town and on the interstate at highway speeds. Do not for one minute think an RV handles the same on an interstate at highways speeds as it does in a city.

Once you are satisfied everything is working correctly and you are happy with the test drive, then make the offer to purchase.

Since it is a used RV there will not be a manufacturer's warranty on the coach and you will not be entitled to support from Thor Customer or Warranty Services. Depending on the mileage, there may be a portion of the chassis warranty that is transferrable.

Above are, in my opinion the must know items.

Below are the nice to know item(s)

When making the purchase offer include items you would like added such as vent covers, tire valve extensions, replacement of Harris batteries with non Harris batteries, second house battery if it doesn't have one, installation of an inverter. Dealers won't always add these items at their cost but the worst that happens is they say no and you walk away.

Most importantly, thanks for your service to our country.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radnee View Post
Good evening,

We have been shopping around for an RV in the past few weeks and we may have found the one we liked. We are in the military and constantly on the move; so our main purpose is to travel visiting family.

Today, we found a lightly used Thor Axis 24.1 with options such us x3 32in TV's. This is our first RV buying experience, I am treating it as if I am buying a car. For those that are experienced in this field, what should I be looking for when buying a used RV?

Thor Axis 24.1 w/ 4,000 miles and the asking price is between 65k-70k. Is this a good deal or should it be less?

Thank you in advance.
As to your specific question on price, I researched prices all over the US for 24.1's several months ago before I traded in my Vegas 24.1 for a new Axis 24.1. I found that the bottom of the market was at $60K and about half of the units were priced at right around $59.9K. Most of the units were 2015's. Surprisingly, I found that most of the units at that price were offered by RV dealers. Private owners thought that their unit was worth considerably more. Look on RVTrader.com and you will find virtually all the units that are available. That will give you a good basis to make a counter offer. I would not be afraid to low ball your offer. I have been surprised several times at what a dealer would take below his asking price. If the unit is in excellent shape with only 4000 miles on it, then the low $60's seems like a fair price to me.
Good luck and ditto on Dave's "thanks for your service".

Retired USAF
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post

There is someone on this forum that had their Axis/Vegas for only a year and then upgraded to an ACE--they liked it but it was too small for them.

The reason they got rid of it could be anything.
I asked why this is sitting on the lot and they said the original owner trade it in for a bigger unit. It is currently under repairs for living room seats, it was ripped. The bathroom did smell a little but I am assuming the septic just needs to be cleaned and flushed out.
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Radnee View Post
Thor Axis 24.1 w/ 4,000 miles and the asking price is between 65k-70k. Is this a good deal or should it be less?
That price range was for new 2015 models when we were looking last year. I would think that any used unit would be worth about $10K less unless it's had some really nice trick customizations. Are new prices higher now?
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:07 PM   #19
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That price range was for new 2015 models when we were looking last year. I would think that any used unit would be worth about $10K less unless it's had some really nice trick customizations. Are new prices higher now?
At the Tampa RV show the 2016 Vegas 24.1 was on sale for $67.9K and the 24.1 Axis for $69.9K. Neither was "fully equipped" (one battery, 1 or 2 TV,s) but, really, those additions are inconsequential. And these were the starting prices.
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:20 PM   #20
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Just looking at Camping World Tampa's lot, they have a 2015 24.1 on the lot for $59K and (my trade) 2014 24.1 for $65.5K... Go figure?
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