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Old 01-13-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
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Best time to buy

We decided to start looking for a larger motorhome and went and looked at a dealer yesterday. Not a lot of inventory on his lot, like 1 or 2 of each model he carried. Of course, the salesman said it was a good time to buy because nothing is selling this time of year and they want to move what they have. I'm wondering if you are less likely to get the best deal at a time when so few are selling that the dealer is looking at it as "thats all the money I've got coming in; I have to pay for everything out of that."

I called another dealer who said he had none of the models we are looking at but had some on order for March. Thats probably going to be the case with most dealers, that they will have more inventory when they anticipate the season starting. I would think they'd want to move things off the lot then to keep getting new units in.

Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:16 PM   #2
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Exclamation

a '16 model sitting next to a '17 model in late December probably would have been the optimal timeframe, dealers want both to rid themselves of current 'old' year models as well as have less inventory to pay taxes on Jan1

otherwise any '16 model now on dealer lots
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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Agreed. Best time to purchase what you want is just before the end of the year. Next best time is winter before the new model years come out. If there are any new 16's left they can probably be had for substantially less. Never hurts to come armed with your best online deal on same year and model either!
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:56 PM   #4
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What are you looking for?
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:12 PM   #5
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I purchased a new 2016 Vegas 25.3 on December 2nd and believe I made a better deal at that time of year with a left-over model. However, I do believe it is better to buy when business is slow as dealerships need cash flow to pay expenses, whether the deal(s) are highly profitable or not.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:42 AM   #6
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Sales are very slow this time of year and salespeople are hungry! New models will start coming out in March or April, bet a dealer would be willing to deal to get rid of them. Figure at least 25-30% off list, many dealers sell at 25% off year round so go from there. Good hunting!
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:34 AM   #7
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Sorry, I can't agree with the idea that it's always a good deal to buy after or right before the new model years come out. My experience differs from that theory. (Your results may vary.)

We ordered a new 2016 Vegas in March of 2015, to be picked up in early June. We could have purchased a new 2015 and saved a few coins. There were some small changes that we liked about the early 2016s, but the shorter windshield and the E-450 changes came later that year.

Now it is around 20 months later, and we have about 13000 miles on ours. I just checked the NADA pricing for a used Vegas, 2016 versus 2015 with the same 13,000 miles. The difference today is over $10,000! We don't expect to sell or trade soon, but a year newer model will always be worth more.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:11 AM   #8
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Sunshine, I agree that back end value will be less, but front end price will be less too, does one offset the other, no. Really depends on what you want, if you be happy with year old model new, buy it, if not spend extra up front. It has been my experience that RVs depreciation fast, unless you pay cash or a lot up front you will always end up upside down!
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:25 PM   #9
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Doesn't it depend on how long you will keep the motorhome?

The difference in price between a 2- and 3-year old motorhome is much greater than between 10- and 11-year old. If trading in regularly, I would agree with Mr Sunshine; current year purchase should return much of the higher initial cost back at trade in. If keeping it much longer, I would take the lower initial cost of the previous model year -- assuming you get what you want which is most important.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:14 PM   #10
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Doesn't it depend on how long you will keep the motorhome?

The difference in price between a 2- and 3-year old motorhome is much greater than between 10- and 11-year old. If trading in regularly, I would agree with Mr Sunshine; current year purchase should return much of the higher initial cost back at trade in. If keeping it much longer, I would take the lower initial cost of the previous model year -- assuming you get what you want which is most important.
I agree generally. However, if you are buying a left over 2016 new model after the new 2017 models are stocked on dealers lots, then you have to get a much deeper discount to even this out. Instead of the unit being a used one year old unit when you sign the papers and drive off, it is a 2 year old used unit within a few short months. So if you can get the discount from original sticker to about 40%-45% off then it could still be a better deal because for awhile you will have a lower mileage unit for its age.

In SW Florida the winter months are not when RV dealers are starving. In the six counties that make up SW Florida the population increases by over 1.5 million and many of these folks are in RVs. That isn't to say they won't deal, but it is their busy season.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:30 PM   #11
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Sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time. I was looking for new RV when we bought ours several years ago and then I ran into an RV with 1600 miles on it for about $15000 less then new and it wasn't even broke in. If I buy another unit I would look at used first and I am the type of person that likes to buy new but the price on low mileage used units is a lot less then new.
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #12
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Sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time. I was looking for new RV when we bought ours several years ago and then I ran into an RV with 1600 miles on it for about $15000 less then new and it wasn't even broke in. If I buy another unit I would look at used first and I am the type of person that likes to buy new but the price on low mileage used units is a lot less then new.
I agree that a lightly used motorhome can be a great deal. We went that route with our first RV, a small Class C, and saved a ton. After a few years, about 20,000 miles, and lots of great trips, we sold it and got most of the cost back. If the right used Axis came up, I'd consider used again.



To the OP's question regarding low inventory of large Class As, I wonder if shifting trends towards smaller motorhomes isn't affecting dealer business practices. Recent reports for November sales indicate that Class A volume was down compared to November 2015, while Class Cs were up and Class Bs up even more for same time period. As I recall, 2016 year-to-date (through November) Class A volume was still positive but trend was slowing.
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:14 PM   #13
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When we bought ours, we were told they are currently selling more B's and B+'s than any other class.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:19 PM   #14
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According to SSI data reported in RV Business:

November Class A motorhome sales fell 6.5% from the previous year.

November Class C motorhome sales grew 11.4% from the previous year.

November Class B motorhome sales grew 22.6% from the previous year.


However, looking at January through November totals, differences are not quite as significant.

Class A sales were up 5%.

Class C sales were up 20%.

Class B sales were up 12.4%.



There does seem to be a possible shift towards smaller motorhomes. If this trend continues, it may make it too expensive for dealers to inventory too many large As; unless they make up slower sales with higher profits.


Since we live in the south and time of year doesn't matter as much, we may give the Tampa Supershow a try.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:49 PM   #15
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Trend seems definitely to be toward smaller motor homes.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:58 PM   #16
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Trend seems definitely to be toward smaller motor homes.
That was definitely true for us. We had a 37 ft Pace Arrow that we traded for a 26.5 ft Vegas. Our family was larger when we purchased the PA, but are empty nesters now...we don't need as much room and the Vegas suits us just fine.
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Old 01-14-2017, 07:33 PM   #17
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Trend seems definitely to be toward smaller motor homes.
Some of the growth in Class Bs must be coming from Hymer, which is now in second place behind Winnebago. This is remarkable considering they have only been in US for about a year (although it probably includes Roadtrek sales too). If I make it to Tampa next week, I plan to look at all Hymers closely to see how they compare. Reported engineering and quality is supposedly very good, as reflected by a much longer warranty.

Since Hymer introduced Class Bs to US in Tampa (if I recall correctly), I'm hoping they have compact Class As and Cs also, as well as their new trailers.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:40 PM   #18
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Back to the new current vs. new last year's model discussion, I would have considered the older model, but the dealers weren't discounting them enough at that time.

I have a friend who found a slightly used 2016 Vegas 25.2 last spring at a great discount. So yes, there are deals out there. If you can, have several dealerships put your desired RV on their "wanted" list.

Just don't assume that the first owner found or fixed all the issues. That might or might not have happened.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:19 AM   #19
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Guess we fall into the downsizing trend. We traded a 41 foot DP which we had for eleven years, for the 25 foot Gemini. Its now just my wife, me and our dog, kids & grandkids are grown, younger ones in their teens, and don't travel with us now, and we just didn't feel we needed anything that big. Also the maintenance for the big DP's is really intense, plus that six to six and a half MPG vs the 18 MPG on the Gemini is nice too.
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Old 01-15-2017, 02:28 AM   #20
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Guess we fall into the downsizing trend. We traded a 41 foot DP which we had for eleven years, for the 25 foot Gemini. Its now just my wife, me and our dog, kids & grandkids are grown, younger ones in their teens, and don't travel with us now, and we just didn't feel we needed anything that big. Also the maintenance for the big DP's is really intense, plus that six to six and a half MPG vs the 18 MPG on the Gemini is nice too.
We did a similar thing, 40 foot DP to 30 foot Windsport, we moved and didn't have room to store 40 footer. Don't miss the DP as much as I thought we would.
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