Is it Possible to Buy a Good Quality RV in 2021?
For many years, the plan had been to purchase our new "forever" RV this past spring (2021).
But, we all know what has happened in the past 18 months - Covid-19. That changed our plans in a big way.
The first step of that plan was to sell our current rig. Selling the Cougar fifth wheel was no problem! We put it on RV Trader Saturday night, but Sunday night we had three full price offers and three more people interested. It was sold and left our driveway Tuesday night - full asking price. We even have some new friends, the new owners of our former rig. We hope they enjoy it as much as we did.
We were so excite. Now, to find our forever RV, the one we had been dreaming about the past two years. We knew exactly what we wanted, the manufacturer, the model and the floor plan, a Newmar Baystar 3414! We had gotten quotes for this model over the past 12 month and researched the dealers that carried Newmar. Heck, we had even visited the factory to see how they were made!
Our first (of many) disappointments, Newmar announced a week later, they were not going to offer the 3414 floor plan in 2021 (or anytime in the near future). Okay - disappointing, but we still liked the quality of a Newmar and they made our second favorite floor plan, the 3226.
Now, to ask for some current quotes. OMG - the prices had gone up since the fall of 2020 about 15%! We had a budget, and now that budget was being pushed to its limit.
Should we look for options? Yes, it would be the responsible thing to do - and if my husband is anything, he is very financially responsible.
A used Newmar would be the second best option. First we looked at a used Newmar Baystar 3113. It was 2017 and looked fantastic on RV Trader. Offered by a dealership near Hershey, PA. We did our research, we ordered a CarFax Report on it and even found a video on it from the last time it was sold. (Yes, there were two previous orders). We took the trip (along with our two German Shepherds, Zeke and Karma) and traveled to Hershey.
On the surface, it looked really good. The only issue was that the dealer had not cleaned it up at all - looked like the prior owners had walked out of it the day before without any housekeeping! That didn't deter us. We put a deposit of $500 down, and scheduled an inspection. Let's just say that inspection was a $700 investment that paid off. I'll explain that comment in another blog - but we didn't buy that used RV and it soured us from looking at any further used RV's.
What was our next option? A class A manufacturer that didn't have the reputation of as high quality standards we expected, or a smaller RV and only travel for a few months at a time? We decided to look at higher end Class C RV's. We landed on the Coachman Leprechaun. They had a floor plan we felt would work for us - giving us enough room to be comfortable and allow us to bring along enough for two to three month trips. We did our due diligence again, researching dealerships and the rig itself. It didn't have the quality of the Newmar, but since we were only going to travel for a few months at a time, we were okay with that. We found a dealership we thought was good, they gave us a price we were satisfied with and we placed the order.
But, we never received a contract. We asked for one twice, no response. We had the build sheet, but still, no contract. Finally we found out why - but the dealership hid this fact from us.
We contacted the manufacturer and they told us that since they (the manufacturer) would not guarantee the price until delivery, the dealership would not provide a contract to us. WHAT? How can anyone order an RV - in the neighborhood of $120,000 without a guaranteed price? We cancelled that agreement and were lucky to get our $10,000 deposit back.
Why was buying an RV so hard?
We did a lot of soul searching at this point. We had basically been planning on buying this RV at this time for about 20 years. We wanted to experience the journey of exploring the United States.
That is when I heard the news that Newmar was going to raise their prices, again, on July 15th.
We decided that we both had worked too long, too hard to give up our dream. Believe me, we had many conversations trying to decide if we should change our plans, give up or dreams, change our dreams, or move forward. We decided to move forward, found a dealership that gave us a price close to pre-Covid pricing and placed our order for our 2022 Newmar Baystar 3226 on July 14, 2021. We won't receive it until March/April of 2022 - but that's okay, we will get it, at the price we agreed upon. Did we spend a bit more than originally budgeted for? Yes. But we decided that it was worth the extra money and we would adjust other things to compensate for the increased cost. We will work camp a few more years than originally planned, I can work from the road a few more years than originally planned - but in the end, the experiences we will have, will be worth it.
Follow along our blogs to learn more about the two RV's we let go and why and to learn more about the RV that will be our full time home for the next 10ish years.