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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > New or Used TT?

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Joined: 01/31/2012

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Posted: 02/04/12 02:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have always gone the "used" route. We don't even buy our vehicles new. We just never had lots of money, but at the same time we've always had excellent luck in our purchases. Whether you buy a couple years old or several yrs old, shop around, don't let the salesman pressure you, have an idea what you want in a trailer, but be somewhat flexible, and (this is my personal opinion) I prefer to always buy from a dealer. Insist the dealer plugs the trailer in and shows you how everything works. Make sure you have thoroughly researched what you will need to tow it.

Our present trailer is a 31'1995 Jayco Eagle. We paid $7500 for it, and it's in excellent condition. This actually the oldest one we've ever purchased, and we were able to pay it off in a little over 1 year. Also, it's a good idea to look at several different financing options. The dealer is not always the best for financing. We actually got a better loan deal from our bank.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


W. Ma.

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Posted: 02/04/12 03:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I see the same rates new or used (Penfed CU), for under $25k, and just .75% difference over $25k. To me that's not enough difference to matter in the decision.
If you can find a late model rv in a floorplan you like go for used if it's in top shape. I don't buy extended warrantees, but is I were buying a used trailer I'd look at the Good Sam Extended Service Plan for a couple years in case the previous owners got rid of it because of some sort of problems. Figure the price of the insurance into the cost of the trailer. Just make sure you're covered for the more common expensive problems folks run into. Doesn't take much to turn a trailer into trash.
If you don't know what Duct Tape or Vise Grips are, you may want to go new.

Happy Motoring
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W Ma.
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Posted: 02/04/12 05:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is no clear line. You can have trouble with a new unit or old. They all need upkeep. Roofs last 10 - 15 years and tires about 5 - 6. The tires that come on them new are plain junk anyways so that wouldnt be a factor.

It really comes down to how much you want to spend and what you want. If you buy new, you can get exactly what you want brand shiny new. But, it comes with a cost.

Used, most times you have to take concessions and get mostly what you want. You also have to be carefully of paying too much since usually the seller bought a new TT for 15 and after paying tax, hitch, setup. That Trailer is really a 13K TT but after putting all this stuff in a 15 year loan, still owes 12K on it 3 years later and wants pay off. No, thanks, I would just buy a new one.

I bought a new TT for our first one. After the first season with it, I realized there were a lot of things I didnt like about the layout. They like most, I bought a larger TT which was the largest limiting factor with what size TT I could buy. I wanted to sell it but couldnt since I would have lost a lot of money. Kept it a few more years then got a decent price for it.

We then took a couple years off from camping. It was just a lot of work with two big dogs and a baby. When my son was 3, I got the bug again. This time, I knew exactly what I wanted but didnt want to spend a ton of money. I looked for 6 months and finally found what I wanted. I had saved up and was able to pay cash. No payments.. It use to eat me up to pay 200.00 a month to have the trailer just sit.

Our current trailer will be our last for many years. You see it all the time. Camping is fun while the kids are young. Then they get into sports, friends, and things change. Then you have an expensive rig just sitting there. My neighbor did it right. Kept the old 5er until his last kid got out of school. He then retired and bought a new one and uses the heck out of it.

I am handy so having to rebuild something or replace a roof would be nothing. A new roof would probably cost 500-700 to do yourself. Some RV dealers want thousands. Not sure why they charge so much for a one day job. I swear you can get your house reroofed for some prices I have seen here that dealers wanted for a 30' TT.


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NW Ohio

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Posted: 02/04/12 09:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mikeb9550 wrote:

There is no clear line.

Yep...only YOU can make that decision. There is no clear argument that makes one better than the other (assuming they are priced as should be)

We've purchased 3 used trailers.. 1 was a pup and the other 2 were VERY "gently used" travel trailers.

We've also purchased a brand new one.

In the end, for the price, ALL were great buys.

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Mebane, NC

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Posted: 02/04/12 10:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we went shopping last year, we originally thought used. We then noticed the sticker prices of used were not that far off of new. We realized being newbies that we had no idea what to look for in the way of damage/water leaks/delamination etc. The other thing that occured to us was warranty. A warranty will cover most things that initially go wrong with the trailer. A used trailer (even if it is a 2011 used trailer) will have no warranty and you are SOL if anything goes wrong. We decided a warranty was worth it for us. We just took our time, did a lot of research and made sure to buy with the future in mind. That is to say, instead of buying a rear living plan with a convertible bed in it for DD that would work well for now, we thought about as she gets older and the friends she would want to bring. We opted for a bunkhouse and a trailer that could grow with us if we had more kids or whatever. We also went to many owners sites for the different brands to see what owners felt about the trailers. We found one with a long warranty and good customer service. We feel this kind of thinking got us a trailer that will keep us happy for many years. WHile we are only 1 yr into owning it, we went to an RV show last month and saw nothing that would tempt us to trade in our current trailer.

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Eastern North Carolina

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Posted: 02/04/12 10:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have had both. Troubles with both. Only thing is I "think" I know who has laid down in the bed when it is new. Like I said "I think".

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Posted: 02/04/12 10:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It would depened on how old the used one is and how low they have discounted the new one. You can find some great deals on last years TT's that didn't sell. Or if your lucky enough you may find a used one that someone is dumping because they can't afford it any longer and the price is right. I have only bought 2 TT's and bought new both times, however the next one will either be a heavily discounted new one, or one that is no more than 2 yrs old that is considerably cheaper than the new discounted one. I can't see paying only a couple thousand less for a 3-4 yr old TT than a new one. Theres no doubt it's nice to buy new, but knowing what I know now It will be price dedicated on the next unit.


Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 02/04/12 11:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Assuming you can afford it I suggest new. However you must be committed to keeping rig 8-10 years if you go the new route. If you keep it depreciation doesn't enter the picture.
There are bargains to be had on the used market, however the buyer needs a little knowledge to know what he is looking for and what he is looking at.
Buying used usually involves some sort of compromise. You start to look for the best deal or best bang for the buck vs. buying the exact unit you want.

I just purchased new because I was able to factory order my unit with the exact features I wanted. I was not willing to compromise what I really wanted for a better price. I plan to keep my unit 10 years minimum.

As others have said there is no totally right or wrong answer.

I also believe the lifespan of an typical RV is 10-15 years. After that the units are worn out or will require a substantial over haul of some sort. By buying new I feel I get the full value of the RV's useful lifespan without having to do any extensive repairs.

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