I think it looks like a great starter rig and with a warranty I would sure be happy with it. It has everything one would need to get on the road and stay there a while if you want to. The 50 gallon fresh water tank is nice and the generator is a necessity in my book. Dual house batteries, wall switches, on demand 12v water pump with a switch in the bathroom as well as the kitchen? Great features.
On the other hand, you can get less depreciation if you buy one 2 or 3 years old. That can be important for resale, and really critical if you are financing. If you can pay cash, you have a lot of options available to you out there. You can get something fairly new, with not too much use, and hopefully with the kinks worked out since these things frequently roll onto dealer's lots with things not working quite right or that break right away (drawer slides, handles, you name it).
Personally, I think the floorplan is pretty good for a starter and the length is perfect. I would go in offering 40K in cash since if they can move it without dealing with financing or trades, you might get somewhere.
The model and price in the original post is a good deal but not a great one. There are two ways to look at the used/new ownership Pro Forma.
I've bought two Class C's; the first was a '95 29' Gulfstream in January of 2002,with the usual floorplan of that length with an island queen, center bath and kitchen and opposing dinette/couch. It had 42k miles on it and I paid $22,500. I sold it 2.5 years later with 52k miles for $21,000. In the interim, I had to replace: all 6 tires ($1200); the generator ($2000); the A/C shroud ($150); Eternabond every roof seam ($200), and several other silly things that added up. IIRC, my total maintenance and repairs over that period were close to $5,000. Maybe that unit was done needing fix-its for a awhile, but I think not, as the drivetrain and running gear were all original, and E4OD trannys of that vintage were not known to be very long-lived. So I got out of it before it cost any really big dollars.
When I got back into the RV ownership business last year, I decided I wanted something with a factory chassis warranty. So that meant new. I also had done some homework and since I needed to tow a substantial trailer, that also required a small house on an E450. There were a few construction items I was after such as a fiberglass roof and Azdel in the wall laminate, in addition to no slide, trying to keep things small, light and simple. It was either Winnebago or Forest River, and Winnies were a good bit more spendy.
I found several new Forest River Sunseeker 2300's (same basic floorplan as that 23B) on E450's. The one I bought for $55k has, aside from the usual generator, TV and kitchen appliances, a bunch of comfort and convenience things like a rear view camera, the most comfy pillow top mattress I've ever slept on, and a power driver's seat. The floorplan will sleep me and the wife in the corner queen and two large teenagers are in the overhead and dinette beds respectively. This past weekend we even had the large hound along, and it was crowded but not terrible. Most of the time it is just my son and I at our race weekends, and it's fine.
I plan on owning this unit for 10 years, and assume it will be worth probably $20k and have around 70k miles when I sell it. That does mean $35k in depreciation ($3,500 annually on average, but I -should- have minimal to no major expenses aside from normal wear and tear items. I also know that I maintain my stuff better than most, and should not have some of the failures experienced in my 1st RV bought used. Then there is the security of the Ford 5 year powertrain warrranty too.
My point is my used RV expense was just about what I expect my current new RV to cost me out-of-pocket given my ownership plan. Lastly, I would also review what's on the market, since for a few bucks more, either new or used, there are some potentially better units out there.
1. rubber roof tends to leave black streaks running down side of RV when it rains which can b e apin to get off. Rubber roof can be more easily damaged by branches, etc. Fiberglass usually slightly more expensive, possibly louder in a heavy rain. I prefer fiberglass but its an individual choice. Those black streaks drove me nuts.
2. V8 on a smaller class C shouldnt be as much of an issue. I wouldnt want to go much over 24 feet with a 350 engine, even if I wasnt worried about speed/ performance. I dont think the gas mileage will be much better. My 27 foot E450 engine onnly got 7-7.5 mpg no matter what speed I tried. That's about average for most people. I have heard of people posting 10 mpg but have never personally seen it myself even at 55 mph. Diesel engine will get better mpg but way more expensive to buy and have worked on.
3. If this is your first RV, I would be a recently used and save the depreciation, since odds are that you will try it and find out other features that you would like to have and end up trading up. Most people do. The saying goes, "buy your first rv last," but thats hard to do since you dont know whats important until u have lived in an rv for a while. For example, our 27 foot class c was great for maneuverability, could take it anywhere anytime, but when living in it we found that we needed more counter space, that the bathroom door was on a slide that was hard for the kids to use, that getting in and out of a corner bed at night to go to the bathroom can be difficult. So my next RV addressed those issues, but gave up some things , like maneuverability because it was longer. Buying a used unit, trying it for a while, finding out what you'd like in a long term unit, then trading up to a new long term unit may save u money.
4. The reason that there is so much mark up in RV prices is that people trading up often have a lot of negative equity in their current unit which can then be flipped into the new unit and still get financed, if so desired. you should expect at least 25-30 % off MSRP even on a brand new unit, more if u can pay cash. My current unit listed for $96K and was purchased for $62K, 2012 32 ft forest river. So 48K on a 2012 unit 23 ft is probably only an average deal.
5. Lots of used motorhomes at camping world, motorhome magazine, RV direct, ebay, etc. I have no financial interest in any of these. It is currently a buyers market and the used market is flooded. So getting low mileage used should not be too difficult.
6. I would not rent first, since you dont get a true picture of the advantages of motorhoming buy renting, since rentals are base units. Once you get the rv fixed up with satellite dish, radio, nicer mattress, better suspension if desired, it is a wonderful way to travel, esp with kids. Rental units are base models which may not ride to great, sort of like a rental car vs a car u picked out at the dealer will all the bells and whistels you picked.
7. Its expensive, but worth it. Great way to travel, great memories from the trips with my kids, nice to have the freedom to come and go as u choose instead of being stuck with an airplane and hotel schedule. We only take a few trips a year, and it would be cheaper to rent an rv, or stay in hotels, but hope to be able to travel more later in life, and the rv we have now will serve those needs well into the future. that's the trick- buying something now that will still meet your needs in 20 yrs if possible.
This one could be priced a bit on the high side, but the mileage looks Nice. Looks to be pretty nice. Not mine, and I have NO interest in it. Might be a dealer. Don't know. I'm up on the river so can't go see it for you. Sorry..
My first MH was a used 31ft paid cash. She gave me several years of trouble free RV'ing and I had plenty of money left over to support Camping World for all the must have goodies that go along with RV'ing!
MY theory on why I bought used?
I was new to RV'ing and really was not sure if I was going to like it.
I certainly could have bought a brand spanking new Diesel Pusher if I wanted to, but what IF I didn't enjoy RV'ing I would be stuck with a now 70% depreciated MH from the minute I drove it off the lot, with payments, and sitting in the driveway because you can't sell it because you are upside down!
If you are new to RV'ing I would suggest buying a nice used MH that you can pay cash for and then head out on down the road to see if its the life for you without the worry of payments hanging over your head.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".
Good advice. You will never get the perfect RV the first time. I learned that a walkaround queen bed with a real door (be it closing or sliding, but not a curtain) makes for an excellent night's sleep because it isolates you from the furnace and A/C noise. I also learned that a backup camera (and possibly side view cameras) are a must, especially if you are using the MH to tow.
If you want a decent starter RV, I have heard good things about the used Cruise America rentals. They don't have slides and are fairly Spartan in decor, but they are fairly inexpensive and are in decent shape (good to have an independent mechanic and RV guy inspect just to be safe however.)