Thanks everyone for the really great advice! What a great forum!
Unfortunately I can't dissuade my husband from the 15 year loan but I do like the idea of adding more payments to pay it off sooner. I can definitely see doing that. I'll triple check that the loan he plans to take out doesn't have any prepayment penalties, I doubt it does but I'll have him double check.
I do know that assuming it stays in good condition my family can use it for many years to come. My husband grew up camping all over the US with his mom and uncles and he can't wait to do the same with our kids. The kids are still small (2 & 4) so hopefully they can still bunk it in 15 years or at least bring friends and spread out on the sofa and bunk beds
Any more good advice on what to look out for in the buying process would be greatly appreciated.
I would try to negotiate a much better price if it really has been there a while, and definitely is it's a 2011 model and they have 2012s on the lot. You can always walk away if they know you're seriously going to buy a unit somewhere; they may call you back. I, too, cring at 15yr loans having been there, done that. They're okay if you really can pay it down faster. If you do get a great price, watch out for the dealer trying to add stuff on during the closing, like unnecessary extended warranties or RV stuff you'll never need.
2002 Keystone Cougar 286, 8,400lbs loaded, pulled with a 2004 F150 Supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. Retired and enjoying life
I agree with this advice. You take the term to get the payment where you need it, and then amortize it like it was a shorter term. How long will this RV last? Lots of discussion of that in other threads, the answer is how you take care of it. Can you keep it under cover, either in a big garage or well-fitting fabric cover? Will you do recommended maintenance?
Are you going to tow mainly on good paved roads? We have a 20 year old Alpenlite bought used two years ago, still looks new. Just ordered a new RV ourselves (not a Cougar), waiting for delivery. The one thing I don't hear from you though is excitement about RV'ing - it is large commitment, and if you are not sure you will want to be an RV'er after you kids are grown, maybe you should be looking at some other way. My wife and I had used a travel trailer when the kids were little, we just ordered our new 5er for now and post retirement, because it is a big part of what both of us want to do post-retirement. Maybe do a lot of looking for used rig that you can buy for cash to judge how it really will fit into your life.
Artemus Gordon wrote:
Generally most RV loans have no prepayment penalty.. I have recommended to many people to take the 15 year loan, but add to payment each month. Several free programs on line to show you results of paying an extra amount each month. You save the interest by paying down principle and will have easier time qualifying for loan! Also if an unforeseen disaster strikes, loosing job, becoming disabled, or a money emergency you have a lower payment to fall back upon. It's a good strategy if you need to finance big ticket items, in my opinion. I know there are those that won't finance things like trailers, RVs but not everyone has that luxury !
Pat & Patty Anderson
Will retire 12-31-13
2011 Fox Mountain 265RL (Fall City, WA)
1991 Alpenlite 25+2 (Omak, WA)
1993 Ford F250
2005 C-Dory CD25 Cruiser, planning to do Great Loop!
2008 Lambretta UNO150 Scooter
1987 Honda Sprees (matched set) Our blog
We took out a 15 year loan too. I put about 35% cash down, paid the taxes with cash, and all accessories with cash. I took the 15 year as a loan just in case I ever "needed" the lower payment should our income be interupted.
The great thing is the bank doesn't complain with doubling payments and there is zero pre-payment penalty.
He said it for me. There are varying circumstances. Our Present Rv was paid for. We got a good trade in.Paid the taxes etc up front and did a 15 year loan at 225.00 per month. As Stated the bank does not care if you balloon the payments . Examine your circumstances. One condition does not fit all.
Your selection of the Cougar 293SAB is sound. As you mention, "The kids are still small (2 & 4) so hopefully they can still bunk it in 15 years or at least bring friends and spread out on the sofa and bunk beds." Bride and I expect delivery of the same unit in a couple weeks. After 16 years in TT's, we opted for this unit after significant research. Our boys are 16 & 22 and BIG. That bunk area isolates them from us after we retire in the evening, and shields THEM when we awake early morning. The Bride and I are in our mid 50's. Twas time for more comfort and ROOM! And if they are not with us, we don't push out the bunk slide. Nice choice you've made. Hope it makes so very many memories!
The Virginia Budman
2002 Ford F350 7.3L PSD CC SB 4x4 SRW Lariat
2012 Cougar 293SAB 5th Wheel
Pullrite Superglide 16K
Tekonsha Prodigy Mistress - '05 Harley Davidson Heritage Custom LE
I am really excited but I am more the practical person so I don't really get excited until it happens. This is definitely my husband's life long dream - i love to camp anywhere and a 5er definitely makes my life much easier than the popup which takes a lot of time and setup. This is his version of a sports car for his midlife crisis he just turned 40 and i'm in my early 30's so we expect many years to enjoy the RV together with and without the kiddos.
My husband plans to park it with a cover in a secure area, we are in SoCal so the weather is pretty mild and can use it year round since we don't really have this thing y'all call snow I am sure this is going to be his second baby. First the kids, then his truck and now he can put his RV on the list after he gets it. We've been researching upgrading for 4 years now, we started looking into TTs but with his truck we moved up to 5er for the stability, we have been looking at them forover 2 years so he feels ready and confident to bite the bullet. I am just along for the fun ride
Glad to hear the bunks still work for older kids, I think after looking at what seemed like hundred of 5ers this seems like a better fit. It isn't too big to get to the places we want to visit but still has the size for the kids to have their space and us to have hours and a spacious enough family area for games, meals, etc.
I am really excited, I'm just more of a worrier so I like to make sure I've thought everything out and covered all the bases before we pull the trigger.
I look forward to getting the RV and getting to post a bunch on these forums with advice and experience.
If anyone has any more advice, can't wait to hear about it! If you have the model we are getting and have any specific advice or tips on the final inspection, warranties, gotchas that would be great!
Be careful with a cover. There are plenty of threads here and else where that describe owner's heartbreak when they uncover their prized rig and find the cover has rubbed holes through the roof at the edges from flapping in the wind.
Also...you should be able to buy a new 2012 293SAB with all the options for $26,500-$27,000
Good luck with it. We're on our second one. Love the floor plan.
Me and my 3 girls
2013 Cougar 293SAB
2011 F350 CC SWB 6.7
I found that we could get those numbers if we were in Indiana or thereabouts. But all the way in Southern California we couldn't get anything that low unless we wanted to make a road trip to one of those other states.
Instead we ended up closing this weekend with a local dealer that has a good reputation so that if we have issues we know who to go to.
We have been looking at upgrading for the past two years and more seriously at the cougar for the past year. We are really excited! I'll take a picture and post it to my signature.
We will be doing a mini camping trip with the kids in two weeks to break it in.