Thursday, March 22, 2012

Removing the Emotion...

Our whirlwind 60 hour RV shopping tour of the Houston-Seguin-Austin triangle, including visits to 5 different dealerships and viewing over 20 units, resulted in zilch. Well, it did result in $500 less in our bank account due to travel expenses, but we will call it a return on investment for the education gained.

To take the emotion out, we developed a process before embarking on our 1st lot that we want to share for future reference, as well as others who may benefit from the information.

We selected (via on line info) the units we would be viewing in advance and then marched to their location on the lot. While we both did an interior/exterior walk-around, Teri was tasked with scoring the inside while I did the dirty work.

Teri's areas being scored: Kitchen counter top/storage, clothing storage, decor, flooring and overall feel/potential. My chart had: tires (huge issue for RV), roof components, overall exterior condition and overall value. Once we finished the dozen we looked at, we sat down in the final unit and came up with our Top 3. Our top one ended up being the same unit and was so far ahead of #2 and #3 we simply decided to go to the next phase of the process.

Next up: Pounding the internet researching the following three areas B E F O R E offering a contract:

1) A search across the US looking for the exact same RV for sale to determine fairness in pricing for our desired unit at rvtrader .

2) Scoring out what a bank thinks about your RV's asking price (loan value) is equally wise. Again, if you are looking for value as we are, you want the RV to be below Low Retail.We used the NADA site.

3) Google search "Common Issues" for your year/make/model. If you find a pattern of similar concerns, then you search for "Preventative Measures".

Our favorite candidate fell apart at #3, known roof issues (moisture buildup between ceiling and roof) with no way to minimize chances of a significant expense. It was to the point where enough owners were chattering the dreaded words: "class action lawsuit". Again, in the RV world, roof and frame issues equate to an automobile having a history of engine or transmission issues. In most case, you simply move on. We did.

Oh, as a sidebar, the city of Houston---- Louisiana needs to annex you. You really need to stay away from hiring road engineers and traffic pattern experts who went to Texas A&M. And what is up with the $3.93 gal per gas? There appears to be a refinery or two in the area.

Hunt continues tomorrow.


  1. OMG. That last part about the city of houston and tamu. I almost spit my OJ out my nose!

    1. Hope you had more OJ in the fridge, sorry, I deal in truth.