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Subject:  Re: Considering an RV Date:  5/11/2012  11:11 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  2255 of 2479

After this "epic" vacation, we'd probably sell the RV.

RV's are like new cars only worse. You lose 30%-40% of the purchase price the minute you drive off the lot. That can be a significant piece of change. Why not make that work for you instead of against?

When RV dealers sell a new one, there is usually a trade in involved, and they have them on the lot, and don't want them, because there isn't the profit margin involved. I'd counsel you to visit several of your local RV dealers and get to know a salesperson. Tell them you're thinking of buying an RV, but you're new to all of this and simply will not buy a new one.

(They, of course, will try to talk you into it, because that's where they make the most commission.) Resist. Give them your home number or an e-mail address, and tell them to notify you whenever they get something that fits your criteria - which you should spell out in some detail: length, number of slides (if you want that), gas or diesel, satellite dish or whatever.

When you see one you like, buy a service package (they're available from dealers, or better, get one that's transferrable anywhere since you will be travelling for most of the time), and have a complete inspection prior to signing. They will give you a short window to fix things (30, maybe 90 days), so take at least two trips, preferably of more than a weekend duration, to see if anything goes wrong, and just to learn the quirks of the rig.

Your van may or may not be towable. Most that are not can be made towable with the addition of transmission disconnectors or special pumps or whatever; this may add a couple thousand to the price (since you