November 2015
Volume 39 - Number 4



Buyers Advocate

Carefree RV

Buyers Advocate Column
July 23, 2015 3186
Black Book Report To Industry Insiders Gives a Twisted Point of View

Black Book: Wholesale Activity Slows For June

The owners of Millions of RV's around the country and the rest of the world Should be Celebrating the fact that the average price of "Pre-Owned" Motorhomes JUMPED from $34,851 to $39,058. A staggering increase of greater than 12% over last year. While towable sales only increased 7% from $10,410 to $11,140.

What may appear to be bad news for the industry is truly "Good News" for those of us "True RV Owners"

Point of View is a two sided scenario.

Today, I was told that $92,900 was a lot of money for a 12 year old Monaco Executive that most banks will not finance. ($440,000 new retail back then)

I responded that since most banks "Will" finance a brand new Class "C" at a full retail of $92,900, does that mean the New unit is worth more.

POINT of VIEW Depicts Value.

AVERAGE WHOLESALE PRICES reported by NADA Are lower this year over last year. HA.

Enjoy the article.

July 23, 2015 by RV Business Magazine Reports:

Black Book reported that the overall used RV market was mixed once again last month, but with a twist. Two months ago motorhomes increased in value, while towables decreased. In June, trends reversed as motorhomes declined while towables increased.

“The average used towable sells for about 25% of what an average motorized unit sells for, making impulse buys much more likely, so it is not unusual to see some life left on that side of the market,” said Eric Lawrence, director of specialty products. “We have noted in earlier reports that the summer months tend to see lower wholesale activity since most dealers have already stocked up for their primary selling seasons, and I think it’s important to note that the volume of RVs sold at auction last month was down considerably: 26% for motorhomes and 34% for towables.”

Taking a closer look at the markets, we see that the average selling price for motorized units was $39,058, which is a decrease of $947 (2.3%) from the previous month. Towables came in at $11,140, up $514 (4.8%) from last month.

One year ago the average motorhome sold for $34,851 and the average towable unit brought $10,410.

Source Joe Bruno

April 20, 2015 3186
What is more important to you?
Value VS Price

Let me give a real example of depreciation by using my personal motorhome. It was titled in 2003. The original retail price was $440,000. It was purchased for a bit less than that though.

When I purchased it, I paid approximately $240,000 when it was 2 years old with 30,000 miles on the odometer. At that time, the NADA retail was $259,000. Over the next 3 1/2 years, the NADA low retail went to $150,000. That was in January of 2009. over 6 years later, the NADA low retail only dropped $19,000 or about 12% in 6 years to $131,000, while in the first 6 years, it dropped in value $190,000.

Today, a coach like this would have a sticker price of about $750,000. So many people purchase a new coach and are very happy with their purchase because its in their budget. The annual cost for a new $750,000 coach is about $70,000 per year for the first 6 years. The annual cost for 6 years for the same coach if purchased when it is 2 years old would be about $20,000 per year.

There is an annual value of more than 3 times if purchased 2 years old and 10 times if purchased 6 years old.

Please call RV Buyers Advocate at 1-800-334-8216 to get assistance saving tens of thousands on your first, next or last motorhome.

Joe Bruno

Source Joe Bruno

November 26, 2014 3186
A Motorhome Is a Financial Plan

How much do you want to spend is usually the first question out of the sale person's mouth when at the dealer looking to purchase an RV. We are trained to think of it as a purchase instead of an investment.

Many times, I have written about this. Here is a review of some of the key points of your first transaction:

Value VS Price

Investment VS Purchase

Return on Investment

When Am I actually Losing Money

These Questions and Statements will be answered over the next four posts. We at the RV Buyers Advocate pride our success on our mission of helping RV Buyers become RV Investors.

Source Joe Bruno

October 26, 2014 3186
The More Information You Have, The Better Off You Are!
There Are Several Factors Involved With Purchasing A Motorhome

I consider, in most cases a motorhome purchase as an investment. I have a background in the financial industry as an investment advisor. When I first interviewed for a sales position at Lazy Days in Tampa, Fl. I was asked by the manager why I wanted to sell RVs? I told him that I believe that with my experience as an Investment Advisor and after logging over 90,000 miles in three luxury motorhomes over a few years, I had what it takes to truly help buyers find the right coach. I was told I did not fit their mold at the time because I did not have retail car or boat sales experience necessary to fit their selling system They were right in the end, even though their selling system is second to no other dealer out there in my honest opinion.

Regardless of how good they and all the other dealers are, the main flaw with doing your homework and going to the dealer is that the dealer will sell you what "you want" based from what they have in inventory and your ability to get financing (if needed).

There are several reasons people invest money in the stock markets, real estate or businesses. For investing in the stock market, A knowledgeable Financial Planner or advisor will interview you following the letter of the compliance laws in most cases. The end result is that you will in most cases get your moneys worth and not be in the wrong investments or at least investments that don't meet the "Risk-Reward" criteria you provided in your interview.

There are no compliance laws with motorhome purchasing with the exception of not selling a motorhome to a first time RVer that is not competent enough and licensed to drive a car. The RV Dealer doesn't do much more than make sure that the LP system is secure and the brakes work. Tires must not be too old or have excessive wear or sidewall cracking. Other than that the rest is all customer service oriented. The better the dealer, the more they will do for you.


The Sales presentation.

The Sales Associate (SA) in many large dealers works in conjunction with a manager or closer. The SA is responsible for asking the questions to best help you find the perfect RV for you.

RVBA Rule #1: There is no such thing as the perfect "First" Motorhome.

Once they have you narrowed down to 2 units, they will get you to choose one. Then the SA will bring you an offer from the "Manager/Closer" which is usually a little too high, which is the best case scenario.

The next step is to agree on a price. Once a price is agreed upon, the SA is out of the picture and hands it to the F&I person. If you make it through the financing step, you are now the proud owner of your first "Wrong Motorhome"

My goal, is to help you find the best choice for a first motorhome. It's not going to be perfect, but when you are upgrading to the most right one for you based from your personal experience in your first one, you wont lose your shirt in depreciation and excessive mark-up.

Call the RV Buyers Advocate at 888-334-8216 or visit to find out how you can save Thousands more on the better motorhome for you!

Also Like us on Facebook

Source Joe Bruno

September 03, 2014 3186
Depreciation VS Maintenance
Make Sure A New Coach is What You Really Want!

On any given day, I will see a few dozen "Brand New" Diesel Pushers that are the same model for sale online. In 2003-2006, production levels of high end Diesel Pushers was much higher than todays numbers. I can't seem to find more than a few of any one model year available online today.

Remember to keep your head when looking for your first "Luxury Coach" Just because it has a sticker price of $300,000 doesn't mean it will hold that value.

A coach that listed for $400,000 to $600,000 and was at the top end of what could be bought 9-12 years ago, have book values between $125,000 and $200,000 today. these values are very stable because the depreciation has slowed and for the past 4 years has been fluctuating up and down.

The coach shown in the photo was a $440,000 in 2002. by January 2009, the average retail value plummeted to about $140,000. Today is more than 5 years later and this same coach has an average retail of about $135,000. This coach, if purchased at Average Retail of $140,000 would have dropped $5,000 in value and had maintenance costs of $2,000 to $5,000 per year on average.

Case in Point:

If you had purchased a new motorhome that retailed for $140,000 in January of 2009, today it would have a used retail value of $75,000

So, When thinking about purchasing a coach, please consider the real cost, not the sticker price. An older coach will have higher maintenance costs, but still cost less per year to own and give a very high return of quality for your investment.

You can compare this scenario to buying a 12 year old German Luxury Sedan for the same price as a brand new Korean sedan! 5 years from now, the new car (5 years old) will be worth much less than the Luxury car (17 Years Old)

If you would like assistance in making the best decision on purchasing a Luxury Motorhome (New or Pre-owned) at a fair price and most suitable for your needs, Please Call Me at 888-334-8216

Source Joe Bruno

July 02, 2014 3186
Factoring in the De-Valuation Curve into Your Purchase Valuation
Comparing a 3 year old Luxury Coach to a 6 year old luxury coach

Ask yourself this question! Should I get a almost new motorhome or the same model older coach?

Every Buyer asks the same question, How much is it? or uses the same statement, I don't want to spend more than ?.

The true cost of a motorhome or any RV is the difference in what you purchased it for and what you sell it for. You can look at it in many different ways. My favorite way to gauge the cost of a unit is to take the total out of pocket expense and divide it by the months or years you own it.

If I purchase a 3 year old motorhome and own it for 5 years, I will ultimately own a 8 year old motorhome when I am selling it. What if I purchase a 6 Year old motorhome, What will the cost be to me for the same model.

Simple Calculation: *Calculations are based from the results of my research using average low prices a a guide for buying a motorhome.

2011 Newmar Essex at todays market price:$350,000 2008 Newmar Essex at todays Market Price $250,000

If I own the 2011 for 6 years, the value should drop to about $200,000 when it is 9 years old. The 2008 in 3 years should drop to about $200,000 also.

The annual cost for the 2011 will be $150,000 in devaluation divided by 6 or $25,000 per year or $150,000.

The annual cost of the 2008 will be $50,000 divided by 3 years or $16,700. In the end, you will own a 6 year old coach of the same quality. The difference is that you can save over $8,000 per year owning the older coach for less time.

If you are interested in learning more about this or would like assistance purchasing a coach like this or any other model, please contact me at 941-926-8335 for more information about how I can help save tens of thousands on your next Luxury motorhome purchase!

Source Joe Bruno

April 24, 2014 3186
Great Pre-owned Inventory Left Behind By Snow Birds
The End Of The Season In The South Means The Beginning Of the Season For Buyers!

The RV Industry has for years depended on the Snowbird for a great deal of the overall sales of larger motorized RVs or Class A Gas and Diesel Motorhomes. The boom and bust of the past 15 years has been fueled by a robust economy and real-estate market up north and its demise from 2008-2010.

Research shows that another boom is underway as manufacturers ramp up production for the next boom which actually started in 2013. Probably followed by another meltdown. Here nor there, the market for pre-owned luxury coaches has been better than anytime in history, as the price of new unit go illogically up to levels that make a ten year old $200,000 Luxury Coach look like a steal when compared to a high end gas coach or starter diesel.

Snowbirds coming from the Mid-West down the I-75 corridor to the West coast of Florida will experience views of massive RV Dealerships at what seems like every other exit starting north and east of Tampa Down to the Ft. Myers area.

Up North Most dealers may showcase a dozen or two Diesel Pushers while some dealer down South may have a hundred or more in one location. This large assortment usually puts many unsuspecting customers in a new coach. The dealers will take in their trade, which are usually in tip top shape versus coaches bought at the auction that may require more work and have a higher price on them due to the expense of prepping it for sale.

Usually after Easter, dealers will thin out their higher end inventory in order to make room for Summer buyers who usually purchase towable and small motorized units for family camping. Take advantage of the times and browse online for these units. I am usually able to locate for my customers, significant discounts from this left over inventory.

Feel free to locate for yourself a deal or contact me at 888-334-8216 to find out how RV Buyers Advocate can save you Thousands over doing it yourself!

Joe Bruno RV Buyers Advocate

Source Joe Bruno

February 26, 2014 3186
I dont want to buy an Older Motorhome Because I Don't Want a Project!
Older Motorhomes Have Apparent Flaws and Massive Hidden Value!

I am currently showing 2 Luxury Motorhomes that are offered at a fraction of their new list price. One at just over $300,000 and one at just over $100,000.

When looking to purchase a pre-owned Luxury Motorhome, you "Must" understand that you are looking at a Coach that would cost around three quarters of a million dollars if it was new. Very easy to fix scratches and maintenance issues can be corrected very easily for very little, when compared to the savings in purchase price and extra value.

Buyers can be fickle when it comes to cosmetics as they are with the way that they see themselves and perceive others by looks alone.

If I walk into an executive job interview dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, I would not get the job. In the case of purchasing a pre-owned car, Does the same apply?

I just purchased a 2008 Toyota Avalon Limited that had a big dent behind the rear DS wheel, scratches all around the body. It had every option available in 2008. I invested about $3,500 into a complete paint job, new tires and some interior things. I now have a car that will give me all I can get from a high end luxury car for the price of a new golf cart.

Is a beautiful fashion model not still beautiful if her lipstick is faded and her blush is worn?

Are cosmetic flaws in a pre-owned Luxury Motorhome more important than $50,000 in hidden value?

Think about it...Please!

The $300,000 Monaco Signature has a few age related flaws that can be fixed for under $5,000. I am taking it to a body shop to have the aged 3M Mask off of the front and repaint to better than new luster, It has a few scratches around the body that were pointed out to me when showing over the past few weeks.

I am taking these to issue and getting rid of them. I am having the coach clear coated and sanded to make it look better than new. After addressing these non-service related issues, I can then show the real value such as a 600 HP Cummins engine with 29,000 miles and a list of items that are in coaches that cost a million dollars or more in todays new market.

Dealers charge tens of thousands of dollars on issues that can be done by your service person for a fraction of what they charge. Call me at 888-334-8216 to find out about the values that are out there in a pre-owned luxury coach that fits your needs!

Source Joe Bruno

December 27, 2013 3186
Steady Values Over Last Provide Better Buying Opportunities for Financed Buyers!
Year Over Year Values Steady!

If you were trading, this meant your trade also dropped in value which meant you had to borrow more money. If your credit score was not a heavenly 780 or higher, you were out of luck and would have to hang on to what you had or lower your wants to a coach of lesser quality than what you already had, just to get a newer one. It would compare to trading a 2005 Mercedes for a 2009 Kia!

The January Books are out online and show prices just a little above last January and a little below the 2012 books.

Historically though defying the logic of supply and demand, RV values drop every year regardless of buyer demand because dealers set the prices they pay well below reported values. This was true until the May 2010 saw a 5% average increase in values.

Now, increased supply and demand as well as better informed "web surfing" buyers are adding into the fact that dealers have very little "good" pre-owned inventory are causing reported valuations to go up.

In both the March and May Books in 2013, values jumped to a combined 14% increase in the value of My personal Coach. (2003 Monaco Executive). I am expecting a similar increase this year since the price of new coaches continue to lurch upward!

Banks are much easier to get financing through today, though they still require 2 years tax returns. Th steady value also helps the leander in figuring the amount they will lend out. All in all, you will have a better time borrowing this year than in the previous 5 or 6 years!

This could be the year that the logic in buying a pre-owned 2 - 5 year old coach and updating for $10,000 to $30,000 will win over buying a Brand new similar coach for twice as much.

Re-upholstering or replacing furniture is a given in buying a house, why not the same in a motorhome. When you are looking, make sure to look for quality over age. Why buy a $250,000 "Home Depot" level coach when you can buy "Tiffany" for the same price!

Call 888-334-8216 or 941-926-8335 for more information on how to save $$$$$

Source Joe Bruno

October 29, 2013 3186
Why Not Buy Pre-owned and Save Hundreds of Thousands
How To Find Hidden Value in Older Motorhomes

My personal coach is up for sale and has been completely updated to meet the features of the few high end new coaches that are built at this time retailing as much as 7 times the price of my 10 year old coach.

A summary of the current new coach business!

Today, a coach with a 500 HP Cummins Diesel and an Allison 4000 transmission built to go a million miles is approaching the $1,000,000 mark! 10 years ago, less than 50 of each higher end model would be built by American Coach, Country Coach, Monaco Coach and Newmar. These coaches had a retail price in excess of $400,000. Today, of the four manufacturers mentioned, only Newmar and American Coach are still producing their high end coaches. Monaco still has one large engine coach, The Dynasty and is now a sister company to American Coach. Country Coach, which was the builder of the most expensive and highest end coaches on a large scale is still in business, but is not currently manufacturing coaches while looking for investors.

With new coach prices approaching the one million dollar mark, investing into a unit that averages 4,000 to 6,000 miles per year is a wise choice. There are many lower mileage coaches available at head turning prices. While my coach has already been updated with technology including new cameras, TVs on lifts ultrasuede wall covering, new cabinet designs and trim, there are several hundred high end coaches that are ready for the same type of upgrades that you would do to a house after buying it. The experience of the smooth, quiet ride of a 45,000 plus GVW luxury coach can be had for about the same price as a high end Van Camper (Class B)

For an example of what can be bought at a fraction of a new high end coach, Go to:

Source Joe Bruno


[ Back to Contents ]

More Buyers Advocate Articles
  • Value VS Price
    Its a fact that the newer a motorhome or any RV or vehicle is, the faster it depreciates. The older it is, the more value it offers the buyer!So, the question is: At what age does it become a good value.
    Buyers Advocate Posted Apr 20, 2015
  • Photo A Motorhome Is a Financial Plan
    After a lifetime of saving for retirement, are you in the right frame of mind to purchase your first motorhome?
    Buyers Advocate Posted Nov 26, 2014
  • Photo There Are Several Factors Involved With Purchasing A Motorhome
    The RV Buyers Advocate was conceived primarily to help first time motorhome buyers purchase the most correct "First Motorhome". There are several publications available to purchasers that will give potential buyers a great deal of knowledge that help make the buying decision easier. This information, being important is not by itself enough to find the right first motorhome.
    Buyers Advocate Posted Oct 26, 2014
  • Photo Make Sure A New Coach is What You Really Want!
    The RV Industry news sources are all telling the story of robust sales. They are building so many new Motorhomes, they can't find enough drivers to transport them. The same is not true with "High End" pre-owned units.
    Buyers Advocate Posted Sep 03, 2014
  • Photo Comparing a 3 year old Luxury Coach to a 6 year old luxury coach
    In the RV Industry, Valuation is looked at almost identically to cars and trucks, even though there is only a vague resemblance between a car and a luxury Motor coach. How can a byer take advantage of this unreal reality?
    Buyers Advocate Posted Jul 02, 2014
  • Photo The End Of The Season In The South Means The Beginning Of the Season For Buyers!
    As the snowbirds head North after Easter, RV dealers down South get ready for the not so hot Summer.
    Buyers Advocate Posted Apr 24, 2014
  • Photo Older Motorhomes Have Apparent Flaws and Massive Hidden Value!
    Is a beautiful woman only beautiful when she is wearing makeup, or is she always beautiful regardless of what you see? If You Look behind the façade, you will see the truth!
    Buyers Advocate Posted Feb 26, 2014
About the Author

Click Illustration for Larger Image
Joe Bruno

Joe Bruno's situation is very rare. He has a financial planning and investment banking background followed by a tour with the most extreme RV lifestyle, Touring the US approximately 100,000 miles in 2 years with the "Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band" in three larger diesel motorhomes and a Jeep Liberty.

After his tour with the circus ended, he went to work for the dealer who sold him his current coach--Lazy Days RV Super Center. After more than a year of 75-hour-work weeks and little time with his family, Joe moved to another high-end RV dealer.

With the market collapsing and new motorhomes not selling. he decided to go on his own and share his experience and expertise with other RV buyers and established his present company: RV Buyers Advocate.

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