Buying & Utilising RV's in North America

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 03, 2005 at 08:41
ThreadID: 122307 Views:3483 Replies:1 FollowUps:0
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Not sure if this should be on the BOG site, however if not I guess its easy enough for the Management to delete it.

We have just returned from 3 months in North America and have discovered that for approx $50,000US, one can purchase a pretty good 2nd hand motor home (RV) & say a reasonable small vehicle to tow behind it (like a 2nd hand Suzuki) in the Southern States of USA, (Arizona, New Mexico etc)at end of season.

Then Use it for say approx 18 mths or less, visiting Mexico, USA lower 48, Canada & Alaska, then sell it to a dealer in Alaska allowing a reasonable margin for the dealer in Alaska, and be fairly sure of recovering most if not all of the $50,000.

This has been occupying significant thinking time for us as whilst we have visited the States & Canada a few times, have not come anywhere near visiting all the National Parks & many other areas that sound attractive. This has become a “may do” within the next 2 yrs for us.

We visited the State fair in Alaska at Palmer and spoke to a number of dealers there. One guy in particular, was very keen to buy 2nd hand units from the South, as the price difference was significant and he has a couple of people doing that every 2-3 yrs. He even offers advice on the phone as you buy the unit down South, and is continually seeking stock…… seems like there are more units bought in the North and sold in the South than the other way round.

Our plan would be to maybe spend say 2-3 months, then return home in Australia for 4-5 weeks before returning again to pick up the rig and continue on. Or maybe returning to Aust, spend 3 weeks at home then get out in the BT for a month or two before returning to North America.

What we are seeking is any info that may help grow our knowledge of embarking on an exercise like this in North America.

There are many issues that one needs to be aware of such as Insurance into Mexico, setting up an address over there, overnighting on the roadside not as legal as it is in Australia etc etc., However, we have not discovered anything that could not be addressed.

The Lone Ranger & others may have info that can assist.

Incidentally, we spent our time utilising 3 home exchanges while we were away, which has resulted in us adding 3 more couples in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Palmer to our “good friends” list. It’s a great way to fit into another community and experience the cultural aspects of another country.

Any advice or input would be appreciated.

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Nov 03, 2005 at 22:09

Thursday, Nov 03, 2005 at 22:09
Hello AussieBushGhost..... You hit close to home.... But there is a Wild Card in this gamble....

For those of you that don't know the crazy Lone Ranger that travels with his QuarterHorses in a Mack 4x4 Dual Cab horse truck pulling my 22' Bushtracker van has been there many moons... You might not pick my lack of a funny accent from my contributions to the BOG.... I am an Ex-Pat Ex American, now Aussie, first here in 81, Perm Resident in 88, Citizen in the 90's.... So yes, I am very qualified to comment on this... Lived for years in the following far ends: As far Pacific Northwest as Oregon, to the Canadian Border in Washington, as far South as Texas, as far west as California, as far East as Virginia, as far SouthEast as Florida, as far Northern Mid West as Idaho..... All for years in each and criss-crossing the States Rambling around... The Ranger never put down roots like he has in Oz..

On the up side, wonderful Idea, greatest playground in the world..... Fabulous scenery... Some fantastic civilized things to see like the Fossil Museum of the La Brea Tar Pits in the West to the Smithsonian Museum in the East... Fantastic Tourism all over, you know the Drill, you do not need a travelogue from me... And as to your plan, yes, everything costs more in Alaska, so check with Dealers but yes this plan works... Buying the motorhome in the south is cheaper, and selling it in Alaska where it is dear, check first but yes it could work...

On the down side, Bitumen everywhere, and that is why you can get away with travel with a Fifth Wheel or Motorhome towing a car.... Overcrowded, everywhere particularly in the nice weather summer months May-June to September...
Racial Strife in the some major cities like L.A. or Miami even some in the South, watch out where you go there, some Minorities like to pack together and you don't want to get caught in the wrong part of town at the wrong time.. And there is a crime problem.... Too crowded for me, since the Ranger was born 150 years too late, that is why I am here on the last Frontier... in Oz.... Right now though, the difference in motorhome prices would be more the cost of gasoline (petrol)... If it is high, motorhomes are being nearly given away, if it comes down you could sell it for a profit anywhere... If it goes more expensive though, forget the whole plan as there will be thousands of them for sale... Again the hitch is if gas goes more exxy next year, your motorhome is one of 5000 for sale in each State, so that ruins the plan... Bit of a gamble... So I would not count on the plan unless you have a crystal ball. Price of gas is exxy now, but bearable...There are way too many motorhomes in the U.S. and they, motorboats, and big SUVs go up and down in price the opposite direction of gasoline... Which way gas goes from here is the factor, with huge price swings possible of frivolous luxury "gas hog" (that is what they are called) items like big SUVs and motorhomes and motorboats...

Personally not for me, but a great adventure, great Western History, fabulous scenery, sort of Blue Mountains twice as extreme and for over a 2000 miles north and south... Go do it... Shopping paradise of the world.. Paticularly as a Western Horseman like myself, I would like to fill a "Container Ship Container" with saddles and tack from the "Old West".... It is the only thing we lack in Australia is the Heritage of 400 years of more history that America has... A trip not for me, but a great adventure..

Mind you, half of America would like to come to Oz... Personally, I think it is good enough here for me, and while it would be fun for those that have not been, I do not think I would go if it was free... I will enjoy it in the Hollywood movies and the Discovery Channel... Thank you... Most Aussies take for granted what they have here, I will stay here and enjoy it... People used to ask me if I would ever go back, and I said "Yes I would love to, just a soon as 300 million Americans come over here" I would go back to where the Buffalo Roam...

No, I will stay here in Oz. Sorry to rain on your Parade, but I thought you might like a balanced answer, and the real perceived risk of gas price wild card on resale value.. It is not like a Bushtracker, with a limited volume of them, in America there are probably a couple million motorhomes with the glut of Real Estate pricing and cheap interest rates over building the heck out of them on a per capita basis... You might get stuck with one in storage on the wrong Continent...

Regards from the Ranger...

"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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