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Old 04-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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New Buyer - input requested

I am close to moving on a purchase of a 2012 19 ft Flying Cloud or Sport 22. Most of the information I received has been from the dealer. They are offerring an attractive discount and excellent financing. I intend to use the trailer primarily as an extra office/part time living space for one person.
Questions:
Input on the choice of models?
Do the advantages of a new trailer offset the depreciation?
What is the depreciation?
Other than use, size, cost --- what are key considerations prior to purchase? Are there any hidden costs, undisclosed additional purchases needed?

Thanks
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums, KayMc...A 19' or 22' is a good choice for 1 person....we love our 19' (and there's 2 of us + 2 dogs)... We bought our 06 new (in spring 07) and have not regretted that decision...we got a good deal. That having been said, if you can find a well-maintained, slightly used model (not and easy task, especially for the small guys), you will save a lot. You will need a tow vehicle and hitch set up, of course.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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An office requires extra space—computer, printer, files, lots of paper, desk or table, communications with the world. If you are making anything, even more space.

Living in an office seems to mean a bigger trailer.

When you buy a trailer, you will also need a weight distributing hitch, sewer connections, water hoses, tools, maybe generator or solar system depending on whether you boondock, maybe a wifi and cellphone booster, sheets, and lots of other things.

The reason to buy new is the hope you will not have any problems for a while. But RV's aren't made as well as cars and trucks, so you most likely will have warranty claims. Depreciation will be an issue and buying a not so new, well cared for trailer may be to your advantage. Check for financing elsewhere than a dealer as it should be a better deal.

There are lots of threads on what you need when you buy a trailer, financing, prices, size, and just about anything you can think of. Try searching for them.

Without numbers, we can't tell whether you are getting a good deal. Many people get 15-20% off list price, but that can vary.

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Old 04-12-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Kay-
Welcome to the Forums.. If you don't get as many responses as you'd like, you should learn to use the "Search" tab above in blue bar near top of screen... There are lots of messages with "new versus used" or similar in subject lines, and you can link to them and read a lot of opinions... (Fortunately, this Forum has never suffered from an "Opinion Shortage" as long as I've been member...)

That said, depreciation depends on model, price paid and condition.. Brand new larger models purchased close to list/manufacturer suggested retail price might depreciate 30% or more in first year or two.. Smaller (easier to tow..) trailers purchased well below list price might depreciate a lot less.. Rule of Thumb or Guideline should be similar to car buying: IF you care about financial factors <and many people just like "new" cars..>, purchasing new works out if you plan to keep item five years or longer.. If buying for shorter term, buying gently used (Certified pre-owned in car world..) is often a better financial deal. With Airstreams, if trailer is 10 years old or older, and in good and well maintained condition, depreciation may turn to appreciation, as prices quit dropping.. Trailers from late 1980's and mid 1990's are selling for close to new price, or more...

Good luck with decision!
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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Thanks Gene - All of your points are excellent.
There is a lot to consider. My plan is to park the trailer on my land and use it when my main house is occupied. I have a quote for all of the hook-ups, site prep. I was a bit under the impression that the Airstreams are sturdy beasts with a long life span. I'll keep up the research. Kay
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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Thanks - the responses were quite helpful.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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The trailers are long lasting, but things break and fail or are not done well. QC at the factory is not always good. Some buy new trailers and have no problems, others do.

To modify a trailer for an office and keep it as a living space as well means modifications that may better be done on a used, larger unit. To modify a new one may mean tearing out stuff and it might as well be stuff that is a bit aged. Not knowing exactly what you plan as an office, hard to say. There are many different kinds of offices and they have different requirements. For clients to consider you a professional, meeting in a kitchen/dinette with a bed may be problematical. In a small trailer the room is mostly kitchen with a small eating area and a bed. I have trouble visualizing an office in such a space, but that may mean I just don't have much imagination.

Home offices as a tax write off raise some issues for people, especially when you sell the house. How that would apply to a trailer may be an interesting question. Home offices have to be only for an office so there are some tax consequences to using a trailer that is multipurpose. Time to call a CPA.

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