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Old 12-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #1
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Trading for new Sport 16- million questions

Wow...where to begin...

Looks like there's a good chance of a new Sport 16 between now and the end of the year. We'll have about 10 days off for Christmas/New Years, and the rough plan is this: Eyeball one at a "local" (meaning 3-4 hours away) dealer this Saturday, ask questions, take pictures, touch it, smell it, etc. Then over the holidays we'll hitch up our 2011 Forest River R-pod 177, tow it to the dealer and make the trade.

Except I've never traded an RV before and have some fear of the unknown. Some of which is impossible...such as, how much do RV's depreciate and how much will we get for the R-Pod? YES, we could get more selling outright, I understand that. We're willing to sacrifice a bit for convenience.

Biggest fear is the logistics. Will I need a weight distributing hitch to get it home? Should I keep our long sewer hose and buy a cheap one to include with the R-Pod? Do new AS's come with fresh water hose? 30-amp power cord? I'll probably yank the R-pod's LED bulbs and reinstall the original incandescents. Thoughts? Input and stuff?

And I although I don't expect a problem, ya gotta hedge your bets against an unscrupulous dealer. Meaning, we don't wanna prep the R-pod for trade, hitch it up and tow 3 hours, only to fall victim to an unforeseen bait-and-switch and have to tow back home. It would seem Airstream dealers would have the upper hand in every transaction because their competition is often hundreds of miles away.

So gosh, there's more...maybe post up new questions as they come to me. Feel free to jump in and add some insight to any aspect of the trade-in process, please!

We're very blessed and excited to be getting an Airstream. It's a long time coming. We're ready, for sure.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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Should I keep our long sewer hose and buy a cheap one to include with the R-Pod? Do new AS's come with fresh water hose? 30-amp power cord? I'll probably yank the R-pod's LED bulbs and reinstall the original incandescents. Thoughts? Input and stuff?
When you purchase a new trailer, the dealer should include as part of the deal:
1 sewer hose (but if you've got one that's longer than normal, you can probably keep it, and they'll put the one that comes with the new trailer into the old one).
1 freshwater hose, but probably a cheap one that will tend to kink.
1 shore power cable, with a 15-amp-to-30-amp adaptor as well.
1 four-pack of biodegradable RV toilet paper.
1 umbilical cable for towing.
1 set of safety chains.
1 full set of owner's manuals.
Full propane tanks.

You'll want the trailer unwinterized for the walkthrough, and rewinterized before you tow it off the lot, so you might get them to rewinterize it for you at no extra charge.

There's no guarantee that the LEDs from the old trailer will be usable with the new one. Plus, if you're buying new rather than used, it will probably already have LED lights. There's no benefit to the effort of putting incandescent lights back into the old trailer.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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For future reference, no travel trailer comes from the factory with a new sewer hose, not even an Airstream. Most come with the adapter from the valve to the hose. If you get a sewer and fresh water hose included, that is something the dealer is doing on his own.
Most get the LP tanks filled at the dealership, but again, that is something the dealer does, it is not automatically included.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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For future reference, no travel trailer comes from the factory with a new sewer hose, not even an Airstream. Most come with the adapter from the valve to the hose. If you get a sewer and fresh water hose included, that is something the dealer is doing on his own.
Most get the LP tanks filled at the dealership, but again, that is something the dealer does, it is not automatically included.
Well, I did say, "…the dealer should include…" Right before I messed up and said "…the one that comes with the new trailer…" Seems like I can't keep my story straight.

So, thanks for the clarification. You are right, all the stuff I mentioned is stuff that the dealer would provide, if he's feeling generous. But then again, none of it is terribly expensive to him since he's paying wholesale for it all, so if he's just made a sale, he ought to be feeling generous and throw in such basic equipment.

Besides, he'll have to provide at least some propane if he's going to demonstrate your fridge, furnace, and other propane-using appliances during the walk-through. If he balks at two full tanks, then at least insist on one!
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #5
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I thought Airstream dealers were required as retailers to provide certain basic essentials as well as full propane tanks, predelivery inspection, and a demonstration of equipment operation. Seems I signed off after receiving these items.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
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I imagine that the R-Pod has a owner forum or a Yahoo group - my brief experience with them is that they do foster an enthusiastic owner base. It's worth checking out classifieds there or posting there to ask what the trailer is possibly worth. Also look at online ads to get an idea of the retail pricing.

My thought is that the dealer can also give you a ballpark quote before you tow the trailer 3-4 hours there for an appraisal. (Yes, it's fully possible that it could only go down from there, but it should give you an idea.)

While your local AS dealer might not be nearby, people are often willing to travel great distances (like to Colonial in New Jersey) to buy their new shiny trailer. So if the local dealer lowballs your trade, they could still wind up losing the deal.

I don't think the dealer will care whether your trailer comes with a used sewer hose or not, and LED lights won't add any $$ to the trade. Yank them out. I gave my old hose away with my Argosy - in a private sale - so that the buyer could camp with the trailer on the 15-hour drive home.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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Assuming weather cooperates, we could definitely do a New Jersey run over the holidays. But that'd require a level of assurance...I dunno...at that point you'd be relying on Colonial's reputation, which might actually be worth it. You're also talking $500-1000 gas for the trip.

Phoned my dealer (Chilhowee RV) this morning and he seemed to perk when he heard the word "R-pod." Said they were in demand. Of course they can say anything. Apparently what they do is fill out a questionaire over the phone and you send cell phone pics and they give an estimate based on that.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #8
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Does a new RV sustain wear or damage the longer it sits on the dealer's lot? Should this be a motivation to buy now versus waiting till spring or summer?
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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When you're dealing with something as expensive as a new Airstream, it's not a bad idea to get multiple quotes - but you're right to factor in hotel and fuel bills into the equation.

RVs can suffer damage as they sit. I also think that you're probably one of the few customers that would be visiting an RV dealer's lot over the holiday week - most people are busy doing other things. Could be in your favor.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Does a new RV sustain wear or damage the longer it sits on the dealer's lot? Should this be a motivation to buy now versus waiting till spring or summer?
Potential buyers traipsing in and out cause minor wear on the floor and all touchable surfaces and operable controls (ever see a potential buyer who could resist touching stuff?). Plus the tires don't get any newer sitting on the lot, either.

But that in itself probably shouldn't be a decision-driver for you. Don't rush to buy before you're ready, but don't delay the purchase once you're sure you are ready. Take it at your own pace, and everything will happen exactly as it should, all in due time.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:44 PM   #11
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The deal can usually be done entirely via internet/email/phone. The salesman will tell you what he will give you on trade allowance based on your description sight unseen. Whatever is negotiated will stand when you get there. You will unhook from the R-pod, do a walk through of the Airstream, sign some papers, hook to the Airstream, and head to a campground/home. Some dealers will have an RV starter kit in new and used trailers and will give you the opportunity to get what you need while you are there. Forest River does have an owner's group called FROG- Forest River Owner's Group. I never joined it because I was in the process of trading when I learned of it.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:49 PM   #12
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The deal can usually be done entirely via internet/email/phone. The salesman will tell you what he will give you on trade allowance based on your description sight unseen. Whatever is negotiated will stand when you get there. You will unhook from the R-pod, do a walk through of the Airstream, sign some papers, hook to the Airstream, and head to a campground/home.
But one caveat… Negotiate a price on the new trailer, and get it in writing, BEFORE you negotiate a price on your trade-in. Resist the temptation to handle both transactions under one negotiation.
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