I drove 50 miles south, to Lakewood New Jersey to Camping World. Gave the receptionist my name, phone # email and address. Now, it’s official!
Tall Paul, used to play basketball. He played in Europe for couple years after school, played for the Knicks for 3 months. Someone came down on his ankle, and now he sells RVs. They actually had no class B/vans on their lot at this time.
The first thing Paul explained to me, was that if I finance my RV, there would be a tax write-off on my income tax. OK, interesting. But while he was talking, I was thinking that the tax offset could not be more than the interest I would be paying to Camping world for the loan. He also explained that Camping world has a thing called the Good Sam club—sort of an AAA for RV’s, that offers roadside assistance. They have 100 offices nationwide, each with a store, selling all kinds of camping/RV supplies, at a discount, IF I join and become a Good Sam Club Member. I will think about it.
With Paul, I saw a 2010 diesel Freightliner on a Mercedes, 20 feet long; it had 7,500 miles on it. He figured it for 16 mpg. Sticker price was $69,900. I liked this one very much, but then, it was the very first one I sat in. The price was twice what I’m planning to spend, but s’ok. I’m just looking.
Then, we saw a 2015 Mini Winnie—built on a Ford chassis EV10. This RV was 25 feet long, 11 feet high, and about 9 feet wide. Paul said that height and width were pretty standard. It had a gasoline engine that would get about 10-12 mpg. Sticker price $75,000.
OK, on to Camping World of Kingston. Early that morning, I had been so excited to be doing this, that I'd left home without my notes. Over the past few research days I had made a list of ten dealerships, but I knew I wouldn’t get to all of them today. I was primarily interested in the Lakewood, New Jersey dealership, and the one in Kingston, New York. I totally slept it that the websites, which lured me into planning this particular trip, were probably created by the same web designer. When I realized that, I reasoned that their used stuff all comes from trade-ins, so clearly they’d have different things on the lot at any given time.
The salesman in Kingston was named Craig. He was a little bit shorter than me, a recent transplant from Florida. He seemed like a very nice man. He grabbed some keys and we walked out to the back of the lot to where the used machines were parked. The first Class B van I saw was a 2012 Era [70K], a Winnebago sprinter touring coach. A diesel, Mercedes engine with 9,000 miles on it, selling for $78,000.
Craig explained that generator ran on LP gas. This RV would get 15 or 16 mpg . A diesel engine will get better mileage, and way less maintenance. He also told me that "a diesel engine will also add about $20,000 to the sticker price."
Next, I got into my first Mini Winnie View, selling for $50.000. A 2015 would cost $115,000. Yikes! This one was a 2006 with 44,257 miles on it. Craig said that "for a diesel engine, that’s just broken in."
This RV was 23 feet long, "maybe 25 overall if you include the bumpers." Well, yeah, I'm not going anywhere without them! The View had one slide-out, so I got to see how that worked and what it gave to the living space inside. .
We also looked at a 2013 Pleasureway Pursuit (C Class) with 19,007 miles on it, and a gas engine. I could expect to get 13/14 mpg. Sticker price $85,000. I really wanted to see this one, because it was the make and model my friend Kath was shopping for. In fact, she was over the moon about the quality of the construction, and the light, airy, openness that the Pleasureway's offered. She was right. It was lovely!
The final thing I saw that day was a brand new 2014/2015 Trend, the 23 B. It was built on a Dodge Ram 3500. It had 1,291 “dealer” miles on it, prolly would get 12-13 mpg. Again, he answered my length question with the same 23 foot, or 25 foot overall length. Maybe this was like a thing in RV Speak? Or maybe he really wasn't sure about how long they were. The generator ran on gasoline.
It had no slide out, but was rockin' what I thought of as a “pajama party.” A couch and dinette that converted the whole center of the interior floor into one giant bed, plus an overhead electric loft drop-down bed. "Let's do our hair and paint our toenails!" It also had two televisions. One for the loft bed occupant and one for the groundlings. Somebody/everybody would be using headphones I guess.
My feeling as I drove my weary self to Ed and Richard's from Kingston, was that Paul was selling himself, but Craig was selling the RV’s. Both perfectly sweet and knowledgeable guys, but honestly, I liked Craig better. Also, the Kingston dealer was much larger, and seemed to have many more units on the lot.I've never purchased a car from a dealer. But I am enough of a grown-up to know that whether-or-not I get a good feeling about the sales rep, means very little in this process. But for educational purposes, I am grateful to these two men, who each contributed to my education in learning how to speak RV.