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Old 03-06-2006, 10:30 PM   #1
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Default Advice wanted on buying from a distance

After having missed buying a 2002 2720sl located in Arizona that was in great shape for under $10,000 to another buyer in New Zealand by only a few days, I want to be able to buy another quickly but still do some due diligence from afar to make sure I'm not being taken. I have found a 2001 2720sl for an excellent price. Problem is, it's located a long distance(over 1,500 Miles) from me. The price is good enough where I could justify traveling to look it over but if there is a less expensive and quicker way I'm interested.

Questions I have are:

1. Is there a service that you can buy that looks a trailer over for you and provides an appraisal? Would like to do this before shelling out for airfare to check it out myself. Any alternatives other than traveling there yourself?

2. Any of you have any experience have trailers delivered or renting a TV to haul your trailer home? Least expensive delivery services?
Haven't really gone far enough yet to get any bids (awaiting some) but based upon initial investigation it looks like getting someone to deliver 1,700 miles might be costly - up to several thousand $.

3. Any other pertinent advice or experience related to buying a trailer long distance?
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:56 PM   #2
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There are people who own their own TVs and work either full or part time delivering trailers from factories to dealers. I remember meeting a retired couple who was doing it part time but I don't remember who they were. I suspect you can find a few on the internet or by calling a couple of your local dealers. You are probably right that it won't be cheap.

On having the TM checked out; you might find an RV dealer in that area who will check it for a price but it's unlikely they'll do more than walk around it. Have you googled things like "RV appraisers"?
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:47 AM   #3
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Default Look for one in a place you have a friend.


I can understand what you are going through. When I decided to buy a used TM last year, I found it difficult to find one that was: 1) in good condition, 2) near me, and 3) for what I wanted to pay. Eventually I found one in an area where I knew people and asked them to look at it. While they were inspecting it I was on the phone asking questions based on what I had learned in this forum. If they had a digital camera, they could have e-mailed me photos. They were not professional RV inspectors, but one owns a motor home and the other had good eyes and nose. So they smelled to make sure it was ok. They told me about any visible defects they could see. And I asked them to try appliances, awning etc. They were also able to size up the seller. They told me they appeared to be an honest God fearing retired couple with a well cared home and clean garage. Then I negotiated a very good price over the phone with the owner. I installed a hitch and drove up and picked it up a few weeks later.

You might also be interested in how I found them. I searched this forum and other on line RV sites and after not finding what I wanted I expanded my on line search to include newspaper classifieds on line. I found one that had been advertised only in a very rural penny saver. The ad had not been run for several weeks. The owner still had it unsold and was ready to lower his price.

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Old 03-07-2006, 06:05 AM   #4
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Angler 2

I made an internet purchase 2000 miles away. The deal was great and worth the trip. I made it my vacation and took 2 weeks off work. I already had my TV with factory hitch.

We visited Bass Pro, Branson, the Arch in St Louis and some great friends along the way outbound. We would have had to go out of our way to miss their house.

On the way back, 2 nites at a campground near the dealer for checkout, familiarization and prepping for the trip home. Then 2 nites camping with the grandkids in Michigan, a night at Iowa City (Hawkeye country), and about 4 nites with my family in Iowa and So Dak. Then the quick trip home to Az with stops in Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

I have lots of digital photos of the trip and look at them often. I could go on...

Oh, yeah. You want to know about the TM....

I am the second owner of a 2004 purchased Sept 2004. The dealer described it as being in showroom condition. And it was. A couple of tiny blemishes is all I ever found. I made a small down payment to hold it. They had it road ready when I got there. The dealer was not a TM dealer. I don't think they knew what to do with it, and they definitely didn't know how to open or close it. It took 3 guys to do it with a lot of grunting and hollering! They couldn't believe I opened and closed it alone and wanted to know if I owned one before (no!).

#1: I suggest you ask them to describe anything that is not show-room condition.

#2: I suggest you try to find someone on this forum in the area to look at it.

#3: You have some good ideas about an appraiser, but I am not familiar with that process.

#4: Get the check lists off this forum and study them to be ready for the trip back.

#5: Go see one locally somewhere. Open and close it. Get as familiar as possible with them so you don't change your mind when you see it.

#6: I thought about trucking it, railroad, and a friend who drives. Those processes eliminate any possiblilty of seeing it before handing over the cash and costs $1 or $2 per mile.

#7: Have a back door out. If it doesn't meet your expectations, be able to walk away. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

#8: My dealer threw in a 4 year service contract that I could get done anywhere. I question if these are worth the paper they are written on, but it does give a little confidence if something major goes out. I have not used this, preferring to repair the little things myself.

#8: Last but not least -- prayer.

Best wishes and may your journey be as enjoyable as mine.
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:26 PM   #5
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Default Another positive Long Distance Purchase

I don't know that I can really add anything to the previous advise. However, I can add another vote to a positive long distance purchase. I found my TM via The TM was located in FL and we lived in OH at the time. I contacted the private owner and had several phone conversations. He e-mailed me pictures specifically of the blemishes and defects. The seller wanted to make sure I knew what he was selling before I made a trip. We agreed on a price and time for me to make a trip to look at it. He wanted a cashiers check which I took along, but we both understood if I didn't like the TM after looking at it I could walk away.

It turned out to be exactly what was advertised and I towed it home. It worked out very well for us.

Good Luck,
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:54 PM   #6
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We bought our 2000 2619 off eBay. We Paypaled the first $500 and took a check from the credit union for the rest. The seller did send very good pictures in addition to the ones he had on eBay. The trailer was in Little Rock, Arkansas and we live in Washington State. We took 3 days driving down and 3.5 to get home because we hit a blizzard between Amarillo, TX and Tucumcari, NM. We made the trip home without a WD hitch, but got one shortly afterwards. We even did our first Wally World camping on the way home in Farmington, NM!
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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We bought ours long distance, too. My cousin actually found ours for us in Salem, OR. He gave me the dealer's phone number and we talked about price, condition, etc., and arrived at a price over the phone. My cousin and my aunt went to see it several times and told me that it was really clean. The dealer sent me pictures and they looked great, too. I sent the dealer a deposit and they held the TM for us until we could get there to bring it home, with the understanding that if we didn't like what we saw that they would refund the deposit. When we got there, we were so happy with our find! We picked it up over Labor Day in 2003, after communicating with the dealer for almost 2 months. They didn't tell us that they wanted a cashier's check (even though I asked ahead of time, luckily there was a bank nearby, and we drove up on a Thursday to pick it up on Friday) so we we were able to get one. We camped in it on the way home, stopped once in Grant's Pass, and the next night at Lake Siskiyou. We were able to get campsites, even though it was Labor Day weekend and we had no reservations! We had the hitch and the mirrors ready to go, I knew how to open and close the TM (thanks to Larry on this board, aka Civil War Buff, who showed us his before we decided to buy). Hal on this board also emailed me his brochure that has opening and closing instructions (thank you Hal!). When we got to the dealer, the TM was locked, and they had lost all the keys. Luckily, they had also forgotten to push in the pins for the front bed, so I just slid it in a bit and my son climbed in and opened the door. We knew more about it than the dealer did, thanks to this board and it's helpful members.

I hope you find a good TM just like we did! We have enjoyed ours a lot and can't wait to take it out this summer. We plan to keep it for many years.
'97 2720 & '01 Chevy Silverado 1500 4x4
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Finally found one

Thanks fo all the advice. I finally found a 2000 2720sl only 600 miles away. Put money down and will go do the final inspection/pickup next weekend. Also have another one at a slightly better price waiting in the wings, 1,300 miles away if this one doesn't work out. Now in the proccess of buying the hitches, brake controller, towing mirrors etc.... the long voyage of the extra expenses has now begun.
After you all helping to alleviate some last minute buying jitters and all the info I gained in such a short time by reading all your posts, I'll defenitely become a long term permanent member of this forum.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:03 PM   #9
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Warning on the hitch: Some of the WDH models interferewith the propane tanks and do not work. I had to move up to the next higher capacity hitch to get it to fit my 3326. The hitch was part of the deal on mine, so I was fortunate that he simply went back into the shop and came out with one that fit. If I hadn't been watching closely, I wouldn't have known it even happened.
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Old 03-12-2006, 09:13 PM   #10
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Default equilizer hitch intererring with propans tanks

Bob, Thanks for the heads up. Does anyone know if the 6000 lb equilizer brand hitch interfers with the propane tanks on a 2720sl?
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