What I Learned Owning Two Motorhomes: Buying Is Easier Than Selling
Before I address today’s topic about the importance of creating a detailed motorhome checklist that’s specific to your coach, allow me to give a shoutout to the folks at Featherlite Coach.
Allow me to give Jeff Williams, Eric Woolley and Jimmy Adams of Featherlite Coach a Five Star Review…
As you know, I sold my 1957 Flxible Starliner to a museum in Virginia a few months ago. I also recently sold my 2014 Marathon Prevost to an individual buyer. Simply stated, at this moment, I’m without a motorhome.
These two sales were brokered by Featherlite Coach and I must say both transactions were handled in a first class, respectable manner. I’ll add that during the process, I was kept aware of the activity of potential buyers on a regular basis via texts, emails and phone calls. Allow me to give Jeff Williams, Eric Woolley and Jimmy Adams of Featherlite Coach a Five Star Review based on their communication throughout the sales process and the fact they were proactive in contacting their customer base of the availability of my busses and in the case of my Prevost, had regular showings to multiple potential purchasers.
Oddly enough, while Marathon had my coach listed for three months prior to transferring the listing to Featherlite, it’s my understanding that outside of those who saw my bus at the Prevost Expo, basically no interest was generated during Marathon’s consignment period. I’ll have more about this in the video below.
I’ll also point out that working with Featherlite was a team effort as the sales folks worked together in a complimentary and seamless manner. I’ve learned, this is not the case with all motorhome sellers as some salespeople, even those within the same company, seem to compete with each other for a commission vs working together with the goal of finding the right coach for a specific buyer. From what I was to gather during this process, unless a coach is listed with a specific salesperson, in many cases, the available coach is not promoted to potential buyers by another salesperson. I’ll add that since the vast majority of buyers start their search online, having high quality photos posted are an important factor. I’ve learned that not all converters have the ability to capture quality images at their satellite locations. This was the case with my bus while at Marathon and in my opinion, the photos posted were lackluster at best.
Could This Be A Solution?
Considering the price of new and pre-owned Prevost models are akin to the price of a very nice home, I’ve often wondered why the motorhome sales process is not similar to a house that’s listed on the market where there can be separate listing and sales agents (one representing the buyer and the other the seller) who work together and equally split the commission. Like MLS real estate listings, this method can allow competing converters/sellers to work together to match buyers and sellers. It works for the real estate industry and I’m wondering if this is a solution for the resales of Prevost motorhomes.
With that said, I’ll address my experience in selling my coach in the video located below this post.
My Next Coach
Allow me to say that I enjoyed my experiences while traveling in a Prevost X-3 as it’s a luxurious and safe method of moving around the country. I’m also glad that I chose to buy a preowned Prevost over a new Class A motorhome as the solid construction and sheer quality of the chassis provided a safe and reliable travel experience. While I have not made a decision about my motorhome future, should I decide to build, I have shortened my list of the converters that I feel can deliver the type of floor plan that works for my needs while providing a positive ownership experience.
if I had to sum up my two-year experience having my bus’s house items serviced at Marathon in San Antonio, FL, I would simply say, poor organizational skills, substandard quality control and a lack of respect for customers
I will say that while I feel Marathon builds a good coach, I was greatly disappointed by the purchase experience as well as the service after the sale. Simply stated, while Marathon builds a quality coach, this converter is not on my list for a potential future purchase. While I discuss this with Siren in the video, if I had to sum up my two-year experience having my bus’s house items serviced at Marathon in San Antonio, FL, I would simply say, poor organizational skills, substandard quality control and a lack of respect for customers. It truly pains me for having to relay this to you. However, if I lived within a reasonable distance to Marathon’s factory in Oregon, since the service reviews for that location have been positive, I would consider a purchase. But since I live in Florida, going to Oregon for house service is not what anyone would call convenient. So for me, another Marathon is out of the question.
On the other hand, with one exception, my service experience with Prevost has been stellar. The only disappointing situation I experienced was during my first visit to the Prevost facility in Jacksonville, Florida when I was in the midst of the purchasing process. While the bus was on consignment at Marathon by the previous owner, I had it driven to Prevost in Jacksonville for a full chassis inspection and while it was there I paid for a level three service. Since the check engine light was illuminated on the dash, I felt that was a wise move as I would rather eat the cost of the inspection and service and know prior to wiring the funds for purchase if there was an issue that I was not prepared to deal with. Yes, some may find it odd that I would have the bus serviced before I owned it, but alas, I did.
As it turned out, not all of the services were properly completed and while it was disappointing, when it was discovered by the techs at Prevost in Nashville during a later visit, a complete level three service was repeated at no charge to me along with a sincere apology. I’ll add that my service experiences with Prevost in Orlando were outstanding.
Having A Detailed Checklist Makes For A More Pleasant And Safer Travel Experience
Now to today’s topic…the importance of having a detailed motorhome checklist.
My assumption of receiving a checklist at purchase was incorrect
Whether you’re newbie or an experienced motorhome owner, having a checklist, in my opinion, is the best way to have a smooth travel experience. Outside of the mirrors, I consider a detailed checklist the most important accessory to have for any motorhome. Let’s face it, depending on the scenario, the hookup and disconnection processes can be confusing and whether the coach has been parked in the garage between trips or after a long day of travel, it’s easy to skip a step and that can lead to problems. Did you remember to retract the power cord or remove the sewer hose before driving off? How about remembering to lower a window or open a door before deploying the slides? Did you remember to flip the breaker for proper shore power connections? Yes, it’s easy to forget some of most simple tasks.
When I purchased my preowned coach from Marathon, and since it was my first Prevost, I “assumed” it would come with a detailed checklist. You would think that coaches that originally sold for more than a million dollars, that something this simple would be included and provided to the original owner and later passed forward to future owners.
My assumption of receiving a checklist at purchase was incorrect.
For whatever reason, my walkthrough at Marathon was not as detailed as I would have liked and seemed to be rushed…especially for this Prevost newbie. I was stumped when the technician was not as familiar with my “newer” coach as he was with the previous generation. I’ll call it sheer luck that I brought Gil Johnson along for a final inspection before taking delivery. When he saw my level of confusion with the various house and chassis systems, I was fortunate that he agreed to stick around for a couple of days to make sure I was comfortable operating the various functions before heading off the Marathon lot for my first Prevost motorhome adventure.
This experience is what motivated me to create the Prevost for Newbies series.
While during my first few months of ownership I made pages full of notes that I often referred to, they were not organized. One night while at a campground with Siren, I decided it best to compile my notes and organize them on a scenario basis. This way, when arriving at a campground with full hookups, I could flip through the binder to that page and simply follow the steps. As you will see in the video, this binder was used before, during and after every trip and I’ll consider a detailed checklist the best accessory you can have on your coach.
Considering that many manufacturers and converters are not including this type of usage checklist, I decided to share mine with you…with one big caveat: This custom checklist was created with my specific coach in mind. What works for my coach may not work for yours. I’m making it available for download it as long as you understand that it’s best used as a guideline to make your own checklist that suits the operation of your specific motorhome. Here’s the link:
Download The Gadget Guru’s Motorhome Checklist – PDF
In this video Siren and I show you how we used this checklist binder as well as bringing you up to date on which converters I may consider in the future and which ones didn’t make the cut for my short list.
Here’s the video:
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