Dealer vs Private Sale - Used Jayco 1207 - First Camper

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Caro851, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    Hello ~

    Our family of five (kids 10, 12, and 14) is looking to buy our first camper. We have narrowed it down to a Jayco 1207. We have found a few southeastern PA within a few hours of where we live.

    The dilemma ...

    We found one for sale about three hours away through a private seller. It's a 2007 and they are asking $4,500. I have seen some for more and one for $3,900. I think I may be able to get it down a couple of hundred dollars to maybe $4,250. It is described as being in excellent condition. No AC or bathroom. It has been stored indoors except for in recent weeks. The owner purchased from someone who sold it after owning it for a year to get something bigger and says that his family has cared for it well. Used a few times a year, April - October.

    The other option is a 2011 from a dealer within an hour of the first. There is a 2" tear in the vinyl near the door that has been taped. The tires are rotted. The dealer claims everything else appears to be in good shape. Nothing else reported when they took it in. The dealer is asking $6,000 which would include the dealers fee (covers a walk through of the unit, testing of all appliances, etc., fixing and repairing items as needed - within the scope on the list they provided. They would replace the tires, for instance). Or we can buy it as-is for $5,000.

    We are tempted to get the 2011 because it is newer and therefore might reflect some minor design improvements. Though a side-by-side comparison of the two years shows the differences are not significant. I supposed we are also hoping that something a few years newer will have more life in the long run and maybe a better resale value down the line. And, we like the idea of having someone go through it top to bottom and repairing as needed.

    So, do we go with the camper that is within our budget has a known history and seems like a less complicated purchase?

    Or is it worth it to pay an extra $1,500-$1,750 for a newer camper from a dealer with the inspection walk through and potential repairs.

    After typing this all out is seems like the camper with the known history might be the way to go. The fact that the tires are rotted on the 2011 calls into question when it was last used, how and where it was store, and if there might be other issues associated it if it has been sitting for long - no? I also question whether the minor repairs they would cover would add up to the $1,500 - $1,750 difference.

    Thoughts appreciated!
    Thank you.
     
  2. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    Does the dealer camper have a A/C
     
  3. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Based on what you described of the two trailers, I would go for the private sale if it has a clean current title.. I would have the current owner pop it open with you there and show you that each appliance works and the condition of the canvas, Use defects to your advantage in lowering the price, biggest being the age of the tires (look for the date code of 4 numbers, first two give the week, last two give the year)..

    As with any trailer, age doesn't mean a thing.. it's condition and maintenance is what matters.
     
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  4. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

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    Newer in model, IMHO rarely will make up for obvious disrepair. What constitutes a walk thru from a dealer is probably the same as you would do for yourself for free, maybe less. My guess is anything significant the dealer finds wrong will result in a price increase, or "item X needs replaced and it costs Y if you want it done".

    As you mentioned in your comparison, unless there was a complete generation change, like with car models, there will be little difference between the two.

    Which ever direction you go, give it a hard look before handing over your cash. There are lots of buying tips on here and more than one or two check lists to use if you choose. Remember that probably the most expensive single component with potential for issue is the canvas and the most complicated component is the lift system.

    Best of luck and I wish you well with your choice.
     
  5. bknjohnson

    bknjohnson Tyngsboro MA

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    We bought new because we didn't know anything about campers, and we had not yet found the portal and the wealth of information and helpful members. If you are the least bit inclined to do any of the repairs yourself, you should be able to do it for less than that $1500-$1750 at the dealer. If both are in good shape and have the amenities you want, I would tend to go with the private sale since that seems to be in better condition. I'm at the point now where most repairs don't scare me, I know what my limits are (mostly).

    You specifically mentioned AC and bathroom, is that important? We have the cassette potti - shower combo and hardly ever use it. The AC gets used from time to time. We used it when we lived in New Mexico and we've used it here in the northeast occasionally to cut the humidity. If I had it to do over again, I'd scrap the toilet/shower combo but would keep the AC. What other amenities do you think you want?

    If you post the make and model of each trailer you'll get better suggestions from members who likely own them. (Sorry, edited because I realized you said they are both Jayco 1207s). Post the specs on your tow vehicle too. We're assuming the two campers are within your TV's capability, never hurts to make sure.

    Good luck!
     
    Caro851 likes this.
  6. jumpoff

    jumpoff I'm in a camping state of mind

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    If you think you might need AC...you need it !!!
     
  7. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    The dealer unit does not have AC. We think we'll be fine without AC. and don't need the bathroom or shower either. We just missed out on the sale of the very same model and year nearby. That one on craigslist was going for $3,900 and included AC and electric brakes. So, now the idea of paying more for a camper that has less bothers me. But, maybe it shouldn't in this type of resale market? Hard to compare apples to apples.
     
  8. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. This is helpful. I do feel a little better knowing the history of the one through the private sale and a little nervous about the dealer one with the two known issues.

     
  9. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. We are handy people, so we would be fine learning how to do repairs.

    The AC is not a deal breaker for us. We think we would be fine without it, but would be nice to have just in case, like when we go west this summer.

    The bathroom is not important. We are tent campers, so we are really looking for something that will enable us to set up a campsite quicker than our current tent camping routine and that will enable us to camp and cook regardless of the weather (within reason). Beyond that, it's really about the configuration in the camper and the # of beds, which is why we like the Jayco 1207 with our growing kids.

    As I mentioned in another response, we just missed a private sale of the same model, 2007, for $3,900 with AC and electric brakes. So, having a hard time with paying significantly more for the same model that has fewer features. Tempted to hold out to see what comes up for sale over the next few weeks, but it feels a little risky since they get sold so quickly.

     
  10. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    Thanks - this is really helpful to know and consider. Leaning towards private sale.

     
  11. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Appreciate the tip on the tires and on age vs condition!

     
  12. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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  13. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    With NADA, you have to realize a few things..
    1- Nada doesn't take condition into account, it use a straight depreciation value for each year of age.
    2 - Nada doesn't know what the local supply and demand is which could raise or lower the price.
    3 - By not understanding what items were originally options, it is very easy to over value a trailer. (just cause the trailer has a fridge doesn't mean it was an option.) To find out what was an option you should search an original brochure for the trailer and read the info..
     
  14. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought: It might be harder to make the deal you want as the weather warms and more people start looking at/for campers.
     
  15. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    I would purchase the unit from the private seller. You know the condition (good) and if it matches what you are looking for. I have a 2001 12 UDST which is very similar to the 1207 except it has a front storage trunk. We love it, it has been all over the US. Tows great and is pretty easy to fix anything that goes wrong. Getting the unit for around the price you indicate would be fine, you will use it until your kids are out of the house and beyond.
     
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  16. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    So as someone who got a $1500 camper for $500 here's my 2 cents worth. EVERYTHING is negotiable and the dealer knows theirs has issues so just like with the private owner you can negotiate Down from there. Tires are not expensive and can easily replaces and the other cosmetic issues are just simple repairs but that also applies to the PO model. Check each one closely and look for water damage as that's always a concern as is inscet (usually ant) infestations and dry rot which can significantly lower the price on any you're looking to buy...best of luck.
     
  17. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    I just bought a 2006 Jayco Baja 10Y from a dealer and had to make a 500mi trip to bring it home. They wanted $5500, which was about $500 over NADA. It, too, was in great shape and doesn't really need anything other than tires. I bring this up because it is of the same vintage as what you are considering. Condition means so much more than year of manufacture. If they both have the same amenities, then condition and price trumps all other factors. This was my first time using a dealership for an RV purchase. Normally, I just pay cash from individuals on Craigslist, but this experience was just fine and I don't feel they tried to rip me off. Since Montana doesn't pay sales tax, the Idaho dealer didn't tack it on. They did verify that everything worked and winterized the water system. Even though it was slightly overpriced by NADA values, the Baja models with off-road package and front decks and extremely hard to find in my area. I felt it was worth every penny, otherwise I wouldn't have made such a long drive for the 1-owner Pup. I'm sure the private owners would be willing to give you a thorough walk-thru.
     
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  18. Caro851

    Caro851 New Member

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    UPDATE: Thank all for the feedback. Got some really useful tips. We went to see the Jayco at the dealership. The dealer ended up being fine in person. It was clear when we got there that they were all about the full RVs and didn't really care about the used campers. The 2007 Jayco 1207 was not at all clean, had a small tear in the tent where it meets the mattress and one of the mattresses was wet due to a heavy rain the night before. They said it was because the velcro was not properly secured.

    Although we were disappointed, it was not a wasted trip because we discovered that the configuration would not work for us. The dining booth bed was too small.

    On our way home, we contacted a seller on Craigslist who had a 2007 Jayco 1007, which, while slightly smaller, had beds that would work in terms of length. But, it was in a parking lot and could not be plugged in to check water and electrical, so we passed.

    This has lead to a new set of choices between a Jayco and a Flagstaff, which I will post as a new thread.

    Thanks all!
     
  19. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck, we know what you're going through as we're looking for a new one and there are few choices out there.
     
  20. Alan

    Alan Active Member

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    Newer is not always better; if there is a certain year and model you want to look at get on-line and do your research! Then go look at it, make sure you have them raise and lower it and show you that everything works. Make a check list that you can ask the owners to go through with you. If you educate yourself before you look you can make a wise decision whether to buy or not to buy. I knew more about the camper we bought than the guy that owned it did, so I ended up getting a very fair deal. Good luck!
     

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