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Used Casita Prices

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#1 Bobinyelm

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:16 PM

I just purchased a 2002 17SD in very decent condition, and while not exactly suffering buyer's remorse, am having a hard time reconciling the price w/ other RVs I've owned.

A couple of years back I bought a beautiful '96 32ft Kit Road Ranger w/ a 14ft slide-out and every option know to man in new condition (the husband had passed away after buying it, but before using it, and the wife put it in enclosed indoor storage for 5 years before selling it to me) for $12,500. It had never been slept in, or even been outside except at the dealer's. I see this same trailer now sports a $10,500 NADA value, which is what I sold it for a year after buying it (we had to move and I had no place to store it there).

The 2002 Casita, on the other hand, cost about $13,200 new in 2002, and I gave about the same $10,500 I sold the Kit for, after seeing many other Casita 17s for sale around this price range ($9500-$11,500). The NADA book on a 2002 Casita is only $7500. I looked at new 2007 models at Rice, and equipped like mine, they ago about $15,500.

While a functionally new Casita for 30% less than new is a considerable saving, paying that much for something so small (and old) compared to a larger one as I quoted above seems somehow illogical.

Of course, the size and weight of the Kit kept me from actually USING the 32ft monster, and I am sure I will use the heck out of the Casita, so maybe the Casita has greater "use value," and hence the price.

Help me rationalize this otherwise irrational purchase, or is it just "a Casita thing?"

P.S. One can also buy some very nice looking brand new 17-19ft lightweight travel trailers for about $10,000. It MUST be an egg thing, right?

Edited by Bobinyelm, 07 September 2006 - 09:18 PM.

#2 Ray & Donna

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:56 PM

It mainly has to do with the quality and features of the Casita as well as "supply and demand."

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#3 The Kellys

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 04:17 AM

One of the especially nice things about buying a Casita is that they don't depreciate as fast as most other RVs. The bit of remorse that you're feeling is maybe fueled by that NADA value, which simply just isn't reliable for Casitas. There might be rare instances where a Casita is sold for something like the value they give it, but that's got to be in cases where the seller simply doesn't know that used Casita values are not comparable to other used RVs, so they price theirs for sale at an unusually low amount. The reason you had to pay what you did to get this good condition 2002 is because if you hadn't been willing to come up with that price someone else behind you would have. It's a sure thing that the seller wouldn't have had to drop the price and drop the price to get a buyer.

You know, we've had a lot of different "toys" over the years but our Casita is the ONLY thing we've ever had that strangers will seek us out to ask if we'd sell it. There's plenty of demand out there for the few used Casitas for sale, and as long as that lasts the value will hold. Comfort yourself with the knowledge that if you decide you really did overpay for your used Casita, you can advertise and likely sell it tomorrow for what you paid. Or possibly more. rolleyes.gif
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#4 Luckyman

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 04:54 AM

IMNSHO, the NADA and Kelly Blue Book are dealer's tools and have no real value to the individual buyer or seller.

Dealers manipulate these tools to justify their various numbers games on trade-in and retail.

The only true way to determine real value is to go out into the market place and explore and learn, which you did. Did you find any 2002 Casitas for $7500 or even close? biggrin.gif
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#5 Rob

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 04:55 AM

Bob, I think you said it the best. You lost $2,000 on the big camper in a years time AND you did not get to use it much. Where is the value? The Casita will depreciate $2,000 but it will take much longer than just a year BUT you "will use the heck out of the Casita"! So, which trailer was the better buy?
I bought my 2002 almost two years ago and would bet good money that I could sell it within 5 days for the price I paid. And, the best part, I use the thing and enjoy it every outing. I'm leaving in a few hours for a 9 day trip to Arkansas. Yep, I'm grinning!
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#6 KTBarRanch

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:52 AM

You will feel better after you talk to my sister and brother-in-law. They traded their 28' in for one of those brand new bargin $10,000 19 footers. They took it out one time and noticed the roof was holding water and took it back to the dealer and the manufacturer would not fix it until it started leaking so they traded it in for a yet another new trailer but had to go a little larger. Now the truck is having trouble pulling the trailer so they trade their truck in for a larger truck and no longer have a nimble little rig to drive around. While they bought three trailer and two trucks, we bought our 17' Casita and recently upgraded our truck from a 93 to a 98. They are retired but we have been able to camp more than they have because they have spent so much time trading, repairing and getting rigs ready. Obviously, we love our used rig. wink.gif
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#7 Dex

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 06:03 AM

Another aspect to consider is operating costs.
Compare the costs of a Casita Vs a larger RV.

MPG while towing
Cost of 50amp Vs 30amp RV park cost

As an example, lets assume you get 15mpg with the Casita and 12 mpg with a larger RV and gas is 3/gal for every 1000 miles you spend

Larger $250
Casita $200

If you do the computation; let us know your results.
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#8 Larry & Debbie Gamble

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 06:45 AM

Here's my take on the deal. Casita's hold their value because even a 11 year old one like ours doesn't develop roof leaks that rot away the shell like on most trailers. Even a weathered, hard used trailer is economically maintained and or restored because you still have a viable, intact rolling chassis and shell. I look at our long term deal and based on what we paid new versus what it would sell for today, I'm looking at about $4000 in depreciation in 11 years. Or about $6000 less than a new one. The maintenance in that time has all been related to OEM suppliers not Casita. Since all trailers are just collections of parts put in sombody elses shell, those maintenance costs relate to all trailers not just Casitas. Our Casita has the same water heater, toilet and water pump as our friends $300,000 motor home.
You mention "so small", but when I cost out all the appliances that are common to all brands of trailers, fridge, stove, toilet, water pump, converter, lights, holding tanks, furnace, AC, a door, windows, etc., Another couple of feet of body doesn't actually cost much. Casitas were designed to fit all that stuff into a small as possible a package and we don't pay "extra" for the small size, we pay "extra" for quality for a shell and structural steel frame that remains intact enough to justify, after six or seven years, the cost of replacing major appliances. Show me a stick built that is ten years old, that you can justify replacing a couple of major appliances when the roof leaks and has rotted the wall framing and the floor and the bent sheetmetal frame is rusting away. In Texas, these trailer sell for $1500 and are advertised as "ideal for a hunting lease". That means they have one trip left in them and the owner can't even justify new tires, let alone a $800 fridge or a $500 AC. Even a 20 year old Casita is worth that expenditure. In the long term, the Casita would have been a good buy even if it had cost many thousands more. We love it! We hope you enjoy yours for many years to come.

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#9 CarolU

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:49 AM

One thing that we have really noticed is that we can't go on any trip without being asked to see our Casita.. and it's a 2002 Liberty.

We have been followed off the freeway; been circled in a parking lot; followed out of stores; and answered several phone calls which were referrals from Casita Enterprises. We have shown our Casita at our home, campgrounds, gas stations, etc.

There must be a reason why Casita's are so popular... but you have to own one, use it, and love it to really find the answer. Those of us who have made mods to our Casitas know for sure; it's really a home on wheels.

I really don't believe that cost should be the first thing to evaluate when it comes to the Casita vs other RV's or trailers. It's all about the way you use your trailer, fix it up and enjoy the traveling that goes with owning an RV.

We hope that you soon feel comfortable about your purchase -

Edited by CarolU, 08 September 2006 - 08:52 AM.

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#10 Bobinyelm

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:24 AM

Thanks, everyone, I am feeling much better now.

Your comments are the very ones that I used to decide that the Casita was the unit to buy in the first place. It's easy to forget even one's own logic when the pain of a lighter wallet is causing distress!

Better than even an Airstream, a Casita has the structural integrity that should not, short of an ateroid hit to Mother Earth, deteriorate significantly in my time on the Planet! That even goes for the underside, where most trailers are really crap if you crawl under them.

The Casita frame is made of 1/8" structural steel (angle iron, "C" channels, plates), and not stamped sheet metal that rusts away and cannot easily be repaired.

In our society, size often equates with value, yet small when it comes to towing and parking are positives.

Ah, I can breathe again...


#11 jdtrotter

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 11:03 AM

Economics 101

1. Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay.

2. Supply and Demand.

When we advertised our Casita, the response was huge----some from distances far away. We sold it immediately.

Fiberglass trailers hold up well, hold their resale value----again, number 1 and number 2.

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#12 horsefolk

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:25 PM

biggrin.gif Glad you worked out your doubts!!!! We did a LOT of thinking on the rite trailer and the Casita is a LONG term investment, that holds it's value well because the Casita (and the other fiberglas trailer owners) seem to take more PRIDE in their trailers! They're always looking for more comfort and convenience to squeeze into every available inch of a very well made unit! We tried to find a used Casita and zilch so we bought new and never regretted it one bit. With the Casita, you inherited the best bunch of technical advisers in the RV world. You don't get that with a stick built that's 2 years old and the side is expanding outward (read big ^$(&#@ bubble) and the factory/dealer won't talk to you! And no brand specific forum.......aahhhhhh
love our Casita!!!!!
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#13 mickey

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 03:33 AM

To place my $0.02 ,the morning I saw the egg on the R.V.Sales lot I stopped immediatedly to investigate that shape.When I inquired about it. The salesman had to call their main location to learn the particulars on it. It was not even cleaned up from the former owner as of yet.I had that feeling not to play around with it too much.I liked it as soon as I saw it. I put a down payment on it there and then.When I went back later I was told they would be glad to get it over to their repair facility for the cleanup and state inspection.Seems as though their policy is to not unlock or show any unit that has $ down on it.Salesman said they were tortured over that policy because of insistent potential buyers wanting in. As we were at the settlement table the manager came in to say he would be glad to get it off the lot,claims he had a couple drive up to it and request he fill out a set of secondary sales agreement papers on it in case I flinched. I had the same feeling as you ,namely this is a considerable expense for the footprint but the design,shape and most of all the fiberglass feature overcame the cost in short order.I have had others and nothing is worse than a bulging sidewall and that question"Honey ,what is that funny smell in here? May we all have long years with the eggs. Mickey

#14 wjrogers

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 10:34 AM

I see the price of Casitas are much higher than blue book value. My insurance company want an apprasial on my egg. Anyone have any suggestions and how to get an accurate one? dry.gif

Thanks, Bill
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#15 grapevine

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 11:39 AM

I can sum it up in one word "quality" - Plus, the fiberglass egg does not leak!
We recently went on a camping trip with a couple who have a big 5th wheel. The are good friends who had nothing but problems on the trip. They have a leak somewhere that they can not find and it has dripped down and soiled the carpet. Over the bed was a vent or a fan (not sure) Anyway, the top blew off [cheaply made) while on the road and it was raining. When they stopped at the campground they found all their beding wet, including the mattress. This was not a fun vacation for them.
Yes, I am told if you want to sell your Casita, you could sell it right away! This is a nice feeling to have when you own one. take care, Karen Conner
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