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Old 09-02-2006, 07:50 PM   #1
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Posts: 19
SUN #42
Tom R
Sunline Pricing..."Normal" % of MSRP????

Good Evening...I am facinated by the apparent quality of the Sunline...I say apparent since I have not yet had the opportunity to tour one. I ahve been studying Airstream for awhile and I am discouraged by the GREATLY disporportionately (is that a word?) high prices. As a current non RV'er it makes the first purchase difficult.

My wife and I are somewhat fussy and can afford a quality TT...we are just nervous about the "first" one and how much we will use it.

The Sunline appears to kind of answer both requirements...great quality and finish...and more "reasonable" prices. Not withstanding others claiming they are too high when compared with less quality TT's.

First question is...What is the "normal" or average discount from MSRP that can be achieved with extensive shopping and research? So far it appears recent purchase of an '05 for 25%+ discount. How have others done and what is a possible expectation?

Second question is...I live in Minnesota...no close dealers. Where is a recommended dealer that is relatively close to Minnesota...with aggressive pricing. Would it make sense to work with a dealer in
Penn...near the factory?

Third question is...where is the best place to look for a used Sunline...1-2-3 years old...otward the longer lengths 25'-28'?

Thanks all...I look forward to learning from this emerging forum.

Tom R in Minnesota
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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SUN #21
donreitz
Tom:
As far as Airstream goes, if you have to ask "Is it worth it?" then you probably aren't Airstream material. This doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you can afford it. Rather, it has to do with whether you buy into the Airstream lifestyle/philosophy/appreciation of a genuine piece of Americana. When you buy an Airsteam you're paying for a lot more than just a trailer, and you either get the concept or you don't.

Maybe purchasing a Sunline doesn't get you a lifestyle in the way an Airsteam does, but you can't buy a better made trailer. If you're as fussy as you indicate, then you're a good candidate as a Sunline owner. They're certainly less expensive than equivalent Airstreams, but that's not saying much. You'll still pay a premium in price and weight.

As to what that premium price should be, you'll get advice of all kinds. Here's mine. Assumptions: you're a serious buyer working with a reputable dealer to make an offer on a current year unit from the lot. It's also assumed that the unit is a model in reasonable, not unusually high or low, demand.

If these assumptions fit your situation at the time, then (1) get the list price for the unit from Sunline (email LaRue Lengel at www. sunlinerv.com and ask for it). (2) Calculate a sales price by subtracting 20 percent from the list price. Keep this price in mind. (3) Make an initial offer. What your starting point is depends. My own experience and an inclination to get to the bottom line with a minimum of fuss says to offer something a little over 20 percent off list. Others will tell you to start as high as 30 percent off list. It's up to you. (4) If the dealer accepts your initial offer, you've probably made a good deal. If not, then continue negotiating with the 20 percent off list price in mind. No matter how you get there, the final price should be around 20 percent off list, either a little above or a little below depending on your particular situation.

The situation gets complicated when the dealer starts throwing in extra goodies at "dealer cost" like a hitch, or a brake controller, or extra options. My advice is to keep the price of the trailer separate from the goodies when you negotiate. Otherwise you'll lose track of how much you actually pay for the unit. This strategy is based on my experience purchasing several trailers and it has worked well for me. Others will have different strategies.

I can't help you with a dealer outside of Indiana. However, I'd try emailing several of the dealers closest to you to see what's possible (use the dealer locator on the Sunline web site). Some RV dealers are willing to make good "internet only" deals by email and others won't give you the time of day. You should find out pretty quickly which dealers would be worth making a trip to visit. While you're at that dealer, don't forget to look at other brands of trailers just to confirm for yourself that Sunlines really are a superior trailer.

Hope this helps.
Don
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:58 PM   #3
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SUN #42
Tom R
Thanks Don...great information. I think Airstreams are somewhat like a Harley Davidson. My wife and I are Harley riders and you do get a lifestyle to go with your Harley.

That said...the AS's seem quite a bit emore expensive than the Sunline...and the sunline seems like a very high quality TT...the interiors seem to be top notch!

As a wanbee first timer I think a 2-3 year old Sunline might be the best bet to "make the plunge"...I will start looking at the used market...and for new dealers also...if you see any nice, slightly used 25'+ drop me a note...particularly if it is anywhere near Minnesota.

Thanks...Tom R in Northern Minnesota...beautiful Labor Day weekend here!
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:59 AM   #4
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SUN #21
donreitz
Tom:
You're exactly right about Harley Davidsons. I think to a certain extent it's true of Jeeps as well. You've probably seen the bumper sticker that reads: "It's a Jeep Thing, You Wouldn't Understand." You either get it or you don't.

If you peruse the travel trailer forum at RV.net you'll find that Sunline generates a lot of owner enthusiasm. Do a forum search on "Sunline" to confirm this. Search on other brands and you'll come to find that Sunline has an unusually loyal following. There's a reason for that.

Good luck with your search.
Don
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:31 PM   #5
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SUN #15
GoodoleBob
Tom,
We shopped Airsteam in our pursuit of a quality trailer. I had many years of experience with motorhomes and the so-so build quality was indeed an issue I wanted to get past with my TT purchase. I felt the Airstreams must be something special or itís reputation wouldn't have grow so much over the years. Well frankly I was disappointed when I finally checked them out up close. The fit and finish was not the problem either, it was the lack of space in important areas like the bath. Just plain to small. I contacted Airstream and was again disappointed in their lack of a responce..no reply at all to my inquiry about custom modifications! This in the face of very high pricing. A 28ft priced in the mid forties after their best offer. We walked away from Airstreams and never looked back. I didn't care about the legend at all; I want a TT that was well built and suited our needs precisely.
For two years I've followed the development of both Sunline and Sunnybrook. Either trailer is a winner in my estimation. The Sunnybrook seams more aligned with larger offerings than Sunline. Since we were shopping for 28 ft max we started to focus on the Sunline selection of several such trailers. Been inside most of the models they offer and am satisfied they are worth the price they charge for them. There's no Sunline legend that I'm aware of, just a fine quality trailer, built to last.
Last month we finally ordered a model T-2499. Here's what I did prior to the actual purchase. I emailed four dealers with a request for their best price on a very specific trailer and option list. I knew the exact list price of the package before hand. I made it clear I wanted the trailer to be exactly as I was specifying in my quote request. All the dealers replied and each was right at 20% off list give or take a percent. I replied to each with a thank you, and a note of my intentions to wait until spring for a purchase since none of the price quotes was suitable for our budget. Only one sent a follow up email and asked me to name a buy it now price. I recall 25% as being a figure many TT buyers shoot for in their negotiations. I ask for this, and after a couple days he replied with his own price with was actually 25.5% off list and his request for a phone call if I was a serious buyer. Well I made that call and several days later we met and placed the order. My methods are what works for me. I've bought cars and trucks using this method and it eliminates a lot of driving around and face-to-face confrontations. I only want to talk to the dealer who is already aligned with my price comfort level.
Living so far outside of Sunlines sales area in Minnesota does complicate matters a bit. A used one is a reasonable pursuit. If youíre willing to travel then of course many new options present themselves. But I would recommend you get them to commit to a price before you put any travel mileage on. As Don mentioned Sunline can supply you with MSRP data.
Well that was a mouthful. Good luck in your quest for a quality TT.

GoodoleBob
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