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Old 04-01-2009, 10:16 PM   #1
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Buying used - need advice

Hi folks, my first post here.

I'll be looking at a '98 Ford E-250 Sportsmobile with popotop this weekend. Its mileage is about 90k and the owner wants 20 grand for it. I haven't been able to check the used prices at the NADA site, but isn't 20 grand a little steep?

I'd appreciate any advice on what to watch out for when buying a used Sportsmobile.

Thanks
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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Re: Buying used - need advice

'98 is the last year of the E40OD transmission with the V10, all the bugs are worked out. Plastic radiator may need replacing. Check heater/ac hoses to rear a/c if equipped. Quigley has replacement "torque arms" if applicable. Check with Quigley via your VIN. (If Quigley did the 4x4).

I don't know about non-van SMB stuff.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:51 AM   #3
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Re: Buying used - need advice

Thanks for the info. I didn't know that the van is powered by a V10 engine.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:56 PM   #4
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Re: Buying used - need advice

Sportsmobiles are pretty unique. That's why the asking prices might seem hi as compared to comparable vans of that vintage. The big question is can you find another for less? This dictates the price. The bottom line is, are you willing to give $20,000 for it. If so, than it's worth it. We gave over $30,000 for our's but it had the features we wanted. The mileage was high but we couldn't find anything else. It's a good time to buy used. The market has forced many people to try and sell theirs. One good point is that the initial price is high so people take care of the vans.

I wish you well.

Bob
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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Re: Buying used - need advice

>> The big question is can you find another for less?

Sums it all up, don't it?

I've seen amazing deals on newer Class C's, but no Sportsmobiles.

Incidentally, does anyone know what a 2WD Ford van Sportsmobile with a pop top sold for back in 1998?

Thanks for the great insight.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:58 AM   #6
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Re: Buying used - need advice

I have 1996 SMB prices for you.

E250, 5.8L V8 RV package standard equipment:
RB 22'613 - discount 2'294 = $20'319
EB 23'758 - discount 2'466 = $21292

Penthouse:
RB $2'947
EB $3'239

Standard floor plans:
RB $9'100 to 10'900
EB $10'100 to 11'700

Hope it helps.

The main points for me are:
What can you find! What do you want! How much!
Ponderate them till you get a go or no go!

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Old 04-03-2009, 07:16 AM   #7
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Re: Buying used - need advice

Thanks for the numbers. Suppose the seller of the '98 Ford E-250 Sportsmobile with popotop paid approximately 34,000 (plus a couple of thousand for '96 to '98 adjustment). And 11 years and 90k miles later, he's asking 20,000. I must say the Sportsmobile holds its value quite well.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Re: Buying used - need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamero
I must say the Sportsmobile holds its value quite well.
At least the seller thinks so.

I am in the early stages of considering buying either an smb or other class b. To me the greatest draw to a new smb is being able custom design it. But SMB certainly charges a premium to do so. No way would I pay that premium for someone elses favorite design if that is not the way I would design it.

Here is how I would price it out for a buying decision. An SMB has two parts: car + house.

The car part (van) has a pretty clear used blue book value.

As for the house part you can find the new prices on the SMB website. If I was to buy a used 10 year old couch for my home I would not pay 85% of the current new price for the same couch, so no way am I paying more than 40-50% of the current new price for a goucho that is 10 year old.

Also I am not going to spend as much on an option I would not have included if I was buying new as I would for an option I would buy, particularly if my long term plan is to rip it out and replace it with something else.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:49 AM   #9
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Re: Buying used - need advice

Interesting idea. I did a rough calculation for the 11-year old model:

used van price:
5,000

50% of 2009 poptop
2,500

50% of 2009 floorplan
10,000

_____________
17,500

The seller will have to come down quite a bit. Sportsmobiles are hard to come by, so he might hold onto it until somebody comes up with the asking 20 grand.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:24 AM   #10
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Re: Buying used - need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamero
The seller will have to come down quite a bit. Sportsmobiles are hard to come by, so he might hold onto it until somebody comes up with the asking 20 grand.
If that calculation is for the base model, you also need to know what other options it has, if any. Starcool, 2000W inverter, bumpers... It would all factor in if it has any.
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