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Excel owners, “Orphan RV’s” and Resale value?

Excel has been known as one of the best RVs in the industry for more than half a century. Their innovative design and custom rigs for full-timers has created a loyal following. Unfortunately, when Peterson Industries closed unexpectedly in March of 2015 Excel owners discovered that they were owners of what is now called an “Orphan RV “. An RV is referred to as an “orphan” if the company that manufactured it is no longer in business. Two years later, many Excel owners are curious how that effects their resale value.
As Excel’s #1 dealer for Peterson Industries, we likely have the largest stock of used Excels on the market today; Here is what we know.
When Excel closed, NADA book values dropped immediately, which hurt all of us. We had eight new Excels and twenty used Excels on the lot when Peterson closed. We feel your pain but on an even larger scale. Unfortunately, there is nothing any of us can do about it but acknowledge the loss and move on.
Large dealerships seized the opportunity to put down the Excel’s. When they trade in an Excel they tell sob stories about how they are an orphan rig and often purchase these RV’s for 30% below wholesale, which means that they will likely resale the Excel for 30% below retail NADA values. It may be possible to get a good deal on a used Excel that has been traded in as a result. For Excel owners, that can be a major challenge, because I don’t know any of you who feel good about selling your RV 30% less than it’s worth.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though. There is still a market for used Excels because they were a dominant force in the full-time industry. You know they are well built and insulated RVs. Last week, we sold a 2002 Excel Limited consignment unit for above book value. The new owners had a 2016 Sabre that didn’t hold up to full-time living and needed something better. Excel was the only option that they considered purchasing. I just hung up the phone with a gentleman who is looking to trade into a newer Excel and is interested in the 2015 Limited 31RSE. We have an offer pending on a 2013 34IKE that has been on the lot less than 2 weeks.

So, here’s the good news. Excels are still one of the best built rigs for full-time living. The reputation they built with their customers will continue for years and although right now it may be harder to sell an Excel because of the “Orphan” label, hold tight to the truth that your rig is built better and more soundly than many of the rigs out there today.
If you ever have questions, call us anytime.

Happy trails.

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