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RV’s or travel trailers are hot favorite way of camping in summer. A lot of people buy RV’s when the summer is about to come. When it comes to buying a thousands of dollar priced RV, one has to be careful as its a big investment.
Its not only used RVs that can turn out to be lemon but a branded new RV can also be a disappointment. Thus, you need to be very careful in choosing the dealer and type of RV.
So, can you really haggle with a RV dealer? Well, yes you can and in-fact you can end up getting good deal with discounts in multiple ways.
Getting a branded new RV like Class C motorhome or fifth wheel or any other type can cost you anything between $20,000 to $500,000. Class A RV’s , fifth wheels cost much more than smaller RV’s like travel trailer, Class B RV or pop up tent trailers.
So, how do you negotiate buying a new RV or motorhome? What things can you actually negotiate with the dealer?
Here are tips based on our experience that can help you get branded new RV at discounted rates.
Tips to negotiate while buying a RV
So, ready to negotiate with the dealer? Even though a lot of people know that dealers will sell them that class C RV or class A RV at high prices, they simply cannot negotiate properly.
This happens because lot of us are hesitant and do not know how exactly to negotiate.
One can also use these tips to negotiate used RV purchase. In-fact you need to be more clever in negotiation skills when buying a used RV or travel trailer.
For used RV’s one is always in doubt as to how much is a good price. Let me put out some tips that will help you negotiate the RV at dealer in better way.
In general, when buying anything costly be sure to follow below tips to negotiate and save.
Now, lets see RV buying tips and how to negotiate.
1. Visit multiple dealers
Checking deals at multiple dealers is the best thing you can do, to compare the prices.
Shopping around multiple dealers across cities or even states can help you understand the reasonable pricing. Check which state near you have cheapest rates.
You can also land up at a dealer that will give you better deals like we discussed above. Buying in particular month can also help you get lower prices, buying just before summer can be costly as everyone is trying to get their first RV. Check when its not the season and dealers want to make sales at any cost, winter months can be great for this.
Don’t stick to one brand
Many times people have already decided what brand they want. This leads to neglecting other brands which can in-fact be better. So open you options and explore different brands.
2. Check for hidden fees
Salesman are smart, many times they will not tell you about all the hidden prices upfront. Since RV’s cost so much, the hidden costs can also be high.
Don’t get yourself in that sticky situation when finally, the amount to be paid is 10-20% more than you expected.
Ask for all the hidden fees in detail. There will be some fees that you will have to pay but be sure to know that in advance. Sales tax, federal or state tax, documentation fees, finance processing fees, there could be bunch of them.
Knowing all the hidden fees will make you aware of the actual final price of the RV and the overall deal may not look good then.
Negotiate to see if any such extra fees can be slashed or avoided.
3. Take time to decide
You don’t have to buy the RV with a day or a in a weekend. It is going to be with you for years, so why hurry?
Be sure to weigh all the pros, cons of the type, model you choose. Prices vary based on time, season, brand and a lot of factors. Be sure to take your time to decide.
Many times as the summer comes people suddenly decide that they want to camp in a RV. This leads to buying on impulse. Just take your time and check out different dealers and RV’s.
Best time to buy a motorhome or travel trailer is in-fact months before the seasons kicks off.
Winter and fall are the off season months when the sales aren’t that high and salesman want to sell as much as possible. Thus, there are high chances you would get great discounts.
4. Used RV’s can be money savers
RVs comes at thousands of dollars and new RV’s depreciate a lot. Used RV if bought properly can save you lots of money and will be value of money. Yes you need to be more careful when buying used motorhome or travel trailer.
Here is a year by year depreciation in most type of RV’s. This research was done by camperreport.
|1 year||16 – 20%|
|2 years||20 – 22%|
|4 years||26 – 28%|
|5 years||35 – 39%|
|10 years||48 -54 %|
5. Don’t buy on first visit
Even though you finalized the buy, just spend some time and avoid the buy on your first visit. Do some check on the dealer history, and also on the type of RV you have finalized.
Have you wondered about buying an RV in a different state? Is there such a thing called buying a RV in cheapest state?
Well, a quick research tells me that Montana is the cheapest state to buy a new RV. Montana has very less sales tax. They don’t have general sales tax or city tax on RVs and therefore the overall cost of the RV comes down very much.
Don’t be shy to walk out
When you are not getting the rates that you want then dint shy to walk out. You don’t have to buy it if it isn’t meeting all your criteria. Some salesman are smart and they tend to trap you, be careful and don’t get yourself trapped in costly deals.
6. Try RV shows
RV shows can give you good deals if you plan to buy bigger motohrome. See if there is any such event happening around and do visit to check out RV’s there.
What about Costco? We do get great deals in Costco for so many things. So, can you buy the RV there? Well, Costco does not sell RVs and therefore you are out of luck here.
7. Rent before you buy
This will give you good idea and will help you avoid wrong buy. This is important if you are going to do a significant investment. You need to know how it feels like specially if you are a first time buyer.
Its also important because you want to stay away from getting a lemon. There are several worst brands out there that you want to avoid. Not only used but also brand new RVs can have problems. You don’t want a brand new RV that starts leaking in its first rain outing itself.
The point! Try everything you can to avoid getting a bad travel trailer or motorhome.
8. Research yourself on MSRP
Make sure you know as much possible about the RV that you wish to buy. Check its current MSRP or selling price using NADA guidelines website. Keeping yourself informed about all things about the RV will help you a lot while negotiating at the dealer.
9. Pitch Dealer against Dealer
Let dealers know about other lower prices or discounts that you can get. Pitch dealers against dealers. That’s a good idea, as salesman always want to sell the RVs no matter what.
Walk in with a pre approved financing
Walking in at the dealer with a pre approved loan can make a lot of difference. Since RV’s cost so much and people generally shop around before finalizing, it takes some time for dealer to take you seriously.
If they know that you have pre approve loan, they will take you seriously a lot faster and present better rates from the beginning.
What To Negotiate when buying a RV
Lets check out all important things you can negotiate and also tips for negotiating the motorhome or RV prices.
1. Direct discount on the overall price or MSRP
First things first, negotiate on the final selling price. Every RV would be labelled a price that’s called “MSRP”. Now, that will always be higher and no matter where you shop the RV, you shouldn’t pay that full amount.
RV dealers themselves will be reducing that amount to 10-30 %. Now, what you need to do is to negotiate further on that price. The RV dealers get RV at undisclosed price and you will not know about it. Hence negotiating on this price makes sense.
Unlike cars, RV’s have ton of things to be added or they come original equipped with. Hence, getting that correct price of the rig is a challenge. You can make use of NADA guidelines site to get the idea.
Discounts as high as 35% are possible in high cost RV’s. For RV’s priced above $150,000 you can try for rebates of 30-35%. A RV priced at around $100,000 you should get discounts in the range of 20-20%. For smaller motorhomes or RV’s priced lesser than $80,000 you would get less discount percentage wise that could be less than 15%.
2. Free storage facility from dealer
Some dealers have their own storage facilities for RV’s. If you happen to visit such a dealer then do check out with them if they have any offers on that. A dealer that i had visited few months ago had such a facility and was offering free storage on new RV’s for a years time.
Such offers may not be available at all dealers. You can hunt for such dealers in your area and try for such offers. Storing a RV specially in winter or when not in use is critical.
A $100,000 motorhome needs to be protected and renting a storage is the only option if you don’t have your own area. Renting a storage space can be costly and thus such an offer from dealer can be priceless for sure.
3. Yearly winterizing by dealer
Dealers can provide other services like winterizing the RV’s as well. Do check for any such services available with them. Winterizing a RV annually can cost you more than $100 and such an offer can save you that cost year after year.
Preparing your RV for winter is critical and costly motorhome needs to be ready by fall so that you can get your it in perfect condition for the next season in spring. A lot of steps need to be followed if you want to do the winterizing yourself.
Getting it done from RV professional can be a good way to go specially when your RV is costly and new under warranty. Getting your water systems, tanks ready for freezing cold needs special care and thus if you get such an offer from the dealer itself, take it.
4. RV warranty and extended RV warranty discounts
Discounts on RV warranty or extended warranty from dealership is another thing to negotiate. You have two option to go for extended warranty, get it from the dealership itself or explore on your own online.
RV’s or motorhome are complicated and have so many things that getting that extended warranty is almost a must. RV repairs can be costly and you definitely don’t want to put out cash every time you need a repair or fixing.
5. Perks related to Membership like free camping
Not all RV dealers can give you such perks but yes you will find dealers that can give membership for free camping around parks. Campground parks can be costly and if you can negotiate for such an offer then that can be really good.
Most probably you may not get such offers on negotiation but they would already have such offers which you may want to explore.
6. RV service after purchase
Look for any services that dealers can provide. Ask salesman about such offers, you never know if they can provide any services like washing the RV or anything related to RV repairing or maintenance.
With warranty you would normally get the regular servicing covered but certain things that are not covered and that’s what you may want to negotiate. You also have so many appliances and amenities on board, so it could be related to them which is not covered by warranty.
7. Freight and processing fee discount
Check fright and processing fee beforehand. While getting discounts on overall MSRP see that all such fees are explained and made clear. Its important to talk to the salesman and get to know each and every fee that would be included.
After the fees are made clear, check if any of those can be waved off on special offer or at-least reduced. Tax is another part of payment that should be discussed, the MSRP will not include the tax and the amount you pay will be depending on which state you are buying.
8. Documentation and title fee weaving
Tittle fee and doc fee can add to around $300, this again will be standard added to your total bill. Discuss about it before finalizing the buy.
Yes, when you are going to buy a $150,000 motorhome, it may look negligible but remember those small fees add up to big amount. And therefore, do check and ask for discounts on such fees and added costs.
9. RV must haves at discounted prices
A RV is a like a home on road. It includes amenities and appliances that are costly. While purchasing the RV from dealer check if you can get any offers on adding such appliances. A generator, hoses are needed for RV and dealers giving such things on discount can be great.
There would be numerous things that the RV or trailers wouldn’t come equipped with. Like extra tire or covers, getting them with discounts there and then can be a good deal.
How much should you pay for a new RV?
This depends on the type of RV you want to own. RV prices vary widely from $15,000 to $500,000 and even more. The more luxury, space you want in your RV the more it will cost.
So, is it worth it to buy such an expensive motorhome? Well, it depends on the kind of lifestyle you want to live.
Used RVs cost a way less and you can even own a travel trailer that costs less than $2000. The reason for this is because RVs are a high depreciating vehicles. The moment you get them on road the price starts to fall.
What is the best RV for the money?
There are several brands that are popular but not all of them could be value for money. There are brands that make quality and luxury RVs but they also cost a fortune. Airsream for example makes awesome RVs but they also cost way more.
Some of the best well known reliable brands that also price their RVs well include below,
- Forest River
- Newmar Dutchmen
- Redwood RV