Are You Looking to Buy an RV? Read This First!
CONSIDER YOUR NEEDS WHEN SHOPPING FOR AN RV
Considering your needs is the most important thing to when buying an RV. If you are buying your first RV, ask yourself what do YOU want out of it? Do you want to travel and see the country in comfort or do you just need a way to get away from the city during the weekend? Do you want something with enough space for multiple people & to bring lots of things that you have with your sticks and bricks home life or would you prefer simplicity? Would you prefer something smaller so that you can fit into places others can’t and make better use of your time?
Are you thinking of trading in your old RV to upgrade?
Sometimes an old RV can be hard to find parts and repairs could could cost more than if it was completely new. There is always a caveat to everything, right? Everything matters when considering your needs and wants for an RV when deciding which one fits you best.
Purchasing an RV is a huge decision. It’s not like buying a car or a house.
RVs are big, expensive and can be difficult to purchase. But there are ways to make the process easier. RV prices tend to increase during the summer, which is fueled by a time when people are looking to go on vacations. This is especially true for those areas with the cold winter seasons. You might want to consider renting an RV for a while before buying one just to get the feel of what you like and dislike. There may be something about the rental that you don’t care for that will entice you to try something else to see if it fits your needs better. Whether you rent or purchase, the time and effort you put into the planning are essential if you want to get the best deal. Here are our recommendations to get the best possible deal for an RV.
SECURE FINANCING FIRST
Before going to a dealership or even purchasing from a private seller, securing financing beforehand will show you are a serious buyer and make the seller feel at ease knowing that they are not wasting their time with someone that may not be able to even finance the RV. This is always some good leverage that will make a dealer more open to pricing negotiations and bring out the best deals. Most dealerships have financing, but we suggest finding your own, like financing through Good Sam is a popular option.
RV SHOWS AND BUYING NEW
If you have your heart set on a new RV, then consider going to an RV show. RV shows are usually a great opportunity to get some of the best deals that the RV dealership is offering. Now, we say “usually” because during the pandemic the RV prices were rising and dealers were not very willing to come down on their prices. The same went for private party sales, prices were high everywhere.
But let’s talk in general and during “normal” times. RV shows like the Florida RV SuperShow or the Hershey RV Show are typically a good time to shop since the show is hosting different manufacturers and RV models. They are all competing with each other for your business and quite frankly, they don’t want to have to take the extra units back to their dealerships. Some travel some great distances with all these units.
During the pandemic, they realized there is a shortage and they know the RVs will most likely sell so they aren’t as willing to reduce prices. That being said, the best day to get the best price at an RV show is the last day of the show. Then again, the model you have your eyes on could be sold by the last day of the show. It’s a gamble but could be worth the wait.
NEW IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
Buying new has it’s benefits but is not always the best choice. Unfortunately in the RV world, buying new doesn’t mean fewer repairs and maintenance costs. They are much different than an automobile. On the other hand, having a factory warranty is a good thing… but, most RV manufacturers only carry a 1 year warranty at best.
Some benefits of buying a used RV:
1. More control over your budget.
2. A secondhand RV will frequently come with added features from the previous owner.
3. All the factory faults have usually been taken care of because they typically happen within the first 6 months to a year of owning a new RV.
4. If you spend less on the purchase of a used RV, it allows you the extra funds to make changes and customize your new home on wheels to your own liking. Long story short, buying a new RV isn’t always the best decision.
Keep Shopping Around:
If you already have a close relationship with a dealer, it doesn’t always mean you’re going to get the best deal. Dealerships want you to believe they will always give you the best deal out there, but if they know they can make some extra money, the loyalty thing between you and the dealership unfortunately becomes obsolete. That being said, ALWAYS be open to buying from another source.
YOUR loyalty to a dealership can benefit you in many ways, but not always. This is why you should always be shopping around and looking at the competitors inventory and pricing. Always be looking for the “Why?”.
Why is the price lower?
1. Are there options or extras that one has and not the other?
2. Higher/lower mileage?
3. Better or poorer condition?
Always make sure you are shopping online as well.
We like to use RVTrader as a source to check pricing all around the country for new and used. You can even set your filters on RVTrader so that you are looking for the exact model, features and color or within a certain area of the country. Sometimes you will even find that it is worth traveling across country for a better deal. That said, BE SURE to always have a FULL inspection completed before making any commitments on an RV purchase. Make sure the inspector is going to check all electrical components and get on the roof to check for leaks.
To make sure you are getting the best price, talk to a salesperson and compare the price of the RV they have with another RV of the same model from a competitor. You can then tell them that the same model is offered from another dealer and is priced lower. In most cases, they’ll try to earn your business and offer you a more favorable deal. Don’t be rude, just play the game right back.