Are you looking to purchase an RV? First, consider your needs.
This is the most important thing to consider 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 just need a way to get away from the city during the weekend? Do you want something with enough space for everyone & everything that comes along with your home life? Or maybe something smaller so that you can fit into places others can’t go.
If you have owned an RV before, perhaps upgrading is more appealing than starting from scratch all over again. There is nothing wrong with this either. Just remember that if it’s something new on top of old, parts could be hard to find and repairs could cost more than if it was completely new. Everything matters when considering your needs and wants for an RV when deciding which one fits them best.
Purchasing an RV is a huge decision. It’s not like buying a car or even 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 results from a time when people are looking to go on vacations. This is especially true for those areas with the cold winter seasons.
Unlike we did, 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 for as well, but we suggest finding your own, like with financing through Good Sam.
RV SHOWS AND BUYING NEW:
If you have your heart 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 have been rising and dealers have not been very willing to come down on their prices.
But let’s talk in general and during “normal” times. RV shows like the Florida RV SuperShow or Hershey RV Show are typically a good time to shop for prices 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.
Now during the pandemic, they realize 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 benefit 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 then again, most RV manufacturers only carry a 1 year warranty at best.
Here are 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 if you have a limited budget.
KEEP LOOKING & 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.
Even though 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 around online as well. We like to use RVTrader as a source to check pricing all around the country. You can even set your filters on RVTrader so that you are looking for the exact model 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.
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. You will quickly find that the salesperson will try to give you a more enticing offer.
In most cases, they’ll try to earn your business and offer you a more favorable deal to earn your business. Don’t be rude but play the game right back with them.