How to get the best price when buying an RV

As camping and RVing grow in popularity, more and more people are in search of the perfect recreational vehicle. RVs themselves are a big investment, so you want to make sure you get the best price. Whether you are in the market for a new unit, older model, or something in between, do your research. The buying process is pretty straightforward, but you may be wondering, am I getting the best price when buying an RV.

How to get the best price when buying an RV

If an RV dealership is in your future, have a plan and stick to it. Before you even leave your driveway, do your research, know what you are shopping for, know your budget and never be afraid to walk away. You can always regroup and live to shop another day.

Know what you should be looking for when inspecting an RV

How to get the best price when buying an RV

Make a plan

When was the last time you went camping? 10 years? 20 years? well, you are not alone. The growing popularity of hitting the road has given a lot of us the itch to see what this great country of ours has to offer. For many, it has been years since the last camping adventure and that may have been a pop-up camper or even just a tent.

The first thing you need is a plan and set expectations, even though expectations are often crushed in an RV lifestyle.

Decide what you are wanting to do with your RV, weekend warrior, a month away from home, or even the possible full-time RV life.

Think about what kind of space you need to be comfortable enough to actually enjoy. Will you be in your RV most of the time or will you be out on the trails and come back to just eat and sleep.

How many people does it sleep and are they dedicated areas or something that will need to be set up and broken down daily?

Remember if you are in the market for a towable unit, you will need a dependable tow vehicle. This tow vehicle will also need to be able to tow the weight you are searching for.

As you have seen there are many things to take into consideration when shopping for an RV. This is where the next step comes into play, do your research.

Do your research

When starting to research your RV purchase keep in mind the plan you have created. It can be overwhelming with all the different types of RVs available. Hopefully, you can take your time and find the perfect fitting RV for you and your family that everyone is happy with. When you arrive at the dealership if that is the path you choose, know more about the RV than the salesman.

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Know what type you are going to buy

As we discussed earlier with your game plan and figuring out what is the best fit for you and your family, it is time to put it to use. There are hundreds of units on the lot and you could spend all day checking them all out, so it is best to have some kind of idea of what you are in search of.

  • Research online – Check manufacturer’s websites
  • YouTube is a great resource, as there are many RV walk-through videos to choose from.
  • RV shows are a perfect way to get up close and personal with all the different types on the market. You can see the quality and know what bells and whistles are available for each unit.

When is the Best time to shop for an RV?

October and November are when RV sales really slow down and this makes for a good time to find that deal you have been searching for. December and January you may be deep in a snowdrift depending on your location but these are the perfect months to find the best deal on a new RV. As the weather breaks around early April and temps rise, so will the prices.

RV shows

An RV show is a great place to start and also a great place to finish your RV shopping. A dealer does not want to move all these units back home and most are willing to make a great deal if it is good for both parties involved.

Shows usually bring in everything from top-of-the-line Class A models all the way down to a small teardrop unit, so you have a chance to see it all in one location. Unlike a dealership that may have 20 or 30 of each model on the lot, it is a much more streamlined experience.

Can you negotiate the price of an RV?

Negotiating is not out of the question, a discount of 20% to 30% or sometimes even more off of the sticker price is a strong possibility.

This all depends on the year, make, and model of the RV in question. Usually, the higher the price, the more wiggle room they have to make deals. For a 10-year-old used model, you are not going to get much reduction from the asking price. Be realistic!

Don’t rely on dealer financing

Don’t jump on the first quote for financing you get without shopping around. Check with your own bank, or local credit union, and even try a couple of quotes from online lenders. You can always take it back to the dealership to see if they will match or vice versa.

This is most likely going to be a long-term investment and you want to go with a company or bank you are comfortable with. Let them fight over your business, not the other way around.

Need a loan? read this first

Get an inspection

Unless you are knowledgeable of RVs and very mechanically inclined, please get an inspection from a trusted 3rd party inspector.

An RV will have drastic depreciation from the get-go, so the last thing you need is to add on a bad case of buyer’s remorse.

Do I really need an RV Inspection?

Be prepared to walk away

Always stick to the original plan you made at the beginning of this process. Salesmen do this every day and can be convincing to some, they will steer you off course to the point of ripping up your plan altogether.

Stay the course and always be willing to walk away if not 100% comfortable.

You can always hear them out as they may have a gem of a deal sitting on their lot, but let the final decision be yours, not theirs.

Can I get my deposit back on an RV?

Yes, or you should but there may be some unnecessary pushback from the dealer. Any reputable dealer is licensed and bonded – By law your deposit goes into a trust account until you take delivery of the RV.

An immediate call to my attorney would be my next move if they refuse to return a deposit check.

Hidden fees

Beware of fees that you may not expect

  • Prep fees
  • Sales tax license and personal property taxes
  • Doc fees
  • Destination charges
  • Pre-delivery inspection fees

Some of these fees will be included in the list price but most will not, just be aware as you are considering the price.

When you do find your dream RV, don’t forget your RV insurance

Buying and owning an RV is a dream come true for many travelers across the country. An RV opens up the door to America allowing vacationers to see the many splendors and sights our great nation has to offer.

Whether you are climbing a winding road in the Rockies, trudging through the hot desert of the southwest, or heading north to the Nation’s Capitol, an RV can get you there.

How much is RV insurance?

RV insurance yearly rates range from as little as $150 up to $2000 depending on your RV type and coverages you choose. An RV has an average yearly rate of between $1000 – $2000 for the typical RV being used full-time. Weekend warriors can expect to pay considerably less for their insurance.

If you are purchasing a travel trailer it will be a fraction of the cost of a Class A RV would be. It is best to speak with your RV insurance specialist to get a better idea of the cost of your particular RV. So, let them find a policy that works for you.

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How to get the best price when buying an RV