A Buying Guide to Getting a Good Deal
Everyone loves that feeling when you know you scored a deal like finding a brand name label at a fraction of the cost or getting that freebie from your favorite smoothie joint on your birthday. We got you covered with our RV buying guide to get a good deal that’ll make you feel like every day is your birthday!
1. New VS Used
There are some perks to buying new: warranty, reliable service, bonuses on insurance, and, you're not buying someone else’s problems to name a few. For example, all it takes to ruin an RV roof is to not use the correct RV roof treatment. Do not let that scare you away from used, check out our Used RV Buying Guide to make purchasing used less daunting. Buying used affords you more room to negotiate as it tends to be consumer to consumer where things like commission and overhead do not play a role.
Currently, dealerships are reluctant to negotiate due to high demand, but that's not to say it's not possible, you just have to know when–which leads us to our next point.
2. When and Where Matters
It is so important to shop around: a dealer located in a highly-populated area might not have the same bottom line as the family-owned dealership two hours outside of town. With that being said, larger dealerships might receive selling bonuses or better financing options due to the volume they sell that they pass onto their customers.
It also comes down to your bottom line: it's not always about the dollar amount but the quality of service. A dealership that maximizes its monthly sales might not have the same quality in service that a smaller dealership offers. So when you need that yearly travel trailer roof repair and inspection, they might not be able to fit you in before the snow comes.
Finally, purchase during off-peak seasons, the dealership will be more inclined to negotiate then when sales are down opposed to at an RV Show in the middle of summer.
3.The Bells and Whistles
You do not need bells and whistles. That $200 first-time camper kit that they’ve thrown in with the cheap sewer hose, overpriced 1ply toilet paper, and plastic wheel chocks that you're bound to run over and crush in reality could cost you under $100 if you sourced them yourself.
Or, instead of items that will inevitably fail, negotiate that the dealership provides you with a product that will prolong the life and assist you with the maintenance of your RV such as the best rv roof sealant!
Additionally, most RV’s come with a standard 1-year warranty from the manufacturer, but all the appliances have their own warranties that can extend up to 2 years or be purchased separately through their respective manufacturers. If offered an extended warranty, be wary of what it covers; an extended warranty usually has strict guidelines of what will be covered.
The main point: anything sold at an RV dealership, even the extras like rust proofing are sold at a premium due to convenience. It would cost half the price because convenience costs extra.
4. The Fine Print
Carefully read over your contract, here are some terms to familiarize yourself with:
MSRP (or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price): the price set by the manufacturer but dealerships can set it as high as they please. Open to negotiate but be sure to bring comparables from competitors.
PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection): is mandatory but it is set by the dealership and is based on the technician’s qualifications and experience among other things. PDI ranges from $425 and up depending on the dealership.
Freight: is mandatory, non-negotiable, and is set by the manufacturer. It will vary by make.
It's worth asking what their fees are while shopping around, to give you leg up when comparing and when negotiating.
5. The Final Deal
RV Dealerships have room for negotiation but what's counting against the consumer currently is if you don't buy it, the next guy who comes in, likely will–without negotiating.
It comes down to doing your research: compare costs at dealerships local and out of town, purchase during the winter when sales are down because dealerships will be more likely to negotiate a bit more, do not buy the bells and whistle packaging and go over the purchase agreement carefully to fully understand all fee’s applied and question anything that you feel shouldn't be on there.
Lastly, there is never any harm in asking: if you do not ask, you will never know.