Tips on buying an RV

There has never been a better time to buy a new RV. Dealers want to sell and are willing to bargain. But you have to know how to get the best deal.

Clearly, an RV dealer is entitled to make a profit. Without it he could not survive. But dealers often make HUGE profits on the RV’s they sell. The reason; dealerships spend thousands of dollars training their sales people to maximize the profit on every deal they work. Yet the large majority of buyers never take the time to really learn how to buy an RV at the best price.

Below are just a few tips to get you started.

  1. Take your time. Don’t buy an RV until you have looked at dozens of brands, types and floor plans. How can you really know what you want unless you’ve looked at many different sizes, types and layouts?
  2. You need time and experience to be able to evaluate the quality, or lack of it, in the various brands and models you have to choose from. You will also want to compare prices.
  3. With each interaction with RV salesmen you’ll grow more accustomed to their sales techniques and become confident a buyer.
  4. Know the wholesale and retail book value of your trade in, as well as the RV you are considering buying before you start any negotiation. This is critical. You cannot negotiate the best price unless you go in knowing what the best price is.
  5. If you plan to finance your RV, don’t automatically go for dealer arranged financing. Research other sources for RV Loans, and choose the best interest rate and terms possible.
  6. With so many RV manufacturers going out of business a factory warranty may be worthless. Ask the dealer what will happen if the manufacturer will not honor the warranty. If he makes any promises, be sure you get it in writing.
  7. If you are considering buying an orphaned RV, try making the dealer buy an after market warranty for you. Make sure the dealer will still cover anything in the manufacturer’s warranty that is not covered buy the warranty insurance and get everything in writing in the contract.
  8. If you choose to purchase an RV warranty, do careful research. Not all warranty policies are the same. Price is less important than the reputation of the company and what the policy covers.
  9. Good negotiation takes time. The longer you hold out for the right price the more likely you are to get it. Here’s why. If you make an offer and the dealer can’t make a profit the salesman will let you walk soon enough and he will go on to the next customer. If he keeps trying to sell you then chances are your price is workable. If you spend a day with a salesman negotiating a deal that’s a day he hasn’t had a chance to make another sale. He has time invested in you and he wants a payoff.
  10. If the negotiation isn’t going the way you want, leave the dealership. Even if it’s just to go to lunch but better if it’s overnight.
  11. Use the dealer’s urgency to your advantage. The more eager the dealer is to sell, the better chance you have to really bargain.
  12. Be willing to walk away. In some cases it may be best just to buy from another dealer. There’s always another RV and another RV dealer.


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