By Julie Chickery
An RV purchase is a big deal, and depending on the type of RV you buy, it can come with a substantial price tag. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to negotiate the best price on your next RV.
Know what you want
This might seem obvious, but before you buy an RV it is important to know exactly what you want. The reason this is critical is because RVs depreciate, just like regular vehicles. You can reduce the impact by buying used; but no matter what year, make or model, your RV will depreciate. That’s why it is so important for you to purchase the RV that you will enjoy long-term.
RV shopping at a dealership or show is great because you can look at many different makes and models. However, it can also be overwhelming. Before you even go look at RVs in person take the time to think about what is important to you. Then make a list of your wants and needs. This will help you narrow down what type of RV will be best for you. After you narrow that down, take a look at all these reviews.
Research RV pricing to negotiate the best deal
This is the tricky part because there are several factors. First, there is the MSRP – which leaves a lot of wiggle room for dealerships to offer you discounts. You can also look at the NADA guides to get an idea. Next, you can look at online pricing for several different dealerships in your area. Supply and demand, as well as average annual income, can affect what a dealer can sell an RV for.
Another important consideration is shipping costs. This is one of the reasons why RV pricing varies by location. For example, we have an Arctic Fox Fifth Wheel made by Northwood Manufacturing in La Grande, Oregon. Consequently, the closer you are to the manufacturer, the lower the price.
Resist the impulse to buy right away
This is the part that many RV shoppers, myself included, don’t like. You go to a show or a dealership, see all the amazing new shiny RVs and want to buy now! The sales associate will tell you, “This is the best deal you’re ever going to see. Don’t let it get away!” But you must resist if you want to negotiate the best price. We bought our RV at a show in Arizona, but we didn’t buy it the first day. We let them know we were interested, but the price was too high. We did the same the next day. On the third day, they dropped the price by almost $10,000. Yes, we ran the risk of someone else buying that RV, but we knew there would be other opportunities if that happened. Bottom line: Be prepared to walk away.
You know what they say: Patience is a virtue. Well, in this case, patience is also good for the wallet. Did you know there are certain times of the year that you may be able to negotiate a better deal? Find out when new models of the RV you want are released. Then start tracking available inventory of current year models in your area. The dealerships that want to make room for new models may be more willing to work with you.