How to negotiate the best price on your next RV

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An RV is a major purchase, and it can come with a substantial price tag. Follow these tips to negotiate the best price on your next RV. 

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. 

##RVT998

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Oliver Quibble
5 days ago

I am looking to the near future to downsize from my gas Class A to a Leisure Van (Diesel or Gas)
BUT as I look things are going crazy….. Owners and dealers are asking and getting very high prices.
They are even getting more than they paid on USED models.

I am hoping it is a bubble that pops fast.
No matter how much I want one, I will not play their game.

Does anyone out there remember a time in the past where this occurred?

CampingNewbies
6 days ago

When we entered the market we expected that a good deal right now would be 15% off MSRP knowing full well that we should be getting closer to 30%. Three dealers made it sound like they were losing money offering us 10% off. One dealer, a locally owned dealership that has been around for half a century, gave us a price that was well below what we expected. I countered with a lower price and we met half way. 28% off on a cash deal with the hitch and brake controller as part of the deal was good enough to write a check right then. We could not be happier with the trailer or the dealer.

Dminutilli
6 days ago

I’m curious to know if people who’ve bought RV’s in the last year were able to negotiate much off the MSRP.

Dan
6 days ago

RV dealers generate income from financing. Read the fine print on the dealer financing,and check other options like home equity credit. If you’re a cash customer,or have financing in place,you don’t need to disclose this prior to price negotiation,as it could affect price. Same goes for trade in price. Negotiate the trade after negotiating the purchase price.
The RV dealer does not want you to step out the door without a contract,as odds are you won’t return. Be prepared to walk away if the deal isn’t right for you. Know,before you go.