How to Get the Best Price on an RV: 14 Tips That Actually Work

Campers are a luxury product and like any other luxury product, they are expensive. RVs are sold at higher profit margins than regular vehicles because their sales pick up only for a few months, specifically summer, in a year. The dealers ask more because they need to make their living from the short sales period. But the buyers need to get a good deal too, right?

So, here are some tips on the best RV prices that you can apply to save a huge amount of money.

How to Get the Best RV Prices: Tips That Work

If you have decided to venture on a nomadic lifestyle, the next step is to purchase an RV. But you have to work out a strategy to get the best RV deals. You will be able to save a couple of thousand dollars by choosing the right place and time along with following some RV buying tips.

1# Cheapest State to Buy RV

Does RV price vary from state to state? Yes, of-course

With 0% general sales tax, Montana is an ideal state to buy an RV.

Indiana is another place to find the cheapest of deals. The list price of many camper models at dealerships in Indiana is lesser than the negotiated price at the dealerships in other states.

How come Indiana dealerships sell at such bargain prices? Well, this state is America’s RV manufacturing hub. The cost of transporting campers from the factory to dealerships is significantly lower in this state. Buying a recreational vehicle from Indiana will save you a lot of money.

Arizona and Florida are the states if you are looking for cheap used rigs. These are the places where most elderly nomads think of settling down. So, they will be eager to sell their campers. But you have to do the legwork and negotiate to get a good deal.

2# The Best Place to Buy an RV

Getting the best prices for RV purchase warrants some smart moves and choosing the right purchasing place is one of them.

Of-course you should buy from a dealer but their stores are not always the best place to score a good price.

Try trade shows. Dealers participate in those shows to make sales. So, they will be eager to offer discounts. Even better if you can wait until the last day of the show. No seller will want to tow the rigs back to their shops.

Buying from a wholesaler located near RV manufacturing factories also saves plenty of money but you will miss out on the after-sales service.

3# Best Time to Buy an RV

When you are after a used camper, wait until the beginning of fall. Most people don’t want to winterize their RVs or pay for the storage unit rent and other upkeep costs during the winter months.

This off-loading tendency keeps used camper price down from fall through winter. You will have enough room for negotiations but be careful when buying a second-hand camper.

If you’re seeking for a new RV, understanding the best time of year to buy an RV could save you a lot. Many RV campers make the purchase during RV Trade Show when RV dealers are likely to offer more incentives. RV buyers can also get better deals at the end of sales season or right before the release of new models.

Spring is the camping season when many people look for new or used RVs. The sellers have the upper-hand this time because of the tons of enthusiastic buyers.

4# Buy When Fuel Price Is High

People avoid purchasing at this time thinking that the soaring fuel prices will stretch their RV budget. Thousands of people think this thought, creating a scarcity of buyers in the market.

rv buying tips
Don’t let the fuel price intimidate you.

This will give you an opportunity of negotiating RV price because the dealers won’t want to keep the rigs on the lot and pay the holding costs. Also, the amount you save will be equal to two to three years of fuel costs.

5# Compare the Price of Dealers

Getting the best RV prices requires doing some homework. One such task is comparing the price of dealers. It is a good practice to check every dealership within the 100-mile radius of the place you live.

Make a list of all the nearby dealers that sell your chosen make and model. Now, compare the prices and after-sales service and support they offer.

6# Check Dealer’s Reputation

Offering at a lower price should not be the only yardstick of choosing a dealer. Some of them are all talk. They just care about selling the product and then never bother about giving any other services or fulfilling the warranty.

Check the dealer’s rating on the Better Business Bureau website. The good-rated ones are safe to do business with. You can also search online to see if any previous customers have left any review.

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7# Know Your Finance

When you have finally fixed your choice and found a dealer, you should arrange your finances before physically visit the store. Knowing about the budget and the amount of money you can actually spend is imperative for the purchase of an expensive item.

Also, a clear idea about your finance will allow you having control of the negotiation. Otherwise, you will agree on a price only to find out that there is not adequate savings or any loan possibilities.

8# Negotiate

Knowing how to negotiate a travel trailer purchase is a must if you want to save money. It does not matter whether you are buying from a dealership, wholesaler, RV show, or private seller. There is always room for negotiation.

You may think that the seller is already giving you a discount so there is no need to haggle over the prices. Wrong. Every seller is making a good even when they say that the ‘agreed-upon’ price will barely cross their profit margin.

best rv prices
Negotiation is the key to get the best RV prices.

Negotiation is an art. The salesperson wants to sell you the RV unit at a price that earns them the best commission. But you have to execute your best bargaining skill to get it at the lowest price you can.

If your bargaining skill sucks, find a skilled bargainer. Bring him with you at the time of purchase.

9# Find out the Real Price

Negotiation becomes a lot easier when you know about the real price of a rig. The MSRP and asking prices are just numbers that never tell the real story. Starting a negotiation without knowing the wholesale price of the unit will be hara-kiri.

Checking the website NADA will give you an idea about the average value of a new rig. Try to strike a deal at less than this average figure. Remember that bank loans are hardly going to cross those average numbers.

10# Be Reasonable

Negotiating does not mean just haggling with the price and whining to the salesperson. Not every camper is eligible for massive discounts.

The wholesale price of a Class A diesel pusher is much less than the MSRP but this is not the same for a tent trailer. You have to understand if there is a wiggle room for your chosen make and model.

11# Be Patient

Even having good negotiation skills does not guarantee to get the best RV prices. The seller simply may not agree with your proposed price. You have to be patient and wait for the right time.

If the salesperson does not agree to reduce the price to a reasonable point, be ready to walk away. Sometimes, they offer a better price when they see the customer is ready to call it a day. However, if they remain unmoved, you should actually leave and try at a different store. Leaving them your phone number is a good idea but tell them not to call unless they can offer something closer to your desired price.

12# Don’t Show Over Enthusiasm

The salespeople will sniff blood if you show extra interest. Don’t reveal that this is the unit that you want to purchase or you have fallen in love with. Once they understand your interest in the RV, they will be unwilling to negotiate.

13# Do Your Pre-Buying Research

This is a must-to-do thing that you should not skip. Buying an RV is a big investment and you should do the homework before shelling out such a huge amount of money.

buying a recreational vehicle
Getting the RV best prices depends on doing proper homework.

Choosing the right rig is a huge task. You have to find something that suits your needs and lifestyle. Some features may seem necessary at first but do nothing better than adding extra weight and costs.

Even the same model varies from one brand to another. What comes as a standard in one brand might be an add-on in another. Also, some not-so-renowned brands try to fool the new RVers with eye candy features.

14# Be Extra Careful When Buying a Used RV

Buying a used rig is a good idea when you have a tight budget. But getting the best RV prices is another story. If you are not careful, you may end up with absolute junk.

Look everywhere of that rig. Crawl inside the storage space. Remove the staged furniture and inspect the floor. Pull drawers out of the kitchen cabinets. Climb to the roof. In a word, walk into every corner to see if there is any major defect.

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guide in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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