Deciding to buy a new or used RV from a dealer can seem a bit overwhelming at times. RV dealers are a lot like car salesmen, they can be “not-so-honest”. There are several different types of RV’s, from travel trailers to 5th wheels, to huge Class A motorhomes. The options are endless when it comes to size, amenities, floor plans, and gadgets. Buying an RV is a lot like combining buying a car with buying a house. So, before you decide to spend a day at the dealer, do some research to see what’s available and decide what best fits you and your families’ needs. Here are 5 tips to help you know what to expect.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
New vs. Used
New RV’s are nice, no doubt. Nobody has ever used the facilities, the shower, the mattress, or anything else for that matter. You can get exactly what you are looking for all the way down to the color of the window valances. Your favorite RV can even be ordered if it’s not readily available on the dealer’s lot. However, don’t rule out a slightly used RV. This was a decision Kellie and I had to make when we bought our Kodiak.
We looked at a few of the new models and just couldn’t get the price down to our budget. Our salesman offered the idea of looking at a used model. We were hesitant at first but decided to at least give it a look since we were already there. The Kodiak was two years old and looked barely used at all, it even still smelled new inside. After some discussion and thought, we decided to buy it. And to be honest, we couldn’t be happier with our choice.
Don’t Be afraid To Walk Away From RV Dealers
Every price can be haggled, just like at a car dealership, never pay sticker price. We stopped by one dealership based off of what was offered on their website only to discover when we got there, the model we were looking for was no longer available, how convenient. We looked at the next model up and although it had a few things we didn’t need, if the price was right we could adjust.
Afterward, we sat down at the salesperson’s desk to start running the numbers and when she slid the total over the desk to us, I said, “No. That’s a bit more than I want to pay, can you come down some or throw in some extras?” She didn’t hesitate to tell us, “Nope. That’s the price you’re going to pay if you want to but it. No extras.” Needless to say, we stood up, thanked her for her time, and walked out.
Beware Of Banners Along The Highway
After the first fiasco we drove to another dealership just down the road. As we were pulling up to the lot, we noticed a HUGE yellow banner that read, “Sleeps 8, $13,999”. So, as we pulled in, we drove the lot before going inside and looking for a salesman.
We found several RV’s that suited our needs so we went inside. The gentleman that greeted us asked what we were interested in and we promptly told him that we wanted to look at some of the travel trailers advertised on the banner out by the road. He quickly let us know that that promotion had been over for months. Kellie and I looked at each other and she asked him, “Why do you still have the banner up then?” We both knew the answer to that and again, walked back to the truck. We figured that if you can’t be honest from the time I turn into the lot, why would you be honest in trying to find us a good deal on an RV?
Beware Of Hidden Fees
When you find the rig that best suits your needs and you sit down with the salesperson, watch out for hidden fees. For example, one of the previously mention RV dealers had a fee for “make ready”. Essentially, they were going to charge us an additional $400 to get the rig ready to drive off with. This “fee” included washing the RV, hooking up the battery, washing it, etc. There are alot of dealers who consider this a “cost of doing business”. We don’t feel that the customer should be charged even more just to drive or tow it off of the lot.
Do You Research
We can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research before you decide to buy an RV. Check out all of the different types and styles, pricing, fees, etc. Find the one that best suits your budget and your needs. Afterall, you and your family will be the ones who will be staying in it. If you still aren’t sure what you want or need, maybe look into renting a few different types first. There are several websites that offer great rental opportunities at a fair price.
Let us know what you think. Have you had good or bad luck with RV dealers? Do you have anything to add to the list? Please let us know in the comments below.
Subscribers will receive our monthly themed newsletter with notifications on new posts, tips, reviews, and more.