The months between Fall and Winter are generally considered the best time to buy a travel trailer. RV sales often peak in the summer months and prices tend to be higher due to consumer demand.
It’s also better to shop during the week since most people do their shopping on the weekend and that’s when the dealership is less likely to offer a better deal since they have more customers walking through their doors.
Timing is not everything though. There are multiple tactics that you can use to get a better deal. We have listed 11 of them below.
11 Ways To Get A Better Deal on Your Next RV
I personally recommend looking at least one year out prior to your purchase. Their are many brands and models to choose from and when you get to know the brands well you become very good at recognizing a great deal.
You don’t want to be the guy that goes into his first dealership and then buys the first travel trailer that he is shown. That almost never ends well and always ends up creating regret for the buyer. Instead try to keep in mind the tips below to help make sure that you get the best deal on your new trailer.
1. Negotiate on Price
It’s amazing how many people no longer negotiate on big purchases. People could save hundreds a year if they just asked a simple question after every time a sales person told them their final price.
The magic words are “Is that really the best you can do?” These words tell the sales person that you are serious, they just need to budge a little more on price. Typically the salesman will tell you to hold on while he talks with his manager and when he returns will offer you a better price.
2. Always Ask For More
When you have already asked multiple times and are sure what the dealerships final price is, I would recommend asking for more. This is not asking for a price reduction but for throw-ins. It’s not uncommon for dealerships to have special items such as gift cards, discounts at nearby vendors, gas cards, and accessories that they use to provide additional incentive to the buyer.
3. Do your Homework
Surprisingly many people will walk up to a salesman and when asked what they are looking for will tell them they have absolutely no idea what they’re looking for. This is a big mistake and is a sign that the dealership has full control. They can essentially push whatever trailer they want on them and the salesman also knows they won’t know a good deal if it hit them in the face. It’s much better to show the dealership that you are a knowledgable buyer that has done their homework.
4. Check the Blue Book
When going to the dealership make it a practice to lookup each model that you are interested in online. There are several good sites such as RVtrader.com and nadaguides.com that will allow you to see what the trailer should be selling for. Doing this regularly will give you a feel for the market and after doing this for an extended period of time you will become an expert at recognizing the good buy.
5. Don’t Buy Brand New
Brand spanking new and worth 20% less as soon as you drive it out of the dealership. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy dropping thousands of dollars for absolutely no ROI. Avoid the appeal of buying a brand new trailer or RV. It’s simply not worth it.
6. Compare Brands
“But my buddy heard this was a good brand to buy”, this something you will often hear. Again, don’t be that guy. Instead find a brand that you really like and compare it to something similar. There are a lot of solid brands out there that don’t receive the attention that they deserve. It’s also good to know what brands you should stay away from. I recommend reading my post on brands to avoid.
7. Buy Last Years Model
This is the primary reason for starting your buying path about a year in advance. It’s also the exception to the rule of not buying new. It’s quite common for a dealership to have an overstock of last years model due to over ordering. You can take advantage of this mistake buy shopping the deals for trailers that didn’t sell.
8. Stock Placement
Whenever driving by the dealership or walking the lot, pay close attention to the trailers that placed more prominently so that it will catch the eyes of the shoppers. This is often where the dealership will place its models that its trying to get rid of due to new stock coming in. It’s not necessarily a hard rule but it can many times be the case that you will find a better deal here.
9. Inspect Fully and Check for Damage
Dealerships, no matter how nice they are sometimes not as upfront as they should be, big shock here right. Take time to inspect the trailer for loose and broken parts, water damage, mold etc. I have personally made this mistake with a vehicle by not inspecting before hand and ended up purchasing a lemon.
Inspect the trailer yourself and if possible bring someone that you know has some experience in this area, similar to how some people bring a mechanic to a used car lot. This could just be a friend that has bought a trailer.
10. Buy Cheaper The First Time
When you are new to the travel trailer experience you don’t necessarily know what you want in a trailer. This understanding is acquired over time which is why it can many times be better to purchase something a little less expensive the first time around. This will give you the experience to know the next time exactly what you want.
11. Take Advantage of RV Shows
RV shows are happening constantly. You may need to travel a couple hundred miles but the savings can be fairly substantial. Essentially RV Shows bring in large quantities of RVs and different trailer types with the intention of offloading their stock. If the numbers make sense they will likely cut you a deal since the cost to ship back the RV can be quite costly.
Dealerships are not necessarily looking to pull a fast one on you, but like any business they are in it to make money.
The more you know on how to shop and what pitfalls to avoid can help ensure that you get the best deal possible.
Follow the tips that we outlined above and it’s likely that you will settle on a fantastic trailer at a great price.
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