9 Tips for Negotiating the Best Price on an RV

Tips you need to get the best deal on a new or used RV

Negotiating a better price for an RV
••• RV negotiation can make or break your budget when buying a motorhome, trailer, or camper. PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Getty Images

Everyone wants a good deal, especially when making an expensive purchase. An RV has the potential to cost you thousands of dollars before you even sign on the dotted line. To find the best RV prices possible, you need the best negotiating and buying strategies to secure the optimal RV price tag for your budget. Here are nine tips to negotiate the best RV prices whether you’re looking to buy a new or used rig.

9 Tips for Negotiating the Best RV Prices

Leave Your Options Open

You may have been buying a new or used motorhome every ten years from the same dealer, but that doesn’t mean they will always have the best deal for you. Loyalty will only get you so far in negotiating a great price, so always keep your options open. Your dealer’s competitor down the street might have a better deal or they might have one up the dealer you’ve been going to for years. Look at as many prices as possible, your dealer, their competitor, online dealers, and more before you make a move.

Watch Auto Finance Rates

Financing your RV can be the make or break on securing a great deal. Financing rates depend on current market trends; RV loan rates tend to mirror auto loan rates. Don’t accept financing from an RV dealer if you can get a better rate from your bank or credit union. If you know the market is sweet on auto loans, it’s your time to strike for good RV loan rate as well.

Wait for the Deal

No matter what kind of good financing rates a third-party institution can secure for you, the dealer can always beat them if they want to. While in general getting your RV financed through a bank is usually cheaper, but they can’t beat promotions and specials straight from the dealer.

Some good examples are promotions such as zero percent APR on RVs for a year or dramatic price cuts should you choose to finance with the dealer. Wait for these deals to happen before moving in on a new ride.​

Try RV Shows

RV dealers aren’t at trade shows to look pretty; they’re there to sell RVs. This can work in your favor with some calculated risk. Spend the first day scouting around RVs that grab your interest and make a note of your options. Wait until the last day of the show and see what is still available from your list. Chances are that the dealer will offer better prices and incentives to move his merchandise before the RV show ends to avoid having to tow or ship it back to their lot.

Buy at the End of the Season

This is like the RV show strategy. Like auto dealerships, RV dealers operate on monthly and yearly schedules. This means if they have not met their sales quotas by month or year’s end, they will be eager to move some RVs. This may be the perfect time to negotiate a deal out of the dealer or target a salesperson who may not be having the best month selling.​

Be Friends with Your Salesperson

We all get it: A salesperson is going to do everything within reason they can to get you into that new RV.

This includes being friendly, but it goes both ways. Your salesperson wants you to like him or her because you’re more apt to buy from a “friend,” but a seller is also likely to want to give a friend a better deal. Be friendly, polite and develop a good rapport with your salesperson. They could end up pulling a few strings to get you a better deal.

Take Risks in Negotiation

Some dealers may mark their prices up over 50 percent. They plan on negotiating the price down but can usually get away with a higher price than they should. That’s why it’s important to take risks in negotiation. Start low, very low, half the asking price. If they recognize you know what you’re talking about, and you’re interested in the RV, you will be surprised at some concessions the dealer may make.

Find the Right Incentives

Your salesperson will throw many incentives at you to sweet-talk you into the deal and avoid the best RV prices for your budget.

If the incentives add inherent value, it may be worth spending a bit more but forget about the free pair of sunglasses or seat warmers and hold out for the real incentives. When closing the deal or looking for a bargaining chip, ask for a real incentive, such as free oil changes for a year or interior upgrades, make the incentive worth it.

Just Walk Away

Remember, you are never obligated to take a deal no matter what the salesperson has done for you. If you don’t feel the deal is right, feel under too much pressure, or uncomfortable about anything, walk away. Never, ever feel compelled to make the buy because the salesperson has met you half way. While you may feel bad at the time, you won’t feel any better down the line with an ​RV you’re unhappy with in the future.

Now that you’ve gotten the tips head out to the dealership – or wait - so you can get the best RV prices and hit the road in your dream RV.