Do you want to learn how to negotiate RV price and get a huge discount on the purchase of your RV? Did you know that you can negotiate RV price through email, without ever setting foot into a stressful high-pressure sales environment?
What is the typical discount off MSRP for a new RV?
When buying a new RV, the typical discount you can expect is anywhere between 15-35% off MSRP. The discount depends on various factors, like the type of RV, upgrades on the RV, if you are buying the current model or last year’s model, what time of year you are buying, and if the RV dealership is having a sale. We saved 31% off MSRP on the purchase of our new RV Travel Trailer and I am going to tell you how.
Below are tips to follow when negotiating the price of your RV. If you want to know EXACTLY how I negotiated our price and see my EXACT email exchanges with the dealers, get the details here!
Which RV is right for you?
The first step to buying an RV is to decide which RV you want. There are multiple ways to research RV’s.
A smart and efficient way to research RV’s is to attend RV Shows where you can explore lots of different brands, models, and floorplans in one place, in a no-pressure environment. The point here is to narrow down your list by figuring out which type and size RV is right for you. This may also help you to narrow down to a few brands.
Visit your local RV dealers. While not as varied as an RV show, you will still be able to look at multiple brands, models, and floorplans. Be honest up front that you are researching and not yet ready to buy. In our experience the salespeople were still eager to earn our FUTURE business and were extremely helpful.
Dealers usually offer only a handful of the brands on the market, so take a day trip to visit dealers who are a little farther from your home but may offer other brands you want to see in person.
Don’t rush it. We researched for a year and a half and changed our minds multiple times about our RV needs and wants before finally taking the plunge. Taking your time will ensure that you are well educated and that you KNOW what you want before trying to negotiate. Being sure of what you want before starting negotiations is the key to getting a good price!
What is a fair price?
Once you know which RV you want to buy, you’ll need to research prices.
But how do you know if a price is fair? Well, you must be well informed. Research the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on manufacturer’s website for the exact model you want to purchase. This gives you a good starting point to come down from.
Another resource for researching current prices is rvtrader.com. This site has new and used RV’s listed for sale from private sellers as well as dealers. You can see the prices being offered before starting negotiations.
Know your budget. Do not even look at RV’s that you cannot afford. It’s more important to purchase an RV that is within your budget. You can always upgrade later to the RV of your dreams. Start where you are; or you may never start.
When is the best time to buy?
You will find the best prices during the winter. RV Sales are slow during the winter, which means that most RV dealers will be more willing to negotiate a better price to make that sale.
Watch for good discount sales – some dealers have a HUGE sale once per year. If you are not rushed, you will have time to track this over the course of a year.
Find at least 3 dealers that have the RV you want to purchase. Pro Tip: Don’t look only at local dealers. To get the best deal, you need to shop dealers farther away. The dealer we got the best deal from was a 3-hour drive from our house.
RVtrader.com is a good place to find RV’s for sale. Many dealers list their RV’s here. You can also go directly to the dealer’s website to browse their inventory.
Research the dealer’s reviews online to see if you want to buy from them. Some dealers do not have the best reputation for being helpful AFTER the sale. You can check Google reviews of the dealer and look the dealer up on the Better Business Bureau website to see if they have any unresolved complaints.
10 Tips for Negotiating RV price
Tip # 1 – My number one tip is to negotiate by EMAIL! This way, there is no high-pressure sales environment and it makes it easy to ‘walk away’.
Tip # 2 – Know EXACTLY what you want and how much you are willing to pay before beginning negotiations.
Tip # 3 – Compare offers from at least 3 dealers.
Tip # 4 – Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If there is a big difference in price between dealerships, the two RV’s may have different trim levels or options, or the dealerships may be including different items in their price. Ask for a detailed breakdown of the price.
Tip # 5 – Arrange financing in advance. Get pre-approved for a loan from your bank. This proves you are ready to make a purchase. Later, when you reach an agreement on price, you can ask if it is cheaper to finance through your bank, or does the dealer offer a better financing rate? Then go with whichever one has cheaper interest.
Tip # 6 – Do not let the dealer add additional fees, like “Dealer Prep Fee” at the end. Make sure you know the “Out the Door” price during the negotiation step.
Tip # 7 – Negotiating is not always about price; it’s about VALUE. What are the different dealers offering? Does dealer A offer a longer warranty? Maybe Dealer B offers free maintenance for two years. Dealer C could offer a better financing rate, which would save you more money in the long run. The point is to compare the value of each offer to decide which is the better option for you.
Tip # 8 – If your negotiations are close to the price you want to pay, but not quite there, ask for incentives instead to make up the difference, like a gift card to their parts store, or free maintenance for a year.
Tip # 9 – Be realistic. The dealership is in the sales business; they do need to make a profit. Remember the goal is to get a FAIR price, with which both you and the dealer will be happy.
Tip # 10 – Be willing to WALK AWAY! If the deal is not right, if you feel uncomfortable in any way, if there is too much sales pressure, walk away! You WILL find the right RV for the right price.
How do I negotiate RV price through email to get the lowest price and best value?
We negotiated a fantastic price, through email, and saved 31% off MSRP on the purchase of our new RV Travel Trailer. If you want to know EXACTLY how I negotiated our price and see my email exchanges with three dealers, get the details here!