In this article, we will answer the following question: How much below MSRP should I pay for an RV? We will help you negotiate for a better price for a new RV and explain what costs are more important when it comes to buying a motorhome.
How much below MSRP should I pay for an RV?
You should expect a maximum of 25% below MSRP for an RV. This is a happy case, however, as many dealers hesitate to offer too much of a discount, especially for new and luxurious RVs. It will all come to your negotiation abilities.
When you start negotiating, start working from your strengths:
- Your initial offer, based on what the dealer paid for the vehicle or what you’ve seen to be a fair price.
- Competitive offers from other local dealerships or RV-buying websites.
The seller will likely begin the discussion by focusing on the vehicle manufacturer’s suggested retail price or the monthly fee. Don’t go that way. If the seller starts at price, be sure to negotiate from the lowest price and work up from there, not down from the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (called the MSRP).
If you start with the monthly fee, the seller can pile up the entire process, which includes the price for the new vehicle, the trade-in value (of your old car), and financing, if applicable. This gives you plenty of room for confusion.
Instead, insist on negotiating one thing at a time. Your top priority is to agree on the lowest price you can get for the new vehicle. Only after you’ve made sure of that can you start discussing the value of the trade-in or financing, if necessary.
Too many people tend to only consider the selling price of the vehicle or the amount of the monthly payment. They want to be reasonable and buy something small, especially if it’s a first-time RV.
The purchase price is unfortunately not the most important factor. What really matters is the cost of ownership, which is the difference between the amount paid on acquisition and the price obtained on resale, a few years later. This includes the cost of maintaining and/or repairing the RV during the period of use.
Some RVs seem to offer a lot for the price. But be careful, it’s almost always because they are built with inferior materials. For this type of trailer, devaluation is very rapid. And they often have problems, even in the early years: water infiltration, saggy mattresses and cushions, warped walls, cupboards and doors that no longer close, etc. For almost the same cost of ownership, you could enjoy a higher quality, more luxurious and comfortable vehicle.
How to get the lowest cost of ownership possible
- Check the resale value of the model you plan to buy on websites like RV Trader, AutoHebdo, FindTonVR or NADA. Look for the same model, but three to five years older. This will give you a good indication of the average devaluation.
- Make sure the model is rare. If there are hundreds of trailers like yours for sale on these sites, it will take longer to find a buyer and you probably won’t get the best price. Rare pearls, especially if they are of high quality, are always easier to sell.
- Try to take advantage of the exchange rate. Most RVs and almost all equipment/accessories are made in the USA. So if you buy your trailer when the dollar is strong and sell it when it is weak, you could get a price very close to the amount you originally paid because the price of the same model, new, will have climbed since your purchase.
- Devaluation takes on even greater importance when it comes to motorized RVs. In this case, it is absolutely necessary to consider the mileage that one thinks to be done annually because the number entered in the odometer is the main input in the calculation of the value of the vehicle.
- Finally, the bigger, heavier and less aerodynamic the RV, the more fuel it will cost. It’s an expensive item that can make all the difference when gasoline or diesel prices go up.
Next to the cost of ownership, the most important thing to consider when it comes to buying a new RV is the type of trips you want to take. If you want to get off the beaten track, get to Mexico, camp in national parks, and do a bit of “boondocking” through it, a Class B RV or a stowaway would probably be good choices.
Boondocking is a word in English that comes from “boondocks”, a colloquial term meaning a very remote place. The term boondocking is used by the camping community to express living independently without being connected to services like water and electricity.
Are motorhomes cheaper at RV shows?
The base price remains the same whether you are at the show or at a dealership. These are the same prices as in the “New Price” pages of the World of Motorhomes. There are, however, special exhibitions offered in the form of an equipment pack. And that can make the difference.
Can I expect a trade-in for my current motorhome?
Yes. The salon is even the ideal place to get the best possible trade-in for your vehicle. You have the possibility to compare the offers of different sellers, moving from one stand to another. It would be complicated to do the same in concessions: you would have to go from city to city to compare offers.
Are there better financing offers for RVs?
Yes. During trade shows, financing organizations offer compensated rates, lower than those found at a dealer or bank. These offers also have other advantages: additional withdrawal periods, breakdown assistance, insurance, legal assistance.
Owners: is motorhome insurance compulsory?
Even if your vehicle is only driven a few days a year, it is compulsory to take out a motorhome insurance contract. Most auto insurers offer specific contracts for this type of vehicle.
To be insured, you must meet the following criteria:
- be over 25 years old
- have held a driving license for more than 3 years
- If these conditions are not met, your deductible may be significantly increased.
The amount of your premium and your contributions are calculated on the following bases:
- replacement value
- the make and model of the motorhome
- any adjustments you have made
- your insured profile
The minimum compulsory insurance is auto third party liability included in the third party insurance. Also, you will only be compensated for damage caused to other vehicles and drivers.
If you want a more extensive formula, here are the guarantees we recommend:
- the transported objects guarantee: it covers the goods present in your motorhome. These must be declared to your insurer.
- car theft and fire warranty
- assistance guarantee: it allows you to be towed and sometimes to benefit from a loan vehicle during repairs. If you are travelling less than 50 km from home, you will need to purchase the 0-kilometre assistance option to be compensated.
- breakdown and accident guarantee: so that your repairs are covered but also, in certain contracts, all the bodily injuries that you may suffer.
The bottom line
We remind you that some RVs seem to offer a lot for the price. But be careful, it’s almost always because they are built with inferior materials. For this type of trailer, devaluation is very rapid. And they often have problems, even in the early years: water infiltration, saggy mattresses and cushions, warped walls, cupboards and doors that no longer close, etc. For almost the same cost of ownership, you could enjoy a higher quality, more luxurious and comfortable vehicle.
The purchase price is unfortunately not the most important factor when buying an RV. What really matters is the cost of ownership, which is the difference between the amount paid on acquisition and the price obtained on resale, a few years later. This includes the cost of maintaining and/or repairing the RV during the period of use.
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FAQ on How much below MSRP should I pay for an RV?
How to negotiate a price reduction?
Here are the basics to negotiate a price reduction:
- Carry out a preliminary market study.
- Do not give too much information on the first visit.
- Make a reasonable offer on the RV.
- Have another purchase option.
- Be clear if the RV is what you are looking for at a reasonable price.
How to request a price reduction?
Requesting a discount requires three important elements: planning, information and clarity of the objective.
What is the price of a motorhome?
The cost for the motorhome amounts to about US $ 55,000, which can rise to US $ 70,000 if higher level and quality equipment are added, such as a special refrigerator, electric awnings, digital television, premium audio equipment.