New RV Purchase advice

After six months of research and looking, I've decided on a new Coachmen Aurora class A motorhome. As I prepare to visit the dealer for final negotiations, I still have questions that I hope someone could assist me with.

1) Are extended warranties worth their cost? if yes, what is a reasonable cost? As I understand, dealers typically mark these up 100% and it is pure profit for them. Can I buy this independently? (I never buy extended warranties on any purchase, but I don't have history with rv dependability.)

2) I have my home, auto, and boat policies with State Farm. Would they be the best source of insurance for my purchase?

3) Can someone share with me a good source of financing? My bank seems to have a bit higher rate than the dealer says he can get. Should I arrange the financing, or go with the dealer?

4) What other hidden cost or tricks can I expect from the sales and finance people at the dealer?

Any advice would be appreciated. After extensive research, I realize there is more that I do NOT know about this process than I can prepare for. I hope that someone with rv buying experience can help.

Also, I've read a couple of books about RV buying in which I learned some of the BS tricks that sales people try. Some of the tricks that I read about seemed far fetched until I started visiting dealers. What a bunch of BS liars these sales people are! Of course, I'm sure there are some honest folks out there, but my search has not found any yet.

Thanks for any help!

Albany, GA
New RV Purchase advice

Hi Tony,
Good Luck on your purchase.
I have only bought used from a private party and the extended warranty was part of the deal. It ran out after 1 year and when I got prices on extending decided to save the money. Generally, I agree that they are not worth the money, but if I were to buy new, I would consider the warranty extension on something as expensive and complicated as a motor home. There are a lot of letters to the motor home magazines about how some of the extended warranty companies try to avoid paying out on claims, so here another study would be helpful. One of the major issues is they all seem to require a pre-authorization before having any repairs made. That gives them a possible out because they, not you or your mechanic, control axcess to their telephones and you can not alwys get through to them before getting the work done. Who wants to wait for a week end before fixing something?
Have you considered purchasing a brand that includes a 3 year rather than 1 year manufacturers warranty? I believe Newmar offers that.
Your State Farm agent should be happy to add your motor home coverage. I have the same coverage and my experience has been very good. I have used the towing twice and once had a new awning installed after a wind storm destroyed the old one. I had my check before the awning was replaced. Regards, BLW


Senior Member
New RV Purchase advice

Beware of dealer financing. Some will offer a 'great deal' and then once you sign a contract to buy the unit, it's "oops, you don't qualify for that one, we're going to have to fit you with this more expensive one". Don't like it? Tough, you already signed to buy it. If you don't have acceptable financing arranged external from the dealer, don't buy the RV, you will be at their mercy (if any). Once you have external financing, you still can go with the dealer financing if it is a better deal.

Speaking of State Farm, check out their financing rates. They gave me a great deal on financing a conversion van, but that was quite a number of years ago. I don't know if AAA does financing, but couldn't hurt to ask. Check with Good Sam Club and other RV organizations to see if they offer specialty financing.

Extended warrentees from dealers are usually not very good and always way over priced. If you read the fine print and it is acceptable, shoot for half their asking cost or less. Also watch out for 'finish protection' packages and other add-ons in the 'after sales' office where the real profit is made.

When I got my truck, I got a very good extended warrenty from an external company. Don't know if there is a similar plan for RVs, but again, check with Good Sam, Camping World, etc.

When you deal on the price, deal only in 'out the door' price. This avoids any hidden fees; my favorite was the $80 'paperwork fee'. That worked out to $10 per typo on mine. But since the deal was 'out the door', they had to pay it, not me.

One of the basic rules of negotiation is never negotiate with someone who's power is different from yours. This is almost impossible to follow at an RV dealership. One trick I do which really throws them for a loop is to 'fall asleep' when the salesman leaves me to go see his manager. One thing I thought of but haven't tried yet is to when he comes back, say I have to go call somebody to discuss it. Leave him hanging for the same amount of time he left me hanging :) If there are 2 of you in the office, DO NOT DISCUSS THE DEAL when he is out of the office. Some are bugged. It might be fun to compare this deal with another, slightly better one, you are considering elsewhere. This need not be a real deal...

Once you make an offer, there are only 2 acceptable responses. Sold, or no, but we will come down somewhat. Any other response is NOT negotiation and you MUST get up and walk out. If they let you out the door, they may call you and resume negotiation, or maybe not. Call them back in a while and see if they are willing to resume negotiation. With my trailer, we were $1200 apart when they couldn't go any lower. A month later I called back, they still had it, and I offered them $200 more and they took it.

Have a target price and do not go over it. I'm thinking on current model RV the target is about 25% off list, but I could be wrong. Of course, you'll have to add Sales Tax and Registration cost to that value to get your target 'out the door' price. On last year's model, use the NADA guide average retail price as your target. They'll say they can't do that because its not used, but the instant you drive 1 foot, it is used, and you don't want to take that 1 year depreciation hit (the 0 year depreciation hit is bad enough).

For a real bundle of fun, before you sign the contract, hand them a sheet of paper with all the promises and claims the saleman made, and make them sign it before you sign the contract (which states that if it is not in writing, it does not exist). Fortunately, my salesman, perhaps because he is a fleet salesman, made no promises or claims they could not sign, but they were sweating there for a while :)


Senior Member
New RV Purchase advice

Check Credit Union rates for financing. They are usually better than banks and certainly better than finance companies. You might also check your insurance policies...some have loan type agreements as part of the policy.
Insurance wise, I do a package plan with my company (Farm Bureau) so I have all my autos, boats, RV, etc., with the same company and get a multi vehicle rate/discount.
Enjoy :laugh:


Senior Member
New RV Purchase advice

Watch out for credit union loans. In my state, they are allowed by law, and include in the loan agreement, that not only is the RV (or vehicle) collateral for the loan, but also every account you have with them or ever open up with them is also used as collateral.
New RV Purchase advice

I just purchased my travel trailer a week ago. Like you, all of my insurance is through State Farm. I did shop the rate with Progressive and State Farm was about 1/2 the price. In addition they offered to finance the RV. They beat the heck out of the dealer's rates. Ask your agent about State Farm Bank. Your agent will take the application over the phone and have an answer within minutes. FYI they also beat the terms offered by my credit union. Apparently State Farm has been financing cars for several years through arrangements with banks. Now they have set up their own bank and being a long term insurance customer (18 years in my case) seems to help. At any rate, it sure made my purchase more enjoyable.

You may also want to get a copy of a pre delivery checklist. I found it very beneficial on my walk through.

Good luck on your new RV purchase and see ya down the road!



New Member
New RV Purchase advice

thanks for all the good advice. I continue to check this post, so please feel free to add your comments. After reading comments I'm going to check with my state farm agent about insurance and financing. Thanks.