New Member

I'm beginning the process of looking into buying a Class B motorhome. I've never owned any type of RV before, so I'm really starting at "square 1".

What advice would you give to someone just beginning to look?

Used RVs? New only?

Best make? Best value?

Best time of year to buy?

Best way to get a deal?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Senior Member

Used RVs have a lower chance of 'factory' problems (already resolved), but a greater chance of 'wear' problems and 'modifications'. And limited or no warranty.

Someone else has taken the massive initial depreciation on used RVs, although 'last year model' RVs can be a good buy if you are a good negotiator (treat it as a used purchase even though it is technically unused). New RVs can be ordered just the way you want them, while with a used RV, you have to find one you like.

Sportsmobile will make the exact Class B you want. I particularly like their pop-top option which gives you nearly 7' inside when parked. I don't know if they can make a wide body though, and a standard van is very narrow quarters indeed.

The best way to get a deal is research and patianence. When you find one you like, find out its history (specifically and that model/brand in general).

For used, find out the book value (NADA guide and/or Blue Book). If you are buying from a dealer, you will want to stay at or below low retail unless there is something special about the unit. If you are buying from an individual, the best price to shoot for is perhaps halfway between wholesale and low retail. Don't forget to deduct anything besides normal wear from the book values.

New units should be available for at least 20% to 25% off MSRP.

Give an initial offer less than your target price. I like to work with an 'out the door' price, since it eliminates 'surprise' charges like 'doc preparation fees'. Once you make an offer, the only replies you should pay any attention to are 1) a counter offer (less than their 'sticker price'), 2) 'Sold' or 3) 'Get out of here'. Anything else is just noise, and if you don't get one of the 3 acceptable responses to your offer, walk out. You can always try them again in a week or a month and see if they are willing to deal.

Once you get a valid counter offer, you can either accept it or make a counter-counter-offer, and so on. I don't know about RV dealer offices, but car dealer offices are sometimes bugged, so don't talk when the salesman is out of the office. And the best way to deal with 'a consultation with my sales manager' is to 'fall asleep'. And never give any indication the the unit being discussed is anything more than 'acceptable'. I know a woman who payed more than the advertised price for a car because she 'fell in love with it' and the salesman knew it.


Senior Member

I suggest that you join the RV Consumer Group ( ) and study the materials that they supply. You can learn many years worth of experience information in a pretty short period of time.