Does anyone know a rule of thumb to use when negotiating a deal on an RV. It seems that the prices are all over the place. I am new to the forum so if there is already a thread on this let me know that too!
If new, in the past it seems that usually a discount of 25% off of MSRP has been achievable. With the slowdown in the RV market, and/or the new model year close by, perhaps even more of a discount might be possible. And if the unit has been on the lot for a year, treat it as if it were used, even though technically it is new. The instant you drive it off the lot, it is used, and if it is a year old, that means you instantly loose 2 years of depreciation.
For used, look it up in NADA or Blue Book. The values listed may include some of 'wholesale' (the price supposedly paid by a dealer), Low Retail, Retail or Average Retail, and High Retail. Retail only applies to a dealership. If you are buying from a dealer, you probably want to shoot for low retail. From a private party, perhaps 1/2 way between wholesale and low retail might be a good target. Note that these values are 'ready to sell' condition, and anything except normal wear and tear needs to be deducted from the value. For late model used RVs, it would be wise to look at the MSRP too, since it would be questionable to pay 80% of MSRP for a used RV when it might have been bought new for 75%.
Usually when you agree on a price, it will turn out to be much higher. Sales Tax, License and Registriation are expected, but there are often other fees which sneak in. For instance, my dealer insists on $80 for a 'paperwork' fee. Dude, filling out the paperwork is part of the job. Besides, it generally works out to $8 for each typo they include. I get around this by only dealing in 'out the door price'. All this stuff still gets paid, but 'not by me'. The price I agree to is the price I pay, and they can assign that money any way they want to.
Also, beware of the 'after sales' office. After you have settled on the price of the RV, they will often try to sell you extended warranties and finish protection policies and camping memberships and other stuff. Some of this stuff might be good and much of it is total crap, and it is almost always massively overpriced. Make sure you investigate and competitively price anything you are are interested in thoroughly before signing.
Of course, you know that nothing the dealer promises or tells you is legally binding unless it is written down, and signed, and you keep a copy, right? Some dealers will treat you right, but there are a number out there who will deliberately mislead you. You can generally tell which is which when you present them with this list of promises to sign
Just finished the purchase here on a used DP. Look around a lot, local and on line. Get a good Idea what you want in the RV. Then on what you are willing to settle for. Then search the prices. Here there will be a big variance on price. Consignment dealers tell customers what they might get plus their fee. Dealers trying to make a profit. And Private parties that feel they can get what a dealer does. Then the well I paid $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ so I should get $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ out of the RV when the market just won't stand that figure. Now here's a biggie RV A and RV B look the same but are really not. A has been well taken care of, has All the right features and has the new batteries, tires, brakes and so on but B is sooooo much less but needs all the above. I choose the A model and still am finding small things. As to new, of course we looked at what we did not want to afford, doesn't everyone, I saw some real buys go out the door as I asked salesmen what they went out the door for. A almost $700,000 coach on the lot for a year out the door for $369,000, a use one I would not go into the snow to get that went for 69,000 that I know would go for 85,000. So as to price WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY AND WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO REPAIR??? OH! I think on mine I saved 20%-25% on what the coach would go for in better weather and nation wide, but I did purchase out of state and did a whole bunch of calling and looking at picture provided by owners in a almost 8 hr a day 35 day hunt.
The RV Consumer Group ( www.rv.org ) says to never pay any more than 80% of the manufacturer's MSRP. Make sure that you see the actual MSRP as published by the builder as many dealers make a false one to show customers. For used RV, check the site of NADA, www.nadaguides.com to see what they suggest as retail prices. An even better way is to visit your local main library to see if they have a paper copy as it will give a lot more information than the internet site.
I just factory ordered a 2008 class A Bounder 35E, factory list, with options, stated $124551.
I negotiated $92125 plus $55 Doc Prep, $12.25 california tire fee, $663 license fee, $7144 tax (ouch).
Total is $100,000
List to negotiated price equals 26% discount