You’ve wanted to get into camping for some time, but you’ve never been ready to buy an RV. Now, you’ve saved up the money, and you’re looking at some options that you think will work for your needs. However, you aren’t sure what to do when you go shopping for these types of vehicles.
Don’t worry if you’re confused: many people walk into RV lots with no experience and feel confused trying to handle them properly. Thankfully, we have several tips that you can use to create the kind of high-quality RV purchases that you want and need, ensuring that you are satisfied for a long time.
Understand Proper Negotiation
The first thing to do when you walk into an RV lot is to know that you will be doing a lot of negotiation with the dealer. This process is not unusual and is typically suitable for many situations. However, you will have to get out your negotiation skills to save yourself money on this buy.
For example, you can negotiate your title and closing costs, asking your dealer to cover things you’d typically pay. Yes, you can do that, and many people don’t realize that many of the so-called “processing fees” are unnecessary. Refuse to pay for these, and you can save a lot of money.
You also need to make sure that you shop around for your RV insurance and find a rate that makes sense for you. Doing so will give you the best chance to see an RV that makes sense for your needs and is reasonably priced. Other tips for negotiation in this process include:
- Knowing that the first offer from the dealer is very negotiable and can be brought down
- Making an offer that is way too low to work up to the option that makes sense for you
- Seeing what kind of things you can add to the vehicle yourself to save more money
- Dropping the name of another dealer to get your current seller a little worried about your purchase
- Asking to check for things like trailer alignment to ensure that you can save yourself a lot of money
These simple steps are age-old and have helped many people save money on various purchases over the years. They’re not just good for RV deals but for just about any investment you can make. So seriously consider them for your subsequent big purchases to ensure that you get the highest quality.
Shop Used When You Can
Another exciting way to save money when buying an RV is to look for used models. Many dealers on the market sell used RV models, and they are often guaranteed. This guarantee means that they have been inspected and repaired to be as high-quality as possible.
The exciting thing about buying used is that you can buy a just one-year-old model and expect to see thousands of dollars dropped off its initial purchase price. A good range for many buyers is between 2-5 years old. After that, the quality of the RV is likely to start going down.
Are there any downsides to buying used? Well, the very fact that it has been used may deter some people from this option. You may feel uncomfortable stepping into somebody’s old vehicle. Even worse, they may have left behind minor damage and other issues that could be easy to miss.
Other people may find that used RV models aren’t to their needs because they’re a lot harder to customize. While you can pay the team to add different elements to them, it will cost more cash, off-setting the potential benefits you’d have gotten from buying used in the first place.
So be careful when you consider this option. While it is an excellent choice for many people, it could be a bad one for others. And it’s something that could end up costing you more money if you have to pay for any repairs or upgrades to the vehicle to get it operating smoothly again for your needs.
However, you can also find many unique buying options if you buy used RV or camper models from private citizens rather than dealers. Buying from a person is often much cheaper but comes with no guarantees. Buyer beware, they say, and for once, the immortal they are correct.
Don’t Neglect Online Buying Options
A growing number of online purchasing options are available for potential RV owners. This choice is a great one if you are used to buying online and saving money. Just a few tips that you can consider when buying online include the following ideas:
Check Out Online Dealerships — Many dealers have online shops where you can check out what they have to offer and decide which purchase is suitable for your needs. This option is an excellent choice if you’re uncertain and want to get the best possible chance at a reasonable price.
Don’t Neglect Auctions — Did you know that many RV purchases are done from online auction sites? Sign up for one of these sites and see what kind of purchase you can find for your money. Many of these sites even do in-person auctions where you can save a lot of money.
Work to Protect Yourself — When bidding online, make sure that the dealer is legitimate and isn’t going to scam you. Check with their rating on Better Business Bureau and do some research to ensure that you ultimately find the best option for your needs as a buyer and a potential RV owner.
Consider Delivery — You’re going to need to get your RV delivered to your home after you make a purchase. Therefore, you need to consider options like freight services and the extra money it may cost you. Try to pick up your RV whenever possible to cut back on these costs as much as possible.
Understand that buying online is naturally riskier and always double- and even triple-check your sources before making a purchase. Try to find people who’ve purchased from these sites and check their reviews to ensure your safety.
Know Your ‘Needs’ and ‘Wants’
When you’re shopping for an RV, you probably have a good idea of what you want from your vehicle. But did you know that many people often confuse their “wants” with their “needs?” This problem can drive up the costs of your RV and make it more difficult to afford for many people.
For example, you may want to work with a window tinting company to make your windows safer for UV light. Or you may want a huge gas tank simply to avoid having to fill up so often. While these wants are all nice, are they exactly things that your vehicle has to have to make it affordable for you?
Probably not — your needs are usually much more straightforward, such as a vehicle with an appropriate number of sleeping facilities, a simple bathroom, and a specific size that will fit in your garage or storage shed. While custom shades would be lovely, you really don’t need them to go camping with your RV, do you?
So, make sure that you talk with your dealer about what you want and see if these coincide with your needs. Discuss the bare essentials of what you would need while you were camping. Then, if you have the money for a basic model, you can expand your choice and create a great RV that makes sense for you.
What upgrades are worth it when paying extra for your RV? Typically, it is a good idea to add different comfort amenities, such as better seats, more robust stoves and ovens, and other qualify of life upgrades that make your RV feel more comfortable and adaptable for your needs as a buyer and as a person.
Consider Financial Repayment Plans
Most people don’t walk into an RV dealership with a wad of cash big enough to pay for their vehicle. Instead, they get into financial repayment plans that help make this process smoother. Some people find that this option is an excellent choice because it fits more easily into their lifestyle and needs.
Usually, these payment plans are set up every month, meaning that you’ll make payments every month from your bank account. However, you can thankfully set up automatic payments that help to cut back on your costs and make it easier to pay. You can also find unique options to go with this repayment plan.
For example, some dealers may have options for RV storage that you can rent when you aren’t using your vehicle. Is this excessive spending that you don’t need to consider? That all depends. If you have to build a storage facility for your RV, it might be a good idea to consider this option for your vehicles.
And you can also create a plan to repay your RV over an extended period. The dealer will take a look at your credit score and choose an interest rate based on them. You may be able to negotiate a lower price if you pay down a higher amount of money. Doing so will also shorten your repayment cycle.
In a way, these repayment plans are similar to mortgages in that way. And if you ever plan on moving into your RV on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, it basically will be your mortgage payment. That said, it is essential to take these steps seriously to give yourself extra financial support with your purchase.
Consider a Custom Vehicle
Lastly, you might want to consider a customized RV when buying to save yourself a surprising amount of money. Now, when you think ‘customized vehicle,’ you probably think that your RV will cost more. But that doesn’t have to be the case! In fact, many people find that they can buy a custom vehicle at lower prices by carefully adjusting what kind of extras that they want and which they can get rid of with ease.
In a sense, this is somewhat like knowing your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ but is still different enough to warrant a separate section. First, a customized vehicle goes beyond simple addictions to your RV, like personalized shades. It includes a variety of unique elements that make it interesting for your potential purchase. Just a few different options that you can consider here include the following:
- Water Help — Do you want a water filtration system, or do you trust the water sources from which you’ll draw? Make sure to consider this concept before you make any vehicle purchases seriously.
- Entertainment Choices — Do you really need to have a television with Bluetooth connectivity in your RV? Some people will, and others won’t. Adjust your purchase to minimize this extra cost.
- Luxury Design Options — Talk to your dealer about various luxury design choices, such as custom window shutters, and see if they will remove them for your needs.
- Engine Tweaks — If you buy an RV with a slightly less powerful engine, you might be able to save money on its purchase. Talk to your dealer about this possibility to learn more.
- Specialization Tweak — See if you can get extra elements removed that you don’t want or need, such as GPS navigation that you can get on your phone or other devices while driving.
Therefore, it is a good idea to consider customizing your vehicle and adjusting it to get unique looks, designs, and operational methods that help cut back on your costs. The overall expenses can be offset in many ways, particularly if you pay attention to high-cost upgrades that you don’t want and try to adjust your vehicle to the bare essentials for your purchasing needs.
While buying an RV doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money if you are clever, some people find that they still like paying a little bit more to get the vehicle that makes the most sense for their needs. Whatever choice you make, it is essential to talk with your dealer and feel comfortable about your different options. They’ll do what they can to give you the best deal possible for your financial needs.