Buying an RV shouldn’t be something that happens on a whim. A lot of thought has to be put into it. For starters, you have to decide what kind of vehicle and setup is most suitable for your preference and lifestyle. Do you want a towable RV? A specific floor plan? Do you want to use it consistently or only in the summer?
The slow season for RV sales begins at the end of September. That said, we recommend waiting until at least October. Sales nosedive during October and November, leading to some pretty good discounts. December and January are even slower, making them the best months for RV shopping.
Let’s check out additional information to help you pick the RV of your dreams.
When is the Best Time to Buy an RV?
- During Fall and Winter
- During Weekdays
- During an RV Trade Show
- Before the Release of New Models
Once fall arrives, most people are winterizing their RV’s to put them away for the year.
Moreover, if the RV lots weren’t cleared of their inventory during the summer, sales associates may be more willing to part with their RVs for a smaller price.
This is an ideal time to begin negotiating for your RV, and it’s also one of the best periods to buy a new RV, just before winter arrives.
This holds especially true for people who live in states with colder climates. While it’s good to buy an RV in the fall to take advantage of the discounts, you also want to have the wherewithal to winterize and put away your RV before winter arrives.
Buying an RV in the winter months is just as fruitful as buying one in the fall, except with the added advantage that the RV sales clerks will be even more eager to rid themselves of their old inventory.
Chances are RV sales associates are because they need space for the newer models that they ordered for the following year as soon as possible.
Additionally, winter is an excellent time to shop for RV’s because there is very little competition between consumers who potentially want the same RV. It’s easier for you to grab the end-of-the-year clearance deals while having more leeway to negotiate for accessories and additional upgrades because sales clerks are eager to get rid of the RVs.
While it seems reasonable to shop for an RV over the weekend when you have time off from work, it’s actually better to go during the week.
Because everyone thinks to go when they’re not working, there is more traffic on the weekends.
You’ll likely be able to work out a better deal if you have time to sit down and negotiate with fewer customers at the dealership.
RV Trade Shows
RV shows offer excellent opportunities to save a good amount of money when buying an RV. There are many RV shows all over the United States (America’s Largest RV Show, Florida RV Supershow, California RV Show, and more.)
At these events, the dealers have approval from management to give significant discounts, and the dealers happen to be very competitive with one another. The potential for big savings is possible here because sometimes the dealer just wants to make the sale.
The last day of the show is actually the best. If the dealers fail to reach their sales, they will be willing to make some mind-blowing deals on the rigs that they have left.
Before a New Release
It’s always good practice to purchase a rig that recently had a new model released.
Dealers are motivated to clear out their old stock and are usually willing to take some big hits on the price to make more room for the newest model.
Remember that RVs aren’t like cars because usually, there’s a minimal change from model to model. So even if you’re getting last year’s model, chances are the difference will be negligible.
Buying Tips for First Time RV Buyers
Below are some tips for people interested in buying an RV for the first time:
Don’t Focus on New
Many consumers are under the impression that by buying new, they’ll have fewer issues and perform fewer repairs, and the product will last longer. However, this isn’t always the case.
RVs are a different story; buying used gives you more control over your budget, customizations, improvements, and more. By spending less initially, you have more money to invest into your RV over time.
Purchase Now and Wait for Customization
A huge mistake that first-time buyers make is that they think they have to do everything at once.
There’s nothing wrong with getting the RV first and working on it a little at a time. Consider budgeting for her all the extra bells and whistles you want so that you don’t feel the full effect of the price tag from the very beginning. It truly is like your home; it’s an ongoing project that you can add to as you go, not all at once.
Check the Financing Rates
The difference between a good deal and an awful deal for an RV can come down to the financing. The rates you’re able to secure will depend on the market fluctuations. The loan rates for an RV generally mirror those of an automobile. You don’t have to settle for the rates that an RV dealer offers if you think you can secure better rates from the credit union or bank.
Seek a quote before you arrive at the RV dealership and use it as leverage to negotiate the best possible deal. If you see that auto loans are offering favorable rates, that’s the time to strike for the RV loan.
Think of Usage
How you plan to use the RV is one of the most crucial considerations. It will determine the size, style, and features you search for from the beginning. You may also choose to rent out your RV when it isn’t being used to help recoup some of the money you initially invested. The only precaution is the damages that your vehicle may incur when not in your possession.
Nonetheless, a plan such as this could also help you find future improvement plans if you desire. If you want to live the RV lifestyle full-time, that will affect your ongoing maintenance costs but is usually cheaper than maintaining a house. Create a strict budget to help you make an informed decision.
Wait it Out
The RV dealer can always choose to beat the best deal you have on the table. Stick to a firm budget, bring multiple loan quotes with you, and look out for specials and promotions directly from the dealer.
Often, you can find zero percent APR on the RV for up to 12 months. Or, they might offer dramatic discounts since they have likely already marked the product up, to begin with. These are the deals that you want to wait for before you make a purchase. Don’t move hastily!
Renting VS. Buying an RV
Renting is probably the best option if you’re new to the RV lifestyle. You get to try the vehicle out and see if it fits you without the large upfront payments and the overall maintenance and storage commitment.
On the other hand, renting is dependent on current availability, so you can’t travel when you want and how long you want, necessarily. You also never get a chance to become familiar with the RV because it constantly changes depending on what’s available at the time.
Ultimately, these are the main factors to consider that will drive your decision in one direction or the other. Overall, renting is likely the better choice.
- Current availability
- Timing and length of travel
- Maintenance and storage
What is the best time of the year to buy a camper?
The best time of the year to get a camper is during the fall and winter months, from October until February. This is when most people have put their RVs away until the warm weather begins.
Will RV prices go down in 2022?
At this current time, it doesn’t seem that prices will be declining anytime soon in the RV market. There may be an uptick in used RV sales, but the demand for RVs continues to rise. Therefore, there won’t be any spectacular deals for the foreseeable future.
Where is the best place to buy an RV?
The most popular places to buy an RV include RVTrader, which has probably the most prominent online presence globally for buying RVs of all different styles and prices. Camping World has over 130 locations throughout the United States, and you can also use their site to determine your monthly payments.
Should you buy a new or used RV?
This depends on your personal preference, but from a business perspective, you can get a used RV for a much lower price with a similar setup to a new RV. Like cars, new RVs generally depreciate by thousands of dollars after one to two years of ownership.
A used RV likely has everything you need to travel comfortably. If you intend to use the RV constantly and for long trips, you might consider purchasing a new RV to avoid adding miles too quickly.
How much does it cost to buy an RV?
On average, you can purchase a new or used RV for anywhere from $35,000-$300,000. The cost will depend on features, size, the RV class, and more.
What is the best RV to buy?
The answer to this question depends on the type of RV you purchase and your specific needs, budget, and lifestyle. However, these are the most reliable brands known for quality products and customer satisfaction:
- Grand Design RV
- Oliver Fiberglass Products
Are there used RVs for sale under $5000?
If you’re on a budget, you can find an RV for less than $5,000. However, you will have to search marketplaces such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or RVTrader for a deal like that. The RV will likely have a lot of miles on it and already be an older model.