Sponsored by Ray Citte RV
Traveling with a recreational vehicle speaks to peoples’ sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Within this article you’ll find some great tips to make the most of buying a fifth wheel, travel trailer, motorhome, folding camper, tent trailer, camper or hybrid trailer.
#1 Do You Need to Pay Full MSRP?
MSRP, Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price, also known as the "window sticker", is the sheet that will include a list of the standard and optional items included in a particular RV unit. Insist on this information from each dealership you visit to make an effective comparison between all of the RVs that you consider for purchase.
Consider these tips for negotiating a better price on an RV at the dealership:
- Leave all your options open when looking at RVs.
- Be friendly with your salesperson—they are working for you, too.
- Take risks when asking for a better price.
- Find the right incentives (add-ons and discounts) to make the price tag more worthwhile.
#2 What to ask your Salesperson?
It’s extremely important that you feel comfortable with your salesperson. Don’t hesitate to ask to speak to somebody else. Once you feel good about your choice, help the salesperson help you. Tell them your needs, what kind of RV you want, and how you plan to use it. For example, If you're going to buy a towable RV and you already own the vehicle you will be using to tow the RV, ask your salesperson to explain weight capacity to you and to show you which RVs are in your weight range. A knowledgeable salesperson can be a real asset, especially if you are new to RVing. If you prefer to look by yourself, ask them for their business card. and write down any questions you have so you can ask them later. A reputable dealership will make your purchase a pleasant and stress-free experience.
#3 The Importance of a Pre-Delivery Inspection
Strange as it may seem, a new RV can arrive at a dealership with problems. Make sure to ask if they thoroughly check all of the RV’s systems before delivery. If the answer is no, go to a different dealer. A PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) should be FREE with NO FEE. Many dealerships will take a shortcut and do not perform a PDI and the manufacturer may void the warranty if the inspection isn’t completed. The dealership should pressurize the entire system to check for any possible leaks, start up each appliance, adjust the stove burners, water heater burner and refrigerator. Technicians should also check over the interior and exterior including: lights, slides, jacks, tire pressure and furnace. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
#4 – What about hidden fee’s?
In addition to the purchase price of your new or used RV, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration.
- Sales tax license and property tax related fees
- Dealer documentary fees
- Prep fees
- Destination charges
Sales tax is figured into the total amount of the purchase price including some “other fees”, and some aftermarket items, such as service agreements, etc. Most states allow for credit toward this total amount based on the trade allowance of anything you might be trading in on your purchase.
Certain portions of the property tax related fees can be affected, if you are active military.
Dealer documentary fees are set up to pay for internal expenses by the dealer. Rules relating to this fee are governed by the individual state you are purchasing in. In Utah for instance, the rule doesn’t set up guidelines pertaining to the amount the dealer charges for this fee. But it does state that if the dealer charges this fee to one customer they must charge the same amount to every customer moving forward. It also states that it must be posted in full view, so each person is notified of the charged amount prior to finalizing their purchase. Ask how much the dealer is charging and factor this amount into your decision to purchase.
Prep Fees are the most abused of the advertising gimmicks that are used by questionable dealers. With the growth of internet shoppers, this is a very easy way for dealers to hide what you are really paying for the RV. A low price is “not” the best way to determine if the deal is good or bad for you. Sometimes these dealers will say you won’t have a warranty if you don’t pay extra for the prep fee. If that is the case, why would you purchase a new trailer to begin with.
Destination Fees are similar to prep fees. Another way some dealers advertise a sale price and don’t disclose these fees. The dealer must get the unit here from the manufacturer either way. Often the shipping costs are transferred to the M.S.R.P when the dealer advertises the manufacturer’s suggested price. By including as the value, then charging for it later, this is a misleading practice as the price you pay is not reduced as much as you anticipated.
When negotiating the price, always pay attention to the “Out the Door” cost of the unit. This is the total cost with tax license and fees included.
What free perks might be available?
An RV purchase is just the beginning. There are a number of items required for your RV before you can take off on your first camping adventure. A dependable dealership will include some, or all of these items free of charge: full propane tanks, battery box, batteries, and detailing.
One thing to note, is the quality of the batteries. Reliable dealerships will include batteries such as, Marine Grade Deep Cycle Batteries that are designed to give you a lot of power for a long time. They have the capacity to be charged multiple times.
The value of purchasing from a long-term, reputable dealer
A dealer that has served a community for many years has invested time and money into providing quality service to its own customers. Even if they sell the same brand as another dealer from whom you purchased the RV, they are sometimes hesitant to take on this “outside” service work if it slows the turnaround time for servicing their own customers. Your R.V. is built by hand for the most part. Even the highest quality units are will need the occasional service work. Make sure your dealer has a long history of providing great service, to go along with great prices. That way you know they will be here years from now, should you have any service issues. Plus, a long-term, quality dealer wants to make sure you are so pleased with your experience with the dealership that you will happily recommend the dealer to your friends and family.
TAX TIP: Almost every motorhome and many trailers have features that the IRS considers similar to homes, meaning that the interest from a loan may be tax deductible as a home mortgage. Make sure to consult with your tax accountant for more details.
Follow these great tips to get the best purchasing experience and the best price on an RV.
Visit Ray Citte RV and find the perfect RV to start your adventures today.
- Serving Utah since 1946
- Great selection of the top trailers, RV’s & 5th wheelers
- Always competitive prices
- And NO HIDDEN FEES
This story includes sponsored content.