RV Dealers – How To Win When You Buy An RV

This article is about RV dealers, and how to buy an RV the right way. Also, how to avoid a lot of trouble and frustration with RV dealers, while saving money too.

The truth is that RV dealers are often interested more in sales than they are almost anything else.

Yes, they may have a service department. But the reality is that the sales and finance department often drives dealership profits.

And unfortunately, many have adopted sales tactics from car dealers. And I think we’ve all had our unpleasant experiences with high pressure car dealers.

RV dealers often use pressure sales tactics
Pressure sales tactics are common at some RV dealers

Because of that, the whole sales process is designed to get as much money out of every customer as they possibly can.

And not always giving priority to getting that customer the product that they really need.

So with this kind of sales process facing them, many RV buyers often make huge mistakes.

Buying mistakes equals lost money

And they spend way too much money for the RV that they buy. Or maybe they buy an RV, but it’s the wrong one for their style of travel and camping.

And they often get an RV that has all kinds of hidden problems. Issues that they’re not aware of, and they will have to deal with after the purchase.

But the point of this article is that you can avoid all of these issues and problems.

Click here to watch my video on this subject instead

Table of Contents

Step 1 For Success At RV Dealers

All you need to do is follow a few simple steps that I’m going to cover now.

So let’s go ahead and get started. Number one on the list is to do your research before you buy anything.

And when I say research, a lot of folks think “Oh no, I don’t want to do that”.

Well actually, some research can be a lot of fun! For instance, suppose you’re a beginner RV buyer.

Well then, you need to get familiar with the different kinds of RVs that are out there. And the floor plans that are available too.

Download my R V guidebooks

So the way I recommend to do that is to just go visit as many RV dealers as you can. Just make it a fun adventure!

Now, you’re not going to buy anything at this point. You’re just going there to look and learn.

And you want to go through RV after RV on each visit. All different kinds, all different sizes.

See lots of RVs at RV dealers
See lots of RVs at RV dealers

And you’re going through them with a purpose. Not just to look at them and say “Oh this is nice, I like that, or I don’t like this”.

What You Need To Learn About RVs

No! What you want to do is go find out how livable each kind of RV is. So sit in the chairs. Get into that dinette and see how easily it works for you.

Go and lay in the bed to see how comfortable it is. Then stand in the shower and sit on the toilet. I think you see where I’m going here.

You want to go through and imagine yourself living in and using that RV.

And if you go through enough RVs this way, pretty soon you’re going to figure out the things you like and the things you don’t like.

Yes, you’re going to find out what type of RV really works for you. And very often you’ll get a real feel for the kind of floor plan that fits you best.

So now you have all that information from your initial pleasant research phase. And you should know what kind of RV you like best and what fits you best. So what’s next?

Step 2 For Working With RV Dealers

Well, you need to find out which RV brands produce better quality products.

RV quality really does matter

And there’s a few ways to do that. First of all, you can do a lot of research online in RVing forums and websites.

And by doing that you can probably come up with a pretty decent list of quality brands.

However, what if you’d like to shorten that time and get right to the quality products? Well, I have created some guidebooks that’ll help you do just that.

Learn which brands build better quality products

These guidebooks focus on all the different kinds of motorhomes and also on towables too.

How To Avoid Buying An RV Money Pit

And they will give you the quality manufacturers and models for you to start with first. So that will be the best place to start when you’re looking for an RV.

And that will give you a real leg up as you’re going through this process.

Step 3 – How Much Should You Pay For An RV?

Now the next thing you need to do is get a feel for the cost of the RV that you’re looking at. In other words, what should you be paying for an RV?

And one of the best places I have found for price research is rvtrader.com.

Get prices online from other RV dealers
Get prices online from other RV dealers

But here’s an important tip. Don’t go on their site and just search in your local area for the RV you want.

No, it’s actually good to search all across the country to get as many of those RV models to look at as you can. Just to find out what the prices for that RV are averaging.

And that way you’ll get a real feel for what you should be spending for an RV in your area too.

Just throw out the high and low prices and look for the median cost of that RV. And that is a good price point for the starting negotiations.

So by now you know what the type of RV is that you want to get. And you should know the brands you need to start with too.

And you’ve searched nationwide to get an idea for the fair asking prices that RV is going for.

So at this point your homework is pretty much done. And it’s time to move on to the next phase of smart RV buying.

Now you can go to RV dealers and start the buying process. And you can be confident that you know what you want and how much you want to pay for it.

Who Should You Not Listen To At RV Dealers?

So the first thing that I’m going to tell you here is don’t accept whatever the RV salesperson tells you.

When shopping at an RV dealer, you need to understand that many RV salespeople don’t really know a whole lot about the RV that they’re selling you.

Salespersons at RV dealers
Salespersons at RV dealers

That’s because they are salespeople. So unfortunately in many cases, they’re going to tell you almost anything you want to hear.

RV Gear

Now it’s okay to listen to them. Don’t be rude and ignore them. Just don’t put total trust in everything that a salesperson is going to tell you about RVs.

There’s a lot of RV buyers that did that. And they regret it now because what they were told was not always in their best interest.

Here’s Where RV Dealers Make A Lot Of Their Money

Now there’s something else you need to be ready for when you go to the RV dealer. And that is financing!

Now if you’re going to pay cash, you don’t even have to worry about this part of the purchase.

But what if you’re going to finance the RV like the vast majority of buyers do?

Well, then you need to have your RV financing pre-arranged before you buy! This step is very important if you don’t want to lose lots of money unnecessarily.

Now I made a video on this subject in the past. And I highly recommend that you go through that video and learn about how to finance your RV the right way.

Watch my video on financing an RV
Click here to watch my video on financing an RV

You see, the finance department in an RV dealership is one of their biggest profit centers. If not the biggest profit center for the entire dealership.

Why? Because they’re usually not really offering you a great deal on RV financing.

But that gets lost in all the monthly payments that they work out for you. So it’s hard to see how much you’re losing when all the focus is on monthly payments.

Therefore, it’s best to have your RV financing already pre-arranged. In fact, you should get pre-approved for your financing before you even get to the dealer.

Now what if the dealer gives you a better deal on financing than you already have?

Well then, that’s fine! Go ahead and take it. But if not, then you have your own financing ready to go. And you will save a ton of money that way.

Step 4 For RV Dealers – Don’t Skip This!

Now let’s move on to my next point in the buying process. And that is to insist on getting any new or used RV that you buy inspected first.

And make sure it’s inspected before you take delivery too. Now you may meet with some real resistance on this request.

Yes, there’s a lot of dealers out there that don’t want RV inspections on their inventory. Why?

Well, let’s get back to the point that most RV dealer profits are driven through the sales department.

And that means that they don’t want anything to slow that sales process down. They want to move you right along while you’re excited and you’re really into buying.

They want to get this thing done as quickly as possible and move on to the next customer.

Well, the inspection slows down that process considerably in their opinion.

RV repairs - don't pay for them

You see, the dealer goes to great lengths to stay in control of the buying process. But when you demand an RV inspection you are now in control instead. And that’s good for you!

Do RV Dealers Know That Some Of Their RVs Have Problems?

Now RV dealers unfortunately often know that there are problems with an RV. Sometimes even with new RVs!

They’re very well aware of it. And what they want to do is allow you to buy it first. Then take it out and camp with it and use it.

And that’s when you’ll find the RV’s problems for the first time. So you then come back to them to get those issues resolved.

But they’ve already gotten paid. They’ve got their money. So they have no real incentive at this point to be very quick about taking care of things.

Of course, most likely they will eventually fix it for you. But they’ll put you at the back of their service department line.

And they will get to it when it’s convenient for them, not for you.

Well, I’m sure you can understand that this is very frustrating for RV buyers. It’s very irritating!

And the internet is filled with examples of this taking place at RV dealers across the country.

So getting the RV inspected is the first step to avoid all that. And here’s why!

Hire An RV inspector
Hire An RV inspector

Because what happens when the RV inspector finishes their inspection? At that point they’ll give you a list of issues for that RV.

All the problems that need to be fixed. In fact, you can call it sort of like a punch list of problems that you would get for a new home.

How Can You Use An RV Inspection Report To Your Advantage?

So once you have the punch list in hand, you can then do one of two things with it.

You can tell the dealer that you want to negotiate the price further at that point. And that’s to cover all the issues you’re going to have to fix after you take delivery.

Or you can demand that they fix those issues now before you take delivery. And you see, either way you win in that scenario.

Now it’s so important that you do that before you take delivery. Because after you take delivery, there’s very little incentive for them to be quick about solving your problems.

But you’re still not done yet. There’s one more step you need to take for total RV buying success.

The Final Step To Success When Buying From RV Dealers

That is that even after you’ve got the inspection done. Even after you’ve given the punch list to the dealer.

Even after they’ve come back and said they have fixed all of the problems in the inspector’s report.

Now you need to verify that they have been fixed or repaired to your satisfaction.

In other words, you need to make sure they’ve actually done what they said they would do.

Please don’t ever take an RV dealer’s word that everything was fixed the way it should be.

In many cases, it may have been fixed to some degree. But not to the extent it should have been. And sometimes it’s not even fixed at all!

So it may be a good idea for you to get the RV inspector back again. And have them verify that everything was repaired and is functioning correctly.

Or you can do it yourself if you feel you have enough knowledge about RVs to do that.

Another option is to find someone you know that knows enough about RVs to verify the repairs are satisfactory.

But don’t take delivery of an RV until you’re sure that all these issues have been repaired properly.

If you have leave it up to the dealer, you may regret that decision later on.


Alright, I’ve shared with you a winning process for buying RVs. And it may sound like there’s just nothing but bad RV dealers out there.

This process is how you can win at RV dealers
This process is how you can win at RV dealers

But that’s not the truth either! I don’t want to paint all RV dealerships with a wide negative brush.

That’s because there are some that are very customer oriented. And they want to help you. They want you to get the product that will work best for you.

But there’s far too many RV dealers in this industry that are not like that.

So you need to protect yourself when you’re dealing with them. And I hope you’ll follow the guidelines that I’ve given you in this article to do that.

If you do, I’m confident that you will be able to get the RV that you want. The RV that you need. And the RV that will give you great service for years to come.

Well, that’s it for now. I wish you safe and happy RV travels my friends!

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