Besides your home, an RV purchase might be the largest chunk of change you spend in your life! We only rented our home before hitting the road which meant buying our RV was going to be our biggest purchase, ever. We took this very seriously and researched the best times to buy, negotiating tips, and how to get the best deal. We learned that the time of year and certain events impact RV prices. Without further ado, these are the 5 best times to buy an RV:
1. Buy an RV in the Fall
Once fall hits most folks are winterizing and putting their RV away for the year. If RV lots didn’t clear out all of the inventory they wanted during the summer months, they might be more eager to get rid of some RVs cheaper than normal. This is a good time to start negotiations and buy your new RV before winter hits. If you’re in colder states, it’s good to buy an RV in the fall to get the discounts but be able to winterize and get your new toy tucked away before snow hits.
2. Buy an RV in the Winter
Buying an RV in the winter months has all the same perks as the fall, except now those RV salesmen are really eager to get rid of old inventory. They are most likely thinking about the newer models they ordered for the following year and need the space on their lot cleared ASAP! Winter is a great time to RV shop because there will be less competition between customers wanting the same rig, you can snag the end of year clearance deals, and have more room to negotiate for additional upgrades or accessories because the salesmen just want the RV gone. Winter can also a great time to special order an RV; just pay attention to when it’s being built to avoid rust in transportation. You don’t want an RV built in January or February. If the timing is perfect you can get the end of year pricing but receive your brand new rig delivered right before the camping season! Big win-win for you there.
3. Buy When a New Model is Released
It’s always a good idea to buy an RV that just had a new model released. Dealers want to clear out their old stock and are normally willing to make some big cuts on the price to make room for the newest model. RVs aren’t like cars and normally have minimal changes from model to model; so even though you’ll be getting last year’s model, chances are there won’t be much a difference!
4. Buy at RV Shows
RV shows are a fantastic way to save serious cash on your next RV! There are multiple all over the United States (Florida RV Supershow, America’s Largest RV Show, California RV Show just to name a few). Dealers have special approval from management to give deep discounts at shows and are very competitive with each other. We’ve heard of some crazy savings happening at shows simply because the salesman just wants to make that sale. A hot tip we learned is that the last day of the show is the best. If they haven’t reached their sales goals they are willing to make some out of this world deals happen. Don’t be afraid to negotiate hard at shows!
5. Buy on Holiday Weekends
If you can’t make it to an RV show then shopping on Holiday Weekends is the next best thing. We actually bought our RV on Memorial Day Weekend and saved 29% off of MSRP! It was two days of negotiating but well worth the savings. Holiday Weekend sales are very similar to show sales in the sense that salesmen are approved to give bigger discounts and are ready to sell. Dealerships use Holiday Weekends to clear off a lot of inventory as well so make sure to take advantage.
Those are the 5 best times to buy an RV! As a reminder, don’t hesitate to negotiate hard! If you’ve done the proper research and know what you’re asking for is reasonable for the make/model you want don’t be afraid to walk away either. We’re wishing you good luck in your next RV purchase and happy shopping!
P.S. if you’re just starting out on this journey with a partner, you might want to check out our tips for How to Not Kill Your Significant Other While Traveling.
P.P.S. Don’t forget to buy our Preparing to RV Bundle! We have a ton of worksheets included in this bundle, including an RV Shopping Comparison List.