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Old 08-06-2016, 07:00 AM   #1
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Some buying questions.

I'm wondering if there are better areas of the country known to have better 5er pricing?

For example, when I was a kid in Denver a lot of people would take a cheap flight over the Rockies to Grand Junction and drive back saving money even with the flight and drive figured in. Is it typical to get better pricing in warmer or colder areas? I recall Arizona used to be a haven for used cars because they could sit on the lot a long time without much deterioration. But maybe the colder states are more ready to deal due to a shorter selling season? How about are prices typically better near bigger cities or better in the boonies? Maybe in rural areas, land is cheaper and lower property tax so less overhead for the dealers? Would I be right in thinking a dealership near the 5er manufacturer would have lower prices at least because the delivery would be cheaper?

How about time of year? I noticed in one thread someone suggested buying in the Off season when sales are down. I'm guessing the off season would maybe the oyster months?

Are there some famously large dealerships, particularly those that list prices? Most I've look at online sell so many brands they don't seem to have a lot of stock of any one of them and still have lots of stock but not really what I'm looking for. I seem to be leaning towards DRV. Maybe someone knows a dealership that specializes in their trailers? I found one of their dealers within 30 miles of them and they had like 2 in stock. Do any manufacturers sell direct?

How useful is NADA in pricing used trailers? Are they the best around for valuation? I have in the past disagreed with their valuation of car options.

On new trailers, how flexible are dealers/manufacturers? For instance, suppose you picked out a floor plan and options, haggled down your best price, and then said, "I really don't like the couch and recliners." Would they back out the cost? (Odd request, I know, but maybe you want a pool table or hot tub instead of seating. ) I know on this YMMV but just wondering people's thoughts. With cars they seem pretty tight on what they will and won't do. You can get this and this, or that and that, but don't try to get this and that.

Any other money saving tips along these lines?

A selling tip: When you to sell your RV, try to make the pics look as nice as possible. I'm not talking about photoshopping or leaving out a pic of the big gash in the side panel, but try to make it look as good as ethically possible. I looked at a 2009 Elite Suites and of course it was clean and all and they had some decorative touches around like a bowl of fruit on the counter. But I think there was maybe one window blind that wasn't askew. Put em up or put em down but don't leave them hanging at 30 degrees. And the bed was made but looked like they'd hidden a bunch of dirty laundry under the bedspread. And this was dealership ad.

Sorry for the long wind...
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:28 AM   #2
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I would recommend looking and finding the brand, style, and/or model you like and run a search of the online prices at sites like RV.com and RV trader. It will give you a comparison of other folks starting/"sales" price. If it's new, you should expect to pay no more than 80% of MSRP and work hard to get as close as you can to 70%. Most will tell you that 25-30% off MSRP is where you can reasonably get. I believe late fall is the time in the northern half of our country when the season is over and the fiscal year is winding down for dealers. Holidays and storage can motivate private sellers as well. Lots more interested buyers in the spring as the season is getting started. Finally, dealers will work with you, but don't expect any significant savings by removing items such as a sofa or convection oven. The stock they have already came with the items and there isn't much to be made on their end trying to pawn items off in their parts stores IMHO. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:13 AM   #3
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Closer to where a given unit is manufactured is generally going to be the cheapest. The dealers have to pay shipping just everyone else. I'm out on the west coast and most trailers cost more out here since many (most?) are made in the mid west. When I shopped for mine I could do a search on RVT or RV Trader and just watch the prices go up as it went further away from Indiana.

I ended up paying about $1500 more to avoid a 600 miles drive (1200 round trip). Aside from the time/money for the drive I also realized there is a lot of value in having a local dealer as many don't want to work on trailers unless you bought from them. You go to the back of the line from what I've heard.

As for season, yes, the trailers are definitely less in the fall/winter. I paid 31K for a 47K MSRP Keystone product in January of last year. I used the internet prices as leverage and it was actually a pretty easy negotiation.
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:15 PM   #4
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Typo...Site is - RVT.com
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtofell View Post
Closer to where a given unit is manufactured is generally going to be the cheapest. The dealers have to pay shipping just everyone else. I'm out on the west coast and most trailers cost more out here since many (most?) are made in the mid west. When I shopped for mine I could do a search on RVT or RV Trader and just watch the prices go up as it went further away from Indiana.

I ended up paying about $1500 more to avoid a 600 miles drive (1200 round trip). Aside from the time/money for the drive I also realized there is a lot of value in having a local dealer as many don't want to work on trailers unless you bought from them. You go to the back of the line from what I've heard.

As for season, yes, the trailers are definitely less in the fall/winter. I paid 31K for a 47K MSRP Keystone product in January of last year. I used the internet prices as leverage and it was actually a pretty easy negotiation.
X2 with the benefit of having a relationship with a local dealer. I've had friends purchase out of town and have played the waiting game when warranty work needed taken care of by our local dealer. I'm guessing this is different if you are a paying customer having service completed.
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:38 PM   #6
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Tom Johnson Camping World in Marion North Carolina claims to be the #1 dealer in the USA. I was there last month and they do have acres of RV's. He had about ten Mobile Suites on display and their advertised prices are better than most.


Augusta RV has factory direct sales and produces units very similar to DRV.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:02 PM   #7
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Hiya,
Great points made on this thread. Seems OP, you have a pretty good gut feeling about the industry. Studying these forums will help you hone those hunches.
With the RV industry loosely based on the auto and marine sales concepts it does lean on the recreational end of the spectrum. Few folks relish purchasing a winterized RV or a boat with snow on the ground.
There is also a seasonal (spring, fall) aspect perhaps the wake of the snowbirds. As we (they) flock back to another “region” there is a glut of used units for various reasons. As stated transportation and or prolonged storage costs can be a strong motivator.
Transport can range from $1.75-2.75 per one way mile.
Yes, there are Dealerships that specialize in particular brands. They will take advantage of volume sales as well as positive customer comment feedback. A custom order secured with a deposit to be purchased on arrival, costs a dealer nothing.
I muse at folks that think dealers get their floor plan provided to them interest free from the manufacturer for a yr. or something else ridiculous. Dealers even with significant capital think of interest or lack of profits (from poor sales) amortized by the day. There are dealers currently having their inventory repossessed by the manufacturer(s). They can get upside down on a unit too.
NADA seems like one of many amortization tools. As you noted something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Not all manufactures keep there older model brochures available so it can help with features, options of a yr. in question for lenders.
I sense you’re contemplating a new purchase?
I’d highly recommend that once you zero in on a brand that you are most interested in (ie DRV) make contact with a regional / national sales representative of that brand. Keeping a rapport with them can significantly increase your knowledge for financial and satisfaction improvements that the individual dealers may not divulge. No they are not going to back stab their sales force or offer inside information. They can however offer advice to a motivated flexible buyer as to specific strategies to employ, to bolster a weakness in their supply chain.


Best of luck.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:37 AM   #8
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Thanks for all these responses and points to ponder. I'll check out TomJohnsonCamping.com and have been using RVT.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnTrek View Post
Studying these forums will help you hone those hunches.
Yes, I've been wearing out the search engine and have answered a lot of questions that way. Sometimes the answers and associated posts have opened up new questions. The site is great and I'm glad I stumbled on it.
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NADA seems like one of many amortization tools. As you noted something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Not all manufactures keep there older model brochures available so it can help with features, options of a yr. in question for lenders.
Good point. I was selling a Camaro once and it was a someone limited production model. Aside from that it had "history" having been used as a parade car in the Brickyard 400. I had a picture of Kurt Busch sitting in that particular car and he had signed the owner's manual. I advertised the car at $30K firm and got a call from someone insisting the NADA value was only $22K. I explained the uniqueness of the car but he was still irate that I would ask so much. I told him that was the price and he should look for a regular Camaro. 3 months later I sold it for my price to someone who knew the added value.
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I sense you’re contemplating a new purchase?
Yes and no. It is unlikely I will be able to buy anything for 2 to 3 years. My wife has 2 years of school left and I have to get some projects done before we do that. One of those is to build a new house for us. And I can't even do that for maybe a year because of other priority projects. IRV2 is a great way to distract me from what I should be doing. But the best thing about looking at new ones now is they will be the good used deals when I'm ready unless some awesome innovations (gotta haves) come out in the mean time.

If I had to pick something I don't think I could put a finger on what I want but I'm getting closer. It's only my wife and I and perhaps a baby some time so we don't need a huge trailer so trying to stay near 30'. We need 4 seasons because we might do a winter in Colorado and you never know when you're going to get caught in a storm anyway. Also I figure better for winter means better for summer. I'm fond of a big TV and King bed and I'd rather a model made for a King rather than squeezing a King into a Queen model as an option.

Happy Trails all!!
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:52 AM   #9
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Check out www.kansasrvcenter.com in Chanute, KS. They deal in DRV, HitchHiker, etc.


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