Travel Trailers can make for an excellent getaway when planning a camping or road trip. However, travel trailers are a hefty investment, whether you are buying new or used. Depending on the age, model, and floorplan, a travel trailer can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000. But suppose you are planning on purchasing a new travel trailer, in that case, there are some tricks you can employ to get a lower price on your new RV, with the most crucial trick being when you buy. So, on that note, what is the best time to buy a travel trailer?
The best time to buy a new travel trailer is before a new model is released. Dealerships are looking to get rid of as many rigs as possible to make room for the new models. During this time, their salespeople are more willing to haggle for much lower prices. Another fantastic time to purchase a new travel trailer is mid-winter. Around the end of November and the beginning of December is when RV dealerships are selling the least amount of RVs. In order to meet their quotas, salespeople will offer some of the best deals you can find during these months.
Moreover, the absolute best time to buy a new RV is when both of these occurrences line up. Most RV manufacturers try to release their new models in early spring when most RV sales are made. This means the winter months leading up to the new model’s release is the best time to purchase a new RV.
As you continue to read this article, we will provide you with a few tips to help you save money when looking for that perfect RV for you and your family.
Preparation and Planning
The most crucial step when it comes to purchasing an RV is planning. Before you start searching for a travel trailer, it would be best if you knew what you plan on using it for. For example, do you want to host parties, go on hunting trips, or do you want to go on a few camping trips with your family throughout the year? The primary use of your travel trailer will change what model and floor plan will best suit your needs.
Rushing in to purchase a travel trailer for a road or camping trip can leave you very disappointed with your purchase. Furthermore, travel trailers can cost tens of thousands of dollars, making monthly payments not cheap. With that said, one of the best things you can do is take your time and gather as much information as possible. Luckily, we have made a list of tips to help you do just that.
Window Shopping and Information Gathering
Gathering information is a crucial step when looking for a travel trailer. There are a myriad of models with different aesthetics and floor plans. Take the time to look online for different floor plans that suit your needs. Furthermore, one of the best ways to gather information is window shopping. Go out of your way and go to dealerships and RV shows to get a hands-on look. Doing so will help you figure out precisely what you want, and the salespeople will happily give you a tour of the travel trailers that pique your interest.
Going window shopping will help keep your emotions in check when it comes to making that final purchase. There is a good chance that you might fall in love with a specific model. But beware, an experienced salesperson will pick up on this and try to use your emotions against you to purchase before you are 100% ready. By window shopping and gathering information, you will be able to keep yourself in check and view your citation more rationally. Doing so will keep the negotiating power in your hands when you decide to make the purchase.
Plan Ahead to Keep Your Financial Stability
Before starting your search, you should set a budget for yourself and set that money aside. Doing so will keep you grounded during your search and allow you to have enough money for a down payment. With a sizable deposit on your new travel trailer, you can ensure that the monthly payments will be low enough not to add additional stress to your financial situation.
Another helpful tip is to compare the dealership’s interest rates and your bank. Frequently, you can find a loan with better interest rates from your bank than the rates offered by the dealership. Furthermore, you will need to inquire about insurance rates and add that cost to your budget.
You will also need to figure out where you will store your travel trailer. If you can store it safely at home, then no worries. However, suppose you need to store your travel trailer at a storage facility. In that case, you will need to add the additional cost to your budget as well.
Be sure that you know the maximum towing capacity of your towing vehicle too. Then, use that information to look for travel trailers with a GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) that matches or is lower than the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle. Doing so will prevent you from purchasing a travel trailer that is too large for your towing vehicle.
When the time comes to make the final purchase, you will first need to negotiate the final price of the travel trailer you want. All dealerships are looking to profit from their initial purchase, and dealerships can inflate the price by up to 40%. That being said, a great place to start negotiating is 35% to 30% below the sticker price the dealership offers.
During negotiations, the salesperson will continue to lower their price until you come to a standstill. Suppose that price does not fall within your budget, politely decline the offer and leave. In that case, you can always find another dealership that is willing to work with your budget. Sometimes, doing this can cause the salesperson to break and agree to your price.
Buy Your Travel Trailer When a New Model is Released
Most RV brands will release a new model in early spring, when most RV sales are made. With that said, dealerships will need to get rid of the older models to make room for the new ones, which makes the older models’ MSRP go down, allowing you to find the best deals possible, which is at the very end of winter.
Most people seem to always want the newest models. However, if you are a person that is not driven by status, then an older model will perfectly suit your needs. In addition, purchasing an older model will always save you tons of money. Often, the only difference between a new and old model is cosmetic.
What’s the Best Time of Year to Buy a Travel Trailer?
After you have done all the research you can and settled on the perfect travel trailer; you are ready to make the purchase. Depending on when you decide to buy an RV can change the price. RVs are the most expensive during the spring months after the winter cold has dissipated. This is the time when most people want to get out and stretch their legs after being cooped up in their homes for the past five months. Dealerships use this information to their advantage to get the most profit possible. However, you can find some fantastic deals with careful planning and waiting.
Buy Your Travel Trailer Mid-Winter
As we previously stated, RVs are at their highest price during the spring months. As a result, RV dealerships will have tons of potential customers during the warm spring and summer months. But, unfortunately, you can find yourself waiting up to an hour before finally meeting with a salesperson.
However, during winter, dealership experience changes drastically. RV sales are pretty low during winter, and you can expect to be treated like a VIP. Furthermore, because RV sales are so low during winter, you can guarantee that you can get a fantastic discount on the travel trailer of your dreams.
Buy a Used Travel Trailer when the Weather Warms Up
If you are considering purchasing a used travel trailer, one of the best times to do it is early spring, when a new model is released. Frequently, you can find families who are looking to sell their old model for a new one, which can lead to some fantastic deals.
However, keep in mind that you are buying a second-hand trailer, and you will need to inspect the trailer to make sure it is kept in good condition. Because of this, choosing to purchase a used RV can take longer than buying a new one from a dealership. Furthermore, buying a used trailer does not come with a warranty, but you can always purchase an extended warranty to help cover repairs.
RV shows can be a fantastic place to buy your RV. Many salespeople are looking to offload as many rigs as possible and may be willing to negotiate for significant discounts. However, don’t be persuaded to purchase an RV right away. Most deals offered at RV shows are very close, if not the same as the deals you will find at the dealership. Instead, take the time to inspect the travel trailer you are interested in and go home to research the prices from different dealerships.
Furthermore, RV shows are the best place to gather information. You will be able to get tours of the RVs that interest you, and many aftermarket vendors will offer you a ton of information about repair costs and maintenance. In addition, these aftermarket vendors can give tons of helpful information about models that routinely need repairs due to their poor design.
Travel For Better Deals
When purchasing a new travel trailer from a dealership, it can be wise to check prices in the southern states. Unlike the northern states, where sales are restricted to the warmer half of the year, southern states predominantly warm sell year-round.
That might sound strange, and it kind of goes against the rest of our tips, but because the dealerships in southern states sell year-round, their prices are not as inflated as the northern states. This can let you find amazing cheaper deals than what you can find in your home state.
Additionally, try looking for dealerships close to where the trailers are made. The transportation costs for these dealerships are almost non-existent for them, and they may be willing to offer even lower prices.
Don’t Rush to Buy Your Travel Trailer Right Before Your Trip.
One of the worst things you can do when looking for a new RV is to rush. Instead, you should purchase your RV well before you start planning trips. Doing so will help you become acquainted with your RV. Furthermore, if you are eager to purchase an RV, an experienced salesperson can pick up on this and use it to their advantage.
Watch for Rising Gas Prices
It is evident that towing a 2,000+ pound trailer can significantly increase the fuel consumption of your towing vehicle. Because of this, dealerships can have a hard time trying to sell RVs when gas prices are on a steady rise. During this time, you can expect dealerships to offer outstanding deals. These deals are usually short-term, but they can be the perfect opportunity for you to purchase the travel trailer of your dreams.
Looking for the best deal for the travel trailer of your dreams can be a daunting task. But if you bide your time and pounce when the time is right, you can find some fantastic deals that will save you thousands of dollars. One of the best times to buy a new travel trailer is towards the end of winter when dealerships don’t have a lot of customers. Furthermore, most RV brands reveal their new models in early spring, when dealerships sell the most RVs. This can also be a great time to look at used travel trailers because some families might be looking to sell their old models for a new one.