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Post Info TOPIC: Is there a best time of year to purchase an RV?


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Is there a best time of year to purchase an RV?


My wife and i are  looking at fifth-wheels for full-time use.  We're wondering if there is a best time of the year to purchase.  Example: Do they make better deals in the fall after summer is done, then not as good in spring before summer?  Once we settle on which one we want it would be nice to know if timing our purchase could help us out.



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John & Sama

2018 DRV Mobile Suites 44 Sante Fe



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We bought ours in February at an RV show ... got the “show” price. Not a guaranteed best price, but a good price is usually assured at an RV show. A great deal is 35% off MSRP, a very good deal is 30% off and a reasonable deal is 25% off MSRP. This is on new units, but similar discounts should apply to used based on “suggested” retail pricing. Buying a “new” one model year old unit is probably the best of all worlds. At the end of the day, I’d recommend you buy the one you want as the joy of having the “right” rig will far outlast the thrill of getting a good deal ... IMHO.

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Best time to buy is when you have the $$$.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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We've never considered buying an RV at an RV show.  While they advertise a "show" price, most dealers we have known offer the same when there isn't a show.  As Ron stated, check to see what the discount percentage is from their MSRP and go by that. If the dealer doesn't have a similar price "after the show" as during, then find another dealer.

By NOT buying at a show, one has the opportunity to see the unit desired on a dealer lot with the opportunity to ask more questions of the sales personnel without the distractions of a constant flow of people walking through the unit.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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I appreciate the advice. We have been looking and researching for months and have narrowed down our search to a couple of brands, with one of them a definite preference over the other, and 2, maybe 3 models within the preferred brand. We still have plenty of research to do, plus finding the specific models to go look at in person. Once we finally get it down to which one we want, then we can look for the best deal for us regarding the price, the dealer and its location, etc. I am not opposed to traveling to a good dealer over one that is closer but in which we have less trust. My main goal is to find a unit we feel fits us the best and get it for a price we feel is at least acceptable. If there was a particular time that would be more beneficial for a buyer, such as end of model year (sometimes with cars that helps the pricing) or some other factor, we wouldn't mind waiting to take advantage if the savings potential was sizable enough.

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John & Sama

2018 DRV Mobile Suites 44 Sante Fe



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"My wife and i are looking at fifth-wheels for full-time use." Most full-timers travel all over the country, and most RV warranties want you to go to the dealer that sold you the coach for warranty work. Some dealers won't even take warranty work if you didn't buy from them. I can't even think about buying anything new, but if I could, I'd want to buy from the dealer that has the best reputation regardless of the location. I would also pretty much assume that I have NO warranty, even if I have a piece of paper that says otherwise.

One thing that some people have done is to buy from the cheapest dealer, then take the coach to the factory for major work. They figure that they will just take care of the minor stuff themselves because they saved it on the purchase price.

Others figure the cost of driving to the low-price dealer, maybe spending a night in a hotel, then driving back. Going a couple of hundred miles isn't all that expensive, but driving 1000 miles one way gets pretty expensive. Ya pays your money and takes ya chances.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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I'm thinking being open to buying last years model as a new unit might make it more likely to get to that 35% off MSRP. I started following this concept this year. As I think back the 2018 models started being announced as early as March 2017. Then maybe in July they were at the local lots, maybe earlier. Then in September I was thinking the 2017 models started coming down in price even more. What we plan to do is start watching the 2018 models closely beginning in March of next year and be ready to pull the trigger on buying one no later than about September.

Someone with more experience RV shopping feel free to change my dates.

Edit - I did a quick spreadsheet.  Basically it compared the 2017 MSRP when they were first announced with what I was finding by September. Note that I did my best to find comparably equipped trailers to the point I trusted the results. The average discount off MSRP for 20 trailers I considered was 35.76% based on online advertised pricing. 



-- Edited by mds1 on Tuesday 31st of October 2017 10:07:08 PM

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Mark from Missouri

 www.ourfutureinanrv.wordpress.com



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Thank you, Mark, for the link to your blog. I can see you have put quite a bit of time into your evaluation system. Thanks for providing the spreadsheets and the explanations. I also read your bee article and would definitely enjoy seeing them.

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John & Sama

2018 DRV Mobile Suites 44 Sante Fe



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The best time is when you find that one RV that tells you it is home. Don’t settle for the sake of a few dollars. You may regret it if you want it to be your future new home.
Do your research on the brand and the quality you want. If you find it,the season to buy really does not matter, you may not be able to find it in a different season trying to save a few bucks then you end up just settling

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Bob C

The fulltime Dream begins, class of 2016

2016 Dodge Ram 5500 HD Classy Chassis hauler bed/air ride

2016 New Horizon Majestic M43RL3S

home base Sandwich,Ma.

 



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John, we spent a couple of years doing research. We started with a pretty blank paper, then added information as we learned it. We talked about how we wanted to travel, how much time we wanted to spend in any one place, where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do, etc. Each answer led to several more questions at first, but eventually we got it figured out. While we were doing that we researched brands in various types of coaches, so that when we decided on a type of coach that fit our needs we knew what brands we wanted to consider. While we were doing all of that we looked at every RV we could, no matter the type, price, condition, or age. We were looking at floor plans, and again, it didn't take long for us to figure out what would and wouldn't work for us.

Very few people buy the perfect coach the first time out. Experience is a great teacher. That's why I suggest that people buy a USED coach first. You won't lose as much when you trade it in on one that is a better fit. Again, go used. That second coach will be a much better fit than your first one. By the time you are ready to buy the third or fourth coach you will really know what you need. Then, if you can afford new, buy one if you want.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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vannchan wrote:

Thank you, Mark, for the link to your blog. I can see you have put quite a bit of time into your evaluation system. Thanks for providing the spreadsheets and the explanations. I also read your bee article and would definitely enjoy seeing them.


John,

Glad you found the link and hope there are topics you can make use of. Bees are huddled up in the middle of their hives this time of year, in fact they ball up when it's around 55 degrees or lower outside. You better hurry if you ever want to see mine:) Only 23 months till we hit the road and the spring of 2019 I'll be looking for a new home for the bees.

Regarding timing to buy a trailer. We decided to get one the year before we go fulltime. That way we can use it on vacation, work out the bugs and get used to pulling it.  Then the next spring when we put the house up for sale we would also have an option to live out of it should the house quickly sell.  Really leaning towards buying last years model as a new unit.  All these goals have a degree of importance to us and if we find the trailer we want at near the price we are willing to pay, then we will jump on it regardless of time of year.  

We are getting the truck first. I know some think that is risky. I don't because we are getting a diesel dually and our six top trailers (in fact our top 20) are all within the weight limits of the trucks we are looking at.  If we find a trailer we will already have the truck to go and pick it up.  Also we can use the truck for home repairs and downsizing. Also gives us a chance to maybe ditch the second car early. 

Think I already posted I started seeing the 2018 models being announced last March or thereabouts. Then it seemed, but not sure, they were at the dealerships by July of 2017 and the prices on the 2017 may have started to come down by September of 2017. I'm thinking when folks talk about getting up to 35% off MSRP they may be speaking of getting last years models.

I use the words think, might and maybe because I've not bought one and there are variables involved.  It's also a safe way to say some of this is an educated guess.

In terms of does one buy used or new based off they really might not know what they want until they own one.  We are attempting to buy our third trailer - first.  There are variables to consider. In our case we owned a 30 foot travel trailer, have friends with trailers, borrowed one and rented one. Not nearly the same experience as those that own and live in one now, for sure.  We are rock solid on getting a fifth wheel. We know our budget and are sticking with it. We spent now nearly three years just coming up with our top 20 and quickly were able to knock that list down to six. Personally, I think there is a greater risk one might not like the lifestyle compared to not like their trailer. For sure, we don't want to add a level of issues, such as not having a decent floor plan, and make the lifestyle less enjoyable. But I keep thinking back during the last few stick homes we bought or built. After we lived in them for a period of time we forgot about what minor features we did not like.  Now it just seems like home.

If you buy the trailer at the right price the depreciation hit will not be as bad if you sell early. From my research it appears they start leveling out a bit on depreciation at about five years on a fifth wheel in the price point we are considering. But, if one is concerned about depreciation and take that into account as an expense of owning an RV - then its scary. We are not letting that stop us for owning one.

I might add, for planning purposes, we are looking at owning whatever we buy for at least six years. Like others posted, we won't let the right rig pass us buy just to save a little more. Factored over six years that added cost might not be so bad.  So the season to buy becomes whenever you find the trailer at the price you are willing to live with, I suppose.

Not to show any disrespect towards better experienced opinions, but I did a little count. I've followed 24 blogs, many since 2014. Of the 24 I can recall just three having bought a replacement RV. Most have been on the road fulltime for those three years - or more. Four came off the road after more than five years, three in the same RV they started with.  And a couple have only been on the road for a year. I tend to follow blogs of those who own the style and length of trailer we would consider buying. That way I get a first hand accounting of how they use the trailer and such. Frankly, unless it's an abnormality and I stumbled upon unique blogs, I can state with confidence these folks (on average) are having no problem keeping the same trailer for three years.  And I've met a number of the owners in person as they traveled near my home. For sure some may just be living with a few things they might change if they bought a new rig. And I suppose finances, or the ability to buy a different trailer, could play a role.

 



-- Edited by mds1 on Monday 13th of November 2017 08:19:40 PM

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Mark from Missouri

 www.ourfutureinanrv.wordpress.com



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Mark points out an important point. Selling your house on Monday, buying an RV on Tuesday, and hitting the road on Wednesday isn't a great idea. We intended to buy our coach 6-12 months before we hit the road, so that we would have time to do whatever the coach needed and have some time to learn the quirks of our coach. We bought our coach in March, I retired in June, and we spent the next year disposing of our stuff. We took a couple of short trips, bought tires, and made changes that we thought we needed. We had the luxury of parking our coach literally right outside the front door of our house as we moved into the coach. We hit the road about 15 months after we got our Foretravel.

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David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



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I read some information from a gentleman that lived in his RV full time and has worked in sales at an RV dealer. He indicated the best time to purchase, if price was a concern, was between November and March. His point was the dealers needed to get the hold over units off the lot so they can finance the new units coming in without holding the debt of the previous years on their loan spread sheets. He said the bank will loan them X amount of dollars and debt from the previous year is carried over on to what they can borrow for the new inventory. He also said most RV dealerships are not busy at that time of year and like to keep sales moving then too.

The plan I have in place is to identify the RV(s) we are interested in and purchase late this year or early next year, if possible and available. Not sure if that is a good plan or not but it makes sense to me so I thought I would give it a try. I do not need to purchase at this time as I do not plan to do a whole lot of camping for another couple of years. I will not purchase the RV based on price alone, I will get what we feel is best for us even if it costs a little more.

As far as the "local dealer" is concerned I live about 85 miles from most of the dealers that sell the models I have been looking at so it doesn't make any difference if I am looking at units 100+ miles north, south, east or west of me. I suppose if I lived close to a dealer that sold the particular model I wanted I would take that into consideration.

I liked the 25%, 30% and 35% information and will keep that in mind.


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