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Old 06-28-2020, 09:41 AM   #1
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Negotiating during COVID

We purchased our first new travel trailer in 2016. We ordered from a local dealer after accepting bids from 4 dealers within a 3 hour drive of us. Our local dealer wasn't the "cheapest" but they were close and we assigned value to them being only 30 minutes away. We ordered an Apex Ultra Lite 289TBSS and were able to purchase the unit at an "out the door" price that was 36% below the factory MSRP (I thought I did pretty good "buying" out my off-the-lot depreciation).

We recently sold the Apex and are in the market for a 5th Wheel.

We have done our typical "due diligence" looking at brochures for every brand that is sold within 3 hours of our house (almost every brand). We have narrowed down floorplans and such and visited a number of dealer lots to walk through units that we are interested (and others just to look at build quality) and to meet with the dealers. I almost always sneak away to talk with the service managers or technicians (these guys can give you the "real scoop" on what to expect after the sale...i.e., typical repairs, how hard it is to get them approved from a manufacturer, how often they see typical brands returned, etc.).

So, now we've got it narrowed down to three floorplans from four manufacturers (two manufacturers offer the exact same floorplan and options under two brandnames, even the same model number lol). What we're finding is that dealers are not nearly as negotiable as they once were. About the best we are finding is that most are starting at 10% off MSRP and that they are setting lower bounds at around 25% off of MSRP.

What are others seeing?
Did I do just that darned good of a job buying our first new TT?
Should I be able to get 35% off a 5'er now, or should I wait until the craziness is over (waiting means lost time with the kiddos, but if it means another 10-15% off MSRP that's worth considering)?
I find that dealers are a combination of arrogant and "too busy" to really negotiate now, is that what others are seeing? (I literally had a dealer salesman tell me that they are so busy that they don't have time to negotiate, their price is "take it or leave it, if I don't buy it for that, someone else will...and soon." He said they've lost deals during a "negotiation" because someone else was willing to pay more and signed paperwork with the manager.)
Last question, do you see Grand Design dealers less willing to haggle? Is it "worth" paying more (i.e., less off of MSRP) for a Grand Design versus say a Coachmen, Forest River or Keystone product?

I'd love to hear some feedback. I don't want to make a foolish decision, but don't want to lose time with the kiddos either.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:27 AM   #2
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In our surrounding area, dealers are running out of stock. RV and auto. The salesmen I talked to say they are having their best months ever as far as sales.
So, not much negotiation room, and if you want it, get it when you find it.
My BIL just bought a used 2017 Grand Design Reflection. I went with him on a 1800 mile round trip to pick it up. NO Grand Designs anywhere near us, new or used.
We just bought a new GMC Terrain for our run around car. All this had just started so the price was good. SIL wanted one, went to the same dealer a month later, no more GMCs of any kind at the dealer. They have to now order everything and it will take months.
That's what it is like in our area. And yes, I would pay more for a Grand Design. All the ones I have seen, I like a lot as far as features and fit/finish.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:34 AM   #3
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There is something of an RV buying boom going on right now as folks look for alternative things to do.

When this ďcrisisĒ ends, expect a dramatic drop-off in sales, combined with a glut of used RVs on the market, as many of the experimenters learn that camping is not for them.

Anyone who can put off buying should put off buying. RV sellers will be much more willing to negotiate in the future.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:20 PM   #4
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You're looking to buy at a time RV dealers can't keep RVs in stock because it's a sales boomtime for them.
They don't have to deal or lower prices.
So you've picked a bad time to buy, for consumers.
Personally, I would never buy a RV right now. Won't be long before there's a glut of brand new RVs for sale.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:54 PM   #5
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Crazy times

We just bought a new 2020 RV toy hauler. It was marked $12k off MSRP. It took 2 weeks for the dealership just to get credit approval for us because they were so backed up. I still felt like we got an excellent deal, maybe Iím delusional or still really excited about finally owning one. When we picked it up, the once full lot was just about empty! This was on June 20th. We are now thinking it will be hard to find any availability at campsites for a while now too! Just like the housing market, it doesnít look like RV sales are slowing down. Maybe once we get closer to election the markets may change, idk. If you donít jump on it, there are probably 3 people behind you that will. I also agree with the earlier comment of waiting, there will be plenty of RV sales from barely used models probably due to frustration of not finding places to camp unless their boondocking. Where we have interest in going is a different crowd with the atvs, but Iím sure they are all seeing increase in visitors right now too. I donít believe there is much room for negotiation during these currents times though from a dealership. I just recently did a search for the model we purchased and there all sold out within 150 miles. Good luck with whatever you choose!
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:46 PM   #6
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The big variable is time. No one can get that back.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2B1Ask1 View Post
Last question, do you see Grand Design dealers less willing to haggle? Is it "worth" paying more (i.e., less off of MSRP) for a Grand Design versus say a Coachmen, Forest River or Keystone product?

I'd love to hear some feedback. I don't want to make a foolish decision, but don't want to lose time with the kiddos either.
As others have said, the demand for rvs is quickly outpacing the supply. People want the self contained feature of rvs to travel with their families. So you're not likely to get a deal from a dealership.
You might want to check to see if there are campsites available before you spend the money for the rv. It's possible you might have the rv, want to travel and can't find a campsite.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:33 AM   #8
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Something else to consider. In general, rvís show up at dealer lots with issues from the factory, most of which are addressed then and there. Now imagine factories trying to keep up with demand during this mini boom. I could only imagine the pressure workers have to push those units out of the factory as fast as humanly possible. I would be very skeptical of any unit arriving on dealer lots at this point and going forward for the near future.

As someone else said, there will likely be a glut of late used rvís for sale in the next year and half. Many people who decide on a whim to ďRVĒ have no clue of everything involved from storage to maintenance/repair. Not to mention the warranty repair process.

We considered upgrading this year, but will definitely hold off. I would not be able to enjoy a camper I didnít get at least 30-30% off of retail.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:45 AM   #9
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Something else to consider. In general, rvís show up at dealer lots with issues from the factory, most of which are addressed then and there. Now imagine factories trying to keep up with demand during this mini boom. I could only imagine the pressure workers have to push those units out of the factory as fast as humanly possible. I would be very skeptical of any unit arriving on dealer lots at this point and going forward for the near future.

As someone else said, there will likely be a glut of late used rvís for sale in the next year and half. Many people who decide on a whim to ďRVĒ have no clue of everything involved from storage to maintenance/repair. Not to mention the warranty repair process.

We considered upgrading this year, but will definitely hold off. I would not be able to enjoy a camper I didnít get at least 30-30% off of retail.

I resemble this information! Bought a brand new 2020 salem fsx. Signed the paperwork then went out for the walk around and were told the shower needs replaced due to over torqued screws. Cracked the plastic all around the inside base of shower. Again the dealer pointed out the defect to us so I am great-full there. Looking closer all screws are in at crazy angles, like it was slapped together. I went with the 5yr extended warrenty.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:04 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2B1Ask1 View Post
I don't want to make a foolish decision, but don't want to lose time with the kiddos either.
Do you remember when there was a surcharge on Honda, Toyota & Mazda? 1983 or 1984 I think. This is not that bad yet, but demand has outstripped supply and it is going to cost you.

There are other things which you can do with the Ďkiddosí.

We sold our TT on the 15th and bought a new one at RVW on the 16th. We will be tenting until August 4th when we pick the new one up.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:42 PM   #11
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Just ordered a new Super C at 26% off MSRP with exactly what we want on it. The dealer also gave us very good value for our trade-in (toyhauler bumper pull and a Super Duty diesel). The downside is the factory is five months behind on custom orders.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:04 PM   #12
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What ^^^^^^^^^^ they said.

Terrible time to buy the RVs and some new autos for that matter.. are going off the lot as fast as they get there........... If you can wait the market will slow down when (If) the Covid cases slow down.

I was just at a Chevy Dealer they just got their first 4 new trucks since March and had none. The 4 were already sold.

Negotiations will not be great at this time.

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Old 07-01-2020, 09:01 AM   #13
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Looked at the market and ended up buying a Grey Wolf 19SM about 10 days ago. Here are a few notes from my recent experience, which is very similar to what others have already noted:

- Very limited stock or it doesn't last on the lot very long.
- Different regions of the country seem to be priced differently (higher/lower)
- I looked at 3 dealers (closest 3 that had what I was looking for in stock) that ranged from large, medium, and small with one being my local dealer and the large being 8 hours away.
- 3 dealer prices ranged within $2,000.
- Local dealer was the most expensive but we started there. Only offered $500 off advertised price (after offering $200 then $300 and as I was standing up to walk out) and that was after telling me they have a $1,000 "prep fee" (basically cleaning the inside, charging my batteries, filling my propane, and showing me how to use everything). I WALKED OUT
- 10 min later I bought from the small dealer, over the phone, for $1,500 less, no additional fees, and drove 3 hrs to get it after waiting a week because they were backed up with other deliveries.
- Large dealer (8hrs away) said they were backed up 4 weeks after purchase for us to take delivery.

Bottom line - 30% off MSRP in a sellers market for me. My experience: very little room for negotiation on the price. Try to get some "throw ins" or free stuff (hitch installation, maxx air vent cover, etc.).

Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:55 PM   #14
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I have friends reporting the same as everyone else. We had originally thought to hold off until fall ourselves thinking that there would be a bunch of people who could no longer afford their RVs because of lay offs or what have you. Right as our state was reopening for camping, we happened to find a nice used unit at a dealership near us (in a state not open yet) that we snatched up - this was Mothers Day. I think we beat the rush and still got a very nice deal (almost 10k off of the NADA value). Very happy we decided to go shopping that day!
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Old 07-24-2020, 02:03 PM   #15
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RV industry has seen a 130% increase in sales over last year. Bargaining power is limited..
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Squatchin View Post
We just bought a new 2020 RV toy hauler. It was marked $12k off MSRP. It took 2 weeks for the dealership just to get credit approval for us because they were so backed up. I still felt like we got an excellent deal, maybe Iím delusional or still really excited about finally owning one. When we picked it up, the once full lot was just about empty! This was on June 20th. We are now thinking it will be hard to find any availability at campsites for a while now too! Just like the housing market, it doesnít look like RV sales are slowing down. Maybe once we get closer to election the markets may change, idk. If you donít jump on it, there are probably 3 people behind you that will. I also agree with the earlier comment of waiting, there will be plenty of RV sales from barely used models probably due to frustration of not finding places to camp unless their boondocking. Where we have interest in going is a different crowd with the atvs, but Iím sure they are all seeing increase in visitors right now too. I donít believe there is much room for negotiation during these currents times though from a dealership. I just recently did a search for the model we purchased and there all sold out within 150 miles. Good luck with whatever you choose!

We were quoted $80,000 for a Cedar Creek Hathaway 38DBRK LOCAL IN CA. Checked some websites and the same FW was quoted at $63,000 if I picked up from dealer in Ohio which will not be a problem as we are moving to Nashville. Also had a build and price tool for ordering custom. One price, no haggling and kicked the crap out of the other price.

Not sure if it is OK to name names on the forum, but you can message me if you are still shopping.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:43 AM   #17
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2018 Freedom express 275BHS

Hello! We bought our first TT. It is a 2018 (newer version with light cabinets and blue stickers outside) Freedom Express 275 BHS for 17.500$. we have watched the market for a couple months now and have not seen anything close to that price. Did we make a good deal? Also which upgrades do you guys recommend? Thank you!!
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:13 AM   #18
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Hello! We bought our first TT. It is a 2018 (newer version with light cabinets and blue stickers outside) Freedom Express 275 BHS for 17.500$. we have watched the market for a couple months now and have not seen anything close to that price. Did we make a good deal? Also which upgrades do you guys recommend? Thank you!!
Congratulations on you purchase. If you looked and were happy with the price, then you've made a good deal. Buying used saves a lot of money.
What kind of upgrades were you considering?
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:45 AM   #19
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Thank you!! We are happy. Almost bought a new one for 12.000$ more which was the cheapest we were able to find so we are very happy. Since we are first time owners we do not know what we need and I was wondering if anyone could give us tips on what they upgraded on the trailer
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:51 AM   #20
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Our motorhome is a 2015, we've been doing this since we out grew tents. I'll be looking for a newly used RV in about a year and a half when this blows over and all these new rvers realized they don't like storing it, their batteries are dead, etc. I see another flood coming soon. Used RVs. Gotta be careful though, all those first timers buying more than they could handle and destroying them.
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