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Old 02-03-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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Dealer negotiating tips

If the sun, moon and stars all align properly, I will be buying a new Forest River Surveyor TT next week. After a year of on-line searching, RVT/RV Trader investigation, factory website pondering, You Tube video watching and looking at them in person, I have finally figured out what I want.
I think I am armed with enough knowledge and preparation before sitting down and talking numbers with the salesperson. I have financing pre-arranged, I don't have a trade, I will ask for an OTD price as if I was writing a check and I expect 20%-30% off msrp. I know what other dealers are asking for the same unit, I know about dealer markup strategies in dealer prep and doc fees and I should be prepared to walk out if the numbers don't meet my expectations. Is there anything else I missed?
Frustrations occur when the RV industry doesn't use consumer friendly Monroney stickers like the automotive industry. I am also unable to find any information as to what invoice or dealer cost is on the RV's they sell.
I am also curious why so called dealer advertised MSRP on their websites vary so much around the country, even when the unit has the same options. Is it possible for a dealer to alter their advertised MSRP or factory worksheet to their advantage?
As a general rule, west coast prices seem generally higher for the same RV's compared to the mid-west and east coast. Am I correct to assume that is due to additional transportation costs from Elkhart, Indiana? Yes, I know, California is expensive in other ways and I won't buy from a California dealer if I can help it. No, I don't live in Ca.
I am prepared to make a 3500 mile round trip to a dealer in the mid-west for what seem to be screaming deals on RV's. I know I should add about a $1000 in travel expenses to whatever those prices are.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:28 PM   #2
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The RV industry is at an all time high right now and in some areas it is a dealers market especially on high demand models. Check pricing at several dealers so you know what you are asking for. Take ALL the emotion out of the deal and make it purely a business deal, remember that what it is for the dealer. Don't go to the dealer you want to purchase from until you are ready to sign. If you find what you want tell them you are buying in next 24hrs. If you don't like the deal walk, they will most likely call.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:35 PM   #3
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Next week? You'll get a 2019 model next week -- last year's model. In May or June at the latest you'll get a 2020 model with a whole year less depreciation.

Trailer production is limited to certain models through out the production year. Lots of production of popular models but sometimes the less popular models will have several weeks delay before they go back on the production floor. Smaller models tend to have long lead times.

"Local" dealers tend to sell one trailer at a time. Places like RVWholesalers sell them in bulk and typically have trailers already in the production queue or on the lot in Elkhart.

As for the 3500 mile round trip I tend to think I'd be more careful of a new trailer than the delivery driver -- these typically come on their own wheels. I personally had my Roo serviced at the local Jayco dealer, there being no local Roo dealer.

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Old 02-03-2019, 04:36 PM   #4
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Research nationwide for prices and this includes talking to dealers on the phone to see what they can do. A certain % off of MSRP means nothing.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:38 PM   #5
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Dealers often make up their own MSRP prices.
West Coast dealers know that most buyers won't drive to the Midwest, to save money. So they inflate their prices and often triple the actual shipping costs.
We refused to be taken advantage of so we drove from Napa to Chicago and back, in 2006, to pick up our new HTT.
We saved over $4500, on a $22k MSRP trailer, even after trip costs.
I shopped West Coast dealers from San Diego to Mt. Vernon, Washington and saw that all had inflated prices and many dared me to go ahead and make the drive, if I wanted Midwest prices.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:39 PM   #6
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Well I am going to a local dealer just for the convenience of warranty issues..in the very likely event I need something fixed. I hear you about the emotions, that will work against the buyer and the dealer knows it.
Thankfully it is snowing right now so RV demand should be low. This is another reason why I want to buy in the winter.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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Well I am going to a local dealer just for the convenience of warranty issues..in the very likely event I need something fixed. I hear you about the emotions, that will work against the buyer and the dealer knows it.
Thankfully it is snowing right now so RV demand should be low. This is another reason why I want to buy in the winter.
Bringing it to a dealer for repairs meant nothing to me as I do all my own repairs. If I do have something that needs to be fixed under warranty, I would use a mobile RV mechanic. I don't want my trailer sitting in a dealer lot for a month waiting on repairs ever! That's what happened to a friend of mine that bought locally for that reason.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:01 PM   #8
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Bringing it to a dealer for repairs meant nothing to me as I do all my own repairs. If I do have something that needs to be fixed under warranty, I would use a mobile RV mechanic. I don't want my trailer sitting in a dealer lot for a month waiting on repairs ever! That's what happened to a friend of mine that bought locally for that reason.
I plan on doing all my own repairs as well but not while its under warranty. Maybe I am wrong to assume people who buy at the dealer go to the head of the waiting line in the service department.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:03 PM   #9
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I wonder how many of us spike the RV sales industry in February (I bought mine in February a couple years ago) thinking we're getting off-season pricing. Brought mine home on Valentines day after five day trek to Boise Idaho and back.

Good luck on your purchase!
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:07 PM   #10
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I plan on doing all my own repairs as well but not while its under warranty. Maybe I am wrong to assume people who buy at the dealer go to the head of the waiting line in the service department.
Yep...you are wrong. In fact, you may get put at the back of the line depending on reimbursement amounts. My friend had simple trim issues to be fixed and his rig was at the dealer 2 months!

I just repaired my Suburban oven because even though it was still under its 2 year warranty.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:09 PM   #11
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I wonder how many of us spike the RV sales industry in February (I bought mine in February a couple years ago) thinking we're getting off-season pricing. Brought mine home on Valentines day after five day trek to Boise Idaho and back.

Good luck on your purchase!
We bought ours in August at the end of the season. Got a great price. We drove from Los Angeles to Scottsdale Arizona for ours. Did a one nighter trip to Prescott in case we had to go back for some reason. Had a huge checklist of things for me to repair or modify when we got back home though. Mainly simple things.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:10 PM   #12
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Bringing it to a dealer for repairs meant nothing to me as I do all my own repairs. If I do have something that needs to be fixed under warranty, I would use a mobile RV mechanic. I don't want my trailer sitting in a dealer lot for a month waiting on repairs ever! That's what happened to a friend of mine that bought locally for that reason.
Try two months! - and then it was not fixed.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upflying View Post
Well I am going to a local dealer just for the convenience of warranty issues..in the very likely event I need something fixed. I hear you about the emotions, that will work against the buyer and the dealer knows it.
Thankfully it is snowing right now so RV demand should be low. This is another reason why I want to buy in the winter.
Even though we bought 2000 miles away, FR found us 3 local dealers willing to do the warranty work.
In the 2 years of the warranty, never had any problem with them, other than being at the back of the line, which was understandable.
If that had been an issue, we could've used an independent RV shop or mobile RV tech. We just had to get pre-approval from FR and be willing to be reimbursed.
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