Proper planning and research before an attending RV show is the best move you can make when it comes to a successful RV purchase. It’s also one of the most overlooked methods when you are shopping at RV shows and want to get the most out of your buying experience.
“We see people trying moving too quickly when they attend a RV show,” says John Toffler, the editor of RV Reviews, a division of JR consumer, which annually publishes a series of buying guides to educate consumers in their purchasing decisions. “You need to think a little more about what you want before you buy one.”
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t miss the winter RV shows. But at any given event when shopping the RV shows, the number of models can be mind boggling. So, the best why of action before visiting an event (and trekking miles through the endless rows of rigs) is to narrow your choices.
This can be done many ways. First, establish the type of lifestyle you want on the road. Then decide how a towable or motorized RV can meet that lifestyle. Next, determine length and/or size. It’s also wise to find a manufacturer that has an ideal mix of quality, price, and reputation in preparation for shopping at RV shows.
The internet is the number one source of information with the many RV forum communities, RV blogs, and interacting websites from most RV manufacturers.
Also, word of mouth is still a popular and unbiased source of information. Additionally, speaking with other RVers means the benefit of gaining first hand knowledge and experiences when its comes many aspects of the pastime.
“Those new to RVing should start off with a manufacturer they like, one that is using good materials, and has the features they want,” says Toffler.
“The Internet has helped with this a lot. If there is a real dog on the market people will usually find out about it (online). Sometimes they should take these comments with a grain of salt. But when someone gets a model they are not happy with, they often can’t wait to vent about it.”
Other buying tips at RV shows include:
- If possible, speak with other RVers for unbiased opinions. Word of mouth is still very valuable.
- Conduct online nationwide searches on a model you are interesting in. See what dealers across the country are selling your specific model for.
- Determine the age-old decision of buying a used or new. This will help you discover the new model price differences and features/options available.
- When visiting a show, don’t dive in head first. Take your time.
- Visit your local dealer after a show for further inquiries and pricing.
When it comes to pricing and negotiating, Toffler explains that shopping around is pertinent to finding the best possible price/value. There are show specials and even select promotional financing options at a show to consider as well.
“It’s important that the buyer knows how to approach the dealer with the sale,” says Toffler. “What they need to try to do is recognize a win-win situation between the dealer price and the manufacturer suggested retail price. A lot of people don’t know pricing and it’s important for them to find that sweet spot. There are good deals at a show. But they shouldn’t feel that they will never see that good deal again. Good deals can happen any time.”
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