When you first look into purchasing a travel trailer for yourself, you will notice that they can be rather expensive. As a result, you might want to negotiate the price of the travel trailer a little bit. Negotiating is a great way to bring down the price and save yourself some money.
But how much can you negotiate on a travel trailer?
The answer depends if the travel trailer is new or used and if you are buying from a dealer or a private owner. Here’s the breakdown:
|New Travel Trailer||Used Travel Trailer|
|Private Seller||N/A||25% or much more|
There are several things you can do to negotiate the price of a travel trailer or RV. However, to do any of those things you need to do your research and make sure you are informed on the prices of other trailers on the market. If you do not do your research, you will be putting yourself at a big disadvantage. So, make sure you investigate several dealers and you will be in a much better position to negotiate with the dealer you are working with.
15 Tips to Negotiate Your Best Price on a Travel Trailer
Here we will give you 15 tips on how to negotiate the best possible price on a travel trailer. Some tips will be easier to put into motion than others, but they should all be helpful. So, take notes and you could save yourself a lot of money.
1. Find Cheaper Options with Other Dealers
As we mentioned above, one of the first things you want to do when trying to negotiate is to stay informed on the prices from all the dealers in your area. If you have this information, you can figure out which dealer has the cheapest dealer for the trailer that you want. With this information, you can go to another dealer and tell them that you found the same trailer for a cheaper price.
When the dealer finds out that you can go to another dealer to purchase your trailer, they might be willing to start negotiating a cheaper price. Most dealers would rather sell you a trailer for a cheaper price than lose your business. So, threatening to go to a different dealer is a method that will work a lot of the time.
This is also an effective method because it can get you a deal cheaper than the one that is currently cheapest among all dealers. Many people will tell you that you should just go to the location with the cheapest offer. However, if you do this you are limiting yourself in how much you can negotiate. You cannot go to the place with the cheapest offer and tell them that there are cheaper offers out there. They will know that is not the case. However, if you go to a place that is not currently offering the cheapest deal and negotiate the price down to a price below the cheapest current offer.
2. Negotiate the Price Based on the Warranty Length
One mistake many people make when they attempt to negotiate the price of a travel trailer or RV is thinking that base pricing is the only important thing to consider. Sometimes it is better to purchase a travel trailer with an increased price that has a longer warranty. A lot of the time this will save you money in the long run.
Alternatively, you can tell the dealer that you are willing to accept a lower warranty if the price reflects this change. This can be risky as you do not want to get in a situation where your trailer is damaged after warranty. However, it can be an effective way to reduce the price if that is something that is very important to you.
4. Compare the Maintenance Fees of Other Dealers
This is something that likely cannot be directly negotiated with your dealer. Maintenance fees are generally at a fixed price for an entire dealership. As a result, they do not negotiate these prices for individual sales. However, you should still investigate to see which dealers offer free or low-priced maintenance.
Maintenance fees will add up over time, especially if you are someone who plans on using your travel trailer or RV frequently. As a result, it may be better to purchase a slightly more expensive trailer from a dealer that offers free maintenance. It will hurt your bottom line initially, but after a few years you will have saved more money from maintenance fees than the extra money you spent on the trailer.
Additionally, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper base price from dealers that do not offer free maintenance. You can tell them that you will take your business to another dealer that has free maintenance if they do not reduce the price. This is a negotiating tactic that does not have a bad outcome for you. If they reduce the price, then that is great. However, if they do not reduce the price, you can still purchase the trailer from the dealer with no maintenance fees.
4. Compare the Financing of Different Dealers
For most people, purchasing a travel trailer or RV outright is not possible. The base price is simply too expensive for most people to spend that much money in one day. As a result, they need to use financing to purchase the trailer. Financing is basically like getting a mortgage on a house. You pay a percentage of the base price and then you have to make monthly payments on the vehicle. However, these payments will have an interest rate. So, you will not need to pay the price in full for 10 years, but you will pay more in the long term than you would if you bought the trailer outright.
Sometimes you can get a reduced price by comparing the financing rates of different dealers. By using this method you can save yourself money in the long and short term.
5. Purchase Your Travel Trailer from a New Business
When you shop from a dealer that has not been in business for very long, you have more power in the negotiation. This is because newer businesses are hungrier to make deals. As a result, they need to be more willing to negotiate with their customers to get more deals done. Newer businesses do not have the luxury of turning away customers. They simply do not have the money to sustain themselves without a consistent stream of customers.
With that in mind, you can negotiate the price down with newer dealers by threatening to go to a different dealer. Most of the time newer businesses will be too afraid to let your business go and they will reduce the price.
6. Ask for a Package Deal
You can also ask to have the price reduced if you purchase more than one RV or travel trailer. Now, most people do not want or need more than one travel trailer. You also probably cannot afford to purchase more than one trailer. However, what you can do is find a friend or family member that also wants to purchase a trailer and buy the two trailers in one purchase.
This way you can both get your travel trailer, and you can incentivize the dealer to reduce the prices of each trailer because they are getting to sales done at once. It is the same reason clothing stores offer two for one deals. Purchasing things in bulk is usually better for the buyer and the seller.
7. Set a Budget and Stick to It
When you set a budget for yourself you should stick to it. There is a reason you picked a particular number for your budget and going over that number is usually a bad idea. However, that does not mean that you need to only shop for RVs or travel trailers in that price range. You can use your budget to negotiate with the dealer.
In fact, it is a good idea to look at more expensive trailers when you have a budget. Then when you find one you like tell the dealer that you like it, but it is over your budget. The dealer will know that they can get you to purchase the trailer if they drop the price and a lot of the time, they will do just that. Obviously, you cannot do this with a trailer that is way outside your price range as dealers will only reduce the price so much. However, if you do this with trailers that are only a little over your budget, you can save yourself some money.
8. Tell the Dealer that You Need to Think About It
Telling your dealer that you need to think about an offer they made to you is something they hate to hear. They want to sell you the travel trailer before you leave the dealership. As a result, hearing that you want to go home and think about things is a disaster scenario for them. In their mind, this means that you will consider purchasing a trailer from a competitor. So, if you tell them that you want to think about it, they might reduce the price to get you to make a purchase on the spot.
9. Tell the Dealer You are Waiting for the New Year Models
These are words that give RV and travel trailer dealers nightmares. A big problem for trailer dealers is selling merchandise during the fall and winter months. Most people are not interested in making purchases during this time because they only want to use their RV or travel trailer during the summer. However, if you go to a dealer during these months you can usually get the price reduced.
You can do this because dealers are making fewer sales during these months. Since there is a lower demand for RVs and travel trailers, there is a larger supply and prices will go down naturally.
This also means that dealers are more desperate to make sales during these months to reduce their losses. So, by saying that you might as well wait until the new year, the dealer might lower the price so that you purchase the travel trailer now rather than later.
10. Offer to Purchase the Travel Trailer with Cash
When you pay for your RV or travel trailer in cash, the dealer does not need to worry about losing out on money. Dealers can sometimes lose money if an RV is wrecked because the buyer will no longer be making interest payments. The dealer can repossess the RV, but it will not be worth nearly as much at this point. This is not something they need to worry about when you pay with cash. As a result, they will usually be willing to reduce the price for cash purchases.
11. Tell the Dealer that You Will Buy the Trailer Today if They Reduce the Price
This is a great method for negotiating a reduced price. Dealers want to finalize purchases the first time you enter the dealership. This is because if you leave there is a risk that you take your business to another dealer. You can use the fear of losing your business to get a cheaper price.
If you offer to make the purchase that day if the price is reduced, the dealer has a huge incentive to give you a better deal. They make their sale and there is no risk of losing your business.
12. Purchase Last Years Model
A lot of the time dealers will not reduce the price of older models for a few years. However, if you bring it up to them that it is an older model, they might be willing to give you a discount. It is standard for cars to be lower in price the older they get, the same is true for travel trailers and RVs. So, by bringing this up to dealers you can sometimes get a 10 to 15% discount.
13. Point Out Work that Needs to be Done on the RV
This is a method that you can only use if you are purchasing a used RV. However, it is one of the most effective negotiating tools you have in your arsenal. To get this method to work you will need to have a keen eye for spotting problems, and you will need to have higher than average knowledge of RVs.
When you inspect the RV, you should be looking around to try and find any problems with the RV. Then when you are done, you can bring a list of issues to the dealer and tell them how much work is going to be required to fix the RV or travel trailer. Based on the issues the trailer has, you can get usually get the price reduced a decent amount.
14. Use NadaGuides.com
NadaGuides.com is a website that gives price estimates on different RVs and tells you the best prices available for different RVs. So, when you go to a dealer and find a trailer that has a price that is higher than what is listed on Nada, you can tell the dealer.
When the dealer knows that you are an informed buyer, they will know that you are serious about making a purchase. As a result, they will likely be willing to reduce the price of the trailer to a price that is closer to what Nada recommends.
15. Tell the Dealer that You Can Get a New RV for That Price
When you are looking at used RVs, a lot of dealers will be hesitant to initially lower prices unless there is something obviously wrong with the trailer. However, if you mention to them that you can purchase a new trailer for the price, they are listing a used trailer, you can usually get them to reduce the price.
Most people are not willing to negotiate the price, so dealers can get away with listing used trailers at new prices. However, if you bring this up during negotiation, dealers will usually lower the price for you. They want to sell the trailer more than you want to purchase it, so you have the upper hand.
Start Your Next Trip After Negotiating for the Best Travel Trailer for You
After reading, we hope you have all the information you need to purchase the best travel trailer for you. Negotiating is a difficult skill to learn, but if you practice and get informed on the best negotiating tactics, you can save yourself a lot of money.
The most important thing to remember when negotiating for your travel trailer is that the dealer wants to make the sale more than you want to purchase from them. Worst case scenario for you, you just go to a different dealer or you hold off on buying a trailer for you. Worst case for them is that they lose your business entirely. As a result, many dealers will not hesitate to lower the price of travel trailers for you if you bring solid arguments to them.
Have you ever bought a travel trailer before? Do you consider yourself a good negotiator? Do you think you are ready to negotiate the price of a travel trailer for yourself now? Let us know in the comments!