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Clever Ways to Save Money on an RV

With the surge in RV purchases over the past decade, it is quite clear that people of all ages are finding pleasure in the joys of RV ownership. Whether you are a newbie to the world of recreational vehicle ownership or a veteran, saving money on this avocation is always a gratifying experience.

One important rule of thumb for every RV enthusiast is to be certain that you are purchasing the right vehicle for your needs from the start. According to RV Masters, the number one mistake people make is getting caught up in the excitement of their first RV dealership visit. This results in their buying a vehicle prematurely and without a clear understanding of their unique lifestyle needs.

The best way to make the right purchase the first time is to do research with a great deal of focus on how you will be using your RV and which features and qualities will serve you and your family best. In the end, it will help you save money and avoid disappointment. Here are three ways to save money on an RV:

1.  Be Ready to Negotiate the Best Price

Whether you are buying a Motorhome, Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheel, or other RV model, it’s important to note that recreational vehicles are often marked up as much as 40 percent. This is a key piece of information to bear in mind when working with an RV dealer. “Start your negotiation by asking the dealer if you can see the manufacturer’s invoice and bargain up from there,” states Steven Fletcher from RVBasics.com. Mr. Fletcher goes on to advise that if the dealer refuses to show you the invoice, you can do your own due diligence by checking into the NADA Recreational Vehicle Price Guide. Here you will find the suggested retail price, and by deducting 40 percent you can ascertain the price the dealer paid for it. Armed with this information, you’ll be better positioned to get the best price for yourself.

2. Know the Different RV Financing Options

The price of recreational vehicles can range anywhere from $60,000 on the low end, all the way up to $1million. Most buyers will require some sort of financing in order to make their dream of owning an RV a reality. Like any loan, there are a few important factors to be aware of in order to make the most economically sound decision on which route to go.

The cost of the loan, meaning the interest that is charged to borrow the money, can vary from lender to lender, so it’s important to shop around to see where you can secure the best rate. Dealers will often offer financing, as do banks, credit unions, and online lenders; all of which are viable options for securing a loan.

Similar to auto loans, an RV loan uses the vehicle as collateral to guarantee the loan rather than offering up an asset or property as collateral.  Such “unsecured” loans are a riskier proposition for the lender and often result in higher interest rates, so know what loan possibilities are available to you. Getting the best rate can make a significant difference in your monthly payment and save you money. Additionally, if you are looking to save more money, you may opt to make a larger down payment to reduce your monthly fees and pay less interest in the long-run.

3. Purchase an Extended RV Warranty

Owning an RV is not an inexpensive proposition depending on the make, model, and type of vehicle you purchase. One of the most sensible things you can do to save money on your RV, whether you are a new owner or a long-time owner, is to purchase an extended warranty service plan. According to America’s RV Warranty, one of the foremost RV extended warranty companies, “When RVs break down, repairs are expensive. Extended warranties protect RV owners from unexpected repair costs and provide peace of mind.”

Securing a plan with a reliable warranty provider will save you money in the long run if it includes things like roadside assistance at no extra charge and allows you to use any repair facility in the United States or Canada, and pay the facility directly. Getting claims paid quickly is key to cost-savings if an unforeseen accident or breakdown occurs, so be sure the RV extended warranty company chosen offers plans that are backed by an A-rated insurance company.

Jennifer Holland

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