You’re finally going to do it. You’re finally at a place where you can buy your first RV. But now that you’ve decided to buy, you want to make sure you do it right.
But what is the best time of year to buy an RV? Are there some days that are better than others? Here’s what you need to know to bring your RV dreams to life.
When Do RV Prices Drop?
Timing is everything when it comes to RV shopping. There are four time periods when RV prices drop.
While you could wait for the pricing planets to align–whether you’re buying a new or used RV–your personal life may require a shorter (and more predictable) timeline.
So, it’s important to recognize your individual needs.
Buy in the Off-season
The off-season is the most reliable time period to buy because it comes at the same time every year.
As the camping season winds down, fall and winter present a golden opportunity for savvy RV buyers who are looking to buy a new rig (or trade in an old one). With RV sales slowing, dealerships are more likely to offer discounts and incentives to clear their inventory and make room for next year’s models.
This makes October to January the best time of year to buy an RV.
Of course, to shop for an RV during winter also means you’ll need to be prepared for winter storage and maintenance. Before bringing your new rig home, it’s a good idea to arrange RV storage first. For all things recreational vehicle storage, check out Neighbor.
Buy Before the New Models Are Released
Knowing when manufacturers release their new models will help you predict when older models will go on sale. Unfortunately, it’s not an absolute certainty that a new model will be released every year, meaning reduced prices aren’t a guarantee.
Though the likelihood of a particular model going on sale is higher right before new releases, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go on sale.
Buy on the Last Day of an RV Show
To score a deal, consider buying on the last day of an RV show you’re attending.
Dealers and manufacturers typically use RV shows to display their best. They bring the best sellers, the brand new models, and the fan favorites. Note that this piece of advice only applies if you’re looking at a new model.
In many cases, if the RV show is a significant distance from the dealer or manufacturer, they don’t want to incur the cost of transporting their show inventory back. Frankly, they’d rather sell it.
So, buying the show model can be an easy way to get a good deal on a brand-new RV.
When attending an RV show, go ahead and scope out the one you’ve got your eye on. Make sure this RV model is the one you want. Then, on the last day of the show–when the salesmen are crossing their fingers that they don’t have to pack up these RVs and drive them back–make your deal.
Buy when Gas Prices Soar
Sure, you don’t have any control over when gas prices drop. But sales history shows that when gas prices soar, RV prices drop.
Of course, this is because people are less likely to use their gas-guzzling RVs if it costs them a fortune to drive. But because gas prices fluctuate, you can have peace of mind, knowing that gas prices will eventually drop back down–even if you choose to purchase your RV at peak gas prices.
Plus, there’s always the option of waiting to use your RV until the gas prices come back down.
The Perfect Time to Buy an RV
In a perfect world, you’ll aim to buy an RV on the last day of an RV show, right before new models are released, and when gas prices are at all-time highs. But do these three scenarios ever align naturally?
Yes, they do.
RV shows take place throughout the year, but they usually start in January and run through the summer months. So, attending a show in January, right before the launch of the new release, is a great time to buy an RV.
But there’s more to it than that…
Navigating RV Shows and Dealerships
RV shows can attract hundreds of manufacturers, dealers, and brands. With retailers flooding through the doors, you’ll have thousands of RVs to look through when attending. It’s a great way to see what’s gracing the RV market this yeart. But it can also be overwhelming.
So here’s how you avoid the overwhelm and find the best deal.
Do your own research. Before the show, check out different types of RVs online. Talk to other RVers online to get a feel for what rig fits your RV life and hone in on those RVs at the show.
Knowing what your needs are helps you stay on task, it helps the salesperson point you in the right direction.
Now, visiting an RV dealer is a widely different experience than an RV show or exhibition. It’s more laid back. With less hustle and bustle, you can take your time and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each camper.
Dealerships also have a more nuanced selection on hand. So, if you’re looking for something that’s not standard, you’re more likely to find it at a dealership than at an RV show. Another benefit of a dealership is they may also offer used RVs and accept trade-ins.
What Is the Worst Time to Buy an RV?
Truth is the “worst” time to buy a camper all depends on your perspective. But if you’re focused on getting the best bang for your buck, then spring and summer are NOT the right times to buy.
These seasons are considered peak seasons for RV shopping, as most people are in the camping mood and ready to hit the road. Dealerships and RV lots are bustling with activity, and private sellers are likely to have multiple interested buyers, making it harder to negotiate a better deal.
However, the warmer months also bring a wider selection of RVs to the market as new models are released. So if the newest features and amenities are what you’re after, then shopping in the spring and summer is actually the best time of year to buy a camper.
…Just be prepared to pay a premium for the privilege, as this is the off-season for discounts.
You’re so close to setting out on the open road of RV ownership. And now that you’ve identified the slowest months to shop for a travel trailer, purchasing your own should go off without a hitch.
May the road rise up to meet you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will RV Prices Decline in 2023?
It depends on what sector of the RV market you’re shopping for. While there seems to be a decrease in demand for Class A and Class C motorhomes, Class B camper vans are gaining rapid popularity.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Buy an RV?
For the best deals on an RV, look to buy between October and January when business is slower and dealers offer discounts and incentives.
What Are the Benefits of Attending an RV Show?
Attending an RV show provides a great opportunity to compare the latest RV models (and their features and price points). If you time it right, buying an RV from an RV show is a great way to secure a better deal.