If you’re even considering buying an RV, you’ve probably been doing quite a bit of research. Learning about different brands and models, deciding what size RV you really need, making a wishlist of features, looking into financing options…there’s a lot to consider!
And here’s one more thing: did you know there’s a best time to buy an RV (and a worst, of course!)?
Several factors have an impact, including the time of year, whether you’re buying new or used, and even the part of the country you’re in — and those are just a few! Let’s dive deeper into some of these things to help you decide on the best time to buy an RV at the best price and with the best selection.
How To Determine the Best Time To Buy an RV
“When is the best time to buy an RV?” is a common question. To answer that, there are several things you should consider, as well as a few questions you should ask yourself.
Shop Out of Season
RVs, like many other commodities, have peak and off-peak seasons. The peak season is late spring through summer, roughly Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, widely considered the official camping season. Not only is demand for RVs and camping equipment highest during this time because outdoor adventuring is top of mind for many people, but supply is also generally at its lowest for the same reason.
If you can wait until mid to late fall, you’ll find it’s the best time to buy an RV. You’ll have a far better selection of both new and previously-owned rigs once the camping season ends. Plus, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of physically shopping for RVs among fewer crowds and with more attentive salespeople. Prices are typically a bit lower also, as people are eager to sell before the end of the year.
At dealerships, this is because next year’s models will soon arrive. In private sales, many folks would prefer to sell their RV before preparing it for winter storage, or perhaps they have their hearts set on upgrading to a larger or newer model at the beginning of the year.
Take Advantage of Holiday Sales
Have you ever noticed there seems to be a huge influx of “blowout” sales during most major holidays? That’s not a coincidence — those sales are intended specifically to help dealerships get rid of a lot of inventory quickly.
Because of that, there’s much more room for negotiations, and salespeople generally have more leeway to offer discounts. This is also a great time to take advantage of perks like special financing options and limited-time bundles that may include things like interior upgrades, maintenance or detailing packages, and gas cards.
Keeping in line with what we just discussed about the low season being the best time to buy an RV, pay special attention to Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, and Thanksgiving weekend/Black Friday sales.
Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to attend RV shows or similar outdoor expos. And here’s a little secret: go on the last day. Salespeople often have quotas or incentives to meet, and in such a fiercely competitive environment, your odds of finding a great deal are significantly higher on the final day.
New or Used?
One of the biggest factors that will help you determine the best time to buy an RV is deciding whether you want to buy pre-owned or new.
Spring tends to be one of the best times to buy used RVs. This may be a sort of “out with the old, in with the new” spring cleaning mentality. It could also be because many people tend to make big decisions in the spring after taking a long break from RV camping during the winter. Some folks upgrade to a newer or bigger rig (or a smaller one!), while others decide that full-time RV life is no longer for them.
In the dealership world, as we’ve already touched on, fall is generally the best time to buy an RV. However, there is one notable exception: early winter is one of the best times for new models. This is because as dealerships receive more brand-new models, they’re forced to mark down the previous years in order to free up space.
Insider tip: find out if there’s a color, trim level, or even a specific feature from last year’s model that’s been discontinued. You’ll likely get an even better deal, and chances are the change is strictly cosmetic — the two model years are probably otherwise identical.
Cruise America Can Help You Decide When To Buy an RV
Regardless of where you are in the process of shopping for your RV, Cruise America can help. Lots of RV owners, including soon-to-be owners, rent one of our RVs as part of their research. This can help you decide what size RV you need, which features are important, and whether you’re cut out for RV life. So what are you waiting for? Come into one of our nearly 130 North America locations today!