Owning an RV can give you the freedom to travel. With your house on wheels, you can take off for an extended vacation at a moment’s notice. Your RV will allow you to see all areas of the country, often staying in beautiful, rustic campgrounds. You’ll also have the convenience of some of the comforts you enjoy at home.

Buying from a dealer requires careful research of the offerings in your area. Like car dealerships, RV dealerships vary in their customer service, financing, and selection of available vehicles. Do your research before making a purchase. Check dealerships with the Better Business Bureau to make sure you don’t choose a dealership that has customer complaints. Approximately 2,500 established dealerships of various sizes exist throughout the country, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs. Large dealers often have the ability to offer a broad line of products and high-quality repair centers. Smaller distributors can compensate for a less extensive product line by offering strong customer service.

It is possible to finance an RV directly from the dealer. You can also arrange financing through a third party, as you may find better terms using independent financing. Dealers typically offer financing terms for a period of 10 to 15 years. Some consumers sell a home to purchase a recreational vehicle, making the purchase without financing possible. These loans have stricter requirements than regular auto loans, requiring a down payment of up to 10 percent and two years of income tax information to verify earnings.

RV dealers set prices using manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. Dealers mark up MSRP prices between 15 and 35 percent, depending on individual policies. Dealers can also add incentives to a purchase, such as year-end model support.

Evaluate and analyze the RV dealerships service department to ensure that you will receive high-quality service after your purchase. Some dealerships prioritize customer service and provide extensive support after a sale, while others don’t provide the same level of service. See the service manager of any dealership for information on after-sales service. If possible, ask for references that will allow you to speak to other clients.

Your purchasing options include special ordering a new vehicle, buying from the dealer lot without trade-in, or buying from the trade-in lot. To purchase an RV without a trade-in, your purchase options will include whatever is currently available on the dealer’s lot. Many RV dealers do not keep large inventories of the vehicles on hand due to the high cost of inventory, so the selection may not be extensive. If you have an RV to trade in, learn both the actual value and the retail value of your model before initiating a transaction. Once you know these values, you’ll be ready to negotiate an exchange price for an RV on a dealer’s lot.

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