Ordering RV from dealer

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slam308

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I've found the perfect floor plan, (Thor 31Y), but they've only offer it for a couple years so I haven't found many used ones for sale.  I know it's normal, and expected, to haggle for price when shopping at a dealer, but what about when you're ordering a new RV from a dealer?  I figure since I'll most likely have to buy new, I might as well order it and get exactly what I want.  If that's the case, is the price still negotiable?
 
The dealer likely won't be as flexible, they have inventory they want to move before ordering especially going into winter. Just give it your best shot and see how he/she responds.
 
Most smaller dealers would rather move their inventory than do an order, but some of the big high volume guys have orders pending all the time. If so, they may substitute your specs for a similar one already on order, To them, that's about the same as selling one they have on the lot.  Some internet sales places do a lot of that (they don't really keep much inventory anyway).  You just have to shop around and see who is dealing. If you insist on buying local, the deal is whatever it is. If you don't mind traveling to get it, or waiting around awhile, you can maybe do better.

Often factory orders take 3-4 months, but we are entering the slow season so maybe not that long now.
 
When I ordered my current Tiffin, I obtained the order form from Tiffin.  I checked off all the options that I wanted and struck off those that I didn't.  Then I emailed the order form to several dealers requesting them to give me their price to order and sell it to me. 

When I selected the best dealer and price, I signed the order and gave the dealer a deposit. They place the order and quoted me a time line for delivery. This works very well for the dealer as they have no investment in the unit as the deposit is non refundable, and it's already sold so they know it won't be sitting on their lot for months waiting for a buyer.  Haggling is not necessary as you already know what you are going to pay for the unit. 

It worked way better for me than any RV I have ever bought off a dealer lot.
 
We did the same as Sarge with the only new motorhome we ever bought.  The haggling is done before the order is placed, i.e. when the dealer quotes the price for what you spec on your order.

I was a bit surprised that some dealers weren't interested in quoting on a factory delivery.  They didn't outright refuse, but they tried hard to persuade us to buy what they had, not what we wanted.  It may be more the individual sales guys than the dealer management - the sales guy is looking for this weeks commission check more than a payday 12-16 weeks in the future.  I know at the dealer where we bought, the sales commission on a special order got split between the gal who handled our order and the sales guy we initially worked with.
 
We did as Sarge outlined when we bought our previous motorhome,  Dealer quotes were all over the place, but by driving 6 hours, said about $15,000

Need not worry about warranty work either.  Most manufacturers will work with independent repair facilities.  (after all, most of the worst things happen while you are on the road, miles away from home.)
 
Thanks for all the info.  So it's more a matter of shopping for the best price than haggling back and forth.
I live in NJ (near Philly) but am willing to travel, even fly somewhere, to pick up the right coach that will fit our needs.

Wasoki said:
Need not worry about warranty work either.  Most manufacturers will work with independent repair facilities.  (after all, most of the worst things happen while you are on the road, miles away from home.)
I'm not sure what you mean by this, Wasoki.
 
I think Jim has the same belief I have. Getting a local dealer so they will do your warranty work isn?t very helpful if something happens while you are traveling. For someone who weekends, a local dealer might be more helpful, but we are just as likely to be in California or Arizona as we are in our ?home? state of Iowa. We ordered a motorhome from a volume dealer in Mississippi, and we don?t regret it. Cost savings of at least $20,000.
 
UTTransplant said:
Getting a local dealer so they will do your warranty work isn’t very helpful if something happens while you are traveling.
Okay, now I've got it.  Sometimes you have to hear things said in a slightly different way before they sink in.  This is a great point.  One of the things I kept in the back of my mind was dealing with someone local since they've said they put their buyers ahead of others in their shop scheduling.  But yes, what are the chances that the issue is going to pop up when I'm home.  It's really not as big a "plus" as I thought it was.  Certainly not enough to waste thousands of dollars, potentially.
 
Our first motorhome was a Georgetown, bought in Buffalo, NY.  Warranty work, minor adjustments, etc. were all done by an independent shop in South Bend, In.  The biggest issues under warranty were while we were non the road.

So, when you hear the warnings about local dealers not working on your rig when you didn't buy it there are not moot, but not a big issue.

I'm all for  buying local, but $15,000 worth of local support is a bit more than I wanted to contribute to the local economy....
 
A dealer offered the spec we wanted as a new order at $10k (10%) off the MRSP. (still didn't go for it though, higher spec in stock at another dealer was only $3k more.)
 
Gary RV_Wizard said:
We did the same as Sarge with the only new motorhome we ever bought.  The haggling is done before the order is placed, i.e. when the dealer quotes the price for what you spec on your order.

I was a bit surprised that some dealers weren't interested in quoting on a factory delivery.  They didn't outright refuse, but they tried hard to persuade us to buy what they had, not what we wanted.  It may be more the individual sales guys than the dealer management - the sales guy is looking for this weeks commission check more than a payday 12-16 weeks in the future.  I know at the dealer where we bought, the sales commission on a special order got split between the gal who handled our order and the sales guy we initially worked with.
It seems dealers order vehicles so they can make the quick sale, but get several of the same spec in, so then they need to offload them at the end of the year. This clogs up the makers so an individual order takes weeks. They have to shift the old stock, to fit in the new order vehicles to perpetuate the cycle. I guess the marketing people came up with this system?
 
Dealers will try to guess what is going to sell quickly and have them on hand for buyers to look at. This is especially true with towables. However, the higher end coach builders, Tiffin, Newmar, Entegra, ect don't build "spec" coaches. Everything that rolls off of their line is presold, so they don't have to care about what models are sitting around on a dealer lot. Many buyers will find something that suits their needs on the lot, while others will want it built just so.

Than at a certain point in the year the production line shifts to a new model year, and that is what is available. Dealers are then in the position of getting rid of last years models just as new models are rolling out. I bought several RV's that way, and a good deal can be had if your timing is right.
 
As Sarge says, RV manufacturers don't build on spec. They build to dealer orders only and the dealer is the one who has to speculate what will sell and how many.  The units the dealers buy for their sales lot are configured to what the dealer believes will be attractive to more buyers. About the only time the factory pre-builds is for a major RV show or to showcase new models or floor plans.
 

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