Shopped around for new Toy Hauler today. 3 Questions...

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Ride Everything

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2006
1.  One trailer we liked had an extra water hook up for "City Water".  What exactly is this for?  Salesman kinda stumbled around a bit since he didn't really know.

2.  Some trailers come with 3,600 watt generators, some come with 4K watt generators.  In real life terms, what exactly does the 400 more give you (other than the obvious 400 watts").

3.  If one toy hauler can add roughly 2,500 pounds of cargo, and one trailer can add close to 4,000 pounds of cargo, if both trailers are essentially the same length, could you say the trailer that adds close to 4,000 pds of cargo might be equipped with a better chassis, or built better?


City water is where you hook up your incoming water when you are parked at a site with hookups.  The other water inlet, if it's a separate one would be where you fill the fresh water holding tank, which you would use while dry camping {no hookups} and the 12VDC electric pump supplies the faucets and toilet.

Genset capacity depends on what you need to provide electricity for.  You need to add up the power consumption of your air conditioner(s), microwave oven, refrigerator, TV(s)  and lighting if the trailer uses 110 VAC lighting and of course the battery charger {converter}.  The sum of all these numbers will tell you the number of watts your genset needs to deliver.

2500lbs cargo vs 4000lbs cargo rating.  You cannot assume that one will necessarily be built more robust that the other.  You need to do some close investigation, get the manufacturer's specs and climb underneath to see how things are made.  Compare the quality ratings of the tires, the suspension, the springs and the brakes.

Do not believe the salesman, because the salesman often does not know, and will tell you what you want to hear.

Why not post the make and model numbers here on the Forum, and get feedback from Forum members?
The 'other one' could also be the balck holding tank flush connection.
A salesman that doesn't know what a water hook up for "City Water" is?  ??? :-\ ???
D2 for a long time we have been questioning the knowledge of salesmen..... Looks like we should continue doing so.

Many is the time I have been in an electronics store or selected other stores, Now as it happens I'm a licensed ham radio operator (Fast approaching 40 years) and a certified electronics technician.

I will be listening to a sales man and I have to go out side,,, quickly... so I can laugh my.. you know.... off
Question:  A salesman that doesn't know what a water hook up for "City Water" is.....

Answer:    ....about par for the course.

Carl Lundquist said:
Question:  A salesman that doesn't know what a water hook up for "City Water" is.....

Answer:    ....about par for the course.  ;D

I'm finding that out quickly!  I'm also getting tired of how "our trailers are better than their trailers", and "the guy who used to work for Weekend Warrior started up his own company to build trailers the way they should be built", same story everwhere!.

The salesman told me the "City Water" was to fill grey and black water. I said, OK, why would you want to fill your gray water?  He says, take a look at those wheels!!" 

I thought looking for a new truck was tiring, I'm already sick of these guys!
The salesman told me the "City Water" was to fill grey and black water. I said, OK, why would you want to fill your gray water?? He says, take a look at those wheels!!"?

Do not do that to a salesman.? It is cruel.? ?;D?

Your conversation to a salesman should be confined to:

Where on the lot are your (kind of RVs)?? ? They usually know this.

Show me the spec sheet on this unit.? ?? ?They should have this.? Make them show it to you.?

What options are available on this unit?? ? There is bound to be an option sheet with the specs.? Make them show it to you.

What are you selling this particular unit for?? ?He should have a pretty good idea what is, or at least what they wish to they could.

Will you take $(MSRP - 30%)?   Now you are getting down to business and I will leave you here.

By the way, interesting stuff like trailer dry weight and GVWR can be found on a DOT plate on the front end of the unit, just like on your car's driver's side door post.  Use the GVWR for tow rating calculations.  Absolutely ignore any salesman chatter about towablity of your truck and a given trailer.  Make it a point of knowing your truck's maximum tow capacity going in.
35 to 40% off offer would be more appropreite  You probably cna't buy it for that but they may come closer to start with, and save some haggleing.  Also you never know there may be a special spiff on that unit and they will come down lower.  It's for sure if you  offer 18500  he's not going to say  Oh no  Sorry but you can have it for 16500 instead.  You can always come up  but he'll never go below your offer.  Remember he's high/low balling you so why not Low ball him to start with. He then knows he's got to sharpen his pencil to start with.  And remember the more you walk the lower the price will get the majority of the time.
35% - 40%?  Nice!  Now that you mention price, the unit I was interested in, was a 2006 priced about $8K below MSRP.  When I was there, he says, "please don't ask me to go lower on the price, because there's just no way!".  Then, just about 2 hours later, I get a call at home from the guy saying, "hey, if you want to throw a number out there, let me know 'cause I'll go talk to my manager".

I wonder how long the average RV salesman lasts either in the industry, or lasts at one particular company.  There has to be A LOT of turnover....
As I said, hit them extra low.  Don't worry about their feelings the most they can do is say no.  After all, RVs are like cars, there are many disdcounts on units that the public doesn 't know about.  It may b e listed as a display unit and have an extra 2 to 3K off the invoice,  may have been on the lot over 90 days and floorplan is due or a bonus put on it to get rid of it above the regular commission.  And you can bet it a so called salesman, actually they are nothing but order takers, is pushing a certain unit, that's because there is a special stiff in it for him or her. Years ago I was a sales manager for an Auto/RV dealer and went thru to whole bit many times.  People say Oh I buy a left over cause it's cheaper, yep  but playing the cards right you can buy that same unit at the beginning of the year for the same money or less because of increases throughout the year.And for these employee discounts  They are Bull pucky.  They aren't giving you anything.  There are car dealers and there auto dealerships as well as RV s store that will work with you and then there are gougers, which most are.  Finding an honest one and a true dealer is hard to find but they are their.  My theory is never buy in the AM nor the 1st of the week.  The dealer has a nut to make for the weekly expenses and until that is made you are going to pay thru the nose and dhe'll get as much as he can.  Now later in the week after the expenses are met and a good amount of profit is made-  you might, I SAID might, be able to get it  much cheaper cause he's willing to take jnust a little profit instead on needing a bunch.  Think about it, it makes sense, but always keep in mind that if it's not the price you are comfortable with, walk or run and let them do the persueing, the longer they persue the cheaper it gets, as to the more you persue and show desire the higher it stays.  I'll get off the soap box but these are facts I know work, cause been there done that and work that way myself.  Never Ever buy right off and play them instead of being played.
Thanks Shayne (and everyone else) for the advice!  I will definitely take your advice.  I've had a lot of luck getting deals in the past (so much so it drives my friends nuts on the deals I get!).  I've had a lot of luck buying the "loss leaders", i.e., "One at this price".  Heck, I bought my F-150 $21,995, with a MSRP of $31,570.  Granted they are gouging prices on American trucks, but I slept pretty well knowing I got $10K off MSRP.  Unfortunately for salesman, typically one guy will do ALL the work, get me info, tell me everything about the trailer, etc, then I'll call around and get it cheaper somewhere else.  I do feel bad because they are trying to make a living, but it's soooo hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys sometimes.  I do, however, always give the guys I spend the most time with one last stab at the deal.

Like my dad always tells some of these salesman, "look, I need my kids to go to college, not yours".
Yep  Thats the way I feel.  So you made someone work a bit or ticked someone off.  Well they sure don't have your best interests at heart.  The only thing they are interested in is money in your pocket or the credit available to you.  I feel I don't owe them a thing and I want to keep it that way.  They sure won't give you a refund after you've agreed to the price.  And as far as rebates are concerned, wait unitl you've got that great deal and then collect it after you've gotten  the big percentage off not before.  If they start talking rebates, walk, because that's the last time to talk about.  When they give you the order blank to sign,  change the figures to what you will pay and then sign it and make the sales Mgr sign it.  /Salesmans signature means nothing, not even good TP.  Has to be theSales Mgr or the owner, No one else counts.
Another thing thing you can have fun with in buying  Write right across the sales order before you sign it, especially with dealers that insist on putting their logo emblem on autos, no emblem of dealership, my fee is $1000 a month for advertising.  They will balk but inssisit, no emblem, you are not buying to advertise for them.  They'll say it'ss their vehicle before yours and it's their right.  Wrong.  Test case years ago, in Ill a guy bought a Galaxey 500 and wrote it on the order, dealer accepted the offer and still insisted on installing one. The guy wound up getting the car for free, basicly,  he accepted another car for his wife and the dealer paid the attorney fees.  Never went to court, but took about a year to settle.  I know I took the salesmanager job after it 1st came into being.
Ah, yes, the age old battle between customers and salesmen.? I've been selling luxury cars at the same dealership for 25 years.? This means I couldn't play games with customers if I wanted to and get repeat and referral business, and it means I have to know my product knowledge.?

Thus when people ask me how to buy a car I don't sell I suggest they call the dealership and pretend to have forgotten the name of the salesman they talked to, but he had been there a long time.? One of two things will happen:

1.? You'll get a salesman who has been there a long time or
2.? The receptionist will give you to the next salesman in the rotation.?

When he answers, ask him how long he's been there.? If you get the wrong answer, hang up.? Try again in a few hours.? You'll probably get a different ditsy receptionist, and maybe she'll give you a senior salesman.?

If there is no senior salesman and the dealer has been there for years, it should tell you something.? Then I suggest buying elsewhere, even if you have to fly there.? Just use this one to crawl over the vehicles of choice, etc.

And yes, I would kill for the markup in a motorhome.? Not counting unsalable slugs with huge rebates on them, the payable gross in the auto industry has been cut to the pathetic, which explains why it's so hard to find an experienced salesman.?

As far as when to buy, generally it's better at the end of the month because salesmen get volume bonuses, and if the pay plan is good, he's always 1-2 cars from the next bonus, so he has incentive to move the merchandise, and the sales manager has quotas, too.? He's the one who determines the selling price, not the salesman in most cases.? I haven't found an RV salesman who does price negotiating yet.? Managers seem to do that, as they do in some car stores.?

In the auto industry, you can spend 10 minutes on the internet and get dealer invoice, hold back, current rebate programs, etc. on any car.? I would like to find that site for motor homes.
Amen Curt  I've stating the same here for months but appearently it catches deaf ears only.  /thanks for reminding me about the rookie sales person.  Someone with 15 yr same place should know his business and usually does.  The rest are nothing but order takers.
You guys are great!  I thought I was brutal with some of these guys!  I always say, for the 10% (or less) of the people out there getting good deals, the other 90% of the customers are getting bent over!  That's why I usually don't feel sorry for the guys.  But I always give them a chance.

Do you any of you know where I can find the dealer invoice price?  I used to be able to get that for the motorcycles I've bought, but I haven't been able to find the same for autos and RV?
Which invoice you want? ?There are 2 and sometimes 3 issued? I was amazed when I was a sales mgr for an auto dealer.? I was checking in cars with the invoice, wrong, the account had another,? oops the dealer was an old time dealer and his cars were paid for with cash and all deductions when it came off the assembly line, the 3rd invoice. I found this out when the dealer got ill and his wife had me handle everything for 3 months.? How you get those?? I have no idea.? There is a dealer in OFallon ILlinois that advertises to sell a Ford for $49 over invoice.? Now if he is doing that yoiu know he is making money and that has to be a lie, cause the salesperson makes more then $49? when he sells it. So you figure. here are spiffs and dealer rebates, discounts and promotions bonuses periodicly through out the year on this car or that.? Maybe its on equipment or demo discount. Who knows, it's crazyhow me an invoice and I couldn't tell you if its right are wrong.? Depends on the dealers deal and dealings with the factory.? Yeah the all pay the same,? up front. and work their deals from that figure. The dealer in Ill couldnt sell for that figure if it were a true figure and pay the rent on the huge building in the loacation it sets in at that rater? NO WAY
Shayne said:
Which invoice you want 

I'd like to know exactly how much the dealer's in it for.  I've seen invoices for cars, etc all over the internet, but that's all BS. 

I used to be able to buy motorcycle invoices over the internet for $10 each and the facts and figures were dead on. I'd usually add in about $500 or so for their gross margin, and I'd get a great deal.  I'd love to know the dealer's break even point.
Don't work yourselves into a heart attack over it.? Here's a short history of "dealer invoice."

Back in the 60s invoice was what the dealer paid for the car.? Then 2 Chrysler dealers got seriously out of trust and ran to South America with several million of Chrysler Credit's money.? One was Art Grindle, who did particularly obnoxious TV ads and has the distinction of being the only dealer in Houston, Texas to have 2 employees shot by a customer.? This occurred after 8 hours of negotiations on a car that involved 5 hours of the customer trying to get the keys to his potential trade-in back.? They were on the roof.? After several attempts to leave, blocked by two very large employees, he shot them and left.? Despite Texas' well-known, "He needed killin'" defense, the customer was convicted.

So a two or three percent holdback was put in to keep dealers honest.? It was paid annually, then quarterly.? A dealer I worked for in the seventies used to tell me how much he looked forward to getting it because he was losing money until it arrived.? Considering our low grosses in a competitive market and his floor planning costs for 3-400 vehicles, I believed him.? Along the way other expenses were added to invoice, such as dealer advertising group fees.? If you see ads on TV saying, "See your local ..... dealer," that's what pays for it.

Then manufacturers started putting incentives into holdbacks.? Make 95% on your Customer Satisfaction surveys, and you get back X dollars a car.? This should improve dealer operations in an attempt t get high survey numbers, but many dealers cheat like crazy, so honest dealers who don't cheat are often penalized.? An audit of such surveys of one manufacturer resulted in this program being scrapped.

Another incentive would pay $400/car, but we figured it would cost $500-600/car to implement.? Too complicated to detail here.

The invoices I find on the internet are usually accurate.? If anything they're low because they don't provide adequate instructions on adding things like dealer advertising group charges.? Yes, the dealer gets money back.? Most sales people are not paid on it.? (A company president's speech recorded surreptitiously at a dealer meeting said that they were beginning a holdback program in order to lower commissions paid to salespeople of that brand, and a dealer would have to be an idiot to pay a commission on it.) On the other hand, there are charges against a car that don't show on an invoice.? A $50,000 invoice will have $250+/month in floorplan charges.? Cars have to be insured, too, while in the dealer's inventory.? Many manufacturers don't pay for dealer preparation any more (and there really are things to do to a car before delivery--lots more on a motor home I would think).? Technicians and guys who wash and wax cars have to be paid believe it or not.? Yes, some cheat, but it's hard to cheat on washing and waxing unless the customer is too visually impaired to drive.

But, you say, "I want that car that just landed, so I should be able to buy it below invoice because there's no floorplan charge."? Perhaps in a perfect world, but then the guy buying the car that's sat there for eleven months would have to pay more, and that's not going to happen.? He's going to want a big discount because it's been sitting there for eleven months.? One motor home dealer did offer me a lower price if I bought a car before it got to the dealer's lot than after it arrived, which I thought was clever marketing.

There are dealer rebates, but I usually learn about them from customers who found them on the internet before we got the memo.? Very few secrets there.

So you can search for the "real" invoice, or you can just try to get a good deal on what you're buying.? Good deals vary by market and by supply and demand.? If there's a lot full of a vehicle, you'll be able to get a lot more discount than if there's a 6 month waiting list on the vehicle even if you know the "real" invoice on the car with the waiting list.

The invoices you find on the internet or in Edmunds books aren't BS.? They're a pretty good tool for shopping.? I still want to find them for motor homes.? For that matter, I'd like to see the invoices at Sears. :)
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