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What is the dealer mark-up on RV’s?

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Dealerships add up to 50% mark-up on RVs, making it harder to find the best value for money. This give them room to negotiate price. The best time to get a deal is at end of season.

What to know when purchasing an RV:

Just like with any other vehicle, there are a few things you need to take into consideration when buying an RV.

By now you probably did research and found that it might be a tough task to take on; especially with different mark-up and selling prices.

What is the MSRP?

The retail price suggested by manufacturers range from 30% to 40% depending on where you buy.

What is your budget?

By knowing what you are willing to pay, you can save a lot of time and money!

You will be able to do research based on your budget, which makes the whole process easier.

Dealerships will ask what your budget is, what model you have in mind, and ask what kind of amenities you desire.

Discounts and deals

Do your research thoroughly, you might just find the perfect deal!

Someone you know might have seen sale adverts that you missed, or maybe bought an RV, and can equip you with more information.

The internet never disappoints; check out your local dealerships and compare prices beforehand.

Advertised price vs actual price

There might be added costs that you did not take into consideration.

Dealership fees is an expense that will be added to your final cost, make sure you know what you’ll be paying. Warranties last a few years and can be of great help if a system in your RV malfunctions. Finance charges can be a pain when you make a loan for a big sum of money; consider buying a used RV to save on additional costs.

Features and floor plans

Considering a new RV might just be a good idea compared to the older models.

Floorplanning has been improved with modern RV’s, making it even more fun to have an RV custom made.

You can easily fix or replace broken parts, whereas with older models you might not be able to find some parts due to them not being available anymore.



Attending an RV trade show can save you 25% or more

An RV with a suggested retail price of $100 000 could go for as little as $75 000 at an RV show.

These shows are a must for people who are planning to purchase an RV.

The variety at these shows can be overwhelming, so take your time and look for features you desire, instead of looking at every available RV.

An RV show is the best place to get to see all the variety of RVs available in the market and with special pricing. You should expect to get 15%-40% off the MSRP based on supply and demand, hot models will not be discounted as much.

The Deals

In an RV show put up anywhere, the greatest advantage is that you get to see all the types and models of the RVs in prevalence. There are tons and tons of different models that you will come across.

They range from a cost of 30k dollars to many millions, making it for all models available under a single roof. You can examine and test these for drives. The Sales team come up with a good discount for many of the models displayed there.

Don’t settle for a single brand all the time. Many other brands will produce good models than you expected it would have had. The only way to end up at a good model is by doing your research through the entire showroom.

If the sales team you met is a local dealer, you can have a chat with them and find if they have a store nearby. If that is a green tick for all the questions, then you will not need to worry about the warranty issues.

The RVs

Though the staff at an RV show give you a good discount, it will not be the best discount for many reasons. Visit a local store nearby and you will find that they are ready to provide a much bigger discount. You do not know the Dealer whom you meet at an RV show. This would not guarantee you anything about warranty issues for the vehicle.

If you wanted to buy an RV at a cheaper rate, then an RV show is not the place because you can find cheaper for the same models only in a local store.Select an RV model that you wanted to buy. Go through various websites on the internet that gives you a comparison between the prices of the RVs at different stores. Contact those particular dealers and ask if they could offer you a good discount. Collect the top few greatest discounts and try making deals with them by comparing their prices with the next cheaper ones. And now pick the best discount.

Don’t fall for the phrase telling ‘One time offer’. They are all marketing strategies of the salesperson to pull his customers. RV show price deals look cheaper from the outside but they are not.

You can instead explore the local stores in your town and choose the lowest price among them. You can fall for RV show price deals, but your need for warranty claims will pull you down until and unless they are verified and trusted dealers of any town in the state.


Should I negotiate with the dealership’s salesperson?

This might seem like a silly question to some, but not taking the chance to negotiate could cost you thousands, as the mark-up can be up to 50% and any dealer will rather give discounts that lose a possible sale.

MSRP and used RVs

Used recreational vehicles generally don’t come with an MSRP, but dealerships aren’t limited to MSRP’s, they can still add mark-ups.

Be careful before purchasing an RV, you might want to look at a few different options.

You will save a lot of money by researching the specific dealership you want to purchase from, reviews can help in making a final decision.

Kelly Blue Book and RVs

Kelly Blue Book is an automotive research company that is recognized as a reliable source for vehicle valuation.

While being well known for regular vehicles, and having done so in the past, the Kelly Blue Book no longer publishes listings for RVs.

Your best bet would be to make use of the multitude of available resources online on sites such as NADA or RVTrader.


I was eager to purchase – a small motorhome in the 20-25 foot range – and start enjoying weekends away and extended road trips. We spent days at the local dealerships crawling in and out of the various models, imagining ourselves hitting the open road.

The interiors were gorgeous – some had bathrooms with full showers, kitchenettes three-er stoves, co master bedrooms in the back. The amenities seemed endless. But when it came time to look at pricing sticker shock really set in.

We took notes and base MSR to final quotes were getting. On most models, we noticed a 15-20% over manufacturer’s listed retail price. For example, one 24-foothome had an MSR of $75,000 but the dealer’s ask was $89,000!

It was clear these RV dealers tacking on all kinds fees and adjustments. There were charges for freight, prep, documentation fees, and “market adjustments” of $5k more. Not mention they really pushed extended warranties and service packages too.

We realized these dealerships were out to maximize profits, layering markup on top of markup. It took serious negotiating and shopping around at several locations before we felt we found a fair price. We ended up saving $8,000 off one dealer’s initial quote!

Negotiating RV Prices

Underestimating the power of your negotiation skills is a fatal error that could cost you money, the money you could have spent on repairs, alterations, or upgrades.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you negotiate the best price for your RV:

Be prepared, you’ll need to know a bit about RVs before you can negotiate

Being “shy”, “fair” or worrying about robbing the dealer, while being admirable, won’t help your pockets.

Understand how far you can push it. Low balling will result in a negative reaction towards you and the dealer’s willingness to negotiate might dwindle or he might double back.

Let him do all the talking. If he’s talking and you’re listening, he won’t know what you are thinking. He might just drop the price to keep you interested in the buy.

Speak to the right people. Speaking to a new salesperson at a dealership or speaking to the owner of the company will have a different result. The new salesperson can’t give you 25% off, but the owner can!

Knowing when the deal just isn’t happening and walking away is sometimes the best option. Walking away might push the seller into accepting your offer.

Be friendly, yet firm. Your body language tells more about you than your words. A friendly smile is free and can save you a few hundred dollars. Being firm lets the seller knows that you know exactly what you want and won’t settle for less.

Pointing out problems you notice on the discussed RV, might sound harsh, but this will flutter the seller into doubting his price. It’s also a good indicator as to how much it will cost to return the RV to its peak condition.


Inspecting is important

When buying a used RV, you will need to check a few things, or you might just have to return it to the dealership.

Check for previous repairs made and make sure that they are fixed properly.

Water damage happens more often than you think; check carpet transitions to tiles, water consistency, and inspect gaps in seals and trim.

Make sure that cabinets stay closed and you might want to switch on the oven and fridge to be sure that you don’t buy a broken RV for the price of a new RV.

Private seller vs dealerships

You might feel more comfortable buying from a reputable dealership, some dealerships neglect the quality of their RV’s and make up for it with fancy amenities, be careful!

Manufacturers sometimes give incentives to dealerships when coaches stay on their lot for more than a year so you might just score a discount.

You might get the perfect deal when buying through a private seller, that’s where the research comes into play.

When buying through a private seller, make sure that you can collect the RV, you may just lose your money just by taking their word.

Trade-in your RV

If you own a used RV, you can always trade it in for a newer model!

Private buyers might be able to assist you with trade in’s and sometimes you can stumble upon a great deal!

Ultimately, make sure that you have discussed all your worries with the buyer or dealership.

There is a lot of options when trading in your used RV, you don’t necessarily have to trade for another RV.

What amenities do you prefer?

Modern RV’s can be custom made to your preferences; take all your ideas and dreams with you to the dealership of your choice, to discuss your exact expectations.

Manufacturers change the construction of RVs based on their customer’s feedback, making it better and better with every new release.

Older RV models all have the same construction and layout.

You can add-on any amenities of your choice, according to your budget.


  1. Cars: Dealer markups on cars can range from 5% to 15% or even more, depending on the make and model. Luxury and high-demand vehicles may have higher markups, while more common models may have lower markups.
  2. Boats: Boat dealer markups can vary widely, from as low as 10% to as high as 35% or more, depending on the type and size of the boat, as well as the manufacturer and dealership.
  3. Jet Skis: Dealer markups on personal watercraft like jet skis can vary significantly, from around 10% to 25% or more, depending on the brand, model, and dealership.

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