Buying a brand new RV is a big decision. Knowing how to negotiate an RV price is key!

If you’re like most people, you want to make sure you get the best price on your RV purchase.

We used this approach when we bought our new Airstream travel trailer and got a great deal.

Follow these steps on how to negotiate an RV price for the best deal, with or without a trade-in, cash, or loan.

This detailed step-by-step guide will help you be sure you’re getting the best deal on your new RV.

How to Negotiate RV Prices: Steps for Getting the Best Deal on Your New RV

  1. Decide which RV model is right for you.

    A) Visit RV shows.
    B) Visit RV dealers in your area.
    C) Rent an RV.
    D) Enroll in an RV buying course.

  2. Determine the fair market price.

    A) Discount the MSRP.
    B) Add back in the depreciation on a year old model.
    C) Review NADA Guides pricing.
    D) Search owner’s community forums.

  3. Obtain financing.

    A) Decide whether to trade in your existing RV.
    B) Get pre-approved for an RV loan.

  4. Find dealers with available RVs for sale.

    A) Decide which RV features are important to you.
    B) Search new RVs for sale online.
    C) Consider out-of-state RV dealers.

  5. Contact RV dealers.

    A) Send email.

  6. Negotiate the best price.

    A) Get comparable quotes.
    B) Send follow-up email with best dealer offer.
    C) Double check fees.

  7. Pick up your new RV!

Each of these steps is explained in detail below.

1. Decide Which RV Model is Right for You

The first step in purchasing a new RV is to decide which RV is right for you.

There are many options, from luxurious Class A motorhomes to tiny teardrop trailers. Deciding which one fits your budget and desires can be fun.

Visit RV Shows

Florida RV SuperShow
Florida RV SuperShow (FRVTA)

As a starting point, visit RV shows in your area to see all the new units available.

Visiting an RV show is a great, no pressure way to get the lay of the land, so to speak.

Dealers bring all different types of RVs at various price points. You can walk through all of them to compare styles, features, prices, and more.

It’s a great starting point for both experienced RV’ers and newbies to the RV world.

Visit RV Dealers in Your Area

Once you’ve narrowed your list of possibilities, your next stop should be to local RV dealers. To find RV dealers in your area, see our post about 7 searchable RV dealer directories.

If you’re looking to buy a drivable RV like a Class A or Class C, you can get behind the wheel. Test drive a few models to see which you like best.

Don’t feel pressured into a sale. You’re just exploring new units to find what you like best. We’ll get to how to negotiate the RV price later.

Rent an RV

Another step you can take is to rent a similar RV model from or

These services let owners rent directly to people for a short period of time. It’s kind of like an Airbnb for RVs.

Renting a similar RV to your interest lets you experience living in it for days. This comes without sales pressure.

There’s really no better way to decide if a particular RV is right for you.

Prices start at about $40/night for a small trailer and up for large luxury coaches. (See this post about how much it costs to rent an RV for a week.)

Enroll in an RV Buying Course

Enlisting help from the pros is another great way to decide what RV to buy and learn the purchase process steps.

We recommend RV Education 101’s videos and courses. They cover important aspects of RV buying and ownership, taught by experienced salespeople and technicians.

The How to Buy the Right RV & Save Thousands Video Training Program is an excellent investment in understanding the RV purchase process.

RV veteran Mark Polk has over 20 years of industry experience, including roles as a salesperson, sales manager, and finance and insurance manager. He guides you through the purchase process, helping you make the right decision and save money. You will learn directly from him about the best way to negotiate an RV price.

Buying an RV course

2. Determine the Fair Market Price

The next step in buying a new RV is to find the actual market price for the model you want.

Buying a new RV is different from buying a new car. Many people use the dealer invoice price when buying a new car to determine what is a fair price to pay, which is different from when negotiating an RV price.

In the RV world, the dealer invoice price information is much harder to come by. Plus there are manufacturer’s incentives, financing incentives, and other factors that affect an RV dealer’s price.

Hence a little creativity is needed to be able to determine what the market value is for a new RV. Here are several approaches you can use to find a fair price:

Discount the MSRP

When buying a brand new RV, never expect to pay the full Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

By some estimates, dealer profits can range from 15-35% of the MSRP. You should expect a significant discount from this sticker price.

More expensive RVs, such as large luxury Class A motorhomes, tend to have the highest profit margin for dealers. Smaller, less expensive travel trailers have lower profit margins, meaning less room to negotiate on price.

A good rule for an average RV is to expect about 20-25% off the MSRP sticker price for a new one. This is key in understanding how to negotiate an RV’s price.

Add Back in Depreciation on a Year Old Model

Another option to find a fair price for a new RV is to add the depreciation of a one-year-old model from the used market.

In this way, you can determine approximately what people pay for a new RV of the same model.

Go to (or similar RV used market such as and do a search for the particular model you’re interested in.

RV Trader

Be sure to look for one year old, USED models. If you search for all models, RV Trader will list new models as well, which will skew the price results.

Some dealers will likely still have last year’s models on their lots. These might be good deals, but their price doesn’t help calculate depreciation to find a new unit’s fair market value. Don’t use those for your calculation on how to negotiate an RV price.

2018 Winnebago Example

In this example, we search for a used 2018 Winnebago View 24G with two slideouts and get four results for sale on RV Trader.

Winnebago View 24G search results

The four used Winnebago Class C RVs of this model and trim level have very similar prices, as expected. There are four for sale:

  • $99,995 with 23,914 miles
  • $98,500 with 6,700 miles
  • $95,500 with 5,420 miles
  • $89,995 with 12,000 miles

There’s a $10,000 difference in price between the most expensive and least expensive models for sale.

These prices may be due to different features that are installed on the units. At a high level view, we can say that, on average, a year old 2018 Winnebago View 24G costs about $96,000.

If the first year’s depreciation for an RV is 20-25%, we can calculate the approximate price of a new model. Take $96,000 and divide it by 75% to get an average new price:

$96,000/0.75 = $128,000

This leaves us with an approximate purchase price of $128,000 for a new 2018 Winnebago View 24G. This gives us a good starting point in knowing the value for how to negotiate the RV price.

Review NADA Guides Pricing

Reviewing the NADA Guides for the model you’re interested in is another way to find a new RV’s approximate sales price.

NADA Guides are akin to the Kelley Blue Book values for passenger vehicles that provide estimated values of new and used cars.

The NADA Guides are useful but face criticism for estimating values not based on actual sales data, unlike Kelley Blue Book car data.

Instead the NADA Guides pricing estimates are based on average depreciated values. With that said, it still serves as useful resource for people in the market for a new or used RV.

On the NADA Guides webpage, click “Start Here” and then do a search for the exact RV model of interest.

2018 Winnebago Example

In this case, we search for a 2018 Winnebago View 24G. Select the “base pricing” model without any upgrades as a starting point.

NADA Guides provides details on the Suggested List Price (i.e. MSRP), low retail price, and average retail price.

We see that the MSRP is $158,731. It has a low retail price of $85,700 and an average retail price of $103,250.

NADA Guides 2018 Winnebago View 24G prices

The RV Trader prices for used 2018 models fall within the price range provided by the NADA Guides. The average value from RV Trader for a used model was $96,000. This is about $7,000 less than the average retail value provided on the NADA Guides website.

The NADA Guides website, while not perfect, offers a quick way to get a ballpark estimate of new RV prices. This information is very helpful in knowing how to negotiate RV prices.

It’s also great for finding the original MSRP of RVs when shopping for a used one. (We used the NADA Guides to estimate depreciation of RVs.)

Search Owner’s Community Forums

Brand-specific owner’s forums online are often under-used for finding prices paid at dealers for new RVs.

These are online communities where RV owners of different manufacturers and models communicate with one another.

They provide tips and are incredibly valuable, relatively unbiased sources of information. They are usually not affiliated in any way with the original manufacturer (besides being made up of owners who bought RVs from that manufacturer).

Many (if not most) of these groups are open to anyone to view online discussions. Anyone can also search for particular topics of interest. (See this post that provides listings of the RV owners groups by brand / make of RV.)

Find these groups by using the listing linked above. You can also do a search on Google or Facebook for your particular RV model of interest.

Winnebago Example

To find a Winnebago group, I did a search on Google for the keywords “Winnebago owners forum.” It came up with the following results:

Winnebago owners forum search results on Google

There are several Winnebago RV forums of interest to Winnebago owners. I selected the first search result and go to the Winnie Owners forum.

Most of these owners forums will have some sort of search feature. The red arrow indicates the search box in the screen capture below.

Winnebago owners forum webpage

If you do a simple search for the text “discount” in the search box, you’ll likely get some very useful results related to the prices people paid for new Winnebago RVs. People can be really forthcoming in their experiences which can help you negotiate the best RV price.

Type in “discount” (without the quotes) and hit “search.” Whichever RV owners forum you use will likely have a similar approach to this one.

I obtain the following search results. Coincidentally, one of the search results at the bottom has to do with someone looking for information on average price discounts on Winnebago Views.

You could tailor your search to specific models such as the View for a more precise search result.

Winnebago forum discussion on discounts

In this case, the person on the forum responds to the question of what Winnebago View owners received for a discount off of the MSRP.

There are several very useful comments from Winnebago owners. One, in particular, seems right on target. It says that buyers can expect to receive about 23-27% off the MSRP on a new Winnebago View.

27% discount on winnebago

This is right in line with what we assumed of a 25% discount in our other calculations above about finding an average sales price based on MSRP.

They also provide some suggestions on RV dealers to work with to negotiate the RV price and get the best deal on a new Winnebago.

These owner forums are hugely valuable sources of information for anyone looking to buy a new RV. The topic of pricing is very common among the different RV owners forums.

For example, here are links to discussions about MSRP discounts for new RVs for each of the following RV manufacturers:

These are just examples of pricing discussions available online. There are many groups available, and you’re likely going to find an owners forum group to help answer your question.

If there’s not already a question with a bunch of responses about pricing discounts, you can join the forum and ask the question yourself.

In addition to using Google to search for owners forums, you can also search Facebook Groups as there are many on Facebook as well.

However, I’ve found that many of these tend to be closed groups so you have to join the group first before you can view posts by its members.

If you’re just in the search process right now, you may not be ready to join a group. In this case, searching groups open on Google may be your best bet.

3. Obtain Financing

Before you reach out to dealers about pricing, you’re going to want to get your finances in order.

This includes deciding what to do with your existing RV, if you have one. It also includes getting pre-approved for a new RV loan if you’re going to need financing.

Decide Whether to Trade-In Your Existing RV

If you have an existing RV, you’re going to need to decide whether to keep it or sell it.

If you are planning to sell it, you can either sell it on the open market as a used RV or you can trade it in with the dealer when you purchase your new RV.

You’ll get the best price for your used RV if you decide to sell it yourself. For many people, the time and hassle of selling it yourself may not be worth it.

1967 Winnebago
1967 Winnebago (Source: RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum)

If you decide to trade in your RV, the dealer will probably give the NADA wholesale value of your used RV. This is roughly 50% of the NADA average retail value for most RVs.

If you’ve upgraded your RV with any new features such as solar, extra batteries, etc, the dealer will not give you any extra value on your trade-in for these, unfortunately.

You’re going to be offered the low-ball NADA wholesale value. It will be less than you can get on the open market.

Dealers will definitely take into consideration whether you have a trade-in when you are negotiating the price of your new RV.

A general rule is that you can get a good price on your trade-in and a lower discount on your new RV.

Or, you can get a lower price on your trade-in and a higher discount on your new RV. Either way you’ll probably come out about the same overall.

Get Pre-Approved for an RV Loan

Before you start price discussions with an RV dealer, you need to be sure you qualify for an RV loan unless you’re paying cash for your new RV.

While RV dealers will usually have a financing department that can help obtain financing, you’re less likely to get as good of an interest rate as you could do on your own at a bank or other lending institution.

Plus you want to be sure that you will be approved for financing before you spend time negotiating the RV price.

Class C motorhomes
Class C motorhomes (Pixabay)

Another benefit of having financing in advance is that you can truly compare the prices that RV dealers are offering you.

If you have to factor in the price of the RV loan from their financing department with varying fees from dealer to dealer, it can complicate your assessment of which is the best deal overall.

Dealers also know that RV buyers who come with financing in hand are serious buyers and not just tire kickers out for a Saturday afternoon. They’ll take you more seriously and compete for your business.

RVs are special vehicles and not all banks or lenders provide RV financing. Finding the right lender can be a little more complicated than searching for a regular auto loan.

We like LightStream (a division of SunTrust Bank) for financing new and used RVs.

Their rates, fees and process are all clearly explained up front. Plus they guarantee that they’ll beat any rate that other lenders quote, so you really can’t go wrong.

If you go to an RV dealer with your financing in hand, it will make your negotiations with RV dealers so much simpler and straightforward.

You’ll be able to compare the final price offered by dealers without worrying about interest rates, financing fees, and other loan considerations. It will help level the playing field for when you are negotiating an RV’s price.

4. Find Dealers with Available RVs for Sale

Now that you’ve got through steps 1 through 3 above, you know which RV model you want to buy and you know what you should expect to pay for it.

You also have financing in hand. Your next step is to find dealers who have available models for sale.

Decide Which RV Features are Important to You

Be sure you know which layout of the RV model you’re looking for, so you can search for the exact model you want.

For example, you’re going to want to know exactly which floor plan you’re interested in as each year’s model typically as several different floor plans to choose from.

You should know this from completing step 1 above in which you may have visited RV shows, RV dealers, and perhaps even rented an RV.

Another obvious source of information is the RV dealer’s website. 

Continuing with our Winnebago example, we’d need to know which floor plan we would like, what fabric colors we want, which exterior color we’d like, and any upgrades we may desire.

Winnebago View floor plans

Once you know which options you’re set on and which you don’t really care about, you can start your search for available RVs for sale at dealers.

The more flexibility you have with respect to color choices, etc, the better you’re going to be able to get the best price on a new RV.

Search New RVs for Sale Online

The next step in negotiating the best RV price is to find RV dealers with the model and features you would like.

You can do a search on RV Trader or other similar websites to find RV dealers with your model on their lot.

At this point, do not restrict your search by geographic location, but search for all RV dealers across the country with your particular model in stock. (You will use their prices as leverage in your RV price negotiations later.)

In addition to searching on RV Trader, you can also search some of the bigger RV dealers that are known for providing good deals.

Some good options for dealers with low starting points for RVs include:

There are other dealers with great, low pricing points, but it depends on the particular RV brand that you’re interested in purchasing.

Check in with the owners forums (as we explained above when searching for typical MSRP discounts).

Many of the discussions will include details about which RV dealers will offer the best price on a particular brand of RV.

You will find that some dealers list only the MSRP, which can be annoying when you’re searching for the best price as you know you’ll get a good discount off that price.

You’ll also find some dealers who won’t list the price at all, but instead say to call them for the best price. This can also be frustrating to people searching online.

For example, the two listings below are for the same model trailer with one dealer providing their starting price and the second requiring you to request a price from them to even start price discussions.

RV Trader listing with “Request Price” for new 2019 Crossroads trailer

The dealers that you’re likely going to want to deal with first are the ones who list new RV prices already at a good discount off the MSRP. These are the dealers who may give you the best deal on your next RV and are least likely to play games in RV price negotiations.

One thing to note is that some RV manufacturers won’t allow dealers to list prices below the MSRP.

If that’s the case, then all dealers will have the MSRP listed as the price for that particular make and model.

But if there are some dealers that list a price lower than the MSRP and some dealers list only the MSRP or say to call them for the best price, you’re likely going to have an easier time getting the best price from the dealers who already list a low starting price to begin price negotiations.

Consider Out-Of-State RV Dealers

Be sure to consider out-of-state RV dealers when you’re looking for your next RV.

We ended up purchasing our new Airstream from RV One Superstores which meant we had to drive from Atlanta to Tampa to pick it up.

The savings we realized on the purchase price made it definitely worthwhile. Plus we got to spend some time at the beach in our new Airstream!

Some RV dealers will deliver your RV to your home for a fee. Their deal may be so good that even paying the fee for delivery keeps the price lower than other dealers in your immediate area.

So be sure to consider out-of-state dealers in your search.

For example, RV One Superstores will deliver to you at a cost of $1.75/mile if you cannot pick up your new RV.

Your vehicle can be delivered directly to your home or desired location. We will deliver the vehicle clean and demonstrate all the features of the vehicle to you upon arrival. This option of delivery costs $1.75 per mile from the factory (minimum $650). When we deliver the vehicle to you, the cost does not include setting up or leveling the unit at the site. This can be arranged, but will be charged accordingly.

RV One Superstores

Sometimes dealers will sweeten the deal by providing airline tickets for you to come pick up your new RV and drive it home.

This may be an option to consider, especially as you can try out your new RV on the drive back to your home state.

Airstream by the water
Airstream by the water (sdnet01 | Pixabay)

Most states have what’s called “tax reciprocal agreements” with one another that makes it easy to purchase a vehicle in a different state.

These reciprocity agreements make it so that you don’t have to pay sales tax twice. You’ll want to discuss this with the RV dealer before you finalize the purchase with an out-of-state dealer.

5. Contact RV Dealers

Now you’re ready to contact RV dealers with your particular model in stock. Most ads will include a phone number and an email address.

Develop a standard email that you can send to the dealers you’ve identified.

State which model you’re interested in purchasing. Be sure to state whether you require any particular floor plans, colors, upgrades, etc as the dealer may have multiple available units on their lots.

Say that you are contacting multiple dealers with this particular RV in stock, and are looking for the best price.

The dealer who can offer you the best price will earn your business. Be sure to mention that you already have financing in place. Do not mention anything about a trade-in at this point.

Sample Email

Your sample email could look something like this:

I am interested in purchasing a new 2019 Crossroads Sunset Trail Super Lite SS331BH. I am contacting multiple dealers to find the best price. I already have financing in place so will not require in-house financing. Can you please let me know what your best price is for this model?

At this point dealers will respond to your email and the price negotiations can begin!

6. Negotiate the Best Price

Feel Good about Negotiating the Best Price

First and foremost, getting the best deal is your best interest.

Despite what RV sales people may say about causing them to lose money or other shady sales tactics, they’re also looking out for their best interests and are not going to sell you an RV at a price that makes them lose money or puts them out of business.

They do not have to sell you an RV at a price you request. This is all a part of learning how to negotiate an RV price.

Nor do you have to purchase an RV at a price that gives them a really high profit. It’s a negotiation in which you both consider your own interests and come to a mutually agreeable price that works for the both of you.

Open road
On the open road (12019 | Pixabay)

If you both agree that it’s good for you, then the sale proceeds. If it doesn’t work for one of you, then the sale does not go through. No one is forcing either of you to go through with the transaction.

It’s pretty simple and needs to be thought of with a level head so that your emotions do not get the best of you when making such a large purchase.

Get Comparable Quotes

Once you get responses to your initial email from dealers, you’ll likely see different sales strategies at play.

Some dealers will immediately drop their price by a large percentage off the advertised price as they know how this sales tactic works. They’ll know they have to compete for your business and will start doing that right away.

Other dealers will ask you to call them to discuss best price.

You can choose to do this if you like, but my preferred method is to respond saying that you’re looking to get quotes in writing from dealers and that they should send you their offer in response to your email.

Most dealers can easily send out a quick update with a quote from their online inventory systems.

Dealers may also ask if you have a trade-in.

If you do, state that you have one but you’re not sure yet whether you’re going to sell it yourself or trade it in. Reiterate that you’re simply looking for the best price on your new RV and will deal with your potential trade-in later.

Requiring dealers to send you quotes via email helps ensure that you’re able to compare the features available on each RV. That way you can make sure you’re comparing similar RVs available at multiple dealers.

Send Follow-Up Email with the Best Dealer Offer

The next step is to send a follow-up email to all of the dealers and say you’ve received a lower quote of $X amount.

Reiterate that you’re interested in getting the best price. Ask if they can beat this price and what their best quote is.

Camping on the beach
Camping on the beach (paulbr75 | Pixabay)

At this point, several dealers may drop out and won’t respond. That’s okay. The dealers who truly want your business will provide you with an updated quote.

Don’t feel bad about asking for the best price and updated quotes. This is their day-to-day business, and an important step for you in knowing how to negotiate an RV price.

You’re taking only minutes out of a sales person’s day, and they are very used to this tactic with the advent of the Internet and Internet sales departments at RV dealers.

Further, the time they are spending with you on updating their price quotes is a whole lot less than they’d typically spend with a person walking through several units on their lot. This process is way faster for the sales people.

You may need to go through several iterations of this process to end up with your best offer, but when you do, it’s going to be somewhere in the range of 15-35% off the original MSRP.

Double Check Fees

Be sure to double check your final invoice for any fees that may get added in at the last minute.

Some dealers will add in dealer prep fees to your original quoted price. Be sure these are removed from your quote, unless you’ve already factored them in.

Ready for adventure
Ready for adventure (gaveinseim | Pixabay)

One final note is to be sure to check out the dealer on the Better Business Bureau website to make sure you’re not in for any surprises.

Most dealers are reputable, but you don’t want to risk dealing with a shady dealer for such a large purchase.

Other RV Buying Tips

If you’ve followed the steps outlined above, you’ve likely received a fantastic deal on your new RV. Congratulations!

Here are some additional tips that may help you find the best deal.

Buy at the End of the Year

Timing your RV purchase may help you get a better price.

For example, November and December are slow months for RV dealers. With the holidays and cold weather, most people are focused on other things than purchasing an RV.

Things start to gear back up after the holidays, which is why you see a flurry of RV shows starting in January through early spring months.

Find RVs that Have Been Sitting on the Dealer’s Lot

A little known fact is that most RV dealers do not own their RV inventory on the lot.

They finance the RVs so an RV sitting on the lot is indeed costing them money. The longer it sits, the less money they make.

If you can find an RV that has been on the lot for a while, you’re likely to have more negotiating power.

This also helps explain why it’s in your interest to purchase last year’s model for new RVs as the dealer is paying interest on that particular RV longer than the new year’s model.

Consider Buying at an RV Show

Some people swear that you can get the best deal at RV shows for new RVs.

The thinking is that RV dealers want to sell the most RV units at RV shows for bragging rights as well as because they don’t want to have to drive an RV sometimes hundreds, or even thousands, of miles home back to their dealership.

However, after going to many RV shows, I can attest to seeing RVs being accidentally damaged by visitors at RV shows.

With so many people poking and prodding at model RVs, they can take a beating. This can also happen at RV dealerships, so wherever you choose to purchase your RV, be sure to do a thorough inspection to make sure nothing is damaged.

RV headed into the mountains
RV headed into the mountains (MemoryCatcher | Pixabay)

At the Tampa RV show (one of the largest in the country), we saw several RVs that were basically falling apart by the end of the show.

The manufacturer’s name will remain quiet for now, but we were shocked that they were still showing people these RVs as model units.

If they can’t handle an RV show, what are they going to be like after a few years of bumping down the road?

Others say getting the best deal at an RV show is a myth and that you can negotiate the best RV price if you use the approaches outlined in this post, which is what I believe to be true.

Don’t Fall for Sales Tactic of Saying They Won’t Service Your RV If You Don’t Buy From Them

One sales tactic some RV sales people will use is saying that they won’t service your RV in their service department if your don’t purchase your RV from them. Or they’ll say that you will get first in line in their service department if you do buy from them.

Don’t fall for this. It’s generally not true for many reasons.

RV dealers have arrangements with RV manufacturers to do warranty work and they get paid by the manufacturer for this work. They’re not going to turn you down simply because you didn’t buy from them.

Another reality is that the sales department and the service department are generally disconnected from one another at a dealer.

Your sales person isn’t going to help you get your RV in to be serviced quicker than the RV that was bought across the country.


Hopefully by following this RV buying process, you are able to get an outstanding deal on your new RV.

We used this process to buy our Airstream and are confident we got a great price.

Do you know of other approaches on how best to negotiate an RV price? Please be sure to add a comment below.