Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

From Dealer Joe or John Doe? Where will you get your Next RV?

Courtesy of NadaGuides

NADA GuidesIf you’re in the market to buy a recreation vehicle but aren’t sure if buying from a dealer or a private party is right for you, the experts at – the nation’s leading RV pricing and information website – offer the following advice.

New or Used – That is the Question.
“When it comes to buying an RV, you need to do your homework,” said Lenny Sims, Vice President of Operations at [link to:]. “And a big part of that homework is determining whether a new or pre-owned recreation vehicle is right for you.”
According to Sims, there are certain advantages for buying BOTH, but the biggest and most important question is what ARE those advantages and how do you make a decision that’s right for you over the ‘long haul?’
“A new RV is just that – it’s new,” said Sims, “and there’s a certain peace of mind that comes with buying new. It’s never been driven, it’s never been ‘lived-in’, none of the optional equipment has been used. But with that peace of mind comes a higher price tag.”
Sims says if you’re a price-conscious shopper who doesn’t require brand-new-RV-peace-of-mind, there are plenty of great nearly new RV deals out there – good quality, affordable pre-owned RVs – and even older models that have been properly maintained, with plenty of travel-life left.
“You can find a huge variety of pre-owned recreation vehicles on the market,” said Sims, “and many of those are in great shape at a great price. At, we offer access to used RV inventory, with this feature, you can search thousands of pre-owned RVs conveniently and easily.”

Financing 101.
You’ve done your homework and you know what you want. Next up? Determining where you’ll buy that RV. If you can’t afford to pay cash, you’ll need to secure a loan, no matter whether you’re buying new or used. You also need to understand that loan programs – or financing options for a new or used RV – vary greatly depending on whether you secure financing through a dealer or whether you solicit the help of an independent lending company.“Most dealers can secure on-the-spot financing for you with banks that specialize in RV financing,” said Sims. “And dealers are highly experienced with the lending process, so relying on their expertise and their assistance can make the entire process simpler and more convenient.”
According to Sims, there are other advantages to securing financing through the dealer, including the actual loan terms themselves.
“Because dealers utilize banks or lending companies that specialize in RV loans, oftentimes the loan terms are more attractive for RV buyers, including lower down payments, lower monthly payments and in many cases, more flexibility when it comes to actually qualifying for a loan in the first place.”
However, Sims warns that a buyer’s own personal situation (including their credit profile) as well as the age, type and overall purchase price of the recreation vehicle they’re buying, are factors that weigh heavily in determining the type of loan a bank will approve.
“If you have less-than-perfect credit, you need to be realistic with yourself and the dealer,” said Sims. “Dealers will work with you to secure a loan in any way they can, but your credit history is one of the single most important factors in determining the type of financing you’ll qualify for. Know that going in.” “No matter what you’re buying – new or used – there are a variety of financing options available. Look around to find the program that’s right for you.”

Service with a Smile.
When it comes to RVs, service is extremely important. Not only will your recreation vehicle require regular maintenance to keep it running properly, there’s a chance it might need major repairs down the road (or on the road, for that matter). Sims urges buyers to carefully consider the subjects of service and repair BEFORE they buy. “When I buy an new RV from a dealer, I’m buying an RV with a warranty – a guarantee that says ‘if this RV breaks down or has mechanical problems, it’s covered,” said Sims. “I buy an RV from a private party and I don’t get that guarantee, at least, not at the point of purchase.”
“Owning a used RV can be an expensive proposition no matter how you slice it – whether you buy from a dealer or a private party,” said Sims, “so having a great-quality service plan in place to protect against breakdowns and other mechanical problems is extremely smart, whether you get that guarantee from the dealer or whether you get that guarantee from an independent warranty company.”

The Price is Right?
According to Sims, when it comes to buying a new RV, price is fairly consitant – even though MSRP may vary slightly from region to region or from dealer to dealer. “There may be slight variations in MSRP depending on where you live or how motivated the dealer is to move units,” said Sims, “but for the most part, you’re not going to see huge fluctuations in price.”
On the other hand, Sims says that pricing for pre-owned RVs – RVs offered for sale by dealers or private parties – can vary greatly no matter where you live. “The bottom line is, you need to research the fair market value of any pre-owned RV to be sure the asking price is fair,” said Sims, “and you have to use information that’s realistic and accurate.”
Sims says that not only has has been publishing RV pricing information and specifications for over 35 years, its editors have access to the most comprehensive database of sales data and pricing statistics on the market – a competitive advantage that helps the company publish the most accurate information on the market.
“Not only are we the most accurate, we’re the most comprehensive,” said Sims. “We offer pre-owned pricing information for 19 model years – from 1975 to 2012 – for truck campers, camping trailers, motor homes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, park models…even heavy-duty tow vehicles.”
Sims urges buyers of used RVs to do their homework at ahead of time, before signing on the dotted line – whether they’re buying from Dealer Joe or John Doe.
“Information is power,” said Sims. “The more information you can prepare yourself with and the better that information it is – the wiser the RV purchasing decision in the long run.”
To learn about virtually every new and used RV on the market today, visit for more information.