Buying A New Or Used RV? Avoid these rip offs
It seems like lately we have been getting in a lot of RV’s with delamination issues. Many of these RV’s were purchased second hand and had some issues that the owners did not know to check for before making their purchase. The new owners have also been surprised to find out that the warranty they thought they had purchased won’t cover these newly discovered delamination or condition issues.
Sometimes when making a big-ticket purchase of a “toy” like an RV, motorhome, 5th wheel or even a travel trailer, it is easy to over look some hidden, subtle or even glaring issues in the heat of the buying moment. The excitement of purchasing your new toy can easily change to buyer’s remorse when you learn that you just bought more money pit than toy.
So whether you are in the Dallas Texas area where our shop is located, or you live elsewhere in the US, here are some things that we tell our customers to look out for, before you sign on that dotted line.
It is so easy to get oversold on a new or used RV purchase. With all the options and variables available to you, salesmen who work on commissions know how to upsell you into more RV that you probably need, or to move hard to sell units, perhaps with some hidden issues, to those who don’t know what to look for.
Before you head to the RV Dealership, stop and purchase a NADA Consumer Recreational Vehicle Appraisal Guide. Just like the NADA “little black book” that car dealers use to price used cars, there is a version just for RV’s that you can purchase to equip yourself with the range of values for whatever RV you are considering purchasing.
Not only that, but knowing the actual values for RVs will equip you with information that will go a long way in raising your level of confidence when it comes time to negotiate with the sales staff.
Not all sales people are rip off artists, but just like any business transaction, it’s up to you to work the best possible deal when making an RV purchase. Knowing the numbers before you buy will help save you from being the victim of a rip-off.
Extended warranties are a great way to protect you and your wallet in an RV purchase, however they another great way for an RV dealer to make money off of you.
RV dealers buy these extended warranty policies at a reduced rate, then mark it up by a large percentage, and pressure you with fear tactics into buying it at the same time that you buy the RV. This is especially true on used RV’s. What the dealers then do is roll the amount of the warranty over into the financing plan that they secure for you, and in some cases they bump up the financing rate and pocket that cash as well
One Warranty scam that we have seen for used RV’s is where the ad or the seller with the RV claims that the RV comes with a lifetime warranty. That sounds like a great deal and peace of mind for buying an RV where you can’t verify the history of the RV. What the sellers doesn’t tell you, or doesn’t know themselves is that in many instances, the minute the RV transfers ownership to you the lifetime warranty ends.
You see these warranties, often sold by dealerships only cover the initial purchaser of the RV and do not transfer to the next owner. One thing about RV’s that all dealerships know it that RV’s change hands frequently, because most RV owners will end up trading up to a larger size within a few years.
Another situation can arise when an RV builder goes out of business or gets purchased by another manufacturer. When this happens the new company refuses honor the lifetime warranty provision, and it s perfectly legal for them to do so.
Make sure before you purchase the RV with a lifetime warranty, that the warranty is still in effect, and can be transferred to you when you become the next owner. Never assume that it will do so automatically.
Purchasing your own extended warranty.
Just like purchasing a used car or even a new one, you can purchase third party RV extended warranty coverage. Before you do however, do a little internet research on any warranty you plan to purchase, including those that come with your RV, any RV appliance or RV parts purchase. You may not have much to say about what the included warranty covers, but you should know whether it’s enforceable should another company buy it.
RV insurance and warranties are huge target for RV scammers. Both are areas where RV buyers can be taken in very easily. It’s wise to research these policies before you buy. And don’t just investigate the kinds of insurance or warranty coverage you need, but the track record of the company that covers you, as well. Find out who has the best rates, reputation, and how long they’ve been in business. Not every car insurance company offers RV insurance, and we have encountered some insurance companies that have no idea how to service the RV policy that they sold when the RV is in a collision.
Our advice is to stick with a well-known and reputable insurance carrier that offers RV insurance policies that have been well thought out. Check with RV forums and chat rooms to see what most people are using for their insurance. Otherwise, a fly-by-night company could go out of business right after the RV dealer has gotten their commission. No matter what, the RV dealer will get their money, and you will be the loser in the end.
So bottom line, do your research. Take your time. This is not a purchase that you want to make out of impulse.