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Should You Buy a New RV Now, or Wait for Next Year’s Models?

Should You Buy a New RV Now, or Wait for Next Year’s Models?

Thinking of buying a new RV? If so then you are probably wondering how and when to get the best deal, also if next year’s model will have more features or a different layout. So when do new camper models come out? Should you wait for next year’s models?

Today, we’ll look at the RV market and help you decide whether you should buy a new RV or wait for next year’s models. Let’s get started!

new Airstream RV's

What Month Do New RV Models Come Out?

New RV models typically start showing up on dealership lots sometime in March. This schedule correlates with the upcoming camping season. Many shoppers looking to purchase an RV will often do their shopping in the spring months. The trend helps manufacturers quickly move inventory and avoid having RVs sit on dealership lots unsold.

If RVs do not sell well, manufacturers will often modify the production of RVs based on what they hear and see from dealerships and customers. As a result, it’s not uncommon for new RV models to also come out in the fall with the included modifications.

The RV industry is always in more flux than even the automotive industry and reacts as quickly as possible to economic changes. Because of this, you may never know when the next year’s RV is coming out, but talking to a dealer or directly with the manufacturer might give you an idea if you have your eyes on a particular manufacturer.

When is the BEST Time to Buy an RV with Josh the RV Nerd

New RV Model Changes: What’s Really New?

When we upgrade our phones, the manufacturer will announce the bigger and better version shortly after. While not having the latest and greatest phone may not be a massive deal for most of us, it can be a painful and frustrating experience when the same incident happens with an RV. Manufacturers can and do modify the RVs they’re producing to help make them more appealing to shoppers.

However, keep in mind that most of the time the changes RV manufacturers make are incremental. Usually year most changes are smaller things that can be added aftermarket. Occasionally however they will offer completely different floorplans or make a massive structural shift like changing the ceiling height.

We’ve seen RV manufacturers make significant changes during a production year to paint schemes, the type of water heater, and even the tires they install based on feedback. Manufacturers are often rather tight-lipped about these changes as they still want to move obsolete inventory. Dealerships may not even be aware of changes until the units arrive at their lots.

So even if you’re buying the current year RV, you’ll want to look at the production date of the rig. Look for any manufacturing changes that may have occurred during that production year and when the changes went into effect.

If the manufactured date on your RV is before the changes, you’ll be buying the “outdated” version of the rig. However, many of these changes are incremental, and you can still have a tremendous RVing experience in a slightly outdated rig. 

Need help getting started on your RV journey? Here’s how to Get Started with RVing When You Don’t Know How

New Tiffin model on display on sales lot.
Dealerships will start stocking new RV models on their lots around March.

Should You Wait for Next Year’s RV Models?

Whether or not you should wait for next year’s RV models depends greatly on when you’re buying and what inventory is available. You may be able to score a sweet deal on a current year rig, especially if it’s later in the camping season. RV dealers don’t want an RV sitting on their lot, taking up valuable inventory space.

Suppose you’re not hurrying to buy a new RV, waiting until next year can be a great option. It allows you to see any features that manufacturers add or take away compared to previous models. However, don’t expect to save money by waiting. New RV prices have increased over the past few years, and dealerships are less likely to negotiate on new RV models.

next year rv models

In general, we recommend trying to get an idea of what the next year’s models will look like and if they are planning to make significant changes that you would really want.

For motorized rigs are they changing the chassis or drivetrain? For towables, is the floorplan getting changed or are they adding different stabilizers? Also, take a look at forums and look for common complaints that they may be fixing. If these potential changes are significant then it might make sense to wait, but most of the time waiting just costs you more money.

Pro Tip: If you decide to wait for when the new camper models come out, keep in mind these Top 10 Easily Missed Things to Look for When Buying an RV.

Is It a Good Time to Buy an RV?

When you choose to buy an RV can have a significant impact on whether you can get a good deal or not. For most people, RVing is a seasonal activity they enjoy from late spring through the fall. As a result, RV dealerships often will experience their highest traffic in the weeks and months leading up to the start of the camping season. 

When there is increased demand, don’t expect to see as many discounts or incentives when purchasing an RV. If you don’t buy the RV, there’s a good chance the next person walking through the dealership’s doors will take advantage of it. If you’re serious about buying an RV and getting a good deal, make sure you time your purchase wisely.

You may not like buying an expensive RV at the end of the camping season, but you can score a great deal if you do. RV dealers want to move as much inventory as possible to make room for next year’s units they’ll receive soon. As a result, you’re more likely to find dealers with more wiggle room for pricing. 

While you might not be able to take your rig out on adventures immediately, you can spend the off-season preparing your rig and planning your future adventures. You’ll be able to fully jump into making camping memories once the temperatures start warming up in the spring.

RVs lined up at sales lot
New camper models will add upgrades and changes from previous models.

What Month Is Best to Buy an RV?

Financially, the best month to buy a new camper model is November. Many shoppers tighten their budgets and focus less on recreational spending and more on preparing their finances for the holidays. As a result, sales at RV dealerships plummet. If you know anything about the laws of supply and demand, prices typically drop as demand drops.

Another reason November is a great time to buy an RV is that dealerships often want to pad their sales numbers before the end of the year. They’ll be more open to negotiations and price adjustments if they’re close to reaching yearly sales goals or milestones. Most RV dealers want space for next year’s new models, which will likely sell faster and generate more revenue.

Do RV Prices Drop in the Winter?

Like the temperatures, RV prices tend to drop during winter. It’s because the demand for RVs is relatively low in the winter. Camping isn’t likely top-of-mind for most people when the temperatures or weather isn’t great. Many factors go into RV pricing, but shopping in the winter can save you thousands of dollars.

If you’re purchasing a luxury RV, you could save more than $10,000 by shopping during the winter. Dealerships know that shoppers will likely choose a newer model over an outdated one unless there’s a financial benefit to selecting the old one. 

New RV campers parked on a sales lot at RV show
When new camper models come out, prices will increase. Buy in the off-season to save money on your RV.

How Much Should I Pay for a New RV?

The massive increase in demand for RVs in recent years has dramatically increased new camper model prices. Previously, some RVers with excellent negotiation skills could talk 20 to 30% off of the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). However, the increased demand for RVs is causing dealers to be less willing to negotiate. They know there’s likely a long list of potential buyers for the RV.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule regarding how much you should pay for an RV. You need to do your research and shop around the various dealers. You can often save money by widening your search and purchasing from a dealer an hour or two from where you live. The increased savings will offset the costs of fuel and time spent.

Doing your research can help you to see if dealers are trying to overcharge you for your rig. Even if they’re all competitively priced, you may find that some dealers offer certain warranties, memberships, or accessories that make purchasing from them a more appealing option.

Pro Tip: Want to go for a used camper instead of a new model? These are 10 Things We Looked for When Buying Our Used Class A Motorhome.

Are New RV Prices Going Down?

We’re seeing signs that the RV market is starting to slow down. Statistical Surveys Inc. recently shared the results of their research that indicated a slowdown in the number of new RV registrations. It is the first sign that sales of new RVs could be slowing and that dealership lots will begin to experience a surplus of inventory. Overall, new RV prices remain higher than usual.

Inflation and increased fuel costs aren’t doing new RV prices any favors for future pricing. It seems that no matter what you’re buying, everything is more expensive these days. It’s an excellent time to evaluate major purchases and ensure you get the best deal possible.

RV lot
There are pros and cons to buying a new versus an old camper model.

What Else Should You Know When Buying a New RV?

A new camper model is a significant investment and not a decision you should take lightly. RV dealers are notorious for using various tactics to upsell customers. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a dealership if you are dealing with a pushy sales department. It’s your money, and you can choose how and where you spend it.

If a dealership wants to make a sale, they’ll be open to negotiating. However, don’t expect to get 20 to 30% off MSRP like in previous years. Do your best to work with the dealer to get a deal that makes you both happy. However, understand that the dealership is a business and needs to make money. See if they’ll include a membership to an RV club or a gift card to the dealership’s shop. This benefit can help you pick up any gear or equipment you might need for your new RV.

Whether new or used, it’s a good idea to hire an inspector when buying an RV. The RV dealer may claim that they do a massive pre-delivery inspection, but it’s most likely nowhere near as thorough as a third-party inspector.

Some dealers frown upon buyers hiring inspectors because they know the inspection results could cause them to lose a sale or pay to address any issues. It should be a red flag for you as a shopper if the dealership isn’t willing to let you hire an inspector.

Should you buy a NEW or USED RV? What to know before you buy! RV Masters

Are New RV Models Worth It?

Buying a new RV can be an exciting and scary process. You want to be as comfortable as possible while you and your family make priceless memories.

New RV models often come with warranties that can reduce the odds of costing you an arm and a leg if something doesn’t go right. Buying a used RV can be risky as you’ll likely find yourself crossing your fingers you’re not investing in a money pit.

Personally, we like to buy used but were DIY repair anything types, and we sure have had our share of problems. Most of our problems could have occurred on a new RV as well, but we would most likely fix it ourselves and not make use of a warranty. For that reason, we choose to save the upfront cost. Not to say we haven’t considered a new rig just to have that brand new never used experience.

If you need to purchase a new RV, try to wait until the winter months. However, if you can wait a year or two and see how the market changes, we recommend waiting.

If the research we talked about earlier continues to be accurate, then dealerships may find themselves losing leverage when it comes to negotiating. If that’s the case, prices could start to tick down over the next year or two.

Do you plan to buy a new RV model soon? Tell us what model you have your eyes on in the comments!

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Eric

Friday 16th of September 2022

We are looking at the 22 Keystone Cougar 22 MLS. We like the floor plan which boasts an open concept, with step in shower, outdoor shower which is definitely something we have been looking for. We love the beach and with our dog it makes life so much easier. We live in California and in shopping for this particular model, it seems dealer prices here are at least $25,000.00 more than the rest of the nation. We are considering purchasing out of state, however, in speaking with others who have done so, registration will need to be done here, which is outrageous in of itself. We absolutely love this trailer but until prices come down, we will ultimately wait to purchase this model in a few years when prices become more realistic.

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 1st of October 2022

We bought all three of our RVs out of state to get a better deal, so we understand where you're coming from.

Ruth

Friday 16th of September 2022

Where can i find an rv inspector?

Bob Parish

Monday 12th of September 2022

As a Mobile Rv tech & Inspector I never recommend buying new, I have seen more issues with new units then a 2 year old unit that has more then likely had the bugs worked out let alone the depreciation, but of course some just like new things and I get it, but get it inspected either way, it's worth the extra cost.

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