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RV Dealer Woes: 10 Things Customers Do That Really Bug Salesmen

RV and car dealers can get a bad rap. It’s easy to conjure an image of a seemingly friendly RV salesperson who wants to sell you a piece of junk for the highest price. However, what about when the customers are nightmares?

If you’ve ever worked in sales or sold a vehicle privately, you probably know what we’re talking about. Many customers are polite, educated, and prepared, but there are always experiences that rub you the wrong way. That’s what we’re talking about today. 

Let’s dig in!

What your RV salesperson wishes he could tell you! (or "Reality check!")
Have you ever tried stepping into your RV salesperson’s shoes?

10 Things RV Dealers REALLY Don’t Want Customers to Do

Ever wondered what not to do when you’re buying an RV? You’ve come to the right place. 

We’ve written plenty of articles about how to get the best deal from a dealer, and tricks to watch out for when exploring the RVs for sale on the lot.

However, politely dodging a salesperson’s unwanted pitch and being rude about the sales process are two different things. After all, these folks are just trying to make a living too. So, we thought we’d try to take a step into the RV salesperson’s shoes and see things from their perspective.

While you’d probably never hear them say it, here are 10 things that would make a salesperson frustrated from a customer.

#1 Using the Bathroom in a Show or Lot Model 

Perhaps one of the most cringe-worthy experiences for RV dealers is discovering that a customer has used the bathroom in a show lot model.

This is a huge faux pas!

Many rigs are winterized and have no water or electricity, so the toilets won’t work. While it may seem convenient at the time, this behavior is disrespectful and unhygienic. 

tom sitting on rv toilet

#2 Unrealistic and Unclear Expectations

Communication is key in any transaction, and RV sales are no exception. RV dealers dread customers who come in with vague expectations or unrealistic demands, such as extremely low prices, RV features that aren’t available, or wanting to see comparable models they don’t carry.

Additionally, customers who are not clear about their needs or budget are more difficult to match to an RV. Clear communication ensures that both parties are on the same page, preventing misunderstandings and disappointment. 

RV dealer sales lot
While you don’t need to know exactly what RV you want, having a clear picture of what will best fit your needs will help your dealer give you better guidance.

#3 Misusing Test Drives

Test drives are an essential part of the RV-buying process, allowing customers to get a feel for the vehicle before buying it. However, some customers take advantage of this privilege, treating test drives as joyrides rather than a serious evaluation of the RV’s suitability.

RV salespeople cringe at the thought of customers pushing a vehicle to its limits or disregarding safety protocols during test drives.

Pro Tip: Make sure you know The Pros, the Cons, and the Truth About RV Dealerships before you go RV shopping.

#4 Being Unprepared

Walking into an RV dealership without doing any prior research is a recipe for disaster. Some customers may come to the dealership without sufficient RV knowledge or finance research. RV salespeople can groan inwardly when customers have done little to no homework on the different models, features, and prices available.

While many salespeople can definitely help in this process, their job is to sell RVs, not teach RV newbies everything they need to know. (Psst! That’s what we do!)

Customers may also seem ready to buy but then not have their funds ready. Being unprepared wastes the sales rep’s time and prolongs the buying process.

#5 Constantly Changing Preferences

Indecisive customers are the bane of RV dealers everywhere. From flip-flopping between models to constantly changing their desired features, these customers can turn a straightforward sale into a never-ending ordeal.

RV salespeople prefer customers who have a clear idea of what they want, making the buying process smoother and more efficient.

Shopping at RV dealership
Respect the rigs you are exploring as if they are your own.

#6 Letting Their Kids Climb the Furniture

This one speaks for itself. While show RVs may seem like playgrounds to young children, an RV salesperson dreads the havoc that unsupervised kids can wreak in the RVs.

From climbing on furniture with dirty shoes to leaving sticky fingerprints on every surface, children can turn a pristine show RV into a disaster zone in a matter of minutes.

Sales reps appreciate parents who keep a watchful eye on their children and ensure they treat the rigs with respect. Even if you don’t buy it, someone else will!

#7 Nitpicking Minor Flaws 

Perfection may be the goal, but RVs may have minor flaws or imperfections. Some customers fixate on insignificant details, causing unnecessary delays and frustration.

While it’s essential to inspect the vehicle, nitpicking over minor flaws thoroughly can detract from the overall buying experience. There’s a difference between seeking a good product and finding something wrong with everything. 

RV dealership lot
While RV dealers can sometimes get a bad rap, most are eager to help you find your perfect home on wheels.

#8 Dismissing Their Knowledge

While many salespeople don’t live the RV life, many have been doing this long enough to possess valuable knowledge about RV models, manufacturers, features, and maintenance tips. However, some customers dismiss their advice, preferring to rely on their instincts or online sources (guilty!).

While you may know more about the specific model you’re looking at after hours of research, you don’t have to quiz the RV salesperson just to see how much or little they know.

Salespeople appreciate customers who are open to guidance and willing to heed their advice, ensuring a successful and satisfying purchase. Remember, they may want to sell you an RV, but most want you to be happy with what you’ve bought. 

Pro Tip: On the hunt for a rig? We crunched the numbers to help you determine How Much Money Should You Spend On An RV?

#9 Negotiating Beyond Reason 

Negotiation is a standard part of the buying process. However, some customers take it too far. They can haggle over every last dollar and refuse to compromise.

Some customers have unrealistic expectations regarding pricing, making it challenging to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. While it’s essential to negotiate, doing so within reason is key to a successful transaction.

#10 Not Respecting Appointment Times

Imagine meticulously planning your day around appointments, only to have customers arrive fashionably late or not at all. For RV sales representatives, time is money, and missed appointments disrupt their workflow.

They could potentially cause them to lose out on other potential sales. Other customers may have less time to make an informed decision. Respecting appointment times shows courtesy and helps streamline the buying process for both parties.

WATCH THIS Before Buying Your 1st RV!!

Don’t Be “That Customer”

The relationship between RV salespeople and customers is a delicate balance of trust, communication, and mutual respect. By avoiding the ten behaviors we outlined above, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable buying experience.

Remember, for every sales representative who only wants the payday, there is at least one who genuinely wants to help you. It’s crucial to not be a pushover in the buying process but to do your homework and communicate clearly to help them help you. 

RV salespeople: Have you ever dealt with a customer like this? Tell us about it in the comments below!

“Ten Dealer Laments.” Recreational Vehicle Retailer, Mar. 1973, p. 50.

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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