When you visit your RV dealer, you shouldn’t have to worry that your new ride might be a rip-off. Buying a recreational vehicle is exciting! You should be able to enjoy the process.
And while most RV dealers are trustworthy, there are swindlers out there waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. So, how can you be sure you’re not getting hustled?
We’re diving into the seedy underbelly of shady RV dealers, so you know exactly what to look out for.
Let’s get into it!
RV Dealer Spills the Beans on Rip-Offs
Long-time salesman Kevin Frazer made some surprising claims in a video that made the rounds in the RV world. He admitted that after years of selling top-of-the-line motorhomes, he began to feel he was taking advantage of his customers.
Dealers were pushing bigger units with all the bells and whistles to people who simply didn’t have luxury budgets. Customers were taking out loans that would take twenty-five years to pay off. Often, signing contracts left them paying off their purchase well into retirement.
By taking out such massive loans, many of these people were gambling with their own futures.
Eventually, Frazer decided only to sell units people could buy without borrowing the equivalent of a mortgage. To the dismay of his business advisor, he pivoted to selling mainly travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
Frazer proved to be a trustworthy dealer, but not all salespeople are as reputable.
Pro Tip: We got the inside scoop from an RV Dealership Employee Who Shed Truth on Industry Practices.
Who is Wingman Wisdom?
The man behind Wingman Wisdom is Allen Warren. He’s a lifelong RV enthusiast and former campground owner. He also has a history as a broadcaster and consumer advocate.
Warner has made it his life mission to educate the RV and camping communities about everything from safety concerns to striking a deal. Engaging, informative, and brutally honest, The RV Wingman doesn’t hold anything back.
He’s passionate about ensuring his viewers don’t end up on the wrong end of a rip-off at the hands of their RV dealer. He keeps a close eye on economic trends and advises both buyers and sellers on when to make a move or when to hold.
What Kind of Content Does Wingman Wisdom Create?
Wingman Wisdom creates videos geared toward other campers and RV enthusiasts. One day he may post a video on how to find the best campgrounds. The next, he may post about serious safety recalls that haven’t been announced by the manufacturers.
But his main goal is to help his viewers avoid common pitfalls when buying an RV.
While he is not an RV salesman, he has his finger on the pulse of the industry. He is highly knowledgeable about how economic changes affect the RV market.
One of his most popular videos is his controversial interview with Kevin Frazer.
Ways RV Dealers Rip-Off Their Customers
The RV community tends to be pretty close-knit. And that includes people who sell recreational vehicles. But occasionally, a shifty dealer will take advantage of unsuspecting customers.
Below are a few tactics to look out for so you don’t fall prey to these slippery salesmen.
Discouraging Third-Party Inspections
When you’re buying off the lot, you’re often led to believe that all inspections have been completed and all issues have been resolved. However, shady dealerships might fudge a little when disclosing potential problems with a unit.
While most dealerships are trustworthy, having an impartial set of eyes look over your future purchase can’t hurt. After all, it’s a considerable investment you could be paying off for years. If you’ll be dealing with significant maintenance in the near future, it’s better to know ahead of time.
The bottom line is if an RV dealer discourages you from getting a third-party inspection, you might need to make sure your deal isn’t a rip-off.
Not Being Transparent With Price
Negotiating is easy for some people, but it’s trickier for others. The sticker price can almost always be reduced but by how much?
That’s a question most dealers don’t want to answer.
Being assertive and knowing precisely what you want and how much you’re willing to pay is always in your best interest. Be sure to do your research ahead of time. And if you’re unsure how to negotiate, bring along a trusted friend to ensure your RV dealer isn’t setting you up for a rip-off.
Misleading Warranty Coverage
Big purchases always come with a lot of fine print. And RVs are no exception.
Warranties can confuse anyone, no matter how experienced they are with RV ownership. If you buy from a shady salesperson, you might be surprised to learn what isn’t covered by your warranty. And chances are, you’ll find out at the most inconvenient time.
Although it’s tedious and time-consuming, it’s essential to read through your warranty agreement to know exactly what you’re getting and not getting.
The sticker price is a good starting point when buying an RV, but we all know that’s just the beginning. You could be faced with dozens of hidden fees at closing, especially if you’re buying from a large, corporate dealership.
While it isn’t always the case, small mom-and-pop outlets tend to have a better reputation for transparency than the mega marts. So be sure to shop around and give the little guy a chance regarding your RV purchase.
Pro Tip: Make sure you know these 5 Things to Know About RV Dealerships before you go.
What’s the Takeaway for This RV Dealer Rip-Off Story?
Most RV dealers can be trusted to sell you a quality unit at a fair price, but occasionally you’ll come across a slimy salesman looking to rip-off their customers.
The next time you’re in the market for a new RV, be sure you’ve done your research. When you know what you want, what it’s worth, and what to look out for, you can confidently walk onto the lot.
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