Once every year or so, we will go out and look at the RV’s that are on the market in our area.
You see, I live in the Tampa area and there are several very large major dealerships in the area, as well as untold numbers of small local dealers.
So, it is a lot easier for us to shop around that it is for many people around the country.
I recommend that even if you are happy with what you already own and use for camping, you do need to keep up with not only what your existing RV is worth, but you also need to keep up with what else is out there, in the RV world, that you might like.
OK, so you like what you own now and you have no desire to change. But, if you want to keep up with the constantly changing world of RVs here are some questions for you to sit down and consider, at least annually;
- What is the trade-in value of your existing RV?
Don’t wait for years and get surprised by the actual trade-in and retail value of your existing RV when something happens that requires that you (or your spouse) get rid of your RV.
You should take a close look at your RV and it’s condition, inside and out. Then go onto the NADA site and look up the present values for your RV, just in case you do need to trade or sell.
- How much does a new or used replacement RV cost?
If you think you might want to trade your RV in, at some time, you need to keep up with what options and accessories are in the newer RVs on the market, whether what you are looking at is New or Used. And, you need to know what the potential cost might be for you to move up to a newer RV.
- Do you still camp like you used to?
Over time, our likes and dislikes evolve with us. You might have been a camper ten years ago that was more into rough-camping like Tenting, using Pop-ups, or smaller campers that were simple and easy to tow.
Or now, you may have children who require more space and more support like a larger motorhome or camper trailer with more amenities in it to support a larger family.
Or, you may be recently retired and want to travel a lot more than you did when you worked full time and need the functions that support longer camping trips.
Whatever the reason, if your needs have changed, you must keep up with the technologies in the other types of campers and their potential costs.
Of course, when you walk into a dealership, the sales people will want to sell, sell, sell. But, you need to tell them, honestly, that you are “just looking”, and what you are looking for.
Its a part of their job to provide service to the “lookers” as well as the buyers, so they will understand. And, they will still want to close a sale with you, but if you are up front with them and firm in your goals, they will settle for your email address, and phone number when you leave.
It is a time consuming process, but if you go through this at least once a year, you will be a prepared camper who knows not only what their existing RV is worth, but what it might cost you to move up to a newer and better RV.
by Don Bobbitt, 2015