When is the Best Time of Year to Buy an RV?

One of the 1st questions RVers who are looking for insider knowledge ask is “When should I buy an RV to get the best deal?”

And, it’s a great question! For a purchase this big, any amount of savings makes a big difference. We’ve been selling RVs for more than 30 years at Bish’s RV, so we can help you understand how RV prices change throughout the year.

There is no one right answer for every RVer. So we want to share the details of seasonal RV prices so you can decide for yourself whether to buy your RV now or wait for a better opportunity. This way you can get your ideal RV for the best price possible. 

Table of Contents

When Should I Buy an RV?

Pros & Cons of Buying an RV in the Fall or Winter

Leaves aren’t the only thing to drop in the fall. Buy your RV in the fall may be wise if you are looking for a great deal and don’t need the RV before the summer camping season. On the other hand, you will have less RV inventory to choose from in the fall. 

RV Manufacturers Discount RVs in the Fall and Winter

Manufacturers need to increase demand for RVs in the fall and winter to keep their plants operating during the slow season. To keep sales going, these manufacturers often give dealerships discounts in the fall to encourage the dealers to increase orders.

Buying an RV during the slow season means you may be able to pick one with extra features for a lower price.

RV manufacturers also offer discounts on RVs with extra options, without charging the dealer for these additions – to, once again, move inventory.

RV Dealerships that purchase these discounted RVs can pass their savings on to you.

RV Dealers Discount in the Fall & Winter

RV sales slow down in the fall and winter, as families head inside for the cooler weather. Dealers regularly offer discounts to keep customers coming through the door.

At this time of year most RV dealers will also discount their left over inventory, even to a loss, to make space for next year’s new models.

One year’s RV model may even be nearly identical to the next, aside from exterior trims. These discounts may make fall a fantastic time to grab a discount on a brand-new, up-to-date RV.

Downsides of Buying an RV in Fall or Winter

Fall is a great time to buy for a lower price. But, there is a downside. The RV inventory at your preferred dealership has likely been picked through by the time fall rolls around. You may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for if you have your eye on a specific model. 

If you’re willing to compromise on exact unit you may be able to still find a good fit, however. So take a look around and see what options you have. 

Does Bish’s Have the Model You Need? Check our RV Inventory :

Benefits of Buying an RV in the Spring or Summer

Many RVers know they could get a discount in the fall, but still choose to buy earlier in the year. Buying earlier in the year means more options and doesn’t always mean higher prices.

More RV Inventory Options in the Spring & Summer

RV dealers will have more inventory available to choose from earlier in the year. If you have your eye on a very specific model and floor plan you may not be happy picking from the remaining RVs in the fall.

If this is the case, spring is likely a better option for you.

If you’re looking for a top-selling, entry-level camper this is especially true. Popular travel trailer prices don’t tend to drop much, so buying one is more about availability than finding a killer sale.

Discover how Jayco keeps the price of their popular Jay Flight travel trailer down – all year long.

Find the 10 best-selling travel trailers this year.

Are RV Prices Higher in the Spring and Summer?

Not Necessarily.

Dealers often kick off the RV season with aggressive sales campaigns that can get you the camper or motorhome you want for a great price.

The discount may not be as deep as it gets in the fall, but you’ll also have your pick of that season’s RVs. 

During the pandemic the demand for RVs skyrocketed. Many of the RVers looking to buy a bunkhouse that year had to buy a toyhauler so they could use the garage space for bunks or wait another year to buy, since their preferred floor plan was out of stock.

Of course the pandemic was unusual, but it still holds true that if you know what you want, you have a much better chance of getting it by buying earlier in the year.

Do RVs Cost Less at an RV Show?

Why an RV May Cost Less at an RV Show:

  1. Shows are usually during the off-season. This is when dealers can either spend more money to participate in a show and sometimes sell units for less, or when they have less traffic and fewer opportunities to sell RVs in their dealerships.

    Dealers participating in a show may also need to sell their RVs for less, so they sell enough RVs to make the costs of participating in a show worthwhile.
  2. Dealers are competitive! Dealers at an RV show are forced to compete, so even the more “boutique” dealers will drop prices to sell more RVs.
  1. Shows have manufacturer representatives onsite. These reps often get involved in a sale to help make a deal happen.

    It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to lose some of their margin on the sale to give the dealer a one-time rebate or incentive to close a sale.

    Manufacturer reps are also able to provide more specific knowledge on their product, which can make a show a good time to learn about the RVs you’re interested in.

Why an RV May Cost More at an RV Show:

  1. It’s expensive for dealers to participate in RV shows.

    Dealers spend a lot on advertising, transporting units, renting the space, and paying to participate in the show. They may need to charge more than they would at the dealership to make the show worth their while.

    Tip: Visit or talk with a dealership before a show. Ask the salesperson about the RVs they’ll have at the show. They might offer you pricing below show price, because they won’t need to transport and use show space for that RV.

    See upcoming RV Shows and Contact a Bish’s dealer to ask about show pricing.
  2. Only one dealer will usually represent the brand you’re seeing at the show. One dealer will show Jayco RVs, for example. This means you can only compare prices, features, etc of one Jayco product to another RV brand, not between dealers and prices.

    Tip: If you find that Jayco, as an example, has the unit or floor plan you like, look online to compare the cost of that RV at different dealers. If you find something for less, use this to negotiate, since Jayco is likely to get involved and make the deal happen.

    Manufacturer websites often tell which dealers sell their RVs. Find out where Jayco RVs are sold.

Next Steps to Buy Your RV

There is no one answer for the best time to buy an RV. You’ll want to consider your needs and options when you decide which time is best for you.

Now that you know the benefits and drawback of buying an RV in the fall, spring or at a show, you can decide if one of these is the right time for you to buy your RV. Browse our selection of RVs now to see if we have what you’re looking for at the right price.

Need help finding the best RV for your situation? Set up a free consultation with a Bish’s RV expert near you to find your perfect RV. 

Sharing this much insider information about RV prices doesn’t always benefit us here at Bish’s RV. But we know that an RV is a big financial commitment, and you deserve all of the information that can help you make the right decision on your RV buying journey.

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becki johnson at bish's rv

Becki Johnson

Bish’s RV Content Editor & Writer

20 years in the RV industry and a lifetime around RVs have convinced me that nature is a lot better with a comfortable bed and working bathroom.

I love to use what I’ve learned to help RVers find the best RV for the best possible price.