How to CONQUER Your Next RV Show


RV Shows are some of the best places to compare and purchase an RV. You get to see a lot of floorplans, options and brands. Also, you can find some good deals. Though at the same time, RV shows can be overwhelming with too many floorplans, options and brands. You don’t want to be that person (again, perhaps)! You want to know what you’re doing. You want to be informed. You want to win. You want to CONQUER your next show! Here’s how:

Compile your needs

InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectDepending on your individual situation, there are just some things you need. You need a unit under 38 feet. It needs to sleep 5 people. It needs to be towable by your full-sized truck that’s 4 years old. Compiling a list of needs will help you remember your non-negotiables and save you time as you walk the rows of units. You may like a unit, but it doesn’t fit your needs, move on.

Organize your wants

InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectThis is the fun part! What do you want? Perhaps an outside kitchen, bath and a half, toy garage, pass through storage, roof ladder, comfortable driving, bunks, and outdoor entertainment system. These aren’t all must-haves, but if it comes down to a couple units you’re choosing between, compare those features to your list of wants. Prioritize your wants to help give even more information for your decision. Doing this ahead of time while you’re not standing in front of a unit will help give you clarity to make the right decision.

Narrow down brands

InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectThe internet is your friend. Find out which manufacturers, who will be represented by their local dealers, will be at the show and go to their website. Scout the products and floorplans that meet your needs and write them down. Look for pictures of the different décors and see what options are available. Make a list of your preferences. Also, not all manufacturers list their MSRPs on their website, but if they do, you can use MSRPs to compare units and any deals you see at the show. All this narrowing down will help you create a plan of attack once you get to the show. You’ll be able to walk past the ones you already know won’t work, and see as many “potentials” as possible.

Qualify your options

InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectYou’ve narrowed down your brands, but maybe there are some you’ve never heard of. Take to the internet again, calls some friends that camp, and search some consumer guides. Make sure that the products on your narrowed list are reputable. Do they have a name people trust? Does it appear their warranty is customer-friendly? Do they last? Do they hold their value? By narrowing your list even further to reputable manufacturers with proven track records and time-tested products, you’ll know you’re in for a successful show.

Understand the purchasing process

InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectWhen you decide on a unit at the show or decide to order a unit with your specified options, the negotiation begins. This could include the asking price, financing terms, trade-in value – whatever financial aspects that are involved. Have a firm idea before you get to the show what your budget is, whether you’re looking for the right monthly payment or are planning to pay it in full. The nice thing about shows is often times there are financial professionals right on site able to give better rates and terms. If you’ll be trading in your old unit for a new one, be sure to have all the necessary information on that unit so the selling dealer can easily get you a trade-in value.  Necessary information would include things like manufacturer, model year, brand series, and floorplan. If it’s a motorized RV, you’ll also want to know how many miles it has. When it comes down to it, everyone should be happy at the end of a sale!

Oh, and one more thing: if this is your first time buying an RV, know that you won’t be going home with it that day. The dealer will want to do some final detailing, run some final quality checks and schedule a proper walkthrough with you.

Execute a plan

InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectYou’ve got your products. You know what to expect. You’re armed with knowledge. Now come up with a plan and get ready to execute. Visit the show’s website and download the map. If there’s not one available, find a contact number for the show and see if they can send you one. Get an idea of where everything will be and which path to take. Some shows are rather large, so wear comfortable shoes and get ready to walk! Preplanning a path will help you see everything you wanted to see without making you down right exhausted once you’re ready to choose. Also, if there’s any way to find out which dealers will be showing the units you’re interested in, give them a call ahead of time and ask about any specials they’ll be running. That’ll give you even more information as you walk through the show.


InPostSquare__0002_Vector-Smart-ObjectLastly, relax! RVing is fun! It’s easy to get worked up and worry that you won’t make the right decision. If you plan to conquer your next RV show, you know you’ll be ready. Before you go, review your plan, your needs and your wants. Sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee and review your map. Envision the relaxation you’ll experience once you’re out camping in your new camper. Don’t forget about the reason you’re buying an RV. Whether it’s to spend more time with your family or to find more time to relax by yourself, it will certainly be pleasant. There’s no reason your next show can’t be either!

Additional Resources

5 Tips For RV Show Success

5 Questions to Ask Anyone at an RV Show

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