Chances are you're being shown a dummy invoice or cost record that is part of a preplanned sales scheme practiced at that dealership. You may have to travel quite a distance to shop at two different Winnebago or other brand-specific dealers. The dealerships know this and will use it to their advantage.
Pitfall ahead! Get an RV Inspection before you buy! | Where the Streets Wander
This can work against you in a couple ways, urging you to make a purchase based upon convenience, distance, dealer services and other real or perceived benefits to you. If you take the time to inspect and research the specific RV you want to buy, you can tip the advantage in your favor, and make sure you aren't pressured into making a lesser choice.
A few RV dealers have made the news because of their unethical practices. These practices involved not paying off the loans on cars or RVs they've taken as trade-ins, leaving buyers still liable for the old car loans or unable to re-title a purchased RV in their names because prior lenders still held valid liens. Other scams involve rebates that buyers were to receive several weeks after purchasing an RV, then later telling buyers that rebates fell through. In some cases, there never was a rebate, and in others, the dealer kept the rebate.
If the dealer offers a rebate, make sure he applies it to your purchase price before you close the deal. If the rebate falls through then he loses out, not you.
RV Inspection Checklist
It can only encourage either honesty or good followup to make sure they get their rebate. If it doesn't fall through, it's a win-win. Some dealers ask that you let them copy your driver's license and social security numbers as security until you return an RV taken for a test ride.
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They don't need this information except to run a credit check without your permission or knowledge; while you are out for your test drive. Not only might they run a credit check, but they can ask several of their lenders to prequalify you, and each of them will run a credit check. Each credit check will lower your credit score, and you may not find this out until it's too late.
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Although the Attorney General advises against allowing anyone to copy your driver's license, if they insist on having a copy, bring one that you copied and have written clearly on that page that you do not authorize any credit checks. Include a written statement that unauthorized credit checks carry a Federal Trade Commission fines and penalties. While it's reasonable to show them proof of insurance, make sure they give all copies or your documents back to you before you leave. An alternative might be to insist that the salesperson accompany you on the test drive, or offer your car keys in exchange for theirs.
Either of these alternatives should be plenty of assurance that you aren't going to steal their RV. Just make sure you know who will have your car keys ready for you when you return, and that there will be no delays in getting them back. We once had a salesman go off to lunch or a meeting, holding us up for an extra 30 minutes waiting for our keys. This is another common scheme as they use the time to continue their sales pitch. Invest some time and money in learning about the used RV you are about to buy.
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If you can't take it to the inspection site, find someone who makes house calls. If anything is wrong with the RV structurally or mechanically, you want to know how serious it is, and what it might cost to fix it.
Also, run a vehicle history report on the RV you want. And unfortunately, water damage and other problems are not always readily apparent.
Used RVs: 10 Tips to Help You Avoid Buying a Lemon
Have you ever purchased a great used RV? Or was yours a lemon? Do you have any lemon-sniffing tips? Tell us in the comments!
- 1 - Think of the process as part of the adventure!
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For instance, your RV shower Read More. One of the most fun things about owning an RV is the ability to make is a cozy home-on-wheels. You may already know for sure that the RV life is the one for you. Rolling around the country, seeing Cold weather RV camping?
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