Best Time to Buy and Sell?

JunkyBurrittos

Active Member
Mar 18, 2017
491
Central MA
Hi all. Just curious, for those who have been watching the marketplace for years, or have moved from camper to camper — have you found certain times of year markedly better or worse to buy or sell? My guess of course is to grab up deals ie buy in fall and sell in spring (which doesn’t help if you really need the money from your existing camper for the new one!), but I was wondering how big the deals are for the RV shows that roll around in the winter, and if a lot of used inventory as trade ins comes in in the wake of those shows.

I’ll add as well that I don’t really consider my budget to be a new camper budget, although I’ve seen a small number of 2018 new models being offered lately for around the same price as used models that are a few years old. Depending on just how good RV show deals are, maybe new could be a possibility. Unfortunately the one floor plan I have found that would most work for us is a brand new layout for 2019, so that might be less prone to deals.

If it makes a difference, I live in wintery New England and am looking to sell a high wall PUP and buy a short and light three-bed hybrid (ie deals on used with these specific characteristics are few and far between). If I felt I could fit a 23’ box into my driveway I would have a ton more options. Used models between 2012-2016 are more likely to be realistic budget wise. So for the deal seekers out there, what’s my best strategy?
 

nineoaks2004

Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday
Oct 15, 2006
8,241
Dukes, Fl
The best time to buy from a dealer is when the new models come out, also when winter is approaching up north as some do not want to winterize the units. Look around and check. Good Luck and happy Camping
 

mattlreese

Active Member
Sep 6, 2017
231
I bought a 2017 model they still had sitting in the lot in early May of 2018. It was 2k less then the 2018 models they had, which were least another 1k less then the new 2019 models they got later in the summer. We had a used pup and were not looking to upgrade right away, but the price was just too good to pass up.

Selling I am not sure, I think sometimes in the fall you get people looking to upgrade their unit and buy then.
 

emoney

Super Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
880
Now is the time to buy. As for selling, definitely better off in Spring. Having said that, I would still put my pup on the market for a couple of weeks because there are also tons of buyers who have been waiting for Fall to get the best deal. If there’s no interest In a couple of weeks then I would shelve the idea. As to the shows, there are more trade ins I’m sure. The only drawback is lots of folks order a new unit and won’t expect delivery until Spring so their trades aren’t available until the market is at its peak.

I definitely wouldn’t be buying anything newer than a 2015 model if a used model is the route because the leftover 2018s are usually the same price as what most folks price their 2016/17s for. At least on a leftover you still get the benefit of a warranty vs buying used and often times a little bit of a savings in interest rate if you plan to finance. What’s in the 2019 you like that’s not available on years prior?

Side note; you don’t always get the best deal at the shows because it’s a Sellers Market vs a Buyers Market. If you have found the 2019 is the perfect layout, several hundred other folks might agree with you, lol.
 

CamperChrissy

Active Member
Nov 25, 2016
656
Chicago suburbs
I think that time of year is super important for those of us with crappy winter weather (speaking from Chicago, here). I've been watching the used market for a while and prices are high in spring and low in fall. Also there is much less market activity in the fall - WAY fewer used campers on the market right now and fewer buyers, so it would take longer to sell. It worked out well for me because we just bought a N2U highwall at a pretty good price. We are able to store the new one and our old one at my uncle's for free. We are planning to just leave them both there for the winter and then in the spring we'll sell our old one. Planning to get the old one up for sale around May 1.

Something in your favor, I've noticed VERY few high walls for sale in my area which is what I was looking for. So you may have better luck selling a HW. Unfortunately for me, most of the PUPs for sale in my area are about the same age, size, and amenities as mine. Plus some joker is using pics of a camper that looks exactly like mine to run one of those b.s. Craigslist scam ads.

As far as RV shows, last year I was watching used ads shortly after the big Chicago RV show to see if a bunch of used ones came on the market. But, no : ( I didn't really notice any big difference.

Good luck to you!
 

JunkyBurrittos

Active Member
Mar 18, 2017
491
Central MA
The best time to buy from a dealer is when the new models come out, also when winter is approaching up north as some do not want to winterize the units. Look around and check. Good Luck and happy Camping

I was afraid you’d say that nine oaks. LOL. I’m just not finding exactly what we want, I’m poor, and I probably would have more choices within reason if I had an upgraded tow vehicle. As well as money in my pocket from a sold pup. I just don’t want this time to pass and to say woulda coulda shoulda.
 

JunkyBurrittos

Active Member
Mar 18, 2017
491
Central MA
I bought a 2017 model they still had sitting in the lot in early May of 2018. It was 2k less then the 2018 models they had, which were least another 1k less then the new 2019 models they got later in the summer. We had a used pup and were not looking to upgrade right away, but the price was just too good to pass up.

Selling I am not sure, I think sometimes in the fall you get people looking to upgrade their unit and buy then.

Wow Matt sounds like you got a great deal! I guess as desperate as they are to unload old units now, probably same would apply if those units never moved in the fall. I’m glad the timing worked out for you!
 

JunkyBurrittos

Active Member
Mar 18, 2017
491
Central MA
Now is the time to buy. As for selling, definitely better off in Spring. Having said that, I would still put my pup on the market for a couple of weeks because there are also tons of buyers who have been waiting for Fall to get the best deal. If there’s no interest In a couple of weeks then I would shelve the idea. As to the shows, there are more trade ins I’m sure. The only drawback is lots of folks order a new unit and won’t expect delivery until Spring so their trades aren’t available until the market is at its peak.

I definitely wouldn’t be buying anything newer than a 2015 model if a used model is the route because the leftover 2018s are usually the same price as what most folks price their 2016/17s for. At least on a leftover you still get the benefit of a warranty vs buying used and often times a little bit of a savings in interest rate if you plan to finance. What’s in the 2019 you like that’s not available on years prior?

Side note; you don’t always get the best deal at the shows because it’s a Sellers Market vs a Buyers Market. If you have found the 2019 is the perfect layout, several hundred other folks might agree with you, lol.

Hi Emoney. Interesting perspective on what years to focus on, and rings largely true from the prices I’ve been seeing out there. And many established models seem largely the same from year to year. I would want to stay on this side of 2012 for industry enhancements I think, but I don’t really need brand new.

Unfortunately nothing is really the perfect model. I would love something under 20’ with three bunks and a u-dinette slide, but no one seems to make this. Most small hybrids I’m seeing allegedly sleep 8+ but they don’t seem to have room for more than 2 people to sit and eat at one time! Crazy! The 2019 model that I saw that might address this was the Jayco X20D, which gives you a u-dinette without the slide. Definitely more seating than the 17XFD or the X18D, and probably more than the straight dinette of the Roo 183 because of the u configuration. It also corrects the really piddly appliances of the 17XFD. I could pick up a 2018 17XFD for a great price now, but I could just cry over how far I would back slide from the amenities of my high wall to go into debt for lesser amenities.

I like Roo and for the money saved on an old model we could all probably cram into the dinette there if it’s saving me a lot over a brand new X20D, so that’s probably my route. Unfortunately my closest dealer had a 2014 they sold for a fair price and just left it on the website to tease me!

I suppose if I can get this lined up and winterized in time I might leave it up an extra week or two and list it to see what happens. Unfortunately I’ve been sick and am totally running out of time to do this. Winter comes early around here!
 

JunkyBurrittos

Active Member
Mar 18, 2017
491
Central MA
I think timing is important but if you are selling it on your own how you write the description and the pictures you post are almost more important.

Agreed. I bought mine in January in MA and the guy had a bidding war on his hands. It has lots of amenities and he had tons of pictures and details in his listing.
 

JunkyBurrittos

Active Member
Mar 18, 2017
491
Central MA
I think that time of year is super important for those of us with crappy winter weather (speaking from Chicago, here). I've been watching the used market for a while and prices are high in spring and low in fall. Also there is much less market activity in the fall - WAY fewer used campers on the market right now and fewer buyers, so it would take longer to sell. It worked out well for me because we just bought a N2U highwall at a pretty good price. We are able to store the new one and our old one at my uncle's for free. We are planning to just leave them both there for the winter and then in the spring we'll sell our old one. Planning to get the old one up for sale around May 1.

Something in your favor, I've noticed VERY few high walls for sale in my area which is what I was looking for. So you may have better luck selling a HW. Unfortunately for me, most of the PUPs for sale in my area are about the same age, size, and amenities as mine. Plus some joker is using pics of a camper that looks exactly like mine to run one of those b.s. Craigslist scam ads.

As far as RV shows, last year I was watching used ads shortly after the big Chicago RV show to see if a bunch of used ones came on the market. But, no : ( I didn't really notice any big difference.

Good luck to you!

Thanks for all the tips Chrissy. I’m glad you were in a position to buy now and store the old until spring! Shame about that darn CL Scammer though! I’m sure you’ll be able to distinguish yourself in the listing.

I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out and if the right deal comes out just figure out a way to swipe it up! If I’m not seeing the right deal now anyhow, I guess I’m not missing out.
 

Ductape

Super Active Member
Jun 12, 2013
1,291
I'll just reinforce what others have said.

Best time to sell yours is in the spring. We sold our popup near Labor Day and were happy to take the first offer that came along, because not many were coming near the end of the camping season. It wasn't a terrible offer, but at that time of year I wasn't going to store it through the winter to get an extra couple hundred for it.

Camper shows definitely don't have rock bottom prices. People at shows are in the mood to buy and the dealers know it. We were trying to buy from a dealer in Ma. we talked to at the Boston show whom I won't name.... but their name rhymes with BAGG. They came down another $1,500 from their 'show special' price after the show.

A lot will come down to supply and demand. If you settle on a make / model that six dealers within an hour or two have on their lots... you will get a much better deal than on a make / model no one has in stock.

I went online (when we bought our TT new in 2015) and looked at dealer prices out in Ohio and Indiana, and used that for a target price. We ended up buying for $800 more than the lowest price I could find in Indiana, which I was more than happy with vs. driving 800 mi each way to get it. We did drive 3 hrs. to Burlington, Vt. to pick it up, and saved several thousand over any dealer in NH or Ma. I was beyond happy with the salesman / dealer we purchased from.

As far as prices go, in my experience was this:

Buying @ 25% off MSRP would be acceptable to me if I'm buying a trailer that isn't in stock at many dealers, and I'm dead set on that model.

Buying @ 30% off MSRP is a very good deal.

Buying @ 35% off MSRP or more off MSRP is a great deal !

Buying at only 20% off or less is paying too much. Walk away !

(Edit) I'm talking about 'out the door prices'. Don't let a dealer offer to sell at 30% off MSRP and then add a bunch of dealer fees onto the deal after giving you the good price.

We bought new because we bought cheaper than most used trailers I was considering …. and got EXACTLY what we wanted. As you have seen, you can buy new for about what a 3 …. 4 , 5 (or older) year old campers were selling for. You just need to be willing to do a little leg work. And obviously, buying new you get a warranty of some kind.... and hopefully, less or no problems.

Have fun with your search !
 
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emoney

Super Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
880
Look at the Jayco that has the same floor plan as mine. It's not a hybrid and the dinette won't seat you all at the same time however the sofa is right across from it so in essence it would. It sleeps 8 but everybody is close, with the box being only 21' I think. Seems
Ike it was a Jayfeather X213? Someone around here has that model. Just a thought
 

HC1

Member
Nov 3, 2017
28
If the price is right it is always the time to buy.

For a private seller there will be more buyers early in the season.
 




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