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Old 09-01-2016, 03:06 PM   #1
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El Dorado Hills , California
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Seriously contemplating Interstate GT

After dreaming of an AS trailer for years, my husband and I decided on an Interstate as it fits our current needs better (more convenient to get up and go, no need to buy a big truck to pull, etc.). There are just two of us - no kids - and we want to use it for both long-weekend trips and longer trips around the country.

Checked them out this past weekend. I had zero expectations and in fact went into the dealership thinking I would just walk through the Interstates to appease my husband and move on to the trailers. We both ended up feeling they would be perfect for us.

We would like to get a silver GT Wardrobe (full bed) Light Camel. Looks like this is a difficult combo to find in current inventory (and nearly impossible preowned) so we'd have to order, but of course want to negotiate quite a bit on the price as $160K is higher than we want to spend. Found an awesome thread on here about price negotiations around 2014 - not sure if still relevant to today's environment. Questions:

Is 25-30% less than sticker still reasonable for negotiation?

Is it near impossible to negotiate if special order?

Is December considered a good time to negotiate the best deal?

We are in California and are willing to travel to multiple cities, even states, to get the motorhome that we would like.

Also - of course we're reading all kinds of informative threads on here, including all the problems these lovely motorhomes can have. Not sure if we should be overly concerned - it does seem like most (all?) RVs have issues.

This would be our first RV EVER so we are cautious, a bit nervous around initiating a purchase (don't want to get screwed) but also very excited to join other RVers on the road!
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:23 PM   #2
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You can negotiate on an ordered unit just as well as one they have in inventory, maybe better, but you will be shooting too high with your 25-35%.

I would think somewhere around Thanksgiving would be a good time to start maybe sooner. It will take +- 2 months depending on what is in the pipeline @ Airstream. The benefit if you do end up ordering, you get what you want and your coach batteries aren't degraded by sitting around on the dealers lot.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:17 PM   #3
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I have no experience in dealing in Airstreams or Travel Trailers, but I do have experience as a Honda dealer rep.
We would always make special efforts to prove to the customer that our inventory could closely match the buyer's desire...and he/she could inspect it in our showroom right NOW...for suitability and defects.... something that cannot be done with a special-ordered unit. (The special order might arrive with transport damage or other defect that, although correctable, incurs addt'l risk and time.)
After the customer demonstrates firm resolve to special order, we would immediately and cheerfully take his order, always making special effort to sell addt'l options "because NOW is the time to get exactly what you want."
It always made more money for us.
With that in mind:

A Special Order unit is one that:
1. The dealer does not have in-stock and therefore may lose the sale thereof to a competitor.
2. A unit that will be pre-sold and will not have to be "warehoused" or "floorplanned" with those associated expenses, and ...
3. Will not have the need for extended insurance-risk (theft, hail, etc.) because it will be "pre-sold" with the factory-distribution insurance-discounted.
4. Will have cash-in-dealer's - bank-acct prior to the actual sale (something we all like.)

Bargain heartily.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:44 PM   #4
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25-30% discount on a new AI is high IMO. These aren't Winnebago's that get produced in the 100's each week with the manufacturer (and dealers) making their money on volume. I think you should set your expectations a bit lower......

With that said, you can definitely negotiate below MSRP on any of their units, but you'll get the best deal on what's on their lot. Also, the best time to do that is at the end of the month. RV dealers are just like car dealers and they have monthly quotas to meet, especially if they want a piece of the incentives pie that manufacturers make available. If you time it right and to walk into a dealer that's within a few units of "making their number" and it's the last day of the month, then you'll have the most leverage.

Best luck in your search.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:05 PM   #5
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Your story is ours. Went it to buy a trailer, walked out buying the Interstate.

On discount, I usually bargain very hard. But for this unit, I did not. Reason? I wanted a happy salesperson and dealer backing me in the future as problems arise. Given the high certainty of this in RV business, I thought it was a wise strategy. While we have not found much as far as problem, my salesperson has been over the moon trying to please us left and right.

So think about that a bit before pushing the price too far, and making the negotiations too ugly.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:57 PM   #6
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In today's market 15% off MSRP on an ordered unit is reasonable.

If production is on schedule, mine should have been released today.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:46 PM   #7
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Vmsilva – about a year ago, my wife and I were doing the same thing you are now. Eventually someone on this forum suggested Orlando RV. That is what worked for us, so we are paying it forward. We talked to Scott Lafferty and ordered exactly what we wanted for a going in price about 19% off MSRP. We had a blast driving it back home from Orlando. Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:51 AM   #8
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Welcome to Air Forums!

Tough call on your preferred vehicle. Your approach depends on your own personal cost-benefit equation, obviously. Depending on your intended timing, you could spend an interval of time keeping an eye on the most common national sites (eBay, RVTrader, PPL, and the larger dealers), to see if your desired configuration happens to come on the market by chance - that might give you a better shot at negotiation. Or just go for it with an order, acknowledging that your immediate depreciation will be steep.

I'm no expert on the newer Interstate market, but here's a general example regarding depreciation. In mid-July of this year, PPL posted a 2016 GT for $114,795 (500 miles on it). I thought that was low - I knew that the sticker prices of $150-$160 were not realistic, but I thought actual agreed sale prices would bottom out significantly above that amount. But other posters said no, that's about right. Sure enough, that unit lingered on the sale board for weeks before someone bought it, suggesting that its pricing was in line with the market.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:49 AM   #9
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We looked for 2 years for exactly what we wanted, model, color.....etc. Then we went online and found as many dealers that had that exact model and began negotiating through email. This took many weeks and more patience than I normally have after making my mind up on a purchase. Emails are their price in writing and you can forego the wait while they go talk to their manager.

30% reduction is reasonable especially if you find many of the exact model you wasn't on the internet. Dealers that claim not to be beaten on price are usually the most costly. Buying a 2016 at your price target will be easier now that the 2017's are out but that comes with a slight higher loss as you drive it off the lot.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

jp
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:09 AM   #10
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Then we went online and found as many dealers that had that exact model and began negotiating through email. This took many weeks and more patience than I normally have after making my mind up on a purchase. Emails are their price in writing and you can forego the wait while they go talk to their manager.
I did something similar when I bought my Interstate.

But there's one additional step that I did. After finding the dealer with the best price (in my case Crain RV in Little Rock) where no one was willing to go lower, I contacted the closest dealer (Foley RV) and asked if they could match that price. They could, and did, and got my business.

My reasoning was that if two dealers offered identical prices on identical products, the closest dealer wins. That's because the cost to travel an hour each way to pick up my purchase is much less than the cost to travel a whole day each way to pick up my purchase, so my out-of-pocket expenses are reduced accordingly.

A bargain clear across the country may not be a bargain by the time you add in everything that you'd spend to get there and back— unless you were making the trip anyway for other reasons.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:18 AM   #11
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I have been so impressed with the thoughtful and extremely helpful info provided here, as well as the awesome PMs I've received. Thank you all so much!

My husband is the consummate bargainer, but it makes sense not to be too crazy or aggressive or else you could end up ticking off the dealer you need to service and repair your RV! Reminds me of the time my dad took me to dealerships to buy my first car at 17, well-worn Kelly Blue Book in hand, arms crossed - the guy who would not budge and had salesmen red-faced, steaming, throwing their hands in the air, storming out of the office (true story). We came away with a little preowned red Nissan Sentra but everyone went home needing a bottle of Tums that day. Probably not how we would want to develop a relationship with an RV dealership.

It sounds like... yipes... we just need to get our feet in the water and go for it, using the various tactics you all have shared. It will indeed take a good measure of patience, that's for sure. Huge thanks to everyone.
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:27 AM   #12
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A bargain clear across the country may not be a bargain by the time you add in everything that you'd spend to get there and backó unless you were making the trip anyway for other reasons.

Very true unless the dealer picks you up at the airport, gives you a place to stay for a couple nights, and gives you cash to cover the cost of the trip home. It was a great opportunity to get to know the new motyho. Maybe they don't always do that ... I don't know ... just say'n.
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:59 AM   #13
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Bought new Interstate in June. Second dealer, first offer was approx 19% off MSRP -- took the deal. This is our third Sprinter chassis RV. Very happy with Sprinters! Interstate is BY FAR the best of the three coaches!

We are delighted with the Interstate!
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:14 PM   #14
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Negotiating ideas

One year ago we were in exactly the same position trying to secure a new Interstate while trying to establish a relationship with a dealer. We were able to receive some flexibility on the price but it was rather meager compared to the sticker. Even though the Interstate is pretty "tricked out" we found some items that the dealer threw in to sweeten the deal. For instance: since we were storing the RV outside we requested the exterior protection be applied. A few other items were requested and granted that helped close the deal for us. After experiencing a year of enjoyment with the Interstate looking back we would have tried to secure two additional AGM batteries and an extra solar panel during negotiations.

Good luck!
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