Friday, September 11, 2015

Ordering Day! The process of ordering your RV


It was a big day today:  we placed our order!

If all goes well, they'll start building our coach by mid-February 2016 and we'll be able to go up to Indiana and take factory delivery sometime in April.

In the past few days, Mrs. G met with the finance person at the dealership and worked out the numbers.  As it turns out, getting financing from the dealer was just as good - maybe better - as getting it from our credit union or another 3rd-party bank.  We're not only getting a good rate, but we're getting a 20-year loan.  Most RV loans of a similar size are for 15-year terms.

Since we completed all of the financial paperwork a few days ago, actually ordering it today was just a matter of signing a few papers and giving them a deposit.

At this point, we know how much the coach and it's basic options are going to cost, but the factory hasn't come back with their costs on our "specials" - things we want to add or change.  We have a ballpark idea and so aren't overly concerned about the number.  It will be good to hear from them to not only get the number, but to find out if there is anything that they won't do or prefer to do differently.

When you place an order like this, there is a basic order sheet that Newmar makes for your particular model.  You simply (after a lot of thought!) go down the list and check the boxes: two air conditioning units or three? this awning or that one? a couch behind the driver or two recliners?

From this order sheet, the dealer can quickly add up the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).  It's this number that you negotiate with the dealer.  From everything I've read and experienced, you can get somewhere between 25 and 30% off of the MSRP.  This is no secret - it's all over the Internet on boards, Facebook forums and blogs.

After you've walked through your model a few times and done a bit of research on the Internet, you'll start to make a list of things you want to add or change.  In our case, we wanted to add some outlets, upgrade the batteries, and things like that.  I'll write another post just to talk about our specials.

The specials are sent to Newmar for evaluation and, in many cases, review by their engineering team.  When they have finished, Newmar sends the list back to the dealer as an itemized list with a dealer cost and a MSRP for each item.  Some items may have notes, like they can't do it or won't do it.  Or they may have some additional questions for clarification.  In many cases, a changes may require that Newmar generate an engineering drawing that they have to send to you for review.  We have understood that new drawings can add two or more weeks to the process.

Before the specials list is sent to Newmar, you should negotiate with the dealer to determine how much off the total MSRP for the specials you will get.  This number could be the same as the percentage you negotiated for the basic order, or it may be lower.

In all cases, you're going to have to pay taxes and fees for the tag.  But there may still be one more bill to pay:  the dealer fee.  No one knows exactly what this is.  I think dealers have sworn some sort of oath to never talk about it.  After all, you'd think that any "fees" would just be included in their profit margin.  However, most dealers still single them out as a separate fee that you need to tack on at the end.  We did find some places that had no dealer fees, so be sure to consider this when you negotiate that final price.

Now that it's on order, we wait.  And I hear that it's the hardest part of the entire process.

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