Opinions on RV Show pup deals.

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by davekro, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. davekro

    davekro Active Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Though we really, really, really want the great bank for the buck of a used pup vs. new...

    Are RV show deals sometimes a very, very good value? Or are they just a somewhat less poor investment vs. buying a few years or more old? My only reason to even consider buying a new (or prev. year unsold) at a show price sale would be if my odds were very slim to find our criteria in a used/good condition/ decent price. We'd want a 12' box, w/ slide out, w/o shower/toilet (open to toilet only), w/o front storage (because limited to 16'-17' tongue to spare for storage).


    Have you bought from an RV show before? Why and what was your experience? Do RV shows generally have a good selection of Pop ups? Or are they intentionally (mostly) left out to not take attention away from larger ticket TT's, 5th's and RVs? I've heard mention that sometimes dealers actually bring some units to shows to sell from there. And that maybe at the end of the show, might be motivated to cut a bit more so as not to have to haul them back. Is that a thing?

    There is an RV show coming up that we had planned to attend just for ideas and drooling purposes at the Pleasanton, CA Alameda County Fairgrounds
    http://www.rvshow.net/links.html
    The event site lists dealers but I can't tell if tent trailers would be represented well or not, unless I called each dealer to ask.

    The 6 Best RV Shows in California
    https://rvshare.com/blog/rv-shows/california/
    Any opinions on better or worse pup showings at other Calif RV shows?
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    981
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Usually at a show they are willing to talk. They don't want to tow it back after the show. If you are prepared to take it from the show you most likely will get a deal.
     
    Rik Peery and 1380ken like this.
  3. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,407
    Likes Received:
    662
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    S Ontario
    Never say never ;) but I've never heard of any RV dealer selling a unit at an RV show in hopes of not having to return it to the shop where it has to undergo a PDI anyway before delivery and ultimately the buyer's orientation. Sure, you can make a deal at a show but there's no way you're driving away from the show with that trailer in tow. Any dealer will bring a sampling of his/her most popular selling models but there's no way you're going to see anywhere near every model the dealer is authorized to sell.
     
    1380ken likes this.
  4. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    175
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Agree with GreyFox. The logistics of random people pulling in to the convention center parking lot to pick up their unit would be a nightmare. Every event I've been to and friends that have purchased at the show set up a delivery time at the dealership and the unit will have been prepped in a bay with power and you get to have a walkthrough.

    Fall shows have more excess end of year inventory 'deals' that are negotiable, but have to take what's on their lot that didn't sell. It's not normally pop ups, but weird layout models that the factory made them take to be able to sell their line or a custom unit that was ordered but the buyer backed out of or financing fell through; and maybe a few units that were selling like hotcakes early but slowed down and they have a couple extra to unload.

    In my experience, spring shows keep the factories busy during winter months where dealers will order 5-10 units of their popular campers that the factory offers packages on that come with upgrades that it normally doesn't come with like power jack & stabs, led lighting strips or surround sound stereo unit, or upgraded ceramic sinks and toilets and real countertops instead of cheap plastic and covered plywood. I bought my TT at a show like this 3 years ago. They had 3 of the model I bought, I was the second person to buy, and I specifically asked for the vin on my paperwork to be the one back at the shop and not the one being used as a playground at the show (I asked if they'd sell the show model at a discount and was told no, they'd have it sold before the show was over at the price listed). Once the "specials" are sold at the show you can normally get the same trailer at show price, but it won't have the added features they are promoting.

    On a pop up there's not much of a discount to be had on the price, but they'll include a power jack, awning with LED, maybe air at a show special price which is typically what the standard unit would cost any day on the lot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    1380ken likes this.
  5. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    269
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    [put&hy]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  6. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    981
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Some one I know bought a TT "AS IS" and drove it home from the show.
     
    Rik Peery and 1380ken like this.
  7. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    175
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    So we must be talking about different shows. An AS IS trailer would be used, and the big spring shows I go to at least don't have used units at them and haven't in the 20 years I've been going off and on. Up to about 5 years ago they used to have polaroids on presentation boards of the used units they had on the lot with a make me a deal sign over them, but with the internet being what it is only a few of them even have listings of the used units with a 3D scan tag that you can use your phone to look at the online listing, or a few laptops with their website pulled up you can browse.

    They've got the units puzzle pieced in the convention halls so tightly. Our show is a boat, sport, and travel show. I know a couple of the guys that pull the boats in and out for one of the dealers and take a few days off their normal job to pull the boats back and fourth from the dealership to the show. There is a set time that they have the units outside the building and an order to stage their display, and again when the show is over get them outside to the staging lot and off the grounds within a certain period of time.
     
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,844
    Likes Received:
    1,715
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    . The shows around here carry very few popups. The bigger shows I at least see a few of the larger aka more expensive popups.
     
  9. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    981
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Many years ago I recall going to a couple of RV shows that had new and used. They were laid out like a camp ground. If you bought one you could just pull it out and leave.
    I can't imagine anyone would have displayed anything that wasn't ready to sell.
     
    1380ken and JustRelax like this.
  10. davekro

    davekro Active Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    What do you mean by "Naive enough to close the deal at the show". Is there a way to commit to buy one and not finalize the deal at the show. I assume that means giving them a check and they get to cash it before you get delivery? Do they accept credit card payments, so you could dispute the charge when at the dealer pick up something was not as agreed?

    JustRelax, "I specifically asked for the vin on my paperwork to be the one back at the shop and not the one being used as a playground at the show." I like this degree of specificity to insure not to get the show unit!
     
  11. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    176
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks CA
    I've been to the Free Hall show 5 or 6 times. Didn't go last year, the first time the had any pups was two years ago. Previous 5 years - not a one. There were a total of 3 Flagstaff models in 2017.
     
  12. davekro

    davekro Active Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    (I usually do as well ;) )

    I'm not sure, but our January 12-20 Show might have 1) Some previous year model's on special (might be odd balls as noted) as well as 2) 'Taking orders to keep the factory busy during slow months'. If #2 is the case, what kind of lead times are you looking at? A concern of buying a new unit to be delivered... What if the workmanship does not look too keen, lower than seen on similar models at the show? Are you still committed to buy?

    Is it everyone's experience that, at least in the recent five years or so, that very few tent trailers were at even the big shows? Anyone in Calif. know of big shows that would have a good selection of tent trailers? It is starting to sound like, to see a brands fullest offering, we would be better served by travelling to the show listed dealers within a 2 hour drive to see the models on their lot now. Heck, would they likely offer a 'show price' from the lot in early/ mid December, if they knew you were just going to wait for the show coming in 3-4 weeks (They risk losing you to another brand/dealer)?
     
  13. cyclop5

    cyclop5 Member

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Last two times I went to the Chicago (Rosemont) show, there were 4 "normal" popups there. That was it. I was very disappointed. I ended up buying a new hybrid, so it sort of worked out, but I was sad with the lack of popups there. (They did have some of the more.. unusual ones - lightweight ones, ones designed for maximum space while boondocking, interesting non-standard bunk arrangements, etc)

    To be fair - there were some aliner/a-frame ones. I think there were more of those than pups :(
     
  14. davekro

    davekro Active Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2019
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Sounds like I may have to map out the dealers within that 2 hour drive (Fresno to Sacramento to Napa). Then look over the online brochures for their brands/ models they carry. Find the specific models of interest and call if they have them on their lot now. A lot of work, but this will give me knowledge of brand's models might be of interest. I'd know what specific models to keep an eye out for in Craig's list. Maybe be willing to drive far to find a used one come spring when used pups start showing up for sale. Ny sense for when the busier 'selling' time starts for camping trailers?
     
  15. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,407
    Likes Received:
    662
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    S Ontario


    I think I've said this previously but IMO you're overthinking this. The reality is that popups are for the majority of dealers a loss leader, sold only in the hopes that some time later the same buyer will return to the dealership wanting to trade in and upgrade to a travel trailer, 5th, etc. Other dealers have given up completely as they've found the margin on popups so small it's not worth the time or effort to try to sell them. After all, why invest x hours in selling a popup costing $10K when a travel trailer, 5th, etc costing many times more takes no more effort or time but generates a greater profit. As far as RV shows are concerned, dealers pay handsomely for their display space so there's little incentive to spend those $$$$$ to show popups when the space can be so much better used to display units selling for far more. It really comes down to simple math.
     
  16. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    175
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I'd love to attend a show like this. Rent out a KOA for the weekend and have them all set up like intended. FCFS sign and leave.
     
  17. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    175
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    For your #2 -- In my experience, in Indianapolis 3 hours from where the majority are made, the dealer has already taken delivery on the show specials. They have all on the lot but one they bring to the show. It's on new year models they likely started building in October. So you see what you are going to buy and take delivery of on their lot. They like you to set the time of delivery at the show and usually push for within 2-4 weeks after the show ends.
     
  18. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    981
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Don't see too many any more.
     
  19. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,343
    Likes Received:
    981
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Location:
    Northwestern New Jersey
    I guess you haven't seen everything yet. Stay around a little longer.
     
    1380ken likes this.
  20. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    175
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    There aren't going to be deals on pop ups. As stated there is very little money in them, and along with all campers, cars, really anything - you can google search any unit and know the going price is. The days of marking things up 10k to get the sucker are gone. So a $6k popup is what it is and will likely be near that price any day of the year. Adding power and convenience "show" packages at the normal price (meaning the price listed pretty much everywhere as internet pricing doing a quick search) is really the marketing that in my recent experience the shows are doing.

    You'll see a few pop ups at any typical show, recently there have been more off road "extreme" type at a crazy expensive price point in the specialty section of the show.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.