Choosing Options For A New RV

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May 8, 2014

Jason ChenySo, you have finally selected a make and model of your next RV.  Ordering a new RV, as opposed to buying off the lot, allows for customization.  The color, trim and which options you desire can be individually picked out.  While colors for exterior and interior generally are non-financial decisions, the same cannot necessarily be said for trim levels and non-standard options. 

So, how does one access which options that should be ordered?  Some of the selection techniques involve personal needs, necessities, resale value and just plain taste. All of these need to be weighed against the increase in the capital cost.

But what if I’ve never gone through this process before? Custom ordering every item prior to a factory build can be mind boggling, given the number of available options offered today.  This led me to develop what I found to be an easier method of determining the final options that would be specified.

Instead of picking out each item that I would like to have, I started with a total cost of the unit with every possible option already equipped.  Then, I start to eliminate those options that I feel I can live without.  Once done, I calculate the new reduced cost.  If this amount is still breaking the budget, I repeat the process using only the items I did not eliminate.  The second round usually weeds out additional features that can be omitted.  This exercise can be ran through as often as needed until the bottom line conforms to your budget.

Now, go through each option that you have eliminated and ask yourself the following:  “By omitting this item, might it affect the resale value or narrow the potential buyers?”  A good example of this is “Side View Cameras” on a class “A” coach purchase.  Many motor home purchasers feel side cameras are a must.  While the addition of these side mounted cameras will do little to increase resale value, if not equipped it may turn some buyers away.

One thing to keep in mind, regarding optional equipment, they offer a larger dealer/manufacturer profit margin.  While the basic unit has a small margin for trade in over allowance, options have a substantial profit already built in.  So, if you were buying outright, or trading in a unit, you may be able to negotiate a higher discount on the purchase price, or higher trade in value, the higher your option take rate is. Know you budget and know your needs, you’ll do great!

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