There are different ways to cut the deal and always better to only be doing one transaction without a "trade-in" to muddy the water. Even after you get a negotiated price for the vehicle it can pay to ask about promotional extras from the manufacturer or for the dealer to add items at their cost and without an installation charge.
Side awnings are one example where an awning that might cost $1200 plus $200 for having it installed could be gotten for the dealer's cost of $600 and with them providing a free installation of it. The dealer is not really out of pocket anything with this kind of deal and you save $600 by working it into the RV deal instead of waiting to buy it later.
A lot of dealing comes down to attitude. You need to be willing to walk away to have an even playing field with the dealer. RV sales are terrible and there are lots of used RV's coming on the market with people having lost their jobs and needing to get out from under the payments.
I have found that it also helps to be patient and take your time in negotiating. If it takes me 3 hours to get the price down by $300 I will do so as $100 an hour equates to $140 and hour before taxes and that is a good exchange for my time. Don't think in terms of the monthly payment or what you can afford but in terms of dollars you are handing over to the seller that you are not going to see again.
Percentage off will vary with a number of factors......
1. Popularity of the unit you are looking at. People looking at Tiffin Phaetons today, have much less negotiating power than someone looking at say, a Fleetwood Discovery. Phaetons are selling as fast as they can make them, so pricing reflects that fact.
2. Whatever your choice, if you can find a NEW 2011 model, still on the lot, you can probably get a much larger discount off MSRP. As soon as the newest models show up on the lot, leftovers are more heavily discounted.
3. Remember, no matter what a dealers advertised price is for any unit, it is still their "asking price". There is always room for further negotiations.
4. Consider negotiating for future services as part of the deal. Get them to throw in something like the first year chassis service, winter storage, winterization, spring detailing, or something similar that you might typically pay to have done later. When we bought our Rig last fall, the owner had documented just doing the chassis service a couple of months earlier. So we got the dealer to agree to a full chassis service, at no charge, this coming fall. With oil, lube, generator and AquaHot service, this would have been close to $1,000 out of out pocket. This was after negotiating the price we were comfortable with, along with 8 new tires. Ours was a consignment unit at the dealer and the owner surely had to share in the cost, but everyone ended up happy with the deal in the end. And that's what it's all about, isn't it????
Paul & Sandra
New Bedford, MA
2003 Monaco Executive M43 DS2