It’s that time of year again. Manufacturers have been rolling out the 2016 models for some time but with the onset of the Fall RV Shows -especially the Big One in Hershey- they’re now coming fast and furious. Behind the scenes here we’ve been working overtime, talking to manufacturers and designers, dealers, and owners. As the RV buying season winds down, our job heats up. After the strolling around, taking notes, and endless question and answer interviews, we have to sit down and lash everything in to some sort of update.
For those of you starting your research now, we have a special offer this year. Anyone buying one of the current guides starting October 1st, 2015, can request a FREE e-book copy of the updated 2016 guide when it is released. That way you can do your research now, learn all about the construction techniques and the various manufacturers, use the rating charts and begin narrowing your search. When the new books are released, you’ll get the latest version at no charge for a quick review to see if anything significant has happened, and then you’ll be ready to buy. Nice, huh?
It’s worth noting that the vast majority of changes to model years are usually of an insignificant nature, involving a few new décor options inside and a different swoopy graphic scheme outside. RV manufacturers, much like their automotive counterparts, tend to overhaul a model significantly only once every five years (or longer) due to the exorbitant costs involved with new tooling and molds. As a company whose main goal is to help RV buyers save money, we at RVReviews.net always advise against buying the latest model of any RV. Always.
Why? That’s easy. Typically, a brand new 2016 model will be very similar to its 2015 counterpart except for some of the superficial differences mentioned above. But the price differences between the two will be significant. Most people instinctively want the latest and greatest and gravitate toward the 2016, assuming it’s the better of the two. Dealers know this and sell 2016s with minimal discounts, whereas the 2015s are now “dated” and they want them off their inventory and lot –and tend to discount them aggressively. They definitely don’t want to be holding any 2015 models once the calendar rolls over to the new year.
So here you are, in the market for a new RV, and you’re looking at this shiny new 2016 and it’s “on sale” for $36,500. Hmm, you say, that’s in my budget. But then, because you’ve heard us go on and on about buying the previous year’s model when possible, you ask your dealer if he has any of these left in the 2015 version. Your dealer, delighted at the thought of clearing out a leftover, walks you down to a nearly identical RV and announces he can let this one go for an even $30,000. His tone suggests there may be some wiggle room on that, as opposed to the firm price on the 2016 –that he has over a year to sell without penalty.
Now ask yourself: Is a new color scheme and funky graphic worth over $6,000 to you? It sure isn’t to us. And how many people will ever know which year RV you have? None, that’s how many. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
So why would anyone be in the market for a new 2016? Well, if a model has passed its five year mark, a 2016 could be a completely redesigned version of the 2015. That may be worth the surcharge for some –but this will apply to less than 20% of any year’s offerings, on average. Also, a lot of people are leery about getting the first year version of any new overhaul, be it a car, boat or RV. Without a track record, they don’t want to be the test pilots for unknown issues. These savvy buyers prefer to get in around year two or three, after any deficiencies have been revealed (by others) and corrected.
So while we work away on our updates, keep in mind the current guide will still be relevant for the vast majority of RVs and, for those interested in saving some significant money, preferable. And if you’re a latest and greatest buyer, the FREE copy of the 2016s will be coming soon, but it won’t cost you an extra dime to start your research now.
Currently, The Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel Comparison Guide is almost complete and ready to be sent to the printer. The Motorhome Comparison Guide will follow after that, followed by the guides that focus on the smaller RVs (Lightweight and Truck Camper). So order today and let the research begin. The more time you put in to learning today, the more money you’ll save when you buy, not to mention getting the right RV for you the first time.
That’s it for this week, folks. There’s still plenty of time to hit the road this year but make sure to check those tire pressures before heading out.