Recently I chatted with Phil Hale, an RV sales person about buying an RV. He said that he sold RVs for one season in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The dealership he worked for sold motor homes although they accepted trades of  fifth-wheels and travel trailers.

In addition to selling RVs, he owns one himself. “I’ve been RVing since 2004 when my wife and I purchased a thirty-seven-foot Pace Arrow motor home to use for getaways and holidays. We enjoyed the lifestyle so much that in 2008 we sold our home and went full-time RVing and traveled throughout Canada and the USA.”

Phil's Empress Motorhome

Phil’s Empress Motor home

“Our first motor home was a gas powered coach. In 2013 we traded it for a diesel pusher coach which allows for more carrying capacity along with air-ride instead of springs.”

I asked Phil how he approaches selling an RV when a person is not sure what kind of RV is right for them. He said “I generally ask questions about how they intend to use it. Will they use it on weekends, with or without kids, or for going away for the winter. I also ask how much mileage they anticipate driving and how long they want to have the RV last. Once I have these answers I can show them the most suitable RVs.”

What if someone comes in with a very clear idea of what they want? I asked.  “If someone comes in knowing what they want, I try and show it to them if we have it. If we don’t have it, I will offer to show them something in stock that compares favorably. By showing them products that meet their needs and wants, they can often see the benefits and may change their mind.”

What should a person do when they go to an RV lot intending to purchase? Phil’s answer was “I would look for a salesperson that’s willing to listen to what you need and tries to match your needs to an appropriate unit. I don’t hesitate to direct them elsewhere if we don’t have the type of unit they want. People just want to be treated with respect and get honesty and integrity. They don’t want someone pushing them into the wrong unit. In the long run if you treat them right they will deal with you again and tell others about you.

“When RV shopping, I look for a dealer with a good reputation not only in selling but also after-sale service which can be equally important. You want a dealer that will stand behind their products. I look for a salesperson I am comfortable with and don’t hesitate to ask for another salesperson if I am not comfortable. Or I leave and go to another dealer. These are big ticket purchases and you deserve to be happy with your purchase.”

Thank you Phil for sharing your experience with readers and for the tips on working with an RV sales person. Before going to a lot, it is helpful to visit an RV classifieds site like RVT to inform yourself of what’s available and at what price. Note, we have a popular NADA guides price checker tool you can check out too!

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