You need to know all of the RV and motorhome dealer terminology
and dealer slang before stepping foot into an Recreational Vehicle or travel trailer showroom.
An informed buyer is often an Rv dealer’s worst nightmare.
That’s because dealer slang is the way Rv dealers speak
to one another in a shorthand sort of fashion, but they speak directly to
you very differently. What they are saying behind your back can be a real
Here are some of the terms from a RV dealer's slang
dictionary. Read it and you will know what they really mean by their buzz words and slang.
BABYSITTER: Slang term
used for a co-signer or co-buyer on an sales contract.
BACK END: Back end is
the contract which is being sent to the bank for financing,
where extra "hidden" profit is made by the dealer
because of the "kickback" that the bank pays the
BEATER: See SLED.
BE BACK: Prospective buyer
who has been in the dealership and promises to return.
BIRD DOG: One who refers
prospective customers to a particular dealership or salesman
for a given fee or compensation.
BOUNCE: To bounce someone
means to increase the sales price of the coach, interest rate,
monthly payments, etc., often without the customer realizing
BOX: Refers to the RV
"box" that sits on the vehicle chassis.
BRICKS: Refer to a house
being used as security for an RV loan.
BROWNIE: To sell to a
customer as a result of going around and putting a piece
of paper with a message like "call me regarding your
on coach windows in a parking lot or on the street.
BUMP: See BOUNCE.
BUREAU: A credit report
on a customer.
BUYBACK : Avehicle that the manufacturer
bought back, usually because it was a lemon, and then was resold,
often through a direct resale to another Rv dealership where it
can be resold back into the marketplace as a used coach, often
without disclosure of its true history of defects; also, see
laundered lemon Rv.
with lots of vehicle inventory.
BUY RATE: This is the
interest rate that banks or financing institutions will charge
on all contracts being financed; It is a "secret"
number between the lender and the dealer which is the real
amount of the interest rate that the loan starts out at before
the dealer increases it for its own extra profit.
CANDY STORE : A dealership
with lots of motorcoach vehicle inventory.
CHASSIS : The frame of an Rv vehicle,
may or may not include the engine as part of it, depending
on the type of coach and the chassis manufacturer and
CLIMBER: A salesman who
can sell anything to anyone. One who is able to tackle a
tough customer and climb all over them.
CLOSER: Usually a pushy
salesman whose job it is to "close" the deal with
the customer when the customer hesitates when dealing with
DE-HORSE: This is when
you take a customer out of his trade-in and let him temporarily
drive the newly purchased RV before the purchase has really
been finalized on the dealer's books. The idea is to keep
the customer from shopping around and finding another deal
DESK: the floor managerís central location. It literally
is an office location that is typically on the show room floor and glass walled
so the Desk Man (the manager) can see everything that is going on. From here
the manager controls every deal being worked on. Sales staff go to the Desk
to get approval on every aspect of the deal. The Desk controls the payment
quotes, the price, the down payment and trade in terms. See Tower.
DESKMAN or DESK: A
man who both figures and determines what kind of deal the
dealership will make to a customer.
DEUCE: This usually refers
to a $200.00 figure for whatever reason, down payment, trade-in
DIP: This is when the
customer needs additional or all of his cash down advanced
by a finance company.
name given to the dealer employee who stands at the doorway of
the finance manager office, blocking it, when the buyer is sitting
in the F&I office and the final Rv sales paperwork is being signed,
an intimidation tactic often used by the salesperson on the deal or
the floor manager when the dealer knows there is something in the
transaction that the customer does not know or understand and
may object to.
DOUBLE DIP: To finance
a purchase between two or more loan companies.
DOWN: Short for down
payment. Also used when a salesman is finished talking to
a prospective buyer. He is considered to be down and the
next salesman is considered to be up and in line to handle
the next prospective buyer.
DOWN STROKE: The customer's
EDGY: This is a customer
who may or may not be able to get his RV financed.
ETHER: Is a slang term
used in association with its actual application. For example,
putting someone in the ether. This is usually done in a closing
situation and the customer is not completely aware of what
EYE BALLER: Is a flashy
looking, bright colored, RV.
Five Finger Close: A car dealer technique
used by some Rv dealers to get the sales papers signed by the
consumer without the consumer realizing that the numbers on the papers
have been increased above what was orally discussed with the consumer,
such as where the Rv dealership Finance Manager holds the stack of
Rv sales documents, such as the sales contract, finance contract, etc,
still with one hand planted in the middle of the document while
pointing to the signature line with the other hand and asking the buyer
to just sign here and here and here, etc., thereby using their hand to
cover up an area of the sales documents where numbers appear that the
Rv dealer does not want the buyer to see. Then the Rv dealer sets that
sales paper aside and puts another one in front of the consumer and
again puts one hand in the middle of the page while pointing to the
signature line with the other hand. The process is repeated through all
the Rv sales papers so that the buyer does not realize that the sales
figures were changed on the earlier document, in other words the
routine use of their hand by the Finance Manager actually disguises
the fraud that earlier occurred in the process.
It appears to the consumer that the Finance Manager is being helpful
in holding the page still but he/she is, in reality, using the
technique to deceive the customer into believing that the numbers, such
as the price, etc, are the same as what was talked about earlier
reality, they are not. This is sometimes also referred to as a five
finger spread or five finger push.
Five Finger Fold: Similar to the five finger close.
It is a technique adapted from car dealers that is most often
used to get the Rv sales papers signed by the consumer without
the consumer knowing that the numbers on the sales papers were changed,
such as, the Rv dealer Finance Manager holds the stack of sales papers
still with one hand planted in the middle of the top document while
pointing to the signature line with the other hand and asking the buyer
to just sign here and here, etc, thereby using their hand to
cover up an area of the Rv sales papers where numbers appear that the
Rv dealer does not want the buyer to see. A each sales paper
is signed, the Rv dealer folds up the bottom edge where it was signed,
revealing the next page when the customer is again asked to sign, etc.
It appears to the consumer that the Finance Manager is being helpful
in holding the page still but in reality they are using the
technique to deceive the customer into believing that the numbers, such
as the price, etc, are the same as what was earlier talked about
when, in reality, they are not. Also called a five finger spread or
five finger push.
FLAKE: Is a customer
who usually had bad credit, little or no money down. It is
usually a waste of time trying to put a deal together for
FLIP: This is to convert
a buyer from financing his RV through his own bank or credit
union to financing through the dealership.
FULL BORE: To sell an
RV for the full sticker price with no discount.
GOLD BALLS: One who has
excellent credit and usually a considerable down payment.
GRAPE: This is a very
easy buyer. He normally goes along with anything anyone tells
GREEN PEA: This is a
new salesman or sales business manager.
GRINDER: This is a buyer
who, no matter what the salesman offers, wants more for less.
HEN: Older type salesman
who influences younger salesmen (adversely).
HIGH BALL: A figure given
to a prospective customer which is an inflated value of his
trade-in in order to get the customer to return to the dealership
to purchase his new RV.
HIGH PENNY: To adjust
a customer's monthly payment. For example: from $1,401.13 to
$1,440.93. It is safe to assume that if the customer will pay
$1,401.13 for an Rv payment, he will pay $1,440.93 without giving
it a second thought.
HIGH PENNY ROLL: is where the finance sales
personís computer is rigged to automatically increase, i.e., roll up, numbers
in the transaction to a higher number without tipping it to a dollar increase.
Doing this on every transaction can create $20,000 to $40,000 of extra profit
a year since it adds 1 to 98 cents to every payment. Also called High Penny or Penny Pumping.
HOME RUN: When maximum
profit has been made on a deal or when the sales business
manager has sold the customer all the insurance he has available.
IRON: This is an old
used RV valued at nothing more than the price of iron.
KINK: A problem with
a deal due to "miswriting", misrepresentation,
misquoting, or mishandling.
LAID AWAY: A customer
who has paid the maximum price for as many items (like accessories,
rust proofing, extended warranty, financing and credit insurance)
as can possibly be sold on an RV.
LAY DOWN: This is a customer
who says yes to everything. They "lay down" ---
and get run right over.
LAUNDERED LEMON RV : When a coach is bought back
by the manufacturer and then resold without disclosure that it was
bought back under the lemon law, thus hiding its defect history
from subsequent owners; it is generally an illegal practice.
LEG as in ďgiving Leg.Ē Means getting a leg up on
the buyer. Describes the sales person quoting an inflated and false proposed
monthly payment number to the buyer in order to lock them in on a false
number in order to leave room for the finance sales person to pack into the
deal additional profit-making products for the dealership, whether or not the
customer knows it is happening to them. See Payment Packing.
LINER: A salesman whose
responsibility is to settle a customer on one particular
RV, get a commitment of some type from the customer, regardless
of how ridiculous it is, and then turn the customer over
to his T.O. man, sales manager or mother.
LOADING THE PAYMENT: means to take the
normal monthly payment amount and load it up by falsely inflating it to a
higher than necessary number in order to leave room for the finance sales
person to pack into the deal added profit-making products for the dealership
which the buyer may not even know about. See Payment Packing.
LOT LIZARD : The sales people who stand around
an Rv dealership, usually in small groups of two or three, waiting
for a customer to come along so they can pounce on them to make a
LOW BALL: Deliberately
stating a low price for an RV, with no intention of really
selling it for that price. Usually given to a customer who
has said that he wants to shop around before buying. This
figure is so low that the buyer will not be able to find
a better price anywhere. That way the Dealer can be sure
the buyer will come back and when he does the Dealer will
say the price just went up! By then the buyer is tired of
shopping so he probably won't go anywhere else again.
MICKEY: Slang term used
to describe a down payment loan that is arranged by the dealership.
This is referred to as completing a deal in Mickey Mouse
MOTHER: See T.O.
MOUSE HOUSE: Slang term
used for a finance company.
NEGATIVE EQUITY: Negative equity means
that your trade-in coach has a fair market value that is
less than what you owe on it. This could be because you have
not owned it very long and you still owe a very high payoff
on it. It could also be because the last dealership where you traded
an Rv in, and who sold you this one, started you on this “negative
equity” cycle. Click
here for more information about Negative Equity Dealer
Scams; some dealers have been known to tell the customer that
they have negative equity in their trade in Rv when, in truth, they
do not but telling the customer can mislead them on the true trade
in value and enable the dealer to gain extra profit when the trade
in is later resold by the dealer.
NICKEL: Refers to the
amount of $500.00
PACK: This has two applications. First, it is used to
describe the overhead deduction from the sales personís commission. The
dealer will deduct anywhere from $100 to $700 from the gross profit of the
deal and pay the salesman his commission which is figured on the difference.
The dealership (also called the house) calls the deduction a dealer pack but it
is really just a way of reducing the commission the sales person has earned in
a deal. In the second use of the term, it is used in relation to payment packing,
which is where the sales person quotes a higher than necessary monthly payment
number to the buyer in order to overcome objections when the finance sales person
jacks up the payment even more because they are adding into the deal, with or without
the buyer knowing it, soft add on products like Etch or extended warranties, etc.
For example, the sales person knows that the normal monthly payment amount
might be $825 but they deliberately tell the buyer that it will be $975 so that
there is $150 of room for the finance sales person to pack the deal with added-cost
soft add on products like an extended warranty or etch, etc.
PAYMENT PACKING: where the sales person
quotes a higher than necessary monthly payment number to the buyer in
order to overcome objections when the finance sales person jacks up the
payment even more because they are adding into the deal, with or without
the buyer knowing it, soft add on products like Etch or extended warranties,
etc. For example, the sales person knows that the normal monthly payment
amount might be $825 but they deliberately tell the buyer that it will be
$975 so that there is $150 of room for the finance sales person to pack the
deal with added-cost soft add on products. A more deceptive way of payment
packing is to get the buyer to agree on a monthly payment number without
the buyer knowing the loan length. That way the finance sales person can
create more profit in the deal by simply upping the loan length without the
buyer even realizing that the overall cost to the buyer is higher than it
otherwise would be.
PENCIL: This has two
applications. First, a sales manager will pencil a salesman's
deal by crossing out the customer's offer and penciling in
the figure that he wants to get for that RV. The second application
is used when a salesman or sales manager changes the selling
price or trade-in allowance and covers it up with an increase
in the customer's monthly payment because of the additional
cost he expects to pay for Credit Life, Accident and Health
PIPE SMOKER: A customer
who smokes a pipe, gives no commitments whatsoever, usually
grinds the salesman to his last thread and doesn't buy the
RV after all.
PUPPY SALE: When
a prospective buyer gets to take an Rv or travel trailer home
overnight for a 24-hour test drive, with the idea being that the
consumer will fall so in love with it, that they will return and buy
it for sure the next day.
PUT TOGETHER: This means
much the same as "laying someone away". In other
words the maximum gross profit to be made on that deal was
accomplished. The customer was "nailed to the wall".
RATE SHEET : The Dealer
Reserve Schedule used by F & I salesperson
to determine the amount of the kickback they will get from
the bank or other lender who is going to finance the sale,
in exchange for bumping the interest rate up above the minimum
rate that the lender actually wants to get on the loan.
RESERVE: Sometimes thought
of as a "kickback" the bank gives the dealer for
setting up the loan. The income a dealership realized on
a contract in excess of the finance source's discount rate.
For example: If the bank is going to charge $600.00 in finance
charges on a given contract and the total finance charge
to the customer on this contract is $1,000.00, the dealership
will realize $400 in "reserve money" but the customer
thinks the interest is all being charged by the bank.
ROLL BACK: To work a
deal backwards. Instead of working with the purchase price
and trying to determine a monthly payment, you would start
with a known monthly payment and try to determine a selling
price. It also means to "roll back" the odometer
on an RV to make it worth more money - highly illegal.
ROLL TERM: As in to Roll the Term. It means to stretch the buyerís loan out
to a longer term without telling the buyer that it is happening in order to
keep the monthly payment inside the buyerís target while still increasing
the dealerís profit in the deal.
RULE OF 78: A mathematical
formula used in figuring a rebate of unearned charges or
premium, when these charges were pre-computed and pre-paid.
Also referred to as "78 ways we get to keep your money".
SERVICE LANE WALK: Describes
the activity of a dealer salesperson trying to sell a
replacement Rv, new or used, to people who have
brought their coach into the dealer's service department for repair
work to be done.
SHADOW: What a green
pea does to learn how senior salespeople sell, i.e., they
follow them around and observe.
SHOUT OUT: When the customer commits
to the buy, the salesman loudly announces, sometimes on the
dealer's public address system, that "[buyer's name] has just
purchased a [year make model Rv vehicle]" (that is the "shout
out" moment) which is followed by immediate applause from all
the other sales persons in the showroom, a tactic to solidify the
buyer's commitment to the sale, often used in slasher sales.
SLED: Reference quite
often given to a customer's old trade-in coach which is usually
"beat up" and worth little or nothing.
SLIDE RULER: A buyer
who is a specification nut. He does not deal in generalizations
when prices are quoted. They must be exact and justified
most of the time. This buyer will likely have a pocket calculator
with him to calculate his own sales tax and total sales price, etc.
SPEAR: Think of it like
in the movies when the Indian would "spear" a fish
in the stream for his dinner. This is just a method used
in getting a customer onto an Rv dealer's lot. For example:
a salesperson stopping
a man at a campground and telling him that they would give
him some outrageous figures for his trade-in if he would
just come down to the Rv dealer lot today and take a look at
what they have to offer.
SPOT DELIVERY: This is
when all phases of the coach purchase and delivery are completed
on the same day, even though the financing may not have been
finalized by a lender. This may be with or without any kind of credit
check or approval.
STICKS: Reference given
to the borrower's furniture he puts up as collateral on a
small loan, such as when he borrows the money for the down
payment on the RV he is getting ready to buy.
STRAW PURCHASE: This
is when a third party buys an RV and finances it in his name
for some one else (who will be the actual driver) because
of that other person's age, bad credit, or lack of credit,
STRONG: Refers to a sales
person, sales manager, or Business Manager, in describing
his ability to be aggressive and pushy to get buyers to sign
sales papers or accept a deal they do not really like.
STUD: Another term for
"SUM OF THE DIGITS": Another
term used for the "RULE
OF 78" - a formula used in figuring rebates,
also characterized as "78 ways we get to keep your money".
SWITCH: To change a customer
from buying one RV to buying another another for several reasons: availability,
greater profit, etc.
THIRD BASEMAN: An individual
who accompanies a prospective buyer because the buyer feels
he is better versed in haggling over the price of the RV
and/or knows more about it mechanically, thereby decreasing
the chances of getting stuck with a "lemon".
TIRE KICKER: This is
normally an individual who doesn't want to buy an RV, but
just wants to look. He walks in, touches the merchandise
and doesn't want to talk to anyone.
T.O. (TURNOVER): The
procedure used in selling where the salesman turns a prospective
buyer over to another salesman or sales manager to close
T.O. MAN: This is the
individual to whom a salesman will turn a customer over.
TOAD: Reference given
to a customer's trade-in; a worn-out RV that is just "sitting
there" like a toad.
TOWER: the floor managerís central location. It
literally is an office location that is typically on the show room floor and
glass walled so the manager can see everything that is going on. From here
the manager controls every deal being worked on. Sales staff go to the tower
to get approval on every aspect of the deal. The tower controls the payment
quotes, the price, the down payment and trade in terms.
UNDER-ALLOWANCE: To give
a customer less for his trade in than it is actually worth.
UNWIND: To take back
an RV that is already delivered and void all papers that
were used in reference to its delivery.
UNWIND THE DEAL: To cancel a vehicle sale or lease
like it never happened at all, i.e., the dealer takes back the vehicle
and may or may not refund the customer down payment or give back the
customer trade in vehicle. The dealer may or may not have a legal basis
to unwind the deal. But universally RV dealers do not want to do it.
UPSIDE DOWN: This condition
exists with a buyer when he wants more on his trade-in that
it is worth. Also called "in the bucket".
WALKING FIGURES: When
the salesman knows for sure that the customer will not buy
an RV at this time because he wants to check out some other
dealerships. The salesman will give him a ridiculously low
figure to try to beat, knowing that, in the end, he will
have to come back to him.
WATER: This is the false
equity shown on a deal that a customer is supposed to have
in his trade-in. For example: Showing on the purchase order
$10,000 in equity on a '79 Winnebago when he actually only
WOULD YA, COULD YA: A
practice used by salesmen in getting a commitment from a
customer. In other words, "Would you buy this RV if
I could get it for the price you want to pay?"
And if you are looking for recalls on your Rv or car or truck or motorcycle, check these out
Recalled RVs List
Recalled Cars List
Recalled Motorcycles List
Recalled ATVs List
Recalled Trucks List
Looking for the latest sales tips or dealer scams, check out our blogs:
Read Ron’s Blog
Read Beth’s Blog