A USED RV is a good investment for the knowledgeable consumer.

Except from the fact that a used RV has normally more considerable value, this is not much different than anything you buy.

Is it better BUYING USED OR NEW? It depends...

You may be the type of individual who prefers to pay more to enjoy a new item with the security of a warranty or you prefer to look for the best used RV you could find, saving money.

Let's look together at different points to consider which could influence a final decision:

The purchase of a new RV is not different than buying a new car. A new model may include more modern technology, features, or amenities that a used RV may not have.

However, very often, you can refurbish or add more modern features in a used RV to make it more comfortable. Fixing up one's used travel trailer or used motorhome to make it new may be more profitable.

After you bought a new RV taking it home, it already lost an average of 20% of its purchase value. This is the reason why it is so important to get the Recreational Vehicle at the lowest purchasing price you can negotiate to limit this initial and substantial depreciation.

Keep in mind that a USED RV may only have a bit of depreciation left.

Even if it sounds obvious, be careful of buying a camping trailer or motorhome that you can not really afford. Make sure you do not finance more than the depreciated value of the RV the minute it is purchased.

This will have the consequence of having a negative equity from the start. It means you will owe more than its depreciated value, what you could sell it for.

Ideally, it is suggested to have a cash down payment equivalent to 20% of the purchasing price of the new RV.

For full time RVers, there should be no financing. The RV should be paid in full right from the beginning.

If you are patient, you may profit of the misfortune of others. The chance is there for you to find a used RV already depreciated, that someone is selling after three or four years because they find that Rving is not for them anymore or they simply can not afford it.

Keep also in mind that a used rig has already the bugs worked out. If there was any problem, it would have been solved during the first years of use.

A new vehicle has a manufacturer's warranty but check if a used unit may still qualify for an extended type of warranty. In some cases, depending on its age, it is possible to obtain one from a dealer.


Another concern for many RVers is the gas emissions from the material used in a Recreational Vehicle. There will initially be formaldehyde gas emissions in a new unit from the material used: plywood particle board, pressed wood products, plastic, glue etc...

Some persons may develop symptoms like burning, watery, irritated eyes, difficulty to breathe while staying in a brand new RV. This is not different than a new house.

However, since the living space of the recreational vehicle is small, it is highly suggested to vent the RV several days before its initial use.

A technique suggested is to previously heat up the RV with the heating system on before venting. The heat will help to accelerate the emission of fumes from the materials.

Also, a trick is to use some open containers filled with ammonia that will help to absorb the gases. Keep in mind that if this concern troubles you, a used RV well aged will probably have no more "off" gas emissions or very little if it is the case.

Whatever the RV you are buying, make sure that it meets high standards of construction. One guarantee is the seal display of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) which governs these standards of quality that the manufacturer agrees to respect.

On the other hand, buying new allows you to have exactly what you want. Buying used, it may take more time to find the right vehicle at the right price.

Never forget if you buy used, to bring the vehicle to an independent specialist to have it inspected for any leaks, structural damage, amenities which do not function properly and obviously have the engine itself checked by a real mechanic if it is a motorized unit.

Do not forget that an engine that has not been started for a year or more can bring problems. This inspection can make you save thousands of dollars. Try to get a good idea of the history of the vehicle: who drove it? any accident? service records? etc..

Keep in mind that your first RV may be used as a testing tool that can be renewed. Getting more RVing experience will help you to better define your RV lifestyle and the specific rig that suits your needs the best.

Start with the best used RV you can afford and discover after you spent some time on the road what you like and what you do not like about it.

A used RV will have a lot lower depreciation than a new one. Yo may succeed to resell an older model the same price that you paid for.

Buying USED means you can enjoy a trip NOW instead of waiting the day you could afford a NEW RV.

You may discover a little jewel ready for you to start your journey!


Look for a pickup truck to tow your camping trailer at: Truck trader

Verify the value of used RVs in the Nada guides

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