What is the Best Option for You – new or used?
Are you considering buying an RV but aren’t sure whether to go for new or used? It’s a tough decision, with both options offering their own set of advantages and drawbacks. We recently went thru this ourselves and did both with mixed results. Yes, we bought used and then promptly turned around and traded it in for a new unit. Stay tuned!
Let’s explore the pros and cons of buying a new or used RV, so you can make an informed choice that best suits your needs.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Buying a Used RV
- Cons of Buying a Used RV
- Pros of buying a new RV
- Cons of buying a new RV
- Factors to consider when deciding between a new or used RV
- Financing options for new and used RVs
- Tips for buying a new or used RV
- Maintenance and depreciation considerations
- Conclusion: Making the right choice for your RV adventure
As I’ll discuss further on – purchasing a new RV comes with several benefits. Firstly, you have the advantage of being the first owner, ensuring that it is in pristine condition and has the latest features and technologies. Additionally, a new RV often comes with a warranty, giving you peace of mind in case of any potential issues.
On the other hand, buying a used RV can also be a smart move. It typically comes at a lower cost compared to a new one, allowing you to save money. Moreover, depreciation rates tend to be lower after the initial few years, meaning you might not lose as much value if you decide to sell it later.
To determine which option is best for you, it’s important to weigh these pros and cons carefully. Let’s dive deeper into the factors to consider when making this decision.
Pros of Buying a Used RV
Buying a used RV can be a smart move, especially if you’re looking to save money. This is definitely how we felt. Used RVs generally come at a lower price compared to new ones, making them more affordable for anyone on a tight budget. If you can get a good deal on a well-maintained used RV that suits your needs without breaking the bank you’re definitely ahead.
Another advantage of buying a used RV is the lower depreciation rate. While all vehicles depreciate over time, the depreciation rate tends to be lower after the initial few years. This means that if you decide to sell your used RV in the future, you might not lose as much value as you would with a new RV. This can be beneficial if you plan to upgrade or change your RV frequently.
Furthermore, if you’re new to the RV lifestyle, buying a used RV can be a great way to test the waters. It allows you to experience RVing without making a significant financial commitment. You can get a feel for the RV lifestyle, learn about your preferences, and make an informed decision about whether it’s the right fit for you before investing in a brand-new RV. Sounds smart right?
Cons of Buying a Used RV
While there are advantages to buying a used RV, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of. One of the main concerns is the potential for hidden issues or mechanical problems. Used RVs may have wear and tear, and you might need to invest in repairs or maintenance to ensure it’s in good working condition. It’s essential to thoroughly inspect the RV, or even hire a professional to inspect it for you before you hand over your hard-earned money.
Another factor to consider is that used RVs may not come with the latest features and technologies. If having the newest gadgets and amenities is important to you, a used RV might not be what you want. However, if you’re more focused on functionality and value for money, a used RV can still provide a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.
Lastly, financing a used RV might be a bit more challenging compared to a new one. Lenders may offer higher interest rates or have stricter requirements for used RV loans. It’s crucial to explore your financing options and ensure that you can secure a loan that fits within your budget. Planning and researching your financing options beforehand will help you make a more informed decision. Lenders are not easy to find who will lend you money for an RV you are living in full time.
Now that you have a better understanding about the pros and cons of buying a used RV let’s talk about buying new.
Pros of buying a new RV
When it comes to purchasing a new RV, there’s several benefits. First, you have the advantage of being the first owner, ensuring that it is in pristine condition and has the latest features and technologies. Owning a brand-new RV can be an exciting experience, as you get to enjoy all the modern conveniences and comforts it offers. You don’t have the fear of the unknown – most especially with the holding tanks or appliances – both expensive items.
Another significant advantage of buying a new RV is the warranty that often comes with it. Most manufacturers provide warranties that cover the RV for a specific period, giving you peace of mind in case of any potential issues. If anything goes wrong during the warranty period, the manufacturer will take care of the repairs, which can save you a significant amount of money.
Moreover, buying a new RV allows you to customize it to your liking unless you buy one right off the lot. You can choose the floor plan, colour scheme, and additional features that suit you.
Cons of buying a new RV
While there are many advantages to buying a new RV, there are also some drawbacks that you should consider. The most significant disadvantage is the higher cost compared to a used RV. Brand-new vehicles often come with a premium price tag, which can be a barrier for some potential buyers. If you’re on a tight budget, purchasing a new RV might not be the most feasible option. The smart thing to do is shop around and attend RV Shows so when you come across a good deal – you’ll know it.
Another factor to consider is the rapid depreciation that occurs with new vehicles. As soon as you drive a new RV off the dealership lot, its value starts to decrease significantly. In the first few years of ownership, the depreciation rate can be quite high, and you may lose a substantial amount of money if you decide to sell the RV later. This is an important consideration if you plan to upgrade or change your RV in the future. If the plan is to keep it long term that won’t be a factor.
Additionally, buying a new RV means you might encounter some initial issues or bugs that need to be sorted out. While the warranty covers repairs, it can still be frustrating to deal with any unexpected problems during the first few months of ownership. If you’re looking for a hassle-free experience right from the start, a new RV might not be the best choice for you. You do have to expect there to be some things on new RVs that will need a bit of work – nothing is perfect.
Factors to consider when deciding between a new or used RV
When determining whether to buy a new or used RV, there are several factors that you should take into account. First and foremost, consider your budget and financial situation. Determine how much you can afford to spend and whether the higher cost of a new RV fits within your budget. If you’re on a tight budget or prefer to save money, a used RV might be the better choice for you.
Next, think about your long-term plans and how frequently you plan to use the RV. If you’re planning to use it extensively and for an extended period, investing in a new RV might be worth considering. A new RV will likely have a longer lifespan and fewer maintenance issues compared to a used one. On the other hand, if you’re unsure about your long-term commitment to RVing or only plan to use it occasionally, a used RV might be more suitable.
Consider the type of RV you’re interested in and whether there are specific features or amenities that you really want. If having the latest technology and modern conveniences is essential to you, buying a new RV will ensure you have access to all the latest features. However, if you’re more focused on value for money and don’t mind sacrificing some of the newest features, a used RV can still provide a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.
Lastly, think about your personal preferences and comfort level. Some people enjoy the excitement of owning a brand-new RV and customizing it to their liking, while others prefer the nostalgia and charm of a used RV. Consider what matters most to you and what will make your RV adventures the most enjoyable.
Financing options for new and used RVs
Financing an RV purchase is a common practice, and there are various options available for both new and used RVs. When it comes to new RVs, manufacturers often have their financing programs or partnerships with lenders, providing attractive loan options for buyers. These programs may offer competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms, making it easier for you to finance your new RV purchase.
For used RVs, you have several financing options as well. Banks, credit unions, and specialized RV lenders typically offer loans specifically for used RV purchases. While the interest rates might be slightly higher compared to new RV loans, you can still find competitive rates by shopping around and comparing different lenders. It’s essential to consider your credit score, down payment amount, and loan terms when exploring your financing options.
Before finalizing your RV purchase, it’s crucial to get pre-approved for financing. This will give you a clear understanding of your budget and allow you to negotiate with sellers confidently. Take the time to research and compare different financing options to ensure that you get the best possible deal.
If you’re planning on living in your RV and need to borrow for the cost of it, you may find lenders hesitant about lending you the money. It probably has something to do with the fact that there’s wheels under the unit which can drive away into the sunset and the lender can’t find you. There’s ways of getting around that but just be aware that you may run into a stumbling block.
Tips for buying a new or used RV
Whether you decide to buy a new or used RV, there are some tips that can help you make a smart purchase decision:
1. Research and educate yourself: Before buying an RV, take the time to research different models, brands, and floor plans. Understand your needs and preferences to ensure that the RV you choose fits your lifestyle.
2. Inspect the RV thoroughly: If you’re buying a used RV, inspect it carefully or hire a professional to identify any hidden issues or potential problems. Pay attention to the condition of the engine, tires, appliances, and overall maintenance.
3. Take a test drive: Before finalizing the purchase, take the RV for a test drive. This will give you a feel for how it handles on the road and if it meets your expectations in terms of comfort and drivability.
If the RV is to be towed – make sure your vehicle has the legal capacity to tow it safely. The people who will know this is the truck manufacturer and not the RV dealer.
4. Consider the maintenance and repair costs: RVs require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. Factor in these costs when budgeting for your RV purchase. New RVs may have lower maintenance costs initially, but as they age, the costs may increase. Used RVs may require more immediate repairs or upgrades, so consider these expenses as well.
5. Check the RV’s history: If you’re buying a used RV, ask for its maintenance records and history. This will give you insight into how well it has been cared for and if there have been any major issues in the past.
6. Negotiate the price: Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price, especially if you’re buying a used RV. Sellers are often willing to negotiate, and you might be able to get a better deal by being prepared to walk away if the price doesn’t meet your expectations.
7. Consider additional expenses: Remember to budget for additional expenses such as insurance, storage fees, campground fees, and fuel costs. These expenses can add up, so it’s important to factor them into your overall RV ownership costs.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you make an informed decision and find the RV that best suits your needs and budget – either used or new.
Maintenance and depreciation considerations
When it comes to maintaining your RV, both new and used RVs require regular care and upkeep. Routine maintenance tasks include checking fluid levels, inspecting the tires, cleaning the interior and exterior, and servicing the engine and appliances. Proper maintenance will help prolong the lifespan of your RV and ensure that it remains in good working condition.
In terms of depreciation, it’s important to understand that all vehicles, including RVs, will depreciate over time. However, the depreciation rate tends to be higher in the first few years of ownership, especially for new RVs. This means that if you decide to sell your RV in the future, you might experience a significant loss in value. On the other hand, used RVs tend to have a lower depreciation rate, which can be advantageous if you plan to sell or trade it in later.
To minimize depreciation, take good care of your RV and maintain it regularly. Keep detailed records of all maintenance and repairs, as this can help increase its resale value. Additionally, consider investing in upgrades or enhancements that can increase the appeal and value of your RV. By taking proactive steps to maintain your RV and keep it in excellent condition, you can mitigate the effects of depreciation.
Conclusion: Making the right choice for your RV adventure
In conclusion, the decision to buy a new or used RV ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and long-term plans. Buying a new RV offers the advantage of being the first owner and enjoying the latest features and technologies. It also comes with a warranty, providing peace of mind. However, it can be more expensive, and the depreciation rate is higher in the initial years.
On the other hand, buying a used RV can save you money and offer a lower depreciation rate. It allows you to test the RV lifestyle without making a significant financial commitment. However, there may be hidden issues and fewer customization options.
Consider factors such as your budget, long-term plans, desired features, and comfort level when deciding between a new or used RV. Research and educate yourself, thoroughly inspect the RV, and explore financing options to make an informed decision. Remember to budget for maintenance and additional expenses, and take steps to minimize depreciation by properly maintaining your RV.
By carefully considering these factors and following the tips provided, you can make the right choice and embark on your RV adventure with confidence. Whether you choose a new or used RV, the most important thing is to enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and joy that RVing brings. Happy travels!
Our Story of Buying Both Used and New – it was quite the journey!
When we first decided to sell our home and move into an RV we thought we would buy an older fifth wheel probably around a 2009 model. The one we wanted had great reviews, was a solid build and extremely well taken care of. In other words no one had lived in it. The price fit our budget comfortably leaving money still in the bank. Win – Win!
That sounded good until we were notified by most of the RV Parks we thought we might want to live in that they didn’t want our ‘used’ fifth wheel – it was too old. That was a shocker because the unit we were interested in was in mint condition.
We then took a deep breath, doubled our budget and started looking for units that were four or five years old. That was tough – because most had been well lived in and we were concerned. We also had a very short window to buy one because our home sold in 5 days and we needed something to live in. We sent out word in every direction telling everyone what we wanted and our budget. Finally thru a dealer we found a really nice fifth wheel that looked good and we could afford it so signed on the dotted line.
We picked up our fifth wheel a day after we moved out of the house and set about getting settled. We quickly started to notice a few things wrong which concerned us but it was used so we had to expect it not to be perfect. We started planning on replacing and fixing a few things such as some of the furniture and our drain valves and that’s when we got a bit concerned. The price to replace our media love seat was extremely high, the fridge wasn’t working the way we wanted so would probably need replacing and the interior was darker than we thought and started to get depressing.
That’s when we attended an RV Show and started speaking with the RV dealer who sold us our used unit. He could tell we were frustrated and sat down with us so we could explain exactly what was bothering us. That’s when a new 2022 unit was brought to our attention that had everything we wanted originally, at a sale price we couldn’t walk away from. The price was right – under warranty and still in a price we were comfortable with.
No, it wasn’t the price as that 2009 unit but in the long run it was worth going new. We have had the service department come a couple of times to do warranty work which is to be expected and we feel peace of mind. We don’t have to wonder what will go wrong next because of someone else’s neglect. If we had kept the used unit we would have had to spend an extra $10,000 just to get it where we wanted it and it still wasn’t new. The time that RV Parks would allow it to be in their parks was down to five years and then we would be in the same place again. New worked better for us but your situation might be different. Note this all took place in one month from moving out of our house – to first fifth wheel to our new one – 30 days!