What Will You Have to Pay to Buy an RV?

If you are thinking of buying an RV, you probably are wondering how much you will have to pay in order to own one.

While this question may seem to be a simple one, it isn't.

What you pay to buy an RV depends on many factors.

Basic Factors That  Determine RV Price

There are many types of recreational vehicles on today's market, and the issues that determine their prices are basically determined by
  • age,
  • type,
  • equipment,
  • overall condition,
  • market conditions,
  • seller and
  • NADA value.
Thus, it is up to the buyer to figure out what he would like to have and how much he is willing or able to pay.

Since RVs include living areas, furniture, storage space and floor plan also feed into the overall price structure.

For example, a coach with really nice and well-maintained upholstery will be worth more than the same year, model and type of unit whose furniture is worn, stained and torn.

Helpful Buying Tips

While all of this may seem a big confusing, there are some things that can help them people figure out value and affordability.
  • Previously owned is not always less costly than new.
  • Small can cost more than big.
  • Where you choose to buy matters.
While these things may not seem to make sense, they actually do.

For example, 
  1. You may think that purchasing a used unit will save you money, but older high end coaches generally are more expensive than new, low to mid range ones.
  2. Since many people prefer smaller coaches because they are easier to drive, their popularity can make them cost as much or more than larger ones.  For example, Airstream sells a new van conversion that costs $150,000.  You can purchase a larger new unit in some brands for far less.
  3. Furthermore, if you shop around, you often will find that you can purchase the same exact unit that interests you at a variety of prices.
General Pricing Guidelines

The bottom line is that if you want to purchase any travel unit, you're going to have to do some research because there is no one clear answer.

However, I can tell you that for a maximum dollar amount of
  • $20,000 you can buy a used or new travel trailer or smaller, older gas engine motor home.
  • $50,000, you can purchase a nice new fifth wheel or used high end gas or diesel motor home.
  • $100,000 you will be able to find new, high end fifth wheels and low end gas or diesel motor homes.
Since motor home can cost up to three million dollars, the amount you spend beyond these prices will buy you various levels of quality and amenities.

Other Cost Considerations

The price of any RV is going to include sales tax, registration fees, financing costs and insurance.  So you should always keep these expenses in mind when negotiating price.

Most states charge sales tax on RV purchases, and the financial hit can be significant.

For example, the sales tax in one Florida area is 6%.  So, if you buy a coach that costs $100,000, you can add another $6,000 to the price!

Some people think they would be smart to buy in a state such as Montana that does not charge sales tax, but what they may not realize is that when they bring that coach home, they'll have to register it in their own state and pay the sales tax anyhow!  Worse yet, some states charge a fee for bringing such vehicles across their borders!

Another point to consider is depreciation.  New RVs lose 20% of their value as soon as they leave the sales lot and another 5% per year going forward.

So, when you buy a previously owned RV, a good deal of depreciation has already taken place, which means you'll lose less when it's time to sell.

You should also know that some insurance companies have stated that they will not provide policies for coaches costing more than $200,000.

For this reason, you need to find out about insurance coverage limits before you make a purchase.  Otherwise you'll be taking a big financial risk if you buy an expensive RV.

Finally, you need to understand  that costs do not end at the point of sale.  You'll be paying for repairs, maintenance, storage and other costs as long as you own your travel unit.

Pricing RVs Is Not Easy

As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to learning about the prices of RVs.

The only way you can learn how much you will have to pay to buy a recreational vehicle is to use the information I've provided here and then do a lot of searching until you are able to find the coach you want at the price you are willing and able to pay.