Purchasing a rig is a major decision that should not be taken lightly... For most, the decision is like buying a car and a home at the same time. The planning involves considering so many factors such as storage, maintenance, taxes, registration, insurance, campground reservations, and fuel efficiency.
You need to give a lot of thought to how, where, and when you plan to use the RV to help ensure you find the right RV for your lifestyle.
Once you've narrowed down what type of RV is best for you and created a list of wants and needs, it's time to begin the search. The debate between buying new or used is as old as time. There's strong opinions for both sides, but ultimately you will have to decide based on your personal preferences and situation which option is best for you.
To help with your decision, we have made an easy and straight forward list of the pros and cons of buying new or used.
Buying a New RV
- You know the history of the RV.
- You can choose your colors and add-on options.
- The factory warranty is included.
- It’s generally easier to get financing.
- It’s easier to compare similar units.
- The purchase price will be higher.
- There will be more severe depreciation.
- New RVs often need more repairs than a well-maintained, used RV.
- Extra repairs cost time and money.
- Taxes, registration fees, and upgrades add up quickly.
Buying a Used RV
- The purchase price is generally lower, so you could find a used, higher-end RV for a lower price.
- If the previous owner maintained it well, it won’t have a break-in period.
- You can still buy an extended warranty for many pre-owned RVs.
- There’s a greater selection to choose from.
- It may come with additional accessories or add-ons from the previous owner.
- If poorly maintained, you could be buying somebody else’s problems.
- There could be possible hidden damage, allergens, or smells.
- Older RVs might be more difficult to find parts for.
- Some campgrounds don't allow older RVs.
- It can be harder to get financing.
- Beware of scams if buying from a private party.
Other Tips to Consider:
Regardless of your choice you should definitely get a pre-delivery inspection, preferably by a professional, third-party inspector.
Check the manufacture support. Older RV's could be more challenging to find parts for if the manufacturer is no longer around, making it harder to make repairs when things go wrong. Pick a manufacturer that is here to stay if you plan on owning your RV for a long time.
This brings us to length of ownership. If you plan to keep the RV for the long term, then you may want to go ahead and buy a brand new one. In that case, you may not be concerned with the depreciation because you have no intention of selling it any time soon. However, if you like to switch things up every so often then going with used vehicles will prevent you from taking a big hit on depreciation, and the overall purchase price is generally lower.
Unless you're really handy, consider getting an RV extended warranty. Do your homework and and get a quote from a broker, like Wholesale Warranties, before you buy so you can factor it into your purchase cost.
Warranty costs are a good measure of how much repairs might cost on your RV over time, because RVs with a reputation for significant repairs will generally have more expensive warranties.
You should always shop around for the best financing options. If you plan to get a loan to purchase your RV, buying a new RV will usually get a lower interest rate, lower down payment requirement, and multiple-term length options.
On the flip side, interest rates are generally a little higher for a used RV. You usually have to make a larger down payment, as well. Due to the age of the unit, most banks will not allow very long term lengths on a used purchase.