If you’re in the market for an RV, there’s likely one big question on your mind: Should I buy a new or used RV?
It’s easy to see why so many RV shoppers wonder the same thing. An RV represents an investment of your hard-earned money, and you want to make the best decision. All the available options, models, bells and whistles further complicate the decision.
Each choice comes with pros and cons. Read on to learn what to consider when buying an RV.
Buying a New RV: Pros
Let’s start with the benefits associated with buying an RV new off the lot. First, you know the history of the vehicle, because it doesn’t have one. That means no accidents or issues to be aware of.
When it comes to deciding on a model, it’s easy to compare when there are multiple options sitting on the lot. After you’ve narrowed your selection down, you can choose the colors, style, features and add-ons that you want.
A factory warranty comes along with a brand-new RV. That warranty goes a long way toward offering peace of mind, and can reduce the cost of some repairs. Just be sure to read the fine print so you know what’s covered and what isn’t.
It’s usually easier to get financing for a new RV. And finally, you just can’t beat that fresh, new-RV smell.
Buying a New RV: Cons
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: cost and depreciation. For many considering buying an RV, money is the most significant consideration.
That’s because a brand-new RV will (almost always) cost more than a used RV. Of course, you may be able to find discounts by paying in cash, making a large down payment, or buying an older model. But in general, a new RV simply costs more.
Plus, the minute you drive the RV off the lot, it starts to depreciate. If you want to sell it later, you are not likely to get what you paid for it. Another cost consideration lies in taxes and registration fees. These add up quickly, and are usually higher for new vehicles.
Buying a Used RV: Pros
Now let’s look at the benefits of buying an RV that’s been used. The most obvious pro lies in cost: With few exceptions, you will pay less for a used RV than a new RV. With research, you may even be able to find the model you want at just a few years old and save significantly.
If you search patiently, you may find high-end models or upgraded vehicles at a good price. Plus, depreciation will be less steep.
You may be able to purchase an extended warranty for a used RV. Usually, tax and registration fees are less, too.
Then there’s the benefit of choice. With so many used RVs available, you’ll have a much greater range of vehicles to choose from.
Finally, you’ll avoid that breaking in period, especially if you find a used RV that’s been well-maintained.
Buying a Used RV: Cons
There are a few downsides to buying an RV that’s pre-owned. If the previous owner didn’t maintain it, you may inherit problems and issues that need to be fixed. While sellers should disclose issues, not everyone is scrupulous. Be sure to have any potential RV inspected before signing a deal.
You may also inherit smells, stains and allergens. This just comes with the territory, and can usually be avoided with a thorough inspection.
If the RV is a much older model, you may have trouble finding parts. Some campgrounds don’t allow older RVs, so you’d definitely have to research before you head off on a trip. Finally, you may find it harder to get financing for a used RV.
Buying an RV represents an investment; doing research before jumping in is key. Both new and used RVs offer pros and cons, so take your time and find the right RV for your specific needs.