Buying an RV is always a big decision and one important part of that is whether to buy new or used. Buying a new RV can be exciting and a little intimidating, but here are a few points to consider to help you make the right decision for you:
That New RV Smell
There is no getting around the most obvious benefit of buying an RV new, and that’s the feel and smell of being brand new. You will know that you’re the first to use all the appliances, the first to sleep in the bed, and the first owner to use and enjoy that shiny new RV straight off the dealership lot. This also means you don’t have to worry about any potential DIY “upgrades” or changes made by previous owners that don’t fit your style and preferences.
Buying an RV is a big decision, and knowing that you’re protected from issues for a few years under the factory warranty is a nice way to gain some peace of mind. Even if you are spending more money up front, you won’t have to worry about additional surprise costs if something goes wrong in your first couple of years. There are also usually separate factory warranties covering the appliances inside, too.
Newest Amenities and Features
RV manufacturers are always making updates and incorporating new technology into what they build, and buying new means that you get to enjoy the latest and greatest that they have to offer. You will also have more flexibility to choose the exact features that you want when buying new.
No Park Age Limit Concerns
As much as it may seem cool to show off on Instagram with the vintage style of a classic RV, there are some places where that won’t be appreciated. Some RV parks have age limits on the vehicles they allow to stay there. The cutoff is typically 10 years, but you won’t have to worry about that for quite a while if you buy new.
It Will Cost More
The primary reason against buying your next RV new is pretty obvious: the cost. New RVs will cost more than their used counterparts. The newest features and technologies are certainly cool and can make your traveling more enjoyable, but they do add to the cost on the showroom floor. Compared to a similar used RV, you can expect to pay a noticeable premium to bring home a new model. This can be partially offset by the typically lower financing rates you can get on a new RV compared to financing a used model.
Though they also function as houses, motorhomes depreciate like other vehicles. That means you can expect them to lose 20-30% of their value the first time a new owner drives it off the lot. Fortunately, this is mostly a concern for the vehicle value over the short term. That depreciation doesn’t continue to happen at such a fast rate, and is not as big of a concern if you are purchasing it and planning to keep it around for a long time.
Since an RV has so many features of a house, there will likely be something that needs to be repaired under warranty during its first year or two of use. Between the electronic devices, appliances, slide-out mechanisms, and all the other features, the law of complexity says that something will have an issue early on that needs to be ironed out. The nice thing is that you will be protected by the vehicle warranty and separate manufacturer warranties for the appliances.