Content of the material
- Different Types and Classes of RVs
- Class A RVs
- Class C RVs
- Class B RVs
- Fifth Wheels
- Travel Trailers
- Best RV Trips for Golfers
- 5. How Lifestyle Affects Costs
- Utility Costs
- How much was RV Depreciation?
- With our second RV, the Country Coach, we can only make estimates.
- How to offset RV ownership costs
- RV cost of ownership: 9 expenses to know about
- Average Cost For New Class C RVs
- Class C
- Super C Class
- Total RV Costs of Ownership Over 6 Years
- Sellers Guide
- Time the Sale
- Showcase the Adventure
- It’s All About the Details
- Know What It’s Worth
- RV News: 2023 Newmar Product Lineup Revealed
- 2. Tow Vehicle Costs
- Used RV Cost Averages By Type
- Used Class A Average RV Prices
- Used Fifth Wheel Average RV Prices
- Used Class C Average RV Prices
- Used Class B Average RV Prices
- Used Travel Trailer Average RV Prices
- Average Total Rental RV Trip Costs
Different Types and Classes of RVs
How much an RV costs has a great deal to do with the RV type. Manufacturers in the RV industry divide rigs into two broad categories – drivable and towable. Within each group, there are several classes, each of which comes with different features and costs.
With so many floorplans and models, you’re bound to find your dream RV. Let’s take a look at the different types of RVs on the market.
Class A RVs
Class A RVs are the largest drivable RVs – what you might think of as a “typical” motorhome, with a bus-like profile. They offer extra storage space and amenities but also come with the highest cost.
Owners may compare them to small, mobile apartments in terms of space and living conditions. These types of RVs can come with all the amenities. Including a king-sized bed, large bathroom, air conditioning, plenty of kitchen space, and more.
Class C RVs
Next, class Cs are a bit smaller with fewer features and a smaller price tag. These RVs have a truck-style driving area, usually with storage or sleeping space over the cab. There are also so-called “super C” RVs, which combine some of the class C’s design features with the space and power of a class A. Think of class C motorhomes as a mix between A and B.
Class B RVs
Class B motorhomes are the smallest of the drivable RVs. With a profile much closer to a large van, these RVs tend to have the least space and fewest features, meaning a lower cost.
However, there are some pretty expensive models out there as well. Class Bs built on Mercedes Benz frames will run you just as much as Class As. Because of its small size, this type of RV is great for first-time campers as you can stay safe on the road.
Large towable RVs, known as fifth wheels, are generally very nice and feature-filled, like the class A RVs, but they’re usually a little more affordable. Because they don’t have drivable motors, fifth wheels are ideal for luxury camping on a budget.
Additionally, many folks that are considering the full time RV lifestyle like 5th wheels since they have plenty of storage space. Just like Class As, these RVs tend to have amenities like air conditioning, king and queen-sized beds, a large living area, full kitchens, and even extra beds for guests or kids.
Some floor plans can have up to six slide outs, meaning more space for the whole family. Families love fifth-wheel RVs because of the extra sleeping space and many even have two bathrooms.
Fifth wheels also require special equipment mounted in the bed of your truck so you can tow it, and you’ll need a vehicle with enough towing capacity. There are many options for diversity in style and price in 5th wheels. They range from standard trailers with amenities similar to class A or C RVs down to pop-up campers that operate as large, towable tents.
Travel trailers are great for first time RVers. If you already have a truck or SUV, you might already be able to tow a small travel trailer already. These RV types connect the bumper of your vehicle. They have a lower profile than fifth wheels since they don’t have a front cap.
Additionally, since this is another RV type that doesn’t have an engine, you can find them on the lower end of the RV price scale. Don’t feel limited by its size though, many families and couples love the space and freedom their travel trailer gives them.
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5. How Lifestyle Affects Costs
RV enthusiasts come from many different backgrounds, so what one may consider an extravagance, another may view as a necessity. The type of campground to visit, what to eat, what to do for entertainment, and the level of repair appropriate for an RV are matters of attitude as much as anything else.
Your wallet may limit your broader lifestyle choices as an RV owner, because these options are priced according to what they offer.
These choices include:
- staying in expensive campgrounds that have many amenities,
- camping in less attractive out-of-the-way places with fewer amenities,
- buying and developing property that is zoned for RV living,
- trading labor for a free campsite with utilities or
- taking advantage of the many free and low-cost spots that are available nationwide.
RV utilities are a good example of the cost differences that lifestyle makes, because utility prices can range from about $50 per month up to $300 or more, depending on where and how you choose to live.
- If you keep your unit on your own property, you will have to pay for all utilities: sewer, water, and electric.
- If you live long term in a campground, you will only pay for electric, because water and sewer are included in your normal campsite costs.
- If you live temporarily in an RV park, you will pay nothing for your basic utilities.
In the first two situations,
- the size of your coach,
- its amenities,
- its location and/or
- your lifestyle
will determine how much you pay for electric.
When trying to figure the financials, you must gear your thinking to your own circumstances and plan accordingly. The average person wants to enjoy some traveling, but he does not want to go broke doing it!
How much was RV Depreciation?
This is a really interesting comparison. Let’s look at both – very different – scenarios.
As you would expect, our first RV, being only two years old, experienced substantial depreciation – but not nearly as much as if we had bought the motorhome new. We were fortunate that we bought the Tiffin at a good price in May 2014, and sold it well in March 2018 to a private party. But if we had traded the Tiffin in at an RV dealer, our net cost of RV depreciation would have been MUCH higher.
With our second RV, the Country Coach, we can only make estimates
Buying at the bottom of the depreciation curve meant the base value wasn’t going to drop any further for a long time. BUT we did spend a lot on RV repairs, maintenance, upgrades and the RV makeover. How much will we get back in increased value over what we paid?
Let’s take a look at the details.
How to offset RV ownership costs
Don’t feel discouraged if the cost of RV ownership is more than you expected. You don’t have to pack away your dreams of owning an RV just yet.
You can still buy your dream RV and offset the cost of ownership by renting out your RV. With RV rental sites like RVezy, you can list your RV for free and make enough money to supplement — or even pay for your new RV. Since you control everything about your listing, you can rent out your RV as little or as much as you want.
RV cost of ownership: 9 expenses to know about
Even if an RV fits in your budget, it can put a big dent in your wallet, from purchase price to campsites. If you plan to buy an RV, you should consider these nine expenses before you make your purchase.
- Purchase price: Whether you’re buying that $6,000 camper or a high-end model for $500,000, the average RV cost depends on its size, features and style. Motor homes can be the most expensive due to their expansive living quarters and kitchen, while camping trailers that are attached to the back of a car or SUV cost much less.
- Loan interest: If you finance your RV purchase, you’ll owe interest. The APR can be based on the length of the loan, how much money you put down, the RV’s condition and your credit score. For example, APRs for RV loans from Good Sam Finance Center ranged from 4.29% to 9.99% as of Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.
- Insurance: Carrying insurance on an RV is not only mandatory, but it’s important to protect your investment. Insurance rates vary by region, the type of RV purchased and your driving record. The average annual cost of RV insurance for a Class A motorhome is $1,000 to $1,300 annually, according to NADAguides.
- Gas: Fuel costs depend on the weight and design of an RV. Camper Report offered the following estimates based on the type of motor home:
- Class A: 7 mpg to 13 mpg
- Class B: 18 mpg to 25 mpg
- Class C: 14 mpg to 18 mpg
- Taxes and registration: RVs are typically subject to taxes and registration fees, but what you’re required to pay varies based on the state in which you reside. Most states charge sales tax on the purchase price of an RV, and you should also expect to pay property taxes on your RV’s value (depending on where you’re staying).
- Tow hitch: If your towable trailer doesn’t come with a hitch, or you prefer to use an aftermarket one, expect to spend between $100 and $1,000, according to Kampgrounds of America. Toy haulers need a hitch that attaches to a truck’s bed, generally raising the cost to between $500 and $2,500.
- Maintenance: Like other vehicles, RVs require ongoing maintenance. Their engines, mechanical equipment and tires need to be inspected and maintained. Living quarters and custom features need frequent care as well, such as maintaining seals around the windows, doors and roof, plumbing and lubricating slide-out rails.
- Storage: RVs should be stored when not in use. If you need to store the RV off-site, you may have to pay a weekly or monthly storage fee. Outdoor storage costs start at $30 a month, according to Storage.com. If you live in an area with inclement weather, you may choose heated storage, which can run from $100 to $450 a month.
- Campsites: Campsites charge a nightly fee. The cost differs widely by location, but the average fee across all sites is $29, according to travel publication Wand’rly. Public campgrounds charge an estimated $22 a night, while private RV parks charge an average nightly fee of $39.
Average Cost For New Class C RVs
On average, new Class C motorhomes are priced between $50,000 and $100,000. Most popular brands of Class C RVs fall in this range. New Super C’s range anywhere from $100,000 to beyond $250,000. Overall, Class C RVs are considered to be an affordable and economical choice for everyone from weekend warriors to full-time RVers. The Super C Class is viewed as an affordable alternative to the Class A RVs. We have provided pricing below for both Class C and Super C RVs as examples of models and pricing currently available for sale.
- 2019 Coachmen Freelander 21QBC – $49,990
- 2019 THOR FREEDOM ELITE 22FE – $57,999
- 2019 Thor Motor Coach Chateau 22E – $66,900
- 2019 Coachmen Freelander 26RSC – $68,900
- 2019 Jayco Redhawk 26XD – $71,6900
- 2019 JAYCO REDHAWK SE 27N – $73,995
- 2019 Thor Motor Coach Quantum RC25 – $86,900
- 2019 Jayco Greyhawk 31FS – $89,999
- 2019 Coachmen Freelander 32DSF – $97,799
- 2019 Entegra Coach Esteem 30X – $99,900
Super C Class
- 2019 Dynamax Corp Isata 5 Series – $140,990
- 2019 Thor Motor Coach Magnitude – $159,638
- 2019 NeXus RV Ghost 33DS – $189,900
- 2019 JAYCO SENECA 37K – $231,791
Total RV Costs of Ownership Over 6 Years
Before you jump straight to the figures, please keep in mind this is not “black and white”. So don’t just take these numbers purely at face value. There are SO many variables – like warranties and optional upgrades – and those highlighted earlier in this article. Here is what we have spent, out of pocket on both of our RVs (up to June 2020).
While it’s the buyer’s job to try and get their new motorhome or trailer for as little as possible, if you’re trying to sell one, you want to make as much money as possible from it. If you’re looking to move your RV or trailer, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to get as much as possible!
Time the Sale
While you want to buy a new RV or trailer in the Fall or Winter, if you’re looking to sell your old one, you want to move it in the Spring. That’s when all the new campers are looking to purchase their first motorhome or trailer, and it’s when you’ll have the largest potential number of buyers.
Of course, all this drives up the price, letting you maximize your profits!
Showcase the Adventure
When you’re uploading pictures of your trailer or RV, you want to showcase the possibilities that it provides. Do you have any photos of it the last time you went out West? Anything that showcases the possibilities of what the new owner could do with their new RV or trailer is a great way to suck in buyers.
The more interested buyers you have, the less you’ll have to negotiate down the price!
It’s All About the Details
When you’re selling an RV or trailer, the little things matter; when was the last time you put a coat of tire shine on the wheels? Did you take the time to clean out and detail the interior? If you haven’t, you should.
The better it looks, the more likely the buyer will believe that you took good care of it. The better they think you took care of it, the more likely they will pay your asking price.
Finally, if there are minor cosmetic fixes that you have been putting off, this is the time to complete. Those small fixes can add up to big dollars.
If it looks like you trashed it, not only might you end up selling it for less, but you might also find it harder to sell at all!
Know What It’s Worth
Setting a fair and reasonable starting price is the key to finding buyers and getting a fair selling price. That’s why you should do your homework with sites like NADAguides.com or RVtrader.com to see what other people in your area are selling similar RVs or trailers for.
That will give you a reasonable estimate of what you can reasonably expect for your motorhome or trailer. Once you’ve established the fair selling price, add a few thousand dollars to it when you’re going to post it up.
This provides you a little buffer zone that you can negotiate down with the buyer. They’ll feel like they got a good deal, but you’ll still get exactly what you wanted from the start. As long as you don’t list your motorhome or trailer for an unreasonable price, you’ll even get potential buyers to come to check it out.
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2. Tow Vehicle Costs
When buying a coach, you should remember that you likely will need to have a vehicle that can tow your unit or be towed by it. If this is your situation, you will need to find out whether the vehicle you currently own will work. If not, you’ll have to buy one that does! This, of course, will cost thousands of dollars.
Furthermore, you’ll have to purchase the equipment that is used to hook the vehicle up to your coach. There are several types available. They can cost anywhere from around six hundred dollars for a dolly up to thousands for an enclosed trailer.
Used RV Cost Averages By Type
Like any vehicle, expect significant price differences between new and used RVs within each of these categories. A new RV loses approximately 20% of its value as soon as it drives off the lot, meaning you may find price discrepancies between relatively recent models and the newest ones.
When buying used, consider the RV’s age, mileage, and condition when figuring out how much an RV costs. As with many things in life, you often get what you pay for – meaning it’s crucial to have an inspection done if you’re buying from a private seller or have any concerns.
Used Class A Average RV Prices
Much like new Class As, the cost of a used one will depend significantly on the size and features. Still, expect to pay at least $80,000-$120,000 for a used model from the last five or ten years. Both private sellers and dealerships also list RVs 15-25 years old in the $20,000-$40,000 range.
Used Fifth Wheel Average RV Prices
Used fifth wheel RV prices also vary based on style. Based on data showing that used fifth wheels also lose about 20% of their value in their first year, you’ll see price tags ranging from around $30,000 to $120,000 for premium models.
Used Class C Average RV Prices
Used class C RVs will run you $35,000-$70,000 for models from more recent years. However, older models from private sellers can sometimes often list in the $20,000 range. As with any used RV purchase, we warrant caution with significantly older or heavily-used RVs.
Used Class B Average RV Prices
Used Class B RVs can be among the most affordable if their smaller size and fewer features meet your needs. You can find older models for as little as $10,000-$15,000! However, for a more recent used model with average features, prices start around $30,000 and can still stretch into the six figures for luxury models!
Used Travel Trailer Average RV Prices
Considering the usual 20% depreciation, used travel trailers and toy haulers will cost $20,000-$30,000, while a used pop-up camper will run $10,000-$15,000.
Average Total Rental RV Trip Costs
Now that we’ve broken down the various fees, how much does it cost to rent an RV?
The answer depends on the rental period, the RV rental location, whether you have unlimited mileage, and which model you’re renting. But here are some rough averages based on all the numbers we’ve covered so far:
Average Rental Prices
$75 to $350 (Plus Tax)
$500 to $2,400 (Plus Tax)
$1,750 to $10,000 (Plus Tax)
The reason these prices vary so widely is because they include everything from small, cheap RV rentals to luxury RVs.
Pro Tip: Many RV owners will offer you a discount for long-term rentals, and you can often find deals for as little as $1,000 per month!