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Pros and Cons of Buying a Used RV

Travel trailer with class A RV with blue car
Pros and Cons of Buying a Used or New Recreational Vehicle

Whether you’re buying new or used, investing in an RV can be quite expensive or more affordable. If you’re buying used, there’s a lot of pros for you to consider.

The pros of buying used RVs are paying anywhere from 20 -60% less, depending on the year of the RV and any warranty repairs will already be done. However, cons include any warranty is not transferable and there has already been wear and tear on the unit.

Is this all there is to consider? No. There’s several more answers to questions that need consideration. So, with that in mind, let’s begin.

Is buying a used RV worth it?

Absolutely, buying used is worth it. Once you drive a new RV off the lot, it depreciates in value up to 30% within the first 3 years. Consequently, buying the same brand used will be considerably cheaper than buying new.

So, if you have a budget or new to the RV lifestyle, used is probably the best way to go.

RV’s never increase in value. They’re like cars and continue to decrease in value the longer you have them.

Something else to consider when buying a used RV is that the owner has broken it in and fixed any issues that a new rig can come with. Don’t think because it’s new, it’s worry free. In new RVs, you’ll find issues such as a leak here, something doesn’t work correctly there…all those little issues that will need repair and may or may not come under warranty.

When you do have to take a new RV into the dealership for repair, don’t be surprised if you’re told it can take weeks or months for any repairs and then don’t be surprised if you have to get the manufacturer involved and it’s still not totally fixed.

Types of RVs Available for Full-time living and Travel

If you intend to live in your RV full time, Class A is probably your best choice. Class B, however, has the unique issue of the size and cost are completely unrelated. They’re great for one or two people to travel but not so great for full-time living. A great article on the pros and cons and living in a Class B RV was written by

Some questions to ask when buying a used RV

  • Why does the current owner want to sell the RV?

  • How many owners has the RV had and how was it used?

  • Does the current owner have maintenance records?

  • How many miles has it been driven?

  • Has it been in any accidents?

  • When were the tires last replaced?

  • Do all the systems work properly?

  • Has the RV been damaged in a flood or by water?

  • Is there a transferrable warranty (usually, that’s not available)?

  • Can it be inspected?

  • Be sure to take it for a test drive.

  • Has it had pets or smokers in it?

Even though used is cheaper than new, you don’t want a lemon that will cost you more in the long run.

Ask questions, as many as you need to feel comfortable that you’ll be getting a good deal and something reliable to drive down the road with on your traveling adventures.

One last bit of wisdom to pass on is to make sure you get the RV inspected by someone who is a qualified professional. Once you have that inspection, then begin price negotiation with the seller.

Pros and Cons of Buying Used

In conclusion, here’s the nuts and bolts of buying a used recreational vehicle:


  • Less expensive

  • You get more for your money and you’ll more than likely get one that has more of those little improvements that you want

  • License and registration are cheaper

  • Insurance is less


  • Used RVs are often sold AS IS with no warranties

  • Loan rates are higher than new

  • You could possibly be getting someone else’s problems as it wasn’t maintained properly and may be falling apart

  • You have to take what you get for floor plans, furnishing, etc.

  • Fuel efficiency may be an issue

  • Hidden maintenance issues could very well appear

Start with this list of pros and cons and leave room to add others. Be thorough in compiling your list and go over them very thoughtfully. Once you have, make sure you feel good about your decision.

We sincerely hope that this article helps you make choices that you won’t regret, and you’ll love the RV lifestyle no matter what type of recreational vehicle you choose.

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