Should I buy a new or used RV?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Should I buy a new or used RV? We will review the pros and cons of buying a new or used RV, and give you a few tips to make sure you make the best decision. 

Should I buy a new or used RV?

Whether you should buy a new or used RV will depend on several factors, such as your budget and your main purpose. Price is the main advantage of buying a used unit. With a used RV, you get more for your money.

A new RV, on the other hand, offers the best and newest in terms of design, it will not have been previously manned and there will be no mileage carried out.

To decide whether you should buy a new or used RV, answer the following questions:

  • What use will be made of it?
  • When will it be used?
  • Who else will use it?
  • Where will it be used?

If you have answered the questions with confidence, if you are a seasoned enthusiast, you should go for a new RV.

If this is your first time buying and you are not sure what you want, you better buy a used RV. You could buy an RV that is only a few years old, that includes many features, at a much more affordable price as you determine your style of RVing.

Rent an RV before buying it

New or used, the surest way not to go wrong is to try renting an RV. Don’t hesitate to rent a week or two so that you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the formula. The practice does not require special skills but a strong taste for adventure and freedom.

Some dealers have understood this and include a week’s rental in their offer. In this way, customers get to know the motorhome at the same time as they test a layout.

And why not double the rental of an accompanied trip abroad, in the company of other motorhomes. There is no shortage of proposals! It’s a way to get to know each other and learn the habits and customs of this friendly “tribe”. You cannot improvise yourself as a motorhome driver, but you become one with experience.

If you choose a new RV, buy one near you

The advice is really relevant if you are buying at a fair or trade show, where you can contract with a seller attached to a concession far from where you live. The customer from the North delivered to the South, this is not an academic hypothesis …

Obviously, for maintenance, you can always turn to a closer distributor, but do not wait for them to welcome you in the best possible conditions since they will not have made the sale. Note, however, the work of groups of dealers for the sale of new campervans who work to ensure equal and quality service throughout the country.

Useful tip: If you buy from a motorhome dealership, take the time to check if they have a real workshop, worthy of the name, capable of providing after-sales service under the best possible conditions. Imagine that today some dealerships have professional equipment (9-ton deck, paint booth) and assign more than half of their staff to the maintenance, preparation and repair of motorhomes.

Pay the right price for a new RV

The prices are free and given as an indication by the manufacturers. As a result, from one dealer to another, distributing the same brand, we can find significant differences. 

Be careful also to compare the same vehicles, on the same engines and equivalent equipment. Through commercial operations, at fairs and shows, sellers sometimes add certain accessories and set up options at reduced prices. 

Check all the details on the order form. It commits both parties. Be sure to specify whether the price includes transport costs between the factory and the dealership.

For new RVs, do not neglect the after-sales service

This is an essential question, but one that is difficult to answer because there is no perfect ranking of the best (and the worst) after-sales service. Let’s just say that the big brands have structured themselves a lot to respond effectively to the requests relayed by the dealers. 

A defective distributor, who is slow to place the order, or has the wrong reference, sometimes explains certain delivery delays that affect the brand. It’s a complex mechanic.

Do a thorough inspection on the used RV

Beyond what the vehicle owner tells us, nothing compares to a first-person inspection. This will allow us to see all the parts of the motorhome closely and detect any possible problems.

Some of the things we recommend you pay attention to are:

  • Motorhomes are usually very prone to the appearance of fungus, especially in parts where water is used such as the kitchen or the bathroom.
  • One of the areas where it is most difficult to identify problems is on the motorhome floor. However, and as silly as it sounds, it is advisable to jump several times to verify the structure’s solidity.
  • Water leaks are one of the most typical problems that motorhomes often have, and also one of the most difficult to solve. For this reason, it is advisable to check all the roof joints, especially in the corners and on the bed area in class C motorhomes or campers.
  • The exterior of the motorhome can also tell us a lot about the state it is in.
  •  The wheels of a motorhome are one of the most important components of the vehicle, and one of those that suffer the most from the load weight and the passage of time.
  • Something that is unfortunately often overlooked when looking for a motorhome is the issue of suspension. However, our motorhome must have a suspension in good condition, especially if we are going to take a long-term trip.

Before purchasing an RV, new or used, pass through this list

  1. Do you feel at home there?

Make sure the interior design matches your lifestyle. Is the bed big enough? Does the kitchen and dining area meet your needs? Are the cupboards sufficient? Are the windows placed where you want them? Can you comfortably use the bathroom? Can you sing in the shower stall?

  1. Spend the night in your RV

This is common in the RV industry and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask. When you spend the night there, try everything. Is this a dream come true?

  1. Bring a friend with you

If you know a seasoned RV enthusiast, ask them to come with you. Anyone who has been driving an RV for a few years will be familiar with the process.

  1. Check for leaks

If you buy a used RV, be aware that water leaks are a common problem. Check for large amounts of sealant around windows, corners, vents, and fittings. This presence is often due to water leaks.

  1. Have an inspection

Get a professional to take a quick look at the RV. Have it inspected by a qualified RV service dealer; it might spot problems you haven’t seen.

What would you add to the list? Let us know if you have any ideas, suggestions or questions about the content!

FAQ on Should I buy a new or used RV?

What do you have to take into account when buying a motorhome?

When buying a motorhome, you have to take into account so many things that it is best to involve each member of the family in the process. Give each person precise instructions. Do an eye check of the tires, electrical system, the condition of the furniture, etc. 

How much does an RV cost?

RV costs depend on whether they are pre-owned, new, large, luxurious, simple, etc. However, an estimate (from a used one to a new luxury one) is between $ 15,000 USD to $ 100,000 USD.

What are the worst RV brands?

The following are considered the worst RV brands:

  • Thor Hurricane.
  • Coachmen.
  • Gulfstream.
  • Forest River.
  • Fleetwood.
  • Winnebago.

What to consider before buying a used RV?

Buying a used motorhome or RV is an option that many consider. Whether it is because of social isolation or the desire to explore life in nature in a more independent way, buying a used motor home opens up a new range of travel.


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