Buying an RV: New vs Used

Buying an RV: New vs Used

Never… buy a new RV. Don’t you wish you would have bought used? I bet you learned your lesson, didn’t you? Those are some of the things we hear when we tell people we bought a new RV. Today we’re going to talk about new versus used. This has to be one of the most debated
questions in the RV community and today I’m going to talk about
some of the pros and cons of each. Now everyone knows when you buy a new RV it’s going to be more expensive than buying the same RV used. But there are some good things
that come along with that. For us the most important was
buying an RV that was new It really had no history from a previous owner who may or may not have done the things that the RV needed. Along with getting a new RV you also
get a manufacturer’s warranty. That warranty can range anywhere from a
year to six years depending on the RV you buy and that warranty starts the day you take
delivery with the mileage that’s already on it. Different RV companies have different
fine print for their warranty so make sure you read that clearly
before you take delivery of your RV. When you buy a new RV you can get the
exact model floorplan and options that you want even if they don’t have it on dealer showroom floor. You can special order that RV through the dealer or sometimes directly through the factory which is a big benefit of of buying new. The two biggest downsides of buying
new, price and depreciation. You are going to pay a premium for buying a
new RV over one that’s one or two years old. RV’s take a big depreciation hit as soon as you drive it off the lot which is something you’ll need to factor into your purchase decision. There is no such thing as a perfect RV. Any RV that comes off the lot is going to have
issues that you’re going to need to deal with. Many people take care of these in their first year ownership typically through the factory warranty. And it’s something to consider when buying a new RV. Like any new vehicle, when you buy an RV your insurance premium is going to be more expensive for a new RV versus one that’s a few years old. One benefit of buying new for
those of you who have allergies There have been no animals or cigarette smoke, things in the RV that can cause your allergies to flare up. Some questions you should ask yourself when
buying a new RV off of the dealership lot. How long has that RV been sitting on the lot? How many RV shows have they taken to? How many people do you think have
really walked through that RV? Are their items on the RV that are
broken or need to be replaced? We’ve done a lot of RV shopping and we’ve seen many new RV’s where people have walked through and broken different things. We’ve also seen RVs that have
sat on the lot for a year or more. and you can really tell that there’s some deterioration that’s going to need to be taken care of before the RV can be used. These are things to consider when buying a new RV. Let’s move on to use used RV’s. The biggest benefit of buying used is the price. You’ll pay less for the RV. You’ll pay less for the insurance. And you’re not going to take as big of a hit on depreciation as you do when you buy new. Those kinks I mentioned on a new RV have hopefully been worked out by the time you get a used RV. But, there’s no guarantee of that. If you buy used you really have to have the unit inspected and make sure that there aren’t big issues that you’re gonna have to deal with down the road. Another benefit we see of buying used is that you don’t necessarily have to buy through a dealership or the factory. You can go with a private party sale. A lot of people don’t like having to deal with salesmen, pushy tactics here you can meet with people, have time to look through their RV and sometimes you can get a better price. One of the biggest downsides of buying
a used RV is that RV comes with a history. My grandmother always said… “When you buy use you’re just inheriting
someone else’s problems.” That is very true when it comes to an RV. Some of the questions you should
ask when buying a used RV… Did the previous owners smoke or have pets? Do they have all the documentation for that RV and all the modifications that have been done to it? Is the RV still under warranty?
If so, is that warranty transferable? Same thing if they have an extended warranty, can you transfer that warranty over to yourself? What other lingering problems does that RV have? That means you’re going to need to spend time and money to either go through and inspect that RV yourself or hire a professional who can go through and do a detailed job to tell you exactly what’s going to have to be resolved. We shopped for a lot of used RV’s as well. Two common issues we saw with
a lot of the used rvs we looked at… First, being the smell inside that RV. Sometimes there were some funky odors. The other, water damage. This can be a huge problem for an RV
and another reason why that RV should be either inspected by yourself or a professional
who knows what they’re looking for. When we were shopping for an RV we
seriously considered buying a used unit but when we found our specific Bay Star, we
bought it new because we saw it on the lot it was the exact model, floor plan, all the options that we wanted and we weren’t able to find that on the used market. The fact that it came with a factory warranty
also factored into this because we were going to be living out of the RV for
at least a year full time on the road and we wanted to have the backing of the factory
to fix any issues that might come up. Does this video answer the age-old question
of whether you should buy a new or used RV? Absolutely not! There are people who only by used,
others who will only buy new and its really a personal decision that’s
up you based on how you plan use this RV how long you going to keep it your financial situation and many other factors that you need
to consider before you buy an RV. Hopefully this video has given you
some tips and things to think about when you’re looking at a new or used RV. If you’ve enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up subscribe if you haven’t already
and I will see you next time. Thanks for watching, bye!

About the Author: Michael Flood



  2. We usually prefer to buy new for all the reasons mentioned. We bought our current RV "previously enjoyed" for budget reasons and have been pretty happy so far. The only major issue is that the water heater has stopped working on electricity. We bought an extended warranty and will see how that works out for us when it gets warmer.

  3. DON'T TALK TO ME LIKE I'M A CHILD!!! ,,,,,,,now give me back my Lolli,,,,,,, 😉 I buy Used everything,,,,well almost everything,,,,,I learned a LONG time ago,underwear is ONE thing you might want to purchase new,,,,jus' sayin" Oh, and Kleenex,,,,,,yeh,,Kleenex isn't very good used. Oh,,and TP,,,but Jeeps,and RV's,,,,yup,used is Awesome. LOL C-Ya!,,,,Peace!

  4. Yet after spending major $$$ on your new Baystar you discovered after only a year or so it was too big for your needs, limited in function, etc. It would've been smarter to start with a cheaper used model and learn about RVing and your needs before buying new. You seemingly have a much larger budget than most RV Youtubers so these newbie mistakes are less costly to you.

  5. Nicely done video, straight to the point. We are currently looking at a used Rv, We hired a third party inspector just as you suggest doing so in this video and were very pleased with the results he found. He found things that we would have never thought to even look at. The cost of the inspection was $500 but we feel like not only did it give us piece of mind but we learned and understood things a little better about the unit. Safe travels guy and we look forward to seeing you back on the road in your new home.

  6. One big pro for buying new is you can get rigs with the most advanced features or newest configurations. Right now, i'ts unlikely you'd find a used Class B with lithium, solar, engine alternator, and autostart recharging to keep the A/C running while parked on a hot day.

    One big pro for buying used is it can leave you with a lot of extra money in your budget to customize your rig to your exact needs.

  7. We choose new for all those reasons. But the main reason is…….. it's less likely to leave us stranded. Time lost dealing with a down RV can't be regained. I'd rather lose money than my fun times.

  8. Great insights. We bought used and should have going a professional inspector. Needless to say we had to make some pretty expensive repairs. We trusted the dealer that everything was great, even they were selling it on consignment as is. Stupid us.

  9. It's a gamble both ways. With that said your insights were fine and factual, but you left out one issue. That is in some states they have what is called the dreaded excise tax, it is a property tax plain an simple. That says you need to pay the town it's registered in, just for the privilege of owning something nice! On a $100,000 rv, in my area, Mass. the excise tax will be well over $5,000 ! The first year! The values thank goodness do go down a lot faster than regular depreciation, but still it's a great expense, o believe it is something like $75/$1,000 of value, that is set by the state. In R. I. It's even higher!! So no mater, it is an expensive game! More so in some areas than others! So what it all boils down to is , just how high do you value peace of mind?

  10. Nicely done video. One question I have is how and where do you find a third-party inspector when buying a used RV? Especially when the RV may be located hundreds of miles from you.

  11. The best deal IMO are Coach House or Phoenix Cruiser B+ models that are 5-10 years old. Some great deals to be found there. And I find many of these expensive B+ MH are very lightly used by older people.

    If it comes down to a worse built RV, which is most companies, thats new vs. buying a used RV from one of the only about 3 or 4 companies that are building top notch RVs, ill take the used every time.

  12. You forgot to mention sales/use/excise taxes, which can go up to 10%. In my area I'd pay 9.2% on any RV I buy, so the cheaper the less taxes. Also registration varies by state and some states base registration fees on value, which for an RV can get you well over $1000/year for registration alone. So there's some extra things to consider.
    There's also another issue I'm currently struggling with: I can't find a new model with the features I want – namely a shorter unit under 33ft with a diesel engine (and no, not on a van chassis either since I need at least 7.5klb towing capacity). Surprisingly almost all RV's with a diesel are 35+ ft long. Older models come around 30ft give or take. So I'll be stuck with getting a 2008 or so, just because I need the towing capacity and want a rig that fits into more parks – or get a huge rig and live with it. We'll see. I tend to buy used vehicles and only had 2 new ones in my life – and to be honest I had problems with new and used vehicles, where new ones often have the benefit of free repairs for a while.

  13. Great job, you hit all the major pros & cons!
    Is it possible that you could "B" close to delivery of your new rig?!?!

    Andy & Kim

  14. Yes, so true on all points. It's probably good you came out with this video 'after' you sold yours 😉 btw: your grandmother was a smart lady 🙂

  15. We bought new because here in So. Cal. Class Bs are very popular and getting more so. We looked for over a year for the model we wanted to be on the used market. For some reason the ERA 70A was never on the RV lot and we ended up ordering it in June and took delivery in late August. We hope we took the right advice given to us by a nice couple who let us see their ERA 70A helping us to decide on the model we anted, which was "buy your last RV first. Lol So far so good! hope you are as happy with your choice!

  16. I prefer used because I want to make everything about the vehicle exactly how I want it and don't want to ruin a new vehicle by modifying it. I mean I built my own car because I didn't like any other cars. For my next rv I want a something under 30ft that will tow at least 15,000lb so I'm probably going to start either from scratch or possibly with a used semi truck or military truck. O and I would prefer it be a front wheel drive so I can make the floor lower for aerodynamics and height clearances.

  17. Joe ,
    Was your last motor home new or used when you bought it ? Sah Hi ! to Kate for me . Will ya's be back out on the road soon ?

  18. If you buy a new rv or car for a period of 1 or 2 years you are going to loose a lot of money… which I guess you are ready know…

  19. As usual a great video, and you drove home the fact that New or used, is a personal decision, just like what class, size, brand, model and floorplan is also. I would like to point out that I look at depreciation as the cost of ownership or use. If you are going to rent or lease something you pay a fee to use it, when you return it you get nothing back. If you average in depreciation with maintenance over the time period you have the vehicle it works out, unless you buy a lemon……which goes to your point of having a professional check it out if buying used, and doing your do diligence if buying new…. I will always prefer buying new, I get what I want,and can afford, put in the care on my unit, and when it is time for a new one I can afford to step up. I currently have a Newmar Mountain Aire, (2014 bought New) and when in two years I'm ready for a new Unit, my intent is to get a King Aire or Essex….. That is how happy I am with the company, warranty, and the coach….

  20. Thank you for the great info…  I do have one question regarding the warranty work on a new RV… Where do you guys stay when the unit is in for repair since you are full time?  We've had our new RV in the shop for warranty work a couple times this year and it normally takes 2-3 weeks just for Camping World to get authorization from Keystone to do the work..  Then it's another week or so until we get it back…  Could be a long month without your house and kind of frustrating…  lol  Just curious because we are going full time in the next couple of years..

  21. Graet video – hope the anticipation of your delivery date isn't drivng you too crazy! Just got the ship date on ours this week, March 7. We went new for many of the same reasons as you. After looking at several lots and searching inventory of many Tiffin dealers online we realized we would never find one with the exact options we wanted. One other advantage of ordering is the dealer doesn't have the RV on his lot costing him interest while he waits for it to sell. That gives you a little more negotiating room.

  22. Bought a used 2008 Gulf Stream tourmaster, could not afford new, this one was $300,000 new. 27,000 miles, good shape. No smells. Needed new tires and a few fixes. Paid $79,000. I am very happy with it. It has most of the features that new ones have.

  23. Excellent job, Joe. I've owned 3 RV's including our present one, and being able to get into what was a "near the top of the line" unit several years ago, at a fraction of the price, was great. We were lucky, buying from a friend who had taken exceptional care of it (we have a quilt over the couch because it is "brand-new" underneath, I'm convinced I was the first one to do a pizza in the oven, it came with all new tires, lots of extras, and for the price of a used pickup truck. You can buy a lot of gasoline and pay a lot of RV park fees for what a monthly payment would be. See you on the road.

  24. I too purchased new  for many of the reasons you noted. My original plan was to purchase used. I can't tell you how many used units I looked at that were junk.  You mentioned water damage as a common issue. A huge issue is the holding tanks. If you purchase an RV with holding tank issues, you are in for a nightmare. RV's are regularly  traded in because of holding tank issues. I went new because I didn't want to deal with someone else's crap.

  25. the only reason i go to an RV show is to see the way is build other than that i really dont know why will anyone buy a new rv

  26. I bought a new RV nearly 2 years ago had a few issues which were fixed under warranty and never been happier.
    If you look after it you will depreciate less and enjoy it more as no one has used it before us.

  27. Did not mention that, because most rv's are not designed to be used fulltime, many manufacturers will void the warranty if/when they find out that is how it is/was used ….

  28. We are happy we bought a NEW RV vs. Used. We didn't buy someone's problems and mistakes. Yes we have made some mistakes with our RV. Buy used and you don't really know how long the RV sat around and wasn't cared for. Also you know how it was really used.

  29. We bought used from a private party and we could tell not only by the condition of the RV, but how they kept their home, that the RV had been well maintained. He also had all the service records. It was a fair price so I didn't even try to make an offer, rather just paid his asking price because it was below the NADA low price and he knew to move it as a private sale he needed to be competitively priced. Have had some issues with it, but likely not more than any other RV that is going down bumpy roads. Plus, we saved enough money to handle the big issues should they occur down the road. We are now looking at new ones, but I have a hard time justifying the cost over what we currently own.

  30. Just thinking about you guys today and realized how much we miss you… looking forward to more of your adventures this year 🙂 Hope to meet on the road. -Paul nomadic.rv

  31. put us in the used rv camp, usually about 10 years old, it takes a while to find what you want but we have saved 75%, we have purchased a class a rv that sold for 250,000 new for 60,000.

  32. Before you buy ANY RV google " rv industry death spiral" it's 8 part's, but it will almost make you sick. the 3 companies, Thor, Forest River and Keystone that control has 80%+ of the market don't give a rats ass. it's the worst industry in the world with no lemon law and deny all warranty claims unless you take them to court. To get near trouble free, you have to buy the more expensive rv/camper

  33. Q. I hope you can clear up something for me, my boyfriend is dead set that he can pull a 5th Wheel/travel trailer with his 2014 Dodge Dart, I don't think it's possible. Whose right??

  34. I have noticed a few YT'ers, who purchased used RV's, with the purpose of remodeling, repairing and making it their own, who found that they miscalculated the cost of making the unit roadworthy, and had to give up on their dream of traveling. In some cases temporarily and in others it's been put on the back burner indefinitely. I am still happy with my choice of buying new, carefully choosing a rig that fit my requirements and functions for me. I have made the statement before and got attacked by the diesel and size nazis. But they are not paying for my choices, I am. My wife and I are happily living OUR dream and enjoying it. Thank you for the opportunity to chime in…….

  35. Used is the only way to go. There is no way I will drop $100k or more on a new one when you drive it off the lot and you lose 30-40% of value on the first day. Not practical unless you have a boatload of disposable income and plan on keeping it for a few years.

  36. Folks responding here trying to make theirself feel better for buying new? They probably realized afterwords that it depreciated 45 percent by day 2. It's an RV! It's life expectancy is probably 10 years, and the warranty might have saved them $5000 on first year. Buying 1 or 2 years old could have saved them $40,000 but either One would sell for $10,000 after 5 years anyway. 5 years cost for new $80,000, while 5 years cost for the 1 year older model may have been $40,000. Do the math.

  37. HEH HEH HEH! The part about your grandmother talking about “buying used is inheriting other people’s problems” is exactly why I went out and bought a used 1997 Roadtrek Popular 190! My repair guys all think I’m nuts when they tell me about a problem and I say “Awesome”. When I learn about a problem and get it fixed, it usually means a NEW part that was just added to my RV! So as I gradually accumulate more “problems”, I’ll also gradually accumulate more “new parts”!

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