The Pros and Cons of Buying a New vs Used RV

Woohoo! You’ve decided to buy an RV. Traveling in an RV is a great way to spend time with family and friends and make some of the best camping memories.

Let the good times roll, and let the decision-making bonanza begin. Do you want something towable or drivable? Large or small? How many people would you like to be able to accommodate? What features are non-negotiable?

And the question we’ll be addressing today: should I go with a new RV or a used RV?

The Pros of Buying a New RV

Buying a new RV is much like buying a new vehicle: it smells new, it feels new, and everything about it really is, well, new. You get to be the first to use it. This newness can add an extra level of peace of mind, because if anything goes wrong, you have a warranty and support from the camper dealers. The warranty typically lasts for one year, but be sure to research what it covers and understand the limitations.

Perhaps the biggest advantage to buying a new RV is the assurance the vehicle does not have any unknown history of any sort. Plus, if you value having the latest technology, a new RV will come equipped with whatever you’re looking for in that regard.

The Cons of Buying a New RV

It’s hard to find a disadvantage when it comes to buying a new RV other than this one: the cost. Brand-new RVs, like any brand-new vehicle, are simply more expensive. The price of the RV itself can be steep, but you’ll also need to factor in taxes, registration, and insurance – all of which can be higher on a new RV versus a used RV.

New RVs can also come with some kinks to be worked out, which may require scheduling repairs during the first year of ownership. Manufacturing flaws may pop up in the first six to month years, similar to how newly constructed homes experience minor defects that need correction.

Something else to consider with purchasing a new RV is that a warranty may not be as great as it sounds. Sometimes a warranty will require the vehicle owner to schedule an expensive annual inspection completed by approved service members – further adding to the cost of owning a new RV.

If it’s in your budget, great! For someone with a limited income, these potential added costs are worth factoring into your decision to buy new or used.

The Pros of Buying a Used RV

Buying a used RV will often mean lower costs – not just for the initial purchase price but for the vehicle’s taxes, registration, and insurance. The best part of this is that with research and patience, you can often find exactly what you’re looking for in a used RV model – without forfeiting any of the non-negotiable features on your wish list. A used RV comes with significantly less depreciation than a brand-new RV.

While some travelers bask in the newness of an RV fresh from the manufacturer, a huge perk of buying a used RV is that it has already been broken in. You’re less likely to deal with working out any kinks from the manufacturer.

The Cons of Buying a Used RV

One potential drawback of buying a used RV is not knowing the vehicle’s entire history. This isn’t always the case, but certainly even in a best-case scenario of buying used with a well-documented vehicle history from the prior owners, there remains that gnawing feeling of wondering what information may have been left out.

If you purchase an RV that is more than 10 years old, you may have trouble gaining entrance into some RV parks. The infamous “10-year rule” allows campground management to refuse entry to RVs older than 10 years. The rule is not enforced at every campground by any means.

It may come across as discriminatory, but safety precautions are the primary reason the rule persists. Unfortunately, sometimes campers and motorhomes that are more than 10 years old may be likelier to experience issues with leaks. The leaks could be harmless, but they could also be something like a stream of motor oil – and if the campground is in a county with strict rules dictating what can get a campground fined, the management may be enforcing the rule to protect the livelihood of the campground.

Buying a used RV on the general market puts you at risk of scams. However, buying used from a reputable dealer will protect you from that probability. And if you’re worried about ending up with a lemon – remember that can unfortunately occur even when you buy new.

What’s the Verdict?

Every decision comes with pros and cons – that’s why we write the lists. Ultimately, there’s no solitary right or wrong answer between new or used RVs. It all comes down to your unique circumstances, finances, and preferences. Choosing the best RV for you is a personal decision, and we hope that walking through some of the pros and cons associated with buying new or used RVs for sale was helpful for you to narrow down your outcome.

If you’re shopping in Maryland and looking for camper dealers with a variety of new and used RVs for sale, visit us at Economy RVS. Our convenient location in Mechanicsville, MD features new and used travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and more. Browse our inventory online, stop in, or call us at 301-884-8400. We’d be happy to answer any questions, and it would be our honor to serve you!