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Should You Buy A New Or Used RV?
Whether you are a seasoned road warrior or a neophyte dreaming of cross-country adventures, buying an RV is a significant decision. Among the numerous considerations involved in this process, one of the most pivotal is the classic conundrum: Should you buy a new or used RV?
To address this question, we’ve scoured popular RVing sites for answers. Here’s a compilation of the pros and cons to guide you through your decision-making journey.
Advantages of buying a new RV
New RVs come with the latest in design and technology. The appliances, systems, and fixtures are all brand new, providing a level of comfort and convenience that rivals that of a modern home.
When you are shopping for a new RV, consider how much these modern amenities mean to you and how they fit into your lifestyle.
New models often come with a variety of warranties that cover various components and systems, thus reducing the potential financial burden of repairs and replacements in the early years.
There is great peace of mind knowing you have warranties protecting your new investment. Don’t let this particular feature sway you too much, however, in that extended warranties are usually available for used RVs as well.
Buying a new RV allows you to choose the layout, décor, and features that perfectly suit your needs and preferences.
Like building a home, if you have the time and patience, you can choose and customize your floor plan and order your new RV exactly the way you like it.
You know where you stand
With a new RV, you know exactly where you stand with every aspect of your camper. You know how old the tires are and how much wear is on them.
You know the status of every component (new!) and you can start the timers for maintenance items such as oil changes, generator service, etc.
Disadvantages of buying a new RV
Higher price tag
Brand new models can be considerably more expensive than their used counterparts. This not only affects your initial investment but also factors into higher insurance costs. Price can be one of the biggest factors in deciding if you should buy a new or used RV.
Similar to automobiles, RVs depreciate rapidly. The moment you drive a new RV off the lot, its value drops significantly, even if it remains in perfect condition.
There is an adage that says, “buy your third RV first”. The logic is rooted in depreciation and makes the assumption that at first, you will buy the least expensive RV you can, then shortly realize you need a larger RV. Finally, you begin to really enjoy the RV lifestyle and want more features…hence your third RV.
Reasons to buy a used RV
Initial purchase cost savings
Used RVs offer considerable savings upfront, providing more budget-friendly options for many potential RV owners. Since most RVs typically have very low mileage, a used model can look and feel almost brand new.
A used RV has already gone through the most significant part of its depreciation cycle, making it a potentially smarter investment if resale value is a concern. A rig with just a few thousand miles on it can be 30-40% cheaper than the same model only a few years newer.
The shake-down has already been done
With a used model, most of the “kinks” and initial issues have likely been worked out, providing a more accurate picture of the RV’s reliability and performance. In most cases, warranty repair work has already been done and any factory defects have been addressed. The previous owner has had a few shakedown cruises and should have dealt with any problems already, so you don’t have to.
Problems with buying a used RV
A used RV, depending on its age and previous usage, will have a shorter remaining lifespan compared to a new one. Normally, a couple of years won’t be of any concern at all. However, for campground that have a 10-year rule, you’ll want to be aware of this nuance.
With used RVs, your choices are limited to what’s available on the market, and you may have to make some compromises on the layout, features, or decor. Once again, just like a used car, you may not be able to get exactly what you want. This could be a deal breaker too since you won’t want to “settle” and buy again in a couple of years as you will still face some depreciation.
One of the most significant risks is the potential for undisclosed construction or maintenance issues. Getting your RV inspected is a great way to deal with these concerns. You aren’t always going to find a perfect RV; that’s not necessarily even the goal. But you can find out exactly what work is needed and then decide to either have it done or do it yourself…along with negotiating that price down!
One of the most common hidden problems is the condition of the roof. Not everyone is willing or able to climb up on the roof and give it a proper pre-purchase inspection. An RV’s roof is its first line of defense against the elements, and a leaking roof can lead to serious and expensive issues. Fortunately, this problem can be overcome.
Liquid Rubber, a trusted brand specializing in roofing solutions, provides a range of products that can restore and waterproof roofs. Their high-quality coatings, available at shopliquidrubber.com, are designed to adhere to many different types of surfaces, providing a durable, watertight seal that can significantly extend the life of your roof.
This means that even if an RV has a questionable roof, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. With some investment and elbow grease, you can restore and protect the roof, potentially saving thousands of dollars over buying a new RV.
Both new and used RVs have their advantages and disadvantages. Your decision should be influenced by factors such as budget, risk tolerance, and personal preferences. If you’re leaning towards a used model but are concerned about potential roof issues, remember that solutions like Liquid Rubber can alleviate these worries.