Buying an RV: New or Used?

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20 COMMENTS

  1. In my experience of owning 3 new RV's, there is just as much trouble with a new unit as a used unit. Dealers and manufacturers are not regulated or obligated to reveal problems/damage on a new unit. Nor are they required to tell you that some have been sitting on the lot for a year or more.

  2. Like boats, most RVs have too many beds. I like to customize my vehicles to exactly fit my needs, and I find it hard to take a sawzall to a brand new RV. That price drop in the first hundred miles is hard to swallow too.

    Each of the many systems, refrigeration, drive train, house, chassis and others have separate warrantees from separate manufacturers who you have to locate and pursue to get work done if they will at all, so new does not preclude failures, and warranties are worth what it costs to pursue them in court. The big smile of the sales manager often turns to the scowl of the service manager and the smirk of the parts seller as soon as you sign on the dotted line. At sky high dealer labor and parts costs, many of us do repairs ourselves. New RV prices include the salesman's pay, dealer profits, and many other non-hardware expenses. You pay only for the vehicle with privately purchased used vehicles.

    Dealers often post glowing online reviews of their own products under shill names. I recommend a walk through campgrounds and RV resorts to find out what actual owners think of a machine you contemplate buying. Many are friendly, and you can get a realistic view of costs, and the RV lifestyle in general. I have seen people who dumped their savings into RV living and were trapped, very UNHAPPY campers.

    And just as a big house can make demands on your time, so can an over large, complicated, money guzzling RV. While I am not a minimalist, bigger is NOT necessarily better. Write down what you want to do in an RV, like a story. Then get the simplest rig that will fully meet the needs of that life style. don't buy bells and whistles that you will never ring or blow.

  3. If you are a first timer – then buy used and learn on that!!!!! Unless you are the kind that your first car was a Corvette with all the extras – learn on a used camper – your wallet will appreciate it!!! You can get a used camper at about 1/2 price if you look long enough!!!!!!!!

  4. Nice video, thanks for posting.
    If you’re about to spend thousands of $$$ for a NEW RV, you may want to read this.
    I can’t go RV’ing because my 2014 HEARTLAND Wilderness leaks grey water all over the ground.  I bought it NEW from CAMPING WORLD and have made 6 attempts to get the problem fixed, 4 of those attempts resulted in repairs being made, which have all failed.  Camping World (multiple locations) keeps putting a band-aid on a fracture.  Camping World only does repairs that Heartland will allow/approve. I have been fighting this battle with CW and HL for over a year now and it seems I have lost. 
    “”As previously noted, CWRV Sales sold the RV “AS IS” and excluded from the sale all express or implied warranties, including the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.””—David Partin, Camping World RV Sales.
    “Additional components which have been installed in the recreational vehicle, including but not limited to microwave ovens, ranges, refrigerators, leveling jacks, furnaces/heaters, generators, power converters, batteries, and other items not specifically manufactured by Heartland RV, LCC, are warranted by the component manufacturers as detailed in their individual manufacturers warranties, and are not covered by this Limited Warranty” excerpt from my Heartland owner’s manual.
    So between the two above “disclaimers” good luck getting your Camping World/Heartland RV repaired correctly under warranty.  My warranty has now expired, while sitting at a Camping World location awaiting repairs, after having spent almost half its life in repair shops. Do your research, make your own decision and good luck RV’ing.  Beware…Heartland makes, and Camping World sells a lot of brands.  
    Items that have fallen off, broken, or failed:  spare tire cover, holding tank drain cap, holding tank T-handle, TV mounting screws, rear bumper end cap, oven wouldn’t stay lit, exit door threshold, stabilizer mounting screws, shore power coupling mounting screws, kitchen sink drain plumbing, bathroom sink drain plumbing, external propane coupling, water heater wiring bundle, kitchen drawer, main entry door, main entry screen door, mattress collapsed, TV cable connector, shower faucet valves(both), shower drain plumbing leak.  Oh yeah, it was still winterized upon delivery and the tires weren’t even aired up.
    If this sounds like sour grapes, it is, because I have a brand new, at time of purchase, $20,000 RV that I can’t use and can’t get fixed.  Thanks CAMPING WORLD and HEARTLAND for putting an expensive and disheartening impediment to my retirement.
    This post is regarding my purchase and ownership of a 2014 Heartland Wilderness from Camping World.  No other dispute with Camping World, Heartland, et al is expressed nor implied.

  5. I think it depends on what your plans are for the RV. If I was getting something just for weekend use a used one would be bought. I'm actually looking at a new 50k one for full time use, warranty & it's perfect. IF I could find the same one in a 1-2 yrs old I would but just can't.

  6. Our plan is to buy new.  We have an adult handicapped son who will be coming with us, so we really need it to fit our needs.  So we really need something that is comfortable because our plan is also to full time.  Plus I want a big AC, thermal package and some other stuff.  To get it the way you want used is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  I guess will buy new, but nothing luxury.  Probably a Jayco.

  7. Sean, good advice. Buying "used" makes a lot of sense and, as you say, is a way to save a lot of money. Some used units are just like new. People buy them, and then something comes up and they can't use them. So you get a bargain. My only advice would be to have an RV technician do a thorough check of a used RV to be sure there are no serious issues — especially water damage, which can cost a bundle to fix down the road.

  8. At this point, (in the planning stage) we are looking at buying a year or two old trailer, thus saving us lots of moola.  Is that a real word?  Anyway, that is the plan, soooooo, saving some bucks is on our agenda.

  9. I'd go for a nice used trailer. I've always liked Airstream travel trailers, or even the Argosy trailers, made in the 1970s. The challenges would include finding one that's in good condition. The less you have to do to make it roadworthy, the better. The other challenge, I would think would be finding the right truck to tow it with.

  10. Another consideration is the buyers ability to make repairs. If one is totally inept or physically unable to service the RV, a new one may be the better choice. Even still, it is best to buy one you can afford to keep in top shape than one that takes all your money just to own.

  11. Let's assume you take four years to graduate college and budget $700 a month for housing. 48 months = $33,600. If you rent, all of that money will be gone in four years. If you buy an RV, you will own it. Personally I think you should consider getting something cool (like a used Airstream) that you can still use in four years. At that point your housing will be paid off. You'll still need to pay for parking, but you can stay in RV parks for pretty cheap.

  12. I'm only 17 but I'm exploring an option for college to actually live in an rv for a little over 3 years or more.. would it be wise to just go ahead and spend 700 a month on an apartment or find or build a cheap and light rv my 3.8l v6 1990 pontiac Bonneville can pull a maxium of 2000 pounds. I personally don't mind living on a rv ground for college cause all and all it won't be expensive but I dont want to spend a lot on the rv there's some old 700 dollar rvs on craigslist that show up sometimes

  13. At the moment I am in Argentina, province of Cordoba. I've spent the past two weeks working as a gaucho in Estancia San Pedro Viejo. My advice: WEAR WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY – don't worry what other people think! If you live your life this way you will be a much happier person. Cheers!

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