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CostHelper > Cars  > RV Trailer

RV Trailer Cost


How Much Does an RV Trailer Cost?

 
low costPop-Up Tent Trailer: $3,000-$20,000average costTravel Trailer: $8,000-$65,000high costFifth-Wheel Trailer: $13,000-$100,000

Towable (non-motorized) recreational vehicles vary from simple tent-like pop-ups to luxurious hard-sided trailers, all designed to be towed behind a vehicle, typically a pickup truck or van.

Typical costs:

  • A popup tent trailer costs $3,000-$7,000 for a basic model (beds, dinette, icebox or mini-refrigerator, cooking appliance) and increases to $8,000-$20,000 for models with higher-end appliances, a toilet, heater, air conditioner, etc. Tent trailers are box-like (8'-18' long and 4'-6' tall) when folded for travel. Unfolded, they create a tent on a raised platform that can be up to 30' long, with a cooking/dining area and beds for 6-8 people.
  • Conventional travel trailers can cost $8,000-$65,000, but average $15,000-$30,000. These are the standard, non-motorized, hard-sided RVs, 10'-40' long or longer, and may have one open area inside or several separate rooms. At a minimum they include a sleeping area and what can range from a simple food prep/dining area (stove top, sink, and icebox) to a complete kitchen with full-sized appliances.
  • Fifth-wheel trailers can cost $13,000-$100,000, depending on size (21'-40' long) and features like slide-outs to expand the living space, a separate master bedroom and bath, full-sized appliances, an electric fireplace and more. Also called a Fiver, a fifth-wheel is designed to be towed by a pickup with a king pin hitch in the truck bed, so the front of the trailer extends above the truck bed.
  • Toy hauler trailers can cost $12,000-$80,000 or more, depending on size (14'-40' or longer) and amenities, varying from the basics for sleeping and eating to all the comforts of home. Sometimes called a sports utility recreational vehicle, a toy hauler is either a conventional travel trailer or a fifth wheel with living quarters in the front and a cargo/garage area and ramp in the rear for hauling motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs or other equipment. RV trailers start depreciating[1] as soon as they're driven off the dealer's lot, so a well-maintained unit that's a few years old could be 20%-30% less than its original purchase price.
Related articles: Tent Trailer, Fifth-Wheel RV, Toy Hauler RV, RV

What should be included:
  • At a minimum, an RV trailer typically contains beds, a table and a food preparation area. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association illustrates different types of towable RVs.
  • Riders are not allowed in an RV trailer while it's being towed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists safety tips[2] for driving with a trailer.
Additional costs:
  • A medium- to heavy-duty pickup truck or similar tow vehicle can cost $20,000-$50,000 or more. Towing a loaded trailer reduces the tow vehicle's fuel efficiency by at least a couple miles per gallon and could cut it by as much as half (or more). Many owners of heavy RV trailers report getting 8-10 mpg while towing.
  • Adding a standard ball trailer hitch on the tow vehicle can cost $50-$700; installing a fifth-wheel hitch can cost $500-$2,500. If the trailer is wider than the tow vehicle, extended side view mirrors start at $4-$80 for models that clamp onto the existing side mirrors, or $150-$450 for permanently installed towing mirrors.
  • Overnight campground or RV park fees can cost $10-$40 a night. Using a dump station to empty the trailer's sewage system is typically included in the overnight fee; dumping without spending the night can cost $5-$25.
  • RV insurance premiums vary significantly depending on value, frequency of usage, location, company and driving record.
  • State registration fees for RV trailers start around $25-$50 a year, but for larger and more expensive trailers in some states it can be $100-$300 or more.
  • Renting an RV storage space can cost $20-$100 a month outdoors and $45-$450 a month indoors. An RV cover can cost $50-$1,200 or more.
Discounts:
Shopping for an rv trailer:
  • RV shows[3] offer different makes and models in one place; admission can be free or $5-$10.
  • Prices on new RV trailers vary considerably; dealer prices are typically negotiable. Digital Federal Credit Union offers tips for getting the best price[4] . RV Magazine explains how to negotiate and finance[5] an RV purchase.
  • For used RV trailers, NadaGuides.com provides a tool to estimate prices[6] and Changingears.com describes determining a fair market price[7] with the Nada Guides as a starting point. As a reference, consignment seller PPL Motors posts actual RV selling prices[8] .
  • ChanginGears.com provides checklists for inspecting a new or used RV[9] before buying, and for road testing[10] an RV trailer.
  • Search for local dealers through the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association[11] or GoRVing.com[12] .
  • . The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides tips for selecting a tow vehicle[13] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.rversonline.org/ArtNewUsedRV.html
  2.  www.nhtsa.org/
  3.  www.gorving.com/where-to-find/rv-shows
  4.  /www.dcu.org/streetwise/boat-rv/rv-price.html
  5.  www.rvmagonline.com/features/0808rv-rv-buying-tips/negotiating.html
  6.  www.nadaguides.com/RVs
  7.  changingears.com/rv-art-determining-rv-fmv.shtml
  8.  www.pplmotorhomes.com/sold/soldmenu.htm
  9.  changingears.com/rv-checklist-inspection.shtml
  10.  changingears.com/rv-checklist-road-test-trailer.shtml?sec-checklist
  11.  www.rvda.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Dealer_Info&template=/DealerSearch/Custom/dea...
  12.  www.gorving.com/where-to-find/dealers
  13.  www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/equipment/towing/selecting.htm
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