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RV Cost


How Much Does an RV Cost?

 
low costTruck Camper: $3,000-$50,000average costRV Trailers: $3,000-$80,000+high costMotorhome RV: $40,000-$800,000+
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A recreational vehicle can offer basic sleeping and cooking accommodations, or all the comforts of a luxurious home. The two basic RV categories are motorized (motorhomes) and non-motorized (trailers and campers). The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association illustrates the different types of RVs.

Typical costs:

  • Expect to pay $3,000-$50,000 for a new truck camper, a self-contained unit that slides into the bed of a pickup truck, often with a sleeping area above the cab. Prices vary based on size, quality of materials and amenities such as kitchen appliances, a bathroom or dual-pane windows for warmth.
  • RV trailers can vary from a tent trailer ($3,000-$20,000) that travels as a compact box and pops up to provide a canvas-sided living area; to a conventional travel trailer ($8,000-$65,000); to a fifth-wheel trailer ($13,000-$100,000) that is pulled by a medium- to heavy-duty pickup truck ($20,000-$50,000) with a special hitch in the pickup bed; or a toy hauler ($12,000-$80,000 or more) that's a travel trailer or fifth wheel with living quarters up front and a cargo area and ramp in the rear.
  • The smallest motorhome RV is a camper van, also called a Class B Motorhome. At $40,000-$120,000, these units typically look like a standard van, but inside are sleeping areas, a dining/seating area that converts into a bed, basic kitchen appliances and possibly a toilet stall. Class C motorhomes, also called mini-motorhomes or mini-RVs, cost $50,000-$140,000; these are standard mid-sized motorhomes with a van nose and cab attached to a wider fiberglass body.
  • The largest type of motorhome is a Class A ($50,000-$800,000 or more), which resembles a bus or semi-truck. A class A is basically a luxury one-bedroom home, usually with a sofa-bed or other additional sleeping areas. Class As have a full kitchen, full bath or a big-screen entertainment center.
  • Like new cars, RVs start depreciating[1] as soon as they're driven off the dealer's lot, so a well-maintained RV that's a few years old can be 20% to 30% cheaper, or more. Get estimated prices for used RVs at NadaGuides.com[2] .
Related articles: Class A Motorhome, Class C Motorhome, Class B Motorhome Camper Van, RV Storage, RV Insurance

What should be included:
  • At a minimum, a motorhome contains a bed or beds, a table, a food preparation area and storage space. Smaller versions may convert the dining table and benches into a bed; higher-end motorhomes often have a convertible dinette and/or sofa bed plus a separate master bedroom with a queen- or king-size bed. Luxury versions may have a full bathroom and kitchen.
Additional costs:
  • Fuel (gasoline or diesel) can be a major expense, but exact costs depend on the type of RV. Lightweight trailers might slightly increase the fuel costs for the tow vehicle, while Class A motorhomes average 8-10 miles per gallon, with a typical Class A fuel tank holding 100-150 gallons. At $2.50-$4 a gallon, filling the tank could cost $250-$600 to travel 800-1,500 miles.
  • Campground or RV park fees can cost $10-$40 a night. Using a dump station to empty the sewage system is typically included in the overnight fee; dumping without spending the night can cost $5-$25.
  • RV insurance premiums vary significantly; get quotes before buying a specific trailer. Annual state registration fees can be $10-$50 for a simple tent trailer, to $1,000-$3,500 or more for a Class A motorhome.
  • 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.
  • Maintenance and repairs might be relatively low-cost on smaller and non-motorized RVs, but some owners of larger motorhomes recommend a maintenance and repair fund of $3,000-$5,000 a year.
Discounts:
  • Free or low-cost[3] overnight RV camping is possible in some areas.
  • As a tryout or an alternative to buying, renting an RV can cost $50-$90 a night for a simple pop-up tent camper, or $150-$350 a night plus 35 60 cents a mile for a luxurious Class A motorhome.
Shopping for an rv:
  • RV shows[4] offer different makes and models in one place; admission can be free or $5-$10.
  • RV prices vary considerably, and dealer prices are typically negotiable. Digital Federal Credit Union offers tips for getting the best price[5] . RV Magazine explains how to negotiate and finance[6] an RV purchase.
  • For used RVs, NadaGuides.com provides a tool to estimate used RV prices[7] and Changingears.com describes determining a fair market price[8] with the Nada Guides as a starting point. As a reference, consignment seller PPL Motors posts its actual RV selling prices[9] .
  • Changingears.com provides checklists for inspecting a new or used RV[10] before buying, and for road-testing a motorhome[11] or towable trailer[12] .
  • Search for local dealers through the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association[13] or GoRVing.com[14] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.rversonline.org/ArtNewUsedRV.html
  2.  www.nadaguides.com/RVs
  3.  rvbasics.com/rv-lifestyle/low-cost-RV-camping.html
  4.  www.gorving.com/where-to-find/rv-shows
  5.  /www.dcu.org/streetwise/boat-rv/rv-price.html
  6.  www.rvmagonline.com/features/0808rv-rv-buying-tips/negotiating.html
  7.  www.nadaguides.com/RVs
  8.  changingears.com/rv-art-determining-rv-fmv.shtml
  9.  www.pplmotorhomes.com/sold/soldmenu.htm
  10.  changingears.com/rv-checklist-inspection.shtml
  11.  changingears.com/rv-checklist-road-test-motor-home.shtml?sec-checklist
  12.  changingears.com/rv-checklist-road-test-trailer.shtml?sec-checklist
  13.  www.rvda.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Dealer_Info&template=/DealerSearch/Custom/dea...
  14.  www.gorving.com/where-to-find/dealers
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