Ready to hit the open road in an RV? Having an RV can be a lot of fun and allow you flexibility when traveling and seeing the sights, but be sure you know the many costs of owning an RV (beyond just the sticker price). Just like buying a house or a car, the price of an RV is dependent on many factors like style, features, model year, condition and the list goes on. Before you hit online marketplaces or the RV dealerships, here are some things you should consider before purchasing:
5 RV and Travel Trailer Cost Considerations
Style, Condition and Features
The cost of an RV can vary greatly depending on the style, class, size, condition and features. An RV, also known as a recreational vehicle, includes travel trailers/camper trailers, pop-up campers, truck campers, motorhomes and fifth wheels. With these different choices and styles, you’ll likely see prices range from $10,000 to $300,000 (or more). It all depends on what you’re looking for (and willing to pay).
Condition — new and used — also determines the price range. A new RV, of course, will cost more than a used RV but it also means no one else has ever owned it. If you have a tight budget or want to save money, but still want all the bells and whistles, you could consider a used model.
Types of RVs and Travel Trailers
With all the choices, features and options, picking an RV can be overwhelming and the different classes and types can mean big cost differences.
- Motorhomes: A motorhome can be driven on its own and includes living quarters. Motorhomes are classified as Class A, B or C.
- Camper trailer: A camper trailer is towed behind a vehicle (like a truck).
- Fifth-wheel trailer: A fifth-wheel trailer differs from a camper trailer because of where the hitch is located. The hitch for a fifth-wheel sits directly over the truck’s rear tires.
- Pop-up camper: A pop-up camper is towed but it’s collapsible, allowing for easy storage and transport.
- Truck camper: A truck camper sits on the bed of the pickup truck.
If you choose a tow-behind style camper trailer, you’ll need a heavier duty vehicle designed to tow trailers. This could add an extra $30,000 to $70,000 over the cost of the travel trailer, if you don’t already own a vehicle with towing capabilities.
With a motorhome, you won’t need an extra vehicle to tow your home away from home. However, if you’d like a smaller vehicle to use when you park your RV overnight, you’ll need to consider the costs of purchasing a vehicle to tow if don’t already have one.
Maintenance and Repairs
An RV will have regular maintenance costs. You will need to budget for like general maintenance, replacement tires, brakes as well as annual servicing. You may also need to pay for repairs like a broken axle or AC unit. Expenses will vary but you’ll generally spend hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on the upkeep of your RV, which means you’ll need to weigh whether owning an RV is worth the cost for you, personally.
Depending on what part of the country you live in and how much parking space you have at your home, you may need to secure off-site storage for your RV. Storage costs can range anywhere from $50 to $450 a month. If you can take on this additional expense, it may be worth owning an RV. If you can’t and don’t have space on your property, this may be cause to reconsider an RV purchase.
Just like your home or car, you want to be sure your RV or trailer has proper coverage. Contact your local Farm Bureau agent to learn more about RV insurance, how much it costs to insure an RV and what coverage options will fit your needs. Be sure to budget for the cost of insuring your RV or trailer when you make your purchase.
When the open road calls, your RV is your home away from home. But before you venture out on your next adventure, be sure your RV is properly covered. Connect with your local Farm Bureau agent today to gain peace of mind knowing you’re protected on the road.