Navigating RV dealers can be intimidating. There are hundreds of RVs for sale in different makes and models. Every detail seems to matter: kitchen layout, bathroom details, front living versus rear living, and then there’s the age-old debate of buying a used RV versus spending top-dollar on a new model.
If you’re leaning towards buying a used RV, you’re in good company. There’s plenty of value in used RVs, and some look like the previous owner barely took them camping. If you buy a used RV from Camping World, you’re assured that the RV has gone through a thorough reconditioning program, which we’ll highlight below.
Why Buy a Used RV?
But first, here are some reasons to buy a used RV and tips on how to get a good deal. And to help with your search, you might enjoy this checklist for buying a used RV!
1. Used RVs Can Save You Money
This is the most obvious reason to buy a used RV. You can save money by buying it outright and avoiding monthly payments altogether. Or, you can save by financing a smaller amount and lowering your monthly payment.
Financing is a part of the RV buying process that can be stressful, so check out this guide to RV financing to prepare and reduce that stress!
With my family’s first RV purchase, we were completely new to RVing. We worried about spending a lot of money on a new RV only to find out we didn’t like that model a few months later. We decided to buy used to reduce our debt if we did change our minds about the RV model we chose.
We also decided to buy something with a low price tag so we could pay the RV off within a few years. The idea of paying the debt off quickly was appealing to us. Of course, there are other things to consider when thinking about an RV purchase and saving money.
RVs depreciate just like cars, it’s an unavoidable fact. Buying a used RV helps combat this issue. Our first RV was 10 years old and we got it for $15,000. When we sold it the next year, it was worth the exact same amount, and we were able to trade it in for more than we owed.
2. It’s Easy to Renovate a Used RV with Camping World’s Design Centers
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram looking at other people’s RV adventures, you know that renovating campers is a very popular and fun activity among the RVing community. While a used RV may not initially look attractive, there are lots of ways to transform the space into a true “home away from home.”
If you’re a first-time RV buyer, launching right into DIY renovations on a used RV could sound intimidating. But that’s why Camping World’s Design Centers were established. Our design experts can walk you through decisions on new RV flooring, upgrading RV furniture, installing new window treatments, and so much more.
And here are some reasons transforming your camper is a great advantage to buying used:
It’s a Family Friendly Activity
The kids will love picking out paint colors, putting together the new floor, and transforming the closet into a bunkhouse. Imagine how much fun you’ll have at the campground with your spouse, partner, or family knowing you worked on your RV together.
You Make It How You Want It
No camper is ever perfect. There’s always one thing you’d tweak or one color you’d switch out. This happens over time and it’s one of the best things about owning this type of RV. You don’t have to worry about asking for upgrades or changes that impact the sale price.
If you buy and renovate a used RV, you can build it exactly how you want. You can completely gut it and make a new floorplan like my friend did with her Airstream Argosy. You can also take a simpler approach by just adding some color with pillows, a rug, and new curtains. It’s all up to you.
When we bought our 5th wheel toy hauler, we changed up the entire galley. We replaced the carpet with a dark brown laminate, painted the walls and cabinets, and even built a loft for our daughter. We loved our little space.
Your Camper will be Truly Unique
If you want something that is “just you,” buying used and renovating is definitely the way to go. When you renovate, you’re making something unique to your personality or family’s style of RV travel. And it’s always fun to show off your hard work at the campground and online.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to renovate your used RV, get my free book 101 RV Renovation Ideas to Go From Camper to Glamper.
3. You Can Get Quality and a Good Price on Used RVs
Buying a used RV doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. You’d be surprised how many used RVs manufactured within the last 1-5 years you can find with minimal mileage or cosmetic wear and tear. Spending more doesn’t always equate to higher quality when you’re buying an RV.
If you’re diligent about your search, buying an older luxury RV is the best deal you could ever get. If maintained properly, these RVs are still in great shape, and buying one will keep your bank statements in great shape too. Older luxury models are often roomy too. This means you aren’t sacrificing space to save a few bucks.
Some examples of luxury manufacturers include:
4. Insurance is Cheaper on Used RVs
If you’re considering buying a used RV, chances are keeping costs low is a priority. Lucky for you, getting insurance on an older RV can be another way to lower your monthly RV costs.
Typically, a Class A motorhome is the most expensive RV to insure. After all, it’s large and has a powerful engine. You can expect to pay around $1000-1500 per year depending on the year and features. Travel trailers and fifth wheels typically incur the lowest RV insurance costs, which can go as low as only $500 per year.
Personally, we have a full-timers package for our 2007 Class C. This is a very comprehensive plan that covers the RV and the tow vehicle (when towed) 365 days a year. We pay only $800 per year.
Why Buy a Used RV from Camping World?
Camping World offers RV owners the ability to sell or trade-in an RV to upgrade or downsize their RV lifestyle. When they buy used recreational vehicles, each model goes through an extensive reconditioning program to get it ready for its next happy home.
The process starts with a brand new RV mattress, which eliminates the first upgrade most RVers make when they buy used. It’s just a nice touch knowing you won’t have to spend any time sleeping on, or dealing with, an old mattress from the previous owner.
Then, each used RV gets deep cleaned and odor neutralized. That process includes a complete flush and sanitization of all holding tanks. So you don’t have to worry about leftover you-know-what clogging your brand new RV sewer hose on your first camping trip.
The process also includes a multi-point inspection from top to bottom. This inspection looks for soft spots, signs of water damage, missing components, and much more. Basically, it identifies the need for repairs and routine maintenance work according to the RV’s mileage and condition.
Finally, all used RVs come with a three-year Good Sam Elite Membership, one year of Good Sam Roadside Assistance, and one year of Good Sam Travel Assist. And if that’s not enough, you’ll also have access to Camping World’s nationwide RV service network for routine maintenance, renovation, collision repair, and more.
Additionally, when you do an RV walkaround with a salesperson, don’t be afraid to identify any further repairs or issues that you notice. When you buy a used RV in person from Camping World, they won’t hesitate to address any outstanding cleaning or repairs that you identify to make sure you drive your (new) used RV off the lot in good condition.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a used RV, it’s a great way to save a little money while having a canvas that you can customize to suit your camping style. With Camping World’s Used Reconditioning Program, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you won’t miss a major RV issue when negotiating a private sale.!
What kind of used RV are you thinking of buying? Leave a comment below.
Author of Tales From the Black Tank, Liz Wilcox is an Army wife turned RV entrepreneur. When she’s not out exploring the US with her family, you can find her telling jokes and swapping campfire stories. She is a firm believer in the power of the campfire and refuses to settle for suburban survival. At the end of 2017, she gave up personal space in return for personal freedom, hitting the road in a 2007 Jayco Greyhawk. As a full-time RVer, she has a passion for creating community among campers of all kinds through humor and storytelling. You can learn more and become part of her community at The Virtual Campground.