Why a Used RV May Be a Good Option for Your Family

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One of the top questions people ask when starting their RV journey is: should I buy a new or used RV? 

While there are some definite advantages to buying new, buying a used RV is a great option for your family, especially if you’ve never owned a family RV before. There’s a lot to learn when you’re just starting out. 

Here are a few ways a used RV can ease your learning curve:

Save Money

The biggest benefit of buying a used RV is financial savings. Used RVs are often 30-40% cheaper than a comparable new RV. In this case, comparable refers to a similar length, features, and type of RV.

That lower purchase price may also come with lower insurance costs, less money toward interest payments (if you’re financing), and, in some cases, lower in-state registration fees.

Used RVs also depreciate more slowly than a brand new RV—you won’t get that familiar “new car” hit as you drive it off the lot for the first time. That means you can recover more of your initial investment if you decide to upgrade your RV in a few years. 

If you’re looking to save a little money on the front end, a used RV is a great option.

Learn How to RV Camp

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Photo by Camping World

There are nuances to RV camping that first-timers need to learn. Things like how to hook up to power and water and how to empty your holding tanks are requisite skills for all RVers. 

When it comes to family camping in an RV, one of the major lessons revolves around bathroom hygiene. Learning how to operate and maintain an RV toilet is different, but it’s essential for you and the kids. Flushing anything but RV-friendly toilet paper is a no-no. 

With a used RV, you’ll have a little more leeway to learn the ins and outs of the RV lifestyle with fewer concerns about breaking or damaging your motorhome. Of course, the more you treat it with care, the more you’ll get when you decide to resell it. 

But purchasing a used RV is similar to buying secondhand gear when learning a new hobby. You’ll make a smaller initial investment to learn how to RV camp and make sure it’s a type of camping you really enjoy before you upgrade to your ideal recreational vehicle. 

Learn What You Like (and Dislike)

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Photo by Camping World

When they’re getting into RV camping, many RVers upgrade within a few camping seasons. Finding out what you like and don’t like about popular RV floorplans really requires living and camping in it for a season or two. 

If you’re new to RVing, you’ll go through the same process. The only way to learn what you like and don’t like in an RV is to use it. You’ll define your essential features and amenities while learning what you can live without.

RVs naturally provide more compact living spaces than your residence. Living in a used RV helps you see where you need extra space and where you can get by with less. Go into your used RV experience with this knowledge and note where extra space might be nice when you’re ready to upgrade.

Regarding your budget, you’ll spend less to learn the ins and outs of family RV camping. So you’ll be well informed and have more money in your pocket when it’s time to upgrade to your next family RV or toy hauler. 

Avoid “New RV Problems”

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Photo by Camping World

New RVs are known for having a few kinks here and there. It’s par for the course when you buy a new RV, and you should know that going in. 

But if you buy a used RV from Camping World, you get the reassurance that it has been thoroughly inspected, cleaned, and, in some ways, upgraded. Every inch of the RV is inspected, the interior is cleaned, and the holding tanks are sanitized. 

A new RV mattress gives you a fresh place to lay your head and alleviates the hassle of finding the best RV mattress for your coach–because many RV mattresses are shorter than home mattresses. 

Additionally, Camping World’s nationwide network of retail and RV service centers means you’re never far from a location to grab new RV supplies or speak to an expert RV technician about maintenance or repairs. 

In essence, you’re getting a used RV that’s in good condition and ready for the campground or your next RV tailgating gathering. And when you need anything else, a Camping World location isn’t far away!

Common Used RV Concerns

So why doesn’t everyone just buy used? Like everything, there are pros and cons to buying a used RV. Here are some concerns to be aware of before you finalize your decision:

Uncertainty About the RVs Quality

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Photo by Ilaszlo via Shutterstock

When you’re buying used, you don’t know how the previous owners treated the RV. Unfortunately, there are plenty of horror stories about buying a used RV from a private party. 

Some owners hide issues that new RVers won’t recognize simply because it’s your first time. The result is buying a used RV that immediately needs repairs or maintenance, which may not be in your budget. Avoid these concerns by buying from a reputable RV dealer. 

Camping World’s trained and experienced RV technicians complete an end-to-end inspection on every used RV it sells, which means you’ll have peace of mind knowing you didn’t miss anything during your RV walkaround.

Lack of a New RV Manufacturer’s Warranty

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Photo by Good Sam

Depending on the manufacturer, the original warranty might not transfer to a new owner, even if the RV or travel trailer is under the age or mileage of the original warranty. This is one of the most important things you can ask an RV salesperson during your search. 

If the original warranty won’t transfer, your best bet is to get a third-party warranty, no matter where you buy your used RV. Good Sam, for example, offers a variety of extended warranty options on used RVs.

Remember that a used RV is a home on wheels. It should be insured and protected just like the home or property you own or rent for that matter. Explore services like Roadside Assistance and TravelAssist to ensure your RV travel is protected from the unexpected. 


When you’re looking for an RV, especially your first RV, a used RV could be a great option. If you’re ready to start looking, explore our inventory of used RVs for sale using these tips for buying a used RV.

What are your biggest concerns about buying a used RV? Let us know in the comments below!

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