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What Kind of Financing Options Are Available?

Purchasing a luxury RV can feel like a large investment, and rightly so. A true luxury RV should feel like a home away from home, offering all the comforts you love while allowing you to hit the open road and travel without checking into hotels.

If the price tag on the luxury RV you are dreaming of seems out of reach, be sure to also consider what financing options are available from the RV dealership. In many cases, there are excellent financing options that make it possible to comfortably afford a premium luxury RV.

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RV Storage Costs

Between trips, you’ll need to store your RV. If you’re lucky enough to have the option to keep your RV on your property, you’ll have some RV cost savings here. Those who have to store their RV offsite may pay between $50 and $450 a month in RV storage fees based on location and storage type. Many times storage is done by the foot so larger RV’s again will cost more. 

6. Travel Costs

Most people think that traveling in an RV is inexpensive. It may or may not be depending on the choices people make.

Since RVs only get 8 to 12 miles per gallon, driving long distances can be very costly.

  • An RVer who does his homework and seeks out deals can RV for less than $50 per day on average.
  • Someone who does not do these things can pay more than twice that amount.

What Will It Cost to Have a Big RV Adventure in the US? gives you an overview of what an average cross-country RV vacation might cost, but of course, prices change every year.

If you want more detailed information, The Good Sam Travel Guide is a great resource that can help you get a general idea about what different camping facilities charge nationwide. It is undoubtedly the best travel tool you can use because it is complete, detailed and costs far less than other RV guides you can buy. I never go on an RV vacation or do any trip planning without it.

RV cost of ownership: 9 expenses to know about

Even if an RV fits in your budget, it can put a big dent in your wallet, from purchase price to campsites. If you plan to buy an RV, you should consider these nine expenses before you make your purchase.

  • Purchase price: Whether you’re buying that $6,000 camper or a high-end model for $500,000, the average RV cost depends on its size, features and style. Motor homes can be the most expensive due to their expansive living quarters and kitchen, while camping trailers that are attached to the back of a car or SUV cost much less.
  • Loan interest: If you finance your RV purchase, you’ll owe interest. The APR can be based on the length of the loan, how much money you put down, the RV’s condition and your credit score. For example, APRs for RV loans from Good Sam Finance Center ranged from 4.29% to 9.99% as of Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.
  • Insurance: Carrying insurance on an RV is not only mandatory, but it’s important to protect your investment. Insurance rates vary by region, the type of RV purchased and your driving record. The average annual cost of RV insurance for a Class A motorhome is $1,000 to $1,300 annually, according to NADAguides.
  • Gas: Fuel costs depend on the weight and design of an RV. Camper Report offered the following estimates based on the type of motor home:
    • Class A: 7 mpg to 13 mpg
    • Class B: 18 mpg to 25 mpg
    • Class C: 14 mpg to 18 mpg
  • Taxes and registration: RVs are typically subject to taxes and registration fees, but what you’re required to pay varies based on the state in which you reside. Most states charge sales tax on the purchase price of an RV, and you should also expect to pay property taxes on your RV’s value (depending on where you’re staying).
  • Tow hitch: If your towable trailer doesn’t come with a hitch, or you prefer to use an aftermarket one, expect to spend between $100 and $1,000, according to Kampgrounds of America. Toy haulers need a hitch that attaches to a truck’s bed, generally raising the cost to between $500 and $2,500.
  • Maintenance: Like other vehicles, RVs require ongoing maintenance. Their engines, mechanical equipment and tires need to be inspected and maintained. Living quarters and custom features need frequent care as well, such as maintaining seals around the windows, doors and roof, plumbing and lubricating slide-out rails.
  • Storage: RVs should be stored when not in use. If you need to store the RV off-site, you may have to pay a weekly or monthly storage fee. Outdoor storage costs start at $30 a month, according to Storage.com. If you live in an area with inclement weather, you may choose heated storage, which can run from $100 to $450 a month.
  • Campsites: Campsites charge a nightly fee. The cost differs widely by location, but the average fee across all sites is $29, according to travel publication Wand’rly. Public campgrounds charge an estimated $22 a night, while private RV parks charge an average nightly fee of $39.

Coachmen RV Freelander 27QB – Starts at $69,921

The Coachmen Freelander, built on a Ford chassis,

The Coachmen Freelander, built on a Ford chassis, is a Class C motorhome prefect for couples. There is a private bedroom with a queen sized bed in the rear of the RV with closest storage on either side of the bed. There is also a small kitchen, living and dining area. The kitchen has a double basin sink and a three-burner stovetop.

Interested in the Freelander? Shop here

Class B Motorhomes

A Class B campervan is the smallest version of motorhomes. It is easier to drive, and park and get closeup experiences of hard-to-reach places when going off the grid. The Class B is built on van chassis from Mercedes Benz, Ford and Dodge but still has a small kitchen, sleeping space, storage and bathroom.

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3. Maintenance

You can generally plan on spending hundreds of dollars yearly for maintenance, repairs and upkeep but much more if you run into serious problems. For example, we recently made some upgrades and repairs to our own coach that cost us

  • $2500 for tires
  • $1700 to replace our carpets
  • $182 for a new toilet and
  • $120 for a thermostat upgrade.

Sooner or later you will be faced with costs like these, and you cannot ignore them. In many cases, they show up in batches that must be dealt with immediately. For this reason, you need to make sure that you have enough money available to maintain your coach so that it will hold its value and function properly.

Make sure you can afford to own a motorhome,, camper or trailer before buying one.

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More Costs Considerations

One of the big mistakes that new RV owners make is the additional costs that it takes to operate an RV. This certainly needs to be factored into your decision making, especially if you are considering the class A at the top of the RV chain.

Maintenance

Depending on the quality of your RV and the common problems associated with the brand you purchase, on average you will end up paying more for maintenance. This is something that you should take into consideration and automatically set a side a set budget for expected maintenance issues.

Gas

We already went over this a little bit in terms of diesel vs gas but understand that the weight of a Class A is much higher and it has a large tank so you will be paying more in gas when compared to something like a Class B. A way to think about this is to consider a class A to be compared to a Semi-truck and a Class B to be comparable to a truck.

Insurance

You are driving an expensive vehicle so expect your monthly insurance rate and premiums to be much higher. See our post on RV insurance costs.

Depreciation

Although this is really more of a loss than a costs it can be considered one and the same. I would recommend taking a look at our guide on what you can expect in terms of yearly depreciation for a Class A RV.

Class A Overview

Type: Class A

Price Range: $60,000 – $500,000

Size: 21 Feet – 40+ feet

Sleeps: Up to 6

Description:  For full-time living, you can’t go wrong by choosing a Class A.  These fully featured Motorhomes typically offer all the amenities (albeit modified versions) of a fixed home with the added benefit of going pretty much anywhere with a road. The total breadth of the features will largely be determined by the length of the RV. The longer the vehicle, the more that you the manufacturers will be able to pack into it.

Class A Motorhome Width

PC Jacqueline Pilar

When motorhomes are closed (i.e. the slides are in) they are between 8 and 8.5 feet in width. You won’t find wider coaches because they must safely fit into the lanes on highways and city streets. Larger Class A RVs with a wall slide, however, can increase the width of your coach by several feet. On average, RV slideouts extend two to three feet outside your RV’s regular dimensions.

This extra width only comes into play when you’re selecting campgrounds because you can’t drive with your slideouts extended. Still, you’ll need to be aware of nearby trees or light poles when parking your RV to make sure you have enough room to open your slideouts.

Used RV Cost Averages By Type

Like any vehicle, expect significant price differences between new and used RVs within each of these categories. A new RV loses approximately 20% of its value as soon as it drives off the lot, meaning you may find price discrepancies between relatively recent models and the newest ones. 

When buying used, consider the RV’s age, mileage, and condition when figuring out how much an RV costs. As with many things in life, you often get what you pay for – meaning it’s crucial to have an inspection done if you’re buying from a private seller or have any concerns.

Used Class A Average RV Prices

Much like new Class As, the cost of a used one will depend significantly on the size and features. Still, expect to pay at least $80,000-$120,000 for a used model from the last five or ten years. Both private sellers and dealerships also list RVs 15-25 years old in the $20,000-$40,000 range.

Used Fifth Wheel Average RV Prices

Used fifth wheel RV prices also vary based on style. Based on data showing that used fifth wheels also lose about 20% of their value in their first year, you’ll see price tags ranging from around $30,000 to $120,000 for premium models. 

Used Class C Average RV Prices

Used class C RVs will run you $35,000-$70,000 for models from more recent years. However, older models from private sellers can sometimes often list in the $20,000 range. As with any used RV purchase, we warrant caution with significantly older or heavily-used RVs.

Used Class B Average RV Prices

Used Class B Average RV Prices

Used Class B RVs can be among the most affordable if their smaller size and fewer features meet your needs. You can find older models for as little as $10,000-$15,000! However, for a more recent used model with average features, prices start around $30,000 and can still stretch into the six figures for luxury models!

Used Travel Trailer Average RV Prices

Considering the usual 20% depreciation, used travel trailers and toy haulers will cost $20,000-$30,000, while a used pop-up camper will run $10,000-$15,000. 

What are some of the most expensive Class A motorhomes?

2021 Newmar King Aire | Newmar Corp.
2021 Newmar King Aire | Newmar Corp.

RELATED: Tips for Picking the Best RV Campground

One of the most popular and luxurious choices for a high-end Class A motorhome falls under the Newmar brand. Newmar is a premium brand known for “raising the bar” for upscale comfort. Some of the cheapest Newmar models range from $200,000 to $500,000. The company’s most luxurious option is the 2021 King Aire.

The latest King Aire model begins at $1,296,080 and is available in three different floor plans. It is built on Spartan’s K3-605 chassis and comes with advanced safety equipment, including an adaptive cruise system. On the inside, the King Aire is distinguished by Italian-made leather and European-inspired cabinetry. Theater seating is available on this model, and so are practical appliances such as a convection microwave and a stainless steel fridge. 

A Monaco Cayman recreational vehicle available for
A Monaco Cayman recreational vehicle available for rent | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Another premium brand to consider here is Monaco Coach. The company’s legendary Monaco Signature diesel model is an actual home on wheels. It comes with Whirlpool appliances, a full shower, and an in-motion satellite system. Monaco’s current archive goes up the 2019 model year. You can find a used Monaco Signature for around half a million dollars. 

Fuel: Varies

 moodboard/Getty Images moodboard/Getty ImagesFuel is possibly the most expensive aspect of RV life. The fuel economy of an RV can range from 8 to 20 miles per gallon, depending on if you are towing a travel trailer or driving a motorhome. If you’re towing it, be prepared for lower gas mileage in your vehicle. “My truck gets about seven miles per gallon while towing the RV,” says Caligiuri. Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient, but they will cost you more upfront. The price of fuel fluctuates, depending on the region and season. Other fuel costs include propane (used to heat and cook.) Propane costs vary as well, depending on the time of year. Many RV resorts and camping retailers offer propane tank refills, which is more economical than swapping out tanks.

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