Considering An RV? Check Out Average RV Costs Here

If you’re thinking about buying an RV, the cost is likely one of the first things on your mind.

When you’ve started preliminary research, you might become a bit overwhelmed. Price fluctuations can be dramatic, depending on what you are looking at.

This article gives you the average costs of 7 different types of RVs. There’s also useful information about the many factors which can influence the actual price when you make your purchase.

Note that the prices used to calculate the average costs are for new models only. They are based on the MSRP, and are accurate as of the date this article was written.

1. Average Cost of Pop-Up Trailers

Jayco Prop Up

Pop-up trailers are exactly what they sound like.

These trailers can be folded down and collapsed, and are popped open for use. They are also sometimes referred to as pop-up campers. They can either be soft-walled or hard-walled, and some models can sleep up to eight people.

Pop-up tent trailers are the lightest type of trailer. Many can be towed by all sorts of vehicles, even small cars with four cylinder engines.

A hard-walled camper looks a little more like a regular trailer when set up. These can include extensions made of tent material to maximize space. You can eat, hang out, or even sleep in the extended tent parts of your trailer.

The specific examples I’ve looked at include both soft-walled and hard-walled trailers. These models can sleep between two and four adults.

All of these include either a toilet or privacy cabinet for a porta-potty. You might not be able to shower indoors, but you will have bathroom facilities.

These models all have stove burners. You will be able to cook up your favorite meals for yourself and your traveling companions. Finally, all of these trailers are suitable for boondocking—they’re equipped to go off-grid.

Based on the prices of the models below, the average cost of a pop-up trailer with these features is $ 28,012.

2. Average Cost of Truck Campers

Truck Campers

Truck campers are trailers that either load onto or affix to your truck bed.

Models vary in weight and size, depending on the type of truck they are built for. An example is long-bed versus short-bed truck campers.

Some truck campers have slide-outs to give you more space. As with pop-up trailers, certain models are capable of going off-road for a wilderness camping experience.

If you already own a truck, weight is going to be the chief deciding factor in choosing a truck camper. If a trailer exceeds the maximum allowed weight limit for your truck, it won’t be an option.

You will also have to account for the weight of your truck camper once it is loaded up.

For this reason, I have selected truck campers that weigh less than 3,500 pounds dry (unloaded).

Whether you have a heavy-duty truck or a three-quarter ton model, these campers should fit.

These models all sleep two to three people. A toilet or a porta-potty privacy cabinet—an absolute necessity for most of us—is included. In the kitchen, you’ll be set with stove burners and a faucet to wash up.

The truck trailers below all include these features. Their average cost is $ 25,039.

3. Average Cost of Travel Trailers

Travel Trailers Cost

Travel trailers are capable of sleeping up to 10 people.

The majority of models come with the comforts of home: full bathrooms and kitchens, front living areas, etc.

As with other types of trailers, smaller size does not necessarily equal a lower price tag. What counts is the floor plan—how the trailer is set up and what it contains.

There are travel trailers that are built for all types of people. For exercise enthusiasts, sport trailers have additional storage for your gear, such as bicycles or kayaks.

Tech-heavy trailers exist for those of you who hate to leave civilization behind on your trips. There are all sorts of upgrades and add-ons at your disposal.

To get an average cost, I’ve chosen travel trailers capable of sleeping up to six. Whether you are aiming for family trips or just bringing friends along, you should all fit.

You’ll have all the necessities a standard travel trailer should offer. This list does not include trailers with any special packages (e.g. arctic packages). Upgrades will be discussed further down in the article.

Travel trailers can range in length from 20 feet or less up to 40 feet. These models are in the middle—between 25 and 35 feet in length.

Based on the prices of the models below, the average cost of a travel trailer with these features is $ 34,216.

4. Average Cost of Fifth-Wheel Trailers

Fifth-Wheel Trailers

Fifth-wheel trailers are hitched to the back of your truck bed.

They are well-equipped to keep you comfortable on the road. Certain models even have bi-level floor plans.

Floor plan and features will count more than size in terms of pricing. Things like slide-outs, extra storage, and luxury amenities (e.g. heated seats) will boost the trailer’s value.

These trailers can be heavy duty, weighing over 15,000 pounds. Some can be over 45 feet long. You have to know how much weight your truck is able to tow before you invest in a fifth-wheel.

There are fifth-wheel trailers that sleep as many as nine people.

The models listed below can accommodate up to six people. Living area and all the amenities are standard, as with travel trailers.

Most of you in the market for these trailers likely already own a truck. It is more convenient to find a fifth-wheel that fits your truck, as opposed to buying a brand new truck.

For this reason, the fifth-wheel trailers I have looked at are all less than 10,000 pounds (unloaded). This still might not be suitable for every type of truck, but it’s in the middle between lightweight and heavyweight.

These features can all be found in the models below. Based on their prices,the average cost of a fifth wheel trailer with these features is $ 48,295.

5. Average Cost of Class A Motorhomes

Motor Homes

Unlike trailers, motorhomes include an engine—you drive it, not tow it.

There are three classifications of motorhome: A, B, and C.

Class A motorhomes are for those of you who want to invest in something akin to a second home. Entertainment systems and appliances are always part of the package.

The residential aesthetic of these motorhomes gives you the impression of being at home, rather than on the road.

Be warned: you will have to adapt to handling a class A motorhome. Certain models can go well beyond 45 feet in length, not to mention the height.

I have looked at class A models that are between 30 to 45 feet long. These models can sleep up to four people. That’s enough room for you and your family or, if you are traveling solo, the occasional visiting friends.

As with any class A motorhome, you’ll have full bathroom and kitchen facilities. Note that in some models, the bathrooms are split (meaning the toilet and shower are in separate areas).

Living areas are spacious enough for all travelers to relax without feeling cramped. All include basic entertainment systems (at least one television).

Based on the prices of the models below, the average cost of a Class A motorhome with these features is $ 241,132.

6. Average Cost of Class B Motorhomes

Class B Motorhome

Class B motorhomes are also known as camper vans.

They are the smallest type of motorhome you can buy.

If Class A motorhomes are akin to actual houses, Class B motorhomes are more like small studio apartments. They are best for couples or solo travelers. Even if a model can sleep multiple people, living space is typically tight.

As with Class A motorhomes, most have all the essentials but in a more compact space. Kitchen, bathroom, entertainment system are all designed in cozy residential styles.

Handling a class B is more like driving a van—less added height for you to get used to. Most have rear-door entryways. Some have sliding parts so that you can extend the living space.

They can range from as small as 18 feet in length all the way up to 34 feet. Class B motorhomes can sleep up to eight people.

The models below are between 20 and 30 feet in length. All these models are able to sleep between three and four adults. Dining and living areas are included.

Based on the prices of these models, the average cost of a truck trailer with these features is $ 100,750.

7. Average Cost of Class C Motorhomes

Class C Diesel Motorhomes

Class C motorhomes fall squarely between class A and class B in terms of features. Think of them as the best of both worlds.

If a class A is too much motorhome for you and your family and a class B is too cramped, consider a class C.

As with class B motorhomes (campervans), driving a class C is like handling a van.

However, standard models are not as limited on space as their class B counterparts.

These motorhomes have the additional benefit of being capable of towing a car. This means you won’t have to drive your motorhome to every attraction or shop you want to visit. You can leave it behind at the campsite and use your vehicle instead.

These motorhomes are easily identifiable by the overhead cab section.

Depending on what you buy, this portion can be used for anything from storing a TV to a bunk bed.

Much like class A and B motorhomes, class C models come with the home necessities. I have picked those that can sleep from four to six people comfortably. These models all have between one and two slide-outs to enhance your living space.

Based on these models, the average cost of a class C motorhome with these features is $124,918.

The Dealership

The Dealerships

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, there are many factors which will influence your actual costs.

Top among these is the dealership itself—who they are and where they’re located.

Never settle for the closest or first dealership you come across. Just like you’re researching RV models, investigate different dealerships. Read online reviews, check the website out, gather testimonials.

Keep in mind that the average costs listed in this article are based on MSRP. Many dealers will offer costs below the MSRP.

Will the dealership cut down the price further if you spot any minor damage in a new RV, such as a dented exterior?

Will you receive a full walk-through and orientation to your new purchase?

These are some great questions to ask.

The same model of motorhome or trailer can be a totally different deal, depending on where you are. One dealership might offer you spare tires included in the price, while another might not. Little expenses add up: the effort of shopping around can pay off.

Latest Models, Current Models, and Secondhand

Sale of RVs

Remember that all of the costs mentioned in this article are for new units.

Buying a brand new RV will always be more expensive than buying an older one.

This most expensive versions of any RV will always be the coming year’s model. If you want a new model but you’re on a budget, think about the current year’s version. There shouldn’t be that much of a difference between that and the latest one—except in price.

Like any sort of vehicle, new RVs quickly depreciate in value.

You might be able to find your desired model at a more affordable price second hand. Or perhaps you are looking for a vintage trailer or RV for a DIY project.

There’s nothing wrong with considering a secondhand RV. However, you should be aware that spending less in the short term is not always cost-effective.

Always approach an RV that is priced suspiciously low with caution. If you jump into a sale, you could end up missing signs of major damage.

Replacing water-damaged trailer roofs or repairing worn out motorhome engines can cost you more than the RV is worth.

Become an expert on your chosen RV before you begin your search. You need to be familiar with it to perform a thorough inspection.

Check out this video on what to look for when you buy a secondhand unit:

Upgrades and Options

Choosing an RV floor plan is like buying a new condominium.

The model you saw has all the extras and luxury features available. The one you are actually buying may be the standard, basic model.

The majority of manufacturers give you a lot of choice when it comes to customizable add-ons. Beware, though; upgrades and extra features can bring you way over budget if you get carried away.

Arctic Packages

If you’re planning to go camping in the winter, you’ll need an arctic package.

You have three options when it comes to arctic packages. The first one is buying an RV with an arctic package built in, or a “winterized” RV. The second is upgrading your chosen model to include an arctic package.

The third and final option is DIY. This can involve a lot more work and money than you think, particularly where it concerns insulation. It can be difficult, and even dangerous, to modify the structure of certain types of RVs.

If you plan to take this route, be sure it’s possible before you put money down. Don’t just assume you will be able to equip your RV for the winter by yourself—do your research.

Conclusion

I hope that this article gives you a better idea of what costs to expect when buying an RV.

One of the great things about RVs is that there are so many types to choose from. Hopefully you now know more about which specific RVs are in line with your budget.

You should now have a good understanding of the average cost of your ideal RV.

Share this article with friends and family who may also be thinking about buying one.

If you have any additional tips or advice about RV costs, tell us in the comments.

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