Motorhomes offer a level of comfort and convenience that is hard to beat, but they can also be quite expensive. Are you one of those people who love the idea of a road trip, or the possibility of living on the road but dread the associated cost? If you’re on a budget, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to find an affordable motorhome that you’ll love, and you just need where to look. Let me share some tips for affordable motorhomes without compromising on quality or features.
Tips on Finding Inexpensive Motorhomes
There are numerous factors that will affect the cost of a motorhome, and I’ll go over some of the most important ones here. For the vast majority of people, they may find themselves buried in research after research, only to find that an affordable option seems impossible. But it’s not – you just need to find the right resources and understand where you can score the best deals.
Consider Buying a Used RV
Splurging on a brand-new RV might be tempting, but it’s not always the most affordable option – especially if you’re on a budget. If you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, buying a used RV can be a great way to save money without sacrificing quality.
Second-hand motorhomes can be found in a number of ways, such as through private sellers, dealerships specializing in used RVs, and online marketplaces. It’s important to remember that not all used motorhomes are created equal, so it’s essential to do your research before making a purchase.
Ideally, you’d want to purchase an RV that’s no more than five years old to get the best bang for your buck. Personally, I’ll go for one that’s been used for 2-5 years at the most. This is because it would have already depreciated in value but should still have most of its features and amenities intact.
Any older than that, and you start to run into potential issues with things like the engine, brakes, and other major components. While some people may debate that this can be a minor problem if you’re handy or know someone who is, it can still be a huge headache (and an expensive one at that!) to deal with.
Of course, buying a used RV comes with its own set of risks – after all, you don’t have any guarantee that the previous owner took good care of it. That’s why it’s important to do a thorough inspection of the motorhome before making a purchase and, if possible, take it for a test drive. If you’re not mechanically inclined, bring along someone who is to help you out.
Additionally, be sure to check the RV’s history to see if it’s been in any accidents or had any major repairs done. This information can be found in the title and will give you a good idea of what to expect down the road.
Look for Deals and Discounts
Another great way to save money on an RV is to look for deals and discounts. Many dealerships offer seasonal discounts or incentives, so it’s worth checking around to see what’s available. You might be surprised at how much you can save just by timing your purchase right!
Additionally, there are a number of websites and online forums dedicated to RVing where you can often find great deals on RVs, campers, and accessories. Be sure to check them out before making a purchase.
The Size of the Motorhome
This is probably the most important factor when it comes to finding a cheap motorhome since size will determine how much you’ll need to spend on gas, how easy it is to drive and park, and how many people can comfortably fit inside. Among the different RV types and sizes, type C is undeniably the most popular option since it offers a perfect balance of size and affordability. Not only that, but type C RVs are also considered to be the cheapest among all the other types when you decide to purchase a used one.
To give you an idea of the top-performing and best Class C RVs, you may want to look at these models:
- Thor Four Winds 22E
- Coleman 19CM
- Leprechaun 27QB
- Sunseeker 3250DSLE
- Freelander 23FS
- Conquest Le 6237LE
- Wayfarer 23TM
Among the ones we’ve mentioned above, Thor Four Winds 22E is the best-seller. It has a length of 22 feet and can accommodate up to six people, making it ideal for small families or groups. Coleman 19CM, on the other hand, is perfect for couples since it’s smaller and easier to drive.
The Wayfarer 23TM is another great option if you’re looking for a used Class C RV that’s both affordable and easy to drive. However, bear in mind that smaller RVs may not be suitable for most people, especially if they’re going to be traveling with a large group. If you don’t mind the extra cost, then we suggest going for a larger model like the Freelander 23FS or the Sunseeker 3250DSLE.
It’s worth noting that the models we’ve mentioned above are worth buying, ONLY IF, they are a few of years old. Anything that’s older than that, and you might as well forget about it because it would have already depreciated in value and would likely need a lot of repairs. Remember, a good tip when buying a second-hand motorhome includes not only the overall price of the RV but also the cost of repairs and maintenance. With that in mind, always try to negotiate the price down to something more reasonable.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger (or smaller), you can also check out type As and Bs. Just remember that the larger the motorhome, the more expensive it will be. For Class B RVs, here are our top recommendations:
- Thor Motor Coach Class B RV
- SCOPE 18M
- 2022 Winnebago Class B RV
- SOLIS POCKET BUT36A
Consider the Best Location to Buy a Used RV
Over the years, RVers from different parts of the country have continuously looked for the best bargain and deals on RVs. However, the best deals aren’t always found in your own backyard. If you’re willing to travel a bit further, you might be able to find a better deal elsewhere. There’s been some shared information from RVers who have had the best luck in finding good deals in states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona.
Texas: For those who are looking for a great bargain on an RV, Texas is the place to be. In Texas, you’ll find a number of RV dealerships that offer both new and used RVs at very reasonable prices. One of the possible reasons why buying RVs in Texas is cheaper is because of the state’s tax laws. In Texas, the sales tax on RVs is only about six percent, which is significantly lower than in most other states.
Florida: Like Texas, Florida is also a great place to find cheap RVs. In fact, many RVers from all over the country flock to Florida during winter in order to escape the cold weather. Not only that, but you’ll also find a number of retirement communities in Florida which means there are a lot of used RVs for sale, offered at a good price.
Arizona: Another state that’s worth considering if you’re looking for a good deal on an RV in Arizona. In Arizona, the sales tax on RVs is only five percent, which makes it one of the states with the lowest taxes on RVs. In addition, there are also a number of RV dealerships in Arizona that offer great deals on both new and used RVs.
Understand the Best Time to Buy an RV
The best time to buy an RV really depends on a number of factors, including your budget, the model you’re interested in, and whether you’re looking for a new or used RV. I’ve mentioned this in some of my blog posts – if this is your first time buying an RV, I always recommend buying a used one to test the waters, so to speak.
RV prices go up and down depending on the season, so it’s essential to be aware of these fluctuations. If you’re considering buying a second-hand RV in one of the states mentioned above, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, the best time to buy would be during the winter months. This is because there are a lot of snowbirds (people who travel to warmer states during winter) who are looking to sell their RVs at a reasonable price. These three states are considered haven states, meaning a lot of people from the north travel south during winter. These states are popular not only for their warm climates but also because of the awesome prices of the most used RVs in the area. If you’re willing to go for a long trip and do some haggling, you might just be able to find your dream RV at a price that’s right for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy a new RV, the best time to do so would be during summer or fall. This is because RV dealerships are usually trying to get rid of their older models to make way for the new ones.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new RV, the best time to buy would be during summer when RV dealerships are trying to get rid of their older models to make room for the new ones. Of course, this also means that prices will be higher during summer, but if you’re willing to wait it out, you might be able to find a good deal towards the end of summer.
Tell Your Family and Friends You’re Looking for a Used RV
Another way to look for inexpensive motorhomes is to let your friends and family know you’re looking for one. Even if they don’t directly have something to offer, they might know someone who’s selling their RV at a good price.
Another way to look for inexpensive motorhomes is to let your friends and family know you’re looking for one. Even if they don’t directly have something to offer, they might know someone who’s selling their RV at a good price. You can also try posting on online classifieds, Facebook groups, or checking online classifieds like Craigslist.
Join Camping Forums and Facebook Groups
There are a number of camping forums and Facebook groups dedicated to people RVers. While there’s a wealth of information, tips, and amazing stories to be found here, another great thing about these forums is that people often post about their RVs for sale. Usually, you’ll find people who are selling their RVs because they’re upgrading to a newer model, or they’re simply not using it as much as they thought they would. This is a great way to find an RV at a fraction of the cost.
I purchased my first RV, which was a van-sized RV on Craigslist. Consider looking at different locations, you might get lucky.
Don’t be afraid of former Rental RVs. I owned two and both were great! Rental RVs are usually well taken care of and rental companies sell them around 30k miles. They basically new and all the bugs are worked out.
You should look up the value of each RV that you are considering buying. While the prices may vary, this will give you an idea of how much it is worth and whether you are getting a good deal or not.
Utilize the advanced search tool on eBay to find out what comparable RVs have sold for. Remember, this is a more important number than the asking prices, which are almost always inflated.
Check Craigslist as well. Searchtempest.com is the best way to view multiple listings across the country on one platform. Probably you already know of RVtrader but most prices I saw on there were too high. The NADA sometimes gives you an inflated price.
You can use browser extensions just like CraigsHunter that will check Craigslist for your saved searches and notify you when there is a new related ad. You can use rvs.oodle.com a website that collects motorhome listings from dealers as well as from private sellers all over the web.
- How many owners has it had? How long has the current owner had it?
- What’s the reason for selling?
- Are the maintenance records available? Records of tire or oil changes, major par changes, and checkups
- Adult-owned, family-owned, business-owned?
- When was the last time the generator was serviced/how often do they usually service them?
- What brand is the generator? What condition are the tires in? Are all of its components working properly (stove
- How old is it, with how many miles? (Low mileage is not necessarily a good thing)
- Has it been in an accident? Any dents on the body? Try to get a vehicle history.
- What kinds of fuel does it need? How many gallons does it use?
- Was it in storage most of the year? Was it rented out? Was it used by full-timers? Infrequent use is not always a good thing.
- Check all the tires and the spare
- How is the home battery? A home battery is a deep circuit battery, it can cost around $200 to replace.
- Test the water system: in the sink, the toilet, and the shower.
- Test the propane system: the burners and the furnace
- Test all electrical devices: microwave, air conditioner, ceiling fan, inside lights, fridge, TV, and DVD player
- Check for leaks on the walls and the ceiling
- Check the gray water and black water tanks, how do they work? Is the toilet going into a black water tank or it have a separate cassette?
- Test the awning
- See if it has a working carbon monoxide, propane detector, and a fire extinguisher
- Check for underbody rust – it is ok if it is only surface rust
- Take a look at all liquids in the engine: oil, water, coolant, etc
- Test drive and test the brakes
- Check the roof for dents and leaks
- Check all appliances work. If they say no, ask why
- Check the tires and brake pads.
- Check to see what appliances work, such as water pump, furnace fan, fridge, light bulbs inside and outside, stove burners, and oven.
- If it has a generator installed: test the generator by plugging in one appliance at a time to see if it works.
- Check to make sure all appliances work
- Does the RV run and drive OK? If not what needs fixing and how much is that going to cost you
Inexpensive motorhomes and RVs may be hard to find, but it’s not impossible. Given that you know where to look and when’s the best time to buy, you should be able to find a great deal on an RV that you’ll love. RVs may be in demand, but with a little bit of effort, you should be able to find one at a price that’s right for you. Do you have any other tips on finding inexpensive RVs? Please share them in the comments below!