Should i buy a new or used travel trailer

Should i buy a new or used travel trailer

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Buying a used travel trailer or motorhome is a tricky thing to do. Many people around the united states do it wrong and end up buying a lemon. Thus, obviously the question comes whether its worth it to buy a used travel trailer or any other rv at all. Well, it definitely cab be. Ask the guy who just bought a rv that cost him half the original price, and it hasn’t given him single issue.

That’s the advantage with used rv’s. They depreciate so much, and thus one can buy a used one at much less price. Lets see pros and cons of used travel trailers.

1. Used travel trailer can save you on initial cost

A rv in general is a hefty investment. Bigger motorhomes like class A rv come at prices that go beyond $100,000 or 200,000. Travel trailers too are costly even though they tend to be much cheaper than motorhomes.

A brand new travel trailer costs on average around 20,000 or more. That too, is a big sum. But, a used travel trailer can come at a price that is much lesser. A rv or travel trailer depreciates much more. In about 1 year, you could see its price plunge by 15 to 20 % and as you go beyond, its values decreases by 50% in about 5-6 years.

That’s too much to bear, if you bought a new travel trailer.

Thus, a used travel trailer can be a great deal on saving initial amount. You however, need to do thorough research before making the used travel trailer deal. All things should fit in for you and you need to invest in that much time for proper research. But, with dealers all around in united states you should get plenty of options in used trailers to choose from.

For most new rvers, initial amount is the most important thing. If you are starting out as a first time rver then going for a used travel trailer makes sense.

A new rv as your first rv could be too much to spend. Since you don’t have that previous experience of using rv, a new rv (if doesn’t come good for you) then it will be double the money in vain. Thus, a new rver is more interested for a used rv in general.

2. With used travel trailer you can take a chance

A first time rver can take a chance with used travel trailer, specially if it came at very low price. But, this may not be possible with brand new travel trailer as its cost would be much higher.

If you get a good deal at very low cost then you can use the trailer for some years, then depending on how you felt, you could finally go for a new trailer. And now, you would be getting a floor plan with which you are comfortable, as you already lived in a similar plan.

A used rv gives you that trial and error kind of approach, which by the way may not work for all. It totally depends on how much you pay for that used trailer. You cannot buy just to check how you feel in the floorplan. It has to happen on its own.

You buy a trailer for real use, use it for considerable amount of time. In the process, you get feel of the rv, you understand your needs and then go for a new trailer, similar or little different than what you had. This will work for new rvers.

A person who has used rv’s for years may simply buy a new one depending on his previous usage, he or she will have proper idea of what their needs are. At the end, its all about understanding your needs and choosing the right vehicle for your family. The point here is to just be sure about your needs and not regret upon investment big amount.

3. Used travel trailer or rv are good for those with short travels

If you are the one who wants to enjoy camping not too far and have a fix campsite, then going for a used travel trailer or rv makes more sense.

If your travel plans are in and around the region where you original belong then having a used one could actually be a better deal, as it will save you money and then, you could utilize the money for other things.

A long trip or vacation many times a year obviously mean you are more of a rv adventurer and it makes sense for new rv then. But, a once in a month kind of rver adventurer definitely means you should be okay with a used modest cost rv. It also gives you time to understand your needs and work on floor plan for long term or long trip rv latter on.

4. A lucky buyer may get good upgrades in used one

There is no doubt, a new rv will have good things packed in it.

New design, better technology.

But, it will be on additional cost. So, how do you get good upgrades with low cost? Go for a used on! It obviously depends on the deal.

If you are lucky, you may get a deal that includes better upgrades and new technology at lower price. A person who bought a new rv and then upgraded it as much as possible, and now wiling to move on, could be your deal for a lifetime. Obviously, such deals wont be waiting for you, you need to get lucky and or you should hunt for that kind of deal over a period of time.

Many people are so much interested in upgrading the rv’s , that they spend a lot of money on getting new things, updating the existing things, adding on appliances and so.

There are a lot of people doing that and if one of those out there willing to sell the rv without increasing the amount much, then that could be a deal to go for. Ultimately, it all depends on what all things you want inside your travel trailer. Most of the times, people who want better amenities go for motorhome like class A rv or class C rv, which gives better things packed inside.

Pros and cons of buying a new travel trailer

A new travel trailer is mostly for those who have already used rv previously. Spending bigger amount on rv can turn out to be going in vain at time (if you end up making a wrong purchase). Lets check out advantages and disadvantages of buying a brand new travel trailer or rv.

1. It feels great to drive new rv or travel trailer

A new vehicle is a new vehicle, there is no matching that with a used one. It would feel great, the smell of the interior, good untouched finished interior. The feeling of new is always great. You would love using or driving the rv when its new.

Everything will be brand new and that is something you wouldn’t find in a previously used one.

A used travel trailer will have scratches or a paint that been gone bad, it would smell a bit and so on. Used rv will not give that feeling of a branded rv.

Its a choice and may or may not make a big difference to all of us. I myself wouldn’t be much bothered though. It totally depends on how you take it. Consider it similar to buying a new car. You know how it feels to buy a new car and drive. At least for a year or so, you would have that feeling but not after that.

2. New travel trailer will give you manufacturer warranty

Vehicles of any size are prone to damages, and then comes the warranty to give you that freedom. With new travel trailer you will get that 2 or 3 year warranty on various things of the trailer.

This, you may not get in used travel trailer depending on from where you are buying it. A good warranty gives you that feeling of assurance, that if anything happens; you wouldn’t be loosing the money.

Rv repairs are costly and even a single visit to a repair dealer would be a big bill for you. Thus, if you dont want to spend anything on the repairs or replacements then better go for a branded new one.

Its not that a used one will always need repair or so. It depends what is the condition of your used rv. If your inspection wasn’t good then you may end up buying a lemon. And, that’s the issue while buying a used one.

Its not that a branded new one cannot turn out to be lemon but there are less chances as you will get to know about the rv much better and you will also have the warranty. With used one too you can get warranty but that will be limited as it will already be years old.

3. With new travel trailer you get new design and technology

When you go for a new travel trailer, you would obviously look for the latest one. And thus, you will get good design, latest technology and appliances that are much better.

With years going, the design changes, innovation in technology happens and there are chances that you will get much better improved rv. With design the weight also reduces and thus, the overall mileage goes up. When you go for a used one, depending on the year model you would be buying stuff that’s old and you will see much better designs and rvs around you.

Having said this, it depends on the year model you chose. Every year newer models would come out and it continues to improve. Thus, buying a new model this year does not mean it will stay latest for years to come.

Next year new model will come and so on. Thus, get a deal that meets your requirements and you should be just fine. But yes, a newer model will at least give you whats trending that time.

4. Peace of mind with branded new rv

A used rv can be a trouble for rest of the time it stays with you, if it turned out to be lemon. A branded rv or travel trailer will mostly not give you troubles at least till the time its in warranty. With new travel trailer you need not be worried about wall cracks, floor issues or roof being broken or leakage.

You will definitely not have smell issues with branded new rv’s. A used travel trailer may turn out to be house of problems if you failed to judge it properly when buying. It needs proper inspection before finalizing the buy.

With new travel trailer you will have peace of mind and even if something goes wrong, you can consult and get the repairs done through the dealer or manufacturer under warranty. That’s the difference. Having said this, it does not mean every used trailer will give you problems, it totally depends on the kind of used trailer you buy.

5. A new RV means investing a lot of money

A new travel trailer is a big money vehicle. A $30,000 is big sum of money, and if you are buying trailer worth that much, then it better be good. Not only in terms of features but also it should suit your needs.

A new, first time rver will many times find it difficult to figure out his or her needs and thus, this kind of buying may turn out to be wrong one. Thus, a branded trailer may not be for all.

If you happen to be a long time rver then it makes sense to go for a brand new one. As you now know your needs, the kind of floor plan that suits you.

But, overall churning out so much on a new trailer may not be a good idea when you can get similar features and design in half the price. Many people regret buying a new trailer when they find it not suiting their needs.

The bigger shock comes when they try to sell it in the market. The prices have already come down heavily. The depreciation of travel trailer is high. The moment you get it on road, the prices start to fall down. Within an year itself the prices would be down by 10-20 % and within 3 years they are half the price. That is a heavy depreciation.

Similar is the case with other rv’s like fifth wheel or class A rv, they come at very high price. Initial investment is a very big amount and that can be a negative.

new vs used rv pros and cons

6. New RV may need upgrades and modifications

A new rv will most likely have all the features but at times you end up modifying, adding features or upgrading to meet your needs later on. This happens mostly with people who buy their first rv as a brand new one. This means you are spending on top of the huge amount you already spent.

7. Brand new does not mean it will not break down

While the first year or so you will enjoy the smooth rides, but that does not mean it will continue that way. Depending on the usage and servicing, the travel trailer may well get you sleepless nights due to issues and subsequent visits to dealers and service agents.

Also, the new ones can have bugs that need to be fixed. The manufacturer will definitely fix them for free, but it may need you to keep the trailer with them. And that can take weeks, do you want your travel trailer be with the manufacturer during the time of rving season, when you needed it the most?


Buying a new rv or used rv in itself should be done with proper research and after validating your needs. A new travel trailer vs used one pros and cons are pretty clear and now you should have a good idea what to do. A used trailer can come as very good deal, provided all things fall properly for you. A new travel trailer may not always be a good deal as one would feel. Better thing to do, is to take your time, visit sellers, compare and make the deal. Also, do not buy the new rv directly, have a look at used ones before going for a new one directly.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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