Class C RV Cost Considerations
With so many choices out there in the RV marketplace, it can be hard to figure out the cost of a Class C RV. In fact, there are two types of Class C RVs now, the Class C and the Class C+ also called the Super C. And then, of course, you need to sort through all of the additional features and options to make an apple to apple comparison. To further complicate matters you may want to compare the cost of a new Class C versus a used Class C RV too.
So, how much does a Class C RV cost? The costs vary quite a bit between new and used RVs. On average, a new Class C RV will cost from $50,000 to $100,000 and possibly beyond $250,000 if you jump up to the Super C Class. And, on average, a gently used Class C RV will cost from $30,000 to $70,000 and up to $150,000 for a Super C.
However, the cost of a new or used RV will depend on many factors such as size, age, condition, manufacturer, included features and mileage. In this article, I will lay out the differences between a Class C and Super C RV. I have also gathered examples of prices for some new and used Class C and Super C RVs. In addition, I have provided a list of additional costs you may incur when you purchase your RV. And finally, I wrap up with some helpful tips about how to make an informed buying decision so you don’t pay more than you should for your new or used RV.
What’s the Difference Between Class C and Super C?
The Class C motorhome is easy to pick out because the front end of the RV looks like the front end of a large pickup truck with a sleeping area located over the cab. They range in size from 19′ – 35′ in length and can sleep from 2 to 8 people. The location of the sleeping area over the cab helps to maximize the living space in a Class C model. Class C RVs are the classic mid-sized motorized recreational vehicle, providing some of the conveniences of the larger Class A motorhomes but in a scaled-down version and at a lower price. Standard features typically include a bathroom with a shower, kitchen appliances, and dinette and/or sofa that converts into a bed.
Super C motorhomes feature a larger chassis than standard Class C RVs and usually have a diesel engine. They also have an over cab sleeping area but the front end looks more like the font of an 18 wheel truck. The diesel engine and larger frame combine for greater power and towing capacity. So, if you want to tow your car behind you a Super C diesel motorhome is a great choice. Super C models are spacious and more like a class A motorhome on the inside. The Super Cs usually have luxury features included such as large storage areas, higher quality appliances, an entertainment center, upholstery flooring, and countertop upgrades, a king-size bed, a booth style dinette, and TVs in the living area and bedroom. Optional luxury features such as an outdoor TV, diesel generator and auto leveling jacks are available at an additional cost but add a great deal of convenience.
Average Cost For New Class C RVs
On average, new Class C motorhomes are priced between $50,000 and $100,000. Most popular brands of Class C RVs fall in this range. New Super C’s range anywhere from $100,000 to beyond $250,000. Overall, Class C RVs are considered to be an affordable and economical choice for everyone from weekend warriors to full-time RVers. The Super C Class is viewed as an affordable alternative to the Class A RVs. We have provided pricing below for both Class C and Super C RVs as examples of models and pricing currently available for sale.
- 2019 Coachmen Freelander 21QBC – $49,990
- 2019 THOR FREEDOM ELITE 22FE – $57,999
- 2019 Thor Motor Coach Chateau 22E – $66,900
- 2019 Coachmen Freelander 26RSC – $68,900
- 2019 Jayco Redhawk 26XD – $71,6900
- 2019 JAYCO REDHAWK SE 27N – $73,995
- 2019 Thor Motor Coach Quantum RC25 – $86,900
- 2019 Jayco Greyhawk 31FS – $89,999
- 2019 Coachmen Freelander 32DSF – $97,799
- 2019 Entegra Coach Esteem 30X – $99,900
Super C Class
- 2019 Dynamax Corp Isata 5 Series – $140,990
- 2019 Thor Motor Coach Magnitude – $159,638
- 2019 NeXus RV Ghost 33DS – $189,900
- 2019 JAYCO SENECA 37K – $231,791
Average Cost for Used Class C RVs
Since motorhomes depreciate quite a bit after they are a few years old this opens the door to find a great deal on a used RV. Here are some examples below.
- 2008 FOUR WINDS CHATEAU 31P $36,999
- 2008 WINNEBAGO VIEW 24H $43,590
- 2011 FOUR WINDS CHATEAU 31P $49,990
- 2015 THOR CHATEAU 26A $59,999
- 2014 Forest River Forester 3051S $61,388
- 2014 Coachmen Leprechaun 319DS $69,987
- 2012 WINNEBAGO ITASKA 24D – $63,990
- 2008 GULF STREAM CONQUEST INDEPENDENCE 6311 – $64,990
- 2014 Thor Motor Coach FOUR WINDS – $89,000
- 2016 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds Super C – $102,900
- 2012 Jayco SENECA 37FS – $119,000
- 2015 NEXUS RV GHOST 36G – $119,995
- 2016 JAYCO SENECA HJ 37HJ – $139,995
Other Costs Besides Price to Consider
There is a difference between the price and the cost when purchasing an RV. Price is simply the negotiated price you pay for the actual RV. The cost of the RV includes price plus all of the additional expenses that you pay when purchasing an RV. We will run through a detailed list below so you can be fully informed before you make a buying decision.
- Sales Tax and or Property Tax – When you purchase an RV don’t forget to factor in Sales Tax. For example, in Maryland, you would be required to pay 6% in sales tax. So if you bought a $50,000 RV the sales tax would be $3,000. Also, check to see if your state and or county charge an annual tax on personal property that would include your RV.
- Finance Interest Rate – Unless you are paying cash for your RV you will most likely finance it. The age of the RV will determine the length of the finance term and your credit score will be used to determine the interest rate. You will need to discuss loan rates and terms with your financing company and you should plan to get pre-qualified for your RV loan before you start looking for RVs.
- Insurance – There are two types of insurance you will need to consider. The first is vehicle liability insurance which is required to register and drive your vehicle. It’s just like your car insurance. The second kind is extended warranty insurance to reduce potential maintenance costs of your vehicle. My RV liability insurance is pretty inexpensive at only $500 per year. The cost of an extended warranty policy can be as much as 3% of the price of the RV. So using the $50,000 RV price example again your extended warranty would cost you $1,500.
- Storage Costs – Many people are not allowed to park their RV in front of their house or even in the driveway, or it might not be practical to park there. So, you may need to consider the cost of storing your RV somewhere. When we were looking for a place to store our RV we found the cost to be anywhere from $75 to $250 per month. Storing your RV outside costs about $75 to $125 per month and indoor conditioned storage ranges from $150 to $250 per month.
- Maintenance – Even if you purchase an extended warranty plan you will have maintenance that you should budget for such as tune-ups and oil changes for both the RV and the RV’s generator if you have one. You should also budget for the costs to winterize and de-winterize your RV unless you choose to do it yourself. Other costs include battery replacements, brake and tire replacements, and replacing things that break.
- Dealer Prep Fees – If you buy from a dealer there will be dealer prep fees added to the price. These fees include the dealer’s costs for advertising, carry costs, paperwork etc. They can range from $200 to as much as $800.
- Dealer Add-Ons – These are add-ons for items that aren’t included in the base price of the RV. They include things like a roof ladder, roof rack, fold out step, generator, floor mats, awning, spare tire, leveling jacks, convenience package, upgraded interior package…you get the idea.
- Tags Title and Registration – You will need to register your vehicle with your state to get your license plates, title, and registration. Usually, this cost ends up around $300.
As you can see there is a huge difference between the price and the cost of an RV. So do your research and learn all of your options before you negotiate your best price.
Shopping for Your New Class C RV
Before buying your new Class C RV you will want to do plenty of research. It is important that you look at many different models, manufacturers, and dealerships to compare prices and features so you can become educated enough to know if you are getting a good deal or not. You can also check out our article called The Pros and Cons of Owning an RV for even more info.
Shopping for an RV can feel like an overwhelming experience but if you take the time to do your homework and educate yourself you will be well informed and prepared to make the best buying decision you can. Below are some additional tips for shopping for an RV that will help you to find your best deal.
1. Know Your Budget Before You Begin Shopping
You should know exactly how much a month you can pay for your new RV including extras like insurance and storage, etc. For example, if your budget is $700 per month you should know that $200 per month will cover extras like insurance ($50 per month), storage ($100 per month) and maintenance ($50 per month) so that leaves $500 per month for the RV payment.
This means that if you buy a $50,000 RV and add for taxes and extended warranty coverage, your total price will be around $56,000. If you put $6,000 down you will be financing $50,000 and if you finance that for 10 years at 5.5% interest your payment will be $542.63. That’s already $42 over your budget so there is no use wasting your time looking at $100,000 RVs at the RV show.
2. Shop Out of Season
You will be able to negotiate your best price for a new or used RV out of season. Why? Because there will be fewer people shopping for an RV out of season. Most people shop in season
3. Buy at the End of the Month
If you are buying a new RV you will get your best deal at the end of a month because the dealership may have a sales goal or quota they need to achieve
4. Buy at the End of a Year
If you are buying a new RV at the end of a year you can buy the previous year RV at a discount so the dealership can make room for the new year models. So if it’s 2019 and the new 2020 models are coming out January 1st of 2020 you will get a better deal on a 2019 model
5. Check Out the RV Shows
I have seen some incredible prices at RV shows – like 50% off the price! It can be very exciting at an RV show and it’s easy to get excited and sucked into buying an RV. I suggest knowing what you want and researching the heck out of it before going to an RV show so you know you are getting the best possible deal
6. Be Prepared to Negotiate
Most dealer prices are negotiable, and dealer markup can be 10%-70% over wholesale. So, go in ready to negotiate. The more you know about your RV and all the little costs the more confident you will be at negotiating.
7. Use The NADA Guides
Nada is owned by J.D. Power who is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing, information, and tools for new and used cars, classic cars, motorcycles, boats, recreation vehicles (RVs) and manufactured homes. They are like the Kelley Blue Book of Automobiles and can tell you the low and high retail prices paid in your area for every make, model and year of new and used RVs.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
Part of your negotiation needs to include the ability to walk away. You need to be objective about your purchase and not emotional. The salesperson will try to make you feel like you need to act fast so you don’t lose the RV to another buyer. And you may lose out to another buyer but take your time so you get the best price, not win the competition for who buys first
9. Bring Up Depreciation
If you are buying new bring up the fact that the RV will be 20-25% lower in value 1-2 years from now because of depreciation and therefore, you are considering buying a used RV because they are so much cheaper. This will help to get your price down on a new RV.
10. Inspect the RV and Its History
If you decide to buy from a private owner download a good checklist of items to inspect before you purchase the RV. Also, run a CarFax report on the RV to make sure it hasn’t been in an accident or had any major service repairs. And most of all try everything in the RV. Hook it up to some electricity and try everything. Run the water pump and all of the fixtures and check for leaks. If possible, have the RV inspected by an RV mechanic.
Buying an RV can be a bit confusing with all of the RV manufacturers, floor plans and additional options that are available. Hopefully, this article will be a good starting point for you as you research all of your options and prepare to make a sizable investment. Once you buy your new RV you will need to stock it with all sorts of essential camping gear and accessories. Check out our article 21 Must Have RV Accessories for a New Camper or Travel Trailer for our recommendations of the best gear to buy.
Renting an RV before you purchase one is a great way to familiarize yourself with what you need in your new RV. This way you will definitely become more educated about what you really need and want in an RV before you purchase one. Check out our article on the 4 Best Rental Options to learn even more.
Have you purchased an RV, camper or motorhome and have some helpful advice you would like to share? Please leave a comment below.
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