Should I Buy an RV or Camper? Here’s How to Decide…

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When you decide to purchase an RV, you are making a significant financial commitment. You are also committing a lot of your time to maintain your RV and ensuring it is in the best condition it can possibly be. As a result, the decision to purchase an RV or camper is a difficult one.

So, should you buy an RV or camper? Unfortunately, that is not something we can answer. You need to make that decision for yourself, but it is not a decision you should make hastily. There is a lot to consider, and if you make a snap decision, you might regret your purchase later.

Firstly, you need to consider whether you have the money to purchase an RV. You also need to understand that you need to spend a lot of time on the maintenance of the RV. As a result, if you are not willing to make that financial or time commitment, purchasing an RV might not be the right decision for you. However, if you are willing to make these sacrifices, you can start to inquire about purchasing an RV.


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How to Justify Buying an RV or Camper Trailer

When you start to think about purchasing an RV or camper trailer, you might need to find some reasons to justify to yourself and your spouse that purchasing an RV is a good idea. Even if you are on board with the idea, it is not a good idea to make a purchase this significant without consulting your spouse. As a result, you need to find a few reasons to justify this purchase.

The first and easiest justification for an RV purchase is that it can save you money in certain situations. Most notably, if you have an RV, you do not need to spend money to rent a hotel room anymore. Instead, you can stay in your RV whenever you travel to a new area, as long as you can drive to it. Unfortunately, if you are traveling overseas you will not be able to bring your RV, but in all other situations, you can stay in your RV.

Furthermore, you can always sell you RV later, so you will not lose all the money you initially spent to purchase it. However, you should keep in mind that you will not make as much money back as you spent on it. Purchasing an RV is a lot like purchasing a car in that as soon as you drive off the lot the price drops. So, you will not make all your money back, but that does not mean you cannot make a little bit of money back in a few years.

Having an RV also gives you the ability to travel to areas that do not have hotels. This is sometimes the case for remote locations. As a result, you can travel to places you would never be able to otherwise.

Cost of Buying an RV or Camper

When you have finally decided that you are going to purchase an RV, you will probably be most concerned about the price. However, that’s only one financial factor that you need to consider going forward. That being said, for a base price, you should expect to spend upwards of $50,000 on a new drivable RV. Alternatively, you can purchase a towable travel trailer for around $20,000 in many cases. That being said, you should remember that prices will vary significantly depending on the size and brand of the trailer, as well as the amenities that are included.

Additionally, most people will not purchase their RV outright. As a result, many people need to finance their purchase. This means that you will only pay a small portion of the price with your initial purchase. However, you will need to make a monthly payment to the RV company for a very long time. It is a lot like making a down payment on a house and then paying a mortgage. Like with buying a house, you will spend more money long term with this method because of interest. However, it is necessary for most people because they cannot afford to pay the whole price at once.

Furthermore, you need to factor in the sales tax for your RV. Sales tax applies to everything and you normally do not even think about it because it is fairly insignificant. However, with a large purchase tax can cost you hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars. So, you need to factor tax into your budget.

Finally, you need to remember that you need to pay insurance, extended warranties, and a good roadside assistance plan after purchasing. The price of all of these “insurances” can vary, so you will need to look it up for where you live.

Should You Rent or Buy an RV or Camper

After hearing about all the money you will need to pay to purchase an RV or camper, you might be wondering whether it is a better idea to rent. Renting can certainly be a viable option for many people. In many situations it is even the better option. However, the decision mostly comes down to personal preference.

Renting an RV can be a great option for people who do not think they will use their RV very often. If you only want to use your RV occasionally, your RV will just sit around collecting dust for most of the year. As a result, all that money you spent will being going to waste. Instead, of wasting all that money you can rent an RV whenever you want to use one.

Renting gives you the ability to experience staying in different styles of RVs. This way you can get an idea of what type of RV you like so that you are informed if you still want to purchase an RV at another time.

Furthermore, if you rent an RV you do not need to spend all that extra time on the maintenance. Maintenance is not something many people think about when they first purchase an RV. However, there is a lot of maintenance involved. Purchasing an RV is not like purchasing a car where there is not a lot for you to maintain. You will be living in the RV either full or part time. As a result, there are many amenities for you to maintain such as the water pump, and generators.

So, if you do not want to deal with all that maintenance or spend a lot of money, renting might be the best idea for you.


For more info about renting vs buying an RV check out our article called Motorhome Leasing vs. Buying: Which Option is Best?

Pros and Cons of Owning an RV or Camper

For many people, the easiest way to decide whether they should purchase an RV is to make a list of pros and cons. That is what we are going to do here to help you out.


The most obvious benefit of purchasing an RV is that you gain a lot of mobility. RVs are mobile homes that give the owner the ability to travel wherever they want, while keeping the comforts of home. You do not need to stay in your RV all your round, but you can stay in it whenever you want to travel.

RVs can also save you money on hotel costs. This gives you the ability to travel more because you do not need to spend as much money on your trips. Hotel costs are usually one of the biggest expenses for travelers, so when that expense is no longer there, you can afford to go on more trips.

You can also cook in your RV and avoid spending money on expensive meals in restaurants which can save you a ton of money especially if you have kids.

Furthermore, although an RV is expensive, you can sell if you want to and recover some of the money you spent on it. But, you need to be very aware that RVs are not investments and they go down in value over time, not up.

Finally, you can bring your pets with you on your trips if you stay in an RV. This means that you do not need to waste money on accommodations for your pet while you are on vacation. It is also nice to have them around even when you are away from home.

⛔️ Cons

The biggest downside to purchasing an RV is that they can be very expensive. We went over the details above, but there are several expenses that you will need to deal with even after you make the purchase. You need to pay for insurance, maintenance, warranties, storage, gear, and supplies. Additionally, you will need to continue to make a monthly payment on your RV unless you bought it outright.

Furthermore, you will need to spend a lot of money on fuel. We mentioned in the pros section that you will save money on hotel costs. However, some of that money will go into your fuel expenses. You will still save money, but it will not be as much as you expect because fuel can get very expensive. RVs also do not normally have the best fuel economy, so you can expect to spend significantly more on fuel for your RV than you do for your car.


For a deep dive into the pros and cons of owning an RV check out our article called The Pros and Cons of Owning an RV.

Making the Decision to Purchase an RV

After reading, we hope you have some of the information you need to help decide if you should purchase an RV or not. We know there is a lot of information to absorb, but it is all important and should help you going forward. Purchasing an RV is a significant financial commitment, so you should take this decision seriously. Unless you are rich, spending thousands of dollars on a single purchase is a big deal, so do not make the decision lightly.

Remember, if you do not want to purchase an RV, renting is always an option. It is far less expensive to rent an RV. The only downside is that you do not own it, so you cannot take an RV out whenever you want. However, if you only plan on using it every once in awhile, renting might be the better option for you. With that said, we hope you have all the information you need and that you will be enjoying an RV shortly!

Have you ever rented or purchased an RV before? Do you think you are going to purchase an RV? What type of RV do you think you will buy? Let us know in the comments!

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