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Personal and Business Banking

Should You Buy New or Used?

StreetWise RV Guide

Recreational Vehicle
  • Summary
  • Article

Should You Buy New or Used?


  1. Resources for determining vehicle values
  2. Things to consider when deciding between new and used

Should You Buy New or Used?

Buying a new RV may assure you of fewer problems and also usually gives you some type of manufacturer's warranty. But RVs generally depreciate very quickly, and some RV owners tend to give up RVing quickly. These RVs can be on fire sale.

That's why used RVs, bought the StreetWise way, may be a very smart buy: You've let the other person pay for the depreciation. Bought right and thoroughly checked out, a used RV can enable you to get more RV for your money.

Unlike new RVs, it's also pretty easy to determine the general wholesale and retail values of a used RV. Here are two resources to help you with that.

  • NADA Guide helps you determine the value for used RVs.

  • Kelly Blue Book produces the Motor Home and the Travel Trailer Guides but they aren't available on the Web. The Motor Home Guide covers motor homes, campers, and van conversions and list prices for the new model year. It is published 3 times a year. The Travel Trailer Guide covers used travel trailers, fifth wheels, folding trailers, and includes a chart for older models and list prices for the new model year. It is published 2 times a year. For more information about these subscriptions, call their Subscriptions Hotline at 949.770.7704 x41. Or check your local library.

It's a bit harder to determine the dealer's cost of a new RV, but the Kelly Blue Book Guides do cover new RVs. The cost of a subscription is probably a smart expense when you are planning to spend thousands.