Recreational vehicles (or RVs) provide a lot of freedom and flexibility when taking a road trip, which makes them an attractive investment for people who love to travel. But what is the average price for these large machines? They vary dramatically in cost, so we've researched the average prices of different types of RVs so that you know what to look for before you walk into a showroom.
Depending on the model, new RVs can range from around $10,000 for a basic travel trailer to $500,000 or more for a deluxe motorhome. The final cost will depend on the type of vehicle you choose and what additional features you want. Here's a breakdown of the average prices for six different types of popular RVs on the market.
- Class A motorhomes: $50,000 - $500,000.
- Class B motorhomes: $40,000 - $125,000.
- Class C motorhomes: $50,000 - $150,000.
- Travel Trailers: $8,000 up to $65,000.
- 5th Wheels: $50,000 - $150,000.
- Truck campers: $5,000 - $75,000.
So how do you decide which kind of RV to buy? The primary considerations to take into account are your budget, the size you need, and the amenities you want. Here are some of the most popular brands on the market, along with a variety of sizes and options available.
Class A Motorhomes
Class A motorhomes are large, sturdy, and the most like a home on the road. They are built on a long, powerful frame; the length varies from around 30 feet to 45 feet. Their spacious interior provides room for a separate bedroom and can usually sleep four to eight people. While lots of living space and storage make it easy to have everything you need on hand during your trip, the length and size of these RVs make for terrible fuel efficiency; they average only eight to ten miles per gallon. Due to the variety of options, prices for these can range from $50,000 to $500,000.
The following models offer a variety of amenities and are known for quality and reliability.
Let's start with the brand that is known by RV newbies and experts alike - The Winnebago. The Winnebago Intent is one of their most affordable models and starts at around $120,000 MSRP for a 28-foot layout, but has options up to 31 feet.
You can choose from four different floor plans, depending on your budget. There's a triple slide-out for extra room and a separate space for your pet that includes a doggie door.
The Intent boasts a Bluetooth Rearview Monitoring System for increased visibility and safety, a unique bathroom layout with a large shower, and it has entertainment upgrades such as a "Tailgate Package" that comes with an exterior sink, fridge, HDTV, patio awning, and more.
The Thor Palazzo is a longer Class A motorhome with many features that make you feel as comfortable as you do at home. Four available floor models range in size from 33 to 37 feet, with a starting price of around $244,000 MSRP. Expect a smooth ride with the Air-Ride suspension system and adjustable lumbar support on both cockpit chairs.
Every Palazzo has Thor's signature Dream Dinette for comfortable dining, solid surface counters in the kitchen, and a spacious bathroom. In the bedroom, you can choose from a queen or king bed, and there is plenty of storage space for everything you need on your trip.
Newmar Dutch Star
For those who want a more luxurious ride on the road, the Newmar Dutch Star has upscale details throughout the interior. With 13 different floor plans and three different lengths (37 feet, 40 feet, and 43 feet), the Dutch Star can be customized to suit your travel needs. The cockpit has adjustable leather seats and power shade windshields for day and night driving.
A household-sized refrigerator and a pantry with push-to-release drawers make it easy to stock up on food for your trip. In the bedroom, a plush pillowtop mattress is standard, along with two large hanging wardrobes.
Class B Motorhomes
A more economical choice for occasional travelers is Class B motorhomes. They are also called camper vans because they are about the size of a cargo van. While you won't have the storage or amenities available in a Class A motorhome, these vehicles still provide the basics you need for a weekend getaway, including a kitchenette and bathroom. Class B motorhomes are also more affordable than the larger Class A, have better fuel efficiency, and fit much easier into parking areas. Their prices range from $40,000 to $125,000, depending on the options that you choose.
Here are highlights of some of the top-rated Class B motorhomes on the market.
Built on a 17-foot Ram Pro-Master chassis, the Pleasure-Way Tofino is easy to navigate on the road. Amenities include an induction stove, swiveling captain's chairs, and 70 cubic feet of rear cargo storage. The pop-up sleeper bunk opens manually, and with the folding sofa, the van sleeps up to four people comfortably. Base models start at around $73,000 MSRP.
The Airstream Interstate has been the best-selling Class B motorhome for several years, and good reason. This van provides travelers the most luxury possible in a limited space. It is built on a Mercedez-Benz 3500 Sprinter van chassis; it can seat up to nine people and sleep two. The Interstate includes many standard features that are considered upgrades on other models, such as Corian countertops, multiple widescreen TVs, and a powered sofabed. The cost reflects the details; these vehicles start at $190,000.
Class C Motorhome
The Class C Motorhome is described as a cross between Class A and Class B. It's smaller than a Class A, but is more affordable and fuel-efficient. And while it may not be as easy to maneuver as a Class B motorhome, the larger size and additional features make it more comfortable to travel in for longer trips. Adventurers have lots of models to choose from on the market. They price out from $50,000 to $150,000.
Here are two that combine convenience with affordability.
Forest River Sunseeker
The Forest River Sunseeker is a favorite pick for families due to its size and ample storage space. They can sleep six to eight people and has a fully-equipped kitchen, including an apartment-sized fridge. The main bedroom has a plush queen mattress and a large closet.
Base models start at around $90,000 MSRP.
Jayco Greyhawk Prestige
One of the most impressive features of the Jayco Greyhawk Prestige is the full-wall slide that dramatically increases your living space. Other amenities include a Furrion all-on-one cooktop, a sizable rear master bedroom, and a power shade windshield. This Class C motorhome base model starts at $120,000.
Travel trailers are an affordable alternative to a fully-motorized RV. They give you the comfort of a mobile home at an affordable price and allows you to drive your car or truck. New travel trailers can range from around $8,000 up to $65,000, but most fall between the $15,000-$30,000 range.
These two picks display a variety of features available in travel trailers.
Keystone Hideout Travel Trailer
The Keystone Hideout offers many different floor plans to allow you to configure your ultimate vacation machine. The exterior is eight feet wide and comes with a three-year limited warranty. It also has many safety features, including smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and a breakaway switch.
The base model starts at around $20,000 MSRP.
Happier Camper Trailer
The Happier Camper Trailer may look like it came out of a 70's movie, but it is full of modern features, including Adaptiv components that allow you to change your living space as needed. It's easy to configure the dining area into a lounge and then into your sleeping quarters in just a few minutes. This travel trailer is sturdy yet lightweight, and the base model starts at around $45,000.
The 5th Wheel RVs provide drivers with more maneuverability than the travel trailers due to the fifth wheel hitch used to connect it with your truck. They also tend to be larger than travel trailers and can offer many of the amenities available in motorhomes. These RVs are sturdier than travel trailers, and that's reflected in their price. New 5th Wheel RVs start at $15,000, but luxury lines can cost $150,000 or more.
Here are two models that are popular with serious travelers.
Palomino Puma 5th Wheel
The Palomino Puma has five different floor plans to choose from, including a wide range of bunks with high-density foam mattresses, and can sleep four to ten people. The kitchen is fully-equipped with a residential-sized fridge and stone countertops. Other highlights include a Bluetooth stereo and bathroom skylight.
The Puma starts at around $40,000 MSRP.
The Heartland Bighorn is a luxurious 5th wheel with a powerful construction and impressive presentation. There are lots of great details for families, including a kitchen island that makes cooking that much easier, a standard 55-inch HDTV, a quiet AC system, and tons of storage space. The Bighorn has nine different floor plans; base models start at around $100,000.
Truck campers are the most affordable type of recreation vehicle on the market and are the easiest to drive since it mounts on to the back of your truck. Most have floor lengths between seven and ten feet and have minimal storage space. An economical choice for travelers, new truck campers start at $5,000 on up to $75,000 for more extravagant models.
Here are two popular models that you see on the roads.
Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811
The Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811 packs a lot into a small space. This camper brand is known for quality and comes with a standard queen mattress and dinette slide. It also has two-inch-thick insulated walls, a cathedral-arched ceiling, and two 30-pound propane tanks. The base model starts at around $29,000 MSRP.
Lance Truck Camper
With nine floor models to choose from, Lance Truck Campers can meet any adventurer's needs. Available layouts range from six feet to nine feet, and you can select non-slide, single-slide, or double-slide models. The smallest models start at around $25,000 MSRP.
Is Buying An RV a Good Investment?
Now that you have an idea of what kind of RV you want, you may be wondering if an RV is a good investment. Because RVs depreciate each year, avid campers would not consider buying one an investment, but rather an asset that provides entertainment. RVs give you the freedom to travel when you want, cook your own meals, and even bring pets. There are drawbacks; RVs can be expensive to maintain, use, and store. But regular campers still think they save money overspending on hotel stays, and people who live in their RVs full-time say it's a lifestyle choice that they love. So before you buy an RV, you need to decide how you will incorporate it into your vacation plans to determine if it is worth it.
How Much Do New RV's Lose in Value Every Year?
New RVs lose the most value in the first year. Camping enthusiasts estimate you lose 20-30% in the first year, then about five percent in each subsequent year. The high first-year drop in value is why most campers recommend you buy a used RV instead of a new one.
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The average cost of an RV varies, depending on the type of vehicle and the amenities you need. They can range from the low $10,000s to more than $500,000. Here are some helpful articles that will help you figure out how and when to buy the best RV for your needs.
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