How Much Does an RV Cost To Own – A Reliable Buyer’s Guide

How much does an RV cost you ask? Well, the answer to that is pretty broad. Generally speaking, motorhomes cost anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000.  But we split up pricing into eight distinct categories of RVs and towables below.

Since we didn’t just want to give you a meaningless spread of numbers, we actually included real RVs and their price in the tables below. These were drawn at random from actual listings with actual prices. And since a new RV loses approximately 20% of its value as soons as you drive off the lot, we included the used price of each model (or its closest equivalent).

Lastly, because the actual listing price isn’t the only expense you’ll pay when you buy an RV, we included a section of other RV costs:

Well, let’s get to it. Read on fellow travelers!

CLASS A RV PRICES

Tiffin Allegro Red 340

A stock photo of a Tiffin Allegro Red over the pricing

New Price: $279,000

Used Price (2015): $173,000

Newmar Ventana 4002

A stock photo of the Newmar Ventana RV. Courtesy of Newmar Corp.

New Price: $457,000

Used Price (2015): $249,000

Winnebago Sunstar 35U

A stock photo of a Winnebago Sunstar Class A Rv

New Price: $169,000

Used Price (2014): $89,000

If you’re looking to travel the country with all the comforts of home, these rigs are for you. As long as you can afford the hefty price tag. You’re looking at spending close to $200-$300,000 on new vehicles. Even up to $500,000 for higher priced models.

Class A RVs are the pinnacle of luxury and space in the industry. These motorhomes are large, typically between 30-40 feet long, and powered by a gas or diesel engine. 

The inside of these rigs contains a ton of amenities. Full bathrooms, kitchens, large living spaces, I’ve even seen a lot of these rigs come with multiple televisions spread throughout.

CLASS B RV PRICES

Winnebago Travato 59G

Picture of Class B RV for pricing purposes

New Price: $135,000

Used Price (2015): $62,000

Winnebago Era 70A

Pleasure Way Class B RV and it's costs below

New Price: $203,000

Used Price (2014): $90,000

Pleasure Way Plateau TS

A Winnebago Era RV

New Price: $183,000

Used Price (2015): $119,000

Need a smaller RV for you and your significant other that still has a bathroom? Then Class B’s are for you. These motorhomes cost between $100-$200,000 brand new.

These vehicles resemble camper vans, although they are professionally built. I’ve found them to be easier to drive than larger models and can park them in the grocery store parking lots.

These rigs, although a tighter fit, do contain your essential amenities. A bed, wet bath, a kitchen and fridge for your food. These are a great choice when you want a small, agile ride that doesn’t sacrifice the essentials.

CLASS C RV PRICES

Coachmen Freelander 27QB

A coachman freelander RV on display with its price.

New Price: $88,000

Used Price (2015): $65,000

Tiffin Motorhomes Wayfarer 25RW

A very fancy Class C RV, the Tiffin Motorhomes Wayfarer.

New Price: $187,000

Used Price (2018): $124,000

Thor Motor Coach Quantam WS31

The Thor Motorcoach Class C RV

New Price: $149,000

Used Price (2017): $89,000

These guys are the most popular type of RV rental in the U.S., and for good reason. They blend the luxury of Class A’s with the mobility of your smaller Class B’s. And for around $75-$150,000 you’ll be able to purchase a brand new one.

These RVs are gas or diesel powered and are slightly more mobile than larger rigs. Although I’d still suggest towing a personal vehicle if possible for going into town.

You’ll typically find all the luxuries of home in these, with a decent amount of space. Kitchens, living spaces, bathrooms, and enough room to sleep 5-9 people depending on the model.

CAMPER VAN PRICES

2022 Winnebago Revel Camper Van

A Winnebago Revel camper van and the pricing underneath.

New Price: $199,000

Used Price (2019): $139,000

2022 Mercedes Sprinter 144

A Mercedes Sprinter van conversion

New Price: $80-140,000

Used Price (2015): $55-90,000

Camper Vans just put off adventurous vibes. Small and nimble, with enough room for you and a partner to zip across the country. For a brand new van you’re looking at around $80-$200,000. 

The prices really vary for these little guys. I found that a lot of this depends on who converted the van and what was put inside (actual companies alway charge more than DIYers). Feel free to check out Vancamper to get a better feel of pricing.

But that wide spread of prices can also be a good thing. If you want to convert a van yourself (or with a company), the more cash you have on hand the more you can place inside. Or if you’re on a budget, you can always cut certain amenities. 

I will warn you though, a lot of campervans don’t have a bathroom, which can make potty breaks tricky.

TRAVEL TRAILER PRICES

KZ Sportsman SE

A travel trailer known as a KZ Sportsman along with some pricing.

New Price: $42,000

Used Price (2016): $22,000

Airstream Classic 30

A classic Airstream travel trailer

New Price: $172,000

Used Price (2016): $98,500

Jay Flight 28BHBE

A Jayco Flight travel trailer

New Price: $38,000

Used Price (2015): $21,000

If you have a truck (or even an SUV) that can tow, travel trailers can be a great choice for you and your family. Since towables are not motorized, they come with a lower price tag, with new models starting out around $40,000 and working up to around $150,000.

You do need to tow a travel trailer, and backing into campsites can be a tricky ordeal if the fit is tight. But you can also unhook and use your truck or SUV as a personal vehicle for the rest of the day.

Inside these rigs you’ll find most amenities you enjoy at home. I like to compare it to a Class C RV, with bathrooms, kitchens, living spaces, and adequate sleeping space for up to eight included.

5TH WHEEL PRICES

Coachmen Chaparral 367BH

A Coachmen Chapparal 5th wheel. We included some pricing below.

Price: $93,000

Used Price (2015): $36,000

Keystone Montana 3121RL

A 5th wheel called the Keystone Montana

Price: $111,000

Used Price (2015): $54,000

Forest River Cardinal 403FKLE

Forest River Cardinal 5th wheel as well as some pricing.

Price: $90,000

Used Price (2017): $52,000

When it comes to towables, nothing is more spacious, luxurious, and comfortable than a 5th wheel. And with that comes a higher price tag starting at around $90,000 and working up to over $200,000 for the bigger models.

Driving these rigs is a unique experience since it requires a special hitch. These are mounted in the center of your truck’s bed, and often cost around $1,000 to install. I’ve driven 5th wheels before and while towing them is very similar, I do think they are tougher to back up than a standard trailer.

But I wouldn’t let that scare you away. These trailers contain everything you’d want at home and on a road trip. Bathrooms, kitchens, large living spaces, even master bedrooms that are completely enclosed!

TOY HAULER PRICES

Keystone Fuzion 357

A toy hauler and its price. The Keystone Fuzion toy hauler.

Price: $110,000

Used Price (2018): $70,000

Forest River XLR Micro Boost 25LRLE

A Forest River XLR Toy Hauler

Price: $42,000

Used Price (2018): $28,000

Heartland Torque T26

Heartland Torque Toy Hauler and its cost below.

Price: $70,000

Used Price (2016): $32,000

If you love your ATVs and bikes, toy haulers are a good option for you. These trailers typically cost anywhere from $40-$140,000 brand new.

Towing these occasionally requires a 5th wheel hitch, but the majority I see can attach to a simple ball hitch behind your truck. And just like driving any other towable you’ll have to adjust to turning and backing up.

The great thing about these is you get to bring your motorized toys along for the ride. People haul everything from Harleys to RZRs. And when you unload your vehicles you can actually convert the garage into more living space.

POP-UP CAMPER PRICES

Forest River Rockwood Freedom 1940F

A forest river pop-up camper and what it costs.

Price: $16,000

Used Price (2014): $8,000

Coachmen Clipper
V2 V-Trec

Coachmen Clipper V Pop-Up camper

Price: $21,000

Used Price (2018): $18,000

2022 Aliner Classic

A unique type of pop-up camper known as an aliner classic.

Price: $33,000

Used Price (2014): $17,000

Typically the smallest of towables, these guys unfold to give you more living space. The cost for these rigs is low, hovering between $15-$30,000 for a new model.

Towing these guys is actually pretty easy. In fact, some models are light enough that I’ve seen Subarus pulling them, which means these are a great choice for those without trucks.

Inside you’ll typically find space to sleep, and on larger models a kitchen and wet bath if you’re lucky. These guys do have limited storage though, and on long road trips you’ll need to find space for your items.

Other RV Costs

While it would be nice to buy an RV and then just take care of the payments afterwards, you’ll need to take care of a few more things, like those below:

Registration and Taxes

Just like when you buy a new car, you’ll need to pay taxes on your new RV as well as make sure the vehicle is registered to drive. The costs of these are going to vary from state to state, but you can get a pretty easy estimate of costs by using your DMV website. Many states actually have a calculator you can use, such as California.

Fuel

Filling up an RV as part of our project on writing an article about how much does an RV cost
Filling up a class C RV before hitting the road.

The cost of fuel is another big one to consider if you’re consistently using your RV or renting it out. 

The average fuel economy of larger models like class As, Cs, and 5th wheels is around 5-10 MPG. Smaller models such as class Bs and camper vans will get around 15-20 MPG. That means if you’re going to be traveling over the year with your new rig you should budget out several hundred dollars for fuel.

My own personal van gets around 20 MPG depending on where I’m going, and the smaller 5th Wheels I haul get closer to 11 MPG. 

Sam Kemmis, a travel rewards expert at NerdWallet, plans on spending around $400 between gas and maintenance per month when traveling by RV.

Insurance

Insurance is another expense that should be factored into the yearly cost of your RV. Robyn Robledo from Nomads With A Purpose says the insurance on her rig runs around $300 per year.

However, I’ve found that premiums vary widely. Trailers cost less than self-propelled rigs like Class As or Cs. If you’re inhabiting your motorhome full time, plan on spending more than someone who’s only using theirs for occasional trips.

I would plan on spending closer to $1,000 per year, and would actually get a quote before entering any “real” number into your budget.

Hitches

The cost of a new hitch only matters in a few circumstances. 

If you’re looking at towing a personal vehicle behind a Class A or C rig you’ll need to install a hitch which will cost around $100-$200. You’ll also need to buy or rent a tow dolly. If you’re planning on buying, be ready to dish out around $2,000-$4,5000.

You’ll also be spending money on hitches when buying a 5th wheel. These require a special receiver mounted in the bed of the truck, and you’re looking at around $1,000 for the intall.

A 5th wheel hitch mounted into a truck bed.
A 5th wheel hitch mounted in a truck bed.

Campgrounds and Storage

Obviously your motorhome needs a place to stay. When you’re on the road and want electricity, water, and sewer attachments you’ll need to rent a campground. Nightly rates on these hover between $20-$100, with somewhere in the middle typically being the average. 

Take Canyonlands RV Resort in Moab, UT for example. They charge $60 per night and provide electricity, water, cable, and sewer hookups, as well as WiFi and picnic tables.

When you’re not using your rig you’ll need to store it. The facility we use near home charges $60 per month for covered RV storage. However, we live in a small town and storage prices are lower here than they are in nearby Salt Lake City. Uncovered RV storage there is $125 a month. 

Unless you’re planning on keeping your RV at home, I’d plan on spending $1,000+ per year.

Maintenance

A small motorhome repair and the prices of it.

Regular maintenance is pretty much inevitable. Oil changes, tune-ups, repairs, and winterizing your rig are all things to take into account. These prices vary depending on where you live and how often you’re on the road.

If you’re planning on buying a motorhome or trailer, be sure to take advantage of any warranties included. These can keep you from dishing out money for repairs during your first few years of ownership. 

The van we own has a warranty that covers damage to the engine, transmission, and tires.

Concluding Thoughts on RV Prices

RVs cost a lot, as we saw in this article. But now that you’ve got some actual numbers, you’ll be better prepared on the sales floor and on the road.

If you’re still not sure about what rig you want, check out our article on the different types of RVs available. And consider renting one to make sure its right for you!

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