How Much Does an RV Cost – A Guide to Average RV cost & Popular RV’s

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How Much Does an RV Cost – A Guide to Average RV cost & Popular RV’s

“I had no idea how expensive an RV this size would really be!” I said to Lazy Dad just a few days ago.  And it’s true.  I had NO idea.  As the gal at the DMV said to us when we were paying the tax on it and getting it titled, “You just bought yourself an expensive toy!”  Boy did we!

If you have ever, or will ever, consider purchasing a new Class A unit yourself, here’s an almost complete list of the types of expenses you can expect during the process of purchasing and afterwards.  Including “hidden” and completely unexpected expenses I had no idea we’d be paying for!  Keep in mind the costs I’m listing below may be different in your case, so consider these “ball park” numbers.

You ready?

Here we go!

When you purchase a new Class A RV…

  • Expect to put down a deposit.  This tells the dealership you are serious about buying it and holds it until financing is approved. Cost: $500 – this deposit was returned to us, but we used some of it to purchase recommended RV items from the dealership’s parts store (more on that below).
  • Expect to pay a down payment. Expect to put 10-20% down on a new motor home.  Cost: Varies – The percentage is decided by the bank that is financing your loan.  We just so happened to score NO MONEY DOWN! Woohoo!
  • Expect document preparation fees.  On our loan papers, there was a fee for preparing all the paperwork.  Cost: $200 – this was worked into our monthly payments.
  • Expect an RV prep fee.  This prep fee is what you pay for the dealership to get your RV ready for you (top off the gas, propane, clean the inside, etc.).  Ours was presented to us as several thousands of dollars worth of prep for a discounted lower rate.  Meant to look like you got a “deal”, in my opinion.  I’m not sure it was.  Cost: $895 – this was worked into our monthly payments.
  • Expect upselling of warranty coverages. I had no idea how much they would try to sell us.  Be prepared to be presented with lots of things you will suddenly “need” to “protect your investment.”  We didn’t go for all of it, but we did purchase  the following: vehicle coverage, tire coverage, roadside assistance coverage and GAP insurance coverage – (if you are in an accident this covers the gap between what you owe and the actual cash value of your RV) – Cost: $3,913 – this was worked into our monthly payments, which added roughly $20/mo to our payment.
  • Expect upselling of other services.  For instance, as soon as we were approved for our financing and we were told the RV was ours, the next words out of their mouths was, “Did you know you have to wax your RV and your roof twice a year in order to not void your manufacturer warranty?” Uh… NO. We were then presented with our first upsell: ResistAll® – A protective coat for the outside (protects the paint) and inside (protects the fabric) of the RV. Allows for no waxing of outside for five years.  Cost: $60 per foot, for us: $1,800 – this was worked into our monthly payments.
  • Expect to purchase insurance. Before you can drive off the lot you’ll have to purchase insurance for your new RV.  We were given several different options to choose from.  We had to make a first payment/deposit of sorts.  Cost: $100.80, and then $74.42/mo
  • Expect plates and title expenses. We were given a temporary plate for so many days until we could get our RV titled and get new plates for it in Ohio (we purchased the RV in Michigan).  Cost: Title – $17.00, Plates – $90.00
  • Expect for taxes to be high! We paid $4,142.18 in taxes alone the day we signed the paperwork! Of course this was worked into our monthly payment. BUT because we purchased the RV in Michigan, we had to then pay the difference in taxes for Ohio IN CASH the day we titled it. OUCH!!! Cost: $1,295.97
  • Expect a storage fee. After your purchase your new RV, you have to store it somewhere!  In our case, we pay a monthly storage fee to store our RV at a storage unit that has space for such large items.  Cost: $34.24/mo
  • Expect to purchase items that are not included with your RV.  This I was pretty surprised by.  I thought for sure our RV would come with the necessary items you need to put water in it and dump from it, but it wasn’t included.  These are items that you will need almost immediately if they aren’t included: a sewer kit (for dumping) Cost: $42.95 – a fresh water hose (for filling) Cost: $27.95.
  • Expect to purchase items they highly recommend you purchase for your RV (but maybe not immediately necessary).  For us, we purchased the following: slide out rubber seal spray $13.95 – clearview adapter for sewer hose $13.95 – water pressure regulator (for water hose when filling) $16.95 – outside screens for furnace and fridge vents (prevent bugs from entering and building nests, as they are attracted to the heat they put off) $20.95 for two – air vents (protects your RV’s interior from rain damage while allowing your roof vent to remain open) we purchased Maxx Air Vents for $39.95 for one (we needed two) + the labor cost of installing them (around $100).  Items we did NOT purchase, but were still recommended that we should: an RV cover (if storing outside) around $400-600+ depending on what you buy – a surge protector (protects from surges, brown-outs, faulty wiring at hookups) $289.95 (we actually just purchased this item with a protective lock during a 4th of July sale for a pretty good deal: $237.44) – holding tank chemicals (we are still using the little one that comes with the manual) – anywhere from $10-30 depending on what you want.
  • Expect to pay for a front tire alignment after you have your RV fully loaded. The technician that showed us how to operate everything on our RV recommended loading the RV the way we will have it when traveling (supplies, food, clothes, everything!) and then take the loaded RV to a tire alignment shop to get the front tires aligned.  This will cause your tires to not wear the wrong way. Cost: $75.00
  • Expect gas to fill up your RV to be a pretty penny!  Oh man!  With an 80 gallon tank it costs a lot to fill ‘er up!  Cost: About $300 a pop.
  • Expect to purchase many new items for your RV.  Now that you’ve purchased an RV, you have to fill it!  It’s almost like outfitting a whole new house.  Many things we already owned from a previous camper we had and some things we pulled out of our house, but there were many other items we did purchase from thrift stores, dollar stores and big box stores.  View our Master RV Pack List that is a complete list of what you need inside your RV.  Items in blue we already owned, items in purple we purchased.  Cost: for us, $187.92
  • Expect to spend several hours at the dealership on the day you pick up your new RV. A technician will go over every inch of the unit with you.  They show you how everything works inside and out, answer questions, give you general tips, and recommend additional products you will need immediately, or are highly recommended in the near future (see above).

The above list of expenses when you are purchasing a new RV is pretty comprehensive.  So, here’s the short and skinny of it…. Even though we got an incredible purchase price, after taxes, upsells, a lot of the above, etc., we financed A LOT more than the agreed upon price!  In fact, if you are looking to purchase a Class A RV, I would tell you to add roughly about $10,000-$12,000 to the agreed upon price to see what you will REALLY be financing after all the paperwork is signed!  And I didn’t even touch on the expenses of towing a vehicle behind your Class A!  (We aren’t doing that as of yet.)

But now that we’ve talked about what to expect expense wise, here are a few perks to possibly expect when you purchase your new RV (varies from dealership to dealership, obviously)…

  • Complimentary bottled water – hey don’t snort!  I took full advantage of anything the dealership was willing to give me for free!  They offered us bottled water?  I took it.  A lot.
  • Being considered a VIP costumer.  Our dealership makes anyone who purchases a new unit from them a VIP customer. This puts you at the front of the line in front of regular customers for any time you need something serviced on your unit.
  • 10% discount on parts (and possibly labor).  This was another perk from purchasing from this dealership.  10% off their parts (and I think maybe their labor, I can’t remember).
  •  A complimentary small bottle of holding tank chemicals that comes with your toilet manual.  I know, I know… another perk to snort over, but still.  Free is free.  We’re still using ours.
  • Free camping and membership clubs included with purchase.  Another perk to buying new was a free camping certificate for about 14 days of free camping in Michigan.  We also received a complimentary 1 year membership in an RV club.
  • A 1 year warranty from the manufacturer.  Now, we bought an extended warranty, but if you don’t, you at least have a 1 year warranty!

So that’s it!  Everything you can expect when you purchase a new RV!  If you have any questions about what we purchased above or to add to our list, please leave a comment below!

And be sure and follow our big RV trip out west from July 18th – August 20th!  We’ll be using the hashtag #LazyRVAdventure on all our social media!  You can find links to follow us on those channels below.

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, offer a unique way to travel and explore the country while having all the comforts of home. But before you hit the road, you may be wondering, “how much does an RV cost?” The answer isn’t as simple as one may think, as the cost of an RV can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the average cost of buying an RV and what factors can affect the price. We’ll also discuss what’s included in the purchase price and what additional expenses you can expect. Whether you’re a first-time RV buyer or a seasoned pro, this post will provide valuable information to help you budget for your next adventure.

The cost of an RV can range from a few thousand dollars for a used, basic model to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new, luxury motorhome. The average cost of a new RV ranges from $50,000 to $150,000, but prices can go much higher depending on the size, features, and brand of the RV. Used RVs can be a more budget-friendly option, with prices starting as low as $5,000 for older models. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of a used RV may not include any warranties or guarantees.

Why the RV Price Fluctuations?

When buying an RV, there are several factors that can affect the price. The type of RV, such as a motor-home, travel trailer, or fifth wheel, can have a big impact on the cost. The size and features of the RV, such as the number of rooms and amenities, can also affect the price. The brand and model of the RV can also play a role in the cost, with some brands being more expensive than others. Additionally, the location and dealership where you purchase your RV can also affect the price.

The purchase price of an RV typically includes the vehicle itself, as well as any standard features and equipment that come with it. However, there are additional expenses that you should keep in mind when budgeting for your RV purchase. These expenses can include things like taxes, registration, and insurance. Additionally, you’ll need to budget for ongoing expenses such as fuel, maintenance, and plenty of storage space.

What Factors Influence RV Price Other Than Size?

When it comes to the cost of an RV, size is certainly a factor, but it’s not the only factor that influences the price. For example, class A motorhomes, which are the largest type of motorhome, tend to be more expensive than class B and class C motorhomes. However, there are other factors that can affect the price of an RV beyond just size. Here are a few examples:

  • RV lifestyle: Some RVs are designed for specific lifestyles, such as luxury RVs, off-road RVs, or RVs that are built for full-time living. These RVs will typically be more expensive than more basic models.
  • Popularity: Popular RVs more expensive than others, and manufacturers may charge more for these models. For example, Class A RVs are typically more expensive than Class B RVs or Class C RVs.
  • RV cost to buy: The cost of buying an RV can vary depending on the type of RV you choose. A Class A RV may cost more than a Class B or C RV.
  • RV ownership costs: The cost of owning an RV goes beyond the initial purchase price. There are costs that come with RV ownership, such as RV insurance, maintenance, and storage.
  • RV manufacturers: Different RV manufacturers have different prices for their RVs, so you may find that one manufacturer’s RVs are more expensive than another’s.
  • Living area: RVs with more living area, such as a larger living room area, may cost more than RVs with less living area.
  • RV Shopping: When you’re shopping for an RV, you’ll want to keep in mind that there are different costs that come with owning an RV, such as RV insurance, maintenance, and storage. However, by shopping around and looking at different RVs, you can find your dream RV without having to sacrifice quality.
  • RV Insurance: RV insurance can add to the cost of owning an RV, so it’s important to factor this in when you’re budgeting for your RV purchase. -Used Class C: if you are looking for a used RV, a used class C may cost less than a new one but keep in mind that it may lack some features or appliances and may not come with warranty.
  • RV Gear: In addition to the cost of the RV itself, there are also costs associated with RV gear, such as hitching equipment and RV-specific tools.
  • Extra storage space: RVs with extra storage space may cost more than RVs without.

It’s important to keep all these factors in mind when you’re shopping for an RV and budgeting for your purchase. The type of RV you choose, the RV lifestyle you’re looking for, the RV ownership costs, and RV manufacturers are all factors that can influence the price of an RV, other than size. It’s essential to read articles about RV travel destinations, RV in the summer, RV classes and determine what type of truck or SUV you will need, depending on the type of RV you choose. By taking these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to find the best RV for you and your needs, whether it’s a motorized RV or a camper trailer, and you’ll know what to expect to pay for your dream RV.

Should I Buy a Used or New RV?

When it comes to buying an RV, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to buy a used or new vehicle. Both have their pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and needs. For example, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, a used RV might be the way to go. You can find great deals on used RVs, including pop-up campers, class B and class C motorhome, and even some class A motorhomes. These types of RVs are also great for RV travel, as they are typically more compact and easier to tow. However, they may not have as much storage space or as many features as a new RV. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a king-sized bed, more floor plans, or more kitchen space, a new RV might be a better fit. New RVs come with a warranty and updated features and appliances, but they can be more expensive. When you decide to start shopping, it’s essential to understand the different types of RVs available on the market. This will help you to make an informed decision based on your needs and preferences.

How Much Does an RV Cost to Rent?

Renting an RV is a great way to try out the RV lifestyle before committing to purchasing one. However, the cost of renting an RV can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. Like buying an RV, the type of RV you choose will have a big impact on the cost. Class A motorhomes, which RVs are the largest type of motorhome, tend to be more expensive to rent than class B and class C motorhomes. For example, the average cost of renting a class A motorhome can be around $200 – $350 per night, while a class B or C motorhome can cost around $150 – $250 per night.

Additionally, the time of year, location, and duration of the rental can also affect the cost. For example, renting an RV in the peak season or in a popular destination may cost more than renting in the off-season or in a less popular location. The length of the rental can also affect the cost, with longer rentals often having a lower daily rate than shorter rentals.

It’s also worth noting that when you rent an RV, you’ll typically be responsible for covering your own insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs. Additionally, you’ll need to budget for any additional gear or equipment that you may need, such as hitching equipment or RV-specific tools.

Ultimately, whether you choose to rent or purchase an RV will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Be sure to consider all the factors involved and compare costs before making a decision. It’s also helpful to read camper reports, articles about RV travel destinations and talk to other RVers to get an idea of what the cost of renting an RV may be and what type of RV is best for you. By doing your research, you’ll be able to find the best option for you, whether it’s a class A, B, or C motorhome, and you’ll be able to find the quality RV that fits your budget.


In conclusion, the cost of an RV can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including the type, size, features, brand, and location of the RV. It’s important to keep in mind that the purchase price is just the beginning, and ongoing expenses such as fuel, maintenance, and storage should also be taken into consideration. By understanding the different factors that affect the cost of an RV and what’s included in the purchase price, you’ll be better equipped to budget for your next adventure. Whether you’re a first-time RV buyer or a seasoned pro, this post will provide valuable information to help you plan for your next RV purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you’ve still got questions about How much does an RV cost, then these may help:

Is it Cheaper to Live in an RV Than a Home?

Living in an RV can be a cost-effective alternative to living in a traditional home, but it depends on various factors. The cost of owning an RV, such as a Class A, B, or C motorhome, can be less than the cost of owning a traditional home, depending on where you live, the cost of living, and the size of the RV.

For example, the cost of owning a Class A motorhome could be less than the cost of owning a traditional home, as the average cost of a Class A motorhome can be around $150,000 to $300,000, while the average cost of a traditional home can be around $200,000 to $500,000. Additionally, the ongoing costs of living in an RV, such as fuel, maintenance, and storage, can be less than the ongoing costs of living in a traditional home, such as property taxes, insurance, and utilities.

However, it’s worth noting that the cost of living in an RV can vary greatly depending on where you choose to park it. Some RV parks and campgrounds charge monthly or weekly fees, while others may require you to pay for hookups such as electricity, water, and sewer.

What RV Type Do You Need? – Travel trailer, Class C Motorhomes

When choosing an RV, it is important to consider your needs and lifestyle. There are several types of RVs available, including Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, Class C motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, travel trailer, and pop-up trailers. Class A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious, while Class B and Class C motorhomes are smaller and more compact. Fifth wheel trailers including cost of a fifth-wheel and travel trailers are typically towed behind a pickup truck or SUV and offer a variety of amenities. Pop-up trailers are a budget-friendly option and are small enough to be towed by most cars. Ultimately, the type of RV you choose will depend on your budget, travel plans, and desired level of comfort.

How much does the smallest RV cost?

The cost of an RV can vary widely depending on the type and size of the vehicle. Class A motorhomes are the largest and most expensive RVs, with prices starting around $100,000. Class B motorhomes, also known as camper vans, are smaller and more compact, with prices starting around $50,000. Class C motorhomes are similar in size to Class B motorhomes, but have a distinctive cab-over section that houses a bed, with prices starting around $60,000. Travel trailers are also popular RV types and can be found starting at around $10,000. However, purchasing a used RV can cost significantly less. It’s important to keep in mind the storage space, maintenance cost, and overall quality of the RV, when making a decision. The RV industry offers a wide range of options for new buyers to choose from, including classes of RVs from A to C.

How much does it cost to buy a motorhomes?

The cost of buying a motorhome can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the size, brand, and features of the vehicle. On average, the price range for a new motorhome can start from around $50,000 for a small Class B motorhome to over $200,000 for a luxury Class A motorhome. The Class C motorhomes are in the middle, with prices starting around $70,000. When purchasing a motorhome, it is important to consider not only the initial cost of the vehicle but also the ongoing expenses such as fuel, maintenance, insurance and storage. Additionally, buying a used motorhome can be a cost-effective option, as the prices for used motorhomes can be significantly lower than for new ones. However, It’s important to do proper research and take a thorough inspection of the vehicle before making a decision. The RV industry offers a variety of options for buyers, from luxury Class A motorhomes to more budget-friendly Class B and Class C motorhomes.