Past The Sticker Price: Additional Costs of Owning a Used RV

Image​Many people would rather camp in an RV than pay for a hotel room. Destinations around the country have campgrounds that allow those with an RV to hook up and stay a few days. Some of these campgrounds have great amenities like pools, fishing ponds and even beaches, therefore, the idea of getting an RV is very tempting for some families and retirees. While an RV can lead to lots of fun, the sticker price RV dealers advertise is not necessarily the price that people will pay for a new RV. Some would-be buyers should look into buying a used RV to save money.

New RVs are subject to some fees that are usually non-negotiable. One is the destination fee. Dealers around the country will charge this fee based on the length of the trip from the factory to the RV dealer​. Because many RVs are constructed in the Midwest, this cost can be quite high for vehicles that wind up in Texas, Utah or California. At times, the destination fee can run into the thousands. Another fee that most people might not expect is a dealer prep fee. This fee is related to the dealer getting an RV ready for sale. Of course, it can definitely be argued that an RV fresh from the factory should need little in the way of preparation. Those who choose to buy a used RV can avoid some of these additional costs.

Dealer costs like the destination freight charge or the dealer prep fee are not the only unexpected expenses that those who join the ranks of RV owners can expect. There is definitely going to be the cost of getting the RV from one’s home to the campground. With the high cost of gas, this expense can get high quite quickly because RVs do not get good gas mileage, and cross-country trips seem to be quite popular. 

Another cost that some people might not consider is the cost of parking an RV while it is not in use. Many subdivisions do not have the ability to handle RV parking, and some will not permit it at all. Therefore, most RV owners must find another lot on which to park their vehicle. The use of a lot will be another monthly expense that many people will not expect. RVs also require maintenance like new tires and oil changes, and these will cost additional money.

As with all other vehicles, RV owners will need to insure their investment. An RV insurance policy will protect owners against damage to the RV. It will also protect against liability should the RV cause an injury on the road or while parked. Of course, the premium for an RV policy will vary based on a number of factors like the driving record of the owner and the deductible chosen, but it is a cost that will be necessary. 

Like other vehicles, RVs depreciate over time. A drive unit will be much like an ordinary car or truck and start to depreciate the minute the new owner drives it off the lot. Buying a used RV can keep a prospective owner from having to bear the brunt of this depreciation expense. 
Before visiting an RV dealer, prospective owners need to know the total cost. Much of the cost will not show up on the price tag. Therefore, owners need to be well prepared.