Do you currently own an RV?
If your answer is yes, then like 10 million other Americans you need to be aware of the steep price depreciation associated with owning an RV.
It’s no secret that RVs don’t come cheap. They can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $500,000 depending on the model and type.
But if you aren’t careful, the total cost could end up being a lot higher through Price Depreciation. What this means is over time, your RV begins to lose value compared to when you first bought it.
Although price depreciation is common for almost any item you buy, the problem is that RVs depreciate at a much faster rate than other vehicles.
In fact, you lose up to 30% of its original value the moment you begin using the RV.
Luckily, there are a number of easy things you can do to slow down the RV price depreciation.
By the time you finish this article, you will know exactly what to do when buying and maintaining an RV. By following these suggestions, you will also see your RV depreciate at a much slower rate.
So let’s get started!
How to Slow Down RV Price Depreciation?
Whether you already own an RV or are considering buying one, below is some valuable advice on how to slow down its price depreciation.
After implementing these tips, you reduce any current and future costs as well as extend the life of your RV.
1. Don’t Buy at List Price
Do your research. Before buying an RV, make sure to check other dealerships and websites to check how much you should actually be paying. It’s common for RV sellers to set the listed price up to 30% higher than what it is worth. By negotiating and buying an RV at a realistic price, you have already taken a big step towards slowing down its price depreciation.
2. Don’t Let Your RV Stay Idle
Also known as “Lot Rot”, this happens when you don’t use your RV for extended periods of time. Now you might be thinking that RV price depreciation is directly linked to its usage. This is not entirely true. While mileage does play a small role, other factors such as engine troubles or non-usage actually contribute more. Letting your RV sit outside your home causes problems to its systems. So when you use it, there are many more problems that you will have to face.
3. Change the Oil
This may seem like an obvious one, but many people tend to forget about this until their engine breaks down. The longer you wait to change your oil, the more damaged the RV parts become. This is because there is a lot of friction and overheating within the engine, which oil helps combat. You should change your oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles or at least once a year. By doing this, you keep your engine in top shape and prevent it depreciating in value even further.
4. Check Roof Seals and Seams
Water damage wreaks havoc on any RV. If you don’t stop it in the early stages, then you may end up paying a hefty bill. The best way to prevent water damage is to check the roof seals and seams of your RV. If there are any loose areas or leakage, then they need to be immediately fixed. The costs of doing this are much lower than the cost of fixing water damage. Therefore, make sure you regularly give your RV a thorough checkup!
5. Replace the Filters
To keep your RV in the best condition possible, you also need to replace the air, fuel, coolant, and hydraulic filters. Similar to changing the oil, if these filters don’t get replaced then they can also cause damage to your RV systems. This leads to even higher repair costs and further price depreciation.
6. Buy a Used RV
RVs depreciate the fastest in the first 5 years since it was bought. This means that when you buy a brand new RV, you have the most to lose. An easy solution is to simply buy a used RV, ideally around 5-years old, that is still in good condition. Plus, RV sellers usually hike up the prices for new RVs so you would pay much more than it is worth. When you buy a used RV in great condition, it saves you money and ensures you won’t see it steeply depreciating in value. This way you still get to use a functioning RV without having to lose as much out of your pocket.
7. Live in your RV Part-time or Rent it Out
Another way to slow down your RV depreciation is to either live in it or rent it out. This way, you prevent “Lot Rot” and reduce your living costs even further. If you live in your RV, your home bills decrease which saves you money. On the other hand, renting it out gives you another stream of income. Either way, you have more money left to spend.
Benefits of an RV
RVs are becoming increasingly popular for both younger and older buyers. In fact, the RV industry had an economic impact of $50 billion in 2015 alone.
So why do so many people use RVs?
Apart from their cost-savings, RVs also provide a number of important advantages that make them such a widespread choice for travel and living.
Hands down, RV travel is much lower-cost than regular travelling. You wouldn’t need to pay for an expensive hotel or meals, as the RV has both a sleeping and cooking area. Plus, you can customize the inside as much as you like. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice quality or satisfaction for a lower cost.
For the travel-savvy, the money saved can also be used to explore even more places without being limited by a budget.
Since you have complete freedom over your RV, you can pack whatever you want. It is essentially a home on wheels! So you can bring anything along, from paddleboards to barbeques.
You also won’t be forced to stick to a schedule, such as a check in or check out time. You can be as spontaneous as you wish and make your trip an unforgettable one.
Back to Nature
For many, the most important advantage is the fact that RV travel brings you the closest to nature. If you want to get away from city life and the crowds, then RVs definitely bring you the most peace and quiet. You get to set up camp on grounds much closer to nature, which brings an undeniable sense of calm and relief.
Now that you know how to slow down your RV price depreciation, what are you waiting for?
These methods are easy to do, relatively low-cost, and will undoubtedly save you a lot of money down the line.
So let’s get cracking. You can thank us for the savings later!