RVs are all about fun and adventure. But like any other big purchase, they can lose value over time. It is called depreciation, and several factors can contribute to it. Here are some of the most common.
Just like with real estate, location matters when it comes to RVs. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions like extreme heat, cold, or humidity, your RV is likely to depreciate faster than if you live in more moderate climes. The same goes for areas with a lot of crime or those prone to natural disasters.
Of course, you can’t control the weather or where you live. But if you do have a choice of where to keep your RV, it’s worth considering these factors. And if you do live in an area that’s tough on RVs, be sure to take extra good care of your unit.
2. The Type of RV
RVs are made differently, and some types are simply built to last longer than others. For example, travel trailers and fifth wheels hold value better than motorhomes since they can be towed behind a truck or SUV. In addition, it makes them more versatile and easier to sell since a broader range of people can use them.
On the other hand, motorhomes can be more expensive to maintain and repair, which can lead to faster depreciation. But they also offer more amenities and comforts, which can offset this somewhat. So, buying a used motorhome for cash may still be a good option if you choose the right unit and take good care of it.
3. Maintenance and Repairs
RVs that are correctly cleaned, waxed, and stored during the off-season are likely to depreciate more slowly than neglected ones. They’ll also be more pleasant to use and will likely fetch a higher resale price when it comes to selling.
Likewise, RVs requiring frequent repairs or severe damage is likely to lose value more quickly. So if you want to keep your RV in good shape and maintain its value, it’s essential to stay on top of its maintenance.
4. Miles Driven
RVs which were driven a lot will depreciate faster than those that spend most of their time in storage. It is because the more you use an RV, the more wear and tear it will experience.
Of course, you can’t help how much you use your RV. But if you’re not planning to use it very often, it may be worth considering storing it to help slow down the depreciation process.
5. Age of the RV
RVs generally depreciate most quickly in the first few years after they’re purchased. After that, the depreciation rate will slow down, but it will still happen. After that, they continue to lose value until they’re considered vintage units, at which point they may start to appreciate in value.
So if you’re thinking about buying a used RV, be sure to factor in its age when considering its value. And if you’re thinking about selling your RV, keep in mind that it may not be worth as much as it was when it was new.
6. Number of Owners
If an RV has had multiple owners, it’s likely to have been used more and may not be in as good of condition as one that’s had only one owner. As a result, it will probably depreciate more quickly. Therefore, you should try to limit the number of owners your RV has to help it retain its value.
If you’re buying a used RV, be sure to ask the seller how many owners it’s had and try to get a sense of how well it’s been cared for.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few factors that can contribute to RV depreciation. So if you’re thinking about buying or selling an RV, keep these things in mind. Understanding how these factors affect RV depreciation can make more informed decisions about your RV and its value.