During the pandemic, especially with restrictions to stay home, many people found a way to still be out in the open and keep safe by shifting to a recreational vehicle (RV) lifestyle. Living in a motorhome enabled them to keep their pandemic safety bubble while being able to travel around the country to safer areas and be amid nature. The demand is still high as many others want to join the RV community.
High Demand Led to Low Inventory and High Prices for RVs
In 2020, the interest in RV purchases increased by 162 percent across the country, compared to the previous year. In June 2020, completed RV purchase query forms increased by 303 percent against June 2019.
The RV Industry Association states that it is a record year for RV production with a third more to be manufactured in 2021 compared to 2020. This year, more than 11 million households in the U.S. have an RV, and this is 26 percent more than a decade ago.
An RV dealer stated that there are usually 125 RVs on his lot but there are now only 20. They usually last only a few days or even a few hours. Buyers are willing to put down deposits for a waiting list that is three to four months long.
Specific Types of Motorhomes and Their Prices
Camper Report states that a new towable travel trailer generally costs from $11,000 to $35,000. On the other hand, a Class A RV that fits from two to six people and ranges from 34 feet to 42 feet has an average price of just over $160,000, based on data from Glampingorcamping.com. There will be added costs for outdoor awnings and other luxury amenities and custom features like slide-outs. It can go as high as $268,784 for a 2021 model Winnebago M-34T340hp Cummins in diesel, or even up to $300,000 with customizations.
Motor homes in Class B look like elongated vans and are also called camper vans. They can fit one to two passengers with sleeping quarters, a bathroom, and a kitchen. It can range from $137,172 for the 2021 model Forest River Coachmen M-22D-RWD Ford to $168,666 for the 2021 model Airstream M-19.
Motor homes Class C have a larger chassis and can fit up to eight people while being easy to navigate even on city streets. It can range from $83,971 for the 2021 model Gulfstream M-5210-FordE350 to $151,093 for the 2021 model Wayfarer M-25LW.
Fifth-wheel trailers are towable trailers that can fit up to six people with a king-size bed, a kitchen, a dining area, and slide-outs. It can range from $37,238 for a 2021 model JaycoM-222 to $87,938 for a 2021 model Keystone M-381TH.
Travel trailers or camping trailers are light RVs that have a sleeping area, a small kitchen, and a bathroom. They are the cheapest option and can range from $15,145 for the 2021 model Forest River Rockwood M-1940F to $18,255 for the 2021 model Forest River Coachmen V1.
A truck camper attached to a truck bed is another option. It is low maintenance and provides easy driving and maneuvering. It can range from $12,313 for the 2021 model Travel LiteRayzr FB to $51,905 for the 2021 model Northern Lite M-8’11” DryBathLE.
Requirements for RV Buyers
It is important to know the weight of the final retrofitted motorhome, as well as the weight of all supplies and passengers in it. Every vehicle has a limit to the weight it can carry, and it is dangerous to go beyond this. You can have your motorhome weighed for free in some businesses that use portable vehicle scales such as trucking businesses. Alternatively, you can bring your RV to a truck stop and have it weighed for about $10 to $20 dollars.
On the road, you can park at camper grounds for a fee. You can also join many RV groups on social media, including some that allow RVs on their properties with no fees.
Some experts cited that a mortgage is not possible for a motorhome. Buyers must either buy with cash or finance it with a personal loan which has much higher interest rates than a mortgage. They also pointed out that while a traditional home or even a tiny home on owned land appreciates in value, a motorhome depreciates with time. Its resale value will be lower than its cost. They, therefore, advise buyers to only consider it if they can afford to lose the money they invest in a motorhome. Weigh the pros and cons and if you can afford to give it a try, go ahead.