RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > MH-General Discussions & Problems
Click Here to Login

Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-08-2019, 08:42 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 6
New RV or Used RV, Which one should A beginner Choose?

Hi Rvers!
Last year, I have rented an RV (Model: ITASCA, Manufacturer: Class C Motor Home, Year: 2004, Length: 22 ft) but this year, I would like to get a nice one in middle budget for camping the next winter.

Already, I got some pieces of knowledge from https://rvside.com/index.html/new-vs-used but till now, I'm confused and can't decide "which way should I choose". Because my heart is telling me "there are many worries".

Only for this reason, I need all of your help and good and bad experience. Hope, you consider a lot of sharing here for a great guide.

Best Wishes to All!

alanbonner is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-08-2019, 09:06 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Posts: 158
Well... How handy are you? That would be the deciding factor for me. If I feel up to fixing things, fiddling or keeping up with maintenance versus writing the check.

I'm kinda handy but I'm not above writing that check when I've tried everything else. Maybe a good inspection prior to purchase would set your mind at ease. IRV2 user Waiter21 just posted 2 used inspection guides under the thread "Buying a used RV - pricing, inspections".

When I bought my last MH no kidding it took me 4 or 5 hours of checking this and that. You already know how they work from your rental experience. They do depreciate and you can fix a lot of things for 1/2 the price of a new MH but new is nice. Me, I'm a used guy for awhile yet. Just do the homework first. Good luck and for what its worth If I could afford it I guess I'd go new and keep it for 20 years. Maybe.

MinntoMich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2019, 09:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
Isaac-1's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: SW Louisiana
Posts: 3,356
My take on it, is that your first RV should be expected to be a learning tool, do your best to pick the right one, but expect that after a year or two of use, you will have a much better idea of what fits your style best, as well as lots of things that never ocured to you to consider when shopping. Therefore, buy used the first time around as it is further down the depreciation curve, and will hurt less when you trade it in on what you should have bought to begin with.
2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L
Isaac-1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2019, 09:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
National RV Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca.
Posts: 108
Blog Entries: 1
We have always bought used. We looked for 2 years for this one. I've had a couple friends buy new. Most say 3 times back to the dealer for repairs. We've found that with a well kept unit the owners have done the warranty and upgrades.
Scott & Dawn 2007 National Tropical T330
stinespool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2019, 05:07 AM   #5
Senior Member - DIYer
Waiter21's Avatar

Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 5,900
I'm a DIYer, so I buy used. We ar on our third RV. we've learned from each one and then fine tuned our requirement when we bought the next one.

ALSO - our first and second RV's, we weren't sure how we'd use it or what would be the life style. Again, when we got to #3, we had a very good definition of how we use it and what we wanted.

We went to a LaMesa RV show last winter and looked at new Southwinds. Very nice. $130k new.. Ours cost $16k. Of course we've done a lot of work on it to clean and fix up the way we want it.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
Waiter21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 20,511
Used is almost always better financially, but a newbie needs to worry about his lack of knowledge and the risk of buying a pig in a poke. It may also take a lot of shopping to find the right RV in decent condition.

New gives some peace of mind (often an illusion, though) and a warranty, plus the dealer ads and sales lot is easier to search.

Personally, I buy used. We did new just once out of 8 Rvs and were not impressed.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
Gary RVRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2019, 12:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 968
Hi Alan, and welcome to iRV2.

There is good advice from experienced RVers up-thread so rather than repeat it I'll try to amplify some things...

EVERY RV will need fixing. Yes, even - or especially - the shiny new units on the dealer lot. The difference is that if you need warranty work on your "new" RV it can take weeks or months to complete. A lot depends on the manufacturer's relationship with the selling/servicing dealer... which brings me to another point.

Where you buy, if you need service, is more important than the purchase price (mostly, anyway). Why? Because unlike automobiles, a dealer is not obligated to quickly service units they did not sell. The vast majority of RV manufacturers at slow-pay for warranty service and dealers are loathe to tie up money & personnel only to wait 90-180 days to be paid. If you purchased from them there is a bit more incentive to make you happy but don't count on much.

Many buyers of new Class A units schedule warranty service at the factory for shortly before the warranty expires. Yeah, it's that way...

Purchasing used, it's suggested you hire an independent RV inspector (RVIA is the trade assn). While an inspection can't guarantee a lack of future problems, it's pretty good at identifying damage, defects and previous repairs the seller did not disclose (or may be unaware of if not the original purchaser).

Either way, you'll be miles ahead (pun intended!) if you're proficient with common hand tools, a VOM (volt/ohm meter), and have a basic understanding of electricity (12v DC and 120v AC), HVAC, plumbing, and general automotive principles. And those are important whether you purchase new or used...

May good luck and safe travels be you RV companions always.
2005 Four Winds Majestic 23A
“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” - Dr Suess
Solo_RV_Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2019, 08:15 PM   #8
Senior Member
brokenrule's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 321
Story of both ways... My brother bought new TT - 3 times! I bought used class A once. In the last three years:

My brother bought three TT's in 7 months - all new. Each was in the shop just about till getting the next one. #1 was always in the shop and when they did use it - it turned out to be too small. #2 was unable to be repaired correctly and had the fridge cavity built wrong so it would not draft the heat up and away from the back. It was traded on #3. #3 spent most of the first three months in the shop chasing build quality problems. It was used twice in those three months. After six times out it has a bent axle and the slide leaks while in storage so it get no use...

We bought a 1996 class A to see how we liked it. Simple DYI stuff broke and was fixed at home. Spent a few thousand at the truck service center getting everything just right. But we factored that in to the purchase. We use it 14 times a year. Love it but the wife wants a full wall slide...

Older quality built RV's hold up to the test of time. After what my brother went through I would not buy new. We are looking to upgrade but just cannot talk ourselves into paying three times as much for something to go camping in. AND, more bells and whistle to brake! For us finding something used where most of the problems (if any) were worked out was a bonus to us. Having new with warrantees only meant my brother's TT's spent more time in the shop then the campground in three years.

Also, you should have a very good idea of what you want before jumping in, three new TT's in less than a year is an expensive learning curve. Sit inside one and think about spending 2-3 days inside when it pouring down rain or you have a 100+ degree heat wave. Can you live in that box for that long and not kill someone!
1996 Itasca Suncruiser 29RQ, 7.4, P32
brokenrule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
Senior Member/RVM #90
MSHappyCampers's Avatar

Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 37,283
I would much prefer to buy a gently-used RV, maybe 3-5 years old, than a new one. Someone else has taken the huge depreciation hit when driving off the lot, and hopefully gotten all the bugs out that the manufacturer missed!

I would also be able to buy a higher class rig!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 231
I agree with other posters about purchasing a gently used, 3-5 year old RV where someone else has taken the first, big depreciation hit. Before purchasing, visit a few large RV shows to look at types of RVs, floor plans, amenities, etc. you and your family would like. Once you know what you want, then if looking for that gently used 3-5 year old RV, "patience" will be the virtue needed until "the" RV is found.

RV consignment businesses are a good place to look for used RVs of all types. PPL Motorhomes in Houston is an example of big RV consignment business --> https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/
Mike & Cindy in Katy, TX
2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037
2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
fagnaml is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2019, 12:42 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: SE Coastal NC
Posts: 191
I bought my 1st used camper in 1976. I bought my last used camper in 1976. Sometimes I upgrade in 2 years, sometimes in 5 years. When I talk to used buyers some say they got a good one, some say there were so many hidden problems by the time they fixed them it was the cost of a new one. New is not always good either. I recall my last 4, all 5ers. Not one had anything but minor cosmetic stuff. My dealer gets me in fast.
2019 Montana 3761FL B&W Hitch and much more.
2019 F350 Dually
Captn John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2019, 05:52 PM   #12
Senior Member
Teamfoxy's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 417
Before buying anything you need to educate yourself, as much as possible, about the different types of RV and how they might fit your needs. In particular learn about OCCC and do a realistic assesment of what you will need to carry and what it all weighs. That may narrow your search a lot.
We have never purchased a new RV although we are now on fourth. Whether you end up purchasing new or used, looking ar used RV's will give you a better idea of how a particular brand holds up over time.
TeamFoxy ~ Sebastian, FL
2011 Coachmen Mirada 32DS
2005 Itasca Spirit 324V
Teamfoxy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2019, 07:27 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 365
We have camped for years but never in a class A. We didn't know if would like it or not. Started to look for an older one to see if we liked it or not. Found an '04 Georgetown that was in good shape, low miles and it was at a dealer who had fixed everything that didn't work. Negotiated for $24k out the door. We thought it had everything we wanted. We loved the unit. Spent about $2k on upgrades.

After a year we had a list of things we really wanted in a class A. Started to look for our next one. We ended up buying our new one. It checked every box we had plus some. Sold the '04 for $28k so made $2k after upgrades on that one.

So...no matter what you think you want/need in a class A, you really don't know until you try it for a while. It takes some people 3 or 4 motorhomes before they get it right.

Good luck in your search!
2019 Thor Miramar 37.1
2013 Honda CRV Toad
2004 Georgetown XL 370TS - Sold
funmoneypit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 03:06 PM   #14
Junior Member
dl1035's Avatar
Commercial Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by alanbonner View Post
Hi Rvers!
Last year, I have rented an RV (Model: ITASCA, Manufacturer: Class C Motor Home, Year: 2004, Length: 22 ft) but this year, I would like to get a nice one in middle budget for camping the next winter.

Already, I got some pieces of knowledge from https://rvside.com/index.html/new-vs-used but till now, I'm confused and can't decide "which way should I choose". Because my heart is telling me "there are many worries".

Only for this reason, I need all of your help and good and bad experience. Hope, you consider a lot of sharing here for a great guide.

Best Wishes to All!
As others have said, it's true that your first RV is a learning experience no matter how much you think you know. If you buy new these days you have to be prepared for lots of warranty repairs at the dealer to get it in good shape and fix all the little things that QC seems to miss at the factory. And if you don't like what you get you will not have a lot of wriggle room to get out of it without losing your shirt because you will take the first depreciation hit.

If you buy used, look for something that has obviously been cared for by the owner. Having all of the repair records would be a good thing. Hiring a certified RV inspector would be good too. It takes a lot of time to go through all the systems on an RV and know what you are looking for. I would also suggest getting a fluid analysis on the engine and generator fluids, just to see if there are any obvious serious issues starting to become apparent.

And if you don't like the used RV, and if you got a reasonable deal, you can probably be out of it and on to the next one without losing too much.

Duane & Cheri
NRVIA Certified RV Inspector
dl1035 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Steering dampener should I choose? KeysVal Ford Motorhome Chassis Forum 39 04-22-2018 06:48 AM
Which one to choose??? midasman Class A Motorhome Discussions 11 11-05-2015 07:19 AM
Which One Would You Choose Spark1 Fleetwood Owner's Forum 3 07-13-2015 07:41 PM
Which USED TT would you choose for $20k TheMatrix Travel Trailer Discussion 32 02-17-2015 03:42 AM
Several Toad options to choose from, which one? bmacrc46 Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 15 09-13-2012 04:23 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.