Camping with the family – New or Used?

Camping with the family - Should we buy new or used? |

As we look around and research all of the options available to us for camping, we learn new things and we discover new questions.

We have narrowed out search down to a towable of some type, but we still haven’t narrowed that any further. There are soooo many options out there! 😮

So here is a question that has come up – Do we buy new or used?

This is where our research meets the road. We are visiting dealers. We are looking at used and new models.

This is an exhausting process!

There are just too many choices!


What is the real difference between the two? COST

The used versions of the new models are less expensive, but that doesn’t mean that all used ones are less expensive. Here is what we are finding out:

Used doesn’t mean good quality

I have to say that I am absolutely astonished at the junk that is being offered for sale for used campers. The other day, we walked through about fifty different used models on a dealer lot. I would say that maybe 10% were worth looking at. None of them were worth what the dealer was asking for them.

New doesn’t mean good quality

I am much more impressed with the new campers. On this visit, we probably walked through about thirty different new models on the dealer lot. Some of them are pretty well made. And, surprisingly, some of them are not. I would say that most of them were worth considering. Were they worth what the dealer was asking for them? That remains to be seen.

Everything is negotiable

Like cars and trucks, prices on campers and RV’s are negotiable. The only time they are not is when a private seller says “FIRM PRICE”. Even then, there are people who will still try to negotiate. I am not one of those people. If the seller says firm, I am either willing to pay it our I walk away. How negotiable a price can be depends on many factors and is something that we are still researching.

Things change from year to year

One thing that you can count on is that things will change from year to year, from manufacturer to manufacturer, even from model to model. What was offered five years ago may not be available now. What was offered by one manufacturer one year may be completely different the next. What amenities and accessories that were on a model one year may be different tomorrow. Maybe a floor plan that I really want is only available on a used model. It is something to take into account.

Other things to consider

New models usually have a warranty from the dealer, manufacturer or both. Of course, the warranty is only as good as the company offering it. If the company has a reputation for poor service, the warranty won’t be much good to you.

Some people take excellent care of their campers. In our area, I think we will have to do a lot of searching, but if we keep our eyes open, we are sure to find those people who will be selling a good quality used one.

The cost of insurance will vary so always check with your automobile insurer to see what the differences are for the ones you are considering.

Like buying a mattress for your home, you will probably want to replace any mattresses in a used model with new ones. Other furniture may need to be reupholstered. Also, depending on the age, the appliances may need repair or replacement.

New campers, like autos, depreciate the moment they come off the lot. Definitely take that into account when negotiating the price.

The verdict?

Well, the jury is still out on this one. I have to say that I lean more toward buying a newer one but we are still considering both options right now.

What about you?

Would you buy new or used?






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