How Much Does an RV Cost?

Owning an RV means the ability to travel more freely and more comfortably. On average, an RV costs between $10,000 and $400,000 to purchase.
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RV Cost

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  • The typical cost range to purchase a recreational vehicle is between $10,000 and $400,000.
  • The main factors affecting RV cost include the class, size, floor plan, and manufacturer of the RV; the availability of the model being purchased; sales tax; and RV insurance cost.
  • There are five main types of RV: Class A, Class B, Class C, fifth wheel, and travel trailer.
  • RV ownership has numerous benefits, such as the ability for owners to travel more freely and work remotely, a more comfortable and convenient camping experience, and the potential for additional income by renting out the RV.

Owning an RV means the ability to travel at the drop of a hat, visit state and national parks, and have a more enjoyable camping experience. But those benefits come at a cost; in addition to the purchase price of the RV, owners will need to keep factors like taxes, registration, insurance, and operation costs in mind when coming up with a budget for an RV.

So just how much does an RV cost? According to RVing Know How, the average cost to buy an RV is between $10,000 and $400,000. The exact cost will depend on the size, type, and class of RV; the floor plan; the RV manufacturer; and the availability of the model in question. Buyers could also pay less for a preowned model than for a new model, but it will limit their options when it comes to add-ons. This guide will explore the main factors that contribute to RV prices, the different types of RVs, the benefits of RV ownership, and tips on how to save money on an RV purchase.

Factors in Calculating RV Cost

How much is an RV? When it comes to calculating the average RV cost, potential owners will find that there are several factors that can affect the price. These factors include the type and specifications of the RV, the manufacturer, the availability of the RV model, and the cost of sales tax and RV insurance premiums.

RV Class

There are three different classes when it comes to driveable recreational vehicles: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A RVs are the big bus-like models that are reminiscent of rock band tour buses. Class B and Class C motorhomes are smaller but can still offer basic amenities to keep campers comfortable while on vacation. In general, Class A motorhome prices are the highest, with Class C coming in second and Class B being the most affordable options. These types of RVs will be covered in more detail in a section below.

RV Size and Floor Plan

The size of the RV will also have an impact on its total cost. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a small RV will typically cost less than a larger one. However, the floor plan can also affect the total RV cost. For example, a small RV with an added bathroom and additional sleeping space will cost more than a basic RV of the same size. Customers will want to look at different floor plan options to decide which one will best suit their needs while staying within their budget.


The cost of an RV can depend heavily on its brand. Some manufacturers make lower-cost models, while others produce luxury motorhomes that can reach six figures. Manufacturers such as Keystone and Starcraft build RVs that are known for being affordable yet practical and offer a lot of bang for the buck. Lower-cost models tend to be towable, though, which means the owner will need a vehicle with enough towing capacity to pull the RV to its destination.

On the other end of the spectrum are luxury RV manufacturers such as Prevost and Newmar, which offer high-end class A motorhomes that range in price from several hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 million. There’s also a middle ground; mainstream manufacturers like Airstream and Jayco offer a wide variety of RVs that suit many different budgets.


The availability of the RV model the buyer is interested in can also affect the price. If there’s an abundance of a certain model on the market, sellers may be more willing to make a deal and lower their prices. However, if the model is in high demand and low supply, buyers can expect to pay a premium in order to get their hands on one.

Tax and Registration

The cost of the RV will typically not include sales tax and vehicle registration. The exact costs will vary by location, as the sales tax rate and vehicle registration costs differ between states. Buyers can check with their local Department of Motor Vehicles to get a better idea of what they can expect to pay in sales tax and vehicle registration costs.

RV Insurance

As with any type of vehicle, it’s important for RV owners to make sure their motorhomes have adequate RV insurance coverage. Liability insurance is required by law, though the minimum requirements vary from state to state. In addition to purchasing liability insurance, RV owners will want to strongly consider collision and comprehensive insurance to further protect them while they’re on vacation (and if the owner financed their RV purchase, their lender will likely require them to carry these types of coverage). Collision coverage helps the owner pay for repairs to their RV if it’s in a collision with another vehicle or an object. Comprehensive insurance can cover theft, vandalism, fire, and damage caused by weather events—for example, comprehensive RV insurance can cover water damage if caused by a covered peril. Other types of RV insurance that are available include the following.

  • Vacation liability insurance: Protects the policyholder against lawsuits or medical bills resulting from an injury in or near the RV while it’s parked at a designated campsite.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: Helps pay to repair the RV if it’s damaged in an accident and the other driver does not have sufficient liability insurance to cover the costs.
  • Medical payments (MedPay) coverage: Can help to pay the medical expenses of the policyholder and their passengers if they sustain an injury while in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses, plus lost wages if the injured person is temporarily unable to work because of their injury.
  • Roadside assistance: Helps protect the RV owner if they break down while on the road and can pay for towing, tire repair, refueling, on-site repairs, and more.
  • Safety glass replacement: Helps pay to repair or replace a broken or cracked windshield.

When considering an RV purchase, buyers will want to get several quotes from the best RV insurance companies to gauge what they’ll spend for coverage. On average, RV insurance costs $848 annually, though the exact cost will depend on the type and amount of coverage chosen.

Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to the main cost factors, there are several other costs and considerations for RV buyers to keep in mind when coming up with a budget for their motorhome purchase. These include the cost of a new model versus a used one, extra features added to the vehicle, operating expenses, maintenance, off-season storage, and the choice between buying and renting an RV.

RV Cost
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New vs. Used

While some people like to buy new vehicles and know that they are the only ones who have driven them, others prefer buying used RVs to save some money. The same applies to buying an RV—buyers who want a brand-new RV will get a vehicle with no past history to worry about, and they can often customize it from factory specifications to make it better fit their needs. However, this comes at a cost, as new RVs typically cost more than preowned RVs of a similar quality and size. Buying used can save money, but buyers will want to make sure they have a full vehicle history and proof of past services from the previous owner. This can help them avoid inadvertently purchasing a lemon that will break down on their first camping trip.

Additional Features

New RVs are priced with basic features specific to each model and floor plan, but for an extra cost, buyers can add optional features such as one of the best RV mattresses, Wi-Fi connection, leather upholstery, and awnings. To keep costs down, buyers will want to list out their must-have features and look for an RV model that checks most of their boxes on a base model. RV purchasers may also want to consider the cost of RV supplies and RV accessories such as water heaters, surge protectors, and more.

Operating Expenses

The purchase price of an RV is a large expense, but these vehicles cost money to operate as well, and buyers will want to work these expenses into their budget to ensure they can cover everything. One of the main expenses is fuel, which can quickly add up—especially for larger drivable motorhomes, which may only get 7 to 14 miles per gallon (mpg). Towable RVs such as fifth-wheel and travel trailers don’t require gasoline, but the tow vehicle’s efficiency rating will decrease when the vehicle is towing the RV—and many full-size pickup trucks also have mpg ratings on the lower end. In addition to paying for fuel, RV owners will need to pay for campground fees, propane for heating, and food and drinks. Even with these expenses, RV owners may find that their vacations cost less than they would if the RVers stayed in a hotel every night and ate their meals out.


Like any other vehicle, an RV requires maintenance to keep it in good working order. This includes oil changes, tire rotations, fluid checks and top-ups, brake checks, HVAC system tune-ups, and engine inspections. If the owner takes their RV to a dealership or service center for these items, the maintenance will cost more—but in return, the owner will get the peace of mind that an expert has made sure their RV is in proper working order and will be safe to drive.


When not in use, an RV may need to be stored, which can incur an additional charge. While some owners may have room on their property to store their RV, others will need to pay to have it kept at an RV storage facility. The exact costs will depend on the facility, but in general RV owners can expect to pay $50 to $70 per month for basic storage and $100 to $300 per month for covered storage or storage with electricity. Before purchasing an RV, buyers will want to call around to local storage facilities to get an idea of what they will pay to store their motorhome when it’s not in use.

Purchase vs. Rental

Since an RV is a relatively large expense, potential buyers will want to make sure they would get enough use out of a motorhome to justify purchasing one. If they’re not sure, they may want to consider renting an RV for a few trips first to see whether they enjoy it. Renting an RV may cost more per vacation, but it will save money on storage and maintenance costs. By renting an RV and testing it out, potential owners can determine whether purchasing one makes sense for them.

Types of RVs

There are five main types of RV: three that are motorized and two that require a tow vehicle to transport them. Class A, B, and C motorhomes come in various sizes and with a range of available amenities; they can cost as little as $50,000 and as much as $300,000 (or even more for luxury models). Fifth-wheel and travel trailers are more affordable, but owners will need to have a vehicle capable of towing them. More information on the types of RVs and their average cost ranges is provided below.

RV TypeAverage Cost
Class A$100,000 to $300,000+
Class B$80,000 to $180,000
Class C$50,000 to $150,000
Fifth-wheel$35,000 to $150,000
Travel trailer$10,000 to $100,000

Class A

Class A is the largest type of RV and is the type most similar to a bus. RV owners may need a special driver’s license endorsement to drive a Class A RV because of its size—they can range in length from 21 feet to 45 feet, which can make them quite cumbersome to drive. However, in exchange, this type of RV has ample storage and living space and may be ideal for a large family or a full-time RVer, with larger bathrooms (some with luxury amenities such as a jetted tub), full-size kitchens, and larger sleeping areas for maximum comfort. These benefits come at a cost, with Class A motorhomes typically costing $100,000 to $300,000—or even higher for luxury models.

Class B

Class B RVs are the smallest and most lightweight drivable RVs. They’re typically good for one or two travelers at the most and may have space for a full- or queen-size bed, a pullout couch, and basic kitchen amenities. Some may have amenities such as a toilet or a shower, while others may not have the space. However, Class B RVs can be a more affordable choice at $80,000 to $180,000.

Class C

Class C RVs are suited for small families or couples who don’t need a lot of space. They typically have one or two beds, a basic living and dining area, and kitchen and bathroom amenities. Some Class C motorhomes may have awnings and slide-outs to help increase the vehicle’s living space when it’s parked. The typical cost range for a Class C motorhome is from $50,000 to $150,000.


Although not a drivable type of recreational vehicle, a fifth-wheel trailer is still a popular choice with many campers. Some can be as big as—or larger than—a Class B or C motorhome, and many can fit as many as 6 people comfortably inside. Fifth-wheel trailers require a tow vehicle that has plenty of torque to pull them to their destination. If the owner plans on driving along twisty and hilly roads, they’ll need a large truck, such as a three-quarter-ton or one-ton pickup, to pull a fifth-wheel. If the RV owner doesn’t have such a truck, they’ll need to factor this into their budget. A fifth-wheel trailer typically costs between $35,000 and $150,000.

Travel Trailer

A travel trailer is a low-cost option that’s popular with many first-time RV owners who are just starting to dip their toes into the world of RV camping. Like a fifth-wheel, a travel trailer requires a tow vehicle, though many can be towed by an SUV or a light-duty pickup truck. Travel trailers have hard sides that pop up when the trailer reaches its destination, and they often have one or two beds and a small kitchen area. Depending on the size, they may also be equipped with a basic bathroom. Hard-sided travel trailers have a price range of $10,000 to $100,000.

Benefits of Buying an RV

There are many benefits to RV ownership. From the ability to travel more frequently and more easily to potential income opportunities from renting it out, potential owners can enjoy the following advantages of being an RV owner.

Easier and More Frequent Traveling

In many cases, the main reason for someone to purchase an RV is to travel more. Owning an RV means a family can get out of the house more, even if it’s to a local campsite. There are more opportunities to travel around the country to different national parks and other destinations, which can help broaden the owner’s horizons and that of their family.

Comfort and Convenience

Having an RV means the owner can literally drive their home with them wherever they go. Camping in an RV is certainly more comfortable than camping in a tent—and in many cases it’s also more comfortable than staying in a motel or hotel. It’s convenient, too; owners can bring their own food and other necessities and have access to their belongings whenever they need them.

Ability to Work Remotely

Remote work became much more widespread after 2020, and many people like to take their work on the road with them. Owning an RV with Wi-Fi connection means the ability for the owner and their family members to work from anywhere. All they need is a laptop and a table, and they can enjoy time away from home without needing to take time off work.

Income Opportunities

An RV can also bring in extra income for the owner if they choose to rent it out. They can either do this privately or through sites like Outdoorsy and RVshare, which are similar in nature to vacation rental websites like Airbnb and Vrbo. The RV owner can list their motorhome on the site, and interested parties can book stays for a pre-agreed price. This allows RV owners to make money from their vehicle when it’s not in use, which can help them pay for operating costs or add a little extra to their savings each month.

RV Cost
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How to Save Money on RV Cost

Wondering “Will RV prices go down in the future?” RVs have become more popular on the road in recent years, and this has contributed to higher prices. When buying an RV, you could easily spend six figures—especially if you want the latest model with numerous customizations. But there are plenty of ways you can save money and still get an RV that will suit your needs. While you can keep costs low by choosing the cheapest RV, the following tips can help you save money on camper prices without sacrificing your needs.

  • Start saving early. To avoid a high monthly payment, it’s a good idea to start saving for a down payment at least several months before you purchase your RV.
  • Buy used. Brand-new RVs have their perks, but if you’re working with a limited budget, it’s a good idea to look for a used RV—ideally one that’s a few years old and has only one former owner who kept detailed service logs.
  • Go online. RV dealerships have hundreds of choices, but you may be able to find a cheaper version of your dream RV online from a private seller.
  • Stick to the basics. An RV can be as basic or as luxurious as you’re willing to pay for. But choosing a base model without a lot of bells and whistles is likely to keep overall costs down, especially if you purchase some budget camper decor for a personalized touch.
  • Shop around for financing. Get quotes from several different lenders to see which one will give you the best RV loan interest rate and terms.

Questions to Ask About Buying an RV

An RV is a major purchase, and most buyers will want to put a lot of consideration into which model they want to buy before taking the leap. One way to learn more about an RV is for the potential buyer to ask the seller some questions to help them learn more about the vehicle and whether it will be right for their needs. Buyers can ask the following questions, whether buying a new RV or a preowned one.

If buying new:

  • What type of RV would you recommend for my needs, and why?
  • Is there a particular brand that will work best for my budget and my specific requirements?
  • What type of standard equipment does the RV come with?
  • What are my options for add-ons or customizations?
  • Is the sticker price the lowest you can offer?
  • Does this RV have any promotional discounts or other perks?
  • Is there a difference between this model and the previous year’s model? If so, what?
  • Where can I service my RV when on the road?
  • Does this brand and model have any common maintenance issues?
  • Can I trade in my current camper, and if so, what is my RV worth?
  • How do you determine RV value for a trade-in?
  • What kind of warranty comes with the vehicle?

If buying used:

  • How many previous owners does the RV have?
  • Did the previous owner make any aftermarket changes to the RV, such as a layout change or the addition of extra features?
  • How often did the previous owner use the RV?
  • What kind of trips has this RV been on?
  • Does the RV come with any service history?
  • Can you provide the owner’s manual?
  • Are there any liens or outstanding debts on the vehicle?
  • Has the RV been used by families with children or pets?
  • Why is the current owner selling?
  • Have there ever been any leaks in the roof that the owner is aware of?
  • When was the last time the tires were replaced?
  • How old are the batteries?
  • Is there a valid warranty on the RV?
  • Has the RV been kept outside or in storage when not in use?


When considering an RV purchase, potential motorhome owners will likely have a lot of questions. After all, this is a large purchase that requires a lot of thought and planning before a decision is made, and there are things no one tells you about owning an RV that owners will discover post-purchase. The answers to the following frequently asked questions can help prospective RV owners better understand motorhomes so they can feel confident in their purchase decision.

Q. What is a good RV size?

This will depend on the number of people who will be sleeping in the RV and the owner’s travel plans. A couple or small family will likely be able to stick to a small travel trailer or Class B motorhome, while a large family may need a bigger Class A motorhome. Buyers will also want to consider where they plan on traveling—some national park campgrounds have limits on RV sizes, so potential owners will want to make sure the model they’re considering will be able to camp at their chosen locations.

Q. Which RV is best for full-time living?

In general, a travel trailer or fifth-wheel is the best option for a RV living full-time. A towable RV means the owner has a vehicle for daily use, so they aren’t driving a motorhome to the grocery store to stock up on food items. However, some full-timers prefer the comfort a drivable motorhome offers, as they can access amenities like the bathroom and kitchen on travel days. In this case, the owner will likely want to tow a car that they can use for everyday trips.

Q. What class of RV is the safest?

According to Consumer Reports, Class B vans are the safest type of motorhome. They are built with safety features like stability control and front airbags for better handling, and some models offer advanced features such as blind-spot warning and lane-keeping assist to help the driver and passengers stay safe while on the road. They also tend to have full seat belts.

Q. What is the most popular RV type?

Travel trailers are typically the most popular choice among campers. This could be because of their relatively affordable price tags and the fact that the driver can use the tow vehicle as an everyday driver rather than driving a full motorhome around town.

Q. What is the widest RV allowed on the road?

According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), the maximum allowable width for an RV is 102 inches.

Q. What is the average life of an RV?

Although the exact answer will depend on the type and brand of RV chosen, drivers can expect their motorhome to last between 10 and 20 years.

Sources: RVing Know How, Getaway Couple, Oaktree Motorhomes