What is the Average Cost of an RV? Hidden Costs to Expect

It is difficult to estimate what the average RV cost these days. There are many RVs available! Some people feel that buying a Class-A RV is a smart decision. Others would rather to tow a fifth-wheel trailer or travel trailer behind their SUV or truck. The cost is the deciding factor when choosing an RV.

The Average Cost of Motorhomes and Trailers Vary Wildly

Depending on the features and style, RVs can run between $10,000 and $300,000. An RV with a moderately equipped camper trailer that is pulled behind a truck may cost $20,000. A fifth-wheel RV can cost as much as $40,000. Motorhomes are usually priced around $100,000.

You can see that there are price variations depending on which type of RV you’re interested in. The first step is to narrow down your RV type. Next, consider the manufacturer and whether or not you are looking for a used or new RV. These factors will also impact the final price that you end up paying.

Below are the average prices for RVs. I have thoroughly researched the prices for 19 RVs. All of these vehicles are new and will be available starting in 2019 (unless otherwise noted). These RVs can be found in used versions at a lower price.

I will also discuss the various types of RVs to increase the price. This will allow you to make an informed decision about the vehicle that best suits your needs and budget.

An RV purchase is a big investment and requires careful research. We recommend that you do your research before making a purchase. RVShare allows you to rent and find cool RVs. This is a great way for you to check your readiness to buy your dream adventure vehicle. By clicking this, you can view your local RV inventory.

Examples of Average Costs

  1. Forest River Inc. Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome: $280,041+
  2. Coachmen Leprechaun 240FS (450 Ford) Class C Motorhome: $68,700+
  3. Dutchmen Astoria 2513RLF Fifth-Wheel: $50,682
  4. Keystone Passport Express 239ML $18,595
  5. 2019 Jayco Embark 37MB Class-A Motorhome: $295,000.+
  6. Thor Motor Coach Compass 24LP Class B Motorhome: $114,975
  7. 2015 Palomino PaloMini 177BH Travel Trailer: $10,000+
  8. Winnebago Cambria 27K Class C Motorhome: $129,394
  9. Northwood Arctic Fox 28-5C Fifth Wheel: $42,985+
  10. Thor Motor Coach Outlaw 29J C Toy Hauler: 123,450
  11. Jayco Jay Sport 10SD Camper Trailer: $13,495+
  12. 2017 K-Z RVConnect C191RBT Travel Trailer: $0,402
  13. Thor Motor Coach Hurricane 35M Class A Motorhome: $144,675
  14. Prime Time RV LaCrosse 339BHD Travel Trailer: $46,727
  15. Heartland Bighorn (BHTR 39) D Traveler: $49.99
  16. Winnebago Minnie Winnie 22M: $80,118+
  17. Thor Motor Coach Tuscany 45AT Class A Diesel Motorhome: $429,660
  18. Keystone Sprinter 312MLS Mobile Trailer: $36,994+
  19. Starcraft Autumn Ridge Outfitter 17RD Travel Trailer: $11,999

Why are there price fluctuations?

In that 19-point price range, at least 12 RV manufacturers were represented. Why did prices fluctuate so much? What is the difference between a Heartland Bighorn Travel or a Winnebago Minnie Winnie? They are almost priced apart by more than $30,000!

Here are some reasons why this is so.

  • Manufacturer reputation Starcraft and Heartland tend to be smaller than Jayco, Keystone or Thor Motor Coach. Those three brands are well-known to you if you have seen them. These brands leverage their popularity and reputation to increase the price of their products. These RV manufacturers may also have more RVs to choose from. K-Z RV, a lesser-known manufacturer, only makes toy haulers and fifth-wheel trailers. Jayco sells motorhomes of all types, from Class A to Class C, as well as other vehicle types.
  • The RV age: An RV brand-new 2018 or 2019 will be the most expensive on the market. This is how it works. Look for an RV manufactured between 2014-2017. This could help you save hundreds, if not thousands of money.
  • The availability of the vehicle. How readily is it available? Are you looking for a large brand like Jayco, or a smaller manufacturer? In my research, I found an RV brand that sells only in Canada. You can expect to pay more if you purchase an RV from such a manufacturer. This vehicle isn’t as common.
  • Floorplan I randomly chose the floorplans to fit each of the 19 RVs. These were the smallest floorplans and most affordable. Others were the largest and most expensive floorplans. You want more space for queen-sized and king-sized beds, full bathroom, full kitchens, larger living and dining spaces, and full bathrooms. You can expect to spend more on your RV.
  • Additional features The prices shown above are all base prices. These prices do not include any custom-made extra features that you might want. Some people choose to customize the interior and exterior colors of their RV by choosing flooring, patterns and decor materials. Some people want the most advanced equipment, such as built-in TVs. You can expect to add several thousand dollars to the above prices if that is you.

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Why average prices of homes vary

The vehicle type is another important consideration when choosing the right RV for you. There are many RVs to choose from.

In the next section, I’ll go in depth about each type. This will allow you to make informed shopping decisions.

Tent trailers: Features and costs

Pop-Up Tent Camper for casual camping

Tent trailers are also known as pop-up tent trailers. This means that you can pull the trailer along with your vehicle, instead of driving it.

Although these trailers are usually small in size, they will have a kitchen area with a dining table and a few beds. However, this means that you might have to sacrifice amenities such as a shower or toilet. A tent trailer often comes with a stovetop. A smaller fridge should fit in the tent trailer.

Your passengers will enjoy the view from any location, no matter how far you travel. They also provide adequate ventilation to the trailer, so mold growth is not a concern.

These are tent trailers. The large, retractable tent is the reason. They are made from canvas, so they are durable. These tents can withstand rain, wind and light snow. However, it is best to keep the tent closed in order to protect it from the elements. This could cause rips and holes, tears, and other damage.

A tent trailer is the perfect choice if you love camping in the great outdoors.

Hard-Side Travel Trailers: Features and Prices

Tent trailer with hard sides for extra comfort.

A hard-side travel trailer is a better choice if you want something more sturdy than a tent caravan. With the added security provided by the hard sides, you get the same space as a larger trailer but with more storage. This means that you can take longer trips, even in adverse weather.

The trailer’s door allows you to enter the trailer from a larger space. It’s also more spacious due to its angular shape that allows for more windows. You can find many modern conveniences inside, including a kitchen, a refrigerator, freezer and cooking space. You can fit more beds in a hard-side trailer, and there are more options for bathing than with a tent trailer. A toilet and a shower should be available, although you may not need both unless your budget allows.

You won’t mind sleeping in your trailer all night, and waking up to the beauty of nature every morning.

Fifth-Wheel Trailers: Features and Prices

We’ll be covering the fifth-wheel trailer as our last type of travel trailer. These trailers can be as long as 40 feet and have floor plans that include multiple levels. These are also the most expensive type of travel trailer.

This trailer can accommodate six people and must be attached by purchasing a fifth-wheel hitch. A fifth-wheel trailer is heavier than a smaller vehicle. There are many fifth-wheel trailers available that can be used with these vehicles.

Your trailer may have several picture windows. These allow for the best view of all the types of trailers we’ve seen. There may be a few slides-outs, sometimes as many as 4. This allows for more space in your living room or bedroom. You can extend your slide outs up to three feet!

Living will be easier with a fifth-wheel trailer. There will be plenty of storage, lots of entertainment options, great cooking facilities, and even a mini oven. You’ll also have more options for bathing. Your fifth-wheel should have a toilet and shower. You can also have several beds.

Motorhomes of Class A: Features and Prices

Motorhome luxury camping

Motorhomes are the largest vehicle of them all. You do drive a motorhome, unlike a travel trailer. It can take some time to get used to this new way of driving.

There are three main classes for motorhomes: Class A, B, and C. The largest of these is Class A. This RV has both the most space and the most relaxation area. These vehicles can be as long as 45 feet in length, while the shortest Class-A motorhomes are often only 25 feet. Even though the RVs are smaller, there is still plenty of space inside.

A Class A motorhome is the best choice for you if you are the kind of person who takes friends and family along on long road trips. Although there won’t likely be any individual beds, each passenger should feel secure. You may instead get two king-sized beds (or California king-sized), and possibly bunk beds for your children.

Another fun fact about motorhome features

The ceilings in RVs can be the most space-consuming. This is a great option for taller passengers who can’t stand straight up in an RV.

There is plenty of space to store clothes, gear, food, and other necessities. Some storage areas are obvious while others may be hidden or retractable.

A full kitchen should have a fridge, freezer, oven and stovetop. A full bathroom could be added with a toilet, sink, and shower.

These views are simply breathtaking. The view is spectacular, not only because of the enormous windshield, but also because Class A motorhomes often have great panoramic windows throughout.

Motorhomes of Class A are the most expensive.

Features and costs of Class B Motorhomes

A tricked out Class B Overlander Van

There are also Class B motorhomes. These motorhomes are the lightest. These are similar in size to large travel trailers, but with the safety and security of a motorhome. These vehicles are ideal for bringing a few passengers. You might consider a Class A, or even a class C motorhome if you want to bring more people.

A single queen-sized, or king-sized, bed can be found here. You might also find a pull-out sofa. The majority of floorplans don’t allow for bunk beds. There will be less storage and fewer windows. You may need to sacrifice a toilet or shower in the kitchen nook.

Also, you can’t expect to see as many views as you would like because there won’t likely be as many windows. To make up for the smaller storage spaces, you will need to pack lighter.

Motorhomes of Class C: Features and Prices

Example of modern Class C motorhome

There are also Class C motorhomes. These are the middle ground between Class A’s heavy price tag and Class B’s smaller size and more affordable cost. While Class C motorhomes can be more costly than a travel trailer, or a Class B motorhome but they are still affordable. You’ll likely find one for around six figures, or less.

With Class C motorhomes, there is often less space so an overhead bed or second queen-sized/king-sized bed may be installed in the bedroom nook. You can use the second overhead bed to create a living space, office or other area if you are traveling with your spouse or romantic partner. This is a great idea if your Class C motorhome feels cramped.

Your Class C motorhome will require less learning. The RV is lighter than a larger vehicle. If you are used to driving a truck or SUV, this should not be a problem.

You have plenty of storage space, especially if the overhead bed is converted into something useful. There will be a few windows in a motorhome, but not as many as in a Class A. You will also find the windshield to be smaller.

Although the kitchen and bathroom nooks in a Class A are smaller than those in a Class B, they are still quite adequate. It is possible to sacrifice some kitchen amenities but it is not a major loss.

Your maximum number of passengers should be two. It all depends on which RV brand you choose.

Conclusion about Average Prices

It’s helpful to have an idea of the average RV cost if you are thinking about buying one. This will give you an idea of the cost you can expect to spend. The cost of your vehicle will be affected by its age, manufacturer, condition, and other features. These extras can drive the sticker price up or lower.

These 19 average RV prices are a good starting point. This data can be used to budget for your RV.

Have a great time shopping for your new RV!

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