RV Depreciation: A detailed guide for all RV types


RVs can lose their value at a fairly quick rate, due to their steep rate of depreciation. I have learned about the loss of value as different types of RVs age, and put together a detailed guide for the benefit of future or current RV owners.

After looking at the prices of many different types of RVs using the website RVTrader.com and others like it, I was able to calculate the average depreciation of different types of RVs.

There are different factors that can go into depreciation of an RV such as brand, mileage, condition, and upgrades. That being said these numbers may not be perfect for everyone, but it is a good overall guide for the average RV owner.

Things to Know About The Depreciation of All Types of RVs

Different types of RVs depreciate in different ways, but for the most part, they follow a general pattern of their price going down. Here are some important things I have found involving the depreciation of RVs in general.

1.RVs quickly lose value, on average an RV will lose about 20% of it’s value the moment it is driven off the lot.

RVs have a very steep depreciation rate, basically meaning the longer they are owned the lower their value goes. Just like many other vehicles such as cars or motorcycles, the value of the RV immediately drops once it has driven off the lot.

Even if your used RV is practically brand new, it will never be worth the same amount you originally paid for it.

2. It is hard to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first 3 years because many owners will trade in their RV.

It is very hard to determine how much an RV depreciates in the first 3 years because of how many people will trade in their RVs to the dealership instead of directly selling them.

The dealership then says that the person who is trading in the RV is getting a good deal on a new one when in actuality they have cranked the price way up, which is why it is so hard to figure out an accurate depreciation rate.

3. Buying a used RV will always be more cost efficient.

Buying a used RV will always be more cost efficient, because of the same reasons we have previously discussed. You will immediately lose 20% of the value just by purchasing it and taking it home. From then the price will only go further down.

You can easily purchase a like-new RV, that is only a few years old for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less, so if you are trying to save money or are on a budget a used RV is the way to go.

4. There are things you can do to help slow down depreciation but, you can’t stop it.

You will never be able to stop depreciation, as much as you want it to stop, it will always happen. But, there are things that affect or even slow down depreciation.

Things that will help slow down your depreciation is add-ons or upgrades to your RV that make them more modern, keeping your mileage low, and keeping your RV in tip-top shape. These things will ultimately result in the value of your RV being higher.

I will be using percentages to represent the depreciation of each type of RV, for example, if you have an RV that costs $100 and it depreciates by 20% it is now worth $80. The following data was collected from looking at and analyzing the prices from over 490 RVs on RVtrader.com

Class A Motorhome

Age of Class A MotorhomeRate of Depreciation
30 years old$2,000-$5,000
25 years old92% depreciation
20 years old86% depreciation
15 years olds76% depreciation
10 years old60% depreciation
5 years old36% depreciation
1 year oldabout 21% depreciation

At 30 years old, the Class A Motorhome isn’t worth much. The value has almost completely depreciated but if it still runs and works, you can get some money off of it. Most of the Class A Motorhomes this age will sell anywhere from $2000 to $5000.

There is also a big drop once the Motorhome hits the 10-year mark. The value drops an additional 24% in the five years from 5 years old to a decade old. People will tend to go for newer models and the 10-year-old motorhomes suffer a steep drop in order to be sold.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that it is about 21% for a Class A Motorhome based on how much value is lost simply by driving it off the lot.

Class B Motor Home

Age of Class B MotorhomeRate of Depreciation
30 years oldabout $8,000
25 years old88% depreciation
20 years old84% depreciation
15 years olds75% depreciation
10 years old65% depreciation
5 years old49% depreciation
1 year oldabout 21% depreciation

Class B Motorhomes aren’t worth much after 30 years, their value becomes almost completely depreciated. Once they get to be about 30 years old you can expect to get around $8,000 as long as it still runs and is in working condition.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that it is about the same for a Class B Motorhome as a Class A Motorhome at 21% based on how much value is lost simply by driving it off the lot.

The Class B Motorhomes have a pretty steady depreciation rate, at about a 9% decrease in value every 5 years (give or take a few percentage points).

The biggest drop in value happens between 5 and 10 years. In these five years, the value drops by another 16%.

Class C Motorhome

Age of Class C MotorhomeRate of Depreciation
30 years oldabout $3,000
25 years old89% depreciation
20 years old83% depreciation
15 years old69% depreciation
10 years old52% depreciation
5 years old38% depreciation
1 year oldabout 21% depreciation

At 30 years old, you can expect the value of a Class C Motorhome to be pretty much completely depreciated. As long as it runs and is in working order, it can hold a value but not much. You can expect Class C Motorhomes to go for about $3,000 at 30 years old and older.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that it is about the same for a Class C Motorhome as Class A and Class B Motorhomes at 21% based on how much value is lost simply by driving it off the lot.

The biggest drop in value happens between 10 and 15 years. In these five years the value drops by another 17%.

Pop-Up Camper

Age of Pop-Up CamperRate of Depreciation
30 years oldabout $500-$800
25 years old82% depreciation
20 years old81% depreciation
15 years olds63% depreciation
10 years old51% depreciation
5 years old39% depreciation
1 year oldabout 20% depreciation

At 30 years old the Pop-Up Campers are basically completely depreciated. As long as they run and are in working condition, you can expect them to be worth anywhere from $500 to $800 reasonably.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that Pop-Up Campers depreciate about 20% in the first year due to the amount they depreciate by being bought and driven off the lot.

Because Pop-Up Campers are one of the more affordable types of RVs, they tend to depreciate more steadily due to their price already being lower. This is also why their final price after depreciating is much lower than the other types of RVs.

The biggest drop in value happens between 15 and 20 years. In these five years, the value drops by another 18%.

Travel Trailer

Age of Travel TrailerRate of Depreciation
30 years oldabout $3,000 to $4,500
25 years oldabout $4,500 to $5,000
20 years old96% depreciation
15 years olds72% depreciation
10 years old45% depreciation
5 years old37% depreciation
1 year oldabout 21% depreciation

Once your travel trailer hits 25 years old and older the price goes down to about $3,000 to $5,000 because they have lost almost all of their value, but like the other RV types, they hold value as long as they still run and work well.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that it is about the same for a Travel Trailer as the Motorhomes at 21% based on how much value is lost simply by driving it off the lot.

Travel trailers tend to lose their value faster than motorhomes because they are generally less expensive, so their value will go down further and quicker. The travel trailer holds their value more steadily than motorhomes do from five to fifteen years , but after that, they tend to go downhill fast.

The biggest drop in value happens between 10 and 15 years. In these five years, the value drops by another 27%.

Fifth-Wheel Trailer

Age of Fifth-Wheel TrailerRate of Depreciation
30 years oldabout $2,500 to $3,000
25 years old92% depreciatiom
20 years old87% depreciation
15 years olds79% depreciation
10 years old71% depreciation
5 years old45% depreciation
1 year oldabout 25% depreciation

At 30 years old or older, your fifth-wheel is no longer worth much. Its original value has pretty much completely depreciated. It will only be worth about $2,500 to $3,000 because as long as it still runs and is in working condition it will hold a value.

There is a big drop once the fifth-wheel hits the 10-year mark. The value drops an additional 26% in the five years from 5 years old to a decade old. People will tend to go for newer models and the 10-year-old fifth-wheels suffer a steep drop in value.

After the 10-year mark, fifth-wheels tend to hold their value more. The value begins to become more steady only suffering an average of an additional 6% drop every five years until they are fully depreciated.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that fifth-wheels depreciate at about 21% based on how much value is lost simply by driving it off the lot.

Truck Campers

Age of Truck CamperRate of Depreciation
30 years oldabout $5,000
25 years old79% depreciation
20 years old76% depreciation
15 years olds70% depreciation
10 years old50% depreciation
5 years old24% depreciation
1 year oldabout 15% depreciation

At 30 years old Truck Campers will still be worth about $5,000 as long as they are still in good running and working condition. Truck Campers last quiet a long time, so it seems that after 30 years, the price will drop by about $500 every five years until it can basically not be sold anymore.

Like previously said, it is difficult to tell how much an RV depreciates in the first year due to trade-ins, but it is estimated that Truck Campers depreciate at only about 15% based on how much value is lost simply by driving it off the lot.

Truck Campers tend to hold their value the best out of all the RV types, only depreciating by 79% at 25 years old. They tend to lose most of their value in the first 15 years, but after that they tend to hold their value well.

The biggest drop in value happens between 5 and 15 years. In these ten years, the value drops by another 46%. After that, the value will only drop another 9% between 15 and 25 years.

Tips For Buying and Selling RVs

It is important for buyers to understand depreciation when purchasing, so they are sure not to get ripped off when buying a new or used RV. It is also important for sellers to understand depreciation so they aren’t expecting unrealistic profits from selling their RV.

For people planning on purchasing a used RV, it is important to be sure that you are not getting ripped off.

Many people are unaware of what their RV is actually worth after being used, and will often times try to sell it for more than it is worth. Make sure to explore all your options, as it is very easy to be tricked into thinking that you are getting a great deal, when in reality you are getting ripped off.

Also make sure to explore all your options. Don’t be confined to a specific make or to only searching for ones that are for sale near you.

By broadening your options you will often times be able to find a better deal for what you are looking for, especially if you are on a budget. A 9-year-old RV and a 10-year-old RV could be the difference of hundreds of dollars for basically the same RV.

For people planning on selling a used RV, don’t have unrealistic expectations for what your RV is worth.

RVs lose value fast due to their steep depreciation rate. Don’t be expecting to sell a used RV for the same amount you paid for it new, as it will never be worth that much.

Related Questions

Which type of RV has the best depreciation rate? The type of RV that seems to have the best depreciation rate are Truck Campers. They tend to hold their value better than other types, only being depreciated by 79% after 25 years.

Which type of RV has the worst depreciation rate? The RV that seems to have the worst depreciation rate are Travel Trailers. They are almost completely depreciated at 20 years old, with a 96% depreciation rate by that time.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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