Used RV Depreciation – Factors, Rates, Method


I’m sure by now that you’ve been doing some shopping online and have a good idea of how much you’re going to pay for a used RV vs a new RV. But knowing how much you’ll pay and knowing how much it’ll be worth later are two different things. Such research requires a bit of homework, or help from a professional. Here are two things to consider when purchasing an RV.

When buying an RV or motorhome, one of the factors you consider is the initial price. Besides price and comparisons between various motorhomes, another factor that plays an essential role in the buying process is the RV depreciation method.

In this blog, we will talk about used RV depreciation, what may affect it, and possible ways to reduce the rate of your motorhome depreciation.



An RV is really no different from a car. The moment that you drive it off the lot, its value depreciates. For any of us who own a vehicle, we know that brand new cars have a higher resale value. Cars that have already been through one owner before you have a significantly lower resale value. These resale values plunge faster in the RV industry than in any other. This means that you shouldn’t enter into an RV purchase lightly. Be sure you know exactly what you want in your RV because trading it back in for an upgrade will hold a hefty penalty.

This shouldn’t deter you from a used RV investment, however, as many used RV’s last for a long time with owners who are quite pleased with their choice. Instead, this information should make you carefully consider whether a used RV or new RV will best suit your needs. If you’re uncertain, give us a call and we’ll help you determine what your desires and budget can procure for you.


Depreciation and Warranties of RVs

Class A RV Depreciation Rate

Many will agree that purchasing a new RV never makes financial sense. If you do, expect to lose from 20% to 30% of the purchase price when you drive it off the lot. For this and many other reasons, people consider used RVs in good shape. 

How much do RVs depreciate? For those interested in class A RVs, you should know the following information regarding the depreciation rates:

  • For a three-year-old RV: 26-27% depreciation
  • For a five-year-old RV: 35% depreciation
  • For a ten-year-old RV: 60% depreciation


Class B RV Depreciation Rate

The class B motorhomes usually include a slide to increase living space. If you plan to buy one, consider its associated depreciation rate:

  • For a three-year-old RV: 33% depreciation
  • For a five-year-old RV: 49% depreciation
  • For a ten-year-old RV: 62% depreciation


Class C RV Depreciation Rate

Class C motorhomes come with a built-in cab to provide an extra front structure and seats. They rank among the most affordable RVs. Let’s review their depreciation rates:

  • For a three-year-old RV: 26-27% depreciation
  • For a five-year-old RV: 37-38% depreciation
  • For a ten-year-old RV: 51-52% depreciation


Fifth Wheel and Travel Trailer Depreciation Rates

Like most buyers, you probably wonder whether travel trailers and fifth wheelers depreciate the same as for Class A, B, and C models. Consider these facts you need to know:

  • For a three-year-old model: 25% depreciation
  • For a five-year-old model: 37% depreciation
  • For a ten-year-old model: 45% depreciation


Factors Affecting Used RV Depreciation

How fast do RVs depreciate? Well, it depends on several factors, including:

  • RV Model and Brand: Popular and quality brands depreciate slower than unpopular ones.
  • Rental or Private Usage: RVs in private ownership depreciate slower than rental ones.
  • Additional Accessories Installed: RVs with extra shelves or other accessories depreciate faster than those without.


Tips To Reduce the Rate of Your Depreciation on RV Used for Business

Calculating camper depreciation is easy—write down the initial store price, calculate the years you own the vehicle, and determine the correlating interest. Subtract the percentage from the initial cost, and you will have the depreciation rate. 

The good thing is that you can do a few things to reduce the depreciation rate:

  • Keep the RV safe from heavy wind and rain
  • Consider preventative and regular maintenance
  • Polish the motorhome to give it a fresh look
  • Change the interior
  • Keep the RV in storage


Even if an RV is only a few months out of the factory, many manufacturers refuse to continue the warranty on for the second owner. If your seller insists that there was an extended warranty purchase, give the RV provider a call first to ensure that the warranty is transferable. If you ask, they may be willing to sell you an extended warranty as well for a moderate fee. Ensure that you have copies of the warranty purchase, however, so if something unforeseen pops up, you have proof. Never assume that just because your used RV is brand new, that it’s covered.

Using caution when you are purchasing a used RV will keep you out of a lot of trouble. Read our other posts on knowing how to look for water damage, and how to spot broken appliances to ensure that you are well prepared to go used RV hunting!

Call Us Today

If you decide to consider a used RV, look no further than Kirkland RV Sales. We will discuss used RV depreciation, and based on your needs and budget, will recommend the perfect vehicle. 

Contact us today at (425) 318-7590 to get a free quote.