The popularity of life on the road is picking up year after year. As more folks look to escape the confines of urban living and explore more natural settings, the rise of RV and free camping culture has become more prevalent. Maybe you’re thinking about owning a travel trailer, in which case, you’ll want to take into account the various expenses and factors involved. You’ll want to find the cost of owning a travel trailer.
Why Purchase a Travel Trailer?
There are so many reasons that people opt for a travel trailer. They may be finally giving in to their wanderlust, or maybe they’re newly retired and looking for adventure. Perhaps they’re a young couple who is tired of following the societal norms. Maybe they’re a family that wants to live an alternative lifestyle and expose their children to the wonders of nature. Maybe it’s just that they want a travel trailer for summer vacations or weekend camping trips.
Whatever the reason, there is a travel trailer available. Not only that, but there’s a price spectrum that ranges from large purchase to long-term investment.
Types of Travel Trailers
Before you dive into the travel trailer and RV catalogs, it’s better to have a clearer picture of what kind of unit you’re looking for. Otherwise, you might get lost in all of the options and end up looking at vehicles that don’t even suit your needs. You can also check out our article which explains the pros and cons of owning a travel trailer which will further explain owning one.
So, to start, your best bet is going to be narrowing down your choices and figuring out what type of travel trailer will fit your lifestyle. Think about why you want to purchase a travel trailer and what you’ll mostly end up using it for. As travel trailers can range from small pop-up campers and teardrop campers to fifth wheelers to travel trailers that can serve as temporary motorhomes, choosing the right one is necessary. The lengths usually range from 12’ to 35’, although larger models are available and will influence the cost of owning a travel trailer. Think about the size of your family and what kinds of amenities you want. Also, take into consideration whether you want a travel trailer that you can tow behind a truck or one that you can drive. You’ll probably be pleased to find that there are various lengths in each category.
New or Used
Another big consideration is whether you want to buy new or used. New is great because you know that everything will function perfectly and you have that brand-new car feel. There’s nothing like stepping into a travel trailer that has never been used before and is all yours. On the other hand, the prices are usually jacked up for new models. Since they depreciate so quickly (like a car), it can be a bit of a money pit. Therefore, buying a gently used unit could be in your best interest.
Cost of Owning a Travel Trailer
Just as there are different types of travel trailers, there is a range of price points that you can expect. Generally, you’re looking at an investment between $10,000 and $35,000. However, this depends on several factors such as whether the travel trailer is new or used. Other factors are how big the trailer is, the brand, amenities, and more. Not only that, but there are plenty of other things to keep in mind when determining the final costs.
Other Factors to Consider
Unfortunately, hidden costs are going to crop up whenever you buy a vehicle. Be sure to budget in things like sales tax, title, registration, insurance. Also, budget for equipment such as cords, dump hoses, generators, and batteries. Be sure to check whether things like a spare tire and propane tank are included in the price before agreeing to purchase.
Besides size, you’ll also be paying for quality. It can be tempting to go for a model that’s a couple of thousand dollars less. However, it might not be worth it. Even if you’re choosing between two similar models (same floor plan and basic amenities), there could still be a world of difference among them. The difference is quality. If you don’t want to be constantly worrying over creaky doors, leaky faucets, and flimsy siding, then it may be worth it to splurge on the nicer trailer. Any experienced RVer will tell you that every travel trailer owner should be prepared for repairs.
Finally, the price of a travel trailer will fluctuate based on its amenities. When it comes to a decent travel trailer, it’s the little things that count. Things like a fully functional showerhead, proper insulation on the windows, adequate lighting and storage, and a bunch of other little things add up. It’s hard to research these things online. This is why it helps to speak to the owners (if you’re buying a pre-owned travel trailer) or read reviews from actual buyers.
If you’re really at a loss as to where to begin your search, turn to name brands. Brands like Airstream, Coleman, Forest River, Gulfstream, Heartland, Jayco, Rockwood, and Winnebago. They’ve been around for decades. They have tons of customer reviews that you can read, as well as a variety of sizes and floor plans.
I hope you have found that the cost of owning a travel trailer can vary depending on your needs. For further