5 Reasons You Should Rent an RV Instead of Buying One
If you love traveling and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, but also like to be comfortable, then an RV is the perfect solution for your family. But before you go to the closest RV dealer and write a big, fat check, you should consider renting one.
5 Reasons to Rent an RV First
When it comes to any major purchase – including a home, car, or RV – you have multiple options. You can buy the asset outright or you can rent. And while there’s a case to be made for doing the former, an RV is a prime candidate for the latter.
Here are some specific reasons why:
Do you really know what you want out of an RV? And even if you do, how do you know that you’re going to get all of it in the RV you purchase?
“Spending countless hours on RVTrader will only keep you sane for so long. And while browsing RVs in person at a dealership can help narrow your purchase, it won’t show you what it’s like to actually sleep, shower, and cook in your dream motorhome,” full-time travel blogger Camille Attell writes. “The only thing that can truly increase your confidence in your RV purchase is to spend ample time driving, traveling, and camping, etc in a variety of RVs. The best way to do this is to rent an RV before you buying one.”
When you rent, you get an opportunity to test out different vehicles, determine which features you like, which features are unnecessary, and how specific models and classes work for you. If you fall in love with a certain model after renting it a couple of times, then you can think about purchasing. But even then, it’s probably not the best option.
- Cost Savings
Renting an RV is almost always going to be more cost-effective for a family.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re contemplating purchasing a Class A RV that costs $125,000. And to rent this RV for a week, it costs roughly $2,000.
If you’re a very avid camper, you might rent an RV for four weeks out of every year – costing you $8,000 out of pocket. At that rate, it would take you 15 years to break even on the purchase price. That means you can travel for a month every year for a decade and a half and it’ll still be less expensive than buying the RV outright. Not to mention, you don’t have to pay for maintenance, breakdowns, and all of the other costs that come with ownership.
Now, if you’re planning to use your RV 20 or 30 weeks out of the year, then yes, it makes sense to buy. But if you’re a casual traveler who plans to use it once every three or four months, renting is the way to go.
Unless you live on a property with no HOA and room to store your own RV, you’ll have to pay for RV storage. For unheated storage, rates generally start around $50 to $100 per month. If you want heated storage, it could range from $100 all the way up to $400 per month!
When you rent an RV, you don’t have to worry about storage. You simply rent the RV when you need it and let the owner deal with the storage headaches.
Unlike a piece of real estate, which increases in value over time, an RV depreciates at an accelerated rate. In fact, a $200,000 RV is likely to be worth just $140,000 after three years. After 10 years of ownership, you can expect it to be worth just 50 percent of the original price, or $100,000. When you rent, somebody else takes this hit for you. You can simply keep renting the latest and greatest model.
- Holding Costs
When you rent an RV, you don’t have to absorb any of the holding costs that an RV owner has to take on. This means you get to avoid taxes, insurance, and interest. This potentially saves you thousands of dollars every single year.
When Does it Make Sense to Buy an RV?
There’s a time and a place for purchasing an RV, but these scenarios are few and far between. Unless you have lots of financial flexibility and plan to use your RV for multiple weeks every year, it’s probably not the wisest option. Renting, on the other hand, can be highly rewarding and cost-effective. Give it a try and see what you think!