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The onset of Summer traditionally marks the beginning of the travel season. The kids are out of school, and the weather is perfect for exploration and relaxation. Recent statistics estimate that approximately 8 million Americans own at least one RV, and that number continually rises.
If you are one of many families considering investing in an RV this summer, consider the actual cost of financing an RV, along with its depreciation, and how minor upgrades such as RV skirting can protect your investment and slow depreciation.
One thing you should know is that, just like purchasing any vehicle, brand new RVs lose a significant amount of their value the moment you drive it off of the lot. Cars depreciate in value by a little more than 10% within the first month of ownership; RV’s depreciate by 21% the moment it leaves the parking lot. For some, the experience, the warranty, and the “new RV smell” are worth the financial loss; for others, a really great used RV will be the better option.
Like everything else, RV’s continue to depreciate over time. Within the first five years, an RV can lose up to 40% of the initial value. For instance, if the sticker cost of your RV is $100,000, within the first five years, regardless of wear-and-tear, your RV may only be worth $60,000, even in pristine condition. However, after the first five years, the depreciation rate plateaus and loses value at a slower rate. If you received a 5% interest rate for a 15-year loan, you would also pay an additional $40,000 in interest, increasing your cost to $140,000 for an RV only worth $60,000, even in a trade-in or private sale situation.
Although mileage plays a small part in the value of an RV, age is the primary indicator. RV’s can easily travel upwards of 200,000 without mechanical issues; however, the roof, windows, tires and other parts will need traditional upkeep.
Unless you have a specific reason for purchasing your RV brand new, the best bet is to buy a used one, approximately 5-years-old with average usage. The rate of depreciation slows significantly at 5-years, and moderate usage may indicate regular maintenance.
Once you’ve chosen an RV, you’ll want to maintain it to enjoy for many years to come. Covering your investment with an RV cover and RV skirting will slow the wear on the pipes, tires, and seals. As a former full-time RV family, RV Skirting Pros knows the highs and lows of RV life. Find out how our unique Qwikskirt is different from other products on the market by speaking to a friendly and knowledgeable RV Skirting representative by calling us at 574-402-0055 to find out more.