No matter how well you take care of your vehicle, it will still lose its value by time. All models of travel trailers have the RV depreciation factor, no exceptions.
Nonetheless, if you have a fifth wheel you have greater chances of keeping the value of your vehicle for a longer period.
Generally speaking about motorhome depreciation, you have the following scene: no matter what model or type of RV you own, you should still be ready for a 20 percent decrease in value.
For the following 5 years the numbers will get higher. 20.5 for the next. Then come 23.5. During the 3rd year you vehicle will cost about 30 percent cheaper from its original value.
Finally, in the fifth year travel trailer depreciation will reach almost 40 percent.
Nonetheless, you can avoid such high numbers, if you do a proper PDI inspection (do check my article on buying a used RV). In any case this will not save you from facing RV depreciation.
The newer the model, the higher the value of the RV components, the more time it will take for the motorhome depreciation to reach scary numbers in percentages.
Therefore, I strongly recommend doing a proper and thorough research before picking an RV to buy.
- 1 RV depreciation with a personal example
- 2 A number of factors, which cause motorhome depreciation
- 3 RV depreciation because of exterior damage
- 4 Motorhome depreciation due to damage occurred from water
- 5 The effect of the conditions of facilities and appliances on travel trailer depreciation
- 6 Paying special attention to maintenance is an important factor for RV depreciation
- 7 Travel trailer depreciation caused by poor storage habits
- 8 The approximate schedule of an RV depreciation
- 9 Renting out your camper will offset the RV depreciation
RV depreciation with a personal example
It is a well-known fact that there are endless varieties of trailers out there. Each has its own motorhome depreciation graphics.
You have the smallest 8 feet campers, popup trailers and hybrid ones, which are no difficulty to be towed. Meanwhile, There are trailers, which reach up to 50 feet long.
There models are extremely heavy. They require huge rucks as their towing vehicles.
You can see campers, which are totally empty inside, which ensures more space for living. Nonetheless, you can also encounter fully equipped RVs with the most modern and comfortable facilities.
When you are dealing with such variety, it is hard to know for sure how much money is exactly invested in your vehicle. Nonetheless, no matter the investment and the value, after about 8 or 9 years, you will deal with around 50 percent motorhome depreciation.
A number of factors, which cause motorhome depreciation
Everyone has the urge of buying new stuff. Those can be absolutely anything. Whatever the hobby is or the obsession. In some cases, the obsession revolves around campers and RV gear.
Make sure to check out my article on great RV deals.
In the case with me and my family, we have decided to pay more money and get a brand new trailer. We did have great plans on having this camper on highways for very long time.
Therefore, I will go deep into details with tips on how you can make sure your travel trailer depreciation does not occur to soon and too fast.
RV depreciation because of exterior damage
Very small damages, such as dents are the most common reasons for motorhome depreciation. They seem to small sometimes and people do not pay attention to those.
I mean, it is a vehicle, it is normal for the metal to get small blemishes. However, few people understand the importance of taking care of such details for their own good.
An RV itself is a huge vehicle. It is difficult to operate one. Therefore, you should be twice as attentive when parking and turning. These activities are the common causes for dents.
Moreover, damages such as vehicle paint fade or discoloration are just as important when it comes to travel trailer depreciation.
I know that you love your cars and you wash them constantly and never forget to wax them. The same goes for the RVs.
You should know that because of poor maintenance you can easily lose thousands of dollars in value because of motorhome depreciation.
Wax will make sure the sun rays do not damage the paint. It created an additional layer of protection against any weather conditions.
Motorhome depreciation due to damage occurred from water
If you have opted for an expensive model of a travel trailer, which has plumbing systems for indoor facilities, such as a sink, a bathroom shower or a toilet, you should definitely consider inboard tanks for such liquids.
However, these are the tanks, which cause water damage and therefore motorhome depreciation. They can leak and leave water marks, which then turn into molds and mildew.
In case you have expensive flooring in your trailer, the problem with rotten wood is a real pain. I am not even mentioning the amount of money you will have to spend to repair the wooden floors, which were damaged because of mold.
With all these being said, you need to be extra attentive with the tanks, especially if they are inside the trailer. This issue is among the most expensive and high percentage travel trailer depreciation causes.
All the water talk reminded me of the importance of your travel trailer checklist. Check out my article on the topic.
The effect of the conditions of facilities and appliances on travel trailer depreciation
Newer models of travel trailers have facilities and appliances such as fridges and microwaves, as well as stoves. Most of the time the cost of the camper itself greatly depends on the quality of these appliances.
Therefore, in order to avoid travel trailer depreciation for as long as possible, you should want to keep these working like new for a long time.
Otherwise, you will simply have to face the problem of negotiating the price with the buyer. They would, of course, need to spend money to buy new appliances special for travel trailers.
Paying special attention to maintenance is an important factor for RV depreciation
No matter if you get a used or a brand new RV, make sure you have a maintenance schedule. In the case of new travel trailers, it is easier, because it should automatically come with one.
However, the problems occur when you buy a used travel trailer and the previous owner did not keep a maintenance schedule.
I personally advice to grab a pen and paper and make the previous owner tell you with approximate dates what exactly has been done on the vehicle.
Most of the time when you take the car to a service, they give you a paper report with details on the work done on the car.
If the owner has any of those papers, make sure to collect them. A decent documentation will make sure you deal with the RV depreciation much later.
Travel trailer depreciation caused by poor storage habits
This problem mostly occurs during winter. The camping season is over and people just park their travel trailers in their back yards or parking spaces and leave the vehicles there for the whole winter.
Unless you apply the proper care for storage, the vehicle can easy break. You should in no case leave the trailer uncovered just standing there under the sunlight.
Few people know, but the sunrays are much more dangerous during winter. Because of the white snow the UV rays reflect more and therefore the damage is more.
In case you decide to leave your vehicle at a parking lot, make sure to go visit from time to time and check on the condition of the camper.
The main things you should be concerned about at the cold animals looking for a nice place to set up. These may be mice or other small animals.
The second problem is the tires. You may come and check on the trailer late and see that there are no tires on your vehicle.
Finally, I strongly recommend, for RV depreciation sake, to cover the vehicle with a proper breathable material. The common blue traps will let moisture build under it and can damage the trailer.
The second time when the need to store your RV may occur is during summer. You might wonder why, since it is the camping season.
Things may happen and plans may change. Therefore, you need to be ready for any situation and make sure you create the best conditions for your vehicle to face travel trailer depreciation as late as possible.
The first thing to keep in mind is that summer weather can cause more damage to an immobile trailer than a winter one.
Therefore, RV depreciation process starts to do its thing when the travel trailer is subjected to direct summertime UV rays, which damage the paint.
The approximate schedule of an RV depreciation
As I have already mentioned it takes several feet of driving in order for your camper to start undergoing the travel trailer depreciation process.
However, I will do my best to explain how exactly will you lose from the value of your newly purchased travel trailer year by year.
After the first year, and no matter how often have you been using your trailer, the value will decrease in 20.5 percent. This is inevitable. There is nothing you can do about it.
There is no such great difference between the first couple years. The second year the percentage will reach up to 23 percent. You lose money, while whoever will want to buy the trailer from you will save the amount you are losing.
Third year is up to 30 percent. If your camper cost 30K, not it is 8K less.
The fourth year reaches to 35 percent and the fifth year will ruin the whole thing with the number 40.
When you look from the seller’s perspective, these numbers seem scary and make you want to cry. However, think look at it from a buyer’s perspective.
You can get a well-taken care of camper paying only the half of its original price.
Renting out your camper will offset the RV depreciation
It takes dedication to take your RV to campsites every weekend. People often buy their trailers and use them extremely seldom.
They are afraid to rent them out as well, because they think that whoever takes it will damage the camper.
However, your travel trailer depreciation will start way sooner if you just park the RV and not drive it or use it. The problem is that if you keep the vehicle parked for a long time without driving it, the engine can rotten easily.
These machines were created to be ridden. They are not meant to be standing still.
During the time when you are not using the camper for its purpose, do rent it out. It is not that scary and not that complicated. The vehicle will work for you.
This will help you with gaining the needed amount of money for storage and simple maintenance. RV costs can be very scary sometimes.
The simple logic is the following: the first year of purchasing a new trailer has the highest rate of motorhome depreciation. Therefore, by renting out the trailer during the first period will get you back the money you were going to lose in any case.
This way you will invest and get your investment back, while enjoying the camping process by your brand new trailer.