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New vs Used Travel Trailer

Buying a Travel Trailer New vs Used: What’s the Best Deal?

Buying a travel trailer can be an exciting yet challenging decision. One of the biggest choices you’ll face is whether to buy new or used. New trailers come with the latest features and warranties, offering peace of mind. Yet, they also come at a higher price, which can strain your budget.

On the other hand, used travel trailers can be much more affordable. They usually have cheaper insurance options but may come without warranties, which means more risk for potential repairs. With used trailers, you might also find well-maintained models that offer good value for your money.

Both new and used travel trailers have their pros and cons. Your choice will depend on your budget, your need for warranties, and your willingness to handle potential repairs. 

When we started RVing, we were convinced about buying used but we ended up buying a new trailer as we found a great deal we couldn’t pass. However, we spent a lot of time thinking about the pros and cons of buying new vs used, so in this article I will explain all those factors to help you make the best decision for your travel adventures.

Key Takeaways

  • New trailers offer the latest features and warranties.
  • Used trailers are more budget-friendly but may lack warranties.
  • Consider your budget and willingness to handle repairs when deciding.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Buying New

When you buy a new travel trailer, there are some great perks like having the latest technology, reliable warranties, and the chance to customize everything to your liking.

Latest Features and Technology

New travel trailers come loaded with the latest gadgets and features. These might include smart home integration, solar panel setups, and advanced climate control systems.

I am not like that, but lots of people love the idea of having everything synced with their smartphone. It’s also nice to know that everything is in top condition. Issues with plumbing, electrical systems, or insulation are less likely. 

In the world of travel trailers, new often means fewer headaches. I said fewer and not none, because you can always have problems with a trailer even if it’s a new one.

Manufacturer Warranties

One of the best parts about buying new is the warranty. Most new trailers come with a manufacturer warranty that covers a range of issues.

If something goes wrong, you can usually get it fixed without shelling out a bunch of cash. This peace of mind is invaluable when on the road.

Some warranties even cover roadside assistance, which is a huge plus. Knowing you have backup if things go south makes traveling more enjoyable and less stressful.

Customization Options

Buying new means you get to customize your trailer exactly how you want it. From the color scheme to the type of flooring, the choices are up to you.

You can also add features like extra storage, upgraded appliances, or even a built-in entertainment center. This means your trailer feels more like home.

Customization also extends to layout configurations, giving you a setup that meets my personal needs, whether for solo trips or family adventures.

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Advantages of Buying Used

When considering buying a used travel trailer, you’ll likely find that cost savings, slower depreciation, and a wider variety of choices are key benefits that can make the experience more worthwhile.

Lower Cost

One of the main advantages of buying a used travel trailer is the cost savings. A used trailer is generally much cheaper than a brand-new one. I noticed that you can often find gently used travel trailers that fit your budget without compromising on quality.

Used trailers also come with the added benefit of fewer hidden costs. When you buy new, dealers can add fees for things like delivery and setup. In contrast, these costs are usually already factored into the price of a used trailer, making budgeting easier.

Sometimes, you might even find newer models being sold at a lower price than expected due to quick depreciation, giving you access to recent features and technologies for less.


Depreciation is another crucial factor. Unlike new travel trailers that lose a significant portion of their value as soon as they are driven off the lot, used trailers depreciate at a much slower rate.

Buying used allows you to avoid the steepest part of the depreciation curve. This means your investment holds its value better over time, making it a smarter financial decision. With a used trailer, you’re less likely to experience the “sticker shock” that often comes with buying new.

Also, if you decide to sell your used trailer down the line, you might get back a larger percentage of what you paid compared to selling a new trailer.

Variety of Choices

When you opt for a used travel trailer, you gain access to a wider variety of choices. There’s a vast market of different models, years, and styles to fit your needs.

It’s easier to find a trailer that may no longer be in production but fits what you are looking for. Additionally, older models sometimes come with unique features or designs that aren’t available in newer versions.

I often find that used travel trailers may also come with added extras from previous owners, like upgraded appliances or additional accessories, adding even more value to your purchase. Always remember, more choices mean better chances of finding your perfect match.

New vs Used Travel Trailer

Evaluating Condition and Value

When deciding between a new or used travel trailer, it’s crucial to assess the condition and value. This involves inspecting the trailer carefully, comparing prices, and reviewing the trailer’s history and documentation.

Inspection Tips

When I inspect a trailer, I start by checking the exterior. Look for any signs of damage or wear, such as dents, rust, or cracks. It’s important to examine the roof, windows, and doors for leaks or faulty seals, as water damage can be costly to repair.

Inside, I carefully check the flooring, walls, and ceiling for any signs of mold or softness. All appliances should be in working order. It’s a good idea to test the plumbing, electrical systems, and any built-in furniture to ensure everything functions correctly.

If I’m buying used, I consider hiring a professional inspector. They can spot issues I might miss, giving me peace of mind about my purchase.

Price Comparison

To figure out if I’m getting a good deal, I start by comparing prices online. Websites like Grove RV list both new and used travel trailers, which helps me gauge the market rates. It’s essential to consider not just the purchase price, but also the potential costs for any necessary repairs or upgrades.

For new trailers, I try to factor in any promotional discounts or financing deals that might be available. Sometimes, new trailers have a high upfront cost but come with perks like warranties and modern features that can justify the price difference.

With used trailers, I always weigh the reduced price against the possible hidden costs. Depreciation is another factor. Used trailers may retain their value better, which is something to think about for future resale.

History and Documentation

When buying a used trailer, I always ask for its history and documentation. Important records include ownership papers, service history, and any accident reports. These documents can tell me if the trailer has had regular maintenance or if it has been through significant repairs.

Websites like Camper Report highlight that knowing the trailer’s previous ownership and usage can provide insights into its condition. For instance, a trailer used infrequently might be in better shape than one heavily used.

Certificates for upgrades or replacements are also valuable. They can give me a clearer picture of the trailer’s overall value and help me make a more informed decision.

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Financing and Budgeting

When deciding between a new or used travel trailer, it’s important to look at financing options, budgeting for initial costs, and insurance.

New Trailer Financing

Buying a new travel trailer can offer better financing options. Lenders often provide lower interest rates and more favorable loan terms because new models have more predictable resale values. That means you might need a lower down payment and can choose from multiple loan lengths.

Additionally, new trailers often come with manufacturer warranties, which can reduce maintenance costs for a while. These lower long-term expenses can make it easier to secure financing. However, it’s still a bigger initial investment because new trailers are pricier.

Budgeting for Used Trailers

Used travel trailers usually cost less upfront, making them a great option for those on a tighter budget. But, used trailers often come with higher interest rates and loan terms compared to new ones.

Keep an eye on maintenance costs, as older trailers may need more repairs. You’ll also want to budget for any updates or changes to suit your needs. That means setting aside extra funds for unexpected issues. Despite this, the overall savings from a lower purchase price can make buying used a smart choice.

Insurance Considerations

Insurance for new trailers is typically more expensive because of their higher value. That said, new trailers often qualify for comprehensive coverage plans, which offer peace of mind but come at a cost.

For used trailers, insurance can be cheaper because the value of the trailer is lower. However, you want to make sure you still have adequate coverage in case of damage or theft. Sometimes, older trailers are excluded from certain insurance plans, so make sure to consult with your insurance provider.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of buying a new travel trailer compared to a used one?

Buying a new travel trailer means you get the latest features and a warranty.

On the other hand, used travel trailers are often cheaper and may already include some useful upgrades from the previous owner.

How does the depreciation of travel trailers affect the decision between new and used?

New travel trailers depreciate quickly, especially in the first few years.

In contrast, used travel trailers have already gone through the steepest part of their depreciation curve, which means they hold their value better in the short term.

What should I look for when inspecting a used travel trailer before purchase?

When inspecting a used travel trailer, I always check for water damage, structural issues, and the condition of the appliances.

It’s also important to review the maintenance records and test the electrical and plumbing systems.

How do financing options differ for new vs. used travel trailers?

Financing for new travel trailers usually comes with lower interest rates and longer terms.

However, loans for used travel trailers might have higher rates and shorter terms, making the monthly payments potentially higher.

What kind of maintenance challenges can I expect with a used travel trailer?

Used travel trailers might have wear and tear that requires more immediate attention, such as fixing leaks or replacing old appliances.

Routine maintenance like checking seals and cleaning the roof is also crucial to prevent further damage.

How do travel trailer warranties differ between new and used models?

New travel trailers typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers parts and labor for a specific period.

Used travel trailers might not include a warranty, although some dealerships offer limited warranties on pre-owned models.


Antonio was born and raised in Southern Spain, and quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight. Their passion for adventure took them to visit 150+ countries. Today, they’re currently working their way to visit every state and National Park in the USA traveling with a travel trailer.

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