How Much Does a New RV Cost in 2023?
If you’re buying an RV this year, whether you’re a first timer or have owned one before, you’re likely wondering “What does an RV cost in 2023?”
You’re probably tired of hearing the dreaded words “it depends.” Is there anything worse? We know when you’re making a purchase this big, you need to know what it’s really going to cost.
We have some bad news and good news. The bad news is the price of a new RV in 2023 depends. (We know, we know, we’re sorry!) The good news is, there are new RVs in many different price ranges and we’re here to use our decades of RV industry experience to explain the possible price of your RV and the different factors that could raise or lower its price, so you can have a clear idea of what it will cost to buy your dream RV.
Here’s what we’ll look at:
- Price of a New RV in 2023
- Why are Motorized RVs More Expensive?
- RV Prices Dropping After the Pandemic
- Why Do RVs From Some Manufacturers Cost More or Less?
- Why it Matters Where and When You Buy an RV
- How Does a Trade-in Lower the Price?
- How Do RV Financing and Interest Rates Work?
- Perks of Buying from Bish’s RV
Price of a New RV in 2023
A new RV costs from $14,000 to $750,000.
A new towable RV costs between $14,000 – $150,000. A new motorized RV costs between $80,000 – $750,000+
Here are the average price ranges of each class of RV split into different price tiers. Within each class of RV, you’ll find entry, mid and luxury price points.
The price of your RV will be impacted by the type of RV, its square footage, the included equipment and features, floor plan style, finish quality, appliances, and the types of building materials used.
Yes, the price range is big, but there is also a huge range of differences between the tiers and classes.
For the different price points, you’ll see different types of construction (is it built with wood and aluminum or steel and fiberglass?), different floor plan sizes (more space = more construction materials needed.), different features (Slideouts? They’ll cost you.).
You can learn more about the costs of different types of RVs here:
Why are Motorized RVs More Expensive?
A motorized RV (class A, C or B) is more expensive than a towable RV (Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheel, Truck Camper) with similar size and features. An entry level Class A motorhome is around 150% more expensive than an entry level 5th Wheel, for example.
While the features in one towable RV may seem similar to what you see in another motorized RV, the price difference is in what you don’t see right away.
Towable RVs are built to hitch to a truck or SUV then towed to your campsite. You’re going to need a vehicle with high enough towing capacity to use your camper.
A motorized RV, on the other hand, has its own engine, built-in transmission and suspension systems, and on-board generator, all of which add to the overall cost of the RV. It costs more to buy the car and RV in one.
Check out this RV Shopping Guide for more helpful info.
RV Prices Dropping After the Pandemic
The pandemic definitely made waves in the RV world. We were all tired of being trapped in our houses, and many found RVing a safe way to escape.
The increase in demand caused a temporary decrease in inventory and a spike in prices. Then we saw material shortages that increased building costs for each camper and caused prices to continue to rise higher and higher (gulp!).
With all this pandemic chaos, RV prices have risen steadily over the past 3 years.
Fortunately, for those looking to buy this year, prices are finally moving back down as building supply costs have leveled and manufacturers have upped production to build more units to meet the new demand (phew!).
In 2023 we’re even seeing an inventory surplus of new 2022 units. Many of the 2022 units are nearly identical to new 2023 models, with just slight detail changes. If pandemic pricing has held you back, now may be the perfect time to start your RV search.
Why Do RVs From Some Manufacturers Cost More or Less?
The price of RVs from different manufacturers can vary because of individual quality control measures and inspections done before and/or after delivery.
Each quality control process costs the manufacturer in time and labor. That cost may reflect in your purchase price. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide how important these different steps are to you and if you want to pay for them.
Pre-Delivery Inspection Costs
Grand Design RV, as an example, performs inspections throughout the manufacturing process and then another final inspection when the RV is completed.
Rather than shipping the camper to the dealer at this point, Grand Design sends the camper for a pre-delivery inspection (known as PDI) where they do a 300+ point checklist to ensure quality ready for delivery to dealer.
Jayco also opened a facility in 2022 to do PDI for all its new units.
PDI facilities and processes add expense, time, and labor costs to the manufacturing process and can (but don’t always, more on this below) cause an RV to be more expensive upfront. Paying more upfront, in this case, may mean you pay less long-term in service and time the RV is out of commission.
You’ll have to decide which process are important to you and what risks you’re willing to take when you choose your RV.
Bulk Buying Discounts
Buyer Be Aware: While there are times a pricier RV is the best quality, you can’t always trust price to tell you you’re getting the highest quality RV.
Jayco Jay Flight travel trailers are top-quality RVs, but not the highest priced, as an example.
Jayco produces and sells so many Jay Flight campers they can get volume discounts from their vendors on building materials.
These discounts are one way Jayco reduces the price to build a Jay Flight without sacrificing build quality.
Asking about the “top selling” RVs for the class/tier you’re interested in can help you find a good deal on a quality trailer.
Some manufacturers have invested in automation at their factories to improve efficiency and quality control. Automation also drives the manufacturing and, ultimately, sales price, down—even as quality improves.
Thor has full scale plans for the first automated laminated side-wall factory, so watch for better quality and lower prices from this manufacturer.
Why are RVs from Different Manufacturers Listed Different Online?
Manufacturers have different rules about the prices dealers can display for RVs online.
Grand Design and Winnebago RVs must be advertised online for MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). Alliance, Jayco, and Keystone RVs have a set MAP (minimum advertised price). Cherokee, Greywolf, Salem and Wildwood units have no pricing restrictions on dealers.
Dealers may have RVs that list the price as “too low to show” or “inquire for price.” This seems like a sales gimmick, but it usually means the manufacturer won’t allow the dealer to list a price below MSRP or MAP price.
Dealers would actually love to tell you the price, so don’t be afraid to click the button or reach out to the dealer for a better deal.
Why it Matters Where and When You Buy an RV
Why Do Different RV Dealers Have Such Different Prices on the Exact Same RV?
Dealerships use 2 main strategies to sell RVs: Volume and Boutique.
These strategies can alter the price tags of the RVs they sell. Knowing the pros and cons of different types of dealers can help you make the right decision for you when you purchase an RV.
These dealers buy a lot of RVs at a discounted rate, which allows the dealer to then sell those RVs for less.
High volume dealers will often take smaller margins, because when spread across more deals, they can still cover their operating expenses.
Since RVs need regular maintenance and service, volume dealers may struggle to meet customer service needs in a timely manner since they have so many customers.
Many volume dealers are , fortunately, working to improve their service to better meet customers’ needs. Ask around at the dealership you’re working with to find out how their service departments work.
The dealers purchase fewer RVs from the manufacturers, generally at a higher price. They may need to charge a higher margin to support their operating expenses.
Boutique dealers tend to build stronger relationships with customers and may even provide more personalized service after the sale. This may not be the case if the dealership doesn’t have enough staff to meet demand, especially in their service departments.
Higher price and, with fewer RVs on the lots, there may be fewer floor plans to choose from.
Why Do RVs Cost More on the West Coast?
Where you buy your RV can also affect the price, especially for towable units. Unlike buying a new car, where shipping costs are normalized throughout the country, the shipping costs of a 10,000-40,000 pound vehicle can be thousands of dollars, which will ultimately reflect in an RV’s price tag.
In the United States, most RVs are manufactured in the Midwest and, generally, the closer you are to the manufacturer the less it will cost to ship your RV.
A camper in California may cost $4,000 – $6,000 more for shipping than one in Michigan, of example. These prices may continue to climb if oil and transportation costs increase in 2023, as these factors also impact shipping costs.
Jayco, Keystone, Dutchmen, Heartland and Forest River have all strategically placed manufacturing facilities in the west. While this has helped reduce the cost of shipping the finished RV, the materials used to build the RV (known as the bill of materials) are still more expensive for these RVs as materials have to be shipped further.
RVs produced on the west coast are still typically produced at a lower cost after shipping than comparable eastern built RVs.
Pro-tip: To save on shipping, towable buyers from the West Coast often find their ideal RV at a dealer closer to the manufacturers for a lower price, make the trip out to the RV, and drive the RV back home themselves.
Don’t have the time to make the trip? Try these western built RVs to save on shipping costs.
The Best Time of Year to Get a Deal on a New RV
Manufacturers Offer Dealers Better Value Starting in the Fall
Waiting for to buy in the fall may be wise for you if you are looking for a deal and don’t mind missing the summer camping season.
Manufacturers often give dealerships discounts in the fall in order to increase demand for their RVs. Doing this allows manufacturers to keep their manufacturing plants operating in the slower part of the camping season.
Dealerships are then able to pass these savings on to customers.
Manufacturers will also build units with more options without charging the dealer for these options. This means you can get more features for the price of a lower tier unit.
Dealer Strategy to Reduce Surplus Models From the Previous Year
Dealers will also regularly discount, even to a loss in the fall or winter, to make space for the next year’s new models. In many cases, aside from trim packages, one year’s model may be almost identical to the next, making fall a fantastic time to grab a discount on a brand-new RV.
As you can see, buying in the fall or winter is a win all around and can really make a difference in what you’ll pay for a brand-new RV.
Should I Buy at an RV Show?
Why an RV May Cost Less at an RV Show:
- Shows are usually during the off-season. This is when dealers can either spend more money to participate in a show and sometimes sell units for less, or when they have less traffic and opportunity to sell in the dealership. Dealers may need to sell for less to sell enough RVs to make the costs of participating in a show worthwhile.
- Dealers are very competitive at shows. Dealers are forced to compete in this environment, so even the more “boutique” dealers will drop prices to sell more units.
- Shows will have manufacturer representatives onsite. Often these reps will get involved to help make a deal happen. It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to lose some of their margin on the sale to give the dealer a one-time rebate or incentive to close a sale. Manufacturer reps are able to provide more specific knowledge on their product, making a show a good time to learn about units you’re interested in.
Why an RV May Cost More at an RV Show:
- It’s expensive for dealers to participate in RV shows. They will spend a lot on advertising, transporting units, renting the space, and paying to participate in the show. Because of this, dealers may need to charge more than they would at the dealership to make it worth being at the show.
Tip: You may consider visiting a dealership before a show. If you ask them about the units they’ll be showing, they may be able to offer you even lower pricing, because they won’t need to transport and use space for that unit at the show.
- Usually only one dealer represents the brand you’re seeing at the show. Only one Jayco dealer will be showing Jayco RVs, for example. This means you can only compare prices, features, etc of one Jayco product to another brand, not between dealers and prices.
Tip: if you find that Jayco has the unit or floorplan you like, look online to compare the cost of that Jayco at different dealers. If you find something out there for less, use this to negotiate, since Jayco is likely to get involved and make the deal happen.
How Does a Trade-in Lower the Price?
Do you have an RV you want to trade in toward your new RV? You may consider trading in your previous RV to lower the cost of your new camper.
You may make less than you would selling your RV yourself when you trade in, but you will also eliminate the hassle of listing, showing, and marketing it yourself. .
Depending on your state, you may also be able to reduce the amount of sales tax you’re required to pay, since some states only require you to pay taxes on the final price after trade in value is added in.
FYI: Many RV dealers and some states will also consider non-RV vehicles for trade in toward your new purchase. As long as it doesn’t eat or poop, ask if you can trade it in!
How Do RV Financing and Interest Rates Work?
Buying a new RV is expensive, but for the right person, it’s also a passport to enjoy nature and the world in a more comfortable, but still up close and personal way. 70-75% of RV buyers finance their purchase with a recreational loan.
The interest rate on your loan will affect the overall price of your RV. Historically interest rates for RV loans have been around 5%. We expect rates around 6.5%+ in 2023, due to federal interest rate increases.
Is it Cheaper to Get a Loan From a Bank or Through Your RV Dealership?
You can arrange financing for your new RV through the dealership you buy from or get your own loan through a bank.
Most customers choose to finance their RV purchase through their dealer’s extensive network of lenders, local banks, and credit unions.
RV dealers arrange hundreds of millions of dollars in recreational loans each year. Banks and local credit unions will usually work directly with the dealer to offer, in many cases, rates less than what they would give a customer walking into their bank.
Because of this, customers can often take advantage of the more competitive rates directly through the dealership.
This may not always be the case. So call around and ask your bank and different dealers what kind of terms are available to make sure you get the best option for you.
What Matters Besides Interest Rate on a Recreational Loan?
Be careful not to get trapped into looking only at the interest rate when you’re considering the loan for your RV. While the interest rate is important, it is not the only thing that will impact your overall payment or ability to finance a particular RV.
Many credit unions and banks will have different available terms for length of the loan, different requirements for initial down payment, or for overall amount they are willing to finance.
Interest of an RV loan can even be tax deductible (consult with your finance advisor), ultimately lowering your price.
You can apply here to see what financing options would be available for you through Bish’s RV. Or, check out our payment calculator to see what your potential monthly payment would be with different price/financing options.
Buying From Bish’s
Our Sales Process
Bish’s goal is to blend the customer service values of a traditional boutique dealer with the cost benefits of a large-scale business so you can get the best benefits of both types of dealers.
While it is challenging, it’s a mountain we’re climbing and learning along the way. We’re not perfect, but we are striving to make sure you have an excellent experience buying and owning your RV.
Our low-pressure sales process is meant to help you find the very best RV for you and your budget.
There are no hidden fees in our prices, so whatever we quote you during the sales process will include everything up front, eliminating any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to sign purchasing documents.
If you aren’t happy with your RV purchase, we will refund or exchange your RV within 72 hours of the sale for any reason.
Buying an RV is a big and expensive commitment. One thing you can do to get a little (or a lot) more value for your dollars is look for dealers who offer special benefits for customers who buy campers from their stores.
We include free membership to our Diamond Club to everyone who buys an RV from Bish’s. You’ll remain a free member as long as you own the RV you purchased from us.
Diamond Club membership Includes:
- Emergency roadside and towing services
- Access to our live concierge assistants who can help locate nearby RV parks, fuel locations, repair shops, national parks, etc.
- One year of technical assistance from our 24/7 technician hotline to help troubleshoot issues such as problems with slide-outs, leveling jacks, and power functions.
To keep your RV working well and to retain maximum resale or trade value, our Diamond Club also includes:
- Free annual inspection
- Free winterization
- 10% off any parts and accessories from Bish’s and 15% off installation of those parts
- 30% off labor on all service repairs with Bish’s
- Trade-in voucher for added value should you later choose to trade-in for another RV with Bish’s.
Like we said, there just isn’t one easy answer to what a new RV is going to cost in 2023. Hopefully this has provided you with a better understanding of RV price ranges, the factors that can go into those ranges, and given you the confidence you need to understand pricing as you move toward purchasing your new RV.
Bish’s has 22 locations throughout the United States where we would love the opportunity to help you find your camper. You can browse our inventory here:
Sometimes the best way to check out an RV is to go see it for yourself! We recommend you reach out to one of our RV experts who can help you find your RV:
Still curious? Learn more about what it costs to own an RV.
Bish’s RV Content Writer & Editor
Thinks nature is great. Thinks it’s greater with a comfortable bed and working bathroom.