Motorhomes are great fun but this fun does come at a price. New motorhomes can easily cost more than a house and even used motorhomes are often more expensive than several year’s worths of vacation.
This leads many to think about some of the different ways they can save money on buying a motorhome.
Are motorhomes cheaper to buy in the winter?
Motorhomes are often cheaper to buy in the winter. This is because the seasons for buying a motorhome are spring and summer. Buy a motorhome in the winter and the purchase price will be less. but there are some other factors to consider.
The first thought to keep in mind is that once you buy a motorhome, you’ll need to store it.
You’ll also have to maintain it and keep it from the damaging effects of winter. In the rest of this post, we’ll go over some of the true costs of buying a motorhome in the winter versus buying it in the spring or summer.
Cost of Buying a Motorhome in The Winter
Motorhomes are significantly less expensive in the winter.
On a class A motorhome, you could end up spending over $10,000.00 less on your motorhome than you would spend in the winter.
The reason for the lower cost is that most RV dealers do not get a lot of business in the winter. In the winter, an RV dealer is more flexible on pricing so customers are more likely to get a better deal.
With winter comes a new year as well so savvy motorhome shoppers can get big discounts by purchasing last year’s model.
Often-times the motorhome from the year before is exactly the same as the newer model so customers end up paying less for the exact same motorhome only because of the year that is stamped on it.
Added Cost of Buying a Motorhome In The Winter
One issue with buying a motorhome in the winter is that you will end up with additional winter costs.
Some additional costs include:
- Motorhome storage costs.
- Motorhome maintenance costs.
- Motorhome insurance costs.
Some areas of the country will allow people to store even large motorhomes out on the street. Unfortunately, other areas won’t allow people to store motorhomes on their property at all.
See this post for more information on when you can park your RV on the street.
If you live somewhere that does not allow you to store your motorhome on your property, you’ll end up having to pay for storage someplace else. This is an added cost that you wouldn’t have to worry about during the season while you’re using it.
Also, just because you aren’t using your motorhome, doesn’t mean you don’t have to maintain it.
Does it snow in your area?
If so, you’ll end up having to clear snow off of your motorhome and you’ll have to check the roof in the spring to make sure the ice and the snow didn’t do any damage to it.
This can be especially problematic for class C motorhomes which may have wooden, vinyl, or fiberglass shells and roofs to worry about.
The motorhome will also most likely have to be insured and registered over the winter as well. While some states will allow you to keep the motorhome unregistered while not in use, other states will demand you keep it registered all year round.
Additionally, your insurance company will want you to pay your insurance premium regardless of whether or not you’re using the motorhome. Motorhome insurance usually isn’t very expensive but it is something to keep in mind.
7 Advantages of Buying a Motorhome in The Winter
- More selection.
- Lower upfront costs.
- Time to get to know the motorhome before the season starts.
- Tax advantages for business motorhomes.
- Trade-in value.
- You get to use it sooner.
- Campground rates are cheaper in the winter.
Most RV dealers will tell you that the selection is much better in the winter than it is in the spring or summer.
This is because fewer people are shopping for motorhomes in the spring and summer and dealers can sometimes have a hard time keeping popular motorhomes on the lot.
Additionally, RV dealers will have the new year’s motorhomes in stock as well as the previous year’s motorhomes in stock. This means you’ll have more variety and as we said earlier, you may be able to save money by purchasing last year’s model.
Buying your motorhome in the winter means you’ll get to know your motorhome before you take it out in the spring and the summer. You’ll be able to test out the systems in your yard and you’ll have time to practice parking it before you head out into a busy campground.
If you buy your motorhome for business, you may be able to start writing it off a year earlier than if you wait until spring or summer to purchase it. Motorhomes are expensive and they depreciate quickly so this could end up being a big tax write-off for you and your business.
Trade-in values will also be higher in the winter than in the spring or summer. This is because, with each passing day, your used RV becomes less valuable. Trade your RV in a few months earlier and you’ll have fewer months of depreciation to worry about.
Buying your motorhome in the winter also means you’ll get to use it sooner.
Want to take a trip to see your family over the holiday season? Why not get a motorhome and save yourself money on hotel fees?
Campground rates are also cheaper in the winter so you’re bound to save money camping in the winter versus camping in the summer. This holds true for current trips as well as trips that you plan on booking in advance. Buying your motorhome early means you’ll know exactly what size rig to plan for when reserving your camping spots for the summer.
5 Disadvantages of Buying a Motorhome in The Winter
- You’ll have to store the motorhome all winter.
- You have to maintain the motorhome all winter.
- You may not be able to use the motorhome right away.
- The motorhome may be several months old before you get to use it.
- You’ll need insurance on it all winter.
When you buy a motorhome in the winter you may not actually get to use it right away. Even though you aren’t using it, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to maintain, store, or insure it.
Why worry about having to store and maintain a motorhome that you can’t even use for several months? In some cases, it may make more sense to wait until you are ready to use your motorhome before you go ahead and buy one.
To decide whether or not you’ll want to buy a motorhome early or not, you’ll want to check your local storage and maintenance costs and decide whether the cost savings are actually worth it.
When is The Best Time to Buy a Motorhome
The best time to buy a motorhome will be different for different people. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect when you buy a motorhome in each season.
Buying a Motorhome in The Winter
Buy a motorhome in the winter and you’ll save money on the initial cost of the motorhome but you’ll lose some money in maintenance costs and storage costs.
In some cases, you’ll be able to use your motorhome right away and in others, it will end up sitting somewhere until spring.
Buying a Motorhome in The Spring
When you buy a motorhome in the spring, you’ll be able to take advantage of any tax refunds you may be receiving. Unfortunately, you’ll have fewer motorhomes available to choose from and you’ll most likely pay more money for the motorhome when compared to how much you would have paid in the winter.
Of course, you’ll be able to use the motorhome right away and if you move it right into a campground, you won’t have to pay to store it.
Buying a Motorhome in The Summer
When you buy a motorhome in the summer you may pay a little less than you would have in the spring but again you’ll end up paying more than you would have in the winter.
Motorhome inventory may be lower in the summer and you’ll have missed out on several months of camping.
Buying a Motorhome in The Fall
Purchase a motorhome in the fall and you’re likely to save money.
This is especially true when buying used as many people want to get rid of their motorhomes before they end up having to store them for the winter. The downside is that you may have less inventory to choose from and you’ll end up having to store the motorhome through the fall and the winter even if you can’t use it until spring.
Buying a motorhome in the winter will save you money but it may cost you in other ways. Think about your particular needs and weigh all of the hidden costs before rushing out to buy a new motorhome this winter.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.