11 Reasons Why Now is the Right Time to Buy a Used RV
Purchasing a used RV a year or two ago was a frustrating experience. The RV business sales had exploded since the pandemic struck, and there was an uptick in RV demand.
Dealers were riding on a gravy train, RV lots were empty and most couldn’t even handle the backlog of orders. Consequently, the used RV prices were at an all-time high.
But the RV Camper Trailer craze lasted only for so long.
I mean, currently the RV market is slowly and gradually starting to shift, and it’s increasingly becoming a buyer’s market. So, if you need to invest in an RV, this is probably the right time.
So, what factors have led to the significant glut of used travel trailers and 5th wheels RVs for sale?
I’ll share the factors below, and make you understand why you need to consider getting a used RV now.
On the other hand there is a shortage of class A motorhomes. Manufacturers can’t produce these as rapidly. The market is at its highest at the moment.
Where Did the RVs Go First?
To understand the current dynamics of RV supply and demand, it makes sense that we go a little back. Specifically, we will work our way back before Rona happened.
In the late summer of 2020, Covid made its way, and there was a tidal wave of new RV buyers making frantic purchases of RV.
The resulting Covid lockdown meant that most people were tired of staying indoors and wanted to get outside without exposing themselves. RVing began gaining more acceptance because it offered a convenient way to travel without exposing yourself to the virus.
Another factor resulting in the demand for RVs was the short supply. Many RV manufacturers closed their shops during the pandemic, which meant there was no new RV production. So, the demand for the existing used RVs was higher than the supply.
Generally, there was an uptick in RV demand during the pandemic as most travelers sought to have a self-sustaining way to explore different places without exposing themselves to the virus.
And consequently, this resulted in a sharp demand for RVs.
But all that was to change. The demand for RVs now isn’t as high as we had witnessed a few years ago. RV prices are dropping significantly, and most RV lots are packed to the brim with RV inventory.
So, what really changed, and why is this the right time to buy an RV?
11 Reasons the Market is Flooded with RVs in 2023
1) Pandemic is Over
When Covid hit, many people started working remotely, mainly from home. That got old quickly.
They decided if they were to work from home, it might as well be somewhere nice. Many people started taking up vacation homes and lake houses. Unfortunately, such options were for the select few, and there were only too many such options.
The next best option was to purchase an RV. The RV supply dwindled, and the price skyrocketed. It resulted in inflated prices of rigs and location spots.
But now that the pandemic is over and the travel restrictions have been lessened, there’s no longer an RV supply crunch.
International travel is open, and borders have been opened. More people are now flying and taking cruises rather than RVing. The amusement parks are back to normal and operating at full capacity.
Everyone is back to school, and some corporations are rescinding their work-at-home policy.
The biggest effect of all these is that many people who bought RVs in Covid times don’t see the need for the rigs anymore. In the long run, the RVs will be a horrible investment if they only sit in their garage for most of the time.
So, rather than getting such with a money pit that nobody will ever want, most people have begun disposing of their RVs at throwaway prices.
2) The FOMO is Over
The other reason the RV market is flooded is that the guys that bought RVs during Covid simply for Fear of Missing Out are finding that they’re not using their RVs as much as they had hoped.
It’s particularly true when you don’t have enough reasons to justify loan payments, insurance, storage fees, etc.
Most guys are now coming to this realization and disposing their used RVs at throwaway prices.
3) High Cost of Living
Currently, the prices of everything is going down right now across all the segments. It’s the overall economy slowing down, with the threat of a recession looming.
For example, the rapid increase in interest rates on RV loans is making many people shy away from investing in RVs.
Meanwhile, the manufacturers are finally catching up on order backlogs of the previous pandemic year, just as demand drops.
So, currently, the RV market is a buyer’s market, unlike it was two years ago. Most RV sellers don’t see the need to hang off their RV, especially if they’re not actively using it, as the costs and depreciation will continue to wreak havoc on your investment.
4) RV Rent is High
Storage rent for RVs has gone way up. I don’t have the actual figures of the number of RVers that rent vs. own, but if you’re like most people with an RV payment and storage fee who have just had their rent go up by $500 in the past two years might be thinking it’s high time to unload.
Couple this with the high cost of living, and you’ll realize that many people are cash-strapped and looking to offload their RV immediately.
5) RVing isn’t for Everyone
Most one and two-year-old RVs coming back for sale are mainly for one reason: the person trying out RVing ultimately decided it wasn’t for them.
See, many people joined the RV bandwagon during the pandemic without researching or knowing anything about RVing.
There’s a likelihood they chose the wrong RV in the first place, but more importantly, RVing didn’t fit their lifestyle.
Not everyone can be a camper, and after the initial excitement of owning an RV wears out, many people start getting remorseful about their purchase.
And this is one reason there are so many newish RVs in the market that sellers are putting up for sale after realizing RVing wasn’t for them.
6) Need for A Different Coach
Another class of RVers currently disposing of their rigs is those that need to upgrade or downgrade their motorcoach.
Usually, most people preferring to take the trade-in approach are the new RVers who got into RVing during a pandemic and liked the general RVing lifestyle.
However, they decided they needed a different coach after their short stunt, and those who bought something huge or small may want the opposite.
7) RVing is Work
Visit any local RV lot in any state, and you’ll realize most are full. Quite opposite from the last two years, they were empty.
In my state, Idaho, the RV lots are full, and I can’t count on the number of people who bought an RV in the past few years.
Currently, however, most RVs are already trashed in the forest, while others are selling them because camping and generally RVing is work.
Yes, RVing can result in something akin to work, which takes actual time and resources. Many RVers who got into RVing during Covid times are now reconsidering their decisions, with many selling their motorhomes.
8) Crowded Parks
The glory days of rolling up to a park without calling ahead and having them book a spot for you are gone.
I’m a full-time camper, and in most places I visit, you need to reserve your RV spot about six months in advance. If you fail to, forget about it.
Therefore, most newbies who got into RVing because of Covid are increasingly frustrated with the hassle of finding available space in camps. It’s not to mention the high cost of private campgrounds.
Most are choosing to sell their RVs because they don’t have any use for them.
9) Market Saturation
From observation, it seems like many RV dealers and manufacturers were naïve enough to think the Covid RV supply crunch gravy train would go forever.
They went into a production spree, leading to an oversaturation of RVs in the market. Currently, the market has reached oversaturation, and most dealers are unable to get rid of the previous years’ models.
While dealers are still making a sale, it’s nothing like the previous two years. The inventory is back to pre-Covid, and the RV lots are bursting at the seams.
In fact, I know a couple of RV dealers currently renting property to hold their overflow because of the huge inventory.
10) High Gas Prices
My other reason behind the flooding of RVs is the high gas price and inflation rate for day-to-day expenses.
Of course, you might argue that if you can’t afford to take your camper out right now, you were pretty much sitting right on edge, to begin with.
But here’s the thing, I can afford to take my camper out on a trip now, but I would reconsider if I had to go for long distances. For long-distance travel, I’d rather fly, which means if I didn’t already have an RV, I wouldn’t necessarily consider one right now. And this again lowers the demand for RVs in general.
11) New Buyer’s Obsession with New Rigs
If you’ve been in the RV industry for a long, you’re aware that purchasing a used RV makes more financial sense than a new one.
It may seem like general knowledge, but some buyers, especially new buyers, don’t subscribe to this.
During the Covid period, many new entrants fell for the effects of “new and shiny” RV syndrome. They were obsessed with having new and recent RV models, sort of like how everyone treats their cell phones.
But because of regulatory standards in RV quality manufacturing, many Covid buyers of new RVs are increasingly becoming frustrated with their models. Add to the fact that they hardly know how to maintain their RVs, and the inherent issues haven’t been kinked out.
In short, you should expect some of the newish RVs in the market. Most RVs getting disposed of didn’t meet the buyers’ expectations and are generally challenging to maintain.
It’s Buyers Time
After two years of escalating prices, 2023 is the year we see the prices of used RV return to earth. Most projections show that many clients are unwilling to pay higher for a used RV model.
Of course, don’t expect the prices to plummet drastically, but generally, they’re favorable for the buyer. Less demand, more supply, and economic uncertainty fuel the low RV prices.