Getting Ready to Hit the Road – Should I Buy a New or Used RV? – Why We Chose Used

We’ve been living in the RV for sixteen days, still in the honeymoon phase. Despite some small troubles and difficulties, our spirits are high as we commit ourselves to our new task of full-time RV living.

Our space is well designed and the new home is well equipped with everything needed for off the grid living. We’ve got all the comforts of home, a decently sized fridge and freezer, great kitchen counter space, big beautiful windows, electricity, a gas stove, plenty of on-demand hot water, an amazingly soft Sleep Number bed, enough room for four to five humans, plenty of space for our four dogs.


During the day our home, wrapped by well-placed windows, is filled with warming and healing sunlight. When the weather is agreeable all the windows are opened, creating the perfect cross-breezes. To set the mood, the appropriate theme music is carried throughout the coach via the built-in radio and stereo system.

Our large tag axle bus has three slide outs and a large living space. Many interior cabinets and large exterior pass-through storage compartments give us plenty of onboard storage space for even large items, like kayaks, tents, tools, and camping gear.

It took us months to find the perfect RV. We did a ton of researched and looked at many options, new and used, all over the state of Texas.

New or used? – at the beginning of our search we seriously were considering the purchase of a shiny new coach, hesitant to take on a second hand project.


Most people we spoke to involved in RV sales and the RV Lifestyle seemed to agree on two things:

VALUE – New RV’s GREATLY depreciate in value the minute you drive them off the lot. Even buying an RV that is one or two years old used can save you as much as half the cost of buying new.


REPAIRS – When we started looking into the RV lifestyle, we thought new would be the way to go because we didn’t want to “inherit someone else’s problems”.

As we started to dig deeper into the issue, reading blogs and watching Youtube videos from within the RV Life community, we realized that both new and used RV’s had problems.

  • The warranty repair process for new RV’s did not seem like a great option for people who live in their RV’s full time. Sending our RV away for repairs is not practical since we have pets.
  • We’ve been using mobile mechanics who come to us so our dogs can stay in their home and feel safe and comfortable. The humans are comfortable too. Waiting for a repair from your living room is much better than waiting any place else.
  • We’re lucky that David is pretty handy. I’ve got faith that he will continue to troubleshot and fix many small issues that arise on our journeys.


After carefully weighing our options, we decided that we would get the most out of our money and purchase a quality used motorhome. 

It’s not perfect but it’s home. We’ve already had a few bumps and malfunctions, many due to user error. There is a growing list of items to repair, little things – one of our Fantastic Fan’s doesn’t spin, two new front tires, an electrical outlet here, a backup camera there, our Hydro-Hot works beautifully on diesel but does nothing on electric, the furnace is not kicking on in the living room, and one of the overhead AC units is acting a bit strangely.


None of these things were beyond our expectations when we set our eyes on the low mileage, 2004 luxury coach. The price was fair and left our budget with just enough room to take care of maintenance and repairs as they come along.

Things are going well. We’ve had no regrets since moving. We are learning and enjoying new experiences every day. Over the next few months, we plan to learn everything about our new home, inside and out, as we work through our repair list getting the ship ready for its maiden voyage.