RV Depreciation [2020] [Year Wise]

RV Depreciation [2020] [Year Wise]
Airstream RV


RVs like any other vehicle depreciates in value over the years. Let’s see how much an RV depreciates per year and what are the causes which affect its resell price. below you will find travel trailer depreciation that will help you out to get an estimate.

What is RV Depreciation?

When you buy a new RV it starts depreciating in value every year. Of course, its depreciating value still depends on various factors such as brand, the location where you live, maintenance of the RV, time of the year, and many more. There are some models that depreciated quickly and some even appreciate in value.


The basics of depreciation for RVs & Motorhomes

Depreciation is of two types, first is the government regulated depreciation and second, market value depreciation. Below you will find travel trailer depreciation IRS.

IRS RV depreciation method

So, if you purchase an RV for business purpose then you have to depreciate the vehicle according to the IRS rules. In this, the RV will depreciate by a percentage each year until the RV value hits zero. Actually, RV will never lose value to zero until it is in a running state.

The IRS says that an RV which is brought for the business purpose should depreciate over a 5 year period. In this RV depreciation method, you divide the original cost of the RV by 5.

Example- suppose you brought an RV for your business for $10,000 then you can divide the original value of it by 5 for the next 5 years. Then the number you get will be $2,000.

Market value depreciation

The second type of depreciation is dictated by the market. So, If you have purchased an RV for $10,000 then after two years its value would become $8000, which means it has depreciated by 20% of its original value.

Market value depreciation depends upon the market factors such as whether that model is still in demand, condition of the RV and availability of used RVs in that area. Some brands depreciate faster than other brands. Like- early airstream models get a higher price than it was purchased earlier.

We have taken data from RVtrader.com and Nada.com to bring the actual new and used prices of RVs. Click Here to find the Nada depreciation schedule.


Depreciation on a Class A Motorhome

The following depreciation rate for Class A Motorhomes is determined by reviewing 82 Class A motorhome buyers.

1-year-old – at this point, it is extremely hard to determine the depreciation as it is still new compared to other years. You can get a great deal through a dealer if you still want to deal it off at this point.

The depreciation at this time will be around 20% to 21% of the original rate.

2-years-old – expect not more than 23% of depreciation in the second year if it still looks new and is in good condition. Manufacturers even call an RV 2020 when it’s sold in 2019. So, you can get a good price if you search for a buyer yourself.

3-years-old – 25.8% depreciation

4-years-old – 30.23% depreciation

5-years-old – 35.78% depreciation

6-years-old – 38.76% depreciation

7-years-old – 41.27% depreciation

8-years-old – 44.17% depreciation

9-years-old – 50.45% depreciation

10-years-old – 60% depreciation

11-years-old – 62.95% depreciation

12-years-old – 65.34% depreciation

13-years-old – 69% depreciation

14-years-old – 71% depreciation

15-years-old – 75% depreciation

20-years-old – 85% depreciation

29-years-old – 95% depreciation

30 and above years old – you can get around $1500 to $2500 thousand if the RV still moves.


Depreciation on a Class B Motorhome

These motorhomes are small and they average around 22 feet. Depreciation of motorhomes are as follows:

1-year-old – 22.5% depreciation

2-years-old – 26% depreciation

3-years-old – 34% depreciation

4-years-old – 38% depreciation

5-years-old – 49% depreciation

6-years-old – 51.5% depreciation

7-years-old – 54% depreciation

8-years-old – 57% depreciation

9-years-old – 59% depreciation

10-years-old – 62% depreciation


Depreciation on a Class C motorhome

The depreciation curve on a Class C motorhome is not that steep because new Class C motorhome cost significantly less. Class C motorhome depreciation is as follows.

1-year-old – 17% depreciation. You can get a better deal if you search for a buyer yourself.

2-years-old – 22% depreciation

3-years-old – 26% depreciation

4-years-old – 28% depreciation

5-years-old – 36% depreciation

6-years-old – 39% depreciation

7-years-old – 41% depreciation

8-years-old – 44% depreciation

9-years-old – 47.5% depreciation

10-years-old – 52% depreciation

11-years-old – 55% depreciation

12-years-old – 59% depreciation

13-years-old – 64% depreciation

14-years-old – 65.5% depreciation

15-years-old – 70% depreciation

20-years-old – 83% depreciation

30 years and more – you can get around $3000 as it will have some value if it is still moving.


Depreciation on a Fifth Wheel

They are nearly 28 feet long and generally have a living room with a sofa and a bedroom on the other end. There is a dinette, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Depreciation rates of Fifth Wheel are as follows:

1-year-old – 19.7% depreciation

2-years-old – 23.2% depreciation

3-years-old – 29.9% depreciation

4-years-old – 38.4% depreciation

5-years-old – 52.6% depreciation (the fifth wheel has lost 50% of its original value)

6-years-old – 56.5% depreciation

7-years-old – 60.1% depreciation

8-years-old – 63.3% depreciation

9-years-old – 65.8% depreciation

10-years-old – 72.4% depreciation


Depreciation on a Travel Trailer

They can vary in size but are around 18 feet long, travel trailer resale value depends upon the depreciation rate. A travel trailer can weigh 3,000 to 3,300 pounds. The trailer depreciation rate is as follows.

1-year-old – 23% depreciation

2-years-old – 27% depreciation

3-years-old – 37% depreciation

4-years-old – 46% depreciation

5-years-old – 55% depreciation

6-years-old – 58.5% depreciation

7-years-old – 61% depreciation

8-years-old – 64% depreciation

9-years-old – 67.5% depreciation

10-years-old – 74% depreciation


Depreciation on a Pop-Up Camper

1-year-old – 20% depreciation

2-years-old – 27% depreciation

3-years-old – 38% depreciation

4-years-old – 46% depreciation

5-years-old – 75% depreciation

10-years-old – 89% depreciation


What’s the difference between class A, B, C motorhomes?

Class A Motorhome

They are built with a very strong heavy duty frame, generally, they are built over a commercial truck or commercial bus chassis. It is counted in luxurious class vehicles. It has plenty of storage space and good interior finish. It has a separate bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dinette, etc.

Class B Motorhome

It looks like a large van from outside. It is also commonly referred to as campervan. But do not think it does not have much room as it has enough room for a tall man. Inside it is spacious with a kitchen, living room and a bathroom, generally not so spacious as toilet and shower are combined in one place.

Motorhomes generally do not come with slide outs, and they are less costly than class A and C motorhomes. Good for a small family who does not want to spend too much on luxury and cannot leave it too.

Class C Motorhomes

You can easily recognize class C motorhome as is has an over-cab sleeping area. due to it, there is enough room in the living area. 4 to 6 people can live inside it. It has 2 queen beds, two doubles, and other amenities that re needed while camping.


Tips to increase the resell value of your RV

There are many ways by which you can increase the resale value of your RV. Use these tips to sell your RVs at a higher rate.

1. Maintenance

By regular maintenance, you can increase the resell value of RV. You should change the motor oil as well as the parts whenever it requires.

Like, you could have to change the oil every 6 months or 3,000 miles. If you travel a lot then it might need that quickly. It could also happen that you do not use motorhome that much and could easily forget to change the oil twice a year.

RVs are like other vehicles that need maintenance otherwise it could become useless sooner or later. You used also keep a maintenance schedule for towable campers as they also need maintenance.

The wheel and axil of the camper need oiling and maintenance which is quite a task. By maintaining the RV you would ensure the maximum value in return.

2. Update it regularly

If you will not update your camper then no one will purchase it, unless you are selling a vintage one. Keep updating the appliances, flooring and cabinet hardware.

If your camper has a carpeted floor then change it with vinyl or tile flooring. In this way, you will enhance the look of the camper. Paint the kitchen cabinet if it needs this will bring a huge change in the kitchen area and the camper itself.

Consider changing the appliances whenever required. If they are working well and also looking good then there is no need to replace them. Remember, the look of the camper also has a great impact on the resell value.

3. Keep records

When you keep a record of the maintenance it increases the trust of the buyer. They can be assured that the RV that they are going to buy has been taken care of.

Whenever you change anything such as parts, wheels or even oil, then keep a record of it. Keep all the receipts with you and when the buyers want it you show to them.

This is a great way to sell your RV as people who will buy it can see the maintenance that the RV has gone through.

Note – If you perform the maintenance task by yourself then no need to worry. Like for example if you had changed the oil by yourself then take a notebook and a newspaper. Enter the data in the notebook and staple the copy of the newspaper with the date. By this way, the person who will buy the RV will know that you have done the maintenance work in reality and everything in the notebook was not written a day before the sale.

4. Repair and refinish

Do not try to sell an RV that has cracks and holes in them. People who will buy it will not give you a good amount. Patch the holes and cracks before selling as it will give a good impression to the buyer and they cannot renegotiate with the price.

Do the painting and other repairing stuff to add value to the thing you are going to sell. This will increase the resell value and would build trust with the buyer that the thing they are going to buy is good and worth it.

5. Clean your RV

No one buys a dirty thing and it also decreases the resell value quickly. The only thing you have to do is to clean the RV thoroughly before a buyer sees it.

Clean it till it becomes spotless and remove anything which is not a part of it. This will give your RV a new appearance and will also attract many potential buyers.

6. Take good pictures

The quality of pictures of your RV can or cannot attract potential buyers. Always use a quality camera such as DSLR cameras to click photos.

This will ensure that the picture of your RV has tiny details that could attract more buyers. You can go one step further and shoot a detail video of your RV. This gives a better chance to the buyers to look at details that could provoke them to buy it.

Take a video in which you can narrate the different features of the RV and make it interesting. Making a good video ensures that the buyer could even buy it without having a physical tour of it.

7. Title

A title matters a lot and can also ward off a buyer. Without a title, it is difficult to prove that the RV is yours. Getting a new title is not easy and the new customer would not want to waste time in getting that.

Even if you find a customer for the RV they could ask for a discount which will decrease the RV value.

So, if you have lost a copy of the title then get a new one before you try to sell the RV. For the original owner, it is easy to get a title than for a new owner. It will build trust with the buyer and ensures that you will get the highest resell price.


RV Depreciation factors [Why RV Lose Value]

There are many factors that affect the resell value of an RV. Let talk about some of them:

1. Brand

This is the most important factor as people are brand conscious. If the brand is popular among the campers then they are also willing to pay a good price for it.

Take a look at Airstream depreciation is slower than others because of the quality and reputation which this brand carries. The demand for these trailers is high so its resell value is higher too.

Keep this in mind when you buy an RV, the quality brand will have a better resell value than the other low-quality brands.

2. Your location

It is a market influencing factor where you are going to buy or sell something. So, if you live in some other state and the trailer is from another then it will also include a shipping fee.

It will also take an account of the demand for RV in your location. So, if the demand is less then aspect to selling it at a low price and vice-versa. Or, you have to find a buyer from another location for higher resell value.

3. Season of the year

Every month is different so the sale, depending upon the time of the year where camping tends to hit low or high. Like during winter sale prices of RVs drops and rises in the springtime. So, if you are trying to buy or sell an RV near winters you might get it at low prices as compared to spring.

4. State of the economy

The economy of the country, state or even your local area matters a lot. So, if the economy is down people will not try to waste their money on other activities and you might not get a buyer or a good price.

If the economy is in good condition then there are more chances that you can sell your RV at a much higher rate.

5. RV condition

Last, and an important factor in price fluctuations. The condition of the RV is which will be a deciding factor in its price. The buyer will decide to buy a thing after thoroughly checking the vehicle.

How much the RV has traveled, its present running condition and how much care you have taken will decide the resell price.

People will not buy anything which will be not useful sooner or later so, takes all these factors into consideration while selling your RV to get the best price.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does an RV depreciate per year?

Depreciation of RV depends upon government-regulated depreciation and market value depreciation. In the first year, the RV value can depreciate from 20 % to 30% depending upon the usage and condition of an RV. After that, the RV will depreciate 4 to 6 percent.

2. How much does a new RV depreciate?

A new RV depreciates in value by around 20 to 30 percent in its first year. If you drive a lot and the condition of RV is not good then expect a higher depreciation. This is not a hardcore rule because it all depends upon the buyer, as the buyer can buy a used RV at higher price. Regarding the market, people who are experts will give you a lesser price.

3. Which RVs hold their value best?

RV such as Airstream and Jayco hold their best value because of the good material they use in manufacturing the RVs.

There are a few reasons which provide a better return in the long run:

  1. If the manufacturer gives max warranty such as for 2 years
  2. Best quality frames, roof material, walls.
  3. Quality of Insulating material.

4. How long do you depreciate an RV?

The IRS allows people to depreciate an RV over five years, see section 179. Click the link.

5. Is RV good investment?

RVs are not considered as a good asset for investing, as its value depreciates in comparison to gold and property. But there can be exceptions such as if a person is buying an RV for full-time RVing.

Then, in that case, it can be regarded as a good investment because it will fulfill the basic needs such as accommodation. This will save money on renting the hotel rooms.

If you will not use the RV at least once a year then it is better to rent an RV.

6. What is the best month to buy a RV?

October and November are the best months to buy an RV even you can try to buy it during the entire winter season. This is because in these months the RV sales are less which leads to a good discount. Summer and spring seasons are known for RVing, people during these months buy new RVs.

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