It happens all too often, the neighbor buys a new RV and gives you a tour of his beautiful new rig. Next thing you know, you’re browsing the internet taking virtual tours of the newest RV models on the market. Soon the exciting day comes where the new family RV pulls up to the house. Fast forward a year with only one or two trips under your belt.
We get it…Life’s busy schedule has left the shiny new RV all but forgotten. Meanwhile, you’re still carrying the load of payments, insurance premiums, and storage costs. This financial burden is difficult to justify. Luckily, avoiding this situation is relatively simple. By renting an RV as opposed to buying, at least right away, you can ensure the maximum level of utility per dollar spent.
Breaking Down the Numbers
If you purchase a new class C RV, you can spend at least $50,000. You can rent one for only $125 per night. This means that you will need to take about 70 trips in the purchased RV to justify owning it compared to renting. If your family averages 3 trips per year, that will take about 23 years to accomplish. After 23 years, imagine the amount of maintenance, insurance, and storage costs you will incur. It adds up.
But I Don’t Want to Drive a Rolling Billboard For an RV Rental Company
Fair enough! Some of the big outlets will just throw you and your family into a bottom-barrel model covered in advertisements. It feels a little bit like you’re paying to market the company for them.
Luckily, there are countless places like B&B RV that are privately owned and do not engage in this practice. These companies offer units that look like they just came off the showroom floor. Better yet, they offer an array of higher-end models that they replace every year. This provides the ability to always be in the latest model RV, with all of the top-of-the-line options.
Private Owner Rentals
Another option is a private owner rental through a company like Outdoorsy. This company acts as the intermediary who lists and insures privately owned RVs for rent. This fabulous idea really allows you to rent any type of RV out there from drivable to towable.
Think you want to rent a travel trailer, but don’t want to drive? Outdoorsy’s got you covered! They have owners who will deliver and set up rental RVs right at the campground. We just shared a campfire in Key West with a couple who flew in and had an RV rental delivered to their site.
Novelty is Important
Believe it or not, there is actually a biological reason human beings are attracted to travel. Certain structures in the brain have evolved to take note of a changing environment. This circuitry is tripped by traveling to an unfamiliar place. The effect is an increase in creative thinking and focus. It makes sense, if an organism finds itself in an environment it is not familiar with, survival will be more likely if it is more creative and focused. This all translates to an experience of a fresh perspective on life. It is this circuitry that is likely the reason travel is so popular.
So how is all of this relevant when considering purchasing vs renting an RV? Well, if you are traveling in the same RV for every trip, it won’t feel novel. Because so much of a road trip is spent in the vehicle, you are missing out on the conditions that make travel so enjoyable. A novel environment is a must to get the most out of your trip. By renting, the vehicle changes every time you travel.
When Does it Make Sense to Buy?
We are certainly not making the argument to never purchase an RV. There are plenty of cases where purchasing makes far more sense than renting. For regular campers like hunters and fishermen purchasing makes plenty of sense. There is also something to be said about making an RV yours, just like you do with your home. And of course, RVers and even snow birds who spend extended time in their RV will want their own. However, even they should probably rent one first to make sure they’ve selected the right model.
Try Before You Buy
Finally, the obvious argument for renting before you purchase is to get to know a unit before you select it. If you feel like purchasing is the right option for you, it’s still good to rent beforehand. You may realize that a given layout or feature will drive you nuts after a few days. Even if you only rent for 2 or 3 trips before you purchase, this can save a massive amount of regret.
We hope this article has shed some light on a common question for newcomers to the RV industry. Whether you are in the market for a purchase or just exploring options, the standard best route is clear. Rent before you buy, or simply rent. The odds that you will be happy you did within a year are extremely high.
Contemplating Purchasing An RV?
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