Loading up the family and friends for a road trip in a camper or RV has consistently been a popular choice for those looking for affordable adventures. But considering the events of this year, more people are flocking to campers, motorhomes, and RVs as a way to create memories and remain socially distant.
But rookies to the RV life soon realize how daunting it can be just to find one to buy. And there are a few tips to keeping your motorhome purchase price below $10,000. But it will take a little creativity and a whole lot of patience.
Where to look to get started
There are plenty of dealerships with brand new, handsome, and spacious motorhomes. But if your goal is finding one under $10,000, you might be hard-pressed to find what you need with a dealer.
Camper Report suggests browsing the listing sites, like Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace to see what’s for sale in your area. You can keyword search with various terms, including camper, motorhome, RV, campervan, or camper van.
Browsing the sites is always a great place to start and can help inspire you to identify features, styles, and extras you’ll want your motorhome to have.
Maybe you can build your own motorhome
Another popular way to experience the motorhome life without spending a fortune is buying a model that you can then customize and build to your liking. If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, you can easily find a used model camper van or bus and get crafty with building out the interior you love.
There are hundreds of “van lifers” on YouTube, who often share their stories about van build-outs and school bus renovations. Realistically, you could find a used model motorhome with a good frame for a few thousand dollars. Meaning even after all of your customization efforts, you could have the perfect road warrior for less than $10,000.
Avoiding scammers and motorhome lemons
As you begin the hunt to find the perfect motorhome, you’ll need to remember there are unsavory scoundrels out there and deadbeat lemons for sale. Browsing the sale ads, recognize that it’s a red flag if the price seems too low.
If the listing photo appears to be a stock photo, be sure to ask for a video walkthrough of the model. Stay away from online listings with junk characters in the text and title, and don’t fall for sob stories from sellers to justify complications with a sale.
What’s included with your $10,000 budget?
You might have decided that your top dollar budget is $10,000. If that’s the case, you may want to consider all the other costs associated with motorhome ownership. Don’t spend your maximum amount and then not have enough reserve to follow through with making your RV or camper van road-ready.
Tires are a critical component for safe travels, and they can set you back several hundreds of dollars. It’s also wise to have a mechanic perform a maintenance inspection, replacing fluids and checking mechanisms.
These post-purchase steps will also cost extra. There are also cosmetic costs to think about, like replacing foam in a seat, new sealants on windows, and new batteries for basic cabin operations. Just remember, your budget needs to be able to accommodate everything before you can safely venture out on the highway.
Motorhomes are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. It offers a super affordable way to create lasting memories and see the sites, without lofty travel, hotel stay, or vacation rental costs. But if you’re new to the camper life, you will want to have patience as you begin your search for the perfect vehicle.
Rushing your decision could mean falling prey to a scam, overpaying in general, or cutting yourself short on budget for road preparation maintenance. Take your time and get creative. You’ll soon find just the right solution for you and can be enjoying the view from the road in no time.