Reasons You Should Not Buy a Motorhome

Motorhomes are the equivalent of apartments on wheels. They allow the owner to get away from hotels, airports, bus terminals, and other crowded places in the comfort of a home away from home. Some of them can be pretty opulent, providing indoor furnishings that are better than any hotel, and some homes. As attractive as a motorhome is, they can also be challenging to the first time camper. In fact, some reconsider purchasing this type of RV when they consider the reasons below. 

Motorhome maintenance is more involved than a car

RV with a man and woman
RV | Henning Kaiser with picture alliance via Getty Images

Taking care of a motorhome is not the same as taking care of a family vehicle. Maintenance is even more critical because it sits unused a lot. So, tires can rot, mice can climb in holes, and anything in the cupboards can spoil. So, if a person considers taking care of a family vehicle challenging, then a motorhome may not be a good choice. The maintenance regimen of an RV involves all the normal vehicle care, plus that of the attached living area. If the discipline is not there to take care of a car, it might be time to reconsider this type of RV purchase. 

Questionable driving skills for a motorhome is bad

Believe it or not, some people are bad drivers and are honest about it. They actually admit that they are not confident with their own driving skills. Such a person is a big red flag. If someone is considering buying a motorhome and has questionable driving skills, encourage them not to buy one. An RV is tall, long, and imposing when compared to the average family sedan. If driving the sedan is a challenge, this type of RV will be too, or any RV. That should be reason enough to walk away.  

An RV is a depreciating asset

2021 Wonder RL RV in white with black accent color
Leisure Travel Vans created the 2021 Wonder Rear Lounge (RL) built upon the Ford Transit | Leisure Travel Vans

Much like a car, there is an initial shot of depreciation when a new owner drives a motorhome off the dealer’s lot. That lost value should be weighed against the value of any planned vacation in the RV. Is it a small percentage of that vacation or a large one? Considering the answer to that question is something a potential buyer may find grating. If so, then maybe getting a new motorhome is not a good idea. According to our friends at Outdoorsy

“It’s safe to say that the larger your rig is, the more quickly it will depreciate. For instance: Class A rigs lose 30% of their value after only three years of ownership; Class C RVs lose about 38% of their value after five years; Fifth wheels lose 45% of their value after five years of ownership.” – Outdoorsy

Being naive with a major motorhome purchase


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A motorhome is a large financial purchase. That purchase needs to be made wisely, with open eyes widely, and with honesty. Rushing to a dealership and throwing down money for the purchase is not wise. It is naive. Instead, one must consider if they are ready to take on the needed maintenance regimen. They also need to consider if they are confident enough with their driving skills. Determining if they are ready to take a hit in depreciation that still justifies the purchase price is also a factor in the decision making. After real introspection, if the answer is yes to all three of these questions, then they will enjoy their purchase. Suppose the answer is no to some or all of the questions. In that case, that should be enough reason to consider walking away without purchasing, or at least to pause the RV buying cycle.