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Examining the Costs of Buying and Renting a Motorhome

Traveling across the country and experiencing different regions is every adventurer’s dream. Thankfully, motorhomes allow you to travel comfortably wherever you want without worrying about where you will stay. Perhaps, this is why a lot of people who own these motorhomes agree it’s a fun way to travel.

If motorhome adventures excite you and you want to get the experience, you need to decide whether to buy or rent an RV. Well, renting is the best choice if you don’t plan to use the RV often, but owning an RV gives you a lot more flexibility and freedom in how you use your vehicle. However, you need to consider all options when deciding on a trip.

Buying a Motorhome

Operating Costs

Let’s take a closer look at the ongoing costs of owning a motorhome. Factors like warranties, medical certificates, insurance, registration, tolls, and depreciation can help you make a better decision when it’s time to buy an RV, or if renting is the best option.

Service and maintenance are also important. Not only is it important for reliability, but it’s also important for resale value. Thankfully, by keeping your motorhome in a good condition, you can reduce the depreciation costs of your vehicle; other costs include storage costs and spare parts.

Insurance

You need to protect your new motorhome with comprehensive insurance. You can expect to pay from $400 to $1,800 per year, depending on:

  • Old and current value of mobile homes.
  • Personal injury history and driving experience
  • Location – where you live
  • Intended use; for recreational purposes or permanent residence


Warrant of Fitness

WoF is required for light vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 3,500 kg or less, including RVs. First, the WoF lasts for 3 years if the motorhome is not yet registered. After that, you’ll need a new WoF each year, so budget around $72 a year. 

Certificate of Fitness

A CoF is required for heavy vehicles, including motorhomes with a gross vehicle weight greater than 3,500 kg. You’ll need a new CoF every 6 months, so budget around $300 a year.

WoF or CoF is usually included in the purchase price (On Road Costs) of newly purchased motorhomes. 

Maintenance

Regular maintenance by an authorized dealer is essential to keep your camper in good condition. Every motorhome has a recommended service and maintenance schedule.

Service your vehicle annually, annual service costs range from $500 to $1,500. It’s a good idea to have your RV serviced before a long road trip to give you peace of mind. If you run into problems, always get them checked by a professional, the sooner these minor issues are addressed, the less likely they are to become major problems.

Waterproof

Seals age naturally, so most campers will eventually have water-tightness issues, when buying a new motorhome, look for a model that guarantees water ingress.

 Manufacturers who offer this type of warranty guarantee the quality of their workmanship. To maintain the validity of the waterproof warranty, the motorhome must undergo an annual waterproof test by an authorized agency.

Proactively looking for leaks can reduce the cost of repairing water damage when water ingress problems occur. Set aside $150 for your RV’s annual waterproof test.

Wear and Tear

Consider motorhome repair costs associated with general wear and tear, these vary greatly depending on motorhome build quality and frequency of use.

Spare Parts

As with wear and tear, replacement part costs vary widely. For example; Motorhome tire changes are important for safety. Plan to change the tires every 3-6 years after about 40,000 km. If you neglect to maintain your camper or hit the brakes abruptly, it could last less than three years, and a set of new tires is about $1,000.

Depreciation

Age, make, model, mileage, and general condition are some of the most important factors that affect the depreciation cost of your new motorhome. From time to time, market changes such as campervan demand and supply imbalances also come into play.

Depository

If you want to keep your RV safe for a part of the year, this is another cost to consider before making a purchase decision. Storage costs range from $25 to $300 per month depending on facility type and location.

Renting a Motorhome

Here are some tips to guide you when renting a motorhome: 

Consideration of Non-Financial Factors

In addition to evaluating the economic merits of renting and buying, some non-economic or lifestyle factors should also be considered. This may include planned usage, maintenance, and personalization.

Appointment Flexibility

If you have your motorhome, you can easily go on a campervan trip anytime. If the weather is average, you can stay at home.

When you rent, you lose a lot of freedom in choosing your dates. Especially at the very end, during peak season reservations must be made in advance and late cancellations may result in penalties.

Cleaning, Maintenance, and Compliance

It is entirely your responsibility to keep your RV running while you own it. If you rent, the landlord is responsible. After the rental is over, just empty the toilet cassette and add LPG and light oil.

Renting makes sense if you don’t want to spend your free time cleaning, maintaining, and maintaining your motorhome.

All-Inclusive Price

When renting from a motorhome company, they often include everything you need for camping, it can also help you get insurance for your rental.

Flexibility

Owning a camper van means you always have to go home, but when you rent it, you may be able to leave it in a different location than where you picked it up. If you want to fly somewhere and drive your camper home, it’s easy.

Cheap

The cost of acquiring a mobile home is very high. If you only use the motorhome a few times a year or just want to try it once, renting is much cheaper.

Personalization

When you rent a recreational vehicle, you can customize it with items like pillows and cushions. However, you may not make any permanent changes or do anything harmful.

Buying an RV feels like owning a tiny house. You can customize it to your heart’s content using:

  • Hang your stuff on the wall
  • Installation of solar panels
  • Entertainment system upgrade.

Conclusion 

Whether you rent an RV or take the plunge depends on your situation and needs. Year-over-year average operating costs have increased by more than a third. This is largely due to the significantly higher purchase price of new campers due to limited supply and the resulting higher annual depreciation expense.

If you have to travel 6 weeks in a year, prefer exclusive use of your RV, and prefer flexibility and personalization, owning is probably for you.

However, if you don’t have free time, don’t feel like maintaining or cleaning your RV, and enjoy traveling in a used RV, then renting is probably the best option for you.

New and Used Motorhomes

View our range of new and used motorhomes for sale.

QLD: Motorhomes For Sale Gold Coast QLD

NSW: Motorhomes For Sale Sydney NSW

VIC: Motorhomes For Sale Melbourne VIC