rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?  (Read 535 times)


  • Posts: 2
should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« on: September 16, 2017, 09:30:57 PM »
This will be our first purchase of a motor home.  My husband and I have fallen in love with the front bathroom floor plan for a 5th wheel.  Since the floor plan is so new, there aren't many used options out there.  We will live in our 5th wheel for at least a year while we build our home, but will eventually travel in it.  We like that the FB plan has a bath (he can spend a LOT of time in there!) and a spacious kitchen because we are both cooks.  I never considered buying new because the depreciation is normally so large, but the used options available are only a year or two old and about the same cost.  I have read on this forum how buying used can be better because they seem to have so many "kinks" to start, but shouldn't a warranty take care of that?  I respect any opinion you could give!  Thanks in advance.

Roy M

  • ---
  • Posts: 379
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 09:59:03 PM »
Are the new and used units you are looking at comparable in construction and features? A two to three year old unit should not be more than 60% of new, just be sure you are comparing apples to apples. In your situation I would suggest used. It will give you a chance to find out what you like and even more important what you don't like about it. If it is not right you won't take as big a hit unloading. There are a lot of nice pre owned trailers out there, people either get in over their heads or just decide the lifestyle is not for them. The market got flooded here when the Alberta oil boom collapsed, it was and still is a buyers market. Don't get impulsive.


  • ---
  • Posts: 576
  • Wanna buy a truck?
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2017, 11:50:43 PM »
Usually people suggest floorplan,floorplan and floorplan.  Lol.  If you really feel this particular one is best for you,you may have to go with new.  It sounds like you are on a time constraint of building your house.  Are the used units actually selling at nearly new prices or are delusional owners hoping to recoup their money? 

Do you have a big enough truck to haul what you want?

And welcome to the forum.
2006 Dutchmen Denali 29 RL fiver
2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
2001 GMC Sierra 3500

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 5433
  • Westminster, CO
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 07:34:11 AM »
Since you'll be full timing until you get your house built, you'll REALLY want to be sure you have a floor plan you really like, not just something you can live with, so that constrains you in choice of which model.

And, probably you're already aware of this, but you'll need to have enough truck to pull it safely (unless you have the dealer move it to where it stays for that year), but then you'll still need that truck when you start traveling. And, unless you are leaving it in an RV park with hookups during that year, you'll need to be sure you have a way to dump the holding tanks every few days (maybe a week, depending on size and use), as well as to get fresh water.

This will be our first purchase of a motor home.  My husband and I have fallen in love with the front bathroom floor plan for a 5th wheel.

Just a terminology note: You're looking at a 5th wheel (pulled by a heavy duty pickup truck with the semi-style hitch in the bed), not a motor home (moves under its own power), but they are both RVs (Recreational Vehicles).

but shouldn't a warranty take care of that?

Yes, but the RV can spend a lot of time at the dealer getting the repairs done, depending on how many and what type of problems you encounter. In theory a recent model gently used RV should have everything fixed already, but that may not always be the case. Also, you can bargain for used, just as you can for new, in order to get the price down some.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 65328
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2017, 08:07:38 AM »
Re new/warranty vs used, remember that the warranty may pay for the repairs, but it doesn't eliminate the inconvenience of the problem. Further, you have to haul your "house" to the RV dealer to get things fixed, and you cannot expect overnight results either.  Most new Rvs probably have relatively minor problems, but the risk of it being tied up for weeks at a dealer is a real consideration for those using it as their fulltime residence.

For a newcomer to RVs, the problem with buying used is that you have no experience base for judging the condition and quality of the used RV. Once you find a model that suits your needs and budget, you probably need a very knowledgeable friend or a professional RV inspector to help assess that.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2017, 08:10:04 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


  • ---
  • Posts: 13022
  • Good things are illegal immoral or over 1000 watts
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2017, 08:17:43 AM »
I suggest buying used and forgetting a warranty. As others have stated it can be very inconvenient to get warranty work done. And there is no way to know in advance how well any particular dealer does warranty work. If you buy used you can hire a mobile mechanic to come to you to fix your problems. Cheaper and much more convenient.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
My portfolio:
My Grand Canyon shots:


  • ---
  • Posts: 5296
  • Western KY for now.
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2017, 07:19:06 PM »
This may sound like an echo, but the new warranty pays for repairs, but it does not guarantee speed of repairs or compensation for travel or inconvenience.

Gently used without a warranty should need much less work up front, and can be done on site by a mobile tech.

For your needs, used is by far the best way to go.  Check out RVTrader.com and PPL.com as two sources of lots of pre owned units.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.


  • ---
  • Posts: 405
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2017, 10:55:32 PM »
We are also looking at purchasing a FB  with the extra 1/2 bath.   If you have located a used one you're doing better than we are.  Forrest River seems to be the only mid range supplier with a couple different makes.  The difference in dollars between the makes for 2018 is 8 to 10K.  This may explain the price being close.   I first saw this floor plan in a 125K unit several years ago, it was a couple years old then so a used rig like that would likely be close in price to a new mid range unit.   

Here is something else to consider,  these 5'r are generally 40' long and that somewhat limits the campsites you can get into.  It'll take a truck that is capable of handling a 14,000 lbs. plus unit.  The used one I mentioned above was rated at 22,000 lbs. and it was pull by a F450 Ford.

Also, check out some toy haulers as some have the extra bath and there are a lot more used ones to pick from.  As far as warranty goes, do not tell them how you are planning to use.  Some warranties are void if you full time which you will be doing.  Also if you do need warranty work, usually, they want it at the dealership.  Most of us have either do the repairs ourselves and or hire an RV tech if it is beyond our skill levels.  I can assure you that if we buy a new rig, I will be making changes and improvements right from the start.   

Building a home is trying enough, maintaining a RV new or use will add to the stress level.  I sure you though about this.  It can work, if you make it work. Hope living in it for a year while you build your home doesn't burn you out so you don't enjoy it after the house is built.   If that happens you've paid pretty expensive rent.



  • ---
  • Posts: 553
Re: should I buy a new or used 5th wheel?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 08:38:10 AM »
    Tyreefamily, If you plan on living in the unit for a year or so while building your home...location of use should be considered! We "totally" agree with the purchase of used...let the original owner take the depreciation hit. Also,when going used, you can establish a track record for brand/model.

    But, it going back to our first comment. If you will be in an area that can be either quite hot or cold, quality of insulation should be "heavily" considered. You want to be comfortable, if living in it for a year or more. As, you will get to "enjoy" all for seasons. Plus, the quality of construction will carry over into your future use of the RV for travel. There are many older (though only a few brands) used units out there that offer great construction for full time use! Many of the newer "4 season" units, leave much to be desired for full time use!
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C