Jen Young
by Jen Young
Posted May 25, 2022

Owning an RV is a family dream of many in the United States. Unfortunately, buying a brand-new RV with all the bells and whistles is something few households can afford. This has given rise to an argument that used RVs are a better investment. We’ll explore in this article the states where purchasing RVs is economical, a great model if you’re looking for a used RV for sale under $5000, plus the pros of buying used RVs instead of a new one.

Another great option is to try out an affordable RV rental near you so you can test the waters before investing.

Affordable RVs For Rent Near You

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Cheapest State for Purchasing RVs

Believe it or not, the cost of RVs is cheaper in some states. Some individual state laws and regulations have to be considered when it comes to finding yourself the best possible deal.

Yes, there is a state where RVs are comparatively cheaper – Montana!

Ease of Buying RVs in Montana

Throughout the United States, the laws and regulations on buying vehicles require that you register your RV in the state where you have residency. The state of Montana is an exception to this case though. 

The authorities in Montana allow any citizen of the United States to register and buy their vehicles without being a domiciled holder or a resident of the state. Despite this, it is compulsory to create an LLC here and get your RV registered in the business category. This process may look confusing and cumbersome but this can be handled by service providers that only charge $300 or so.

Looking at these facts, you’ll probably want to buy your RV in Montana to make your investment worth it.

Tax Cuts on Purchases

When it comes to the taxes you’re obliged to pay while purchasing an RV, those include sales tax, city tax, and other taxes that are different based on the location you’re purchasing the vehicle in. The state of Montana is free of all sales tax, city tax, and any other legal charges. This highly impacts the cost of vehicles and makes Montana the ultimate RV market in the US.

For the people residing in Oregon, Delaware, Alaska, or New Hampshire, there is the convenience of buying vehicles without any general sales tax. But these states only offer this benefit to the domiciled holders. If you’re a citizen of another state, say New Jersey, then you’re obliged to pay all the local taxes of the state in which you are buying your RV. After paying all the charges you’re allowed to register the vehicle in your hometown.

These taxes are of many types and can vary from vehicle to vehicle based on the weight, class, and retail value of the vehicle. When we’re talking about purchasing an RV, these taxes can become a real headache.

Another area to account for is the title and the fees for the registration of your RV. While these fees are minimal for a few bucks for a normal-sized vehicle, for your motorhome these can add up to be a large amount of cash. That’s one of the reasons people buying RVs and other heavy-duty vehicles make the purchase in Montana.

Avoiding taxes where the law allows you is not bad and you should only pay the appropriate taxes. There are a lot of RV enthusiasts that are full-timers and they often change their domicile to other states to avoid taxes. The most preferred state in this regard is without a doubt Montana as with other concessions on taxes they offer a permanent tag 11 years after purchase of a vehicle that allows you to keep the vehicle without paying the registration fee again.

A Great Used RV for Sale Under $5000

Our pick for the cheapest RV available in the market for $5,000 is the Jayco Jay Feather Sport M-165 model 2011. The specifications and features are reported from NADA guides, so there may be some slight differences in the actual models that are being sold. 

Used RV for sale under $5000

As for the specifications and cost of the 2011 model Jayco Jay Feather Sport M-165, its list price is $16,000. This should not worry you as this is the price issued by the manufacturer and the model is about ten years old, so it will be significantly lower now. 

All these factors have lessened the price of the RV and the lowest retail at which you can get this is $4,450. Coming to the average retail price, it’s about $5,530 which is a fair amount keeping in view the relatively new model of the RV and the specifications in which it is second to none.

Specifications and Features of Jayco Sport M-165

Following are the specifications of the Jayco Jay Feather Sport M-165

  • 18 feet long
  • 78 inches interior height
  • 2835 pounds base weight
  • Carrying capacity of 665 pounds
  • 13,500BTU air conditioning unit
  • 5 beds
  • Bathroom, toilet, and an installed shower

The 2011 Jayco Jay Feather Sport M-165 was a highly sought-after RV when it was first introduced. It is regarded by many as a complete and comfortable RV model. A length of 18 feet, it has a very compact and modern shape. Its weight is also less than most of the similar capacity RVs out there, but its layout resembles that of much larger RVs. The features that might attract travel enthusiasts are the sanitary facilities in the Jayco 2011 – a standard bathroom with a toilet plus shower is quite astounding. The other great factor is the space it provides for sleeping. 5 sleeping spots are available in the RV making it a premium choice for adventurous families.

Interior of Jayco Sport M-165

The Jayco Jay Feather Sport M-165 offers a compact dining space and a decent cooking area that is equipped with a cooktop with three burners, a refrigerator, and a microwave oven giving you an eating experience that matches your home. Adventure is all about joy and giving yourself time to have a day off work and relax. 

When it comes to entertainment, there is a TV shelf – However, you’ll need to buy a TV and install it by yourself as it does not come with the trailer. Jayco Feather Sport 2011 categorically is a comfort type RV. If you’re willing to compromise on the excessive weight and size of the RV then this trailer is the perfect option for you. 

The Jayco Jay Feather Sport M-165 possesses all the amenities that you’ll expect from a top-of-the-line RV. Its weight is a big pro factor coupled with the fact that it can easily be towed with an SUV of any type. Its length is almost perfect and its maneuverability is great on even the toughest and testing terrains. The heating system reaches all the parts of the RV even the bathroom and shower area, which makes your journey comfy even in harsh cold weather.

Affordable RVs For Rent Near You

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Is Buying a Used RV Worth it?

When you ask yourself what would be the top benefits of buying a used RV instead of a brand new one, several factors come to mind.

  • Used RVs are Cheap to Buy

 The price tag is the deciding factor here. Buying used RVs saves you a ton of money that you can invest on something else, house decoration, buying a new SUV, or getting your favorite smartphone. 

From an investment point of view, RVs fall under the category of vehicles that are depreciating assets. Their value decreases with every passing day due to the new and modern vehicles being introduced. The argument that you should always buy a used RV rather than a new one is supported by the fact that a brand new RV loses 10-30% of its original value as it leaves the showroom and makes it into your garage. This translates into a scenario in which you decide to sell off your newly bought RV the next day and it cannot be sold at the same price. 

You’ll have to swallow a loss of a whopping 10-30% of the total price of the vehicle. This fact forces many people to admit that when you buy a new RV, driving it to your garage will cost you a straight 10-30% loss of the original price. This means that the RV manufacturers use the tag of “Brand New” vehicle to impose a price hike on us. And for most people, this tag is justified as a new vehicle will give them the satisfaction that it’s untouched. But to a person that understands simple economics, that is not a trade-off worth making.

Besides the 10-30% depreciation that occurs immediately, the price of the RV significantly drops in the next two years. This implies that you can buy a two-year-old RV at about half the original price and with awesome conditions.

In addition to this, insurance is much cheaper for used RVs as compared to new RVs. By purchasing a used RV you’re saving on the insurance cost as well. This further piles up the pros of buying a used RV.

  • Mechanical Issues Already Resolved

Many owners that have RVs agree with this argument that most of the brand new RVs have a lot of mechanical issues popping up within a couple of months of using the RV. If you purchase a brand new RV, you’ll have to cover all the expenses of the mechanical issues that are unexpected and some of them can cost a lot. 

As your hard-earned money is saved when you buy a used RV, equally important is the fact that you don’t have to waste your time mending those mechanical faults and creating a whole new dilemma in your daily routine. When you’re buying a used RV, the first owner of the vehicle has already got all the issues fixed within a couple of months when the RV was bought. 

Why work by yourself when you can have others do your job for free.

  • Comes With Customized Additions 

RVs are generally well equipped with different features to make the travels comfortable. However, many people may not like the factory designs and features and may opt to do some modifications that make the RV more suitable and luxurious. 

These additions can range from customized lighting to closet areas and new televisions. If you’re lucky enough, you may get solar panels installed and customized furniture in your used RV. You may not like all the additions that the previous owner has made to the RV, but the critical items that the RV lacked would most probably be added to your RV by the person from which you’re purchasing the RV.

If you do not care about the “Brand New” tag then you should most probably go far with a used RV. It would be useless to buy a new RV with such a high price tag if you’re not serious about the freshness and status of the RV or other requirements that cannot be met with a used RV like advanced and state of the art specifications and features. 

How Much to Spend on an RV?

For a reasonable RV that would also be a good investment as well as a reliable asset, you should consider buying an RV at a price range of $7,500-$10,000.


Our recommendation is to increase your budget for the RV from $5000 to at least $7500. This is because the RVs that you can buy at $5000 would be at least 10-year-old models that are a couple of years away from being scrapped. 

Additionally, the $7500-$10,000 price tag offers you a wide range of trailers that are comparatively safer for traveling and relatively modern. If you intend to buy a used RV worth $5000 you’re advised to save money for a $7500-$10,000 trailer that would have more comfort and value. If you need an RV now, you can go with a $5000 RV that is in a good condition.

As you’re exploring which make and model is right for you, you can rent an RV on Outdoorsy to try before you buy. This is a great option for testing out how a specific RV type will work for your lifestyle. 

Affordable RVs For Rent Near You

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Jen Young


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