Finding a used RV for sale under $5000 is not only very affordable but will be an extreme upgrade from tent camping. An RV will provide you with built in conveniences such as stoves, fridges, electricity and maybe even a bathroom.
There’s a reason there is a growing movement of nomads living and working from their RV’s- it’s a chance to live like you’re on vacation. It may feel like you need to break the bank when purchasing an RV.
Many think that a reliable and affordable RV is a pipe dream, especially if your budget is as low as $5000. But there are resources to help you if you’re willing to look.
Top 10 places to find a used RV for sale under $5000:
1. RV Trader
RV Trader is the best place to start because it’s all about RV’s! This site has more than 50,000 used RV listings in North America, making it a great place to start your search. More than 3,000 listings are $5000 or under.
Be aware that some of these listings are sneaky, they are rental prices, not purchase prices which puts them in your search category. Also read the full listing for any motor home styles because some of the lower priced ones are listed for parts only, Be sure to read a potential listing fully before reaching out to the seller.
A unique feature of this site is the RV Park listings. You can search by state to find a wide variety of RV parks and their websites and contact details. This is a feature that would come in handy whether you were in the market to buy or not, so bookmark this page and revisit after you’ve found your dream RV.
The RV Insider is a review site where you can read other folks’ experiences with various makes and models.
2. Camping World
Camping World is an RV dealer with listings for RV sales/rentals, gear, and boats with more than 40,000 RV listings. You’re also able to search for sales based on the monthly payment if you are able to go the financing route. Financing through Camping World may give you the flexibility to raise your budget past that $5000 mark.
The search function of this website doesn’t work very well and you may find it frustrating to put in your search requirements over and over for nothing to change. If you want to find listings under $5000, your best bet is to sort through all 40,000 based on price and get to scrolling.
Camping World doesn’t currently have any listings under $5000. The closest options are newer (2015-2018) tent trailers in the $6000-$9000 range.
3. Bish’s RV
Bish’s RV is a family owned RV dealership that operates in the Western U.S. The company offers financing and has many in person dealerships. This family owned company has 18 physical locations which means you can get a person to person sales experience.
The company has about 8000 listings with 1000 of them being used. At the time of this article being written, Bish’s only had a few options under $5000 s available.
Interested in a career in camping? Bish’s RV website also has an employment page with details on internships, technicians positions. And their accelerated management program.
4. RV’s on Autotrader
Autotrader is a staple for a reason, it has a good reputation and several listings. Though it doesn’t boast the number of listings as RV Trader, you can expect about 7,000 used RV listings. The under $5000 section is small but for a few thousand more you can find a handful of options under $7000.
Autotrader is the only website visited that had RV units for as low as $1500. Tent trailers on this site range from $1500-$5000 and are from 1996-2011. Pretty new options for under $5000.
A nice resource on Autotrader is the Research section, where you can look at specs on almost every make and model RV available.
RVT is a large site with about 40,000 RV listings, 350 of which fall under the $5000 price. Unique to RVT is the review section called RV Insider.Search for real users reviews of many RV makes and models along with any listings for sale. It’s a great way to research the make and models you’re interested in and see what’s available at the same time.
Similar to a couple other RV sites, RVT offers financing through Essex Credit and you can apply for financing right on the website. This site also allows you to find dealers near you if you prefer to go the dealer route over a private sale. They are also one of the few sites who offer insurance for your unit as well.
If you have some time, pursue their blog RV Insight which has a number of helpful articles such as a Guide to Camping in the Snow, a guide to figure out which RV suits your lifestyle, a review of various badlands to camp in, and so many more!
6. Lazydays RV
Lazydays RV is a small site. At the time of writing this article, it had only 266 listings, 164 of which are used. There are a couple listings in the $5000-$7000 range, but not many. The site features a “Trade-In” section. If you’re looking to trade in your current RV, you could look up the estimated trade in value on their site.
Lazydays RV offers financing, up to 20 year loans are available. You can use the loan calculator to figure out what you can afford.
Unique to this site, is the Florida-based RV resort. Located in Tampa, FL, the Lazydays RV Resort has 300 RV sites with full hookups, a pool and hot tub, and complimentary cable Tv and WIFI.
7. RV’s $10,000 and Under
Get social! The Facebook Group, RV’s $10,000 and Under, is a group of 45,000 members where you can scroll through listings. This group has a rule that you cannot post “In Search of” posts and encourages members to take the time to scroll through listings.
A downside is that you can’t do a detailed search based on make, model, or price, but the pricing looks to be lower on this group versus other RV listing sites. This is a great resource if you have a specific make or model in mind, there is a keyword search bar, or if you don’t mind spending some time scrolling or checking in often.
This is a chance to meet other RV enthusiasts and perhaps make some inquiries into other potential private sales. Like most Facebook groups, there is a bit of negativity in comments but for these kinds of deals, anyone can look the other way.
For instance, a 1995 Fleetwood bounder RV in driveable and loveable condition was listed for only $6500, and a 2008 HiLo 2308c classic trailer was listed for only $6000.
8. General RV
General RV is a company with 14 dealerships in seven states, more than 500 service bays and a larger inspection facility. General RV is one of the few websites that offer financing AND insurance for your RV making it a one stop shop, perfect for the RV shopper who wants convenience in the process.
Their website has about 500 listings, only a handful of which fall under the $10,000 mark, none of which are under $5000.
A nice feature about General RV is the parts section of the site. You can find thousands of RV parts and accessories on their website and speak to staff who can answer questions. If you live near one of their service bays, you can visit certified RV technicians for help.
An interesting feature on General RV is the ability to consign Your RV. Meaning if you want to sell it, you can consign it through the dealership and have better luck finding a buyer.
eBay for an RV? You may think eBay is for collectibles and buying Michael Scott’s condo (any Office fans out there?) but there is a section for RV’s. It only allows you to search based on model or by style which can be nice if you have a specific style in mind.
If you’re looking for a Class A RV there are about 3000 listings, Class B has 1300 listings, Class C has 1900 listings and towable trailers and campers have a whopping 27,000 listings! All in all, head to ebay and search the 33,000 listings.
Once you break down your search based on category, you can go into more detailed searches such as length, mileage, price, etc. At the time of this article, about 100 fell under the $5000 mark.
Remember, eBay is an auction website. When you type in your budget and see a 2018 Airstream for only $1085.00, note that it’s up for bid and the price WILL go up. Some items do have a “Buy Now” option where you can buy it outright for the listed price.
This is an option if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to go through the bidding process. There is the potential to score a killer deal through the bidding system if you’re lucky.
It’s also interesting to note the additional services eBay offers RV purchasers. You can order an inspection from WeGoLook and apply for financing through Currency Finance. Ebay Motors’ financing company.
Craigslist is a great way to find local listings from private sellers. Many sellers will only post on their local Craigslist so ignoring this means ignoring some potential great finds. You will want to utilize the search function to narrow down your search and to weed out things such as RV parts.
This is the place to find a deal! At the time of writing this article, the LA craigslist had a 1990 30 foot Open Road Motorhome Class A for only $4800. Truly, a small apartment on wheels for a terrific price. When it comes to this site however, buyer beware!
When buying privately, you can save a lot of money, but you need to do your homework too. Order vehicle history reports, test the RV features, if it’s an RV, have the engine inspected.
Narrow Down Your Used RV Search
When trying to find a home away from home on a $5000 budget, you’re going to find tent trailers are your most affordable option, followed by travel trailers and fifth wheels. Both have very different towing needs, so don’t always look at price first.
Before beginning your search, make a list of how you intend to use your new used RV, the must-have features, how much renovating you are willing to do, and your vehicle’s towing capacity. Narrowing down your list will make searching through listings a whole lot easier.
You can even visit sites like RVT and research the different makes and models of RV’s you have your eye on.
Best Place to Find a Used RV Deal?
It’s not going to be easy. Trying to find an RV for under $5000 that meets your requirements is possible, but it will take some work.
After doing the research, your best bet at finding the cheapest deal possible is through private sellers like on Facebook and Craigslist. But going through dealerships gives you options such as financing, insurance, and vehicle history reports which provide a better chance of scoring a reliable unit.
If you truly need to stay within a strict budget, try going to Pinterest and search for RV Renos for many different pictures, videos, and blog sites sharing ways to renovate and upgrade your RV. Youtube videos help you learn how to replace and repair RV parts and problems.
Whichever way you go, when you finally find the perfect unit and you’re sitting outside your RV at the perfect campsite- you’ll forget all about the work of finding, purchasing, and fixing up your special home away from home and you’ll enjoy life a little more.
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David Parnell is the founder and lead editor at Trail and Summit, who enjoys writing on a wide range of topics from travel trailers to trail running. He’s an accomplished mountain endurance athlete who has completed over 25 ultra marathon races (follow on Strava). He is most proud of his finish at The Drift 100 – a high elevation, 100 mile winter foot race that zigzags along the Continental Divide in Wyoming. In the future he hopes to compete in the ITI 350 and ultimately the full 1,000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational that follows the same path as the historic dog sled race.