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Rent or buy and if buy easiest to sell ?


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Hello everyone. My other half and I are starting to plan a 6 month trip around the US (we are in the UK and wouldn't be travelling for a couple of years yet, so are very much in the 'what is possible' phase of planning).

We were originally looking at just a 3 month trip and renting a class C from one of the main providers like El Monte etc, but having decided to extend it to 6 months and due to the fact I am self employed and work on 6 monthly rolling IT contracts which mean we can't plan/book anything more than a few months ahead the costs of renting are extortionate. So the plan is now to get an Escapees address in Texas and buy, insure and register a travel trailer/tow vehicle to that address for the trip and sell them again at the end (unless we decide to keep them and keep coming back of course).

I appreciate we will loose money on the trailer and vehicle when we sell, but I can't see us loosing anywhere near as much as the $20,000 or there about the rental would cost, however I obviously don't know the US market. So for those in the know does that assumption stand up to scrutiny or am I in cloud cuckoo land and could a trailer ($15,000 ? ) and a 1/4 or 1/2 ton pickup ($15,000 ? ) loose that much value if we add a further 6 months and 15000 miles on them ?

If that is the way to go I am making a further assumption that the more well known brands like Airstream etc would be easier to sell/hold their value better than some others, so it would make more sense to pay out more initially for something like that for $30,000 say rather than buying a different brand for $15,000 if budget allows. What would people recommend ?

I should add that we have moved away from class C as we like the ability to unhook a trailer (caravan as we would call them here) and leave it in a location whilst we took the tow vehicle out to explore.

Any advice would be gratefully accepted.


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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to help as much as possible and to have you join us here for your adventure. 

With 2 years to plan you do have a lot of time to research, which is a good move on your part. Right now that RV market has gone crazy with the covid problems and dealers are selling everything that they can get so prices have gone up in both the new and used markets. If you come for 6 months it will probably pay to buy, but you need to realize that it will mean at least a week to get paperwork done once you arrive and you will need some sort of arrangement to sell it when you leave. Both will take time but clearly can be done. I do think that you could do that so that you don't loose a great deal of money as long as you realize that it will take time. Many people from UK, Australia, and several other countries that buy and keep RVs in the US and periodically spend time here traveling in them and store them while they are back home. There are a few dealers who work with such buyers frequently enough to know what must be done and how to do it. Probably the best known for this would be PPL Houston as they regularly work with members of Escapees from other countries. By browsing their site you can get some feeling for what different RVs cost and they can also sell it for you once you finish your trip and leave. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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Kirk is correct about current trailer prices,, perhaps next year the market has  "corrrected" depending on the outcome of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine expectations. If that happens I expect RV prices to return to normal, there may even be a glut of used RVs on sales lots, but that is a huge ? mark.


2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961


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Thanks both. We will probably come out two or three months before the trip starts, spend a week or two sorting out the purchases, insurance etc and then leave them in storage/at the dealers until we fly out again for the trip itself.

If we do decide to sell at the end, looking at the PPL site I see they charge 10% to sell on consignment which isn't to bad (to me at least) or I may just take the additional hit of selling for cash depending on what finances are like for our return to the UK.


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Be sure to do all your homework. Pulling a trailer and setting up is not as easy as towing a small car behind a mid-size motorhome. I know everyone has their own preferences,  I tow a HOnda CRV and can hookup and disconnect in 5 minutes by myself. When my partner is with me, it takes 3 minutes. We travel all across the US and like the motorhome. We're inside for bathroom and lunch breaks. One of us can nap in the back while on long hauls. And we like running around in a small car once we set up camp vs a big truck. Another idea is to get a long term room at a place like Extended Stays for a month and avoid making 2 air flights. Let us know as further questions arise. Good Sam has a very active forum too.

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A few years ago my wife and I met a British couple who owned a fifthwheel and truck to pull it here in the US.  They spend the maximum time allowed (6 months?) traveling the US before heading back across the pond to the UK.  There they spend the minimum required time before coming back to the US.  They've been doing it for years.

IIRC, they have to spend a certain number of days in the UK to keep their medical insurance coverage.

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