Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a 5th wheel trailer, the cost will likely play an important role.
So, how much does a 5th wheel cost to buy and rent? And what’s the true cost of ownership if you decide to buy?
Let’s break down the average cost to buy a new and used 5th wheel trailer, how much a trailer rental typically costs, plus cover the main (and hidden) costs of RV ownership.
How Much Does a 5th Wheel Cost?
A 5th wheel typically costs between $30,000 for a used trailer to around $125,000 for a brand new model. The price varies significantly depending on the brand and model of the trailer, its amenities, whether it’s new or used, the time of year you buy it, etc.
Of course, those are the average price ranges. You can currently find models as low as $4,999 to over $184,000! Here’s a snapshot of the current price ranges (lowest and highest) of 5th wheel trailers on CampingWorld.com.
The 2003 Keystone Challenger can be found for as low as $4,999, while the 2022 Forest River Riverstone is priced at $184,995.
Plus, there’s the option to rent, which might save you a lot in up-front buying costs and the cost of ownership if you only plan on using the trailer once or twice a year.
To get you a more accurate cost for all the different types of RVs out there, we separate them out by new vs. used and then by type below.
And if you’re intent on buying a 5th wheel, don’t skip the cost of ownership section below, as it will help paint a more accurate picture of how much that RV will cost for as long as you own it.
Let’s start with new 5th wheelers.
How Much Is a New 5th Wheel?
On average, a new 5th wheel trailer will cost between $35,000 and $125,000. As mentioned above, some outliers cost over $184,000 (the Forest River Riverstone, for example), but the majority are much cheaper.
So, how does a new fifth-wheel trailer compare to the other types of RVs?
Related: How Much Does an RV Cost?
Average RV Cost by Type
|Type||Average Cost (New)|
|Class-A||$50,000 – $300,000|
|Class-B (Camper van)||$70,000 – $150,000|
|Class-C||$50,000 – $150,000|
|Travel trailer||$20,000 – $75,000|
|5th wheel||$35,000 – $125,000|
|Pop-up camper/Teardrop||$10,000 – $20,000|
|Truck Camper||$5,000 – $50,000|
Important: The figures in this table represent averages. You’ll find some models well outside these average prices. As mentioned above, the Forest River Riverstone runs around $184,000! But, for your typical RV, you can expect it to fall within the ranges above.
Now, let’s look at how much a used fifth-wheel trailer costs.
How Much Does a Used 5th Wheel Cost?
On average, you can find used 5th wheels between $30,000 and $100,000. Again, there are outliers, some used luxury trailers can cost over $150,000, but the majority are much cheaper.
The type of used RV and the year are the two biggest factors that drive cost. Let’s look at the average prices for the different types of RVs to see how they compare.
Average Used RV Cost by Type
|Type||Average Cost (Used)|
|Class-A||$30,000 – $175,000|
|Class-B (Camper van)||$40,000 – $115,000|
|Class-C||$30,000 – $75,000|
|Travel trailer||$10,000 – $50,000|
|5th wheel||$30,000 – $100,000|
|Pop-up camper/Teardrop||$2,000 – $15,000|
|Truck Camper||$1,000 – $30,000|
Used prices for RVs are all over the board, as so many factors can influence the price.
Tip: If you’re interested in purchasing a used RV, first identify the type of RV that fits your needs and search for used models near you to get a good idea of how much you’ll likely spend. Once you’ve found a few models in your budget, check out our guide on what to look for when buying a used RV.
How Much Does a 5th Wheel Cost to Rent?
Renting a 5th wheel trailer is a viable option whether you want to test out the RV lifestyle before buying or want all the thrills of camping in a trailer without the maintenance, insurance costs, and everything else.
So, how much does fifth wheel trailer rental cost on average? And how does it compare to the other RV types?
|Class A Motorhome||$175-$275 (10+) or $350-$450 (Newer)|
|Class B Motorhome||$100-$200 (10+) or $200-$350 (Newer)|
|Class C Motorhome||$150-$200 (10+) or $225-$400 (Newer)|
|Travel Trailer||$50-$125 (10+) or $125-$200 (Newer)|
|Fifth Wheel||$60-$150 (10+) or $150-$300 (Newer)|
|Pop-up Camper/Teardrop||$30-$100 (10+) or $75-$150 (Newer)|
Remember that these are average prices and will vary depending on the amenities, size, time of year, length of rental, location, etc.
Tip: Check out our guide titled How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV for a complete breakdown of the costs plus tips to get the most out of your rental!
To get a true cost of the entire RV rental vacation, you’ll need to factor in:
- Rental insurance: This may be included in the rental cost if you use a reputable RV rental company like Outdoorsy. But, for extra damage or trip insurance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
- Prep fee: Many RV owners will charge a prep fee to “ready” the 5th wheel for your trip.
- Delivery fee: In many cases, you can optionally have the trailer delivered to you for a fee.
- Price-per-mile: Some rental companies or RV owners charge per mile you travel on top of the daily rental fee.
- Fuel expense: You will need to pay for the gas in your tow vehicle used during the trip. Depending on the cost per gallon of gas and the miles traveled, this expense can add up!
- Campground fees: Campgrounds can range from $15 to over $100 per night, depending on their location and amenities. If you’re looking to save money, you can always dry camp, as well, which is typically free (you’ll just have zero amenities).
It’s a good idea to plan for these expenses ahead of time to have a better understanding of the total cost of the trip before securing your rental.
Cost of 5th Wheel Ownership
When you buy a 5th wheel trailer, unfortunately, the expenses don’t stop there. In fact, there’s something called the cost of RV ownership, which can add up to quite a bit.
So, what is the true cost of owning a fifth wheel?
If you’ve owned an RV before, then you probably have a pretty good idea of all the extra expenses that come with ownership.
But, if you’re looking to buy your first recreational vehicle, here is a list of the potential costs of owning an RV that you’ll want to plan for.
5th Wheel Maintenance & Repairs
In order to keep your camper in good working condition, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance and repairs.
Some typical maintenance tasks can include:
- Tire replacement
- Battery testing and replacement
- Propane tank refill/replacement
- Filter cleaning/replacement
- Regular washing and waxing of the exterior
- Replace seals
- Sanitize the water tanks
- And so on
Plus, don’t forget about repairs. If something breaks, and things will break, you have to pay to either get it fixed or for the part and fix it yourself.
For example, water heaters will eventually go out and need to be replaced, window screens tear, tail lights burn out, etc.
So, is it expensive to maintain a 5th wheel trailer?
On average, RVers typically spend between $500 to $2000 per year on maintenance. But, if something major goes wrong, you can expect that number to jump. Warranties can help cover some costs, and getting a professional inspection performed on your RV prior to purchase can help protect you and your wallet.
Similar to your home or auto, insurance to protect you and your RV is another recurring cost you’ll want to consider.
According to Progressive, the average annual RV insurance policy will cost $502 for a travel trailer to $848 for a motorhome in 2020. Liability-only policies started at $125 per year.
That said, the actual cost for an insurance policy will vary based on the type of RV, location, features, driving experience, and so on.
Fuel costs will vary significantly depending on your tow vehicle’s MPG, distance traveled, cost per gallon of gas, etc.
Tip: Use a fuel calculator to estimate fuel costs before the trip. And use apps like Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas near you.
If you have a fairly economical tow vehicle and tow a smaller fifth-wheel trailer, fuel costs will be considerably less.
Hidden Costs of Owning a 5th Wheel
Along with the above costs, there are what some would consider “hidden” costs to owning a camper trailer. Or costs that many tend to overlook (but can add up quickly).
- Park Fees: The cost to reserve a spot at an RV park can range from $15 to over $100 per night, depending on their location and amenities. You can help offset these costs by splitting your time at free boondocking locations.
- Storage Fees: You’ll need a place to store your RV when unused. Some have the luxury of being able to store their RV on their own property, but many do not. Expect to pay between $50 to $250 per month to store your trailer.
- Registration Fees: Depending on where you live, you may have yearly registration fees. For example, in Iowa, a Class-A recreational vehicle that costs over $80,000 has a $400 per year registration fee.
- Memberships: While membership programs like Thousand Trails and Passport America are designed to save you money, they still cost to be a part of.
- Supplies: Similar to a home, you’ll need to stock your RV with supplies, including kitchen utensils, food, laundry and cleaning supplies, etc.
- Upgrades: Upgrade costs will certainly vary, but if you want a better wifi signal or a satellite dish, for example, these will incur additional costs.
- Depreciation: While not a direct cost, your RV will lose value, especially if you buy new. A new fifth-wheel trailer will typically lose 45% of its value in the first five years! One way to avoid that initial major drop in value is to buy used. Your used RV will still depreciate over time, but it won’t be as drastic as the first few years.
Now that you understand the costs of buying and owning an RV, what’s next? Check out our guide covering the pros and cons of owning an RV to find out if owning one is cost-effective and if it’s right for you!
Plus, check out our guide on what to look for when buying a used 5th wheel, complete with a downloadable checklist!