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price of travel trailers

I recently purchased a brand new travel trailer and did tons of price shopping to find the best prices.  Brand new travel trailers const significantly more than lightly used travel trailers because they depreciate quickly; however, since trailers can easily have things break, for many users it is worth buying new so they know everything will work perfectly when it’s purchased.

I found a wide range of prices, but in general, here are my findings.  A new travel trailer typically costs between $11,000 and $35,000.  An average 24′ travel trailer with decent construction will cost approximately $23,000.

Obviously, the price depends on a lot of different factors–not the least of which is the size and construction quality.  If you’re looking for a basic trailer with lower-end appliances and construction, then Coleman is a good brand to look into.  They often sell for HALF the cost of the more expensive brands, but for many families it may be a good option still.

Average Travel Trailer Cost Examples

Here are some examples of prices for new travel trailers that I saw.  These are not the list price, but the price that I think you could expect to get after some negotiating.  For my tips on how to get a great price on a new travel trailer, read this article!

  • $11,000 – Coleman CTS17FQWE (21′ trailer with VERY BASIC bare-bones features, budget construction, and siding with no slide out)
  • $13,500 -Coleman CTS235QBWE (27′ trailer with very basic features, siding, budget construction, and no slide outs)
  • $14,000 – Jayco Jayflight 145RB Baja (14′ with siding and basic features)
  • $15,000 -Starcraft AR-ONE 20BHLE (24′ bunkhouse plan with fiberglass exterior, decent features)
  • $17,000 -Coleman CTS262BHWE (32′ with very basic features, slide, budget construction, bunkhouse model)
  • $18,500 – Forest River Gray Wolf 24RK (33′ feet, fiberglass walls, nice features, well made, sleeps 3)
  • $19,000 – Shadow Cruiser 195WBS (22′ with a slide, very well made with nice features)
  • $22,000 – Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S (22′ with a slide, sleeps 4, extremely well built and nice features)
  • $23,000 – Jayco Jay Flight 23RB (23′ bunkhouse with a slide, and good construction)
  • $23,500 – Heartland Mallard IDM29 (33′ bunkhouse with a slide, very well made)
  • $24,000 – Rockwood Mini Lite 2504s’ (25′ travel trailer with slide, bunks, and lots of upgraded features)
  • $25,000 -Keystone Cougar 24SABWE (28′ with a slide, very well made and nice features)
  • $29,000 – Forest River Vibe 268RKS (34′ with a slide and sleeps four, very nicely appointed)
  • $32,000 – Forest River Wildcat 28RKX (32′ and very well made with excellent features)
  • $35,000 – Keystone Outback 326RL (53′ with 3 slides and nicely appointed)
  • $35,000 – Jayco White Hawk 28DSBH (28′ with fiberglass walls, slide out, and very nicely appointed)

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what you might pay for a brand new camper trailer.

Don’t Forget!  You’ll have additional expenses!

As one who recently paid up for a new trailer, I can tell you that there will be many additional associated costs.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Sales tax!  Don’t forget that if your state charges sales tax (often of 6%!), you’ll have to add that to the purchase price
  • Dealer title and doc fee (Plan for about $300 depending on the dealer and state)
  • Insurance (I wrote an article on how much it costs to insure a travel trailer)
  • Blackwater dump hose, cords, etc (I have a full article here on all the things I had to buy to get my trailer working after buying a new one)
  • Two batteries (Be sure to check!  MANY RV lots do not include batteries in the sales price.  RV batteries can cost $150 each or more!)
  • Propane tanks (Be sure they are included and find out if they come filled or not)
  • Spare tire (Often not included in the sale, and you’ll ABSOLUTELY NEED to have one with you)
  • Generator (Typically between $900 and $2,500.  Read my review of my favorite inexpensive generator here.)
  • Storage (If your trailer can’t be stored in your side yard, then you’ll need to pay for storage.  This will differ dramatically depending on where you live.  I pay $95 per month for covered storage in Boise, Idaho).

What Makes the Prices of Trailers So Different?

As you can see from the example prices above, there is a huge difference in the cost of travel trailers–even if the floorplan and basic size are the same.  A 21′ Coleman can be had for as little as $11,000 while a 21′ Rockwood, Shadow Cruiser, or Forest River can be $23,000.  Why?  I’ll tell you a story to illustrate.

Our first night in our new Rockwood 2504s (click for my tour video on Youtube of the new trailer) , a gentleman came up and talked with us who was camping close by.  Turns out we had both purchased our new trailers the day before from the same dealership (Camping World in Meridian Idaho), and we were both out camping for the first time in them.  He bought an inexpensive Coleman and we bought a more expensive Rockwood.  They were about the same price.  He’d paid almost half of what we did, so I was curious to see if he liked it (if I’d paid too much!).

It was really sad.  He totally regretted his purchase and had numerous problems with his trailer on the first night.  It wasn’t any one thing.  The fridge was difficult to use, the sink faucet leaked a little, etc etc.  It was a hundred things that just didn’t work as well as he’d hoped.  There wasn’t anything BROKEN, the features just weren’t as well made and he regretted not spending a little more.

I’m NOT trying to bash Coleman campers AT ALL.  We all have different budgets and if that’s what you can afford, you’ll probably love it!  Any trailer that gets your family together out in the woods is a good trailer, and saving the money is usually the smart decision.  Anyway, the only reason I share this story is that the price of a travel trailer is usually in hundreds of little things and not one big thing.  It’s the quality of the showerhead, the insulation that the windows provide, getting LED lights instead of halogen, more storage, frameless windows, two batteries, larger propane tanks, a powered awning, an entertainment center, etc.  It’s a thousand little things that the specs of a trailer don’t really show.

So as you’re shopping for a new trailer, just be sure that you read lots of reviews from ACTUAL OWNERS of the trailer, and look for the less obvious things that will prevent you from having maintenance problems down the road.  If your trailer is a headache to use, you’ll be tempted to stay home on Friday night instead of taking the family on the road.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to find a nice trailer, but hopefully this gives you a primer on some things to consider.  Just be sure to check out my tips on getting a good deal on a new trailer before you buy!

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