If you’re someone who likes to explore the wilderness but in the comfort of a home, you’re probably looking to buy one. But they’re so expensive and unattainable, right? Not necessarily. While it’s true that brand new RVs are listed for sale up to millions of dollars, they certainly don’t have to especially if you buy used. For the Californian earning the average income of $64,500 annual salary, there are plenty of options for you, whether you’re buying in cash or you intend to finance. Doing a little math, you’d be earning just under $4,000 per month after taxes. With that, and sticking to the tried and true 20/4/10 rule, which is 20% down with monthly payments no more than 10% income over a four year period, you could afford to finance an RV for about $18,000.
With that as a parameter, we explored various RVs for sale in California and the neighboring state of Nevada and came to some interesting conclusions. In general, Class A RVs (buses) are the way to go, and while they can be expensive, are totally worth it if you like RVs and adventuring. Bear in mind the options we found were all near as old as 2000, but don’t let that deter you. These RVs have a lot to offer.
Right on the cusp of our budget, at $18,500 is this 1998 Rexhall Aerbus. Slightly on the older side, it’s powered by a Ford 460 engine, has two air conditioners, a hardwood kitchen floor and real wood cabinets, a queen bed, and all original interior. It’s 32 feet long and seems a bit cozier on the inside than other options, but it’s nevertheless a great choice.
Another option we found is the 1997 Holiday Rambler Vacationer. While it’s slightly older than the Fleetwood it’s 38 feet long and has a Ford 460 V8. This particular one we found was selling for $17,000 and has three air conditioners, can accommodate six people, has two TVs, and a plethora of other features including a generator and cable/satellite TV. This Vacationer is more towards the upper end of the Rambler Vacationer scale as one of the biggest models made.
If you can combine income with your significant other, you may be able to find and afford a diamond in the rough, like this 2002 National RV Islander selling for almost $20,000. It’s got two sections that slide out, it’s 40 feet long, and is powered by a 370-horsepower turbo diesel engine. It’s a brilliant piece of machinery, as luxurious as they come (at this price) featuring a queen sized bed, two kitchen sinks and plush furniture. This is certainly the deal you want to target when shopping for a used RV.
Remember these used RVs were found based on their affordability compared to the average Californian income. If you make more, obviously you can afford more. The point is, you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to enjoy the pleasures of an RV and go on your dream adventure.
Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.