How Much Does a Camper Cost?
Campers have come a long way! They started off as tiny little airstream tow-ables and have grown into 25-foot behemoths that can cost over $300,000! Don’t freak out yet, there are still reasonably priced campers available in the $10,000 range too. All that to say there is a huge array of options and variety available in the Camper sector of RVs. To start, there are technically two types of campers that are actually very different from each other.
First, there is the more traditional Expandable Camper, which is a collapsible tow-able camping accessory. Expandable Campers are typically more affordable and easier to start out with as they require minimal maintenance, though they do not have every luxury other RVs might have. Expandable Campers are a good medium between traditional camping and the glamping experience you would get from a larger more traditional RV.
Then, there are Class B Motorhome Campers. These are significantly more expensive and sophisticated than an Expandable Camper. They are an all-in-one RV, meaning you do not tow them, you drive the vehicle itself. They are compact, efficient, and easy to maneuver. Class Bs definitely bring luxury, but they are still very compact and efficient vehicles for camping and traveling.
Campers are a really economical way to still get the most our of the RV lifestyle if you have a smaller group of people traveling with you and you are not planning on staying on the road for more than a few weeks.
In this article, we are going to talk more about the differences between the two types of campers, how much they cost, what the top brands of each type are, whether to buy new or used, and where to buy your next dream RV. So buckle up!
- There are two types of Camper RVs: Expandable Campers (Pop-Ups) and Class B Motorhomes
- Both types are convenient and offer the conveniences of home on the road
- Expandable Campers typically cost about $10k-$20k
- Class B Motorhomes typically cost about $120k-$150k
Table of Contents
What is a Camper?
Campers are categorized by their lightweight, economical, and low-maintenance features. There are two types of campers in the RV family:
- Class B Camper Vans
- Expandable Trailers
Both types are well-suited for 2-4 travelers and multi-week trips. Camper RVs are significantly smaller than other types of RVs such as Class As, Travel Trailers, or Fifth Wheels. Because of their smaller size, they might have fewer amenities than other types of RVs, but that does not mean they are any less comfortable or capable.
Class B Camper Vans
Class B Camper Vans are RVs that you drive, not tow. This gives the travelers more freedom to move about the cabin as they are traveling and they do not need to worry about a tow vehicle or learning how to drive a rig with a large RV in tow.
Class B’s are easy to drive as they aren’t significantly different in size from a utility van (think an Airport Transportation Van or a van you would see for an electrician, plumber, or internet worker). They are typically between 18 and 24 feet in length. Class B’s are maneuverable and notably fuel-efficient compared to their RV counterparts. Class B’s offer a living space that is tight but efficient, they do not have slide-outs, but still, have all the amenities you would expect from an RV. You can expect to see a small galley kitchen, a small refrigerator, a small bathroom with a toilet and shower, at least 1 full bed, a dining area, and AC/Heat.
Pro Tip: Class B RVs can come with either gas or diesel engines. Class Bs generally get 12-25 miles per gallon.
If you are interested in Motorhomes but are looking for something a little bigger or more robust than a Class B, check out some of these articles on other types of Motorhomes:
Expandable Trailers are also considered campers for their lightweight, low-maintenance, minimalist features. They offer everything you would need and expect from an RV for longer trips, but they are definitely not something you would be able to live in full-time or host lots of people in.
Expandable Trailers are also known as pop-up campers. You will need a tow vehicle to haul them, but they usually are significantly easier to tow because they fold down into a smaller, streamlined version when towing. Hauling an Expandable Trailer is not much different than towing a traditional 12 ft utility trailer.
Expandable Trailers ‘pop-up’ when you reach your destination to reveal most of the same amenities as a Class B would. Pop-up campers dance the line between RV glamping and traditional camping. They usually include at least 2 queen beds that pop out on each end, a small kitchen sink and stove, a dining area (sometimes that converts into another bed), and built-in storage. Some Expandable Trailers include small bathrooms with a toilet and shower, a refrigerator, AC/Heat although most of these options are add-ons and after-market upgrades.
If you are interested in a towable RV, but are looking for something a little bigger or more robust than an Expandable Camper, check out some of these articles on other types of towable RVs:
What are the Pros and Cons of a Camper?
As with any purchase, you need to decide what option is the best possible fit that balances your needs and your wants with your budget. A pro and con list might help narrow down your options and make this decision a little easier. We are going to list out some pros and cons for Class B Campers and for Expandable Campers to help give you a good idea of what you do and do not get with each option.
Class B Camper
- Are more eco-friendly and require less gas than other tow vehicles or larger motorhomes
- Are easy to learn to drive and maneuver in difficult driving conditions
- Easier to store and maintain due to their size
- More expensive than tow-able RVs
- Minimal room for amenities such as ovens, stoves, showers, toilets, water tanks, etc.
- Limited space (square footage) and storage options
- Affordable and economical option
- Easy to tow because they are small and very lightweight, so you do not need a large truck to tow a pop-up necessarily
- Easy to store in most garages, so you do not have to pay for storage or leave it outside
- Blends the fun of camping with some of the comforts of home
- Many pop-up campers do not come with a toilet or shower or even a stove, fridge or oven (they can, but many do not come with these options as standard).
- More set-up and tear-down time and strain needed to use a pop-up camper
- Limited space for indoor activities and sleeping
What are the Top Camper Brands?
There are definitely some stand out brands in the Camper space. We are going to break down some of our favorite brands for each style of camper (Class B and Expandable Camper) in this section.
Pro Tip: All Class B RVs are made on one of three commercial van chassis; the Mercedes Sprinter, the Ford Transit, or the Dodge Ram ProMaster. This means there is limited flexibility for unique floorplans in Class Bs.
How Much Does a Camper Cost?
Campers have a huge price range. Mostly this is when you lump the Expandable Campers and the Class Bs together. If you separate them, it makes a little more sense. The average cost of an Expandable Camper is $15,000 – $20,000, depending on size, new vs used, brand, and amenities. Rember, if you want to purchase an Expandable Camper, you will need to also have access to a tow vehicle that can haul the camper’s curb weight. A Class B is typically significantly more expensive than an Expandable Camper. You can expect a Class B RV to cost about $120,000 on average. Some used Class B’s can get down to the $60,000 range, but those are usually over 10-15 years old and have outdated features and many miles. Some Class B RVs can get up to over $300,000.
Here are some pricing examples of both Class B RVs and Expandable Campers that are currently on the market:
Class B Campers:
|Make and Model||New or Used||Length||Price|
|2004 Pleasure-Way LEXOR RD||Used||20 ft||$62,500|
|2022 Thor Motor Coach Sequence 20A||New||20 ft||$111,069|
|2022 Airstream Atlas Murphy Suite||New||25 ft||$273,296|
|Make and Model||New or Used||Length||Price|
|2005 Fleetwood Niagra||Used||19 ft||$9,250|
|2021 Forest River Rockwood Freedom 1640LTD||New||17 ft||$10,447|
|2021 Coachmen Viking Legend 2485 SST||New||23 ft||$25,366|
New vs Used Campers
Regardless of which type of camper RV you are interested in purchasing, you have to make one major decision first: new or used. Both Class Bs and Expandable Campers have inventory available in the new and the used markets. There are pros and cons to both new and used RVs. In this section, we are going to break down some of the pros and cons of buying either type of RV new or used.
Expandable Campers are one of the most affordable options in the RV world, and the price drops even more if you go the used route. However, the inverse is true as well. Although Expandable Campers typically start off in the $10K range, they can get significantly more expensive when you add on amenities such as storage, a full bathroom, a cooktop, a dishwasher, etc. And note that if you add any of these amenities, storage is the first thing to get depleted by the manufacturers.
Class B Campers are always going to be more expensive than their counterparts. However, you can expect to pay 25%-50% less than MSRP when buying a used Class B. As with any RV, the price for new Class B’s goes up with the size and any extra amenities you have added on. One option is to buy a base model and then add on any extras you want yourself aftermarket. This will also help when/if you are ever ready to sell it, you can promote the upgrades you’ve made to the rig.
The price of either type of camper is dependent on a few factors:
- Time of year
- Where you purchase from
- Who you purchase from
If you are buying used, there are some additional factors to consider that might fluctuate the price you pay:
- The seller the more motivated the seller is to offload their vehicle, the more wiggle room you have for price negotiations
- The condition if a used pop-up camper has water or roof damage, the price will dramatically decrease whereas if the vehicle is still in pristine condition, it could sell close to the original MSRP.
- The time of year people usually do their traveling in the warm summer months, meaning they are more likely to sell once they have finished their planned trips in the fall. Use this as a negotiation tool and to search a wider array of inventory.
Pros and Cons of New and Used Campers
New Campers Pros
- New pop-up campers are in perfect condition and come with a limited warranty
- You may also be offered better financing and better deals when buying new
- You have the opportunity to offer a trade-in if you already have an RV and you can ask for upgrades directly from the manufacturer
New Camper Cons
- New campers start depreciating the second you haul them off the lot
- New campers are always going to be more expensive than an already used camper
- Not much negotiation power with the seller when buying new
Used Campers Pros
- Used campers will come at a cheaper purchase price
- Used campers may even come with newer upgrades from previous owners
- You have some negotiation power with the seller
Used Camper Cons
- You can run into some hidden problems with any used vehicles and they may require more maintenance due to the previous ownership and age of the vehicle
- There is no warranty available with used vehicles
- You are responsible for the entire buying process (all documents, licensing, title transfer, etc.)
Where to Buy a Camper
If you are interested in purchasing a Class B Camper or an Expandable Camper, you have quite a few options for where to purchase your dream RV. If you are interested in a new Camper, finding an RV dealer in your area or reaching out directly to your manufacturer of interest is the best place to start.
If you are open to new and used, you can check some of these places for available inventory:
GoRollick Buying Experience
Just like cars, motorcycles, and boats, new RVs are sold through franchised RV dealers. Simply head to google and search for Class B RV or Expandable Camper RV dealers in your area. Remember, most dealers will only sell one or two brands, so consider deciding which brand you want to purchase before visiting a dealership.
If you are feeling ready to search inventory, we recommend you start with GoRollick’s nationwide network of new and used inventory.
GoRollick works with the best dealers in the country who are dedicated to price transparency and a great buying experience. With GoRollick you can get an upfront price and a special offer on your next golf cart, plus savings on after-purchase products. Then when you’re ready, you can shop at one of our Certified Dealers. GoRollick also ensures that you get access to all available manufacturer incentives. If you’re curious about what’s currently available, you can check out our incentives page here.
Not quite sold? Maybe this will help. Use our guide on How to Take Advantage of Powersport and RV Manufacturer Incentives on Your Next Vehicle Purchase to get the most bang for your buck, and when you are ready to buy, check out our list of the latest available manufacturer incentives to ensure you are getting the best price available for your camper.
- See nationwide inventory, specs, and incentive information
- Get an upfront, transparent price on your desired Camper
- Receive special offers on both the Camper as well as additional accessories
- Take advantage of Bonus Savings plus the option to Buy From Home from select Certified Dealers
- Shop at one of our Certified Dealers who are committed to providing an exceptional buying experience