Looking for motorhomes can be quite intimidating, especially with some of the price tags. Finding a great motorhome for under $10,000 can be a daunting task, but we have done all the research for you. Finding a motorhome at an affordable price that includes everything you are looking for, just got a lot easier.
So, how can you find a great motorhome under $10,000? You can build/DIY a motorhome, or find a used one to buy. Craigslist, Ebay, and Facebook Marketplace are all underrated places to look. Traditional RV resale sites or dealerships are also good places to check out.
Build or Buy?
Building a van style motorhome can be a fun project if you have the time and resources. You can normally find a starter van for a
The cost of the interior, all the nuts and bolts will begin to add up, but if you are frugal, you can stay in budget and have a great end result that will last a while.
When deciding to build your own motorhome, the time frame is important to keep in mind as projects like these can take up to a year to complete. One last tip is to size the van around what you want to put in the interior, do not size your interior belongings around the van.
When searching for motorhomes for less than $10,000, class B RVs can be a good place to look. It all depends on if you are looking for a trailer or a van setup. When buying a motorhome there a few outcomes that are a possibility.
- The first being that you buy it, try it and hate it. In this case, you would sell it and try something else that would better suit your needs.
- The second outcome would be that you enjoy the experiences your motorhome is giving you- but don’t love the motorhome itself. In this case, you can modify it, rebuild it, or sell it.
- Lastly, you’ll love the motorhome life, the motorhome itself and you have skipped over the time and money required to modify or rebuild
Technically, none of these scenarios have bad outcomes. Owning something you may not love gives you the chance to create and find something you do love and will be happy with.
Building a School Bus Motorhome
Renovating a school bus and turning it into a motorhome can be a fun project, good on the budget and last a long time.
School buses steel ribbed framing every 2 1/2 feet down the aisle of the bus, steel chassis and many of them have diesel engines that will run for 500,000 miles or more with no issues.
Another pro about turning a school bus into a motorhome is that the school systems service their buses every month and are likely one of the safest vehicles on the road. This is a huge advantage for you.
School buses are built to keep their shape even after a collision on the road, making this a safe option.
They are designed to keep the same shape under extreme circumstances, and the seats are made to absorb bodily impact in case of a collision. The bus as a whole is made to survive any accidents with minor to no damage.
School buses on average cost between $3,000 and $10,000 and are available across the United States.
It will cost around $5,000 to renovate the bus depending on your preference, but this is a good option for a build your own project on a budget, that is also extremely safe on the roads.
What to Search for?
A good way to get started is to search for a “Factory-made class B RV.” This can include many different types of vehicles, floorplans, and styles. Personally, I am tall (6’0) so I want something that has a taller top or lower floor. Some of these Class B’s include:
eBay can be a place to look for motorhomes in your price range. A lot of motorhomes will be placed for bidding, so it is very possible that the price can exceed your limit, so be careful there.
On eBay, there is a section that will show specific Class B RVs, but some motorhomes can be found under just the search of “Van.”
eBay can be used to research different models of motorhomes, see photos and get information, and occasionally you will find a good deal.
Craigslist is a great place to search to find good deals. If you do not want to limit your search to your area and want to expand it to nationwide searches, Search Tempest is a great option to do just that.
Craigslist offers two issues that seem to be consistent. One, the deals are too far away to go look at the motorhome in person, or two, sellers of these motorhomes want cash buyers which can be hard if you are not local.
If you are very interested, you can offer to put down a deposit until you are able to see it in person to show the seller that you are serious.
Sometimes you will find a good deal and lose out because locals got to it before you. While that is the downside of Craigslist searches, there are many good deals and opportunities in your price range waiting for you.
Facebook has two main options in order to find motorhomes under $10,000. The first option is a Facebook group called “CLASS B CAMPER VANS FOR SALE.” There are other groups that sell many different types of motorhomes if you are looking for a specific type.
Type in the type of motorhome you are looking for with “for sale” on the end in the search bar. Several groups should appear and provide you with some options.
The second way you can look for motorhomes through Facebook is something called Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace is an addition to Facebook where you can sell and buy in your area. You are able to change your location to view what people have for sale in other cities.
Key Terms to Search
To find exactly what you are looking for, here are some helpful key terms to use in your searches.
- Van RV
- Camper Van
- Van Camper
- Class B RV
- Class B Motorhome
- The brand name of what you are looking for
Letting family, friends, co-workers and even posting about it on social media can be an immense help in your search for a motorhome. The more people you have keeping an eye out on deals for you the more likely you are to score a good deal.
Motorhomes that are less than $10,000 are out there but can be rare to find, and sell quickly once they are for sale.
By letting friends and family know you are looking, they might have a parent, grandparent or friend who is selling a motorhome in your price range. This eliminates the competition of other sales and likens your chance of a trustworthy and honest deal.
What State to Look In
California may be a popular place to look for motorhomes, but the culture drives up the value. You will find the street dwellers and the surfer crowd here.
The same thing will happen in Colorado, but instead of the surfers and street dwellers, you will find the rock climbers and hippie crowd.
There are many motorhomes in these two states for sale, but you will end up paying more than what it is worth.
Florida is the best state to look and buy motorhomes for two reasons. Florida is where people tend to retire and age out of their motorhomes, therefore selling them.
The second reason is that there isn’t a strong demand for motorhomes from the younger crowd like you would find in California or Colorado.
How To Avoid Scams
Before beginning your search for a motorhome, it is important to be cautious of scams, because they show up frequently on many different types of search engines.
They show up mostly on Craigslist, but occasionally on eBay as well. To avoid scams in your motorhome search, you need to know the signs of a fraud sale post.
Just like symptoms of any illness, all of these characteristics do not have to be true in order to make it a scam post. As long as more than one of these is true, you are likely to have a scam post on your hands. Avoid it, and report it so no one else falls into the trap.
Some of the common signs of a fraud sale post include:
- The price is extremely low or too good to be true
- The photo looks like a stock photo
- The photo or ad is also posted in another state
- The ad is short in detail and not many photos are included
- The ad title contains junk characters
- The response from the seller includes a sob story of some sort (illness, death, divorce) that complicates the sale
- Seller is asking for PayPal payment
- Seller is asking for money before you get the motorhome
Travel To Buy
In order to buy a motorhome in this price range, you will most likely have to be willing to travel. Sometimes there will be instances where you will luck out and find a great deal on a motorhome in your price range, but in a lot of cases, you will have to travel.
Depending on where you are located, driving is a good option to see a few motorhomes in one area. Look for cheap flights to where you are looking to go as well. Make sure to have more than one motorhome lined up to look at.
You don’t want to spend the time and money to travel to only see one motorhome and have that fall through.
Even if none of the motorhomes work out in your favor, at least you looked at several and have a better idea of what you are looking for now.
Prices After Purchase
Hopefully, the motorhome you have now purchased is mechanically sound and does not require any major repairs. It is possible to find and purchase a motorhome for about $7,000-$10,000, but there are costs to consider after the initial purchase.
Your motorhome might need new tires, fluid changes, or other maintenance (depending on your specific vehicle.) Taking it to a mechanic before purchase to see exactly what costs you will need to consider is a good idea.
Consider the inside of the motorhome as well when it comes to secondary costs. You might need to replace things like the foam or cushions on the couches or bed, handles, or hinges.
Cost of exterior and interior all depend on the shape of your motorhome, the shape you would like it to be in, and your budget.
Prepare to Purchase
The more you know about cars, how they run, and what to look for, the more prepared you will be to purchase your own motorhome.
Motorhome shopping can be quite like car shopping where there are certain questions to ask before even considering the vehicle.
Being prepared with a list of questions to ask and what to look for in a motorhome. If you are not educated enough in this subject, make sure to bring someone with you who can detect issues or concerns with the vehicle.
The plus side of buying an older vehicle (the 1900’s) with a long term owner, is that there have been years of experience with the motorhome.
By asking the right questions you will be able to get a lot of information out of your seller to be able to help you if any future problems arise.
When is the best time to buy a used RV? The best time to buy a used RV would be during fall or winter, as the demand for a motorhome is lower. The demand increases during the spring and summer months and people are wanting to travel.
What are the best-used RV brands to purchase? There are several great used RV brands to consider including Coachmen, Entegra, Newmar, Airstream, Keystone and many more. These brands are known for their reliability and sturdiness.
What are RV brands to avoid? Some RV brands to avoid when looking for a used motorhome include Thor Hurricane, Gulfstream and Forest River. These brands tend to break frequently and do not have the reliability needed for a motorhome.