Scroll Top

RV model years: What year is this?! 2018 or 2019? Or is it 2020 already? 

This week we received our first new RV reviews report request for a 2020 travel trailer model. This means either we’ve slipped through some sort of space-time continuum and it is actually 2020 (and my library books are seriously overdue) or the RV manufacturers are upping the ante on their attempt to hoodwink the buying public with meaningless model years.

New RV Reviews Comparison

Does anyone want to guess which one it is? HINT: My library books are only slightly overdue.

Buyers love the latest and greatest. A 2019 has to be better than a 2018, right? Well, sometimes that’s true. RV manufacturers -on average- do a major model overhaul every five years. Significant changes and updates can result in a distinctly different animal than the prior generation, and usually the changes are undeniably an improvement. But that’s only once every five years. The other years (80% of the time, for those who like numbers) are largely warmed up leftovers: a new fabric choice or two inside and a swoopy new graphic sticker outside. 

Often operating on razor thin margins, there is no way any manufacturer can offer a completely new model every year. This applies not just to the RV industry but also the automobile, boat and motorcycle industries. Designing a new RV and re-tooling an assembly line is a major expense and undertaking. Once every five years -again, on average- manufacturers bite the bullet and pour a bunch of money in to research and development. Once they have the new model up and running, they have four years to reap the windfall, with minimal design and re-tooling input required. 

So what does this mean for the RV buying public? Well, the latest and greatest tends to come at a premium. Yet, strangely enough, most of the new RV Reviews Report Requests we receive at this time of year are for the 2019 models. Why is that? Anyone who has trolled any RV dealer lots already knows the 2019 models are priced much higher than the 2018 models. The question for you is: Is the 2019 nothing more than a warmed over 2018, or is it a first-run entirely new version? 

Winter is fast approaching and RV sales will continue to dwindle from here until the end of the year and nothing strikes fear in the heart of an RV dealer like the thought of being stuck with last year’s models for a long, cold winter. This is the main reason dealers are starting to significantly discount their 2018 models -and this is the part where you should perk up if you’re in the market for an RV and want to get the most bang for your buck. New RV reviews are great; they take a lot of dry specification and technical information and convert it into readable text.

If you could compare two RVs and determine the differences between them are trivial at best, and one was offered for several thousand dollars less than the other, which one would you buy? Would I be presumptuous to suggest you would choose the discounted one? 

Realizing this, the Team has put together a useful RV Model Year Comparison Sheet. Our goal was to provide an intuitive, self-explanatory way for our readers to determine if the premium for a 2019 (or 2020, apparently) RV was worth the added expense compared to its discounted brethren from the 2018 model year.

There is no charge for the Comparison Sheet and we sincerely hope it helps those of you in the buying mode to buy the best RV for you at the best price.

That’s it for this week. For those of you hitting the road, please remember to check your tire pressures before heading out and the rest of you enjoy the RV Shows popping up all over the country.

Happy Travels,