Why I Chose My Rig: A Look at 3 Used RVs Under $6,000

Apr 7, 2021 | Rigs

Why I Chose My Rig: A Look at 3 Used RVs Under $6,000

A solo RVer, a family with children, and an RVing couple tell us all about what makes their rig the perfect fit for them.

By Togo RV

Photo: Micah Ness

To help RVers better understand the RV market and rig ownership, we’re interviewing real RVers about their experiences buying their rigs. If you’re interested in sharing your story, send us an email at editor@togorv.com.


A Used Class B Under $5,000 for a Solo RVer

Happy female traveler holding pet parked in RV/van with scenic desert backdrop
Photo: Micah Ness

Name: Angela M. (@outdoor.angventures)

Tell us about your rig: 

I own a 1992 Ford Econoline 250 Coachman, purchased used with cash for $4,500. This was my first rig purchase.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

I looked on social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube) and asked questions of people currently living a nomadic life. I also wrote down what features were necessary for me and which were wishes. 

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

I am full-time seasonally. I rent out my home in Arizona for six months through the summer and live in my RV and then intermittently in the winter. I am solo about 50 percent of the time and other times my boyfriend comes with me. I also have a 9-year-old Maltipoo dog who always travels with me. My trips range from weekend adventures to my longest trip, which was five months consecutively on the road. I enjoy visiting the Western U.S., boondocking and hiking the Arizona and Utah desert, dipping in Idaho Hot Springs, and driving the Oregon and Washington coastline and the moody Pacific Northwest. 

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

When you get in the side doors, you immediately have a sink on the left and the couch (which folds down to a bed) in front of you. Further past the sink is the stove and then the refrigerator and drawers for storage. At the back of the van, there was a toilet and tub which I have since removed to build in more storage and a permanent bed.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

The price was right to already have all fully loaded options.

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

I was looking at vans prior to considering a Class B.

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

  • It’s compact while still fit for full-time living. I like that it can fit in a regular parking space or a driveway, and the size is allowed in national parks. 
  • The lower price point due to being older and smaller. 
  • The older style Ford engine is easy to work on and I can take it to any mechanic. There’s also lots of storage space when using the above-cab space. 

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

I didn’t like that my toilet was in the back of the van, right by the doors, so I removed it. I also wish that the propane wasn’t so low to the ground, under the van, for clearing certain roads and rocks. And I don’t like how low clearance the gray and black water tubing and release valve are—again, it’s difficult when going off pavement. 


A Used Travel Trailer Under $5,000 for a Family of Four

Person walking from RV carrying food with rig in the background
Photo: Angel Thomas

Name: Angel T. (@thomasfamily_life)

Tell us about your rig: 

We own a previously-owned 2005 Jayco JayFlight that we purchased for $4,500 with cash. This is our first RV.

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

We initially decided to start with vanlife, but the cost of entry was too expensive—even though the purchase of a van fit our budget, the remodel would have been expensive to outfit it for four people and a puppy. Then, we researched Class As and determined they also weren’t in our budget. So, we ultimately decided to find a cash option and upgrade our car to a truck to tow. 

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

We are full-timers that are more stationary now so we can build a homestead. We took our first year and traveled coast to coast, now we are building a home on an 11-acre ranch we purchased.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

Our rig has an RV queen-sized bed and bunk bed for the kids. We changed the original floor and removed a fold-out bench. We also built a reading nook and couch and replaced the kitchen table.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

It boiled down to the size and ability to fit our family. We researched what the best size RV to fit inside national parks is and we found that rigs under 30 feet were the best option. Our rig is 27 feet and there have been times where we barely fit into a spot, so I’m happy we followed this advice. Also, I couldn’t imagine boondocking and getting stuck somewhere with a rig any bigger than the one we have.

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We looked at a Hymer Aktiv Loft Edition (Class B), a Thor Chateau (Class C), and a 1994 Lazy Daze (Class C). 

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

  • We really like the fact that it’s a travel trailer because you can detach and go. It comes in handy when you break down or want to explore an area where you may be limited on sizing to park.
  • It’s a great size for our family and storage. It has decent storage for full-timers, too.
  • It fits in the majority of U.S. national parks.
  • Since it’s an older rig, we have a bit of a retro look, which we love.

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

I wish we got an inspection on the rig before we bought it, but thankfully we haven’t had any major issues. I also wish we had bigger tanks because, with four people, they fill up fast. We don’t have any slide-outs; I think any family of four needs some breathing room on those rainy days when you have to spend time inside your rig, slide-outs would really help give us that space.


A Used Fifth Wheel Under $6,000 for an RVing Couple

Interior of RV renovated with kitchen and office space
Photo: Jesse and Rachael Lyons

Name: Jesse and Rachael L. (@thetasteforadventure)

Tell us about your rig: 

Our rig is a 2002 Keystone Cougar 276 RLS fifth wheel that we bought used for $5,500 in cash. 

What research did you do to purchase this RV?

We visited RV shows, read RV blogs, and set Facebook and Craigslist alerts for used rigs that met our criteria.

Describe your RVing lifestyle. 

We are a full-time RV digital nomad couple with one dog. We travel around the United States and move to a new destination about every 2 to 3 weeks. We love staying in state parks and on public lands. Our favorite destinations include Big Bend National Park, Seattle, Yosemite National Park, and Disney World.

Describe your rig’s floor plan. 

Our fifth wheel is about 200 square feet with one bedroom and one slide in the main room. We specifically wanted an RV with a big back window so we could enjoy beautiful views from our mobile office.

Why did you pick this particular rig?

This used fifth wheel was extremely outdated but in excellent condition. Buying an older model allowed us the extra cash to completely renovate and customize the RV to our needs. 

What other RV brands, types, and/or models did you look at?

We looked at every kind of RV but quickly settled on a fifth wheel. We were looking at Keystone Cougars and Montanas but chose the Cougar due to the smaller size.

What are your favorite parts of your rig?

  • It’s an easily maneuverable length at 29 feet.
  • The open fifth wheel layout. 
  • There are lots of windows and light, as well as tall ceilings.

What do you wish you could change about your rig?

It would be nice to have more counter space. Since this is an older, used rig, it’s lacking updated features like better gauges and leveling. Also, bigger tank sizes would be nice to have, especially for boondocking.


Disclaimer: Togo RV is part of a joint venture, partially owned by Thor Industries, Inc., of which Keystone RV Company and Jayco are subsidiaries.

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