RV shopping often requires walking through model after model on your dealer’s sales lot. Manufacturers try to load RVs with the latest luxury features, but they may still feel too cookie-cutter. If you’re looking for something more unique, building an RV might be right for you. Let’s take a look at the world of custom RVs!
What Is a Custom RV?
When you purchase a custom RV, you have a tremendous amount of say in the materials, color schemes, and even the floor plan. Customizing your rig allows you to create a mobile home that best meets your needs and style preferences, which might be preferable if you plan to RV full-time.
Whether you’re choosing the exterior paint colors, electronics, or countertop surfaces, your RV will be unlike any other. Your budget may be the only limiting factor.
Pro Tip: Before you settle on a custom RV, read How to Determine the Best RV to Live in Full-Time.
Who Builds Custom RVs?
With RVs growing in popularity, several brands meet the demand in this niche luxury market. Whether you’re looking for a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome, there’s a custom RV builder for you.
Monaco offers a few motorhome selections. You’ll have a couple of styles to choose from with several floor plan options. However, you better have deep pockets if you decide on Monaco. Many of their custom motorhomes are $500,000+ when all is said and done.
Beyond Monaco, you can go fully custom and fully luxury with Newell coaches. Each one of these coaches costs over 1 million dollars, but customization is fully possible as they build their own frame. Newell builds coaches for the rich and famous and are commonly used as touring coaches for musicians, race car drivers, and other celebrities.
While Monaco and Newell offer custom motorhomes, North American RV provides options for towable RVs. They start with a base-level trailer with a variety of customizations. Plus, North American RV allows you to only pay for what you want in your RV.
Another custom luxury fifth-wheel RV builders include SpaceCraft, Luxe, and New Horizons. Through these builders, you’ll likely find RVs available at a wide range of prices. These are luxury fifth wheels that can be customized to your liking, but you’re going to need a BIG truck, maybe even a semi-truck to haul them!
Smaller RVs and vans have more options for custom builders. In fact, there are hundreds of options for van conversions as they are much easier to build. The VanX website retains an extensive list of builders that will customize a van to your needs.
Coach House builds very nice B+ rigs that have really nice amenities and can be highly customized. They are well known for quality and owners tend to be very proud of their RVs.
Lastly, if you are looking for off-road capability there are a few custom RV manufacturers that will build you an overland vehicle. Global X Vehicles and EarthRoamer can build to suit and will take you anywhere. While impressive and capable these vehicles tend to be very expensive.
How Much Do They Cost?
A custom RV can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000+. Driveable and towable RVs’ price ranges widely differ. However, the type of RV isn’t the only factor.
Some RV customizations drastically affect the final price. For example, selecting a theater seating sofa in the Monaco motorhome raises the cost by nearly $4,500. Depending on your budget, you may have to weigh the cost of some customizations.
Can You Customize Your Own RV?
A typical dealer has severely limited customization options. You may upgrade windows, air conditioners, or paint, but not much else. RV manufacturers crank out RVs on assembly lines. Offering more customizations complicates and lengthens the build process.
However, once you buy your RV, you can do what you please with it. Many RVers paint or renovate their rigs to better meet their needs or style preferences. You can save a good chunk of money by customizing your RV yourself.
Where to Buy a Custom RV
Monaco Coach and New Horizons RV sells direct and uses owners as ambassadors for the brand. You can visit their websites to locate a dealer near you or find contact information.
However, North American RV and SpaceCraft are both hard to find. You’ll need to go directly through the companies to begin the buying process. You may find a used RV, but many of these units get passed on to family or sold privately. We’re hopeful, though, that more brands may begin offering custom RV options as demand increases.
Can You Custom Order an RV Directly From the Manufacturer?
Many RV manufacturers don’t make direct sales to consumers. Rather, they work with dealers to fulfill orders. Additionally, many manufacturers have limited add-on options when ordering. You may get to choose an additional air conditioner, increased suspension, or a kitchen table style, but that’s generally about it.
That’s the beauty of buying an RV from a custom builder. They typically have a wider range of customizable options, mainly limited by your budget.
How to Find Custom RV Builders Near You
There are fewer custom RV builders than standard manufacturers. You may need to drive a considerable distance to find one or pay for delivery. One of the best ways to find a builder near you is to utilize the “find a location” feature on the builder’s website.
Do your research to find which company you want to build your RV. Different brands offer different customization options.
When you choose a custom RV, you can have the assurance that it’s well built. Manufacturers often devote more time putting together custom builds.
If you could have a custom RV, what’s on your must-have list? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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