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How To Sell an RV

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Published : July 18, 2023
Old RV that is for sale in front of a house

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So you’re ready to sell your RV but unsure how. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to something bigger and better, or yours is on its last legs, and you want to unload it, you have several options. Some are easier than others, and each method has ups and downs. In addition, you may have some concerns about how to sell an RV without being scammed or how to sell an RV quickly.

In this article, we’ll address everything you need to know about how to sell an RV. From almost brand new to almost dead an ready to be junked, we’ll help you sell it.

How Hard Is It to Sell a Used RV?

The answer to this question depends on several factors. First, newer rigs with few miles are easily sold, but only if you accept a fair market price or a bit below. There are always buyers for RVs with minimal miles, especially if you’re looking for a quick sale and money isn’t your highest priority. Finally, some popular RV models have waiting lists for purchasing new ones. Long waits for new RVs could push buyers to purchase used ones.

Even RVs celebrating a decade’s worth of birthdays aren’t entirely impossible to sell. But, despite having many a mile, selling it shouldn’t be difficult as long as it’s been well-maintained and has no significant damage.

However, selling it could be troublesome if your motorhome shows significant wear and tear and has an abundance of battle scars from adventures off the beaten path.

Despite its age, if it shows a lot of damage and has a ton of mileage, you may not even get the tire-kickers to give it a look. RVs and campers reaching the end of their usefulness are best sold to a specialized dealer that buys any RV despite its age or condition.

How Long Does the Average RV Owner Keep Their RV?

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that the average age of an RV on the road is approximately 15.8 years old. This figure falls in line with what most RVers say about the age of their rig.

On the road and in the campgrounds, most RVs are typically between 10 and 20 years old. This may not be true if you camp in a campground that adheres to the 10-Year Rule, but you’ll mostly see older rigs everywhere.

What Is the Resale Value of an RV and How to Calculate the Asking Price?

Determining an RV’s resale value is an important step when putting it on the market. Of course, you’ll want to get top dollar, but your asking price has to be within the acceptable range of its true resale value. If you ask for too much, you’ll be disappointed. Asking for too little will lead to the same feeling. Knowing its actual resale value is key to not getting ripped off, wasting your time, or simply giving it away for pennies.

If you purchased your brand-new RV seconds after driving it out of the dealership’s lot, it’s already lost approximately 20% of its resale value.

You bought it to use it, but be aware that some RVs will depreciate faster than others. You can use an online RV resale calculator to estimate its worth. Large Class A RVs tend to depreciate quicker than a much smaller Class C, but other factors can also determine resale value.

Here is how you should go forward with establishing a sale price.

Consider the Motorhome’s Damages

Any damage to an RV will lower its resale price. Unfortunately, this holds especially true for cosmetic damage. Although those dings, dents, and scrapes in no way affect the operation and functionality of the RV, a buyer will see them as an eyesore. The more cosmetic damage an RV has, the more difficult it could prove to sell.

Those haggard and beat-up looking are best sold to dealers specializing in junking RVs since they don’t care about their good looks. So you’ll get a fair price and won’t waste any time trying to sell it on your own.

Keep Proper RV Maintenance Records

For older RVs, a big selling point is the ability to show the buyer that you’ve properly maintained it throughout the years. Routine maintenance and proof show the buyer that you’ve given your RV plenty of TLC. In addition, rigs taken care of are less likely to have costly future repairs, which is a good selling point.

Remember that Water Damage Lowers Your Trailer’s Value

As any RV owner knows, trailers are prone to water damage. Paper-thin roofs and the tendency for water to creep in through windows and other openings can cause delamination, damage appliances, cause electrical issues, and allow mold and mildew to make the interior less desirable. If yours has suffered any water damage and hasn’t been properly addressed, this will significantly lower the value of your rig.

Factor in the RV Brand Popularity

Depending on the current trend, certain RVs, no matter how old, will hold more of their value. This could, however, change within a year or even a season as the fickle RV crowd moves onto the next fad. The popularity of your RV make, or model can either work in your favor or to your disadvantage, so pay attention to current trends when you consider RV depreciation and sale price.

How to Sell an RV: 5 Methods that Work

Once you’ve decided that the time has come to sell your RV or camper and you’ve already determined a reasonable asking price, the next step is to try and sell it. Similar to selling any other type of vehicle, you’ll have several options for where and how to sell it. They range from the obvious to the not-so-obvious. Depending on the condition of your rig, some methods may make more sense than others.

The “For Sale” Sign Still Works

One of the oldest methods for selling an RV is to pop a “for sale” sign in its window and hope for the best. It requires little thought, money, time, or action and could be considered the lazy man’s way of selling.

The obvious upside is it requires little of your time, but its downsides are numerous.

  • For this method of how to sell an RV to be successful, it’ll need to be on display in a high-traffic area. Even so, the chances of getting a nibble could be slim.
  •  And even if you do, you’ll have to deal with a random stranger, which isn’t always pleasant or safe. 

For those not looking for a quick sale and still using the RV for recreation or as a full-time home, it’s still a viable way to advertise it. However, if this is your chosen route, you may have better results when parked in a campground or other places where RVers congregate.

Sell Your RV through Social Media

There are plenty of digital places where you can sell your older RV. It’s easy to spread the word from Facebook Marketplace to using your own social media (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, eBay, etc.). Unfortunately, unless the algorithm has determined that your post is newsworthy, using social media could waste time.

Much like using the old-fashioned “for sale” sign method of selling an RV, using social media could take time and may not even produce anyone interested in what you have for sale. And if so, you’ll have to deal with someone you know nothing about.

Consider RV Consignment

Partnering with an RV dealership is a much safer method of selling your RV. Some dealerships will allow you to leave your RV with them, and they’ll sell it for you.

The upside is that your RV is in the right place, where people are looking to purchase an RV, new or used. In addition, the dealership will handle all of the aspects of the sale, and you’ll most likely not be involved in much of it. 

The downside is receiving much less than the RV’s resale value. In addition, the dealership will most likely take out a hefty commission, and there could be other fees like RV prep and cleaning that’ll be your responsibility.

Give an RV Dealer Sale or Trade-In a Shot

It certainly makes sense to bring your used RV to an RV dealership when looking to sell yours. However, is this the best option? If your goal is an outright sale, an RV dealership may purchase yours if it’s in good condition. However, since they are purchasing it for resale, you’ll likely not get anywhere near its full retail value. Also, they won’t even be interested if it’s older and in a less-than-desirable condition.

The same applies if you’re looking to trade your RV for a brand-new model. If it’s in good condition, they’ll gladly take it as a trade-in, but you won’t get anywhere near what it is worth.

Go to a Specialized Junk Motorhome Dealer

One of the easiest ways to sell an RV is to contact a specialized dealer that purchases used RVs regardless of age, mileage, or condition. Most offer a free quick appraisal and cash on the spot for sales. You won’t have to wait for the right buyer to come and find you and go through the hassle of haggling over the price. Some specialized dealers will come directly to you and drive or tow your RV off your property for free.

How to Sell an RV Without a Title

Sometimes you could end up with an old RV that doesn’t have a title, or its title is listed as salvage. The laws regarding selling no-title or salvage title RVs can vary greatly depending on the state.

Attempting to sell an RV that doesn’t have a title, or even one with a salvage title, could prove impossible. Likewise, private sales will be difficult and perhaps even illegal without the proper paperwork that legally shows ownership.

With few options, your best bet is to sell the RV to a specialized RV dealership that purchases older RVs and motorhomes regardless of condition. Even without a title, they can guide you through the paperwork you’ll need to sell it in your state legally.

How To Sell an RV Explained

With so many options available for selling an RV, it’s smart to understand which method is best for you and which one will give you the biggest bang for your time and effort. Newer, near-perfect RVs and campers are easily sold in various ways, such as to a private buyer or an RV dealership. RV condition is key to getting as close to its resale value for sales like these.

Your options significantly decrease for those whose older RV is more of a basketcase and is no longer showroom pretty. Even worse, if it’s not running, your selling options become even more limited. However, selling an older, run-down RV is still possible, and you can walk away from it with some money in your pocket. Contact a specialized RV dealer that purchases less-than-desirable rigs to see what you can get for yours.

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