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Where RVs Go To Die: RV Salvage Yards


Published : April 29, 2024
Where RVs Go To Die: RV Salvage Yards

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In the vast world of recreational vehicles (RVs), there comes a time when these once-beloved homes on wheels reach the end of their journey. Whether due to accidents, extensive wear and tear, or simply old age, RVs eventually find their final resting place. Enter the realm of RV salvage yards, where these retired travelers go to find new purposes or bid farewell to their parts.

What Are RV Salvage Yards?

RV salvage yards are akin to graveyards for RVs. Here, vehicles that have reached the end of their usable life are salvaged for parts, recycled, or repurposed. These yards are often filled with a diverse array of RVs in various states of disrepair, from those damaged in accidents to those simply too old to continue roaming the open road.

The Role of RV Salvage Yards

RV salvage yards serve multiple purposes within the RV community and beyond:

Parts Harvesting

Salvage yards are treasure troves for RV enthusiasts and repair shops seeking specific parts for restoration projects. Everything from engines and appliances to furniture and accessories can be salvaged from these retired vehicles.

Environmental Responsibility

By salvaging and recycling materials from old RVs, salvage yards contribute to environmental sustainability. Rather than allowing these vehicles to languish in landfills, salvage yards give them a second chance at life.

Affordable Repairs

For RV owners on a budget, salvage yards offer a cost-effective solution for repairs and upgrades. Purchasing used parts from a salvage yard can be significantly cheaper than buying new ones, helping owners keep their beloved RVs on the road for longer.

What is the Process of Salvaging an RV?

The process of salvaging an RV typically involves several key steps:

  • Acquisition: Salvage yards acquire RVs through various means, including direct purchases from owners, auctions, and insurance companies. Vehicles with salvageable parts or components are chosen for salvage, while those beyond repair may be scrapped for recycling.
  • Assessment: Upon arrival at the salvage yard, each RV undergoes a thorough assessment to determine its salvageability. This involves inspecting the vehicle’s condition, identifying usable parts, and assessing the extent of any damage.
  • Dismantling: Once deemed salvageable, the RV is carefully dismantled, with salvageable parts removed for inventory. This process may involve draining fluids, removing hazardous materials, and disassembling components for resale.
  • Inventory and Sales: Salvage yards maintain inventories of salvaged parts, which are cataloged and made available for sale to customers. Whether in-person or online, customers can browse salvaged parts and purchase them for use in repairs or restoration projects.

Can You Earn Money from Salvaging an RV?

Taking the scrapyard route can potentially earn you some cash for your RV, although the amount you receive will depend on several factors. Here’s what you need to know about earning money from salvaging an RV through a scrapyard:

Scrapyards typically pay for the metal content of the RV. The value will vary based on the type and amount of metal present, such as steel, aluminum, and copper. Larger and heavier RVs may yield more money due to their higher metal content. The condition of the RV will also impact its scrap value. Vehicles in better condition with fewer damages may fetch a higher price, as they contain more usable metal and require less processing before recycling.

Scrapyards often pay by weight, so heavier RVs will generally earn more money. This includes not only the overall weight of the vehicle but also any additional items or materials inside the RV that are included in the scrap. 

Market demand for scrap metal can fluctuate, affecting prices offered by scrapyards. Keeping an eye on market trends and local scrap metal prices can help you determine the best time to sell your RV for scrap. Consider any transportation costs involved in delivering the RV to the scrapyard. Depending on the distance and logistics, these costs may eat into your overall earnings.

While selling your RV to a scrapyard can provide some financial return, it’s essential to weigh the potential earnings against the costs and effort involved (eg. RV towing costs). Additionally, explore other options such as selling salvageable parts or components separately, as this may yield higher returns in some cases. Ultimately, choose the option that aligns best with your financial goals and priorities.

Why is HeyRV a Better Alternative to Salvage Yards?

In addition to traditional salvage yards, RV owners have the option to sell their old vehicles to specialized RV buying services like HeyRV. Unlike salvage yards that focus on harvesting parts, HeyRV offers a hassle-free solution for selling RVs in any condition. Here’s why choosing HeyRV may be the right option for you:


With HeyRV, selling your old RV is as easy as making a phone call or filling out an online form. There’s no need to worry about dismantling or transporting your RV – HeyRV takes care of everything.

Fair Cash Offers

HeyRV provides competitive cash offers based on the value of your RV, ensuring that you receive a fair price for your vehicle. Whether your RV is damaged, non-operational, or simply no longer needed, HeyRV offers a fast and fair solution.

Free RV Removal

Say goodbye to the hassle of arranging transportation for your old RV. HeyRV offers free RV removal, allowing you to schedule a convenient pickup time and location.

No Paperwork Hassle

Don’t let paperwork stand in the way of selling your RV. HeyRV handles all the necessary paperwork and title transfers, making the selling process as smooth and stress-free as possible.


RV salvage yards play a crucial role in the RV community, providing a sustainable solution for retired vehicles and a valuable resource for owners and enthusiasts. Whether seeking replacement parts, disposing of an old RV, or simply exploring a treasure trove of RV history, salvage yards offer a glimpse into the lifecycle of these iconic vehicles.

With their focus on environmental responsibility, affordability, and accessibility, RV salvage yards continue to serve as hubs of activity within the RV community, ensuring that the journey doesn’t end when the road does.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about salvage yards and their role in an RV’s journey? Read answers to common questions below!

Can I sell my old RV to a salvage yard?

Yes, many salvage yards accept old RVs for salvage or recycling. Contact local salvage yards to inquire about their acceptance policies and procedures.

Are salvaged RV parts safe to use?

Salvaged RV parts can be safe to use, provided they are inspected and installed correctly. When purchasing salvaged parts, ensure they are in good condition and compatible with your RV.

How do salvage yards determine the value of salvaged RVs?

The value of a salvaged RV is based on factors such as its make, model, condition, and demand for its parts. Salvage yards typically assess these factors to determine a fair purchase price.

Can I visit a salvage yard to search for specific RV parts?

Yes, many salvage yards allow customers to visit and search for specific RV parts in their inventory. Some yards may also offer online catalogs for remote browsing and purchasing.

What happens to RVs that are beyond repair?

RVs that are beyond repair may be scrapped for recycling. Salvage yards typically dismantle these vehicles, salvaging usable parts and recycling materials such as metal, glass, and plastic.


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