RV for Sale: How to Sell an RV

September 5, 2019

Selling an RV is much like selling a used car. You’ll need to prep the RV for sale and then make a few decisions about pricing and which option to use to handle the sales process. Use our tips for selling an RV, and you’ll likely get a quick sale if demand is moderate to high in your area.

Selling An RV

Get the RV into Selling Condition

You’ll likely sell your RV quickly and at a higher price if you prepare it for marketing. Be sure it’s in good working order and up to date on maintenance. Give your RV a thorough cleaning inside and out and fix anything broken or out of date. Depending on how you’ve maintained your RV over the years and the expected selling price, you’ll have to determine which fixes and upgrades are worth the investment.

Should I Use a Broker or Sell Myself?

There are several ways you can sell an RV. You can sell it yourself or through a dealer or brokerage. An RV dealer or brokerage takes the hassle out of the process for a cut of the proceeds. If you want to sell through a third party, be sure to research the company first to make sure they offer a fair price.

To sell your RV yourself, you can take a traditional route and sell it in your front yard with a “For Sale” sign, or you could list it in the local newspaper. You can also list it on an online marketplace website such as RVT.com, like Craigslist or social media marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace.

Set the Price and Choose When to Sell Your RV

Do some research online to see the price of similar RVs selling in your area. Keep in mind that a high selling price narrows the number of potential buyers. If you need to sell your RV quickly, take care to set a fair price, but note the selling price for used vehicles from the same RV manufacturer.

It is generally best to list your RV in the early spring when people are thinking about vacations for spring break or summer road trips. The market for RVs typically slows down substantially during the holidays and early in the year when people are more focused on their budget.

Create a Compelling Ad

Take a lot of clear photos of your RV and write a compelling ad. Take a look at other RV ads for ideas on what works best and be sure to include:

  • Make, model, year and mileage
  • A campervan is the size of a van and quite a bit smaller than a motor home. Campervans are Class B RVs and may or may not have a bathroom or kitchen. These RVs are convenient and easy to park and drive. However, their small size is also a downfall if you want to travel for an extended time.

Trailers, sometimes called caravans, require towing. RV trailers are usually more affordable to rent than motor homes but offer far less convenient living conditions. Users set up the trailer at each campsite, which can require quite a bit of physical labor.

  • Pop-up campers are small, towable campers that have to be set up on-site.
  • Any recent repairs or upgrades
  • All RV features, including size, number of beds and bathrooms and any special amenities

List Your RV for Sale

If you are selling your RV yourself, be prepared to show the vehicle to potential buyers. If you list through a broker, they take possession of the RV until it sells and show it to buyers themselves. Potential buyers may want to negotiate your price, so know your firm, bottom-dollar price.

There are many websites with the capability to list your RV, many of which are general marketplaces rather than RV specific outlets. For those wanting to see their RV online, we recommend RVT.com.

If you sell your RV through a broker, they take care of the sales contract. If you are selling it yourself, you need to write up a bill of sale, preferably typed on a computer, so it is legible. Include the contact information for both yourself and the buyer and details about the RV, like make, model, year and license plate number. Include the purchase price and date of sale with a line for your signature and the buyer’s signature. Both you and the buyer sign the RV sales contract after the buyer pays you.

After the RV Sale

Depending on where you live, you may need to transfer the RV title to the new owner, although some states don’t require a title for an RV. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to determine if you need to do a transfer and what the process is.

RV Prices: How Much Is Your RV Worth?

New RVs range in price from $7,000 to $300,000 and depreciate quickly. An RV’s value drops by about 30% the moment you drive it off the lot. Well-known brands and popular models tend to hold their value better than others. In general, RVs are worth half the retail price by the time they are 6 years old.

Your RV’s selling price depends on the model, year, where you live and the time of year. General economic conditions and fuel prices can affect the value of your RV. The best way to get an estimated sale price of your RV is to check local listings for the same type of vehicle. Other factors affecting the value of your RV include:

  • Mileage: Average mileage for an RV is about 5,000 miles per year since the manufacture date. More miles classify your vehicle as “high mileage” and impact the sale price.
  • Condition: If you have maintained your RV in mint condition, you’ll reap the benefits when it’s time to sell. On the other hand, major issues like powertrain problems, damage to the chassis or water leaks bring the price down quickly. Aesthetic issues or damage to the interior cab will also make a dent in your sale price.
  • Features: Manufacturer or dealer-added options like solar panels, backup cameras or awnings can beef up your RV’s value.

Renting Your RV Instead of Selling

If your RV isn’t selling for a fair price or you’re not sure you’re ready to part with it, consider renting the RV out for some extra income instead of letting it collect dust. Renters pay anywhere from $60 to $450 per night, depending on the size and age of your motorhome or trailer. Renting can be a great way to help subsidize the cost of an RV. You enjoy using it when you want to and rent the RV out the rest of the time to help make your payments.

If you decide you want to try renting out your RV, be sure to go through a third-party brokerage service that provides comprehensive insurance coverage and conducts renter background checks. Using this service helps prevent a renter who would steal or damage your RV.

Conclusion

Selling an RV can take some time, but getting it prepped, so it’s enticing for buyers reduces the time it takes to receive payment. If you decide to rent your RV to others when you’re not using it, the payments can be a great source of income. If you’re sure you want to sell your RV but feel uncomfortable or inconvenienced with doing it yourself, using a broker or dealer is a great option.



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