In our previous article, we discussed how to maximize the use of your RV and get the most out of your investment. Now let’s take a look at ways to maximize the value of your RV when it comes time to sell or trade it.
1. Use it!
As I covered in the last installment, use your RV to its maximum potential. While you would think the more use an RV has the less it will be worth at time of resale, this is not always true, as using your RV regularly helps keep the operating systems in good working order.
For example—if the generator in an RV isn’t run regularly, parts begin to corrode, bearings aren’t lubricated, fuel gums up, and dirt and dust collect where it shouldn’t. Many RV owners have gone to their RV dealers to complain that their generator in their ten-year-old RV shouldn’t have failed after only eight hours of use. Lack of use is the problem.
While the mileage reading on the odometer of a motorhome will somewhat impact the value, it will be negligible if you follow the other tips listed below, so use it!
2. Don’t change the decor
While RV manufacturers aren’t perfect, they hire interior decorators that know what looks good and sells. Avoid any permanent interior decorating projects like painting the walls/ceiling, installing vinyl wallpaper, adding trim work, carpeting over vinyl flooring, or any other “improvements” that can’t be returned to original when it is time to sell your RV. While you may think green shag carpet looks great in your RV, potential buyers may not.
3. Avoid holes in the walls
If you need to hang pictures or coat hooks, avoid using nails or screws that will result in a hole in the wall. Instead use 3M Command Hooks that can easily be removed by you or the next owner without leaving holes.
Similarly, if you have an accessory like a satellite TV tuner or solar system that you plan on moving to your next RV, consider ways to install them without drilling holes.
Tuners can be anchored to countertops or shelves with double-sided tape and solar wiring can be routed through the refrigerator roof vent into the interior of the RV without holes being drilled to accommodate the wiring. Those looking to buy your RV will appreciate the lack of holes.
4. Don’t muck up the exterior
While it may seem fun to let people know where your travels have taken you, putting national park stickers for the parks you have visited or bucket list items you have accomplished on your RV will diminish the value of your RV.
Many believe stickers can be easily peeled off when it is time to sell the RV, but even if they easily come off the exterior of the RV (which they won’t) they will alter the finish (called “ghosting”) where they were installed by protecting the surface below from sun fade at the same rate as the rest of the RV.
If you are unable to leave the stickers in the gift shop, and still feel compelled to stick them on your RV, place them on the window glass where they can be removed with a razor blade without causing damage to the glass or show sun fade. Learn more here.
5. Take care of fabrics and woodwork
Fabrics and wood trim are one of the first items that will become obsolete and can’t be replaced when it is time to sell your RV. Take care of fabrics by cleaning them regularly and limiting the amount of UV exposure, especially when the RV is not in use, by covering them and/or closing the window blinds.
If a wood trim piece becomes damaged, try to repair it immediately with glue or small brads while it is easy to do so. For scratches, use wood color felt pens that match the color.
6. Take care of the exterior factory installed decals
As your RV ages, exterior decals will begin to crack, peel, and fade. Cracked and peeled decals are unsightly and will expose the less faded siding underneath, adding to the unsightliness.
Protect them by waxing the sides of the RV including the decals and take action when you see a decal cracking or peeling by repairing it.
7. Perform all required maintenance
Taking the time to perform regular maintenance like changing oil, keeping the roof and side walls properly sealed, changing/cleaning air filters, bearing maintenance, etc. will assure your RV is in top shape for you and the next owner.
By maintaining and keeping your RV looking good by using the tips above, you can expect to receive maximum value when it is time to sell it. Enjoying your RV for years and then selling it for top dollar, just another adventure in RVing!