Can You Save Money On Parts At RV Salvage Yards?
One of the bad things about owning an RV is the fact that you have to maintain it. Keeping up with things like sealing the roof and getting regular oil changes is easy enough, but then there are the things that break.
You see, no matter how well you care for your trailer or motorhome, things are going to break. This makes sense really, considering we drive these tiny homes down the road, with all the twists, turns, and bumps that go with it—but that doesn’t make these issues any less annoying when they do come up.
Fortunately, most RV repairs are pretty simple to do on your own, especially if you’re already handy, own a decent set of tools, and know how to navigate the internet to find instructions. Still, you have to purchase the parts to make the repair, and this can be incredibly expensive.
This is where RV salvage yards come into play. RV salvage yards are enormous lots of totaled RVs that are collected by insurance companies and sold in pieces to RV repair shops and RV owners just like you.
Finding parts at RV salvage yards
If you’ve never visited RV salvage yards, you might be wondering if one can actually save money by shopping these places when RV repairs are needed. The answer? A resounding yes!
As long as the part you need isn’t too obscure, and your rig isn’t so new that no matching parts have been scrapped yet, you may be able to purchase what you need at a salvage yard. Not only that, but because the part is used, you’ll spend much less than you’d pay otherwise.
Sure, you’ll need to do a bit of digging around and you might even need to visit more than one yard. However, if you have the extra time, and if the part you need is pricey, it’ll likely be worthwhile. This is especially true if you find yourself making multiple repairs at one time or doing a complete renovation.
Other reasons to shop RV salvage yards
Saving money is definitely the number one reason to shop RV salvage yards. That said, it isn’t the only reason to take up this practice. In fact, we can think of a whole list of benefits to combing RV salvage yards whenever you need parts.
Some of the top reasons to do this include:
Buying used items is always going to be a more eco-friendly option. This is true for clothing and toys, and is equally true for RV parts.
Fewer new parts purchased means fewer new parts manufactured. Also, since the used parts are likely to become unusable if someone doesn’t snatch them up relatively quickly, it’s much better for the earth if you keep the used parts out of the landfills.
Supporting a local business
Supporting individuals in your own community is always the best option if possible. If your area doesn’t have an RV parts store, you’ll have to order new parts online. On the flip side, if you have a local RV salvage yard, you can buy from a local business, helping your community to thrive.
The thrill of the hunt
Lastly, many people really enjoy the thrill of hunting for parts at RV salvage yards. A trip to one of these lots can be a ton of fun, and many people equate the experience to a treasure hunt of sorts. Finally finding the perfect part is exhilarating, and discovering treasures you never expected is equally fun.
Tips for haggling at salvage yards
The thing about buying from a salvage yard is that in order to get the best price, you must be willing to negotiate with the salesperson. This haggling can be nerve-wracking for some and exciting for others. Either way, it’s good to go in well prepared. Here are our tips for doing just that.
Know the value
Before you leave the house to go digging through a salvage yard, make sure you know the value of the items you’re looking for. Know how much you would pay for a new part and how much the part tends to go for as a used item. This knowledge will help you ensure you get a fair price.
When you find the part you want, you’ll need to make an offer. Our advice is to offer a bit less than you actually want to spend without going so low the salesperson won’t take you seriously.
There’s a good chance your offer will be followed by a counteroffer, so know exactly how high you’re willing to go and be ready to make yet another offer.
Stand your ground
Lastly, it is important that you know your upper limit going in and stand your ground. Remember, you can always return later to grab the part if you can’t find something elsewhere.
How to find RV salvage yards
Of course, in order to shop RV salvage yards, you must first find them. Our advice is to run a quick online search for RV salvage yards or junkyards in your area to see what kinds of options you can bring up. This list might also prove helpful.
If there is not a salvage yard in your area, there’s also the option of looking for used RV parts online. This isn’t quite as fun as going to a physical junkyard, but can still save money and feel pretty satisfying. Just keep in mind that buying online means you can’t see the parts before buying, so you may end up with a wrong part and no way to return it.