What’s My RV Worth? How To Estimate Your RV’s Value
If you’re thinking of selling your RV at some point in the next year, now might be the best time to do it.
First, there’s significant pressure in the RV industry to keep the RV pipeline full. There has been a significant rise in interest in RVing since the pandemic altered the way people travel and recreate, which has increased the demand for RVs. Additionally, according to friends in the industry, there have been many supply chain problems, with scarcity of some RV components causing production delays. It’s a sobering thought that a production line can be stalled for the need of just a few components.
I’ve heard of some RV manufacturers that have not been able to deliver finished RVs because they’re waiting for slide covers, or drivers’ seats, or windows. The rest of the RV is finished but these parts are on back order. That puts the finished RV on back order with the RV dealers, and that in turn impacts RV buyers.
There’s an increase in demand and constraints on supply, which increases the price of what products are in the market. If you have an RV that you’re willing to sell, you can take advantage of these market conditions. The price you may be able to put on your rig now may be higher than it’s been for a few years even though your RV is a year or two older now.
Another reason this might be the right time to sell your RV is that it’s summer and more people are thinking about vacationing, camping, and RVing. And this is not like any other summer. After being locked down all last summer, suffering through the pandemic, travel restrictions, job losses, stay-at-home orders, and cancelled family gatherings, people are ready to get out of the house and have some fun. RVing offers the perfect blend of safety and recreation.
If you have an RV to sell, I encourage you not to procrastinate. Right now might be the perfect time to get that rig you’re not using any longer into the marketplace so someone else can enjoy it. There are several ways you can sell your RV. You could sell it to a dealer or wholesaler, offer it for sale on a consignment lot or through a broker, or sell it privately. There are pros and cons of all these options, but I believe the most lucrative option is to sell it privately.
The dos and don’t of selling an RV privately
There are some dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind if you decide to sell it privately. Do advertise it everywhere, and do not hide any defects or damage. Do take a comprehensive set of photos to fully showcase every aspect of your RV, and don’t be deceptive. Do list it at the right price, and don’t just guess what you think the RV is worth.
Why it’s important to know what’s my RV worth
Even if you intend to sell your RV to a dealer, you’ll want to know what it’s worth so you know if the price they are willing to pay is in line with its value.
Of course, a dealer will not be able to give you the same price you could get if you sold it privately because they need to put some money into getting it ready to sell, and they need to make a profit on it, but if you know it’s worth $130,000 and they are only willing to pay $80,000 then you might want to explore other dealers or other options. Knowing what your RV is worth is vital information to have before you start the process of selling your RV.
How to determine your RV value
There are a couple of ways to determine what your RV is worth. You can comb through publications like RV Trader looking for RVs that are like yours to see what the asking price is for those rigs. There are, however, limitations to this method of determining the value of an RV. First, these prices are asking price, but the final sales price could be significantly different, and you have no way to check the sales price. Additionally, there may not be many rigs like your RV. If the age, mileage, length, floorplan, appointments, or modifications are different from yours, you may not be comparing apples to apples.
RVs are so much more complex than cars. They are more like houses than cars when it comes to price, because their value is impacted by many different variables like length, floor plans, style, model number, manufacturer, trim, and appointments. Even though there are over 100,000 RVs listed at any one time in RV Trader, when you have sorted that database by RV type, manufacturer, model, year, length, and floorplan, you may discover that there are no rigs like yours currently being offered for sale.
The older your RV, the more likely that is what you will encounter. If you can’t find other RVs like yours then you have to look at similar brands and length and floorplan but “similar to” may not give you an accurate valuation. So even if you wanted to establish the true value of your RV through comparison, it might not be possible.
Consult experts to determine the value
Another way to find the true market value of your RV is to consult the professionals at National Vehicle who help private RV sellers navigate the labyrinth of selling their RV and who know the current market trends for all RV types, styles, models, and floor plans.
These professionals ask specific questions about your rig to get the best possible description, then they do the research and scour through their industry database to determine the correct valuation of your RV. Within a couple of days they will contact you with the correct price to list your RV for sale.
Once you have that information you can decide if you want to sell it quickly for less to a dealer or sell it privately. Folks like the professionals at National Vehicle can help you create and place ads in national publications and they can help you with inspections, and the safe transfer of funds from the buyer to your account. The valuation of your RV is free. And they offer these additional services for a nominal fee.
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.
Continue reading: 5 Reasons You May Want To Avoid RV Consignment
I am an author and writer, my partner is a web designer. We are full time RVers traveling around the US and Canada. We’ve been RVing for over 20 years and we’ve traveled more than 130,000 miles in an RV.