Marine & RVs

What Is the Best Way to Sell a Used RV or Camper?

When it comes time to sell your used RV, the thought of where to even begin could feel a bit overwhelming. Unlike a car, there aren’t as many reliable tools to determine the value of a used RV, making it that much harder to get started. Kelley Blue Book does not handle the valuation of new or used recreational vehicles.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to get a ballpark price and selling your used RV or camper doesn’t have to be any worse than selling a used car if you start armed with the right information. This is what you need to know about selling your camper or RV on the used market.

Determine the value of your used RV or camper

Much like cars, the first thing you’ll want to do is determine the fair market value. Arming yourself with this knowledge will ensure you don’t get ripped off by a consumer, dealership, or consignment lot when you sell your camper.

NADA, powered by J.D. Power, is a good start pointing. Go to the easy-to-use website and select the RV manufacturer and model year from a drop-down menu. Then choose your exact model number from a pre-filled list and enter your zip code for accurate pricing information for your area.

From there, you can choose base pricing to get an estimate. There’s also a section that lets you enter the exact options included in your unit to get more accurate data.

With this information, you’ll immediately receive a response containing the suggested list price, low retail, and average retail, according to Camper Report. Keep in mind that dealers won’t honor these numbers when trading your unit in, but it does give you a good idea when it comes time to negotiate.

Consider how you want to sell your used RV

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When it comes to selling your used RV or camper, there are actually a surprising number of options available to you. The first thing any seller should consider is if they want to try to sell their unit on their own or if they want to attempt to work with a dealer.

The condition of your unit might heavily factor into which route you try to go. Someone with a newer unit that’s in pretty good shape with low mileage would likely want to try and trade in their camper at a dealer versus selling it on their own, especially if their goal is to get a new camper.

If you want to try and sell your unit yourself, there are a variety of ways you can list your camper for sale. For example, some sellers use reputable RV listing websites such as RVTrader.com or RVClassified.com.

You can also try to sell your RV on consignment through a dealer, but keep in mind that the dealer will collect a consignment fee, which could be a flat rate or it could be a percentage of the final sale price of your unit. You can also list your RV or camper for sale using consumer sites like Craigslist or FB Marketplace, display your unit in your yard with a for sale sign, or even display a for sale sign while you’re camping (if allowed).

The essentials for trading in a used RV

An RV camper parked on the shore along Kyle of Tongue, shallow sea loch in northwest Highland, Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK.
RV camper | Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There will be some cases where trading in your used RV will yield a good, or even the best, deal. The age and condition of your unit is going to play an important factor in what a dealer will offer on a trade-in deal, much like a used car. But there are certainly things you can do to get your used camper ready for a trade-in deal.

While it may seem obvious, cleaning your camper or RV should be the first thing you do whether you’re planning to trade it in or sell it on your own. Make sure you give it a thorough cleaning both inside and out. You should also make sure to repair any damage and ensure that the unit functions properly.

A dealer is going to do a thorough inspection and walkthrough, which means you should attempt to do the same at home before you bring it in. Make note of anything you notice and be honest about it during the walkthrough.

Keep your fair market value in mind. While you’re unlikely to get that much for your trade-in, you’ll have an idea if you’re getting an offer that’s considerably less than what your unit is worth. Being informed is key to getting the best deal possible.