Trash To Treasure: RV Salvage Yards Are a Thing

Pop-up campers, travel trailers, fifth-wheel, and motorhome RVs are great for socially distanced vacations. Their function as apartments on wheels provides a vacation sanctuary away from crowded airports, bus stations, and cruise ships. Sadly, however, every good recreational vehicle’s life degrades until it is not useful, or it becomes damaged beyond repair. That is where the role of an RV salvage yard comes in. 

RV salvage yards are a thing

An overhead shot of an RV salvage yard.
Motorhomes at an RV salvage yard | Marc & Julie Bennett via RVLove on YouTube

An RV salvage yard is what it sounds like, a collection of recreational vehicle carcasses. Many vehicles on the lot have met their end via fire, tire explosions, accidents, or old age. But, when such carnage occurs, all is not lost. The vehicles’ remains are brought to these lots where they are harvested for their parts. 

As sad as motorhomes can look in the salvage yard, there is good news for them. Their remaining husks are used to repair existing RV units that are still on the road. In essence, these yards make way for new life to be breathed back into an existing recreational vehicle. The parts are repurposed from one vehicle into the next. 

The salvage yards are the perfect place for people to find their replacement front bumper cover, or broken tail light. In fact, even the furniture inside can be removed and sold by the salvage company. So, if someone’s kitchen cabinet needs to be replaced, a matching one may be there. This would eliminate the need to build a replacement cabinet from scratch. 

Advantages of the RV salvage yard

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There are some advantages to using an RV salvage yard. First, walking through one can be inspiring. Peering into other vehicles generates ideas for the way things can be done differently or improved upon in one’s own ride. Next, is discounted purchasing. That needed part is less expensive from the yard versus the full price from the manufacturer. Finally, it establishes a networking relationship with a local business. Never underestimate the value of a salvage yard connection. They have ways of becoming valuable through referrals. 

Finding that broken thingy in the junkyard can save on jerry-rigging something together. The right part is much better than a questionably repaired one. This is especially more pertinent when getting a replacement part from the RV salvage yard is so easy and at a fraction of the cost of a new one. Most yards will ship parts too. So, if being onsite is not possible, the yard can have its workers locate the part. However, some yards only permit their employees in their yards due to safety concerns, so being onsite may not be necessary. 

The ultimate way to recycle

An overhead shot of an RV salvage yard.
Motorhomes at an RV salvage yard | Marc & Julie Bennett via RVLove on YouTube

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The RV salvage yard is the ultimate way to recycle, reuse, or repurpose parts and materials. It makes turning trash into treasure a real thing. That’s something that every person who has been looking for a broken thing-a-majig can be grateful for. 

After valuable parts are harvested and sold, the yards will typically break down the remaining materials. So, different metals and plastics will be separated and sent off to plants for melting or recycling. Overall, these yards make sure an environmentally friendly process of breaking down vehicles happens from start to finish. Who knew RV salvage yards were such a great thing?