Friday, December 9, 2022


RV Education 101: Use the NADA Guide when buying a used RV


By Mark Polk

There is an RV edition of the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) guide. This is the appraisal guide most RV dealers use to determine used RV prices and values. The online NADA guide offers low retail and average retail pricing on used RVs. Prices in the guide assume everything in and on the RV works as it should, and that the RV is in good shape.

I always tell people you wouldn’t buy a new RV for full retail price, so you shouldn’t pay full retail price for a used RV. Ask what the asking price is, and try negotiating the price closer to the low retail price in the NADA guide. This can be a win-win for both the buyer and the seller.

How to Buy the Right RV and Save Thousands.


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Diane Mc
1 year ago

We put in a new engine & turbo a few years ago. Although our odometer reads 225K+, that engine only has 50K miles on it. New roof, new paint, double pane drivers window (all the rest of the windows were double pane when we purchased it, just not the drivers, which leaked & was noisy.) Plus interior upgrades. Our 20 yr old motorhome is pretty “new” in some aspects.

2 years ago

First, I don’t like the NADA. It’s just a guide but banks and individuals think its the Gospel with no room for anything outside that number. FALSE! That is capitalism. NOT Communism! It’s supply and demand! It’s what a buyer and seller are willing to agree on.

Having said that, I find that it lacks so many features. If I have certain elements in my rig, I can’t find them to add value to the total number. There is no where to add anything for solar panels, 4 lithium batteries, different size generators, increased capacity axles, wheels, suspension, springs, or brakes. There is nothing about full body paint. These are just a few examples that increase the “value” of an RV. Heck, I can’t even find our model in the book to start with…

You’re better off using it as a starting point. Also, compare to other rigs for sale in places like RVTrader, PPL,, Craigslist,, etc. Keep in mind that there are “seasons” that better than others. And consider where you are…Many are not going to travel 1000 miles to a remote location to buy without you giving in on price. In some cases, you might come out ahead by “consigning” your rig to a broker or site in a big city. Especially, if you’re not keen in the negotiation process.

2 years ago

I’m actively searching for a used class A diesel pusher. The ones I find a reasonable distance from me are all overpriced according to the NADA listings. I always calculate what the high end might be – subtract low retail from average and add difference to average, should be close enough for a high side price. What I’m finding though are the resales being thousands of dollars over this figure. I call to discuss how they got to their listing price and get answers like new tires last year (obviously they needed new tires to be safe but believe they should get that money back from the sale); same story for new ACs, refrigerators, stoves, etc. I just don’t understand people who expect to get their maintenance and upkeep dollars on top of a reasonably priced MH. Very frustrated in Florida! BTW, it was this way before the virus thing hit us; been searching since last fall!!!

1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

I disagree with Steve on the value of recently replaced items. If I’m looking at 2 identical used rvs, but one of them has had many big ticket items replaced in the last year or so, it means I will have low & predictable maintenance expenses over the first few years of my ownership. If the other rv is the typical used rv that the owner is deciding to sell because it’s reached a point where it’s going to need a lot of items replaced in the next couple of years, then the new owner will have to spend many thousands of dollars in the first few years of ownership to keep the unit in good condition. If you’re a handyman, you might buy the typical used rv & freshen it up yourself. If you want a trouble free rv, you should expect to pay extra for a recently “freshened” rv, & the seller should expect to be able to recoup some of that “freshening” cost.