By Nanci Dixon
Whether you have had it with crowded campgrounds, have discovered RVing is just not for you, or are looking to upgrade or downsize, you might be asking: “Where’s the best place to sell my RV?” Let’s find out.
Prep work is critical before you sell your RV
First and foremost, in order to sell it as quickly as possible and for the most money, you’ll have to get it into tip-top shape. Read Tony Barthel’s article about this. There’s tons of great information there to get you started.
Know the going rate for your RV
Do some research ahead of time and decide what your personal bottom line is. What is the dollar amount that you will accept and what you’ll walk away from.
- Take into account the season. Fall in the north usually sees a lot of RVs for sale at reduced prices. Higher prices are usually seen in the spring. The opposite can be true of southern, snowbird areas.
- Be aware of supply and demand. Is there a huge inventory of your make/model on the market or is it pretty slim pickings?
- The ups and downs of the economy, COVID restrictions, gas prices, crowded campgrounds, etc., can and will affect what you’re able to sell it for.
NADA guides are a good place to start to review RV prices.
Look online and see what others are selling their RVs for (preferably the same make/model as yours), and compare. See how much private sellers are selling them for versus manufacturers and dealerships. Know that the price asked is usually not the price that will be paid.
Sell your RV to a dealer
When your RV is ready to sell there are a variety of ways to go about it. Selling to a dealer is probably the easiest, but usually the most painful to the wallet.
If you are planning to trade it in for another RV, the dealer will make you a package deal. Remember, you can still negotiate the price of the new rig then reduce that negotiated price with the trade-in.
You are pretty much at the mercy of the dealer with trade-ins. They are a business and need to make money on the resale of your RV so expect a discounted trade-in offer versus selling it yourself.
The advantage of selling to the dealer is handing it off along with the keys and leaving with a check in your pocket.
The next opportunity for an easy sale is taking it to a consignment lot. A number of dealers also take consignments. It is a great way for consignment lots and RV dealers to not have to tie up their money in a lot of used RVs.
Your RV will be displayed in an RV sales lot and that can attract a lot of potential buyers. The sales manager will give you an estimate on what the RV may sell for and then will be taking a percentage of that amount. You agree on a bottom-line price. The advantage is that it is fairly no-hassle, has good exposure, and will probably get a better price than at the dealer. The disadvantage is that it may languish on a lot longer than you want.
Self-sell your RV
Want to get as much money as you can, have the time to wait a bit, like meeting people and don’t mind multiple showings? Self-selling maybe the answer for you. Of course, safety and due diligence are of utmost importance. Be careful of scams, don’t show the RV at night and don’t hand over the keys for a test drive!
RV Trader is popular to sell an RV
RV Trader is one of the most popular places to sell an RV. We used it when we sold our 34-foot Class A Coachman and had good luck. It is also a great place to review what other RVs are going for.
RV Trader has different listing rates based on the number of photos, videos, length of time, and placement. Rates vary from Basic $54.95 (4 photos, 2 weeks), to Enhanced $109.95 (20 photos, video, 8 weeks), to Best $199.95 (50 photos, video, featured status, premium placement and 1 year).
RVT.com is a resource for both finding out what your RV can be listed for and placing an ad. It has a 5-star rating and has vast exposure to potential customers.
RVT is a great resource for placing an ad. Rates vary from Basic – $29.95 (30 days with 5 photos), Standard – $49.95 (10 photos, unlimited time), Premium – $99.95 (30 photos, video, unlimited time), Ultimate – $189.95 (unlimited photos, videos and time), and Ultimate National – $239.95 (unlimited photos and video, unlimited description, national homepage spotlight, bold red visibility, online until sold, and more).
My husband has sold hundreds of cars on craigslist with good results. You will soon be able to distinguish between a weekend browser and someone more serious.
Scams on craigslist abound so watch out for the, “I want that RV! I am in the Navy right now and will have my buddy come pick it up. I can send you a cashier’s check.” Hmmm. Probably not.
Despite all that, craigslist provides a wide area to show off your RV and you may end up with a great price. craigslist now charges a minimal $5 fee to place an ad.
Several RV magazines, camping websites, camping clubs and even neighborhood bulletin boards have classified ad areas. If you’re staying at an RV park or campground, see if they’ll list it somewhere for you.
Facebook Marketplace offers a lot of visibility and, although not RV-specific, that visibility can get you the exposure that you need. There is no fee to place an ad or to join Facebook. You must have a Facebook account to list an ad, but the process is simple and straightforward and you can post it to RVing groups and communities across the platform.
Don’t want any hassle and need a tax deduction? There are several places that accept RVs as donations. Talk to your tax preparer first if expecting a deduction from the donation.
Advertise when parked at home, at a sales facility, at campgrounds, when driving around, etc.
If you are casually looking to sell and have a lot of time, put a “For Sale” sign in the RV’s window with contact info and price. If it’s neon or brightly colored with big, bold text, it’s more likely to be seen. We had our motorhome posted on RVtrader.com but parked in an RV repair lot with a sign in the window. Numerous people called us and I directed them to the ad and that is actually how it finally sold. Funny thing – it was bought sight unseen. The buyer’s dad saw it and told his son to buy it!
About the money…
Sad as it is now, don’t trust someone handing you a cashier’s check, personal check or even a fistful of money. Demand that you meet at the bank and make sure everything is legit. There are a lot of ways people can be sneaky these days. Don’t take the chance.
The title and the law
Finally, know the laws in the state you are selling and in your home state. Do you need an emissions test? What about the license plate? Does the title need to be transferred at a state office? Does the RV need a vehicle title check? Don’t get to the end of the process and be derailed.
If you sell at a dealer, title transfer and restrictions aren’t a problem. However, if you are a do-it-yourself seller, it is always better to insist on transferring the title at the time of sale and not rely on the buyer to do the right thing in a timely manner.
Good luck! Oh, and if you haven’t already, as mentioned above, be sure and read Tony’s article on how to get your RV ready to sell.