Getting the Best Price
If you are replacing an older or smaller RV with a newer RV, you will need to decide how you want to get rid of the old one. You will have several options for selling or trading, but first you will want to set a price.
You will get the best price if you have a good product to sell. If you have neglected proper maintenance and upkeep over the time you've owned the vehicle, you should not expect to get a premium price.
Preparing Your Vehicle to Sell
What do you need to do in order to impress buyers? First, take a look at the automotive engine:
The engine should be clean and dry, and it should not have any leaks.
It should perform smoothly and quietly.
It should be quite powerful, and it should not have any delays while accelerating.
There should be no smoke coming from the engine.
The engine oil level, coolant level, and any other fluids should all be at normal levels.
Next, you should look at the interior and address any easily and inexpensively corrected problems:
Clean and polish the exterior, paying special attention to small scratches.
Check for any corrosion, and fix small areas with a wire brush and spray paint.
Check the tire pressure and fill tires with air if necessary.
Finally, tackle the interior of the RV:
Vacuum and clean the carpet and upholstery. If they are very soiled, you might consider having an auto detailer do this.
Clean the refrigerator and oven. Place an open box of baking soda (not baking powder) in the refrigerator to absorb odors.
Clean the bathroom, and repair any leaky faucets or other plumbing problems. Clean and deodorize the toilet.
Clean and deodorize holding tanks.
Make up beds with attractive coverings (indicate in your listing if they come with the RV).
Vacuum the dust from all curtains.
Keep batteries fully charged.
Keep some water in the freshwater holding tank.
Fill propane tanks if necessary.
Instead of baking soda, you could try using coffee in your refrigerator. Leave an open container with ground coffee in the refrigerator to absorb odors and moisture and also leave a pleasant smell in the RV. Throw out coffee after it loses its scent. Flavored coffees are good choices.
Establishing the Right Price
Once you have improved the appearance of your RV, you can then decide on the price you wish to get.
The first place to check for the correct selling price is the NADA Used RV Prices Guide. Similar to the “Blue Book” for autos, this guide will give you average selling prices for every RV made for years going back to 1986. You will get a range of prices, but your final selling price will depend on the condition of your RV.
If you are buying new, look at the resale prices for older models of the brands you are looking at. The resale prices can give you a good idea of which brands and models are more favored in the resale market. Go to a dealer or resale dealer and look at the condition of various brands. While the condition may vary because of usage patterns of individual owners, manufacturing quality can keep units in good condition despite poor maintenance.
Which RV holds its value best? Generally, a travel trailer (including fifth-wheel trailers) will depreciate at a slower pace. Motorhomes, being part truck and part trailer, depreciate at much the same rate as cars and trucks. Generally the higher-priced motorhomes with diesel engines hold their values better than lower-priced units with gasoline engines.