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4 Ways to Determine Your RV’s Worth

Updated on February 4th, 2024

Trying to figure out how much your RV is worth can be challenging.

Whether you’re looking to sell or secure enough insurance coverage, you need a recreational vehicle pricing guide to help you determine value.

While there’s no longer a Kelley Blue Book Used RV Values Guide, you can find similar pricing averages through NADA Guides and other sources.

Let’s look at all the options for private-party RV value so you can use the tools to figure out what your RV is worth!

Way to Find Out How Much Your RV is Worth

You may wonder, “What’s my campers value?” but can’t find comparable models that have sold recently to come up with a fair price.

With so many RV manufacturers and models over the years, it’s hard to find accurate information on them all. Recreational vehicle companies buying out another and model names getting changed only adds to the confusion.

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry. You can use several sources to gather data to come up with its value, including:

  • NADA Guides
  • RV Trader
  • Dealership or Private Appraisal
  • Online “sold” listings

NADA GUIDES RV VALUATION

A notepad asking whats the real price for something

The first place RVers look to find a price average for travel trailers, fifth-wheels, or used motorhomes value is the NADA Guides.

This guide, put out by J.D. Power, allows you to input your RV make, model, year, and many features so it can compare data on file for over two thousand recreational vehicle types, including:

  • Toy haulers
  • Class B Campervans
  • Pop-ups
  • Teardrops
  • Fifth Wheels
  • Horse Trailer RVs
  • Class A Motorcoach
  • Class C Motorhome

The value range you receive will be fairly large as most of the price figure is from taking the new selling price and depreciating the RV in accordance with its age. But, in general, the range given is a great start.

You can pinpoint the value by checking other sources and adding those numbers to your final RV valuation.

I guarantee that many of you are wondering if there’s a Kelley Blue Book for RVs.

RV TRADER VALUES AND LISTINGS

RV Trader offers country-wide listings of all types and ages of recreational vehicles for sale, which is helpful to see what others are pricing campers that are similar to yours.

The website offers recreational vehicle pricing guide links that send you back to NADA for the Kelley blue book used RV values, as well as helping you search through their website pricing to find a value range.

What’s better about the range you receive from RV Trader is that the information is more current and based on sold prices and depreciation data.

Along with learning what your RV is worth, you can peruse pictures of campers to see how well they compare to the condition of your model. If you keep seeing pictures of similar RVs in worse shape than yours, you can use the higher end of the value range to price your camper.

They have many useful links on the website, including the Vindata Vehicle History, that for a small fee, will give you a full report on things like title history, salvage, mileage, liens, and other information that could affect any used motorhomes value.

APPRAISAL FROM A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE OR AN RV DEALERSHIP

Professional RV Appraisal Service

Sometimes you have a unique or vintage camper that doesn’t fit within the typical values you’re finding from NADA Guides or RV Trader.

Using a professional RV appraiser can set a realistic value on your motorcoach, travel trailer, or fifth wheel when this situation occurs.

You’ll need to pay several hundred dollars for a “send in” appraisal, which means you fill out forms from their website and send them in along with:

  • Copies of RV title work or registration with VIN
  • Extensive video and pictures of the inside and outside of the camper
  • Detailed lists of renovation work or customizations like appliance or furniture upgrades
  • Receipts for work and supplies
  • Any engine maintenance/repair information or warranty work

Once the appraiser gets all the information back, they will compile a report, set a value for your RV, and mail you the results. Insurance companies will accept this type of appraisal to assign value and help you out when your camper is one-of-a-kind.

The appraiser will come to your location and perform the inspection themselves if you have a few thousand dollars, which we feel is only necessary if you’re trying to value an RV you believe to be worth over $1M.

RV Dealership Appraisal

Take it to your local RV dealership to find what my motorhome is worth or the value of a camping trailer.

You can get a current value by asking the dealer what they would offer you on trade-in and what they think the private party RV value should be. Shop around the lot and keep an eye out for campers like yours. See what price tag is hanging in the window.

Remember that dealerships mark up new and used RVs around 30% to allow room for negotiation, so subtract that amount to come to a value.

RV dealers and salespeople know the current trends in your local area and what campers are hot sellers. This knowledge easily goes a long way toward helping you put a reasonable price on how much an RV is worth.

ONLINE AUCTION OR MARKETPLACE SALES COMPARISONS

Many people prefer listing their RVs online through auction-style websites or local marketplaces.

Scan through recreational vehicles similar to yours and see if any are a close match. Look at the selling price or do an advanced search to look for sold listings so you can see what the buyer paid.

An ongoing auction with someone willing to buy

For sites like eBay, keep the location of RVs in mind, as prices will be higher for sales in areas such as the southern US or California, where the great weather keeps people RVing all year.

Gather as many selling or sold listing prices as you can find for your make and RV model. Average the prices altogether and add that figure to your other RV value findings.

Click here if you’re curious about what people ask before buying a used RV.

The Importance of Knowing What Your RV Is Worth

Everyone who is selling an RV wants top dollar, but you also need to have a realistic price point for many reasons.

Securing an RV Loan

While RVing is more popular than ever, and campers are selling at higher prices, many people will need to secure a loan to buy an RV, and banks aren’t going to lend more than the camper is worth.

You don’t want to waste your or your potential buyer’s time by placing an unreasonably high value on a camper so they won’t be able to get a loan.

Getting the Highest Trade-In Value

Don’t rely on the dealership to give you a fair trade-in value when you’re in the market for a newer RV and plan to trade in your old one. Do your homework first, and know what your RV is worth before you step foot on the RV lot.

Have your value stats on hand for the RV you plan to trade in and the one you are looking to buy. The more you know, the more you can negotiate and save.

Getting Proper RV Insurance Coverage

An RV is a serious investment, and you want to protect it by securing enough insurance coverage in the event of an accident. How can you ensure you have the RV policy that will cover your losses if you don’t know what your RV’s worth is?

Not only do you want to recoup the cost of the RV itself, but any upgrades you made to the model that increase its value.

Keep receipts and documentation of anything that can prove to the insurance agent your RV is worth more than the low-range number they find and use from a recreational vehicle pricing guide.

Factors That Increase or Decrease RV Value

We all know that new RVs you drive off the dealership lot immediately lose value, but a variety of other factors determine a camper’s price.

FACTORS THAT INCREASE RV VALUE

The best things that increase used travel trailers or used motorhomes’ value are:

  • Low mileage, age, and size
  • Engine type
  • A clean interior that’s damage-, pet-, and smoke-free
  • Upgraded engine, appliances, mattresses, and flooring
  • Newer tires
  • Neutral decor, ample storage, and great floorplan
  • Back up cameras
  • GPS and security systems
  • No leaks and solid roof membrane
  • The shiny paint job with sleek decals
  • Hitches for bikes or for towing a toad
  • Proven maintenance history
  • Transferrable Extended Warranty

Condition is very, very important in pricing an RV. A pristine vintage camper can have a value much higher than its initial selling price, as you see with Airstream trailers.

Motorhome used values rely heavily on mileage, as engines take a beating hauling around all that weight. A Class A or Class C motorhome with over 100,000 miles is going to demand way less money than one with 30,000 miles.

A white rv parked near a lake and the mountains

While most RV transmissions are built to last about 20 years or around 200,000 miles, that number is strictly under ideal driving and proper maintenance and weight conditions, which is hard to track.

The good news is that diesel engines outlast gas engines and add value along with any upgrades you make to the RV that increase camping comfort.

Even RV renovations aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Changing the dinette for a couch or free-standing table and chairs, adding a tankless water heater, and installing hardwood flooring make most RVs more inviting and easier to clean, which improves value.

The size of the RV also plays a role in value. More families are camping and want to own a spacious camper and will gladly pay more for a bunkhouse or two bathrooms.

Newer tires are also a great selling point, as replacement easily reaches over $1,000 for quality RV tires.

Lots of storage and outdoor kitchens, entertainment centers, or showers are other features that increase value.

FACTORS THAT DECREASE RV VALUE

Nothing will devalue even a new RV faster than one with leak damage, smells of cigarettes, animal urine, or wear-like scratches on wood surfaces.

RVers fear the hidden rotting walls from undetected leaks, and savvy buyers will scour every nook and cranny to look for water damage.

Other things that will decrease the value of a recreational vehicle are:

  • Odd size or paint choice
  • Bad floorplan
  • Lack of storage
  • Worn interior and exterior surfaces
  • Body damage
  • High miles and old tires
  • RV age

Some RVs are only suitable for a solo or couple camping trip, which eliminates a vast segment of the buying market and devalues specific makes and models.

Even poorly designed floorplans can decrease an RVs price. A 35-foot camper that only sleeps two may be too much for a couple but not enough for a family.

Another issue that lowers value is needing to contort your body to take a shower, walk through the kitchen, or get out of bed.

An RV with faded or peeling decals looks terrible and will lower the price, even if the interior is spotless. Paying for a good wash and wax and decal replacement can gain you thousands of dollars in higher value.

Lastly, we find that vintage campers that are thoughtfully restored bring a premium, while other RVs only 10-20 years can look very dated, and nobody wants them, so their worth is much less.

RV Value Wrap Up

Supply and demand always rule the day when it comes to RV value, but even common RVs can be worth more if you take care to maintain them properly and highlight all the extras that make them better than a similar model that’s selling across town.

It’s easy to negotiate a better selling or buying price or secure sufficient insurance coverage when you use the information above to find your RVs value.

Take the time to research several sources to learn what your RV is worth; you’ll be glad you did!

Related Questions

  1. What are the key factors that can increase the value of my RV?


The key factors that can increase the value of your RV include maintaining it in excellent condition, both mechanically and aesthetically, and keeping detailed service records to prove regular maintenance.

Additionally, upgrading features such as appliances, and entertainment systems, or adding solar panels can also enhance its value by making it more appealing to potential buyers.

  1. How can I use online auctions or marketplace sales comparisons to determine my RV’s worth?

To determine your RV’s worth using online auctions or marketplace sales comparisons, you should first find similar models of your RV that have recently been sold or are currently listed on these platforms.

By comparing the selling prices and conditions of these RVs to your own, you can get a good estimate of your RV’s market value.

  1. What are the potential drawbacks of relying solely on a dealership for an RV appraisal?

Relying solely on a dealership for an RV appraisal can potentially lead to biased evaluations, as dealerships may undervalue your RV to maximize their profit when reselling.

Additionally, dealerships may not have specialized knowledge of all RV makes and models, which could result in inaccurate appraisals.

  1. How does the condition and mileage of an RV impact its value?

The condition and mileage of an RV significantly impact its value. A well-maintained RV with low mileage will typically have a higher value, as it’s likely to have fewer mechanical issues and more longevity, while an RV with high mileage or poor condition may require costly repairs, thus reducing its overall value.

  1. What are some common factors that can decrease the value of an RV?

Common factors that can decrease the value of an RV include its age, mileage, and overall condition, including any damage or wear and tear.

Additionally, the value can be negatively affected by factors such as outdated design or technology, lack of maintenance records, and the reputation of the RV’s manufacturer.

QUOTE:
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
-- John Muir
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