Technically the answer is no, a Kelley Blue Book for RVs no longer exists, but there are other sources to locate the information you need.
With RVing reaching new heights of popularity and new and used camper sales prices rising due to high demand, having an idea of what any camper is worth is why a Kelley Blue Book-styled pricing guide is more important than ever.
To help you establish a fair RV value, we put together this guide where you’ll find:
- The best way to find used RV values
- Other resources to determine an RV’s value
- RV features that can benefit or harm price
- Details on why knowing RV value is crucial
By reading to the end, you’ll increase your knowledge by using methods to find alternative value options, so let’s dive in!
When people ask about Kelley Blue Book (KBB), they want to know what their RV is worth. So let’s figure out how to do this.
How to Determine What an RV Is Worth
Where can you find camper values?
Well, you may think that a Kelley Blue Book guide publishes a motorhome pricing guidebook, but this isn’t the case. You’ll therefore need to turn to other sources.
Is there a suitable alternative? Yes, there is!
The best way to value an RV today is by using the NADA (North American Dealer Association) Guides which are very similar to what you’d expect from a Kelley Blue Book guide.
Using the NADA Guides is very similar to the KBB. You type in information such as the:
- Make and Model
- RV Type
- Engine type (size, gas/diesel)
The more you know about what’s inside the RV — appliances, engine specifications, power supply amperage, overall length, hitch information, and other details — the more accurate your value estimate will be.
In the end, you’ll get a value range through NADA Guides that is often several thousands of dollars apart. While this range is very helpful to begin forming an RV value, it’s only a starting point.
Smart used RV buyers and sellers use other sources to narrow down a more specific price for a camper’s worth.
Let’s look closer at all the options.
Finding RV Value With NADA Guides
Most knowledgeable RVers head first to the NADA Guides to find a used price.
The NADA Guides start your search off right by having an impressive log of stats on 2,206 recreational vehicle manufacturers over decades of model designs.
You can find even more obscure RV brands, which is helpful for people looking to buy, sell, or trade vintage recreational vehicles or those that had a short run before the company merged with another.
The NADA Guides figures RV trade-in value or retail sales pricing by using a depreciation table. The company takes a percentage for depreciation for each year off, whatever the camper’s original MSRP or selling price.
This pricing method leaves out many important details, such as:
- Camper options not included in the valuation menu
- Aftermarket upgrades
- Real-time location supply and demand
- RV renovations or repairs
- Tire age or condition
Simple things like mileage play a role in RV condition that determined kelly blue book for RV’s value.
While NADA Guides asks for mileage, it doesn’t clarify where the RV owner drove those miles. Did the owners only use the camper in warm locations, or were they driving through snow or up mountains causing excessive wear and tear on the motorcoach’s transmission?
How was the camper stored? Was the RV under the protection of a roof or tarp, left baking in the sun, or hit by rain for months on end?
To determine how specific camper usage by previous owners increases or decreases value from the NADA Guide range, you’ll have to research a little more.
How RV Trader Helps Determine Current Market Pricing
RV Trader is the second stop for building “fair” used RV values for:
- Class A Motorcoaches
- Class C Motorhomes
- Class B Campervans
- Fifth-Wheel Campers
- Travel Trailers
- Truck Campers
- Park Model RVs
Hit the website and spend some time typing in the brand, model, and year of an RV and check out its features that pop up for sale.
RV Trader posts campers for sale across the United States, so the odds you’ll find at least one or two motorhomes or travel trailers similar to yours are good.
By seeing what the average prices similar campers are selling for, you can tighten the value range you received through the NADA Guides.
What we like most about researching prices through RV Trader are the pictures. Zooming in on listing snapshots helps you get a good look at each RVs condition, so you can compare it to the RV you’re selling or buying.
VINDATA Check for Motorhomes
RV Trader has a link through their website to the VINDATA vehicle history checker that will search the VIN (vehicle identification number) of motorhomes for a small fee.
The service provides information on:
- Title History
- Odometer History
- Safety Recalls
- Inspection Information
- Warranty Details
- Junk or Salvage Information
- Active and Recovered Theft Reports
If you’re buying a motorhome and are unsure about the RVs history, using VINDATA may give you valuable insight that can help you negotiate a better price or save you from purchasing a lemon!
Alternate Methods to Find Used RV Values
If you have time and the RV available, you can use this next semi-sneaky to learn the value of recreational vehicles.
Get an RV Dealership Appraisal or Quote
If possible, set up an appointment with a local RV dealership and drive or tow your camper to the lot.
Pretend you’re thinking of trading in or selling the RV, and ask what the dealer or salesperson thinks it’s worth.
You should receive a fairly accurate value as dealers have inside knowledge of many camper brands and models. The salespeople know what features are hot sellers and what features don’t interest buyers or turn them away from a sale.
On the flip side, you can ask if they have a camper similar to the one you’re interested in on their used RV inventory lot. If they do, haggle a bit on price to see how low they will go. The bottom price gives you a good understanding of what the local market will support for the RV value.
Search Sold RV Listings Online
eBay is a great online site for searching through the advanced tab for sold listings. It’s possible an RV similar to yours will show up as a recent sale and give you more information to add to the used camper value range you’re compiling.
Hire a Professional RV Appraiser
Some recreational vehicles are so unique, luxurious, or vintage that you’ll never get an accurate value through any other means other than going through a professional RV appraisal service.
The top two companies that offer this service are Pinnacle RV Appraisals and RV Appraisals and Investigations of America.
Each company takes a hard look at the design, construction, features and appliances, age, and current demand for that type of RV.
Luxury motorhome owners who custom-build their camper often need to hire RV appraisers to ensure they are getting adequate insurance coverage on their rig and personal belongings.
In most cases, you’ll need to take lots of photos and videos all around the RV and send them in with documentation of service work and title work. After you pay the $300-$400 fee, you’ll get a verified appraisal sent back to you that is good to prove value for insurance purposes.
Take Motorhomes to a Mechanic
Motorhomes value Kelley blue book used to provide will now require sellers or buyers to stop at a reputable mechanic for them to take a peek at the engine.
Motorhomes in Class C and Class B come with a standard automobile manufacturer’s truck or van engine. Mechanics have experience with what parts take the most wear and tear and can tell you how good of condition the engine looks.
If they spot many things that will need repair shortly, it allows you to bargain differently on value. A small campervan or motorhome engine inspection fee will be worth every dollar.
The same goes for tires. Are they newer, or do they all need replacement?
Four heavy-duty tires for RVs will cost at least $1,000 to replace, which can alter the RV’s final sales price significantly if you know about it and can haggle over it.
Class A motorhomes often have special gas or diesel engines, so you’ll need to find a specialized RV or truck mechanic to check it out.
Why You Need to Know the Value of Used Campers
Aside from negotiating the best buying, selling, or RV trade-in value, you’ll also require a fact-based cost basis for:
COMPREHENSIVE RV INSURANCE COVERAGE
When RVs go into the shop for repairs, it also often means vacation interruption or your life if you’re a full-time RVer.
Without the RV’s proven worth, you certainly won’t be able to secure all the coverage you require.
Don’t forget that RV insurance should also include coverage for:
- Car rental
- Vacation interruption (with meals)
- Safe RV towing
- Possible storage space rental for belongings
Most car insurance will cover a towable camper, but the coverage is severely lacking if you total the trailer in a wreck.
Having a good Kelley RV bluebook value is critical for all the extra coverage RVers need.
Factors That Affect Camper Value
Condition of any recreational vehicle adds or detracts from the camper trade-in value range.
It makes sense that a well-kept RV will be worth the higher price, while a camper with lots of wear and damage will go far below the Kelley blue book used camper’s low-range price. Motorhome values average are on similar mileage and model, and not so much on other factors.
Top things that add to the camper values price:
- RVs less than five years old and vintage (think Airstream)
- Excellent exterior condition without fading, cracking, scratches, or dents
- Motorhomes with low mileage and engine service receipts
- Intact roofing without tears, loose caulk, or peeling
- Newer tires (3 years old or less)
- Pristine interior with comfortable floor plan
- Smoke and pet-free
- Lots of storage
- Higher-end options vs. standard
- Large size – families are looking for spacious RVs at the moment)
Top things that detract from the used campers’ value price:
- RVs over eight years old / motorhomes with high mileage
- Poor overall condition – signs of leaks / torn furniture
- Odd floor plan
- Lack of storage
- Low-end appliances
- Small size
- Unusual remodeling, painting, or decorating choices
Join Our Community
RV sales for both new and used models are through the roof. Getting top dollar for selling or trading in your recreational vehicle, yet snagging a great deal when buying, is a great reason to know the kelly blue book for RVs.
With RVs having so many brands, models, and features, finding a value or price can be very challenging.
By researching similar camper values or NADA Guide offers, you’ll be ahead of the pack in negotiating any RV deal!
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-- John Muir