If you’ve been RVing for a while, there may come a time when you ask how to sell an RV. As hard as it can be to let go of your home on wheels, the next best thing may be waiting for you after you do.
Selling your RV can be an opportunity to upgrade or downsize your rig to meet your current needs. Selling a used RV comes with its own set of challenges. If the “for sale” sign in your windshield on the side of the road isn’t working, I’ve got you covered. Keep reading for some of the top options for how to sell a used RV.
Selling an RV Through an RV Dealer
Selling your RV through a dealer is typically the most hassle-free way to go. The major drawback is that you won’t get nearly as much money for your RV as you would by selling to a private party. There are a few ways to sell your RV through an RV dealer. One is via consignment and the other is as a direct sale to the dealer or as a trade-in.
Some RV dealers will sell your RV on consignment. They will show the rig to potential buyers and facilitate a transaction. The fantastic part about selling your RV on consignment is that you don’t have to do most of the work. Obviously, for their part in assisting you, the RV dealer will take a portion of the sale price. You’ll end up with less money but also less headache.
Besides less money, there is another major drawback. For most people, the proceeds from an RV sale will go to fund the next RV purchase (if there will be one). Until your RV sells, you won’t have the money to purchase a new rig. At the same time, your current RV will sit in a dealership parking lot and you won’t be able to use it.
When selling something on consignment, you’ll also be responsible for getting it ready for the sale. That means you’ll need to make any repairs and clean the RV so it is ready to show.
Selling Your RV to the Dealer or Doing a Trade-In
This way of selling your RV is certainly the easiest. Since it is easy, you’ll get a lot less money. The dealer can only pay so much in order to turn a profit when they sell your RV to the next guy. If you opt to sell as a private party, you can cut out the middleman and keep more money in your pocket.
The quick turnaround time on a sale and minimal work may be worth getting less money for some. If you do a trade-in and purchase a new RV from the same dealer, you’ll sometimes get a better deal.
It is best to speak with several RV dealers before selling your rig or doing a trade-in. A little friendly competition can really help you as the seller. Since RVs are a hot commodity right now, you may be able to negotiate for a better deal. Negotiating will depend on many factors, including the type and condition of your RV.
Selling an RV as a Private Party
Selling your RV as a private party is more challenging. It will probably take longer. There are also more hoops to jump through to receive payment. Worst of all, you have to be on the lookout for scammers, as unfortunately, there are many of them. Still, the extra money might be worth it to you. As an added bonus, you can continue using your current RV until it sells. Just make sure you keep it clean for when potential buyers come to see it.
We haven’t sold an RV before, but selling our car privately was definitely worth the added difficulties. We ended up with much more money (nearly double what the dealership offered us at the time). If you decide to sell your RV privately, there are several good places to list it for sale.
Posting your RV for sale on websites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist is a helpful starting place. These sites don’t have any fees associated with them, so it doesn’t hurt to post here. There are also some RV groups that will allow you to post your rig directly in the group. Another option is to post in your local “for sale” Facebook groups to catch the eye of local buyers.
If the free option of posting on a marketplace doesn’t work, you have other options. There are several RV sale websites out there. One of the most popular is RV Trader. When selling your RV through RV Trader, you’ll have to pay a fee. However, you’ll have many more eyes on your rig. Plus, people searching RV Trader are actively seeking an RV. They aren’t just scrolling through Facebook and happening on your post.
There are three payment tiers for RV Trader. The Basic package costs $54.95. For this price, you can upload 4 photos of your rig and the listing will be live for 2 weeks. In the 2021 market, selling your RV in such a short time might be possible. However, you may end up paying way more to list your RV by going with the cheapest option.
A better choice is the Enhanced or Best option. With Enhanced you can post 20 photos and a YouTube video. Your posting will be live for 8 weeks with the Enhanced plan.
Finally, with Best you get, unsurprisingly, the best. You can upload 50 photos and a YouTube Video. Your listing will be live for one year and will also be featured on the homepage and highlighted in search results. This makes it more likely to sell quickly.
Posting a “For Sale” Sign
Posting a “for sale” sign in your RV is another option that doesn’t hurt. Chances are, if you only do this, you’ll have a tough time selling your rig. One way to increase your chances of making a sale is to keep the “for sale” sign posted while you camp. There just might be someone in the park looking to upgrade. They can easily look at your rig and see if it fits with what they are looking for.
For How Much Can You Sell Your Used RV
In 2021, prices for used and new RVs are at a premium. In order to quickly sell your RV privately, you’ll need to list it for a competitive yet fair price. Since you are cutting out the dealer, both you and the buyer will benefit.
The best way to find out the value of your used RV is to use the NADA guides. You can enter all the specifications of your rig to determine its fair market value. RV Trader price guides are also helpful and you can use them even if you don’t sell through their site.
If you have a loan on your RV when you sell it, there are some additional complications. You’ll have to talk with whoever has a lien on your RV before selling. Find out what you need to do to sell the RV, as this may vary by lender.
If you owe more than the RV is worth, you’ll have to find a way to pay the difference as well. For example, just because you owe $20,000 on your RV doesn’t mean you can actually sell it for $20,000.
How to Protect Yourself When Completing the Transaction
When selling a used RV, take steps to protect yourself. Scammers are on the prowl, and you don’t want to be the next victim. Not only that, but having someone test drive your RV can be downright scary, especially if they have never driven an RV before. Here are some tips to protect yourself when selling your RV.
1. Many people recommend blocking out the license plate number in any pictures you post.
2. Talk to prospective buyers before meeting. Not only will this help you weed out potential scammers, but it will save you time as well. There is no use scheduling a meeting with someone who is just going to no show because they aren’t a serious buyer. If people can’t respond to basic questions or if they offer to buy your RV without seeing it or having it inspected, the red flags should be going up.
3. Meet in a safe, public place for any test drives. Try to choose somewhere that the prospective RVer can safely drive the rig as well.
4. Prepare a bill of sale, including the details of the transaction. You should include the vehicle make, model, and year; the odometer reading (if applicable); sale date; and buyer and seller names. In some states, this information will also need to be included on the vehicle title to sign it over to its new owner.
5. Be cautious in accepting payment. Cash payments are typically the safest. However, if your buyer has to borrow from their bank to complete the transaction, you have a few options. You can accept a bank check. When accepting a bank check, call the issuing bank to ensure it is legitimate before accepting the payment.
You can also go to the buyer’s bank with them to complete the transaction. When we purchased a used vehicle (our VW bus) from a private seller, we went to our credit union with the seller after our loan request was approved. The bank then provided cash to the seller and facilitated the transaction.
It is not advisable to accept a personal check or other payment, such as Venmo, as funds can be unavailable and you may be out of luck on tracking down the purchaser.
Selling an RV Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain
Selling your RV can be a challenge, but there are strategies to make it easier. If you want the most money, opt for a private sale. For the most convenience, selling to an RV dealer is the way to go. For those of you who have sold an RV before and have tips for others, please share in the comments!