Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Maybe you’re ready to upgrade, or maybe you’re taking a break from RV life. Either way, learning how to sell a used RV might seem like a lot of work—and it can be.
However, when we sold both of our RVs, we opted to do things the easy way. We didn’t want to deal with a bunch of fuss and hassle, so we simplified the sales process as much as possible.
Continue reading to learn the easy way to sell a used RV and the not-so-easy way if you want to keep more of the cash.
Figure Out How Much Money You Owe on Your RV
Before you set a sales price, you need to know how much you owe on it. If you don’t owe on it, then great, but most people do have some sort of payment.
Check to see how much your 10-day payoff is but also check how much interest you pay each day you have it. If you’re going to sell it for close to what you owe on it, you have to be careful, or you might end up still owing the bank—and that’s no fun.
Get Your Paperwork Together
Before trying to figure out how to sell a used RV, you need to have your paperwork together. If you don’t have the title, don’t worry about that, but you do need a bill of sale.
When the buyer pays you, you give them a bill of sale, and that tides them over until you have the title to give them.
If you have any maintenance records, then that’s great. Warranty paperwork is an added bonus, but some warranties don’t pass to the next owner, so make sure to check before you pass those papers on.
Make Your RV Presentable & Appealing
When was the last time you went to look at an RV, car, house, or anything else and fell in love when it was messy and smelled like dogs?
I get that you’re busy and don’t want to deal with all of that, but it needs to get done. We paid someone to clean the RV because we also didn’t want to deal with it, and it was totally worth it. It also kept me from getting emotional over the RV sale.
If you’re going to clean it yourself, make sure you don’t miss any nooks and crannies. People are going to lift lids, poke their heads in cabinets and try to find anything gross or embarrassing you might forget about.
With over 40 million people planning RV trips, it won’t be hard to find someone interested in buying your used RV.
How to Sell an RV You Still Owe Money On
Both of the times we sold our RVs, we owed money on them. The first time we had almost paid it down, so it was easy to find an RV we could trade it in on, which made it pretty simple to do.
The second time, we used an RV broker to sell it, and they took care of everything for us, which was really nice. They did take a percentage of the sale, but I didn’t have to worry about anything.
When you’re thinking about how to sell a used RV, keep in mind that trading in your RV is also selling it. However, you shouldn’t expect to get top dollar because dealerships want to make a profit.
In our case, we were so ready to get into our new RV that we really didn’t care about taking a hit. Even so, I did negotiate pretty hardcore with the dealership. Let me explain what I did to get the best price.
How to Negotiate a Better Trade-in Price with an RV Dealership
Before you speak with an RV dealership, make sure you have all your numbers. When they see you know what you’re talking about, they won’t mess around with you as much.
I went on different websites to see what other RVs exactly like mine—the same year and with the same options—were selling for. I jotted down the highest number I could find and kept in mind the location of the RV, but if they didn’t say anything, then neither did I.
I also went on other websites to check the price of the RV I wanted to buy. Then I contacted all of the different RV dealerships and got their best offer. Once I found the one that had the best offer, I went back through the process again and saw who I could get to give me the best price.
If you’re buying out of town, you have to keep in mind there are delivery prices and figure those into the overall cost.
Finally, I got them to make an offer on my trade-in first and then got them to give me the price for the RV. If you’re not careful, they’ll just work their profit into one or the other. They’ll try to make the price of the new RV higher or the price of your trade-in lower and make it seem like you got a good deal.
Also, look out for finance charges, charges for hoses and other equipment, and other things they try to tack on and compare that with the other places you got offers from as well.
Having all of the information puts you in the driver’s seat and doesn’t give them much room to move the numbers around.
Using an RV Broker to Sell Your RV
We could have used one of the RV spots like Camping World or Lazydays to sell our RV, but they really wanted a big chunk of the profit. Instead, we decided to go with a guy that is also a mobile RV repair guy.
He had a lot of local connections, and he had places where he could put the RV so people would see it, and when they wanted to tour it, they contacted him. It took him a couple of months to sell it, but we got a decent price and didn’t have to pay storage for it anymore.
Before you hand over the keys to some RV broker, make sure they have good references and an actual plan to sell your RV.
Selling Your Used RV as a Private Seller
If you’re like me and you filter out private sellers when you search for RVs online, you might think it’s a lost cause. However, that’s not how everyone feels about things, and you’ll have plenty of people that want to look at your RV.
With that in mind, you need to set aside time so you can show people your RV. People want to tour the RV before they buy it in most cases. Keep in mind there are some people that will surprise you and say they want to buy it sight unseen.
Some people will be cash buyers and ready to pay you right away, but a lot of people need to get loans from the bank, and that might take a little bit of time. If you only want cash buyers, then you need to be very upfront about that in the beginning.
Before meeting with people to let them look at your RV, it’s smart if you ask them a few qualifying questions. If you don’t, you’ll likely meet a lot of people that just want to check out your RV and don’t really have the ability to make a purchase right then.
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Some of the questions you should ask are:
- When do you see yourself buying an RV?
- How long have you been RVing?
- What made you want to buy an RV?
While these won’t weed out all of the lookie-loos, it does help so you can protect your time.
When is the Best Time to Sell an RV?
If you put your RV on the market at the wrong time, you might not get the results you want. You don’t want your RV to become stale.
If people in your area see the RV there for too long, they might think it’s unappealing and not even want to look at it. Make sure you put the RV out during warm months and store it safely during the winter if you didn’t sell it.
Watch for gas prices to drop because people get travel fever when it’s more affordable.
Selling not long before a holiday like the 4th of July is another good time to get people’s attention and their cash.
What Is the Best Way to Sell a Used RV?
We’ve sold our RV to a dealership as a trade-in, and we’ve sold to private buyers through an RV broker, and both of those ways are pretty painless.
However, if you don’t mind doing the legwork and meeting with a bunch of people, I really believe selling as a private party to a private party is the best way to do things. You get more money out of it and don’t have to deal with any middlemen.
It’s really up to you and how you like to do things, but all of these ways work. The biggest thing is that you need to market your RV and get it in front of as many people as possible.
You can get attention by putting your RV on sales websites, social media groups, putting posters and flyers up, advertising in your local newspaper, going to flea markets, and putting up announcements at campgrounds.
The more people that know about your RV, the more likely you’ll be to find someone that is willing to pay the price you want.
How to Sell a Used RV – Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can I sell my used RV if I still owe on it?
Answer: Yes. The buyer will just have to wait for the title after they pay you.
Question: How do I make the most money off selling my used RV?
Answer: Selling as a private party to a private party will get you the most profit.
Question: Where can I sell my used RV on consignment?
Answer: Almost every RV dealership offers consignment selling depending on your RV.
How to Sell a Used RV – Now You’re a Pro
Now you know how to sell a used RV, and you can save on storage or use the money to buy your next adventure mobile. It doesn’t have to be a hassle to go through the process of learning how to sell a used RV, and once you’re done it, it’s pretty simple.
Do you want to learn more about RV life? Check out my post about whether owning an RV is worth it or not.