So, how do you find the RV that’s right for you – and at the right price? Or how do you ascertain the value of your own RV for sale purposes?
Today, we’re going to be looking at the Kelley Blue Book RV Trailers pricing guides which you may not have heard of.
We’ll give you:
- A Brief Overview:
- Pricing Guides:
- 7 TopNotch Re-sell Tips:
Sit back and read on…
Is there a Kelley Blue Book for RVs and Trailers?
Finding the value of a used trailer can be a painful process…
So, most people look to the Kelley Blue Book as a reliable information source.
The Kelley Blue Book used to publish their own RV listings.
Unfortunately, they now only publish an automobile edition.
But on the brighter side…
There are alternative websites that you can use for RV listings…
Want to know more?
RV Pricing Guide Alternatives To Kelley Blue Book
While the Kelley Blue Book no longer publishes RV valuations, it’s worth noting that Kelley Blue Book isn’t the only automotive research guide.
There are still a lot of pricing guides by other companies that have a solid reputation in the industry.
Let’s explore your options!
Also, we’ll help you take a look at things you should consider if you’re involved in RV retail or sale.
Especially if you’re doing business with a private party instead of a dealership.
Know more about camper values with:
- National Automobile Dealers Association
RV Pricing and Value Guide by National Automobile Dealers Association
If you’re looking for a hard and fast number to value your RV then, the NADA website is the first place to start.
National Automobile Dealers Association Appraisal Guide
This is the industry-standard resource book for valuing campers.
Updated and published three times a year, this guide makes an ideal resource for buyers and sellers alike.
Each edition features updated wholesale, retail, and list prices for all types of campers, from trucks to high-end motorhomes.
The book even includes park models and heavy-duty tow vehicles.
Each book features a valuation for the current model year and the 14 years before that.
Yes, you read that right…
When they noticed that the Kelley Blue Book left the RV market wide open – NADA stepped up their game.
NADA made sure their website was intuitive to use.
With new versions coming out each January, May, and September you’ll be able to zero in on the best possible price for new and used RVs or travel trailers.
Tips for the easiest way to get a reasonable price quote on an RV you’re investigating?
Once you’re on the NADA website,
Click on the “start here” button, or click on the type of RV or trailer you want to research.
Next, choose the manufacturer of the camper you’re researching.
Select the year of the RV, as well as the type: motorhome, trailer, fifth-wheel, etc.
The final step is to choose the model.
At this point you’ll already have the price quote.
NADA promises to keep accurate and updated records.
Though some of the less popular models will perhaps be a little out of date.
NADA Guide Pricing
You can buy a one-year subscription for under $150.
This includes three issues of the guide.
Or, you can buy the most recent edition for circa $75.
If you purchase from the NADA Guides Store, there is no charge for shipping and handling.
Customers who buy multiple subscriptions can get quantity discounts.
Older versions can sometimes be found on Amazon and eBay.
These are helpful if you’re looking for a unit that’s more than 15 years old.
Though keep in mind that the values in the book were based on the year of publication.
But wait – there’s more…
RV Price Checker by RVTrader
RVTrader has more pricing options.
This makes the resource a good middle ground between NADA and RVUSA.
The RVTrader website is easy to use and provides a general pricing estimate for most RVs, motorhomes, and travel trailers on the current market.
Simply enter the pertinent information and it’ll generate a price range between the highest and lowest possible value.
If you’re hoping to sell your RV the RV Price Checker by RVTrader allows you to get a general value for any RV or travel trailer.
Everything is entered on the same easy to understand page.
It has three different numbers at the click of one button.
(The highest value, the lowest value, and the average value).
These values are calculated from the sales prices of the RVs listed on the RVTrader website.
But here’s the kicker:
If you’re looking to find value more specific to the details and quality of your RV or travel trailer,
Using the NADA Pricing and Value Guide will be more efficient.
RVUSA is another resource site for RV buyers and sellers.
They have a comprehensive listing of RVs complete with detailed specs.
You can dial up the exact model you want in their comprehensive library and they also have tools to connect with other third party RV buyers, sellers, and dealerships.
As well as a forum to help you learn more about RVs.
Interested parties can also post ads or advertise an RV for sale.
RVUSA tends to have some holes when it comes to pricing RVs by model, year, and floorplan.
They only have a hard and fast MSRP on about half of the models, which are usually only new model years.
It’s better to think of RVUSA as a comparative guide for your research.
Things That Can Affect The Price
Most websites’ RV and travel trailer pricing guides only give a price range of a “Best Guess” on a unit.
More than that, you need to be aware of how other features can influence the price.
This includes things like:
The Overall Condition
- Beat up and outdated upholstery
- Noticeable cosmetic issues
- Old appliances
- Obvious wear and tear
All these can be a huge turn-off and can lower the RV resale value.
The exterior appearance will also affect RV value.
While you’re at it, pay attention to:
- Water leaks, discoloration, dents, paint chips or other structural imperfections
- Regular and effective maintenance
- Repairs or other service
You can expect any potential buyers to use these issues as bargaining chips to come down to a lower price.
This is a bigger factor for motorhomes.
Buyers often ask these questions:
- Does it run as expected for a vehicle of its age and mileage?
- Is the mileage on the Motorhome above or below the average mileage for a Motorhome of its age?
And with any distance traveled the electronic trailer brakes, tire tread life, and the state of the wheel bearings should be in good condition.
Consider everything that came with – and has subsequently been added to the unit.
Things like awnings, satellite dishes, solar panels, A/C unit, antennas, and special mirrors will all add value.
RV manufacturers and dealerships love to put added extras and optional features.
Upgraded appliance packages like hydraulic levelers, power awnings, satellite TV antennas, backup cameras, and a plethora of upgradable appliances contribute to a major advantage.
Sometimes they even offer bed upgrades from a queen size to a king size.
This is a great way for them to increase the initial selling price.
If a private seller has these records on hand, and they’re willing to show them to you, it’s certainly a good signal of some pride of ownership – always a good sign.
It also gives you an idea of what has been maintained and what might need to be done to the RV in the future.
This means you can get a smoking deal if you buy a gently used RV.
How to Sell a Used RV or Trailer (TopNotch Top Tips)
In case you might be asking yourself…
What do I need to do to sell my RV for the highest price possible?
Selling your pre-owned RV can be a little tricky.
While fighting the tides of depreciation, you still want to get the most bang for your buck.
The worry will be if you’ll put too high an asking price on it, you may scare potential buyers away.
Yet, you don’t want to go too low either.
Potential buyers are going to be looking for any sign of problems to possibly talk down the price.
Follow these 7 tips and make the most out of selling your used RV:
- Tip 1: Take Care of Any Maintenance Issues
Before listing your RV and travel trailers, take care of any minor maintenance issues.
- Fixing any leaky faucets
- Making sure all trim is secure
- Checking on upholstery condition
You’ll also want the oil changed and ensure that the engine maintenance is up to date.
Most of all, make sure that any necessary state inspections have been completed.
Be sure that your RV or travel trailer doesn’t show any signs of mold growth, water damage, dents, or dings.
Do a walk-through – imagining that you’re the potential buyer and make a list of any problems you see.
What’s the bottom line?
If you purchase another RV or travel trailer,
Keep in mind that you may want to resell it one day.
So try your best to keep the new RV or travel trailer in good condition.
- Tip 2: Give It a Good Deep Clean
A clean RV encourages potential buyers.
So, a good deep clean is also a must!
- The refrigerator needs to be spotless
- All bedding must be freshly washed
- Wipe away smoke marks by the kitchen stove top
- Bathroom is spotless
- Empty out the cupboards and give them a good wipe down
- Make sure all glass surfaces are clear
- Keep the van free of crumbs
Though the list is quite long,
All will be worth it if you’re hoping to get the best possible sale price.
- Tip 3: Get a Clean Title
If you own your RV outright, and you’ve paid it off then the lender will have sent you a lien release card.
This document proves you’ve paid it off in full and indicates that you are the full owner of the RV.
You can then take this information to the local department of motor vehicles and they’ll provide you with a clean title.
If you no longer have the lien release card you can call the lender and they should be able to provide you with a duplicate.
If you still owe money on your RV or travel trailer you should give your lender a heads up to let them know that you’re thinking of selling.
They may have rules in place that you need to follow.
- Tip 4: Sell at the Right Time Of Year
When you choose to sell your RV or travel trailer can make a big difference to how much people will pay.
The price of an RV or travel trailer can swing a little bit based on the season.
Dealerships know that once the snow starts to fall…
… their sales will dry up.
They’ll often offer clearance sales at cut-throat prices.
Imagine being in a dilemma between taking the risk of buying a preowned RV or spending a few thousand dollars more to get a brand new clearance model from an RV dealership.
In the northern United States and Canada RV purchasing tends to speed up in the spring to summer.
It’s the time when people start thinking about purchasing an RV or trailer for their upcoming summer travel plans.
This is when dealerships are offering models at the highest price tag.
… it also means you can raise the price of your RV or travel trailer to make a potential buyer feel like they’re getting a good deal.
Because people are going to be more willing to pay a higher price so they can get out and explore sooner…
- Tip 5: Choose Where and How to Sell Your RV or Travel Trailer
If you have some time on your hands and some experience negotiating sales, you might consider selling it yourself.
Putting an ad online with a site like RVUSA will help you attract interested parties.
Though – bear in mind – they might be on the other side of the country.
So, if you’re going to advertise locally, you can expect it to take a while.
… it’s your best chance to see a good return on your investment.
You could try selling it through a newspaper ad or a public sales board.
Even the local grocery store might have a tagboard where anyone can post an ad for anything they’re selling.
It’s often free or for a very minimal fee.
The advantage of this angle is that if you do find an interested party you can deal with them face to face.
They can easily take test drives, plus, it will cost you next to nothing to advertise.
Selling on consignment with a local RV or car dealership is another option to consider.
Locals who come into their lot are already interested buyers.
It also spares you from having to do the work or closing the deal and playing salesman.
The problem is the dealership will likely charge you a fee for holding your RV and a part of the final profits for the pleasure.
- Tip 6: Decide Who You’re Selling To
The most important thing to consider when selling your RV is WHO you’re going to sell to.
If you are looking to sell your RV or travel trailer quickly then consider visiting a dealership to see if they’ll buy it from you.
Here’s the deal:
While selling your RV or travel trailer to a dealership is going to be faster than posting it online, you’re probably going to receive much less than you might have been hoping for.
So, if you don’t like this option then consider using an authentic “For Sale” sign in the window.
Someone is sure to see it and be curious.
- Tip 7: Closing the Deal and Accepting Payment
Finally, you’ve researched a fair price for your used RV or travel trailer.
You’ve added a fair amount of interest, and negotiated a good deal with a private buyer.
Signing over the RV to the third party is simple.
The title has all the necessary blanks for them to fill in.
You’ll also need to include a bill of sale.
Once everything is filled out the buyer handles filing the sale with the Department of Motor Vehicles in their own state.
You also need to inform your insurance company of the sale as soon as possible.
When making payment, make sure to inform them in advance of the mode of payment you prefer: cash or a cashier’s check, bank transfer etc
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Sell My Used RV Or Travel Trailer To A Dealership?
Yes, some RV dealerships will help sell your used RV or travel trailer on consignment though they will take a part of the sale price as payment for their services.
Is It A Good Idea To Rent My RV?
When you’re not using your RV you can put your RV out for someone to rent.
It’s a great way to bring it back into profit.
For example, letting a potential buyer rent your RV through a third party site can serve as a “Test Drive.”
Many successful sales have been closed this way.
Even if they don’t choose to buy now but rather sometime later, you’ll still make a little income off the rental.
Can living in an RV save you money?
Saving money all depends on you. It’s important for you to stick to your budget whatever you do.
Living in an RV gives you the option to live smaller.
So – take advantage of that and spend your newfound money only on things you really need.
Everything is up to you.
The best part of the RV life – freedom to choose.
Is it cheaper to live in an RV than an apartment?
Living in an RV and living in an apartment are completely different situations.
The biggest difference is between buying and renting. When you buy something, you own it. Let’s mention the difference in the price every month.
When you’re renting, you have to pay quite a bit more every month for as long as you live there – as well as a deposit. For example…
Renting an apartment can range anywhere from $600 to $2500 a month – sometimes more. Price can go up much further if the apartment is located in a popular area.
On the other hand… RVs are affordable to people who would like to ‘buy’.
When you buy an RV…
You’re normally paying off some form of loan. Though loans normally come with interest – be careful to negotiate the best deal. Your payments could be anywhere from $200 to $800 a month or less.
Want to know the best part? You’ll own your RV in the end.
Is It A Bad Idea To Sell My RV On Consignment?
Selling on consignment takes the pressure off negotiating with a private buyer.
You also don’t have to spend much time posting ads, talking with interested parties, and losing hours to nonsense deals.
It is also a faster way to make a sale…
As people are already shopping for an RV at the dealership.
The drawback with putting your RV on consignment is that the dealer will take a percentage of the sale price.
Depending on the RV or travel trailer, age, condition, and time of year, Some dealerships can ask as much as 10 to 15% of the sale.
So, don’t expect the same profit that you’d see selling it yourself.
Whether the consignment is good or bad for you comes down to how much you value your time.
Conclusion: Kelley Blue Book RV Trailers
Although most RV owners acknowledge that the Kelley Blue Book is one of the most popular and trusted guides in general retail automobile pricing, you won’t find detailed information on your RV choice there today.
Knowing about the best reliable sources can save lots of time in the pre-trip planning and buying (or selling) stages.
The guides we mention here can all provide accurate information and will also inspire you to get moving whether it’s your first purchase or you’re looking to sell or upgrade…