Whether you want to upgrade to a new RV or move on from your RVing days, there will come a time to sell your camper.
Unfortunately, the process of selling is often more stressful than buying. After all, you want to achieve the best price possible, as fast as possible.
However, if you have a plan and a little know-how, the process can go smoothly… and quickly!
Let’s take a look at how to prepare your vehicle for sale, find the best selling price, and how to find the right method to sell your RV fast!
Prepare Your Camper for Sale
The first thing you should do once you decide it’s time to sell your camper, travel trailer, motorhome, or any type of RV is, of course, prepare your vehicle for sale!
Clean It Inside & Out
Cleaning out your camper is rather crucial if you’re looking to score a good deal. It should be tidy, presentable, and close to new condition as you can get it.
So, start by cleaning the camper’s interior. Remove all your personal belongings from the vehicle so that potential buyers are able to easily picture themselves in the camper.
If needed, shampoo the carpets or get them professionally cleaned. The goal here is to get rid of any odors that could be lingering inside the camper.
After the inside is cleaned out and wiped down, it’s time to move to the exterior of your RV. Be sure to remove any oxidation from the RV and give it a nice polish. It should go without saying that a clean, new looking camper will sell much faster (and for more money) than a dirty used looking one.
Fix It Up
Now that your RV is all cleaned up, it’s time to tie any loose ends.
Perform a walk-through of your camper testing out each feature to make sure it’s working as designed. Make sure all of the light bulbs are working, plumbing works, any appliances are working as they should, etc. Once you have your list, go ahead and replace faulty bulbs and fix up any other broken features.
If there are items that you physically can’t fix or you won’t be able to recoup the cost of fixing it, you can offer an allowance to the buyer to help pay for the repair. For example, if the carpet needs to be replaced, you can offer a $500 allowance to the buyer to help pay for the new carpet. This way the carpet won’t be a sticking point and deter buyers, plus they get to choose brand new carpet of their liking.
Lastly, any service that needs to be performed, like oil changes, etc, should be completed before putting it up for sale.
When it comes to cleaning and fixing your camper, the bottom line is to think about the condition of the camper that you’d be willing to buy. Try to achieve such a state.
Figure The Best Selling Price
Setting at the right price is one of the most critical steps to sell your RV. This decision can be both stressful and emotional to make, so it’s important to remember that you need to keep things reasonable.
Instead of thinking about the emotional value of your time in the vehicle or the money that you originally paid for it, try to consider its actual current worth. This way, you’ll be able to set a fair price for both you and the buyer.
You see, the price on your ad is the first, if not the only, thing a potential buyer would look at to decide whether or not they should inquire for extra details.
So how do you know the right price?
For starters, avoid going above the fair market value or you may be waiting for a long time before you even get a bite. And you may be forced to lower the price anyway since no one is willing to pay the set amount.
In many cases, selling at a bargain price proves to be money-saving. This is when you consider the extended cost of ownership, depreciation, and insurance over a long sale duration.
However, this doesn’t mean you should set your price too low. Even if your camper is used, you’re still entitled to get the full monetary value of the vehicle.
To achieve a middle ground price that works for both parties, do a quick search for the average selling prices of campers just like yours on websites such as NADA and RVTrader. Kelly Blue Book can also be helpful in this aspect.
If you’re still having trouble figuring out a price, you can try the approach of some sellers who turn to their insurance companies, banks, or RV dealers for a formal appraisal.
Lastly, do a quick search for similar models for sale and see what they are going for. If you want to sell your RV as quickly as possible then you’ll want to at least be in the same ballpark, if not beat their price. You might not get as much money, but you’ll get a faster sale and you’ll be saving on the costs associated with keeping the RV in your possession while waiting for a buyer.
Choose a Suitable Selling Method
There are several ways you can put your camper up for sale. You can sell it locally yourself, go online, or go through an RV dealer. Here’s a breakdown of each method:
Of course, you can decide to be the only person involved in putting the camper up for sale and landing a deal. There are various outlets and platforms where you can market your camper locally. Here are a few tips for selling your camper as quickly as possible if you decide to sell it yourself locally.
Put it on display
It’s not always enough to park your camper outside the house for buyers to come knocking at your door.
If you don’t already live in one, you may need to display your camper in a high traffic area so that lots of potential buyers can see your RV and get in touch with you.
Consider reaching out to friends who happen to live or own businesses in high traffic areas, and ask them to let you park your camper there for a while.
Hang a window sheet
A window sheet is a handy tool that you place on the windows of your camper to make the sale easier. Think of them as a “For Sale” sign on steroids!
This sheet should include the answers to the most asked questions by potential buyers. Think of it as an FAQ section that covers the different features of your camper and other important information like miles, year, model, and so on.
Window sheets are also a good chance for you to add your contact information, such as your phone number and email address.
Other ways to show off your camper locally include:
- Parking the camper in a high traffic area with a “For Sale” sign.
- Use local RV parks and campgrounds to pass around ads or flyers.
- Use local magazines or periodicals.
- Spread the word by letting people know you’re selling your camper.
If you want to expand those local boundaries, then you have the option to sell your RV online. Going online will allow you to reach a larger audience of buyers, which should make the sale much faster to complete.
There are a few different ways you can sell your RV online, with the most popular being:
- Selling your RV via classified listings, such as RVTrader, Facebook, and craigslist.
- Selling your RV at an online sales auction. For example, eBay motors.
- Selling your RV through RV forums.
No matter which avenue you take to sell it online, you’ll need to write a good ad. A good ad can make all the difference in how well and how fast you sell your used camper.
If you want to write an effective ad, it should highlight the most compelling features and selling points of your camper. The more information you enter in the description field, the better your chances of securing a buyer. This helps them feel that your ad isn’t a scam.
To help you write a strong ad that’ll make things move faster, here’s a number of points to include:
- Mention the reason(s) you’re selling – this is a very common buyer question, so save time by providing an explanation in your ad.
- State the acceptable forms of payment – it’s always best to make it clear what payments you will and will not accept. This way, both parties can avoid inconvenience because buyers will know upfront what you want. For example, if you don’t want to accept foreign money, then be sure to include such a statement.
- Be honest – being shady or evasive will only serve to waste everyone’s time, including yours. Be straightforward and open about any issues or declarations related to the camper. If the buyer discovers certain defects through a history report check of your vehicle that they didn’t already know about, then they may lose interest altogether.
- Mention prior maintenance – buyers of used campers are always attracted to well-maintained vehicles, especially if it’s a motorized model. So, it’s a smart idea to mention that you took care of your RV, and it gets even better if you include maintenance records to back up your words.
- Disclose warranty information – if your vehicle is still covered by transferable warranty and you have the paperwork, make sure to list such information along with the expiry date of the warranty. Also, don’t forget to mention whether or not there’s a fee for warranty transfer. If you’re asking the buyer to pay for this fee, you need to make it clear.
- State your negotiating terms – if your price is firm, make sure you mention this in the ad. To make the process smoother, RV ads usually use terms such as firm, OBO (or best offer), negotiable, and must sell.
- Include visual representation – this is particularly beneficial for online ads. Consider adding high-quality photos or video walk-throughs.
Sell Through A Dealer
This may not grant you the best deal out there, but it’s the fastest way for you to sell your camper and secure some cash. Almost all RV dealers will buy your used RV through an outright purchase, or you can even trade your old model for a newer one.
Pick a Good Time To Sell
Finally, don’t make the mistake of listing your camper for sale at the wrong time. This could lead to a long, frustrating wait that you definitely won’t like.
You should fight the temptation of trying to sell during the holiday season. Even if it seems like a good idea, most people will be too busy to look at RV ads or deals.
Generally speaking, the best time to list your used camper for sale is after the holidays, during the months of spring and just before the summer break. That’s when people start fantasizing about their summer camping trips!
Does Camping World buy used RVs?
Yes, Camping World does buy used RVs. They’ll even pay top dollar for your RV at one of their dealerships closest to you. Outright purchase is a good option if you want to sell your camper quickly.
You can also list your RV for sale with Camping World through their consignment program. This is similar to selling a house through a real estate agent; Camping World will handle all the official paperwork for you, and you’ll get the most cash with no hassle in exchange for a certain cut.
Will RV dealers buy used RVs?
Yes, almost all RV dealers will buy your used RV through an outright purchase. This may not get you the best deal possible, but it’s the fastest way for you to land some cash.
Is there a blue book for travel trailers?
Kelley Blue Book used to be available for travel trailers, but they only support automobiles now. There are other websites, however, that provide pricing guides and model comparisons such as NADA and RVTrader.
How do you sell a camper when you still owe on it?
If you still owe on your camper, you will need to pay off what you owe first so that the loan company can transfer the title. Contact your lender for the exact details. If you have a lien placed on your camper, check out our guide on how to sell a camper with a lien for more details.