There are various online tools and professional appraisal services to help you find an accurate value for your RV.
Understanding the different valuation options and how to use them gives you a clear picture of your RV’s worth.
Below, we cover the 4 most popular ways to accurately value your RV and tips for selecting the best method for your needs.
1. NADA RV Values (The JD Power RV Value)
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has long been the go-to source for RV valuation guides.
However, in 2015, the NADA Used Car Guide was acquired by J.D. Power and is now officially called the J.D. Power RV Value tool. Despite the name change, RV owners and dealers still refer to it as the NADA guide out of habit (at least I still do).
The J.D. Power RV Value tool allows you to look up the estimated value of an RV based on the make, model, year, mileage, and various features.
To get a valuation from the J.D. Power RV Value tool, follow these steps:
- Visit the RV Value homepage and select your RV type, like motorhome, travel trailer, etc.
- Choose the manufacturer of your RV from the list.
- Select the year and model (you can filter by floorplan, length, slides, etc.).
- Input your zip code so valuations reflect your geographic area.
- Add any extra options your RV has, like awnings, generators, solar power, etc.
- Submit the information.
After entering your RV’s details, you will get price estimates for average retail value, low retail value, and suggested list price when new.
- The suggested list price is what the manufacturer recommended selling the RV for when brand new.
- The low retail value reflects an RV with significant wear and tear, dents, faded paint, and other defects.
- The average retail value prices in good condition tires, glass, interior, appliances, and limited body damage.
Tip: Check out our NADA RV Value Guide for a complete breakdown of how to use this tool (with pictures) and tips to improve its accuracy.
While the NADA RV Value tool is very helpful, it does have some limitations to be aware of. It may not fully account for regional differences in pricing and options/upgrades added after purchase.
Overall, the J.D. Power RV Value based on NADA data offers an excellent starting point to understand your RV’s estimated value. However, getting quotes from multiple valuation sources is recommended whenever possible.
2. Good Sam RV Valuator
The Good Sam RV Valuator is another handy online tool for estimating your RV’s value. It is offered by Good Sam, a major provider of RV insurance, roadside assistance, extended warranties, and other services.
To use the Good Sam RV Valuator, enter details like make, model, year, and trim, and answer a few yes or no questions. It then provides a price estimate based on that information.
Some key benefits of the Good Sam RV Valuator include:
- Quick and easy online valuation requiring just basic RV details
- Estimates account for unique, custom, or vintage RVs
- Sell your RV quickly using their dealer network, directly to Camping World, or through their consignment program.
There are a few limitations to note as well:
- Price valuations are used for selling only.
- Valuation will be lower as it’s designed for trade-in or consignment.
The Good Sam RV Valuator provides a solid starting point for understanding your RV’s trade-in value and even offers a way to offload your RV quickly and easily. Just don’t expect top dollar for your RV using this option.
3. RVTrader.com Price Checker
RVTrader.com is the largest marketplace for buying and selling new and used RVs online. In addition to RV listings, the site offers a price checker tool to see what similar RVs are selling for.
The RVTrader price checker allows you to search by an RV’s make, model, and year. It will then display the price range for comparable listings, including average, lowest, and highest asking prices.
Key benefits of using the RVTrader price checker include:
- Provides a snapshot of real market asking prices rather than estimates.
- Draws data from thousands of listings on the site.
- Useful for both buyers and sellers to compare to your target price.
There are some limitations to keep in mind:
- Reflects asking prices rather than final sold prices.
- Does not account for condition differences between RVs.
- Represents only RVs listed on RVTrader.com.
Overall, the RVTrader price checker gives helpful insight into the current market value range for a particular RV model. Comparing those prices to NADA values and other sources provides a more complete picture.
4. Professional RV Appraisal
A professional appraisal is recommended for the most accurate and detailed RV valuation. An appraiser will physically inspect your RV inside and out. They take into account all factors, including make, model, year, condition, upgrades, and current market demand.
The key benefits of a professional RV appraisal include:
- Provides the most accurate and customizable valuation.
- Appraiser experience helps determine the exact condition and needed repairs.
- Regional market knowledge gives specific value for your area.
- Useful when selling high-value RVs or settling insurance claims.
- Reports detail methodology and comparables supporting the value.
There are some downsides to be aware of with RV appraisals:
- More expensive than online valuation tools.
- Takes more time to schedule and perform inspection.
- Availability may be limited in some regions.
For many purposes, the free online tools provide sufficient RV value guidance. But for selling a higher-end RV or needing a definitive valuation, a professional appraisal brings precision. Overall, it offers peace of mind by determining every factor contributing to your RV’s true market value.
Limitations of Online RV Valuation Tools
Online RV valuation tools offer a convenient way to estimate the value of an RV based on a variety of parameters such as make, model, year, and condition.
However, there are several factors that these tools might not fully consider, which can potentially affect the actual value of an RV.
- Regional Market Variations: Different regions may have varying demands for certain types of RVs, which can influence the market value. Online tools may not always adjust values based on the specific dynamics of a local or regional market.
- Upgrades and Renovations: Owners often make upgrades and renovations to their RVs, enhancing their value. Valuation tools might not accurately reflect the value added through high-quality upgrades and renovations.
- Maintenance History: A well-maintained RV can have a higher value than one that hasn’t been maintained properly. I have yet to find a tool that looks at the detailed maintenance history.
- Accident History: RVs involved in accidents might have a diminished value. While some tools might consider this factor, they may not be able to accurately assess the extent to which an accident has affected the RV’s value.
- Current Economic Conditions: Economic fluctuations can affect the RV market, influencing the prices of RVs. Online tools might not be updated frequently to reflect the current economic conditions.
- Seasonal Demand: The RV market can be subject to seasonal variations in demand, with prices potentially higher in peak seasons, which most tools won’t account for.
- Rare or Unique Features: RVs with rare or unique features, customizations, or limited edition models might be more valuable. Online tools might not be equipped to fully evaluate the added value of such unique attributes.
- Legal Issues: Any legal issues or disputes related to the RV, such as unclear titles, can affect its value.
Understanding these limitations is important for both buyers and sellers to negotiate a fair price based on a more comprehensive understanding of the RV’s actual value.
It’s recommended to complement online valuations with professional appraisals and personal inspections to arrive at the most accurate valuation.
Tip: Run an RV history report using a service like RVChex.com by entering the RV VIN number, which will detail disclosed damage, title status, and more.
Choosing the Best Method for You
With numerous options for valuing an RV, how do you choose the one that fits your needs? Here are some key factors to consider:
- Purpose – If you just want a ballpark for buying or selling, the free online tools work well. For insurance or loans, an appraisal may be required.
- RV Type – Online tools work better for common, mass-produced RVs. Custom or vintage RVs typically need an appraiser with specialized expertise.
- Value – Higher-end RVs with more upgrades merit a thorough inspection by a professional appraiser.
- Accuracy – Combining multiple valuation sources gives a clearer accuracy range versus relying on just one.
- Cost – Online tools are free, while an appraisal costs $200-$400 on average but brings precision.
- Timeframe – Instant online results versus 1-2 weeks for an appraisal appointment.
While individual needs vary, even just combining NADA values with the RVTrader price checker improves insight. And for very high-value RVs, the precision of a professional appraisal gives peace of mind. Choose the option that balances your budget, time constraints, and need for value accuracy.
How Do I Get the Blue Book Value of My RV?
Getting your RV’s “blue book” value refers to getting an estimate of its market value, a term often derived from the Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation and automotive research company. However, it should be noted that Kelley Blue Book does not provide RV valuations. To get a similar valuation for your RV, you can use:
Research Online Valuation Tools
There are several online platforms where you can get an estimated value of your RV. Some popular ones include:
- JD Power RV Value: Formerly known as NADA RV Value, this platform provides detailed valuation reports based on the make, model, and condition of your RV.
- RVTrader: This platform offers a price checker tool to help you understand the current market value of similar RVs.
Consult with Professionals
If you prefer a more personalized approach, you might consider consulting with a professional appraiser who can provide an in-depth valuation based on a physical inspection of your RV.
What Do Banks Use to Determine RV Value?
Banks and financial institutions typically employ a systematic approach to determine the RV value when considering loan applications. Here is how they generally go about it:
Utilizing Recognized Valuation Guides
Banks often refer to recognized valuation guides, such as the JD Power RV Value guide, to get a baseline value for the RV.
Considering the Condition and Features of the RV
Apart from the standard valuation guides, banks may also consider the specific condition and features of the RV. This includes considering any additional accessories or upgrades incorporated into the RV.
Banks may also conduct a market analysis to understand the current demand and supply for RVs, which can influence the valuation.
That said, every bank is different, so inquire with your bank for their valuation methods.
Are JD Power RV Values Accurate?
JD Power RV Values, which took over from NADA RV values, is considered a reliable source for estimating RV values. They aggregate a vast amount of data from various sources to provide a well-rounded estimate of an RV’s value.
The values provided by JD Power are updated regularly to reflect the current market conditions, ensuring that you get the most recent data. Plus, it’s widely accepted in the RV industry, and many dealers and financial institutions refer to it for valuation, which speaks volumes about its accuracy.
However, while JD Power offers a reliable estimate, corroborating the information with other sources or a professional appraisal to get the most accurate valuation is always a good practice.