Getting More For Your RV Trade-In


Trading an RV in? Do the right things, and you’ll get the most for your RV. In this video, we’ll go over all the things you should do when you trade in your model. Marcus starts on the outside and works his way in, touching on every detail that you must address to get the very best RV trade-in value possible.

Selling an RV or travel trailer is a lot like selling a home. Focus on curb appeal and make sure all the parts of the unit work properly. Ensure nothing is damaged or out of place. Assess your RV through the eyes of a buyer and an appraiser.

What would potential buyers want to see? What would you want to see if you were buying the RV you’re selling?

Prepare Your RV Before the Sale

Proper preparation is important in everything you do. You must prepare your RV before you trade it in. Here are Marcus’s suggestions for prospective sellers on where to begin and what to focus on when selling recreational vehicles:

Wash and Detail Your Unit

It’s amazing what a good cleaning will do for your possible trade-in value. People buy with their eyes first and then with their noses. The fact of the matter is a dirty or smelly RV gets a fraction of the sales price it could have if it came clean and ready to go. You want your unit to appear as close to brand new as possible.

Here are some things to focus on:

  • Remove all personal items from the RV.
  • Wash the exterior of the RV.
  • Clean the tires, wheels, and wheel wells.
  • Wash the windows, both inside and out.
  • Try to buff out any small scratches.
  • Clean storage compartments.
  • Empty and thoroughly clean the fridge.
  • Clean the microwave.
  • Thoroughly clean the stovetop and the inside of the oven.
  • Wipe down all of the cabinets, inside and out.
  • Clean the sinks and faucets.
  • Eliminate any odors by washing and cleaning all carpets and fabrics.
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet.
  • Clean and disinfect the shower.
  • Clean all the hard surface floors.
  • Remove any soiled bedding.
  • Ensure the mattress is as clean and as odor-free as possible.
  • Remove all items from the wardrobes and storage spaces and clean them.

Make Sure The Unit Is Free of Damage and Functions Properly

  • Check the awning for stains or tears.
  • Make sure the steps into the RV are sturdy.
  • Check the tire tread depth and air pressure.
  • Check to see if all of the RV’s exterior lights work.
  • Check all of the RV’s interior lights and ensure the proper light color and brightness.
  • Open all storage compartments to ensure everything is as it should be.
  • Check the screen door for tears.
  • Look for rust underneath the unit.
  • Look over the jacks and ensure they operate properly.
  • Make sure the slides function properly and sound smooth.
  • Identify any big scratches, delamination, and missing decals or stickers.
  • Check hoses and ensure holding tanks function as designed.
  • Check for working but worn parts and components.
  • Test every single outlet in the RV.
  • Test the water pressure.

The last thing to do is round up all your RV’s manuals, warranty records, service paperwork, and any other paperwork you have on the unit. Don’t hide times when the RV required maintenance. The buyer wants to know that you took care of the unit. Place all the paperwork in a folder and leave that folder inside the RV.

Things to Know During the RV Sale

Photo by Camping World

When you bring in your RV, show the prospective buyer that you take pride in it and deserve the best possible price for it. Be aware that you’ll not get the retail selling price for the RV, but don’t let a potential buyer get away with a low offer.

A dealer will want to do an RV walkaround. They’ll look for items that suppress the value of the RV. This could be scratches on the exterior, lights that don’t work, delamination, or anything else that’s out of whack.

You don’t want to argue with the items the dealer points out. Own up to the things that are wrong and defend the best attributes of the unit. Be honest with the prospective buyer, and focus on the positives.

When negotiating, know the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) wholesale value of your RV. Do some research online ahead of time to have an accurate value to shoot for. No matter what number the dealer arrives at, always ask for more.

If you’re already a Good Sam member, you can use the RV Valuator Tool to see RV prices for similar campers and estimate how much you might get for your RV. But that’s just one of the many benefits of a Good Sam RV Membership.

If you follow all these steps, you should be able to get a trade-in value for your unit that you’re happy with.

Why Trade-in With Camping World

When selling or trading your RV in, Camping World’s used RV trade-in program is second to none. Your RV gets inspected, cleaned, professionally photographed, and prepared for showings, so it looks near-new in the eyes of potential buyers.

Once it completes that initial process, your RV is promoted on the largest RV marketplaces in the world, reaching millions of potential buyers each month. A sales support team stands by seven days a week to show your RV and answer questions for potential buyers.

Those potential buyers can access an expansive network of local and national banks to explore the best financing options available. When a sale is finalized, all the necessary paperwork and documentation are taken care of for you.

That means less worry about properly completing a transfer of title, bill of sale, loan close-outs, and more. You’ll have help to ensure that any outstanding RV loans are satisfied before receiving a check for the remaining total of your RV trade-in.

Explore the benefits of consigning with your local Camping World RV dealer today.

Do you have any questions about the process of selling or trading in your RV? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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