Is the Price Right? Find Out How Much Your Camper is Worth
Maybe you are planning to sell your camper. Or, looking for a new one to go on a new adventure with. Or, about to seal a deal for your secondhand RV. Either way, you must ask yourself, “How much is my camper worth?”
There are various ways to research camper prices, which we will explore below. A combination of a couple sources, and some knowledge on the current market wherever you are selling or buying, will help in arming yourself with knowledge and will ensure that you get the best deals, make well-informed choices, and offer fair prices, too.
Do Your Research
The first and perhaps easiest thing to do is to go online and learn as much as you can about market prices. Various classifieds websites sites like RV Trader provide a wide database for buying and selling RVs. You can compare the listed prices to your own offer.
The RV Consumer Group likewise provides information that will help you know more about the quality, safety, and value of different RV models. They are also helpful in providing average prices paid, average list prices, and even have an expected depreciation schedule.
Guide books are another good place to look. The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Guides, RV Blue Book, or Kelley Blue Book are among the top resources. However, sometimes they have to consider that the prices might not be very realistic. Focus on the “low retail” or “used wholesale” prices to have a more realistic range of pricing.
If you’re willing to shell out some money, RV appraisal services will to the work for you. The advantage of using the service is that you will get a customized appraisal for your specific RV. Companies like RV Appraisals, RV Help Net, or PPL Motorhomes get their assessment from using information from NADA, the Kelley Book, and their own pricing research to come up with an accurate appraisal. The downside, of course, is you may have to pay a fee for their services.
Ready for Some Math?
If you’d rather not pay a fee for appraisal, put your online research to good use by doing a few computations (source).
To determine the fair market value of a new camper, find out the selling prices of a similar used model, then compute for depreciation. For a 1 to 2-year-old model, adding back 25% will give you a good ballpark figure for a similar new RV. All you have to do is divide the price of the old model by .75 (that’s 100% - 25%, the inverse of the depreciation).
You can try eBay’s list of completed sales so you have a good idea of the current market value of your RV. It’s pretty simple, and a great trick to have under your sleeve for pricing just about anything on eBay (source).
- First, access the eBay Motors website and find the RV category.
- Next, search for your camper’s specific make and model. Here’s the key: under “Search Options” which can be found on the left of the page, check “Completed Listings”
- You can skip the results that say “Reserve Not Met” as well as the ones with a big fat zero in the bid column. Those campers were not sold, so you can weed through those.
- With the results that are left – the ones that did sell – find one that is more similar to the RV that you are considering buying (or the one that you are selling). The results will give you an up-to-date idea of how much people are willing to shell out for an RV in real time – and a good gauge of what a fair price to pay would be.
You can do similar searches on classifieds, such as Craigslist or RV Trader, and the like. They will likewise give you a feel of the current market. However, they will not have that nifty search feature that eBay gives you.
And, it’s important to note that eBay, as detailed above, will give you information on RVs that have actually been sold successfully.
Either way, the more you know, the better equipped you will be at negotiating a great price.
Finally, a good rule of thumb is to go out and talk to people in the industry. If you approach dealers, they will most likely be open to talking shop with you. Maybe you have a friend or acquaintance who is into appraisals. Don’t hesitate to get their pro-tips. You can find forums online all about RVs and the camper community will be more than willing to give their two cents.
Just be ready for a lot of different, sometimes even contrasting opinions. You will have to pick and choose the advice you get. But, it never hurts to get as much opinions, advice, and information that you can.
Do you have any other tips, tricks, and hacks to determining how much your camper is worth? Any stories worth sharing about buying and selling your RV? We would love to hear about them in the comments!
In the end, a camper’s worth is measured by the experiences you have on the road, the adventures and misadventures you enjoy, and the passengers you take with you on your adventure.