10 Tips to Increase Your RV Resale Value

When it comes time to sell your RV getting the most money possible will be your top priority. The resale value of your RV can be raised or lowered depending on a few factors. There are some things you can do to increase your RV resale value when the time comes.

There are many reasons why you might want to sell your RV. You have spent several years full-timing or weekending, and you want to do something different. Maybe your kids have too many activities and there is little or no time for leisurely trips in the RV, or they’ve grown and you are looking for something smaller for just the two of you.

Whatever the reason, you want to get the most out of your RV when you sell. There are many things you can do to increase your RV’s value and be ready to move on to your next adventure.

When Is The Best time to sell your RV?

Of course, the best time to sell your RV is when YOU are ready to sell. There is no perfect time to sell your RV. However, if you want the best time to market and get it sold for the best price, try late winter into early spring—preferably January and February.

After the holidays, potential RVers are thinking about the next year, making plans for summer, and checking out new and used RVs. Also, keep in mind interest rates which, when low, might entice buyers to make a purchase.

You should also get more interest as the camping season approaches and families want to make the most of their summer vacation.

Maybe you didn’t know but the location of your RV might play a part in how easily it sells. Those who live in a sunny location with plenty of RV parks and destinations in the area probably have an advantage.

If you don’t live in a sunny location, you might try and find a friend or family member who does to help you sell your rig. RV resale value can be higher in different locations so use this to your advantage if you can.

Is This Year a Good Time to Sell Your RV?

RV lot with rows of RVs for sale
RV sales continue to be strong but prices are stabilizing

Used RV prices are still strong and late winter and early spring are always a good time to get your rig on the market. If you’re looking to sell and buy new, there are still some delays with some manufacturers, so you might want to consider this factor as you prep your RV for selling.

Make sure you take time to research the RV market in your area. There is quite a difference between trying to sell your rig in Wisconsin and selling it in Florida. You might want to plan a final trip to a sunny destination to put your RV on the market and increase RV resale value.

Are RV Prices Dropping?

At this writing, motorhome prices are trending down, but the market is still good for selling your RV. Analysts believe that prices will continue to drop slowly into 2024.

On the purchasing end, as supply and demand even out, you will be able to negotiate better deals as you buy your new RV. Also, selling your RV in the fall or winter means less demand, and you will have less negotiating power.

You can also find a better deal as gas prices go up. You can consider these factors as you sell your RV.

10 Tips To Increase Your RV Resale Value

Man pressure washing a motorhome - RV resale value
Taking care of your RV will pay off when it comes time to sell

The best way to increase RV resale value is to have a pristine product. If it looks like the old cowboy saying, “rode hard and put up wet,” you won’t have a lot of prospective buyers or get the price you want.

Check out this list of ways to increase your RV’s resale value and then get to work getting it ready.

1. Do Regular Maintenance

Whether you are selling your RV or not, regular maintenance is a must-do. Keeping up with tire and roof wear, mileage checks, and more will keep your RV ready for your next trip or your future buyer.

Just like a car, you must change your oil and oil filters in your motorhome. Also, make sure you check your brakes at the appropriate intervals.

Things such as your RV batteries, and other electrical equipment, must be working well or replaced before you put your RV up for sale.

Maintain your RV tanks and make sure they are clean before you sell. Bleach and sanitize your freshwater tank, use approved chemicals for your black tank, and in general, keep your RV sewer system in good working order.

Maintaining your slideouts includes cleaning and lubricating seals. Awnings can also become moldy and damaged after years of use if not properly cared for. Wash your awning and let it dry before retracting it. If it is really dirty, ripped and a general eyesore, just replace it before trying to sell your RV.

All of these maintenance tips will help to get your RV sold quickly and your new buyers will be pleased with their purchase.

2. Keep Maintenance Records

When your potential buyer asks, “When were the batteries last serviced or changed?” you can confidently tell them and provide written proof.

If you are like my husband, who loves to ask questions you never thought of, organized maintenance records are a plus when selling your RV. A well-maintained RV with documentation proving so will command higher RV resale value.

3. Take Care of The Exterior Graphics

While exterior graphics don’t affect the useability of your RV, they do contribute to the overall look of the rig. If you make sure and maintain these, neither you nor your future buyer will have to worry about replacing them, which could be an expensive upgrade.

Peeling and fading graphics might also cause the buyer to wonder what other elements of the RV are wearing out.   

4. Eliminate Smoke and Pet Odors

Cocker Spaniel looking out the door of an Airstream - RV resale value
Pet odors may not be noticeable to you but potential buyers will notice

Your RV may be a pristine vision of loveliness, but if a buyer can’t get past the smoke or pet odor smell, you won’t make the sale.

Any kind of musty odor will also scream, mold and water damage to a potential buyer. Don’t just cover up odors but make sure they are gone before you put your RV on the market.

There are products on the market that claim to rid your RV of these smells. Make an investment to use one or more of these so your RV smells great and leaves a great first impression.

Make sure you ask a friend with a sharp nose to do a before and after sniff test.

5. Add Solar

Adding even one solar panel with a modest system can be a great selling feature. Some solar systems can be very expensive when pricey batteries are added up. In these cases, you likely won’t get your money back.

However, having a basic solar system will be attractive to buyers and be a great selling point.

6. Replace Old Carpet and Furniture

Replacing RV carpet is a great upgrade

Replacing furniture and carpet in your RV can be an expensive upgrade and will add some extra value to your sale. It will also help solidify the buyer’s first impression. A faded, peeling recliner is not something a buyer will want to replace right away.

Also, the more you can do to maintain carpet and furniture, the better off you will be to make the sale.

7. Keep The Documents

You will need a clear title to sell your RV. If you owe money to a lienholder, that loan must first be paid off so the buyer can receive a clear title.

Also, keep a record of any remaining RV warranty and your original bill of sale.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Use It

An RV that has rarely been used can look good but still have issues with appliances, brakes, tires, batteries, etc. Don’t be afraid to use your RV.

Even if you must take a few trips before you sell, the issues that may arise can help your buyer have a better first experience. Make sure you get any issues fixed, so your buyer won’t have to.

Always be open about any problems or issues you have had with your RV.

9. Take Care of Your Tires

Close up view of the tires on a travel trailer with dual axles
Tires are one of the first things buyers will look at

Maintenance and care of your tires are also an important factor when selling your RV. Class A motorhomes have pretty expensive tires and the first thing your buyer will do is calculate what they will have to spend right away to get up and running. They may look at the tires and move on quickly.

A buyer may assume if the tires were not maintained, what other things will need to be repaired or replaced soon?

Maintaining your tires include:

Maintain Proper Air Pressure

Be sure and purchase a tire pressure monitoring system and include it with the sale of your RV. Make sure your tires are inflated properly per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Don’t Overload Your Rig

Overloading your rig can cause tires to blow out, or cause damage. Utilize a CAT Scale to keep an eye on your rig weight.

Replace Tires at Mileage Recommendation

Make sure you replace your tires at the mileage recommended by the manufacturer. Some recommend replacing your tires in 5-8 years even if they have not had much use. If you see any evidence of dry rot, replace the tires before you put your RV on the market.

Watch Where You’re Driving 

Driving your motorhome or trailer on dirt or gravel roads can cause damage. Road construction on the highway can cause a puncture with a nail or screw. Inspect your tires at every gas and rest stop, particularly if you have been on bad roads.

Don’t Go Too Fast

Excessive speed while pulling your trailer or driving your motorhome can cause tires to heat up, partly because of the weight these rigs carry. Most RV tires are rated between 55 and 75 mph. I would suggest keeping to the middle of that recommendation.

Avoid Storing in Direct Sunlight 

If you haven’t provided covered storage for your RV, or you live in it year-round, make sure you have tire covers that will block out the UV light. UV rays can cause cracks in the sidewall that can lead to tire failure.

Make sure your covers are white or tan. Avoid buying grey or black tire covers. Buy a cover that is UV and mildew-resistant and elasticized for easy installation.

10. Don’t Neglect the Roof

Drone view of an RV roof - RV resale value
RV roof repairs are a reg flag to most buyers

Your RV’s roof could mean the difference between selling your RV or having a hunk of junk that you are unable to sell. Most RV buyers are savvy enough to look at the roof and check out any peeling or delaminated areas that could have been caused by roof leakage. Any signs of water damage can cause a buyer to walk away.

If you have had a leaking problem, be honest and let the buyer know what you did to mitigate the damage. Keeping up with roof repair is vital to having a sellable RV.

Steps to Keeping Your RV Roof Maintained:

Inspect your RV Roof Regularly

Certain kinds of environments can cause wear and tear on your roof. If possible, have your RV inspected at your dealer every year to find any potential problems. You can also inspect your roof regularly for wear, as well as after a storm or heavy snow to check for damage.

Reseal Your RV Roof Every 2-4 Years

There are plenty of YouTube videos that will help you with this DIY. Be sure and check with your manufacturer so you know what type of roof you have and can follow directions to properly clean and seal your roof.

What’s The Best Way to Sell a Used RV?

Old motorhome parked on the side of the road with a for sale sign in the window
Social media and online sales have taken over the used RV market

There are several ways to market and sell your RV. Currently, you shouldn’t have any issues with a strong market. If you have a well-maintained RV selling at a fair price, you will likely have a quick sale.

1. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is free and a viable option to sell your RV. Just make sure you check the buyer’s profile to make sure it looks legitimate. With this method, you might get more than a few buyers who are not serious prospects.

2. RV Trader

RVTrader is another good option. You will have to pay for your listing, but you will have plenty of prospective buyers who are just looking to purchase an RV. You will also have fewer scam calls.

3. Consignment

Consignment is another option to sell your RV. However, you should know that you could pay the consignment dealer between 10 and 15 percent on the sale of your vehicle.

Some say consignment will get you more money out of the RV sale because the dealer has more access to the marketplace than a private seller. Your RV will likely get more exposure and more potential buyers. A consignment dealer can also schedule tours and test drives.

4. RV Dealer

You do have the option of selling your RV outright to a dealer. Make sure you find a reputable company and do your research on its value before you make the deal. Some dealers will also sell your RV on consignment.

5. RV Trade-In

Of course, if you are purchasing a new RV at an RV dealership, you may have the opportunity to just trade your old rig in. The RV trade-in value will probably be lower than you expect. The dealership must turn that unit around and make money from the sale.

6. National Vehicle

National Vehicle is another online sales avenue that will help you learn how much your RV is worth, list and market your RV, and help you have a safe and successful sale. The cost to do the work for you is around $700.

Where Can You Find Used RV Prices?

You can compare prices online through Facebook, RV Trader, and other RV-selling entities to determine a good average selling price. While there is no Kelley Blue Book for RVs, the NADA Guides (National Automobile Dealers Association) are also a great option for finding a comparable price for your RV. Check out JDPower.com to learn more.

Don’t forget to include any upgrades or RV renovations you have made to your rig over the years, like adding solar panels or changes to your floor plan.

Of course, the condition of your RV can have a huge impact on ensuring you get a good price for your rig.

The type of RV and its age are important factors as well in determining RV values.

For example, travel trailers and fifth wheels are both considered towable RVs, but they are very different types of RVs, and their prices are quite different.

Final Thoughts About Increasing RV Resale Value

One of the most important factors in increasing your RV resale value is simple. Make sure it is ready for someone to hop in or hook up and go RVing. If your recreational vehicle is in good condition and looks amazing, you will likely make a quick sale.

Another important factor is to be honest and upfront about your RV’s condition. You will find a buyer who has no problem handling a few repairs and will appreciate your candor when his batteries don’t go dead, or his tires don’t blow because you just wanted a quick sale.

Increasing your RV’s resale value is all about what effort you want to put into selling your rig. You have the option to turn it over as is to a consignment dealer who will take care of everything or do the work yourself and get the price you want.

Whatever you do, increasing your RV’s resale value is a benefit to you and your potential buyer.

Related Reading:

Is Selling Your RV On Consignment Worth It?
Is It Worth Restoring a Vintage Camper?
What Is The Best Size Travel Trailer?
How To Properly Wax Your Airstream Travel Trailer

About the Author:

Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for five years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.

They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead. Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.