How to Figure Out RV Values

If you're looking for a used RV for sale, then RV values are very important to you. It's not always as simple as just looking at RV blue book values though – although they can help a lot. You will need to take other factors into account.

In this article, we look at all aspects of used RV values, so you can make informed decisions. Find out how to evaluate used RVs, as well as what you should take into account when making an offer.

RV Blue Book Values

The very first thing to do when you're researching values on second hand RVs is to look up the blue book values of similar vehicles.

There are several companies that offer this service, including Kelley and Nada, and it's not all that important which one you use.

Get more than one off the relevant websites if you like, and take an average of a few of them to get a baseline figure for the type of RV you're looking at buying.

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Researching Used RV Values

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Once you know what the maximum, minimum and average RV values for the models you're looking at are, the next step is to consider other factors that could increase or decrease the value of the vehicle.

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Research New RV Prices

If you're looking for used RVs, chances are you already have something in mind. You probably already know whether you want a Class A, Class C, fifth wheel, or some other kind of RV. You probably also know how many people you'll be accommodating, and what features and functions you want.

Knowing what a similar vehicle, with similar features would cost you new is a good way to make sure that you get value for money when you're shopping for a used option. You need to compare apples to apples.

Find out what similar models, from similar quality manufacturers will cost new, and also find out what their entry-level models sell for. Unless you're shopping for an ultra-luxurious used RV, you shouldn't be paying more for it than you would for a similar thing bought new.

Checking out the RV blue book values will help you arrive at a good RV value for the vehicle you're considering

Rarity or Collectors Value

RVs, like other vehicles, can sometimes be considered classic or vintage – particularly if they're in very good condition, and made by specific manufacturers. (Airstream travel trailers have a cult following, for example.)

An RV that's been owned by a particular celebrity, or appeared in a movie at some point, can also increase the value of an RV for a collector.

For most people, however, it's not important whether you have a limited edition RV, or one with an illustrious history. You just want the best deal.

Damage Discounts

If you're considering buying an RV that's been damaged in some way (whether it's a seized engine or accident damage), then you will need to take that into account, too.

A good way to be fair about setting an RV value for a damaged RV is to have an expert assess the damage, and provide you with a quote to have it repaired. Then deduct that from the blue book RV values you've got, and you will have a fair offer.

One other issue when it comes to establishing RV values and damage – if there's just too much damage on the RV, then it's probably not worth considering.

You don't want to buy an RV that's got too much damage to drive it – even if you get it at a bargain basement price. Move on, and find another one.

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Value of Upgrades and Improvements

Another thing that can affect RV values is the improvements done to the vehicle – but only if they're genuine improvements. For instance, repainting an old RV is more maintenance than improvement, but replacing the cabinetry with new units could certainly be seen as an improvement.

Usually, the people who are selling used RVs will take this into account when they set a price for their RV, but you can probably tell how much they've added on by looking at the relevant RV blue book values, and then considering how valuable the improvements are to you.

Try not to be too blown away by improvements like fancy stereos and TVs though. Those are all cosmetics, and if you let them cloud your judgment, you could end up paying more for a used RV than it's actually worth.

What to Do With Used RV Prices

Whether you're looking for used RVs on eBay, through dealers or in a local newspaper, there are a few things you should do when you find out the price of an RV that you're interested in.

First, do the comparisons we've talked about in this article. Make sure that the vehicle isn't overpriced, and if it's under-priced, ask why. No one is going to willingly sell an awesome RV for a rock-bottom price without a good reason, so find out why.

Listen to your instincts. Too many red flags mean there is something fishy about the deal you're being offered. Don't be duped.

Next, find out if the model you're thinking of buying is still in production, and whether parts are readily available. You won't believe how expensive it can be to find parts for vehicles that are out of production or rare.

While you're at it, check that there's a service center for the brand and model in your city or area. You don't want to drive hundreds of miles just for a repair or tune up.

The closer to home and easier you find it to get your RV serviced or repaired, the better.

Drive a Hard Bargain

Finally, haggle with the seller. Unless you're buying a used RV on auction, used RV values are almost always a starting point for negotiation.

Find out how much you can shave off the price for damage, and stick to your guns. Often, used RV prices can be reduced by ten or more percent, and the money you save can go towards your first trip.

What Next?

Need finance? Apply for RV loans. We'll connect you with our trusted lenders and get you the best deal for your dollar.

Need insurance? Get one of our RV insurance quotes.

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