How to Sell Your RV – Tips For Getting The Most Money

Learn how to sell your travel trailer quickly and for the most money. If you are a current travel trailer owner and are looking to upgrade or you just don’t need your camper anymore than chances are you’ll want to sell it. Not only that but you want to sell it fast and get as much money as possible for it.

In this guide I will detail the steps you need to take to sell your RV fast and the places, both online and offline, you should place an ad. Let’s get started.

How To Sell Your RV During COVID-19

If you plan on selling your RV during the COVID-19 pandemic you need to take precaution to safeguard yourself and the buyer.

As with most things for sale creating a good first impression is important to attract prospective buyers and maximize profit. To create that great first impression you’ll need to prepare your camper for sale. That means cleaning and de-cluttering. Here are some tips to get you started. In addition to prepping your RV by cleaning and decluttering as noted below here are some guidelines from the CDC to keep your RV clean and avoid a COVID-19 infection for your or your buyer.

  • To disinfect hard surfaces such as countertops, toilet, sinks, etc. use and EPA approved household disinfectant
  • To disinfect porous surfaces such as carpets, rugs, furniture, and drapes, first vacuum dirt, remove stains, and if possible launder with an EPA-approved detergents such as Nu-Foamicide. If you can’t launder use an EPA approved product for porous surfaces.
  • Take precautions when laundering. Do not shake dirty laundry. This decreases the chances of dispersing the coronavirus into the air. Try and use the warmest water possible without color bleeding your items. Check the label.
  • Disinfect your hamper using any of the products above depending on whether they are porous or not.
  • Clean and disinfect your RV daily. Take care to include door handles and knobs, light switches, control panels, your RV steering wheel is so equipped.

Additional Best Practices to Minimize The Spread of COVID-19

When selling your RV you are going to come into contact with other people. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 when you are trying to sell your camper it is a good idea to follow CDC guidelines that will help prevent the spread. Here are things to do the CDC recommends. To see the complete list of guidelines and best practices visit the CDC website.

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact with people indoors and out. Stay a safe 6 feet apart.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect as noted above
  • Monitor your health daily. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms

Preparing Your RV For Sale

  • Remove any personal belongings from the RV: Just like selling a home, you want to make it easy for a buyer to picture themselves in your RV. Having your personal photos, knick-knacks, etc in your RV makes it difficult for your buyer to do so.
  • Thorough cleaning: This might be the time to hire a professional carpet cleaning or residential cleaning company to give your RV a thorough cleaning. This eliminates any smells you might have gotten used to, as well as, area cleaned you might have missed or don’t want to deal with.
  • Complete needed repairs: If anything is broken or needs to be replaced do it now. If something is broken and you have not fixed it be prepared to be offered a lower price since the buyer will want to negotiate the repair cost into the price.
  • Gather up your RV paperwork: Find any and all paperwork you have for your camper. This includes warranty, owners manuals, etc. that you received when you purchased your RV. If you don’t have them reach out to the manufacturer or dealer to see if you can get copies.

Staging Your RV

Staging your RV makes it look inviting to a prospective buyer. Here are some simple things you can do to make your RV inviting and livable to anyone who wants to see it.

  • Place an RV mat at the entry steps. You need to buy one here is the one I recommend. It’s available on Amazon for a reasonable price and it’s reversible.
  • Add vases of cut flowers in a couple of places and/or scented candles.
  • Style your dinette table with a 4-person setting that includes a set of great looking dishes and folded cloth napkins. These best RV dishes might work for you.
  • In the bathroom add potpourri, and a clean un-used soap to the soap dish. Make sure the bathroom mirror is sparkling clean.
  • Pets and odors: Beware of pet odors so remove the dog bed if you have one.
  • Remember to keep any decor or staging simple and appealing to a wide range of tastes.

Creating an Ad That Sells

One of the first things you’ll need to consider to get top money for your RV is the ad. A crappy ad is not going to generate the interest that attracts buyers. I’ve seen this all too often in the Facebook Marketplace. Someone will post an RV for sale and they include 1 photo and a minimal description that tells you absolutely nothing about the RV. You don’t want to do that.

You want a well-written ad the detail the following:

  • Explain why you are selling your RV since many buyers ask this question
  • Highlight compelling features of your RV
  • Add your RV year, make and model
  • Explain how you will accept payment (cash, certified check, wire transfer, etc). Whatever you do, DON’T ACCEPT PERSONAL CHECKS.
  • If you have been meticulous about maintaining your RV disclose that. If you have maintenance records include those as well.
  • Be honest and disclose issues that need fixing.
  • Don’t lie or be evasive when describing your RV. The buyer often checks the RV history and if they find something you failed to disclose chances are your sale will not happen.
  • If you have modified your RV mention those modifications in your ad.
  • Use proper capitalization in your ad description. AVOID CAPITALIZING ENTIREĀ  WORDS OR SENTENCES. This makes it difficult to read.
  • If your RV is still under warranty or has an extended warranty include that. Be careful as some warranties are not transferable. Check with the manufacturer regarding your RV warranty.
  • Make sure you price your RV correctly and disclose if your price is firm or negotiable.

Selling Your RV With Photos and Videos

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, however, including crappy photos doesn’t help and can hurt your chances of a sale. Most phones made today have excellent cameras so there is no excuse for taking good photos. They don’t have to be perfect. Make sure you do the following:

Photo Tips

  • Take exterior photos during the day, early morning to late afternoon work the best. These times of the day minimize harsh light.
  • Take several pictures of the exterior from different angles.
  • Extend slideouts and awning so buyers can see them clearly.
  • Show off storage and outdoor kitchen if you have them.
  • Interior photos should be well-lit and focused.
  • If your RV has features you want to be noticed include a photo of them

Video Tips

  • A video is worth a million words so include one.
  • Give your prospective buyer a video tour of the outside and inside of your RV.
  • Have a friend help. They hold the camera while you do the tour and talk about your RV.
  • Practice makes perfect so practice a few times and try to move the camera as smoothly as possible. Avoid quick jerks of the camera.
  • Open cabinets, storage compartments, fridge, etc. Let the buyer see them functioning properly.
  • Video the cockpit area, dashboard, and controls as well.

Additional Marketing Ideas To Sell your RV

Printing a “For Sale” sign is a good way to promote the sale of your RV. Place the sign in various places around your RV so it can be noticed. Many RVs are sold to buyers who happen to live or travel in the neighborhood.

You can also create a window sheet. It should show features, year, make and model, as well as answering common questions about your camper. Don’t forget to include your contact information such as phone number and email address. Here is a pdf of a typical RV for Sale window sheet.

How To Determine the Price of Your RV

Setting the right price can make or break your sale. There are a couple of ways to determine what is a good market value for your camper. One of the first places you can check is the RVT Price Checker. It searches its database of over 120,000 RVs for sale and it also checks the NADA guide.

Another resource you can use is the NADA RV Pricing Guide. This is a free resource and an excellent way to learn about the retail value of your RV.

When setting your price leave a little wiggle room to allow for a little bit of compromising.

How To Negotiate When Selling Your RV

When presented with an offer try to keep the negotiations open and don’t agree or disagree too quickly. If its a downright low-ball offer say no, however, if it looks like its an offer close to what you want then work with the buyer.

When negotiating don’t misrepresent your RV. Misrepresenting condition or features or outright lying may make your liable.

Above all take your time and be patient. Chances are you are not going to sell your RV to the first buyer on the scene. It may take weeks or even months to sell your camper. Don’t get frustrated and stay the course. If priced right a buyer will come along.

The Sale – Final Steps

To complete the sale of your RV you’ll want to use an RV sale agreement like this one. We recommend you show it to your attorney to make sure it meets your States bill of sale requirements. Offer your RV “as-is” with no warranties. Have two copies executed and keep one for your records.

The next step is to transfer your RV title to the new buyer. If you still owe on your RV you will need to pay off the balance to your lien holder. Once its paid off the lien holder will release the title and you can transfer it to your new buyer.

Inform your DMV in writing that you have sold your RV and transferred ownership. This will release you of any possible future liability.

How To Sell Your RV Summary

The steps involved in selling your RV are not too difficult. Taking time to prepare your RV, setting the right price, and creating an effective ad will go a long way in helping you sell fast and getting the most money. Follow the tips above, be patient and you’ll have your RV sold in no time at all.

Ray RomanĀ is the owner/author of Go Travel Trailers. He is the main contributor of content and an avid researcher of travel trailers and the RV lifestyle. He loves flyfishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.