While Kelley Blue Book for RVs and Trailers used to provide values, they nixed that feature and now only offer values for traditional vehicles. But that doesn’t mean you’re on your own to determine how much your vehicle is worth.
Several sites out there allow you to get an instant appraisal on your RV or trailer, but the two most prominent are NADA and RVTrader. If you’re curious about what guide is right for you and the pros and cons of each, just keep reading, and we’ll break down everything you need to know.
NADA RV and Trailer Pricing Guide
One of the largest companies that provide accurate and in-depth price analysis values on RV’s and trailer is NADA’s RV and trailer pricing guide. It offers a ton of unique features that let you get a clear picture of what your RV is worth.
You can search for the RV or trailer you’re looking at by make and model and add on any of the customizable addons that your RV or trailer may or may not have. Even better, it lets you know what it cost from the factory and provides you a range of what you can expect to pay.
Furthermore, you input your zip code, so you get a price tailored to your region. Like with regular automobiles, your RV or trailer’s price will change depending on your zip code. While NADA’s RV and trailer pricing guide have many perks and advantages, there are defiantly some areas that NADA needs to improve upon.
For starters, whenever you’re getting a quote for an RV or trailer, NADA automatically assumes that it’s in good or excellent condition. As we all know, not every vehicle out there is in that condition. Some have more bumps and scrapes than others, and this significantly affects the value.
Additionally, NADA’s pricing guide doesn’t always consider mileage when establishing the value. There’s a big difference between an RV with 15,000 miles and one with 150,000 miles. The price should reflect this, but with NADA’s guide, it’s hit or miss.
Finally, the most annoying issue with NADA’s pricing guide is that it can be hard to navigate for the casual user. If you already know everything about the vehicle you’re trying to look up, it works great.
However, if you’re trying to compare multiple makes and models, are if you’re simply trying to get a price range for your new RV, NADA’s pricing guide doesn’t offer anything to help you out.
- A comprehensive guide with tons of makes/models
- Can add/subtract tons of add on features
- Provides factory standard price and inputs
- Tailors estimates based on your zip code
- Only prices RV’s and trailers in good or excellent condition
- Value isn’t always dependent on milage
- Challenging to manage website for casual viewing
RVTrader Pricing Guide
If you’ve taken a look at NADA’s RV and trailer pricing guide and didn’t like what you saw, there’s another phenomenal option out there for you to consider. While RVTrader.com doesn’t offer the traditional appraisal function that you can find on Kelley Blue Book or NADA, they provide a unique way to find out what other people value your RV.
Instead of relying on a computer metric to see what your RV is worth, you can look up to see what other owners are selling similar RVs for. There’s no questioning if the valuation is correct since you can see what other people are actually willing to pay for it.
Furthermore, if you’re in the market to purchase an RV, you can search for many different factors. Instead of searching for specific RV’s, you can search by entire classes of them. This saves you a ton of time and lets you know the price range for a particular style instead of a specific model, which can sometimes be misleading.
While the website itself is easy to use and provides real-time data on what RV’s are selling for, it does have its limitations. The most significant limitation is that it’s not an actual appraisal site. That means it’ll be hard for you to figure out precisely what your RV is worth since you can’t add on all the specific features that your model may or may not have.
Finally, this leads to another significant concern with using the RVTrader website to find the value of a specific vehicle. It’s next to impossible to find an identical match. You’ll need to find a vehicle with similar milage, features, make, model and geographical location to see what your RV is currently selling for.
RVTrader.com is a great tool to get a rough estimate for your RV’s worth, but it’s impossible to use it with 100 percent confidence.
- Shows you what other owners are selling similar RVs for
- Can sell your RV on the same site
- Can easily search for different makes and models for sale
- Easy to use and navigate website
- No appraisal feature like KBB
- You probably won’t be able to find an exact match
Selling your RV is a momentous decision. Whether you’ve upgraded to a better one or simply can’t get out to use it anymore, you want to take your time to get all your ducks in a row before you make a sale. A little extra research and patience can make all the difference.
How You Can Boost Your RV or Trailers Value
When you’re looking to sell your RV, you have one goal in mind, to get as much money as possible for it. When you’re trying to maximize profits, there are a few things that you can do that can make a huge difference.
Time Your Sale
Unlike cars and trucks, which are worth about the same amount no matter when you sell it, RVs sell for significantly more money in the Spring. The last thing somebody wants to do after they buy an RV or trailer is to leave it in a garage for four to six months.
Unless you need the immediate influx of cash, it’s best to wait a bit and bring extra money.
Keep it Clean
Anytime you’re selling something on wheels, appearance is critical. Taking the time to clean and detail your RV or trailer correctly can significantly increase its value without costing you a dime. When you’re going to buy a vehicle, you want to feel like the previous owner kept up with it and took care of it.
Nothing ruins that feeling faster than seeing a trashed vehicle. However, if the buyer sees a vehicle that is in pristine looking condition, they know that you value your property and are more likely to have taken care of it properly while you’ve owned it. Take the time to make your RV or trailer look spotless.
Showcase the Adventure
Where you set up your RV matters. If you’re posting photos online, show them the adventures they could be having with it. Whether that means using pictures from a past vacation where you had it parked in front of the Rockies, or finding the most aesthetically pleasing background, the little things matter.
On that note, it matters how the RV or trailer is setup if you have someone coming out to look at in person. Staging your RV or trailer in a way that highlights its perks and minimizes the drawbacks is key to making a sale that you can be happy with.
Where to Sell your RV or Trailer
You might have all the perfect pictures, taken the time to detail it perfectly, and waited until Spring to try and sell it, but if you don’t know where to track down potential buyer’s it won’t do you any good. The best thing you can do when you’re trying to sell your RV or trailer is to post it everywhere that you can.
The Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are two great choices. However, it would be best if you utilized a site like RVTrader.com to sell your RV. They are popular for a reason, and RVTrader.com attracts a ton of potential buyers. The only downside to selling on RVTrader.com is that you need to pay a fee to post your vehicle to the site. But the nominal posting fee won’t be a problem if you get someone to buy your RV!
While sellers are trying to get everything they can for their RV or trailer, someone looking to buy a used RV or trailer wants to spend as little money as possible on it.
Time It Right – If You’re Not Picky
Everyone wants to get an RV in the Spring. You’re gearing up for your big summer vacations, and hopping in an RV sounds like a dream come true. The problem is that you’re not the only one thinking this way. Most people try to sell their RV or trailer in the Spring because they know they’ll get more for it.
But if you’re willing to wait until the Fall or Winter to buy your RV or trailer, you can usually get a nicer one for less money. The only tradeoff is that not as many people are selling their RVs are trailers because they know they can get more for it if they wait.
But if you’re not too picky about the make and model, avoiding a springtime purchase is the easiest way to save a little money.
Look Past the Cosmetics
If you’re looking to save some money, look past the easily fixable stuff. If the interior needs a good shampoo wash or the rims need a more refined detail, these aren’t things that will have any long-term impact on your purchase. But it will let you get a better deal.
Look past the things that you can fix and pay attention to those that you can’t.
Know What You Want and What It’s Worth
If you don’t have a clue what you’re looking for and how much it’s worth, then you’re a prime candidate to get suckered into a bad deal. It’s the seller’s job to get as much money as possible for their RV or trailer. It’s your job to get it for as cheap as possible.
If you know what it’s worth and what you want, you’re far less likely to be an easy mark.
Always Get an Inspection
One of the biggest mistakes that new buyers make is that they think they can find everything themselves. Chances are you can’t. Take the time and the little extra money to get it professionally inspected by a mechanic before you buy it.
It might be a bit of a headache up front, but it can end up being the difference-maker between buying a lemon or a gem. Of course, even if you want it after the inspection, anything that the mechanic finds can be used to negotiate down the price!
Location, Location, Location
One of the easiest ways to get a little more bang for your buck is to travel to a location where RV’s and trailers aren’t worth as much. While it might be a bit of a headache, sometimes you can save over a thousand dollars by simply purchasing the same vehicle in a different zip code.
It doesn’t always make sense, but don’t worry about that and just follow the savings!
The Final Verdict
Hitting the open road and feeling the sense of adventure and freedom wash over you on the open road is an American staple. There’s no better way to capture that feeling and freedom than with a phenomenal RV or trailer.
But whether you’re looking to upgrade to a bigger and better one, or you’re trying to get your first RV, a little homework goes a long way. While you can’t Kelley Blue Book the value of an RV or trailer anymore, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options.
Do your homework on sites like NADA and RVTrader.com and feel confident when you’re finally ready to make that sale or purchase that you’re getting a great deal.