RV’s have always been pretty popular vehicles in the market. Whether you want to live in one or purchase one to use for vacation time and weekend camping trips, an RV is a convenient vehicle to have around. RV’s provide transport and shelter all in one, so you can use them for recreation without spending extra money on lodging when you want some time away from home. You can travel the countryside in an RV and have all the conveniences and luxuries you’re used to having at home in one compact space.
However, if you don’t know what to look for when you’re buying an RV, you can end up wasting a lot of money on repairs and eventually letting the vehicle sit and rot in your yard. At the same time, if you’re selling an RV without understanding its fair market value, you might have a difficult time finding a buyer, especially if you’re trying to pressure them into paying a price that’s much higher than what they’re willing to pay.
The fair market value of an RV is defined as the amount of money a person would be willing and able to pay without feeling pressured by the seller. At fair market value, the seller should be knowledgeable and willing to sell the RV at a fair rate without pressuring the buyer. Fair market value is different from intrinsic value in that the price should have nothing to do with the added worth a person might place on the RV based upon their own personal interest, attitude or situations. Since there are a large number of people out there who don’t have a very good idea of how much an RV is actually worth, we’re going to help you figure out how to determine an RV’s fair market value.
The physical and mechanical condition of your RV is obviously one of the most important aspects to consider when determining a fair market value. This is one of the first places a buyer should look, and similarly the main thing that a seller should be extremely knowledgeable about.
If there are any physical marks or blemishes, the value of the RV will decrease slightly. As a seller, you should beware of this and understand just how much the value should decrease based on the damage. From dents and scratches to more serious issues like rust or broken glass, be ready for a buyer to find these faults and lower the value accordingly. As a buyer, you should always examine the outside of the vehicle as well as the engine, RV battery and under-workings. Look for any physical damage, leaks, rust, etc.
If the RV has had some remodeling done and comes with any extra accessories, this will raise the value. Things like new showers, upgraded material, electric overhangs, solar panels, and other exciting features will increase the buyer’s interest as well as the price they’re willing to pay for the vehicle.
As with any used vehicle on the market, the mileage of an RV makes a huge impact on the value. The lower the miles, the longer you’ll be able to use it. Conversely, the higher the mileage, the higher the chances are of there being engine and other mechanical issues. You’ll also have to worry about having maintenance and repairs done more often. As a general rule, RV’s with gas engines generally last for up to 150-200,000 miles without needing any major work done.
Current Market Conditions
Current market conditions are unfortunately beyond your control as a seller, and at the same time they might work to your benefit if you’re a buyer. If RV’s are in high demand at the time you’re planning to put yours on the market for sale, you can get away with increasing the price a bit. Conversely, if there aren’t many people looking for RV’s at the time you’re planning to put yours up for sale and there are more RV’s on the market than there are buyers, you can plan on having to lower your asking price quite a bit.
If you’re looking to purchase an RV at a time when they’re in high demand, you can plan on spending a bit more than you may have planned to get the RV you really want. At the same time, if you’re shopping for an RV in a market where there are plenty to choose from and not many other buyers around, you might be able to get away with lowering the price a bit because some sellers
might be getting desperate to sell.
The geographical location where you’re selling or purchasing an RV should be considered when determining the fair market value as well. In places where camping is popular and the weather is decent year-round, people will always be looking for RV’s to use. In places where it’s really cold for a large portion of the year, you might have a hard time selling an RV most of the time. If you’re buying an RV in an area where it’s cold most of the year, you will want to look for damage that the cold weather may have caused, issues with rust and water pipes, and make sure that the RV has been driven recently if you’re buying at the start of the warm weather season.
After you’ve considered all of the other aspects involved in determining the fair market value of the RV and you have a good idea of what you would want to charge as a seller or pay as a buyer, it’s wise to check a few sources in the market to see what other RV’s similar to or the same as the one you’re buying or selling are going for.
A couple of the best places to check current prices on a wide range of RV’s include eBay and RV Trader’s RV Price Checker. On eBay, you can search a large number of RV’s from all over the country and see what sellers are listing them as and how buyers are bidding on them. On RV Trader’s RV Price Checker, you can enter the detailed information about any RV and it will give you a fair market value price. You can use these sources together along with any others to find out how the asking or purchasing price compares with those on the market.
Jill Miller is the founder of Your RV Lifestyle. Trading corporate America for the open road, Jill, along with her partner Jose, began their RV journey, making an unconventional start by wintering in New Jersey. A natural adventurer, she was motivated by a desire to explore the USA and beyond, embracing the varied landscapes, communities, and cultures across the country.
For Jill, the allure of RV living was not about material accumulation, but rather the pursuit of an adventurous, fulfilling lifestyle. A lover of golf, bicycling, hiking, and line dancing, she has carried her passions across the country, engaging with them in diverse settings. Jill’s commitment to the RV lifestyle came after years of careful research, numerous consultations with RV owners, and personal trials, including living in a rental RV.