Pricing for a used RV involves many factors. Just a few are the age of the unit, the condition, mileage if applicable and any options it is equipped with. Most importantly is the overall condition of the RV. The NADA is a good guide to go by and the pricing in the NADA is based on the RV being in good condition. Good condition means that there is no damage and everything on the RV is in proper working condition. You should be able to buy the RV and go right out and use it. If not the price goes down.
Regardless if this is a dealer or a private owner, make them show you that everything on the RV is working. Appliances in an RV are expensive to replace. Also, inspect the unit thoroughly looking for signs of damage that are sometimes hidden like water damage. If you’re not sure what to look for take somebody with you who knows RVs.
If it’s a motorized RV the mileage is one factor used to determine the price. Another is any optional equipment above and beyond a base model. You can go to nada.com and if you know the year, make, model, mileage if applicable and what options the RV has you can get an idea of a fair price. It will give you low retail and average retail. If it’s a motorized RV you not only need to inspect the coach but the chassis too.
If the asking price is within a fair market price this doesn’t mean you should just settle on paying that price. There is almost always room to negotiate on asking price, unless you run into a deal of the lifetime, in which case you pay the money and leave. Don’t be afraid to make a ridiculous offer and just see what they say, in most cases you will meet somewhere in the middle of the road on pricing. I personally would not pay the high retail price unless it was in showroom condition. You should be able to get it close to the low retail price or less. Remember RV’s depreciate they don’t appreciate. In some cases RV owners are upside down meaning they owe more than the RV is worth and they want to pay off the loan, so their asking price is too much for the RV.
You need to know what you are looking at, know what a fair asking price is, inspect the unit thoroughly, verify everything works and then negotiate the selling price. Be patient, a good deal will always come along eventually.
Copyright 2007 by Mark J. Polk, owner of RV Education 101