Getting More For Your RV Trade-In

Trading an RV in? Do the right things and you’ll get the most for your RV. In this video, we’ll go over all the things you should do when you trade in your model. Marcus starts on the outside and works his way in touching on every detail that you must address in order to get the very best deal.

Selling an RV is a lot like selling a home. You need to focus on curb appeal and make sure all the parts of the unit work properly. You must ensure nothing is damaged or out of place. Look at your RV with both the eyes of a buyer and an appraiser. What would they want to see? What would you want to see if you were in the market to buy the RV you want to sell?

Prepare Your RV Before the Sale

Proper preparation is important in everything you do. You must prepare your RV before you trade it in. Where do you begin? What do you focus on? Here are Marcus’s suggestions for prospective sellers.

Wash and Detail Your Unit

It’s amazing what a good cleaning will do for your possible trade-in value. People buy with their eyes first and then with their nose. The fact of the matter is a dirty or smelly RV gets a fraction of the sales price it could have if it came clean and ready to go. You want to make your unit appear as close to brand new as possible. Here are some things to focus on.

  • Remove all personal items from the RV.
  • Wash the exterior of the RV.
  • Clean the tires, wheels, and wheel wells.
  • Wash the windows, both inside and out.
  • Try to buff out any small scratches.
  • Clean storage compartments.
  • Empty and thoroughly clean the fridge.
  • Clean the microwave.
  • Thoroughly clean the stovetop and the inside of the oven.
  • Wipe down all of the cabinets, inside and out.
  • Clean the sinks and faucets.
  • Eliminate any odors by washing and cleaning all carpets and fabrics.
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet.
  • Clean and disinfect the shower.
  • Clean all the hard surface floors.
  • Remove any soiled bedding.
  • Ensure the mattress is as clean and as odor-free as possible.
  • Remove all items from the wardrobes and storage spaces and clean them.

Make Sure the Unit Is Free of Damage and Functions Properly

  • Check the awning for stains or tears.
  • Make sure the steps into the RV are sturdy.
  • Check the tire tread depth and air pressure.
  • Check to see if all of the RV’s exterior lights work.
  • Check all of the RV’s interior lights and ensure the proper light color and brightness.
  • Open all storage compartments to ensure everything is as it should be.
  • Check the screen door for tears.
  • Look for rust underneath the unit.
  • Look over the jacks and ensure they operate properly.
  • Make sure the slides function properly and sound smooth.
  • Identify any big scratches, delamination, and missing decals or stickers.
  • Check hoses and ensure holding tanks function as designed.
  • Check for working but worn parts and components.
  • Test every single outlet in the RV.
  • Test the water pressure.

The last thing you need to do is round up all your RV’s manuals, warranty records, service paperwork, and any other paperwork you have on the unit. Don’t try to hide times where the RV required maintenance. The buyer wants to know that you took care of the unit. Place all the paperwork in a folder and leave that folder inside the RV.

Things to Know During the Sale

When you bring your RV in you want to show the prospective buyer that you take pride in it and deserve the best possible price for it. Be aware that you’re not going to get the retail price for the RV, but also don’t let a potential buyer get away with a low offer.

A dealer will want to do a walkaround. During this walkaround, the person doing the walkaround will look for items that suppress the value of the RV. This could be scratches on the exterior, lights that don’t work, delamination, or anything else that’s out of whack.

You don’t want to argue with the items the dealer points out. You want to own up to the things that are wrong and defend the best attributes of the unit. Be honest with the prospective buyer, and try to focus on the positives.

When negotiating, you need to keep the NADA wholesale value of your unit in mind. Doing some research online ahead of time can provide you with an accurate value you should shoot for. No matter what number the dealer arrives at, always ask for more.

If you follow all these steps, you should be able to get a trade-in value for your unit that you’re happy with.


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