When the time comes, there are several advantages to selling your used Class A gas motorhome or other pre-owned RV to a dealership. Many people believe they will get more money if they sell the vehicle privately to a consumer buyer, but when considering all of the work involved, this may not necessarily be true.

For one thing, most private sale buyers are looking for a good deal and will try to talk you down on price without considering the true value of your RV. On the other hand, a dealership knows the market value of a well-maintained vehicle, and you can work together to get the best deal. Normally they will offer you a fair price based on the condition of the vehicle, its marketability, and what they’ll need to do to market and resell it. RVT is sharing more on how to get the best deal when selling your RV to a dealer.

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

When deciding if you should try to sell your RV yourself or to a dealership, think about all the extra time that goes into that sale. With a dealership, if you can come to an agreement on the spot, they hand you a check, take care of the paperwork, and you’re off. With a private sale, you need to advertise the vehicle, then set up appointments to meet with prospective buyers, provide them with a tour of the RV to show them how spectacular it is, and then haggle over the sale price.

Once you come to a private sale agreement, you will need to take care of the initial paperwork to transfer ownership, and then you’ll probably have to wait a few days until the buyer can arrange for financing so they can give you a check. And don’t forget that deals frequently fall through (for example, if the buyer can’t secure financing), which means you need to go back to the drawing board.

Estimate the extra time it’ll take, including fielding calls from people who never even show up for a tour. Then figure out what your time, effort, and potential frustration is worth. You may end up making more money in a private sale, but when you factor in all the extra facets that go into making that sale, a dealership may actually provide you with a better deal.

Once you decide selling to a dealership is the way you want to go, here are a few tips on how you can make your best deal in the process.

Clean Up Your RV

Clean up the interior and exterior of your pre-owned Class B RV or other used camper to make it look like it’s new. It might even be worthwhile to hire a professional cleaner to come in and scrub all the nooks and crannies so the interior is immaculate and any lingering odors are washed away.

If anything is broken that you can easily repair yourself, this will make a difference as well. The less time the dealership spends on prepping your vehicle for resale, the better your bargaining power. Also, make sure that all lights are in proper working order. If a lightbulb doesn’t illuminate during the walk-through, they may suspect an electrical problem and make notes to drop the price on their offer. You would be surprised how much value is put into tiny details. 

If you plan to stage the interior, keep touches to a minimum. You may want to give it a “homey” look and feel, but a dealer is looking for something that is tidier versus lived in.

Have Your Records Ready

Having all of your RV’s paperwork with you will help with the sale. If you have maintenance records that show you followed routine maintenance recommendations, that’s a great selling point. At a minimum though, you should have the title, any manuals for the vehicle itself or any aftermarket items you added, and any loan paperwork, if applicable.

Everything you can supply that will keep the dealer from having to do additional searches or make additional purchases could work in your favor.

Also, be sure to make special note of add-ons and upgrades during the tour. Any value-added items included with the RV can help increase the amount the dealership is willing to offer.

Know What Your RV is Worth

You undoubtedly have some great memories about trips you have taken in your RV. And while you may know buying an RV can be a good investment, don’t let emotions get the best of you when negotiating the sale.

It’s a good idea to go into the transaction knowing what the vehicle is worth, understanding that the dealer will be trying to make money on the resale of the vehicle. You can use our Price Checker feature to compare your RV with similar models to get a better idea of the current market value.

See what offer the dealer makes and what their reasoning behind their number is (good or bad). This will give you an opportunity to counter anything that might be below your expectations to improve the offer. 

Also, consider trying to sell your unit to more than one RV dealer. And, in the end, always remember, if you’re not getting what you have in mind as your goal amount, you are always free to walk away, wait and try again.

Once you’ve successfully sold your used RV, to a dealer or a private seller, you’ve now got the funds to buy your next motorhome! When you’re ready to upgrade (or downsize) from your current camper, be sure to browse all the new and used RVs for-sale on RVT.com.

By Barrett Baker

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