Looking to get a good price for your used travel trailer? In a crowded market, getting your rig to stand out from the pack can be a tricky prospect.
Here are a few tips on how to transform your travel trailer into cold hard cash.
Don’t Be Tempted To Go Through A Dealer
While approaching a dealer about a possible trade-in might seem like an appealing option, you should attempt to sell your RV yourself whenever possible.
Why? Because dealers are bound to offer you far less than you’ll be able to get for it. In most cases, you should be able to sell your travel trailer for twice as much as a dealer would offer you for a trade-in. Remember that dealers are all about turning a profit—they aren’t interested in cutting you a good deal.
Instead, look at listing your travel trailer on sites like Facebook Market Place or Craigslist.
Now, I know this may take a little more time and perhaps a little more hassle than going to a dealer, but you will get a much better price in the end.
Look At The Market
If you’re going to sell your RV at a good price, you should learn as much as you can about the competition. Look for units of comparable size, preferably within a 100-mile radius, to get a feel for what you can reasonably expect to list as a price.
You might want to start out by asking a bit more than you think you’ll get, just to see if there’s any interest. If you’re not getting any offers within the first week or so, you can drop the price and see if that makes any difference.
Treat The Camper To A “Spa Day”
It goes without saying that a clean, attractive trailer will sell more quickly than a dirty or dingy one. With that in mind, make sure your unit is showroom-ready before you show it to prospective RV buyers so you can get top dollar.
You can clean the fixtures, paneling, and hard surfaces yourself, using basic household maintenance supplies.
For furniture and upholstery, you might want to enlist the aid of a professional, especially if there are stains or other obvious signs of wear and tear.
On a related note, you should make sure to take all your personal belongings out of the living space before showing it to potential buyers. While you might think that they lend the space a homey touch, it can be difficult for people to envision themselves living in a trailer that’s loaded with a stranger’s property.
Craft A Snappy, Informative Ad
Make sure your advertisement contains all the relevant details about the unit—how long it’s been in use, its most appealing features, and any information about upgrades or recent repairs.
Since you’ve obviously been on the buyer’s end of the deal yourself, you should have a good idea about what information to include and what to leave out.
As far as length is concerned, feel free to invest in a long-winded advertisement if you can afford it. The more details you include, the more transparent you’ll appear to a potential buyer.
Just remember not to go overboard with flowery descriptions that don’t provide the reader with any new RV information.
Get The Paperwork In Order
Let’s say you’ve struck pay dirt and gotten a great offer on your travel trailer.
That’s great news—as long as you have all the paperwork that’s necessary to transfer ownership. In most states, travel trailers require owners to obtain a certificate of title, just like cars and trucks.
If you don’t know where this form is located, you’ll need to track it down (or apply for a new one) before you attempt to sell your RV.
Although maintenance records and owner’s manuals aren’t quite as important, the buyer is sure to appreciate the information. As a bonus, having all of this documentation in place will make you appear more confident and professional.
Display A “For Sale” Sign (Or Two)
If you’re still taking your travel trailer on the occasional expeditions or if you’re renting it out during its time on the market, you can make this work to your advantage.
“RV For Sale” signs that include the price and your phone number are affordable, easy to find, and eye-catching—you have virtually nothing to lose by making this small investment. If you spend a lot of time at busy campgrounds or RV parks, you’re bound to be approached by prospective buyers.
Just remember that if you plan to transfer ownership while on the road, you’ll need to have all the necessary paperwork with you.
Consider The Season
Many people sell their travel trailers and RVs in the fall, as a way of avoiding storage fees and the hassles of winterizing making it a popular time to sell. Most buyers know this and it means the market will be especially crowded during this time.
While you’ll want to list your unit for sale as soon as possible so it doesn’t depreciate in value, you should make sure it’s one of the most appealing options out there if you plan on selling your RV during the autumn months.
This might mean you’ll have to offer it at a lower price than you originally intended, but that’s better than allowing it to languish as you wait for the right buyer.
Take Plenty Of Photos
In addition to an accurate description, you should include as many photos as possible with your advertisement when posting your RV online. Prospective buyers will want to get a feel for the layout, as well as the overall condition of the unit.
Take particular care when photographing the kitchen and bathroom areas. Leakage is one of the most frequently reported issues in subpar travel trailers, so if these areas are still in good condition, it’s in your best interest to illustrate that right upfront.
If there are any spots that aren’t particularly camera-ready, consider repairing them before your photoshoot.
One key thing to remember when approaching the market as a seller: You’re in an enviable position. Buying from a dealership is super expensive—enough so to turn many potential customers off before they’ve even gotten started.
This puts private sellers at a distinct advantage. By following these 8 tips on how to sell a travel trailer, you’ll be positioning yourself on an even higher rung.
Best of luck, and happy selling!
Check out our article on: Is There A Kelley Blue Book For RVs And Camper Trailers?