Tips for Getting Top Dollar: How to Sell a Travel Trailer
As an avid RV’er, there may come a time when you run out of room in your travel trailer or want to upgrade to a larger RV like a Class A motorhome. If you’re planning on selling your travel trailer, it can be difficult to know where to start or how to get top dollar for your travel trailer.
Learn more about where you can sell your travel trailer, how to check travel trailer prices, and other tips to ensure you get the most of a sale.
Different Options for Selling Your Travel Trailer
When you’re ready to sell your travel trailer, you have several different options for putting your travel trailer on the market.
Display Your Trailer in Your Yard
Assuming that you have enough space in your driveway, yard, or on the street, you may want to park your travel trailer in a high traffic area (with a “For Sale” sign in the window) where people will notice the trailer. Be mindful of any regulations about parking your RV on your lawn or the street for an extended period.
Show a “For Sale” Sign When Camping
Placing a “For Sale” sign in the window (or outside of your trailer) while camping can be an effortless way to get some inquiries. While this method may not be the best and most convenient option for selling your travel trailer, it may be a quick and surefire way to get it sold.
Keep in mind that if your travel trailer sells quickly, while you’re on the road with it, you’ll need to have a quick backup plan or make arrangements for meeting up with the buyer after your trip.
Consider Social Media and Other Online Classifieds
Although newspaper classifieds still exist, writing an ad and publishing it in your local paper is not as common as it used to be. Online classifieds like Craigslist, and even posting on social media (such as Facebook Marketplace), can all be effective places to try and sell your travel trailer.
It’s important to consider that many of the people who shop on Marketplace or Craigslist may be looking for a deal, so if you aren’t willing to negotiate or you’re set on top dollar, they may not be the best places to sell.
Online RV Websites
If you’re looking for serious buyers, checking out an RV Finder and other online RV websites can connect you to buyers who are more willing to pay for your asking price. These sites are also an excellent place to browse if you’re planning on buying a different RV.
You may also want to consider advertising on RV forums (as long as you’re following forum rules) and even online auctions like eBay.
Each marketplace, whether online or local, has its pros and cons, so you need to weigh each one to see which method is best for you. If you find that one method doesn’t work, try something else and always consider posting your ad on more than one marketplace at a time.
Decide on Your Selling Price
Determining your selling price may be one of the more challenging parts of selling your travel trailer. Even if you have a price in mind, make sure that it’s reasonable. An asking price that is too high will take longer to sell the travel trailer (if you’re lucky to sell it at all).
An asking price that’s too low will undoubtedly sell your travel trailer more quickly, but you will take a financial hit. If you’ve put some work into your travel trailer, like installing a few upgrades, it may help boost your price.
It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of how much money you spend on your travel trailer, the value depreciates, and you will most likely need to sell it for less than you paid. Here are some tips for figuring out an asking price:
l Find the “actual” worth, not what you think your travel trailer is worth
l Browse new RV prices to make sure your asking price isn’t too high
l Check out the selling price of similar travel trailers
l Pay attention to how long similar trailers have been on the market. If they haven’t sold in a few months or more, the price asking price may be too high
Tips for Getting Top Dollar
Although there’s no guarantee that you will sell your travel trailer for what you think it’s worth (or for the amount you want), here are some tips that may help you retain some of the value and receive the asking price.
Consider Fixing Minor Issues
Preparing your travel trailer to sell is much like selling a vehicle or even a home. While you may not want to invest more money into your travel trailer, you may want to consider fixing some minor issues rather than choosing to sell it “as is.”
Whether you have peeling wallpaper, scuffed up cabinets, or a refrigerator that barely works, making little updates that won’t hurt your budget can help ensure a sale and get top dollar.
Take Time to Do a Deep Clean and Stage Your Trailer
Even if someone plans on buying and renovating your travel trailer, no one wants to buy a trailer that’s filthy. A disorganized and dirty travel trailer will not look good in pictures (for your online ad) or in person, so take the time to clean before you put it on the market.
In addition to cleaning all areas, including storage spaces, cabinets, and appliances, don’t forget to neutralize odors and try to get your travel trailer “showroom clean.” It may not be a bad idea to have your trailer professionally cleaned and detailed. This may set you back about $300, but it can help to secure a quick sale for top asking price.
Taking the time to stage your travel trailer, much like you might a home for sale, can attract buyers. Whether you add a few new bathroom towels or throw pillows in the seating area, a few personal touches can go a long way.
Get Organized Before You Sell
If you have never been good at keeping maintenance records or other relevant information on your travel trailer, this tip may not be useful to you. Before you put your travel trailer on the market, organize all records related to your trailer, as well as essential info like manuals.
Some buyers won’t be interested or even care about this information, but you want to have all the information ready to go upon request.
Know When To Sell and Be an Honest Seller
You know how it feels when you suspect you’re trying to be fooled by someone trying to sell you something; don’t be that person. If you want to make a quick sale and receive top dollar for your travel trailer, it’s best to be honest about what works (and what needs work).
When you decide to sell your travel trailer will also make a difference in how quickly you sell and how much you end up making. It’s better to put your travel trailer up for sale at the beginning of RV season rather than at the end of summer.
Always avoid selling around the holidays, and if you have an RV show in the area, it may be a good time to put your RV on the market as your travel trailer will be priced more affordable than newer RVs.
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