Is there a Kelley Blue Book for RVs? How do you find the value for motorhomes, trailers, or fifth-wheels?
An RV can bring a lot of pleasure to you and your family; the weekends spent camping under the stars are what family memories are made of. Likewise, if your children have flown the roost, an RV can give you the freedom to roam the country in your golden years.
An RV is a significant investment, and you need to know how much a motorhome, trailer, or fifth-wheel is worth before you take the plunge. However, finding the value of an RV can be a little more complicated than merely using the Kelley Blue Book; Kelley Blue Book used to rate the values of motorhomes and trailers, but unfortunately, they only rate automobiles now.
Since the Kelley Blue Book website only does cars and trucks, you’ll need to learn how to find out the value of a motorhome or trailer another way. Before you buy or sell an RV, you need to know how much it’s actually worth. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the Kelley Blue Book when you need to find out the value of an RV, whether you want to buy or sell one. Two popular websites that offer model comparison and price guides and are RVTrader and the NADA website.
Let’s take a look at the two leading websites you can use to find accurate prices and values of every type of RV, including travel trailers, motorhomes, and fifth-wheels.
Finding the Price and Value of an RV on NADA
NADA is short for the National Automobile Dealers Association. The NADA website is probably the closest thing to the Kelley Blue Book website when it comes to pricing and value for RVs. The NADA RV pricing guide is the most accurate one you’ll find for RV values, however, it’s not always the easiest one to use.
The National Automobile Dealers Association website allows you to determine the value for:
- Travel trailers
- Pop-up trailers
- Truck campers
- Tow vehicles
- Park models
Once you’re on the NADA website, you can click on the “Start here” button, or click on the type of RV or trailer you want to research.
Next, choose the manufacturer of the motorhome or trailer you’re researching.
Select the year of the RV you’re looking at, as well as the type; motorhome, trailer, fifth-wheel, etc.
The final step is to choose the model.
Unfortunately, not all motorhome models show up; for example, a search for Flair-Fleetwood motorhomes says there is no information for models from 2014 back to 1989. Likewise, Fleetwood makes seven other Class A 2020 models besides the Flair, as well as the IROK Class B van, and none of those are listed on the NADA price guide.
The NADA website is a useful tool, however, it may fall short on some models, makes and years. This is especially true if you’re looking to buy or sell an older model. It is a starting resource if you are trying to find the value from a “blue book for RVs”.
The RVTrader Website
The Price Checker on the RVTrader website is easy to use and finds the average sales value for any motorhome or trailer you want to buy or sell.
You enter all of your information on the same easy-to-use page, and with one click, you’ll get not only the average value but also the highest and lowest sales price. These values are calculated from the sales prices of the RVs listed on the RVTrader website.
On a test search, the RVTrader website produced a result for an older model Fleetwood motorhome, whereas the NADA website did not. Furthermore, the estimated value appeared to be accurate. However, if the model you’re looking for is not for sale on the website, you may not get a result.
Comparing the Details
While the RVTrader website is excellent if you only need a general value, if you need more specific details, such as the mileage on a motorhome, the NADA Guide may be able to provide more of those details. What’s more, you can search for other features on the NADA guide, beyond the mileage. In this way, you may be able to get a more accurate value on a specific RV you’re looking to buy or sell.
However, the RVTrader website is easier to use and may allow you to get the value for an older RV or trailer that may not be listed in the NADA system.
Likewise, all of the information is entered on the same page, and it instantly gives you three different values with one click. Perhaps the best thing of all about the RVTrader pricing guide is, if you see something you like, you can buy it right away, and start living the RV lifestyle.
Buying and Selling an RV
The time of year can make a big difference in not only how much an RV might sell for, but also how much buyers are willing to pay. If you want to get the best deal, pay attention to the season.
You may be ready to sell your rig at the end of summer when you’re done with the camping season. But that is the worst time to sell your motorhome or trailer. If you can wait until spring, that’s the time when people are eager to get outside and start camping.
While you wait, use that time to make sure your rig is as clean and as beautiful as possible. Clean the carpet and upholstery, polish the cabinets, and do any small repairs necessary. Make sure the roof is sound, and all of the appliances work. If you are selling a motorhome, make sure the engine, transmission, tires, etc. are all good to go.
On the other hand, the best time to buy an RV is in the winter or fall. That’s especially true in the northern and eastern states, where winter is harsh. You may be the only buyer and may be able to wheel and deal on the price. Also, don’t go RV shopping on the weekends, when everyone else is. You’re less likely to get a good deal.
The bottom line is, you need to know how much a particular motorhome, fifth-wheel, or trailer is worth before buying or selling – while there isn’t a one-stop blue book for RVs, there are a number of resources to start your search. It’s a significant investment, and you need to make every one of your hard-earned dollars count. Your RV lifestyle will be much more relaxed and confident, knowing you got the best deal possible.