Is Your RV a Money Pit? Learn When To Cut Your Losses and Sell

Published: September 22, 2023

The moment a new RV is driven off the dealership’s lot, it begins to lose value. As the years go by, it’ll begin to depreciate in value much quicker. With each click of the odometer and bump on campground roads, RVs can become more and more expensive to maintain. Even those that look shiny and new on the outside could be hiding an expensive repair. There comes a time when it doesn’t make financial sense to throw good money after bad, but when is that time?

If you’re a motorhome enthusiast in The Mount Rushmore State who's realized your rig is a wreck, sell your junk RV in South Dakota to a specialized dealer. It’s a hassle-free way to unload it.

How To Know When It’s Time To Sell Your RV

Whether you’re an occasional RV camper or a hardcore adventurer, there will come a time when you’ll have to make the tough decision if your motorhome or fifth wheel is worth keeping. They’re no different from any other type of vehicle and will eventually reach the end of their usefulness. In some situations, it can be quite obvious when it’s time to sell, but it’s not always that easy. Letting go of your rig can be a tough decision for some.

A big part of knowing when it’s time to part ways is to first know what your RV is worth. There are two ways to do so, and using a combination of both methods can help to make your decision much clearer. First, take a look at some of the popular RV-selling platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Locate rigs similar to yours and see what they are being sold for.

Next, head over to J.D. Power and use their RV value online calculator. Plug in your rig's details and you’ll get a good idea of what its resale value is. Armed with this information, you can make a better-educated decision as to what to do with your RV.

Repairs, Repairs, Repairs

All RVs will eventually need some type of repair. Parts wear out, rough road conditions can damage expensive components, and even the weather can affect the roadworthiness and appearance of a home on wheels. RVs over a decade old will require more TLC and maintenance than younger ones, and there could come a time when just one necessary repair has you questioning if you should empty your wallet or not.

Take a look at your RV’s repair costs over the last year. If it’s a significant amount, it could be a red flag that it’s time to end your relationship with it. Even just one expensive and necessary fix could prove to be too much money to spend. If it’s equal to half or more of your rig’s value, it’s definitely time to part ways. Numerous frequent repairs can quickly put a hole in your wallet.

The 10-Year Rule

RVs that are over a decade old not only face the possibility of costly and frequent repairs, but they’re also subject to the sometimes followed, sometimes ignored 10-year rule. Some campgrounds adhere to this rule no matter how shiny and new a rig looks. If it’s over a decade old, they can refuse a campground reservation. Even if you own a vintage and immaculately kept Airstream, it could be denied entry solely on its age.

Owners of RVs that have more than a decade's worth of wear and tear and also require repairs to keep them running, roadworthy, and looking good may want to consider selling. The expense of repairs coupled with campground rules could prove to be far too frustrating and outweighs thoughts of holding on to an older RV.

What To Do With Your Old Rig

RV owners who have found themselves upside down with their rig’s value will quickly find out that they can be difficult to sell. The RV market is flooded with younger and more usable rigs, and if you do find a private buyer, they’ll likely offer you mere pennies on the dollar. If yours is old and also requires a costly repair, you do have options of how to sell it in a no-hassle way. Sell it to a specialized junk RV dealership. Many will come directly to you and haul it away at no fee while leaving you with cash, a check, or money on your favorite cash app. They’ll offer you far more than a junkyard, and most will tow it away within 24 hours.

Is Your RV a Money Pit? Final Words

Sometimes it makes more financial sense to unload your rig than to drain your bank account due to costly and frequent repairs. Age and mileage are the two factors that can make RVs difficult to sell, and with some campgrounds following the “no old rigs” rule, keeping yours could prove to be an exercise in frustration. 

If your rig has hit the unfortunate title of being called junk, sell it to a specialized junk RV dealer. No matter its condition, they’ll haul it away and leave you with more money than you most likely expected. Don’t throw good money after bad; sell your RV to a specialized dealer.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
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