10 Insider Tips for Pricing Your Renovated RV
You finally finished renovating and updating an RV. But what is all your hard work worth?
When selling an RV, figuring out how to price it can be tricky. There are many factors to consider, and no real guidance or similar RVs to compare yours to.
When pricing your renovated RV for sale, you should consider many things, including the RV’s condition, the quality of the workmanship, and so much more!
Below are ten steps to determine an appropriate price for your renovated RV, with helpful tips from professional renovators.
1. Check NADA Guides for base pricing
An excellent place to start when determining how to price your renovated RV is the online NADA guides. The National Automobile Dealers Association compiles these guides that are specific to RVs.
Find your RV make and model on NADA and use this figure as a base price. The NADA guides provide a ballpark estimate based on the exact specifications of your camper. But they do not account for any renovations or upgrades.
2. Look on RVTrader.com to determine your renovated RV’s “un-renovated” value
Consumer demand plays a big part in how to price your renovated RV. A good way to get a feel for what campers like yours are selling for across the U.S. is to check online marketplaces. RVTrader is among the most popular for private sellers and dealerships to list RVs. Due to the vast inventory of RVs for sale, it’s a good place to start.
Look for similar models in the same year range and condition as your RV, and note what these RVs are selling for.
It’s essential to remember that if you price your RV significantly higher than the unrenovated models, some buyers may prefer to buy the cheaper RV and renovate it themselves. That’s particularly true if all you’ve done is paint the walls and cabinets or replace flooring. Those upgrades are fairly doable for most people. The more unique your renovation, the more likely people will pay you for your talent.
3. Check Facebook Marketplace
Whereas RV Trader will give you an idea of what campers like yours are selling for nationwide, Facebook Marketplace will help you understand the market for RVs in your area. This is especially useful if you prefer to sell to a local buyer.
If there are RVs for sale in your area, look to see if you can find any comparable to yours. Include the same make and model but also a similar size and style made by different companies.
4. Consider the renovated RV’s Condition
When considering the base price of your RV, be sure to account for the condition of all parts, including its systems.
Things like the roof, wear on the tires, age of appliances, condition of the engine, plumbing, hydraulic jacks and slides, and propane system all impact the value of an RV. A buyer will avoid paying top dollar for an RV that could cost them a lot in repairs.
5. Consider what the renovated RV would cost brand-new
If your RV is relatively new, potential buyers may be comparing it to purchasing a brand-new RV of the same make and model. Plus, a new model may be covered by a factory warranty (although it is also possible to purchase an after-market warranty for a renovated used RV).
“I try to go under a brand new price,” said Professional RV renovator Casie Tomaz of Tomaz Coast to Coast. “People don’t see why they would pay the same as a brand-new model, even though it’s completely renovated.”
You may still be able to sell your renovated RV for more than a brand-new RV of the same make and model. But this depends on your RV, as well as the quality of your work.
“When people ask why we think we can ask more than the price of the same trailer new, we tell them to think about a renovated home vs. an unrenovated home,” said professional RV renovators Derrick and April Look. “Or a ‘builder-basic’ new construction versus one that has high-end finishings and is customized to your taste. It’s the same effect on value in an RV.”
To be competitive, you can remain at or just below brand-new pricing. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to list it higher if you are confident your renovated RV is more desirable than a new one.
6. Calculate the cost of materials, furniture, and decor
Once you have the base price for your RV established, it’s time to start adding on the price of your renovation.
Calculate what you spent on paint, flooring, light fixtures, etc., and any furniture and decor you’ll include. Add them to the base price of your RV since buyers will be paying for these things anyway if they do a renovation themselves.
7. Factor in the cost of your labor
Time is money! You should be compensated for your time, especially if you are renovating RVs as a business.
Time spent on renovation might be difficult to calculate if this was a one-time hobby project for you. But if you are flipping renovated RVs as a business, you must keep track of your time so you know whether this type of work is worth it to you.
“We start with the purchase price, add on the cost of the physical materials for the renovation, and then charge for our time spent, as that is the most valuable part of the equation for us,” said Derrick and April Look. “If a renovation takes 60 long days of hard work and heavy thought, we want to be compensated for it. We always have a ‘quick sale’ price in mind and ‘ideal’ price. We like to get our ‘ideal’ price, of course. Most of our RVs have sold in 24 hours or less and for our full asking price.”
8. Quality Matters
Your RV might look great on Instagram, but if an in-person look reveals amateur workmanship and cheap materials, you may have trouble getting the price you’re hoping for.
Things like brush strokes in your paint job, imprecise cuts in your flooring, and uneven patches in your walls will not go unnoticed by a potential buyer.
“Pricing can be very different depending on who is doing it and why it was renovated,” April and Derrick Look said. “Someone with beginner skills and knowledge that DIY’ed their family camper and now has outgrown it should not expect to get two times NADA value in a normal market. Someone approaching a renovation as a professional will repair any issues they uncover, whereas a DIYer may just cover it up. The end products will not be of the same value.”
9. Trendy aesthetics sell at higher prices
With renovated RVs, aesthetics are everything. Your renovated RV will generate more interest if it is on par with current design trends.
If you renovated the RV to suit your particular tastes, it may bring less money when it ultimately sells, especially if the style is quirky or outdated and the buyer intends to re-do your work. Consider whether there are additional simple updates you could do that would be worth it to get a little more out of the sale.
10. Consider buyer financing needs
It is more difficult for buyers to obtain financing for an RV through a private sale, and lenders won’t shell out more money than an RV is worth on paper.
If your RV is priced much higher than NADA values, customers may be unable to obtain financing. Therefore, it will be easier to sell a renovated RV at a price that customers can afford to pay cash for. Or sell it at a price so they can afford to cover the difference if they can only finance part of the cost.
Bottom line: The market dictates the price
“In the end, the free market will dictate the price,” said Derrick and April. “If there is an influx of renovated RVs available and they all have similar design features, it’s going to negatively affect price.”
There is no one-size-fits-all guide for pricing your renovated RV. You’ll have to list it and see what interest you get. And be prepared to lower the price if necessary. But these tips will help you arrive at a ballpark estimate for a reasonable starting point.
Ready to list your renovated RV? Head to this page to create your listing here at RV Inspiration Marketplace!