7 Tips on How to Increase the Value of Your RV Before Selling

When you’re driving off the lot with a new, or new-to-you RV, it will always be a great feeling. Planning out the trips, customizing the interior and spending time out on the open road are all ways to make the RV your own. The miles spent in the RV with your family or on solo trips will provide memories for a lifetime. While using your RV is important, finding little ways to protect your investment and increase RV value is important as well.

Providing proper care and maintenance throughout the duration of ownership will not only be good for the present day, but it will also be laying a good foundation for the future of the RV. It will ensure your rig lasts as long as possible and help improve RV resale value, so you get as much as possible when it comes time to sell. 

When the miles start adding up and you begin thinking about trading in or selling outright, you will want to get the highest amount possible. What you might not know is just how much work goes into making an RV sales-worthy of your dream price tag. Spoiler alert: While surface cleaning is important, the process goes well beyond that.

Here are 7 RV selling strategies and tips for preparing RV for sale that will increase RV value. 

#1. Keep it Clean

While this might seem a bit on the obvious side, keeping the vehicle clean means more than just surface cleaning. In addition to a weekly cleaning, when you are preparing your RV for sale, it should be just as sparkling and perfect as possible. It should resemble the way it was when it was driven off the lot.

Part of this entails removing all unnecessary items that might be cluttering the counters or floors. Before showing, make sure the interior houses only the bare necessities. Providing as much free space within the RV as possible is important, too. Empty countertops and open floor space will allow the previous buyer the opportunity to view the RV in a realistic manner. They can get a good sense of layout this way, making this one of the best RV selling strategies. 

Not sure if FSBO is best? Reach out to National Vehicle for more information.

Keeping you RV clean is important!

#2. Add Upgrades

Any upgrades will help set your rig apart from other RVS for sale. Making your vehicle stand out from the crowd and improving its RV resale value can be easy, with adding new products that will make routine procedures a bit easier, safer, or more comfortable. 

Consider installing a backup camera, providing both safety and ease of parking. Purchase and install new alarms such as a fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector, along with a new fire extinguisher. For safety measures to cover the exterior, consider adding motion-sensing exterior lights. Perhaps just stringing up LED lights around the door, allowing them to be unplugged at bedtime.

Adding a security system can also be an appreciated upgrade, especially if the potential buyers plan on boondocking in remote areas.  Upgrade the door locks and deadbolts and consider using a keyless door entry; no key, just a code for the keypad. The more new and modern products you have upgraded within the RV will be more reasons why your RV can stand out to potential buyers, as they will have less to install upon purchase. 

Additionally, the newest, top-of-the-line stoves, microwaves and dishwashers are good investments to have in place in order to increase RV value. 

Visit this National Vehicle blog post for more upgrade options.

#3. Stay on Top of Maintenance

Honestly, treat the RV as good as-if not better than-you did when first bought. Putting the extra time and effort in often will work toward the value being maximized when it is time to sell. 

Keep the routine maintenance up to date.  Perform oil changes at the right odometer reading and keep fluids full and filters clean. Also, swap out spark plugs regularly to keep the rig running smoothly. An RV with no mechanical trouble is going to be more valuable than one that needs a bit of work.

Other steps to maintain good working order include:

  • Clean and treat slide outs
  • Check battery often
  • Ensure electrical connection from RV to towing vehicle is properly working
  • Check brakes often and change pads as needed
  • Take steps to ensure wastewater system remains in proper working order
  • Tire rotation/replacement
  • Monthly checks on fluids under the hood
  • Monthly checks on window and door seals
  • Address any problems when they first arise
RV Time

Timing is key when selling your RV!

#4. Protect the Exterior

Just as important as keeping the interior clean and neat, in order to increase RV value, the exterior shouldn’t be neglected. It needs some TLC as well. When parked at home, keep the RV protected from the year-round elements with either an RV cover or under an RV carport. Another option is to store your RV in a rented storage unit (most common during winter). 

Using a sealant spray to protect the exterior is both efficient and quicker than applying wax. Spray and buff, and that’s that. Specifically, pay attention to the crevasses, as these areas attract dirt and dust that can cause damage to window seals and other rubber seals. 

#5. Time Your Sale Right

Early spring is the time when buyers are serious about buying. It’s a time when everything seems possible and the travel bug might have bitten, prompting potential buyers to spring into action. Take advantage of this time frame, as it too will help maximize the RV value. While heavily in demand, it will likely be safe to pad the asking price a bit.

#6. Seal Everything

We mentioned seals earlier, but we have to emphasize how important that task actually is. Take care to ensure windows and door openings remain sealed properly. Pesky leaks and water damage are two difficult problems to repair. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say. Stop water damage before it occurs by having inspections conducted at least twice a year. Another way to test for external leaks is to hire a professional to do a blower door test. This process will pressurize the rig to identify any leaks.

For the DIY’ers, survey all locations that possess a sealant and inspect these seals periodically. Early detection of even the smallest leak is crucial in preventing water damage.

#7. Care for Your Tires 

Just like the milk in the fridge, tires also have an expiration date. When purchasing new tires, be sure to check the expiration date and opt for ones made less than one year ago. And a good rule of thumb is to replace tires six years from the date they were manufactured. Add a reminder to your phone or calendar a few months before new tires should be purchased.

When purchasing new tires that were manufactured less than a year ago, they should provide five years or more of travel time. Some ways to get the most life out of your tires:

  • Check tire pressure before each trip and keep air topped off
  • While not in use, cover the tires to prevent sun damage
  • When traveling, avoid driving through areas with heavy debris in order to prevent a tire from being punctured.
  • Move RV once every three months to prevent tire cracks and flat spots, especially if the RV isn’t placed up on jacks.

Whether you are preparing to upgrade to a newer model or just taking steps to enjoy your current rig for as long as possible, these 7 steps are good ways to improve the life, and the value, of your RV.

Hoping to sell your RV for all that it’s worth? Make sure you use these tips to increase RV value and then use our RV valuation tool to figure out the RV resale value. From there, you can get in touch with us to see how we can help you get top dollar for your amazing home-on-wheels. 

Wondering about your RV's value?

Use our free RV Valuation tool now!

About Chelsea Gonzales

Chelsea Gonzales has been living in an RV and traveling with her family for 7 years now. She road schools her two children, using various travel experiences as lessons in history, science, geography, and more. During their time on the road, the Gonzales family has had the pleasure of touring the 48 contiguous United States as well as parts of Canada. They have learned a lot along the way and Chelsea is happy to share some of that knowledge through her writing.