Used car sellers and buyers have a handy resource for determining a fair price: The Kelley Blue Book. RV sellers and buyers have a slightly different process for an RV Blue Book, but it’s easy if you know where to look.
One of the most common questions when selling or buying a used RV is whether there is a Kelley Blue Book for RVs?
The answer is no, but there is another option – under a different name, and it’s not the only place you should look. Let’s take a deeper look at RV ratings.
What is the Kelley Blue Book?
Kelley Blue Book is a vehicle valuation and research company with an online database for consumers and dealers to help price used cars. Kelley Blue Book is one of the premier sources for used car valuation.
You can use this database to determine how much you should receive when selling your used car, both as a private party and as a trade-in. You can also use it to determine if you are getting a fair price when you buy. The Kelley Blue Book covers all types of makes and models, but does it work for RVs?
Is there a Kelley Blue Book for RVs?
Kelley Blue Book does not have prices for RVs. For RV prices, you need to check what is called the “NADA value.” There are many factors to consider when pricing a used RV, but as with buying or selling a used car, starting with a rough estimate from a trusted third party is very helpful to your negotiations.
These used to be the NADA (National Automobile Dealers’ Association) guides, which have since been sold and renamed the JD Power RV Price Guides. Everyone still calls them NADA Guides, though, so you may still hear that name. Just know that the NADA Guides and the JD Power RV Price Guide are one and the same.
The JD Power RV Price Guides contain price information for all vehicles, including boats, RVs and even manufactured homes. Remember, it’s a good starting point, but it’s not the panacea for pricing a used RV.
About the J.D. Power RV Price Guide
Comparable to the Kelley Blue Book, the J.D. Power RV Price Guides help you price, research and compare different models and makes of cars, RVs, boats and more.
You should consider the reviews in the J.D. Power RV Price Guides as a starting point. That means you’ll need to do further research when pricing your own used RV or determining if you’re getting a fair price when you buy.
How do I find the trade-in value of my RV?
Want to find the value of your used RV? You can use the JP Power RV Price Guides, similar to the Kelley Blue Book for cars, to determine the price of your used RV. However, you also have other options. Here are some steps to find a fair price for selling your RV.
Check the JP Power RV Price Guide
First, check the JP Power RV price guides to find the year, make and floor plan of your RV. If you have an older or less common RV, you may not find your specific floor plan or model. If that’s the case, look for a similar unit or model to determine your asking price.
As with Kelley Blue Book, you will need to enter your zip code into JP Power RV Price Guides, as different locations can affect RV prices. You can view base prices for your model or click through to add other features and equipment.
JP Power RV Price Guides gives you a low and an average sales price, as well as a suggested list price for your RV, year, model and features. Now that you have these prices at your fingertips, it’s time to take the next step.
Take JP Power RV Price values with a grain of salt. In our experience, they are a good starting point, but they are not as accurate as the KBB values.
When we wanted to sell our less-than-five-year-old fifth wheel, we found that the valuation was consistent with current market prices.
However, when we looked at the NADA value for the purchase of our 17-year-old RV, the appraisal was very inaccurate and was more than double the price we found for her on various marketplaces. This leads us to the next step in the valuation process.
Check Motorhome Sales Marketplaces
Next, it’s time to search popular RV sales marketplaces to determine the fair value for your used RV. Popular marketplaces include RVT.com and RVTrader.com.
Look for similar years, makes and models. If you can’t find your specific RV, search for a handful of similar models in similar condition. Compare these prices to those found in JP Power’s RV price guides. Are they similar?
If your prices are wildly different, you may need to change your search or sale prices. It’s a good idea to adjust your numbers to the current market.
Determine the factors that affect value
Many factors can affect the value of an RV. Upgrades such as solar panels, renovations, new tires and more can increase the price of your RV.
On the other hand, wear damage and discoloration can decrease the value of your RV.
Be honest and fair when considering what factors affect the value of your RV. The JP Power RV Price Guides work similarly to the Kelley Blue Book, but for RVs, you can use the check boxes for additional features of your RV to see how they affect the price.
For example, multiple air conditioners, specialty tires, RV refrigerator, lithium batteries, solar, etc.
Sell it yourself to get the best price
If you want to get the most out of selling your RV, sell it yourself. Selling an RV on your own is more difficult and takes more time, but it allows you to keep the full sale price.
Other ways to sell your RV include selling it on consignment, where a dealer sells the vehicle for you but keeps a portion of the sale proceeds. You can list your RV on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, RVT, RVTrader and other sites.
Getting a fair price when buying a used motorhome
When buying a used RV, there are a few things you can do to get a fair price. The NADA Guides work like the Kelley Blue Book for RVs, but you need to do more to get a fair price when buying a used RV. Always do your research before you buy.
Compare with similar models and NADA Guides
Before listing a used RV for sale, compare the price with similar models on RV sales marketplaces.
Also compare the price with JP Power RV price guides. Is the motorhome grossly overpriced or underpriced?
If so, it could have damage not listed in the ad or the seller is offering an unfair price.
Third party inspection
Once you’ve found an RV you want to buy, you should always have a third party inspection done. These expensive inspections start at around $500, but they are well worth it. An inspector who is not affiliated with you or the seller will give you an unbiased report on the RV and its condition.
If you have the RV inspected by an inspector and receive a report, you will know what you are getting into and can negotiate a lower price if the inspector finds defects.
Do not be afraid to go
Don’t be afraid to sell an RV if you feel you are not getting a fair price. There will always be another RV out there, so don’t let your feelings get the best of you. You want to be happy with what you get.
The JP Power RV Price Guides work much like the Kelley Blue Book, but for RVs. Always refer to the JP Power RV Price Guides when buying or selling, but check other sources as well.
There are many factors to consider when accurately valuing an RV, and sometimes it can be an art to determine a fair price, especially if the vehicle has been upgraded or renovated. Always do your research thoroughly when buying and selling, and above all, have an inspection done!