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Selling Your Vintage RV: 10 Tips to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Selling Your Vintage RV: 10 Tips to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

As we all know, design and taste is cyclical, and right now, vintage RVs are all the rage.

If you’ve got one sitting around, collecting dust, you might be thinking to yourself: “I could make a few bucks off the gal.”

You’ve come to the right spot. We’re going to give you 10 tips to stretch your vintage RV and get the most bang for your buck.

blue vintage rv

Photo Credit: Chem Dry

Detail the interior and exterior.

Give your vintage RV the royal treatment!

On the exterior, wash and seal the roof, wax the coach, dress the tires, and clean the awnings. Musty smells, including cigarette smoke, pet odors, mold and mildew detract from the atmosphere.

On the interior, leave no stone unturned — clean the carpets, upholstery, ceilings, shower, toilet, sinks, drawers and closets. This is low hanging fruit for boosting the value of your RV!

Protip (from Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine): An open container of coffee grounds will help absorb or mask odors. RV moisture absorbers also help.

salmon vintage rv lynx levelers

Photo Credit: Whippy Cake

Consider an exterior paint job.

You can repaint your exterior for a couple hundred dollars if you’re willing to put in the labour.

Consult online or in-store experts for the appropriate paint for your vintage RV model.

Having the right tools is essential, especially when the majority of time goes towards the prep work like caulking, sanding, masking, priming, polishing, buffing, and replacing screws.

There’s also no shame in hiring the pros if your budget allows.

Protip (from Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine): Most desired exterior colors are light blue, pink, then red or yellow. Period correct greens and neutrals on ‘40s and earlier trailers. Stay away from dark colors.

interior redecorating vintage rv

Photo Credit: Joyfully Growing Blog

Market your RV as restored or renovated if you’ve put work into it.

Whether you’ve made some recent additions, like new flooring or appliances, or done a complete overhaul, make sure your prospective buyers are aware, as this will almost certainly command a higher price.

Look into market prices for similar units to get a sense of what certain renovations might be worth. Clarity and honesty will go a long way when you sell — it’s not uncommon for sellers to market their RV as “restored” (meaning it’s been torn down to the frame and rebuilt) when really it’s only been renovated, so make sure you’re accurately describing the upgrades.

restored or renovated RV

Photo Credit: Do It Yourself RV

Make sure all electrical and mechanical systems are working.

What systems does your vintage RV have? Lights, windows, radio, A/C, appliances, compressor, pump… go through them all!

When were they tested? Are they original?

Make sure you have detailed answers for these questions and be prepared to demonstrate for potential buyers. Vintage RVs aren’t without their flaws; if a system is broken, read up on options so buyers are aware of additional costs should they want to replace a system.

organized vintage RV

Photo Credit: Organized Obie

Ensure the RV is free of personal items.

Buyers want to envision their trip in the RV, so eliminate any personal items that would be distracting.

On the flip side, buyers may be interested in how you maximize the space, so show off any organizational hacks or tricks you may have discovered or installed. 

exterior paint job vintage rv

Photo Credit: Lune Blog

Prepare the sales and maintenance paperwork.

Get a binder together with copies of all the RV’s paperwork, including receipts for any major purchases or upgrades manuals, brochures, fact sheets and maintenance paperwork so that it’s readily available for viewings.

Make sure to keep the originals for yourself. Have a Bill of Sale ready as well to make the decision easier for your buyer!

prepare vintage RV for sale and marketing

Photo Credit: Tiny House For Us

Take quality photos and use online advertising.

When posting your vintage RV to an online selling platform, supply a selection of bright, high-quality photos from a variety of angles. Provide overview shots to show layout, and detailed shots to show fixtures and materials. Keep the description concise and include the brand, year and model in the title.

Always check for grammatical errors for professionalism.

Protip (from Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine): Well lit photos! Show all sides in full view. (Not behind fences or with stuff stacked around them.) Best is to stage them "camping" where they look best, in nature.

a cold day for a vintage RV

Photo Credit: Newschool Nomads

Don’t worry about selling at the ‘right time’.

There are only two factors that matter: how well the vintage RV is marketed, and how competitive the price is.

People are always looking, so the time of year is secondary.

An RV may “show” better in the warmer seasons, but don’t let it stop you from listing as soon as it’s ready. Ensure the viewing is comfortable depending on the season you show in — turn the heater on in winter and keep it cool for the warmer months.    

DIY vintage RV flowers

Photo Credit: Do It Yourself RV

Be honest with your buyers.

There’s a reason evasive used car salespeople get a bad rap.

If a person senses you’re not being completely honest, they will likely just go find a different RV to buy — so be open about the quirks and minor flaws of your RV, as the next owner will need to deal with them just like you did.

People expect this when they’re buying a vintage RV. Sharing these imperfections should be part of the sales process.

dessert vintage RV patio

Photo Credit: Decor Style

Be patient and enjoy the process.

Putting everything together to sell your vintage RV can be fun!

Make a plan upfront, give yourself time to prepare and don’t put too many expectations on the sale — shine it up, show it off, and enjoy sharing stories of your RV adventures with someone about to embark on theirs!

And if you want to be extra nice to the next owners of your vintage ride, gift them a set of Lynx Levelers - they’ll love you for it.