There are plenty of ways to update a motorhome before putting it on the market to help increase the sale value.
Making small changes can greatly increase the value of your RV. If you’re getting ready to put your precious RV on the market, consider trying these simple tips and tricks to get what your RV is worth.
Not only can you find that you get more than expected, but you can also actual intice more potential buyers to take a closer look at your RV. Here is everything you need to know before listing your RV.
People looking to sell their motorhome obviously want to get the most return for their buck, however, many don’t know exactly where to start.
1. Give Your RV a Proper Cleaning
You will obviously want to make sure your RV is cleaned before showing it to potential buyers. However, getting your RV “market-ready” is much more than some dusting and vacuuming.
This is is especially true if you had frequently traveled the road with pets. Two smells that are a clear giveaway that your RV may not be up to buying standards are smoke and cat pee.
Refresh the interior of your RV with steam clean on any fabric surfaces like rugs and upholstery.
Finding that the walls of your RV have discolored over time? Consider either replacing the paneling in the inside of your RV or refreshing the walls with a fresh coat of odor eliminating paint.
If you’re not up to it yourself, or maybe you want to know you did all you could, you can have the cleaning done professionally. Here you can read more about how much detailing your RV cost.
2. Remove Any Personal Traces
Any realtor will tell you that potential buyers are looking for a home that they can see themselves living in. The same thing can be said for selling a motorhome.
RVs are much more than transportation vehicles. Families are looking for the perfect vessel to find adventure in. One thing that can keep buyers from envisioning themselves traveling in your RV is that still looks like your RV.
Help buyer grow their imagination by removing personal items like souvenirs and picture frames.
By keeping your RV stripped down to the essentials and basics, you allow buyers to see themselves filling the motorhome with their own memories.
3. Make Charging Easy and Accessible
These days you can’t go anywhere without your phone or laptop. While exploring the great outdoors once was filled with nights spent staring at the stars, technology has changed the way many people fill the time.
If you’re traveling in the RV with a large family, one thing that is bound to start a fight is the lack of access to charging ports. Nothing can kill a vacation vibe faster than two kids fighting over a tablet charger. This is why many new buyers are looking for RVs that offer more convenience when it comes to charging and accessing their electronics.
One inexpensive and quick upgrade you can give your RV before listing it on the part that will pique the interest of buyers is to fit outlets with new plates that feature built-in USB ports.
Little details, such as this one, will show buyers that you put care into keeping the RV up to date with technology.
3. Timing is Everything
Knowing when to put your RV motorhome on the market is an important part about getting the biggest return for your purchase. While there are plenty of people who like to adventure out in their RV during the colder months of the year, most people plan their trips for the spring and summer season.
This is especially true for families who are looking to travel with their kids during school breaks.
A great time to list your RV is right before the break of spring right when the flowers begin to bloom.
With the world around you thawing and the green grass starting to grow, people will be looking forward to summer plans. Listing your RV right before the peak of the season will bring some people out of the woodwork to see your beautiful motorhome.
You may even be able to entice people who have only been casually thinking about investing in a great RV.
4. Upgrade With “New” Appliances
Most potential buyers are not looking for a fixer-upper. Especially if you are hoping to tempt buyers during the peak of the season. One great way to give your RV some edge over other pre-owned motorhomes is to invest a little extra money into the appliance in your RV.
This doesn’t mean that you have to throw money at all the appliances in your RV. A good rule of thumb is to upgrade any appliances that are older than five years. You can exchange them with used appliances.
You also should consider replacing out of date looking appliances so that there is a cohesive theme inside the motorhome.
Sleek and modern appliances can really help to catch a buyer’s eye. This will also show the buyer that you put time and care into your RV which can help them to see that your RV is certainly not a “money pit”.
5. Upgrade Outdated Cabinetry
We have all seen the imagery of dates RVs traveling across the country. While this laughable stigma does offer some comedic relief, it isn’t appealing to new buyers, especially in this market.
We have long gone past the time where retro plastic wood detailing is considered endearing. The same thing can be said for those oak wood cabinets in your RV. The interior of motorhomes is often covered with lots of cabinets. This is because storage is a very important element when traveling by RV.
Updating those dark wood cabinets can really refresh the look of an RV. Best of all, you don’t need to hire a professional to accomplish a sleeker and more updated look.
Cabinets can easily be removed from their hinges for quick updating. A simple round of sanding and a couple coats of a neutral paint color like cream or grey can completely change the look and feel of dated RVs.
6. Customize a Greener Way of Travel
We are in the era of smaller and more efficient living.
One way to stay ahead of the times as far as reducing your carbon footprint is to update your RV to a healthier lifestyle. Potential buyers will really appreciate not only how efficient the RV is but, also how the smaller and more green changes will save them money in the long run.
Small changes like switching out light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs can make all the difference in the world.
But it doesn’t stop there!
Water fixtures should also be updated to ones that have easy shut-off as well as reduced water flow to save water and energy. Lastly, if your RV comes fitted with its own heat and cooling system, consider switching to a wireless thermostat. This way potential buyers will not only be able to control the air flow, but they will also be able to regulate how much power is used on heating and cooling.
7. Update to Modern Style Convenience
New buyers are looking for RVs that are fitted with modern touches that help make life a little easier. You can really make your listen RV stand-out by offering a whole new world of conveniences. Replacing old turn-style awnings with mechanical awnings is a great place to start.
You should also consider incorporating smart technology. Many smart features, like automatic lights and locks, can easily be controlled by phone apps which offer potential buyers more options when it comes to finding an upgraded RV.
Extra special touches like light color options as well as diming features will really help you to get more return for your RV by raising the value.
If you are tech-savvy, you can probably install a few cool features for only a few bucks. Otherwise, this tip might not be for you.
8. Find Creative Ways to Create More Storage
This is me on the picture above.
We have added extra storage under our bed. This was possible because we changed the layout a couple of years ago. But even with the original design, it’s often possible to add more storage to your RV.
The amount of storage your RV has will be a huge selling point for potential buyers.
People are looking for a great deal of storage without sacrificing space. Motorhomes are already a little tight on space, so it’s important to find new ways to incorporate precious storage. Upgraded furniture pieces that also double as storage like benches with hidden compartments can be exciting to buyers.
The same thing can be said for the organization system in the RV.
Updating bulky cabinets to be fitted with storage bins and shelves gives the buyer more options when it comes to storage.
This will also allow the buyer to imagine how they may be able to fit their precious belongings into the area. When it comes to creating more storage for space, consider looking up. Installing shelving units and storage bins along the height of the RV offer tons of storage space without taking over any of the living space in the motorhome.
9. Upgrade the Safety Features
One thing that no family should have to worry about when going on vacation is whether or not they are safe.
This is why many RV travelers opt to have high-performance safety features. These are also features that are considered to be desirable among RV shoppers. The best part about this upgrade is that it is simple and will add tons of value to your motorhome.
Switch outdated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with smart-use ones that will alert you to an emergency situation even if you are not in the RV at the time.
You can even take your safety upgrades one step further by installing water detection monitors which will alert you if there is a leak inside your RV. This has a big appeal to potential RV shoppers who are looking to do some all-season traveling.
10. Laundry Features
Having on-site laundry for RV travelers is a huge perk. This is especially true for larger families. Because of limited storage space on an RV, people tend to under-pack their clothing. This means that there is guaranteed to be plenty of laundromat stops along the way.
One feature that some families look for when shopping for the RV is a motorhome that comes equipped with some form of laundry features.
This is not only a huge money saver for families but also it allows them to spend less time looking for a laundromat and more time enjoying quality time with loved ones.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to splurge for a top of the line washing machine either. Washing units that are meant for motorhomes are different than the ones that you may already have in your home. These are smaller and more compact machines that don’t take up too much space.
There are even stackable ones that feature a small dryer as well. If you want to really impress potential buyers, you can even invest in a hand-operated washer that not only takes up barely any space, it also uses way less water!
11. Fuel Efficient Features
The last way you can upgrade your RV to increase the resale value is to make it more fuel efficient. The biggest expense of traveling in an RV is the cost of fuel.
Here you can see the average fuel consumption for a list of RVs.
While there are newer and more “eco-friendly” RVs on the market these days, there are some things you can do to help your RV cut down on fuel.
One reason why your RV may be running through fuel could be due to the tires.
Low tire pressure can cause an RV to drag which burns fuel quick. An upgrade that you can install in your RV that will increase its appeal and value is tire pressure monitors.
This will alert you when pressure is low so that you can stop burning fuel too fast.
One other thing you can do is install solar panels on the roof of your RV. This will allow you to use solar energy for certain electronics and appliances in the RV. This way you are spending less money to fuel up your power generator and more money on exploring.
4 More Tips to Successfully Sell Your RV
Once you have you have made the necessary adjustments to your RV in order to increase the sale value, its time to list your RV.
While preparing your RV for sale is half the battle, there are plenty of ways to help make your sale go faster! Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Use Social Media
Social media is a great tool for getting the word about your RV sale out there. These days everyone has some form of social media and it remains the best way to cast a wide net. While you should still list your RV through traditional channels, also listing it on social media will garner more interest.
Create the Perfect Setting
While you should remove personal items before listing your RV, you still should make the space as inviting as possible. Little elegant touches like candles and air fresheners go a long way when it comes to making a sale.
Remember, you want to potential buyers to feel at home in the RV. So, make sure to fill the space with plenty of throw blankets and pillows. Comfortable spaces are the best way to show buyers that they have a great place to kick back.
Price to Sell
At the end of the day, buyers are not just looking for a great RV, but a great deal as well.
This doesn’t mean that you need to under-sell your RV, especially if you’ve put money into upgrades. You should do some research and see what other comparable RVs are selling for. For extra measure, you can even have an expert value your RV for you. Having a competitive price on your vehicle will help it to sell faster.
A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
The pictures that go alongside your ad will be the biggest draw to potential buyers. Even if you have a beautifully worded ad describing all the adventures to be had, it means nothing without the right imagery.
Be thoughtful when choosing pictures of your RV.
Make sure that they show the space as well as the upgrades you have made. Take note of lighting and angles and make sure to avoid reflections of yourself!
Get it Sold!
The saying; “Don’t throw good money at bad” holds a lot of meaning when it comes to selling your RV.
However, spending money to make money is equally important. Many people find upgrading their RV to sell it counterintuitive, but, it doesn’t always have to be done all at home. Most people who purchase an RV will at one point sell it. Whether they have grown out of their motorhome or are looking to invest in a newer model; selling is inevitable.
A good thing to do as an RV owner is to continue to make upgrades to your RV while you still own it and use it. This way when the time does come to sell, there will be little to no work to be done. Take care.
Sources: rvt.com, blog.bluedogrv.com
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.