Advice From Pros About Selling An RV

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by Harry_, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Harry_

    Harry_ New Member

    We are Europeans and bought last year a brand new Montana Mountaineer 5th Wheel and a used Ford F-250 truck to travel the US as full timers. Now we have to go back to Europe and wonder what the best way might be to sell both.

    Thanks to the Internet, a lot of information can be found on the web, but what I would like to ask you experienced RVers is, how this all works in “real life”, what to expect, practical advices, etc. Some questions are:

    Private buyers and/or dealerships?

    I would prefer to close the deal with a private buyer before we leave, but can one find dealerships which would buy used RVs or at least sell them on commission? My (extremely limited) experience with dealers showed me that they usually have one or two brands and want to push sales of their new coaches by all means, and that all the used ones were only accepted as trade-ins when selling a new one to somebody? So they do not focus on used ones parked at the very end of their lots and if they only want to get rid of the used ones for the lowest prices – especially if it is on commission.

    Time Frame

    We would like to leave in November, so I don’t know if 1 and ½ month is not already way to less time to sell a 5th wheel and a truck (to a private buyer)? What is your practical experience, also taking the formalities into account (see below)?


    As Europeans a lot of things (like checks, DMV stuff, etc.) are very uncommon to us, so how to sell a coach and making sure to get the money raises some questions. Is a check the common way of getting paid for things like that, I mean for something in the range of 50.000 (coach + truck), and how can I make sure that it will not bounce? Also, I have still a loan on the RV and I assume a buyer would also like to apply for one, how will this complicate and delay things? Will most buyers need a loan, i.e. a loan approval, and how often could this kill a deal or delay things? Should I pay back my loan right now to have the title all in my possession for a smoother take over?

    Package deal or not?

    Is it easier to sell the 5th wheel and the truck individually or together? Or in other words, if I would have a buyer for my truck, might this jeopardize the sale of the 5th wheel?
    Achievable Prices
    Coaches vary a lot, and so do their prices when new, and even more when selling used. Mine is a 2007 Montana Mountaineer with 3 slide outs in perfect condition (I mean it). Is there a rule of thumb to say x % off the first year of ownership, or any market prices, etc.?
    And will Internet classifieds do it or are there certain printed papers I should go for. How about putting a “for sale” sign on the coach? Anybody positive experience with Ebay?

    Alternative solutions

    My concern is what if we are leaving and still own the RV and/or the truck. If I would have to put it in a storage, would that not complicate things, like interested people could not see it with the slides out or check and see that everything is working perfectly (air/co, heating, generator, ...)?


    We are currently in the Philadelphia, PA, area. Are there places (or dealerships, or campgrounds, or storages) which would make a sale easier, or should we go someplace else (which I definitely would like to avoid)?

    Other things to consider?
    Any advice is very welcome!

    Thank you!
  2. ironart

    ironart New Member

    Re: Advice From Pros About Selling An RV

    Hi Harry and Welcome......Have not heard from you for a while.. Hope you have enjoyed your camping..

    Your questions are quite involved and need some thought. I will get back in a few minutes after I have read your post a few time.

    I just didn't want you to think that there was no one here to help.....

    I am sure you will get other responders in a little while.... Stay tuned... :) :) :)
  3. ironart

    ironart New Member

    Re: Advice From Pros About Selling An RV

    Hi Harry......Here are a few of my thoughts.....Keep in mind that I am no where near an expert but have shopped for months for my Dolphin and have a good idea of what works.....

    To start with, closing the deal with a Private Buyer is the most desirable. Especially a "Cash Sale" or at least a Cashiers Check. No personal checks !!!!

    Having a Clear Title in hand is the most desirable for all concerned. Especially the buyer...If not, you will have to get with your finance Co. and ask what the "Pay Off" is for your loan so you will have an amount to give to the buyer. A dealer will want a commission for his services (that is only right) and He will be able to do the paper work and Title and registration for you.... If that is the way you want to go....Look for a Busy Dealer with a big lot and lots of RVs.... Your Coach will speak for itself and if it is a clean as you say.....buyers will notice it and ask about the price....

    You are going to take a Big Hit on the Depreciation and depending on how much you put down on your loan....You could be actually "Upside Down" on the Value to Loan amount... :eek: :eek: Be prepared for this "Shock". There are web sites that list the value of RVs. NADA RV Values comes to m ind. Here is their website.... This will give you a good idea of it's current value......Keep in mind that if you want to sell it, you will have to be at least 10% to 25% below what it says in the book for values.....

    Another good method is to put it up for sale on Ebay. I know that there will be a lot of trash talk about Ebay but they do have a lot of lookers and if you want to sell anything it is much better to have thousands look at your item than just a hand full at some out of the way dealer or from your local paper.... I have found that most of the Rvs that actually Sell are the ones with 'No Reserve" That means that the Market will set the price and if there are any out there that really want your coach they will bid against each other and run the price up to what they feel is a Fair Price for your RV.

    That will usually be around 70% of what a Dealer would want for the same RV on his lot.... It's a little scary to start your Sale off at $100.00 but They do Sell..... Go to the Ebay website and see for your self....Follow some of the units till they finish....You will see that the price will jump (sometimes drastically) at the last minute.. I would suggest a 14 day auction to give a little time for people to see your RV and think about it....

    Selling each unit separately would be the best.....Do mention in Each add that you have the other for sale and could give a little discount if both were purchased as a unit.... Keep in mind that many 5th wheel buyers will already have their own trucks.

    I would definitely avoid the storage idea, unless you plan on coming back for another visit. If time runs out then go with the Dealer option.
    Just make sure you get stuff in writing....Like how much commission he wants and how long he is going to hold it and does he have the right to place it with an Auction House (To sell it at Wholesale to another Dealer) and How and When you will get paid for the sale....

    Just consider how much money you saved by not staying in Hotels and eating at expensive restaurants....You could almost afford to "Give It Away"

    Good Luck And I hope you had a Wonderful Time while you were here......

  4. ironart

    ironart New Member

    Re: Advice From Pros About Selling An RV

    Harry.....One More Thing.......Take Good Pictures from several angles and include them in your ad. Many potential buyers will not be able to come and see your RV in person and will rely on those pictures to establish Value in their mind....
  5. Harry_

    Harry_ New Member

    Re: Advice From Pros About Selling An RV


    Thank's a lot for your advice!
  6. aussie Keith

    aussie Keith New Member

    Re: Advice From Pros About Selling An RV

    Harry, we did the same thing in 2006/7 when we bought a motorhome to do a year of touring the country. We bought the motorhome from a dealer and formed a freindly relationship with them which gave us some confidence in "giving" it back to them to sell on consignment before we left. The commission agreed was 10% of the sale price, which I believe is the norm. We were also happy to take a hit on the price we had paid a year before for a quick sale. Our view was that we had had a trip of a lifetime and the differential amount, spread over a year or more, would be reasonable and was the price that had to be paid for a great experience and some wonderful memories that would last forever.
    The timing you have is similar to ours in that it is just coming to the end of the RV season and not many think about buying one as it gets close to winter. Add the current credit crisis, lack of consumer confidence and rising gas prices and it all sounds very gloomy. But, we all like a bargain and there will be buyers ready to take advantage.
    We "lost" about 30-35% between buying and selling a used RV and walked away satisfied that we were very lucky to have done at all.
    In the same position I think there would be a number of choices: Put it in storage and go back and do it again next year. Put it in storage until Spring and sell then. Talk to a number of large dealers till you find one that you feel comfortable with and leave it with them to sell on consignment. It would have to be worth giving Ebay a try as it costs very little for that exercise. Also, you could advertise the package in you home country now, which would make it easier for others wanting to do the same trip. Again this will not cost a lot and is well worth a try.
    Good luck with it all and I hope it works out well.

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