Nada appraisal guide

I'm negotiating with a used car dealer :evil: to purchase 1998 24' Trail-Lite. We disagree over how to use the NADA guide for used travel trailers. He is adding to the base price all "options" such as A/C, furnace, cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, water heater, stereo, stabilizer jacks, aux battery, awning & skylight. I argued that most of these items came standard on the trailer and would be included in the base price. The base retail is $4380 :) but he is asking for $6,500 :( . Any help is appreciated!
Re: Nada appraisal guide

Are you looking at the NADA book or using their website? I'm using the NADA website and it does't show the standard features.
Are there old brochures available showing what the trailers came with?
Re: Nada appraisal guide

I am referring to the book. Every manufacture has a short list of standard features that are "packed" into the base price.

I could look on Monday to see what they say about Trail Lite. You would have find a dealer that handled them in that year to possibility find an old brochure.
Re: Nada appraisal guide

Thanks, I'd appreciate that. I looked at the camper today and will be going back Monday to get a thorough inspection. I'm ready to move up from the ol' pop up!


Senior Member
Re: Nada appraisal guide

Offer him what you want to start at. Probably don't start anything over low retail (and not including those standard features), if that high. The only acceptable responses are 'sold', a counter offer, or 'get out'. Any other response, you must walk out. You can check back in a bit and see if he still has it, and perhaps he will be more reasonable if he knows you are not the normal fool who will stay and subject himself to the standard used car dealer tricks. With good bargaining techniques, you should be able to get it for between low and average retail. And whatever you do, don't pay over average retail (without extra for the 'standard' features). You can save yourself gas and just flush money down the toilet at home :)

Frankly, I'd be very leary of buying a RV from a car dealer... or a RV dealership which did not handle that model new...
Re: Nada appraisal guide

I will look it up for you. If I am in they store tomorrow, I will grab the book and let you know then.

John, a lot of sales would be lost on used units if you were stuck on a dealer selling them new. Right now I have a couple of trade in units that I did not sell. There is nothing wrong with them, in fact they are both 2005 models. A Fleetwood Prowler Regal and Thor Chateau.

You are right about a car dealer, you can bet he has as little in it as possible. I have yet to see a car dealer want to trade for an RV.


Senior Member
Re: Nada appraisal guide

GTS, it may not be true about RV trade ins, but I have always been concerned when I saw a Ford in a Chevy dealership or vice versa. Perhaps I am full of it, but it seems to me if someone trades for another brand, then the chances that the trade in has some significant annoyances are much greater than if it was traded for another of the same brand. Like I say, may not be true for RVs, where a unit might have been traded for a different floor plan or some features not available from the same brand.
RE: Nada appraisal guide

First of all, I am not trying to offend or bother anyone by this. This is merely my opinion. Roasted, something is only worth what another is willing to pay for it (thats you!). I feel that the whole NADA thing is a giant joke. Maybe a place to start for a price, but not by any means something binding. Work this guy - dont be skurred. Seriously, Ive been researching prices for a while and what Ive found out is that it is definately a buyers market now. No lie, many people are practically giving these things away - Patience and he will probably call you with a lower price anyway. Dont forget that at this time, you run the show. Dont let anyone throw NADA in your face. Research yourself what other used simalar models are ACTUALLY selling for. This will give you an idea of actual value and what is and is not a good deal. Dont put up with someone throwing that NADA thing in your face. Besides, you will need all the extra money you can get to put back into this thing for unexpected problems and upgrades. Its amazing what a carefully spent grand did for my class C. Anyway, long story short, I take NADA for its literal meaning, well at least in spainish. :)

PS Patience always provides a better option. NADA on my truck was over $16 and I paid $8.

Re: Nada appraisal guide

You are correct, a lot of trade-ins are the result of someone getting rid of a problem. I've done it myself. On the other hand, I used to haul vehicles for about 8 local car dealerships. They would go to auctions and purchase vehicles and we would haul them home for resale. The dealers did not just buy their brands. They like to mix it up to attract more customers. The used market is separate from the new market. They realize that a used Chevy buyer is going to buy a used Chevy. A Ford dealership with a used Chevy just attracted more customers and visa-versa. They all do it. Once you are on the lot, they can show you everything they have, but they have to get you on the lot first.

In my case, there are no auctions around me selling RV's on a regular basis. My Chateau was traded in on Fifth Wheel and the Prowler is one we are selling for the owner.
Re: Nada appraisal guide

Actually the NADA book for Trail Lite does NOT tell what is included in the base price, very unusual.

If I had it on my lot, I would be asking the $4,380.00 and willing to deal.....
Re: Nada appraisal guide

Thanks for all your help. I too am leary of dealing with a used car lot. I was told it was the owner's trailer that he lived in while repairing damage to his house from Katrina, but curiously it does not smell of cigars. The local trailer dealers have only newer longer used trailers for sale. Its rare to find an older ultra light for sale down here. They must have floated away.
By the way, I heard on the news there are 63,000 FEMA trailers in use in Louisiana.