Used RV Prices vs. NADA values

I'm in the market for a used Class C in California and I'm seeing a big difference between asking prices and the NADA values. For example I'm looking at a 1994 Itasca Sundancer 27 1/2' where the asking price is $18,500 and the "high retail" NADA value is $13,250. Is that normal for the California market? Should I feel comfortable from a resale perspective paying more than NADA?
Thanks, Chris


Senior Member
Used RV Prices vs. NADA values

NADA is an average, not an absolute. That said, it is at least an 'indication' what a unit is worth. It probably would be used in determining a loan, and as such, paying above high retail, (or even high retail itself) would seem to be a poor idea.

From a dealer, I would plan to pay low/average retail or below. From a private party, I would pay no higher than 1/2 way between wholesale and average retail. Keep in mind that some dealers jack the prices way up, because some people will pay whatever is asked, and the rest will react to a 'bargain' of only 10% more than it is worth :)

Of course NADA values are based on typical units of that age, assuming they are in 'ready to sell' condition. If a unit is exceptionally nice, and/or has had extensive modifications of value, a higher price is sometimes warrented. And if it has excessive wear, defects or lack of preparation, the value goes down. These 'plusses or minusses' should be applied to the NADA value to get the 'real' value. But usually, you don't want to pay over 'retail', and smart people want to pay less than retail.

If you find one you like, make an offer less than NADA (I generally start at wholesale). The only acceptable response you should allow is 'Sold', 'No, but how about xxxx' or 'Get out'. Anything else is hot air and should be totally ignored. Have the NADA value handy in case he tries a sob story. Never ever raise your offer until they have come down some. And I would suggest not paying over retail unless the unit is truely spectacular. Oh, and don't forget -- if it is not written down and signed, no promise or claim made has any value at all.
Used RV Prices vs. NADA values

Thanks for the quick response. Your advice mirrors what I was able to find on other forums after I made my post. Let's see how the seller(s) deal with the bad news...


Senior Member
Used RV Prices vs. NADA values

If you want to be sure, check out the Kelly Blue Book for RVs as it is probably used by more dealers than is the NADA book. But they will usually be fairly close. Also, if you are using a printed copy that was purchased by a subscriber in your area, prices should be pretty accurate since the books are adjusted by region. If you are using the free web information it is much less accurate.