youtubeIf you recently purchased an RV, welcome to RVing and all the adventures that await you in the Pacific Northwest. After searching for an RV and purchasing it, most RVers are excited to get out and enjoy their newly purchased RV and that’s great! However, sooner or later you will either sell it or trade it for another RV. Start maximizing your RVs resale value today, by following these 8 tips.

1. Use it frequently

While you would think the more use an RV has the less it will be worth at time of resale, this is not always true, as using your RV regularly helps keep the operating systems in good working order and spot problems early, that may arise, before they become worse.

For example—if the generator in an RV isn’t operated regularly, parts begin to corrode, bearings aren’t lubricated, fuel gums up, and dirt and dust collect where it shouldn’t. Many RV owners have gone to their RV dealers complaining that the generator in their ten-year-old RV shouldn’t have failed after only eight hours of use. Lack of use is the problem.

While the mileage reading on the odometer of a motorhome will somewhat impact the value, it will be negligible if you follow the other tips listed below, so use it!

2. Odors

Odors inside an RV will send buyers down the road to look at the next RV on their list. If you smoke, do so outside of your RV. Avoid frying greasy foods like bacon inside of your RV. If you must fry odiferous foods in your RV, always run the stove exhaust van to vent odors outside. Pet owners can minimize pet odors by placing a cover(s) on any upholstered items where your pet likes to reside.

3. Don’t change the decor

While RV manufacturers aren’t perfect, they hire interior decorators that know what looks good and sells. Avoid any permanent interior decorating projects like painting the walls/ceiling, installing vinyl wallpaper, adding trim work, carpeting over vinyl flooring, or any other “improvements” that can’t be returned to near original when it is time to sell your RV. While you may think green shag carpet looks great in your RV, potential buyers may not.

4. Avoid holes in the walls

If you need to hang pictures or coat hooks, avoid using nails or screws that will result in a hole in the wall. Instead use 3M Command Hooks or other removable hanging devices that can easily be removed by you or the next owner without leaving holes.

Similarly, if you have an accessory like a satellite TV tuner or solar system that you plan on moving to your next RV, consider ways to install them without drilling holes to route the wires.

Tuners can be anchored to countertops or shelves with double-sided tape and solar wiring can be routed through the refrigerator roof vent into the interior of the RV without holes being drilled to accommodate the wiring. Those looking to buy your RV will appreciate the lack of holes.

5. Don’t muck up the exterior with stickers

While it may seem fun to let people know where your travels have taken you, putting national park stickers for the parks you have visited, or bucket list items you have accomplished on your RV will diminish the value of your RV.

Many believe stickers can be easily peeled off when it is time to sell the RV, but even if they easily come off the exterior of the RV (which they won’t) they will alter the finish via “ghosting”. Ghosting occurs from the sticker protecting the underlying surface from the suns UV rays. When the sticker is removed you will notice a “ghost” image caused via the contrast between where the sticker has been protecting the siding from the fading effects of the sun and the faded siding that surrounded it.

 If you are unable to leave the stickers in the gift shop, place them on the window glass of your RV where they can be removed with a razor blade without causing damage to the glass or show sun fade.

6. Take care of fabrics and woodwork

Fabrics and wood trim are one of the first items that will become obsolete from the manufacturer and can’t be replaced when it is time to sell your RV. Take care of fabrics by cleaning them regularly and limiting the amount of UV exposure from the sun. Cover windows or close the blinds when the RV is not in use to preserve fabrics.

If a wood trim piece becomes damaged, try to repair it immediately with glue or small brads while it is easy to do so. For scratches, use wood color felt pens that match the color.

7. Protect and care for the exterior factory-installed decals

As your RV ages, exterior decals will begin to crack, peel, and fade. Cracked and peeling decals are unsightly and will expose the less faded siding underneath, adding to the unsightliness.

Protect them by waxing the sides of the RV including the decals and take action when you see a decal cracking or peeling by repairing it.

8. Perform all required maintenance

Taking the time to perform regular maintenance like changing oil, keeping the roof and side walls properly sealed, changing/cleaning air filters, bearing maintenance, etc. will assure your RV is in top shape for you and the next owner.

By maintaining and keeping your RV looking good using the tips above, you can expect to receive maximum resale value when it is time to sell. Until then, enjoy your new RV!

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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