Can You Trade an RV For A Boat? (Sailboat and Pontoon Boat)


Can You Trade an RV For A Boat

If you have an RV or Camper that you never use anymore and are considering buying a boat, sailboat, or pontoon boat, trading one for the other can be an excellent idea.

This way, you can get rid of the hassle of selling the RV and then looking for a boat to buy. Just find a boat owner who wants an RV. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Can you trade an RV for a boat? Yes, you can trade an RV for a boat in many different ways, from a simple trade to a consignment, or even a trade-up at a local dealership. It can be simple if you are lucky enough to find someone who has the boat of your dreams that would be willing to trade for your RV.

But it is not always that easy.

There are many ways to go about this type of deal. You just have to decide what is the best way for your situation. So, you can easily trade your RV, camper for a sailboat or a Pontoon boat.

Let’s go over some of the most popular ways to trade your RV for a boat.

Just Doing a Simple Trade

Although it may sound easy, trading your RV for a boat can be a bit complicated. First, you have to find someone who is trading a boat that you would like to have.

Then, you have to find out if they are willing to trade it for what you are trading.

It can take a while because there are many people out there who want to trade but may not have what you want or vice versa.

If your RV is an older model or has any issues, you may not be able to find anyone who wants to trade a boat for it. Just remember, you have to have what they want too.

It will not do much good for you to find the perfect boat if the owner is not willing to trade for what you have.

If you find the boat you have been looking for and they will not trade, it may be smart to offer some money on the side.

There Are Different Types of RVs

You also have to consider the value of an RV against a boat. Of course, they all have different values depending on the type.

Here are some of the most common types of RVs:

  • Class A is a large motorhome of about 21 to 45 feet that uses either diesel or gas. They often have a plethora of accessories from flat-screen TVs to full bedrooms with bathrooms.
  • Class B or camper van is a van with a large living space inside. They are usually about 20 to 25 feet long and have many amenities like beds and toilets.
  • Class C is a motorhome built over a truck chassis. Unlike the class B, they have a cabin over the driving space with a bedroom as well as other amenities. They range from 20 to 30 feet in length.
Class C Motorhome
  • Fifth wheel is a towable camper with tons of room and a lot of amenities. They have more room because they are pulled by a vehicle so there is no need for a driver’s seat area. They can be up to 40 feet long.
  • Travel trailer is a conventional trailer pulled by a vehicle that is a little over half the size of a fifth wheel. However, you can find them with plenty of amenities as well as slide outs to make them larger. They range in size from 25 to 30 feet long. But some of the newer ones are over 40 feet long.

Related reading: How Do RV Rentals Work: 7 Expert Tips

The Different Types of Boats

There are also different types of boats. These are the most common types of boats you may see on the water today:

  • Fishing boats are specifically for fishing. They come in different sizes depending on what type of water you will be fishing on. A freshwater boat for rivers and lakes can be small with a trolling and outboard motor as well as live wells and rod holders. An offshore boat is taller and stronger to withstand the harsher conditions of the ocean. Freshwater boats are usually about 15 to 20 feet while offshore vessels are larger than 30 feet.
  • Deck boats also come in different sizes and types, but all have a significant deck size for groups of people to enjoy. These may include a pontoon boat with a wide beam or a smaller v-shaped boat with a lot of seating. They are typically 25 to 35 feet long.
  • Cabin boats are luxury family boats that have most of the amenities of home while on the water. There is a cabin with A/C and heating as well as beds and seating. They are usually 20 to 40 feet long.
  • Jet boats can hold up to 10 people with plenty of seating while still being able to speed around the lake or meander along the sandbar looking for a place to swim. They are typically about 15 to 28 feet long.
Jet Boat
  • Yachts come in various types and sizes. They can be run on sail power or motor. To be considered a yacht, the vessel must be over 33 feet long while the average is about 75 feet. 
  • Houseboats are for long cruises or living on the water. Unless you have a super amazing RV or want to trade with a big chunk of cash, you are not likely to find a houseboat owner willing to trade for your rig. Houseboats can have several bedrooms and living spaces with a kitchen area and restrooms. And these monsters can be up to 70 feet long.

What About Consignment?

If you do not want to deal with the hassle of haggling with people, you can try consignment.

There is certainly no shortage of dealers online who are willing to sell or trade your boat on consignment for you. You do not have to pay anything up front and they will do all the marketing and dealing for you.

But it comes at a cost. Sometimes a high cost. The fee is typically about 15% to 20% of the final sale price.

With consignment, you have to sign a contract to let them hang onto the RV for a period of time.

So, even if you find a seller tomorrow, if you just consigned with a dealer yesterday, you cannot sell it until that contract is up.

And unlike putting your rig up for sale while still using it, your RV will be locked away at the dealership either until it sells, or your contract is up.

You Can Just Sell Your RV

If you do not want to deal with the hassle of trading and also do not want to pay a consignment fee, you can just sell the RV yourself.

Then just use the money you make in the sale to buy that boat you want.

This way, you won’t have to find someone who has the right boat who is also willing to trade for your RV.

How Much is My RV Worth? Value Your Trade

The answer to this depends on several factors such as the:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Size
  • Year
  • Mileage
  • Condition

Here are some examples of values from J.D. Power and Associates NADA guides:

  • A Coachmen 2017 Class A RV with 100,000 miles on it has a value of between $121,000 to $146,000.
  • A 2017 Class B Coachmen with 100,000 miles is worth between $53,000 to $64,000.
  • The 2017 Class C Coachmen with 100,000 miles on it, is worth about $32,000 to $38,000.
  • A 2017 Coachmen fifth wheel is worth between $32,000 and 39,000.
  • An average 2017 Coachmen travel trailer is valued at between $17,000 to $20,000.

RV Trade In: Where Can You Market Your RV?

At All Seasons RV & Marine, we have several different ways for our customers to market their current RVs or Boats.

We can either take them in as a trade-in, and give you a fair market value, or simply sell your RV or Boat for you as a consignment.

Which means we do all the advertising, pricing and financing on your behalf.

The Bottom Line

These are just the average prices of one of the most common RV manufacturers in the United States (Coachmen).

Your RV may be worth more or less depending on your amenities and condition of the vehicle.

Take some time to look around at different boats before deciding whether to trade your RV or sell it. You may decide to keep both.

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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