You’ve probably seen the advertisements before about how you can trade-in your current car to a dealer for a newer, different car, but you probably haven’t seen anything like that offered for an RV or camper trade-in.
If you own an RV or camper that you don’t use or need anymore, it may sound like a good idea to trade it in for a car that you would get more use out of, but can you actually do this?
While an RV is considered a vehicle, they are different from regular cars. The bells and whistles, value over time, and demand are all different which changes the trade price and opportunity for a fair trade.
Yes, you can trade in an RV or a Camper for a car. However, the price that you will get offered for your RV depends on a few key factors like the year, make, model, condition, etc. You need to remember that your next car loan will be added to your original loan so you will end up owing even more money.
This kind of trade is really not the best, but if you are someone who doesn’t mind making payments every month then there’s nothing to worry about.
RVs, like cars, depreciate in value very quickly, especially as they get older and used.
To help save you time and money, you will find everything you need to know about this situation discussed in a simple way that is easy for all to understand.
Table of Contents
Why Someone Would Want To Trade Their RV For A Car
RVs and campers are extremely useful vehicles as they can be a literal home on wheels for those who use them.
Motorhomes can make traveling and road trip a much more enjoyable experience and they can provide an affordable living situation for those in states that allow them to do this.
“So, with all the benefits of an RV, why would someone want to trade that in for a car? RVs can be expensive and similar to cars; they lose value fairly quickly as the years go by.
Yearly registration renewals, insurance, and gas can all be quite expensive for RV owners as well.”
If you own an RV or camper that you only use once or twice a year, these expenses will often overrule the actual benefits of owning one.
Maintaining an Campervan regularly can also be quite a pain when you aren’t using it often and the amount of space that larger RVs take up can also be a nuisance.
In these instances, it would be much more worth it to trade in your RV for a car that you would use on a regular basis.
For many people, it can often be hard to find the money to buy a new car in full or even to make a down payment, so trading in your Motorhome for a car can be a really worthy deal.
How The Trading Process Works
To begin the trading process you’ll first need to locate a car dealer that is willing to accept an RV trade for a car. Not all car dealers are willing to do this, so you may have to do some research and calling around before you find some that do.
It’s also best to find multiple dealers in your area that are willing to do this trade as not all offers may be the same. You’ll want to give yourself a few options instead of taking the first deal that comes to you.
Once you have found some car dealers that are willing to work with you, you will then need to meet with them in person to discuss the trade. You and the dealer will need to discuss the details of your RV including the year, make, model, condition, and anything else that will affect the overall value of the RV.
The car dealer you are working with will then begin calling other RV dealers to find one that is willing to buy the RV. Now here is when price really comes into play. If the price of your RV is currently valued at $40k, for example, the RV dealer will most likely cut the price in half and only offer $20k.
This is because the Motorhome will then sit on the RV dealer’s lot until it sells, which no one knows how long that will be, and they still need to make a profit from it as well.
“An honest car dealer may just tell you this outright, however, most car dealers also want to make a profit so they will probably give you an even lower price of $15k.”
For those looking to make a fair trade, this can appear to be a huge loss having a $40k RV that will only sell for $15k.
At that point, the car that you are looking to trade your RV in for has to be $15k or less in order to make a flat trade with no extra money owed.
If the car that you’re looking to trade for is worth more than the price they give you, for example, that $15k will go towards a car loan as a down payment and you will have to owe the rest in the future, most likely as monthly lease payments.
If the trade with your car dealer works to your liking, then you will hand the title and the RV over to the dealer and drive away in your new car.
Conditions Affecting Your Trade
If your RV is only two years old, the price could have already been cut in half, which is a big loss to someone who has paid in full or still owes money to a lender.
If you paid in full and nothing else is owed for your RV, then it’s up to you to decide how much loss you are willing to take.
There will most likely not be a case in which you profit from this kind of trade. In all honesty, the best you can get is to trade your RV for a car that you hopefully really like.
If you still owe money towards a loan for your RV, this is when things will get a bit more complicated.
Going back to the pricing example above, if your initial loan for the RV was $40k and the RV dealer is only willing to buy it for $20k or $15k, you will still owe the money remaining on your loan.
Is It Worth It?
Whether it’s worth it or not to trade in your Campervan for a car is very subjective and varies from person to person. You have to take in all the information above and truly decide if this situation works best for you or not.
For some people, this may be a very positive experience and for others, they may not be getting exactly what they hoped out of it.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of selling your RV on your own and money isn’t an issue for you, then making this trade can be a great opportunity.
If you’re someone who is making monthly loan payments towards an RV and are looking to switch those payments towards owning a car, then it could also work.
Just remember to lower your expectations and don’t expect to get the best deal as you are working with people who are looking to make a profit by helping you.
Pros And Cons
There are many takeaways surrounding an RV trade-in for a car, and it’s a lot of information to take in all at once.
To make things more clear, here is a more simplified list of the pros and cons of making this kind of trade.
- Takes the hassle away from selling your RV
- Allows you to trade your RV for a car of your liking
- Provides a quick solution for getting rid of your RV
- Turns a vehicle you don’t use into a vehicle you will use
- Trading makes it easy to switch loan payments
- Your RV will sell for much less than it is worth
- You may end up owing more money if you had a loan on the RV
- Dealers will try to make a profit off of your trade
- Unless you trade your RV for a cheaper car, you will most likely owe money
- Trades like this often result in some sort of loss
For those who may not think trading your RV into a dealer for a car is worth it, there are other options that may work better for you.
The first is selling your RV yourself so that no one else is making a profit on selling the RV for you.
If you can find a buyer, all the money from your sale price goes to you, unless you have a loan to pay off.
“Even if you do have a loan to pay off, your chances of completely paying it off or getting close are much higher than having the dealer sell it for you.“
Another option for those who are making monthly payments on their RV is to find someone to take over your payments.
Many people like to do this because they are often getting a better deal than they could if they started payments with a dealer for a new RV.
Some people may even want to outright trade their own car for your RV, so you may be able to find someone to do the trade with you without any dealers involved at all.
You can place ads on Craigslist, Facebook, or any other forum or marketplace that people will see the offer.
While you may not always get the trade you are looking for, trading your RV for a car with a dealer is simpler and more convenient than having to do all the work yourself.
It can be a great opportunity for those who are just done with owning an RV and are looking to have something they will use more often, like a car.
If you do choose to do this, just make sure to discuss all the details with your dealer so that you can be happy with your trade!
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