Can You Trade In Your Motorcycle for an RV or Camper? (Explained)


If you dream of buying an RV or camper and currently own a motorcycle, you may consider trading in your bike.

Many dealerships are open to trade-ins of motorcycles, and your bike may bring down the price of your dream RV so that you can afford it. 

You can trade-in your motorcycle for an RV or camper at dealerships that accept non-traditional trade-ins such as motorcycles. You may find dealerships such as General RV and Lazydays RV nationwide to help you facilitate your motorcycle trade-in and reduce the costs of purchasing your dream RV. 

Trading in your bike for an RV offers many advantages, although the trade-in price will be lower than selling your motorcycle privately.

For ease of transaction and increased security in your transaction, a trade is a viable alternative.

If you are considering trading your two wheels for a fifth wheeler or camper, here’s the process explained. 

What is ‘Trade-in Value’?

Your motorcycle’s trade-in value is the RV dealership’s valuation of your bike when you take the trade-in option for your RV purchase.

This amount will show on your RV purchase contract, and your dealer will deduct it from your new RV price. However, the trade-in value and the actual worth of your motorcycle when sold in the market do differ. 

Typically, trade-in value for motorcycles is lower than their market value and reflects the Actual Cash Value or ACV of the trade-in on the dealer’s inventory books.

Your chosen RV dealership will evaluate your motorcycle’s worth according to the Kelly Blue book (KBB) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) values as well as auction prices to set the dollar amount.

Typically, the dealer will take into account:

  • Mileage
  • Physical condition
  • Color
  • Optional equipment
  • Market demand. 

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

How Do You Calculate the Value of Your Bike?

You might have often heard the term’ book value’ regarding vehicle trade-ins and retail. The book value refers to the market value of your motorcycle according to its make and year of manufacture.

The Kelly Blue Book or KBB is the basis for the term and is considered a definitive guide to used motorcycle value. 

The other primary resource is the National Automobile Dealers Association, run by JD Power, which licensed the NADA name.

The NADA Guides provide value guides on various vehicles, including motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft, and snowmobiles. 

Read also: RV Depreciation // How Much Do Campers Really Depreciate?

Calculating Your Motorcycle Trade-In Value via KBB

KBB creates its valuation from various sources, including auctions, dealer sales reports, and surveys. They also consider consumer listings, and the current market, and the state of the economy.

KBB considers two potential values of your motorcycle according to its make and model called ‘Typical Listing Price’ and ‘Trade-In Value.’ 

The Typical Listing Price refers to the value of your bike you will expect to receive when trading in your motorcycle in good condition with all of its original parts.

The Trade-In value is what you would expect to pay for a used motorcycle of the same year in good condition from a dealership. KBB also takes into account:

  • Additional equipment value for additions to your bike that may increase its resale value, such as cruise control or an engine guard (assumed to be in good condition.)
  • The previous owners use of the motorcycle, and the road conditions take precedence over mileage when KBB evaluates the worth of your bike. 

Read also: How to Take Over Payments On a Motorcycle (Harley Davidson Bike)

Calculating Your Motorcycle Trade-In Value Via NADA

NADA calculates the value of your bike by year, model, and make and offers an option of values for the condition of your motorcycle, such as:

  • Excellent
  • Very good
  • Fair 
  • Poor.

NADA compiles its value listings from a variety of sources, including over one and a half million vehicle sales a month.

They also use the latest technology to obtain their statistics and analytics. NADA also allows you to compare three chosen motorcycles and compare them, providing up to four prices which include:

  • The manufacturers suggested retail price or MSRP according to the standard equipment.
  • The suggested list price which is the highest value of your specific bike when it was in showroom condition via dealerships and manufacturers price-lists
  • The low retail price for motorcycles of the same year and model which are in a poor state but still roadworthy. These include damages such as dents and blemishes on the bodywork.
  • The average retail price for a motorcycle of the same year and make that is in good condition and without apparent defects. This value takes into account that the bike should show an average mileage.

What are the Advantages of Trading in Your Motorcycle for an RV?

Everyone has experienced the headache of selling a valuable item on craigslist or eBay. Privates sales are not for the faint-hearted with potential time wasters, inviting strangers to your home, or worries about test rides.

The difference in value between retail and trade might be well worth it in terms of time and effort. Other advantages include:

  • Ease of transaction, a trade-in means you can purchase your RV and sell your bike in one transaction, reducing the price of your RV purchase
  • You can use the trade-in amount as a down payment for your RV
  • You may find tax advantages to trading in your car because most states only charge tax on the difference between the trade-in value of your motorcycle and the new RV price. 

Read also: How To Take Over Payments On An RV Legally – All You Need To Know

What are the Disadvantages of Trading Your Motorcycle for an RV?

Trade-in values are generally lower than retail values for several reasons. Although trade-ins offer convenience and eliminate the hassle of selling your motorcycle yourself, it does come at a cost.

This cost is the difference between the retail value of your bike and the retail value. 

Although the retail price of advertised motorcycles of the same make and model of your own may appear substantially more than your RV dealership’s trade-in offer, this is not always the case. 

Often private sellers place a higher value on their motorcycles to allow them leeway to ‘haggle’ with potential buyers, and often they sell for lower than their advertised amounts.

This actual selling price vs. advertised price somewhat narrows the gap between your expected retail price and what your dealership might be offering you as a trade-in on your potential RV. 

The lower trade-in value is often due to these primary factors:

  • Dealerships often need to recondition their motorcycle trade-ins before placing them back on the market. Thus the dealer would have to face the costs of restoring your motorcycle to peak resale condition
  • The trade value is lower than the retail because the dealership needs to add their profit margin to the selling price of your motorcycle

Is Trading Your Motorcycle in for an RV a Good Option?

Although trading in your bike for a new camper certainly streamlines the process, you stand to lose a certain percentage of your retail value for your bike.

However, you may save on tax in certain states by being taxed only on the amount outstanding less your trade-in.

“Dealerships are often a safer bet in the long run because dealings with private customers carry with them potential risk.”

Trade-ins also facilitate speed of sale, where you will know how much and when your bike will change hands.

Selling privately, you have no guarantee when you will find a buyer and receive the payment, as motorcycle sales are often seasonal.

Dealerships take the paperwork off your hands and the after-sales responsibility should anything go wrong with your bike. 

Tips for Trading in Your Motorcycle for an RV 

  • Know the value of your motorcycle by doing your research via KBB or NADA, and come prepared to negotiate and substantiate the value you seek in the trade-in. 
  • Choose an RV dealership that specializes in non-traditional trade-ins such as motorcycles. Dealerships that specialize in auto trade-ins may not have the expertise in motorcycle valuations and offer you a lower trade-in price than those who are knowledgeable about motorcycles. 
  • Clean your bike thoroughly and make sure every part of your bike, and polish every piece of metal that can be polished. Replace all worn parts and make your motorcycle look as new as possible 
  • Take off your modifications because although you might think they look great, personalization may affect your trade-in value negatively. You can always sell your mods to other bike enthusiasts to recoup their value. 
  • Shop around at your local dealerships to ensure that you get the best trade-in value for your motorcycle. Even though it may be tempting when your dream RV is on offer, you should spend some time comparing your trade-in value to ensure you get the best deal. 

Where Can I Trade My Motorcycle for an RV or Camper?

It would be best if you shopped around your local RV dealerships, and you will be sure to find a dealer willing to accept motorcycle trade-ins.

Although some may accept your motorcycle as a trade-in, you should seek dealers who regularly carry non-traditional trade in such as bikes.

delaerships who regularly accept motocycles as trade ins will be more knowledgeable about the value and the condition of your particular bike. 

Two well-established RV dealers who accept motorcycle trade-ins are General RV and Lazydays RV, which you may find in multiple states in the USA.

General RV

General RV operates its RV dealerships nationwide and boasts over 13 supercenters and over 500 service bays.

In operation since 1962, they have built a solid reputation in the field of RV trading. Their extensive 6000+ list includes family-friendly trailers, fifth wheel, and luxury motorhomes. 

Lazydays RV 

Lazydays is an iconic brand in the RV industry, and they have been in operation since 1976 and have an outstanding reputation in the industry.

Lazydays welcomes motorcycle trade-ins on their RVs and offers the largest selection of luxury diesel RVs brands in the industry.

They boast over 3000 new and used RVs from 78 manufacturers and 400 service bays, 700 campsites, and even an RV resort in their Florida headquarters. 


It is quite possible to trade in your motorcycle for the RV or camper you desire, and by trading the bike in, you stand to save time and effort of selling the bike yourself.

Trade-ins at reputable dealerships are often a safer alternative to selling your motorcycle yourself.

You may also use your bike’s trade-in value to bring down both the cost and taxes of your purchase price and bring you one step closer to owning your dream RV.  


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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