Whether it’s about ditching the old camper for something a little more modern or getting rid of something that no longer gets used, there’s no sense in letting the old machine waste away on the property. What do you do with an Old RV? There are a handful of things that one could do with an old motorhome or RV and some of these things might even make some money. Of course, what one can do with the old RV often depends on the shape it is in and the model. The more beat up the vehicle is, the harder it will be to sell, which is another reason to make a move before it sits on the property for too long. While certain locations might offer some unique opportunities, the most common ways to deal with a motorhome include:
- Selling it online or wherever possible
- Giving/selling it to a fisherman or hunter
- Donating it to charity
- Scrapping, dismantling or taking it to the dump
- Repurpose, Renovate and Flip
Not everybody will have the same opportunities and there are other factors such as time sensitivity and personal preference that influence decisions. Selling the old RV is not always the most efficient way to get the job done and in time-sensitive situations, it’s usually easier to scrap it or give it away. Luckily, selling and scrapping aren’t the only options and if time isn’t an issue, exploring these other options might be worthwhile.
Selling the Motorhome
Before selling the motorhome, it is a good idea to go online and figure out what the vehicle is worth. Some styles are vintage and worth more than others, especially if they are in good condition. Somebody who is unfamiliar with these vehicles might not know but a simple search can save a person from scrapping something valuable. Otherwise, it’s possible to sell RVs on Craigslist, eBay, or a similar online marketplace. Sometimes all sellers need to do is spread the word around time and potential buyers will pop up from time to time. Nobody can really predict who is going to be looking for an old camper trailer or RV but people buy these things for all sorts of different reasons. Some people renovate and flip them, others will salvage as much as they can and scrap the rest, and some people will keep them for personal use. With the right buyer, the RV doesn’t even need to be in working condition. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a seller will get a lot of money but some money is often better than no money. Also, sellers shouldn’t rule out the idea of selling things individually. While somebody may not be interested in an entire vehicle, he or she might be interested in the refrigerator, microwave,
air conditioner for example.
Reach Out to Local Fisherman and Hunters
RVs sometimes make the ultimate hunting trailer and some of the hunters and fishermen in your area might be in the market for a used vehicle or pull-behind trailer camper. Of course, hunters and fishermen can buy brand-new trailers that are specifically meant for the trips that they take but not everybody will be able to afford a brand-new trailer. Some hunters and fishermen, especially those on a budget, might be thrilled to get their hands on an old trailer where they would be able to sleep and store their gear. In general, people who spend a lot of time outdoors might show some interest in a camper that works and isn’t in too bad shape but it all depends on the type of community that the seller lives in. These people might be friends, acquaintances, or individuals who are famous around town for their hunting and fishing hobbies. Sellers might reach out to specific individuals or simply spread the word around the hunting and fishing communities and see if anybody is interested. It could be a longshot but there’s really no harm in trying, as it is impossible to predict who might or might not be interested. If one were able to find a buyer this way, he or she would be able to get rid of the old motorhome without contributing to the junkyard or landfill.
Donate the Motorhome to Charity
There are also many charities that accept donations of RVs and motorhomes so believe it or not, that RV that has been sitting out on your property can be used to help local children or patients with breast cancer, among other recipients. The charities will use your donation to fund their
research or programs and unlike the last two options, this is an immediate solution. Working with a charity means that sellers don’t have to put resources into sprucing up their motorhomes or marketing them to potential buyers; most importantly, they wouldn’t have to wait. Charities make it extremely easy to get rid of the vehicle and they usually take care of everything, including paperwork and the collection of the vehicle itself.
A lot of the time, charities will be auctioning off the vehicle to make money that allows them to continue doing charitable work. This means that sellers can feel good about where their RVs are going but it also means that charities may reject a donation offer based on the condition of the old RV. However, if they do accept the vehicle, donors get all of the following
- Knowledge that the RV went to a good cause
- Hassle-free removal process with no paperwork
- Environmentally friendly method
- Free towing and collection
For a lot of potential donors, the last point is especially attractive. For most non-profit organizations, donations such as these are tax deductible so donors get to feel good about contributing to a cause, they get to enjoy the convenience of free collection services, and they get to deduct the vehicle from their taxes later. The problem is that charities such as these don’t exist in every city so this won’t be an option for everybody. Lastly, if the camper is just a trailer and not a vehicle, it may not be eligible as a donation.
Ask the Local Scrap or Junk Yard
If selling it doesn’t feel as if it is an option and there don’t appear to be any charities willing to accept the old trailer or RV as a donation, the local scrap yards are another potential solution. Some scrap yards may even offer to buy the RV in the same way they buy old cars but this can vary from place to place. In general, a scrap yard’s willingness to accept an RV is often unpredictable. The other option is to sell the vehicle to the junk yard or salvage yard. With both places, it is possible to get money for the vehicle. However, a salvage yard would typically offer more money given that they will be salvaging parts and selling them to make a profit. Scrap yards aren’t usually automotive-specific so they are just in it for the metal. Only the other hand, since salvage yards are often automotive-specific, they may not want an old camper trailer that is simply a pull-behind, in which case owners would have more luck just scrapping the metal. It all depends on what facilities are in the area and what kind of vehicles those facilities take in. If neither place is willing to take the motorhome, there is always the dump; while the dump won’t pay, this is an easy and free way to dispose of an unwanted vehicle.
Dismantle and sell the parts
The other option is to dismantle it and deal with the parts separately. Not everybody needs an entire camper but there may be some people in need of some spare parts. By dismantling the camper piece by piece, owners can sell to different people who are in the market for different things. For example, some people may want mechanical parts and other people may be interested in the furniture. Regardless, dismantling the vehicle means separating parts by material and value. Scrap yards often pay more for materials that have already been separated so if there is time, dismantling the old RV could prove to be more worthwhile, regardless if the buyer is a person or a scrap facility.
Renovate & Repurpose Or Renovate & Sell For A Profit (Or Just Keep It)
Lastly, individuals or families in the mood for a DIY project might just keep the camper for themselves and there is plenty of room to be creative here. Campers get repurposed all the time and they could be turned into anything from a home office or library to a hangout spot or guest bedroom. If the camper was completely refurbished and pleasant to be in, owners could
potentially rent it out as well. Refurbishing an old camper could be a profitable and fun project. Interiors can be refurbished, modernized, or completely transformed and there are innumerable features that could be added, such as solar panels, modern technology, and functional appliances. If you have one of the classic RV’s such as Air Stream, Aladdin, Shasta or Winnebago consider looking further into the value as you might have a gem on your hands with high demand. There is an entire community around flipping, renovating and camping together in vintage RV’s. I wrote another article "How much does a vintage RV Cost?" you can read it here. In the article you can find more information and links to other sites with more information on identifying and valuing your old RV.