Is There An RV Blue Book?
When you’re buying or selling a used RV, you’d probably like to reference Kelley Blue Book to research the RV’s current value, like you would with a car, truck, motorcycle, or personal watercraft.
Unfortunately, Kelley Blue Book does not evaluate used recreational vehicles, even though an internet search will connect you to a website named RVBlueBooks.com. This domain name is a little deceptive because at first glance it seems like you have connected with the familiar Kelley Blue Book service we have learned to depend on with other types of motorized equipment, but the site actually only provides a private valuation.
To be clear, the Kelley Blue Book suite of reference tools are listed on the internet at KBB.com/[vehicle type]. Unfortunately, in a cursory search of the internet, it would be easy to assume that a site named RVBlueBook.com will connect you with an actual Blue Book for RVs, but it does not!
What is NADA?
Don’t despair, there’s a similar valuation service that is as accurate and reliable as KBB. These RV valuations are provided by NADA which is based on JD Powers nationally recognized vehicle valuation database.
On this site, you can do your own research to immediately access a base price for any RV or drill down further by describing all the features of a particular RV and receive an even more accurate assessment of its value.
To obtain an immediate valuation, follow the prompts on the site:
- Start here
- Select an RV Manufacturer (if you don’t see your manufacturer in the preliminary list, locate the box below that list to access over 2100 RV manufacturers, even the ones that are no longer in business)
- Choose your model
- Enter the mileage
You also have the option to add more comprehensive information about an RV’s condition and equipment to get more accurate feedback.
Online valuations for RVs
In addition to the NADA online valuation, there are additional resources you can use to obtain an estimate of an RV’s value. Among those are organizations like RVBlueBooks.com (as mentioned above) that provide a unique valuation based on your description of the RV, but you’ll also need to provide personal information like your name, phone number, email address, and the reason you need a valuation.
For the purpose of writing this article, I did complete one of those forms indicating that I wanted to know the value of our new Class A Canyon Star, for the purpose of selling it. Unfortunately, now I’ll probably be on dozens of mailing lists and I’ll receive even more junk mail. But it was an inconvenience I’m willing to endure to be sure I’m providing you with the best possible information. The NADA form gave me an immediate value but I have not yet received an estimate from the RVBlueBook form I submitted. I suspect I will get more junk mail than actual information that is helpful and certainly the information I was seeking from them has not been returned timely.
Do your own valuation through comparison
Another way to determine what your RV is worth is to find similar equipment in places like RVTrader.com, RVClassified.com, or AirstreamClassifieds.com.
Basically, you can use these resources to determine what prices have been assigned to similar equipment. Of course, that doesn’t tell you what prices were listed on equipment that has already been sold, so you don’t know if the asking price in those consignment publications will result in a sale or not. The more RVs that closely match your particular RV, the better this type of valuation by comparison will be. If there are no other RVs of your make or milage, the valuation through comparison option is not helpful.
Search RV classifieds
Additionally, I attempted to value my Newmar RV through both of these consignment organizations and found a few similar models on the RV Trader website but none on RV Classified. I modified my search a couple of times on RV Classified and still could not find any matches, so I was forced to conclude that RV Trader has the more comprehensive database.
I also tried to match consignment RVs to the Class A motorhome we had before buying the Newmar Canyon Star, and I found matches on RV Trader but not on the RV Classified site. That rig was from a manufacturer that is not even in business today, and the year of the RV was 1999 so the likelihood that I would find comparable RVs in any database was pretty remote. Surprisingly, I found a few RVs for comparison on RV Trader.
To give RV Classified the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they have a more comprehensive database for other RV types, such as fifth wheels and travel trailers. I only searched these databases for Class A motorhomes and did not look for travel trailers, or other types of RVs. Therefore, I keep both links in this post so you can determine which, if any, of these consignment businesses might be useful for you.
Use a VIN number for specific data
Finally, for a small fee, you can use services such as Been Verified to determine the value of an RV as well as check to see if it has been damaged in a wreck, salvaged, or stolen. You enter the VIN number of the RV and Been Verified reports all relevant information located in public records related to that particular RV.
How to determine the value of an RV
The bottom line is there are several ways to determine the value of an RV. Some are more useful and accurate than others, like NADA RV valuations or using comparable vehicles found in the national consignment database, but one thing is certain: there is no Kelley Blue Book valuations available for RVs because that is the one type of vehicle KBB does not monitor.
Ben Hirsch takes you through the quick video below to help you determine the value of your RV:
Is your RV losing value?
For more tips, check out this Do It Yourself RV article on 5 Things Making Your RV Lose Value.