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How Do You Get The Best Price When Selling Your Van Camper?

Ram Promaster with a for sale sign in window

Selling your van camper is something you are planning to do in the near future and you want to be prepared when you are ready to sell. I did some research on selling a van camper for the best price and this is what I found.

So how do you get the best price when selling your van camper? Getting the best price when selling your van camper depends on a few key factors such as price point, cleanliness, vehicle history and how you are going to market your van camper.

Whether you are selling your van camper because you tried van camping and find that you really disliked doing it or perhaps you want to move on to a different van camper that suits the needs of your family better you will want to be sure to get the best price possible for your van camper.

Getting the Best Price For Your Van Camper

As with selling a car, boat or house there are similar steps to take in selling your van camper. There is actually a lot of preparation that you can do ahead of time to make the sale of your van camper go smoothly and without any hitches.

You will need to do some research to find out the exact price you should ask for your van camper to ensure that you are making the best deal possible.

Just like curb appeal when you are selling a house, how is your van campers’ “curb appeal” when someone comes to look at it? Making your van camper look the best it possibly can means that you will get a better price.

Be ready to sell. You will need to have all the paperwork handy that you will need to complete the sale. Don’t let a sale pass you by because you couldn’t find something simple, like the title!

One of the most important steps is to determine what options you have available for marketing your van camper.

As you can see there are many steps involved in selling your van camper as you read on you will be able to get a better idea of all the exact things that you will need to do.

What is my van camper worth?

You are now ready to move forward on selling your van camper, but how do you know what it is worth?

A good way to find out what your van camper is worth is to do some online research. Check out sites like RV Trader or RVT to see what other people are selling their van campers for, plus they have RV price checkers you can use.

On a site like this you will be able to compare options on van campers that other people are selling to the options that your van camper has. Plus you might find some exact models like you own that other people are selling to compare prices with.

Another online resource you can use to find the value of your van camper is NADA. Depending on the exact type of van camper you have you should be able to find pricing either under the auto or RV sections.

If you have a van that is not an RV or a van that you have converted go to the auto tab and it will usually give you rough trade-in, average trade-in, clean trade-in and clean retail pricing.

The NADA site under the RV option will usually provide you with suggested list price, low retail and average retail.

The dealer where you purchased your van camper is also an excellent source to get information on the current value of your van camper.

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Setting a price for your van camper

You have done all your research now the idea is to set the right price to get the most money that you can from the sale of your van camper.

Using the previous figures that you found in the section on how much is my van camper worth set a price that will bring you the best price at sale time.

Setting the right price for your van camper is very important. If you set the price too high you will chase away everyone who is in the market to purchase a van camper. But if you set the price too low you are losing money that you could put in your pocket.

Don’t hesitate to lower the price of your van camper if it isn’t selling. Sometimes even with all the best research in the world you can err on setting a price. If your van camper isn’t selling as fast as you want it to or you need to have it sold by a certain date don’t be afraid to try lowering the price some.

Van Camping Life Tip: If you are in a hurry to sell your van camper you also have the option to sell your van camper to a dealer, however this probably won’t get you the best possible price.

Prepare your van camper for potential buyers

When getting your van camper ready to sell you want to make sure to prepare it the best that you possibly can to make it attractive to the potential buyers who will be looking at your van camper.

Prepping the exterior

Make the exterior of your van camper look clean and well taken care of. Give the van camper a good hand washing and waxing. This will give the exterior a newer look eliminating some of the oxidative effects of the environment.

At the same time you are giving it a hand washing, take a brush and give the tires a good scrubbing. After they have totally dried, use an Armor All tire product on them following the manufacturer’s directions. This will give the tires a newer, shinier look and not look so worn or old.

When possible remove all decals or stickers from the windows that you have applied from destinations that you have visited. The same applies for bumper stickers. Make it a clean slate for the next owners who aren’t going to care one bit about where you have been.

Finally clean the exterior of the windows so they don’t have bugs and smudges on them.

Prepping the interior

The first thing to do when getting your van camper ready to sell is to remove all personal belongings from the van camper. When you have your van camper full of all of all your personal stuff, potential buyers have a hard time envisioning it as theirs.

Clean everything you aren’t going to be leaving in the van camper out, just like when they are going to be driving it home after buying it.

Van campers are all different, this cleaning list is to cover any type that you may have. This will take some time and hard work to do but it will help sell the van camper in the end. Enlist the aid of a spouse or friend and the process will go faster!

Vacuum the floors and seating areas to sweep up any refuse that has accumulated during van camper use.

Wash down all interior surfaces, walls, cabinets, inside of the cabinets and counter-tops with soapy water. Surfaces that tend to spot, dry immediately.

Clean sinks, toilets or showers. If you have a vent remember to clean it, use a brush and soapy water to get any grunge off of it.

If you have a fridge or microwave don’t forget to clean the inside of them.

Run all curtains, blankets, seat covers that are washable through the washer to get out any smells that might be in the fabric.

If you have carpeting, make sure to clean it or have it professionally cleaned. If the carpet has stains do all that you can to make any stains less noticeable.

Make sure all interior lights, appliances, windows and any other equipment is in good working order.

Lastly clean the inside of the windows removing any haze, smudges and fingerprints.

You want to get rid of any bad odors the best that you can, so if you still have a smell try a light fragrance air freshener, not something that is really strong and overpowering when somebody opens the door.

Under the hood

Most people look under the hood when purchasing a vehicle and your van camper sale will be no different.

Make sure that everything under the hood looks good. If the engine is dirty you might want to use a degreaser and power washer to clean it or have it professionally cleaned at a garage.

Check to make sure all fluid levels are full and that the fluid caps are on tight.

We now have most of the prep things done, but to truly be ready for selling your van camper, make sure that you have a current inspection on the vehicle.

There is nothing going to turn away a potential buyer faster than when the vehicle doesn’t have a current inspection or it is almost expired, the first thing they will think is that there are major repairs to do and it won’t even pass inspection.

Lastly have a mechanic look your vehicle over to see if there are any needed repairs, what it will cost to fix them and if it is minor you might want to consider getting it fixed. Check all turn signals, head lights and brake lights to make sure they are working properly. If you find issues and are not fixing them, you can then disclose it to the buyer.

Remember a van camper that appears well taken care of will entice more people to want to buy.

After you have all of the above finished put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Look over all aspects of your van camper inside and out to see what you don’t like, and then do what you can to correct the issues.

Ask for constructive criticism from a friend, ask a trusted friend to give you an assessment of your van camper.

Have your friend tell you what issues they can see from an unbiased point of view. Ask them if they smell anything that has a bad odor or if they see something that needs fixed, any help that you can get will be beneficial in getting the best price when selling your van camper.

Van Camping Life Tip: After you have your van camper all clean and shiny, take plenty of exterior and interior photos to use for online and brochures.

Get your records in order

Most buyers feel better about purchasing a vehicle if they know that routine maintenance has been performed over the lifetime of the unit.

Track down any maintenance records, repairs or any upgrades made to the van camper. This includes oil changes, when you put new tires on, transmission repairs or any other service details and have them readily available when prospective buyers ask to see them.

If an emission test is required in your state, county or city have proof that your van camper has passed the test.

Find the owner’s manual and put it in the glove box for easy access; a new owner will want to be able to read up on the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance schedule and vehicle instructions.

The original window sticker is also a great source of information for potential buyers, if you retained it have the sticker handy or place it in a plastic sheet protector and lay on the dash. Any questions that potential buyers have about engine size, options and MPG can be answered with a quick scan of the window sticker.

Perhaps you have your van camper paid off and you have the title, if you don’t readily know where the title is, find it and put it in a safe location so you know where it is when you have a buyer.

Buyers don’t want to stand around and wait while you try to hunt information and paperwork down. Having all of the paperwork handy gives the buyer even more confidence in the care you have taken with your van camper.

Van Camping Life Tip: Find a location to park your van camper that fronts a busy route with a “For Sale” sign. If you don’t live on a busy road, check with friends or relatives to see if they will allow you to use their property to park on.

Options on how to sell your van camper

There are a few options available to you to sell your van camper.


First off you can contact the dealer where you initially purchased your van camper to see it they are interested in selling it for you.

Dealers will usually sell your van camper for you for a fee, if the dealer where you originally bought it doesn’t want to sell it for you, move on to another dealer in the area.

Selling your van camper through a dealer will put your van camper in front of the exact prospective buyer that you are looking for, plus for a little extra the dealership will do the detailing for you.

Selling through a dealer however is not going to bring you the best price, because you will have to pay them a commission fee.


When researching to buy a van camper most people will be online looking. Earlier we told you about RV Trader and, both of these websites offer packages giving you different levels of pricing to sell your van camper.

Pricing packages vary with online sites, the lowest package will usually start at $19.95 and you will have the option of higher priced packages that will offer you the ability to include more photos, video, premium placement and other upgrades.

In most areas local communities will have a site that offers online classified ads either for free or for a small charge that is the “go to” site for the locals looking to buy or sell. This is another cheaper option for online advertising.

For sale flyer

Print up a flyer with all the information that you have about your van camper, price, reason for selling, contact information and if you have it listed online put the website address on the flyer so that anyone interested can view posted photos and videos.

Post the flyer at supermarkets, restaurants, campgrounds, convenience stores, local gas stations or any place else that you can find that has bulletin boards.

Local newspaper/shopper

Even though the majority of people use the internet for shopping, a local newspaper or shopper will help to promote the sale of your van camper to a local market.

Just run a simple line ad stating the year, brand, miles, maybe 1 or 2 other features, then a website address telling them where they can go for more details.

Word of mouth

Don’t rule out word of mouth, tell everyone you see that you have a van camper for sale. You never know when somebody you are talking to is either in the process or one of their friends are in the process of buying a van camper.

For sale sign

Perhaps the cheapest of all options is to put a big “For Sale” sign in the window of your van camper and park it by the road. Print up a sheet or use the flyer I suggested previously with all the information about your van camper, pricing and contact information and place it in outdoor, waterproof brochure holder beside your van camper for people to take when they stop to look.

How to choose the best place to advertise

Picking the best place to advertise your van camper is going to vary depending on your geographic location, time of year, advertising budget and what local resources are the hottest source for people in your area that are looking to buy and sell items.

Often buyers will be located just a few miles from where you live, with that in mind one of the most effective could be to simply go with the “For Sale” sign and a free online classified.

Selling your van camper doesn’t have to be stressful, with a little preparation the sale should go smoothly. When you sell your van camper yourself you should be able to get a better price than going through a dealer and that is a way better deal for you!

Van Camping Life Tip: When parking your van camper to sell it, park it in a location that looks nice, not near junk, high grass or on a muddy driveway or parking lot.

Related Questions

What time of the year is the best time to buy a van camper? In most areas of the country you will probably get the best deal on a van camper at the end of the camping season.

What is a bill of sale? This is a sales agreement telling what the seller and the buyer reached a consensus on. A bill of sale will usually include information about the make, year and what the sale price is. Include that the sale of the vehicle is “as is” that the seller is not providing a warranty and keep a signed copy for your records.

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Ever since I was little I have been a traveler at heart. It all started when I was six years old and my family took a road trip to Alaska. I enjoy visiting new places and revisiting some of the great locations that I have been to already.