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Ten Ways to Add Value to Your RV

Ten Ways to Add Value to Your RV

Value. It’s an oft-used word in the world of RVs. Terms and names like ‘total value,’ ‘absolute value,’ and ‘value-added’ fly around in the industry like insects on a hazy summer afternoon. Do they mean anything? Many RV owners find out very quickly when they get their rig that their new home away from home, the comfort chariot that was going to carry them to a whole new world of adventures, doesn’t hold all of the value that it was purported to possess.
What Happened to My Value?
It’s not your fault. Well, maybe a little, but it’s something we all do. Sales situations, whether they are owner to owner or lot to customer, are tense. Both parties go into the situation, wanting something. One side wants the sale, and the resulting cash that comes with it, and the other wants to fulfill the dream of owning an RV. When both sides have a “want,” things tend to get overlooked. It’s only when you’re away from the sales floor and in the mode of ownership that the cold light of day makes some things glaringly obvious.
1. Ooh, the Depriciations! - You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Your vehicle begins to depreciate (lose value) as soon as you drive it off the lot.” Well, it’s true. If you can imagine a dollar figure meter right next to your mileage counter in the odometer ticking down in value as the miles tick up. That is what it is like to be an RV owner. It’s only when you drive the RV home when you start to see what’s going on, that is, after all the excitement of new ownership has worn off. It’s then that you will realize you’ve got to pour in some time and money of your own to hold, or even increase, your RV’s value.
2. What the Heck Happened to My Furniture?! – A drumbeat that is often heard from owners all over the world. At the sales lot, they are enamored with the look and the initial feel of their RV’s furniture, but when they get home and experience it for even a short amount of time, they find that it is usually too small, breaks down quickly, and looks atrocious overall. How? Especially in a Class “A” valued at over $250,000?! You are, like so many other first-time owners, a victim of the OEM (original equipment manufacturers.)
In this case, it is “their” fault. The OEMs need to produce their products as quickly, and as inexpensively, as possible. The RV industry is “feast or famine,” and when it’s famine time, they have to live off the reserves they made by cutting costs when, and where, they could. One of the primary sources of cut is in the furniture they install in the RVs. While (across the board) it serves its purpose aesthetically (which is to “reel you in” during the purchase phase) it doesn’t hold up to luxury standards, which, is what you’re paying for when you’re buying an RV. The OEMs purchase as cheaply as possible, using volume buying practices (i.e., “if I buy 10,000 of these things how much cheaper will they be?”), and then passes that level of quality onto you, the consumer. When you’re dealing with that kind of volume and the price cuts that follow, you aren’t buying for quality. That’s buying for “good enough to get by.”
3. Why is Everything…Plastic? – No, you didn’t just visit a fashion show in Beverly Hills. The plastic we’re talking about is throughout your new RV. There’s no way when you were on the sales floor, or going to the private owner to look at their rig, that you could have tested out everything. It’s understandable. But now, you’re living here. You’re living here, and you find yourself shocked by how much lightweight plastic comprises everything in your RV. From the lighting covers to the faucets you have plastic, plastic, plastic! Aside from being not so environmentally friendly, there’s also the issue of durability. Normal wear and tear on an item like a faucet (something that in most households and RVs gets used every single day) will break the thing down. Not just externally, but the internal components that see exposure to water pressure and temperature fluctuations are also (generally) plastic. These leads to faster breakdown of the items and eventual replacement. It’s just not worth the value of saving a few pennies on an item being plastic you’re needing to replace every year.
One of the benefits with plastic fixtures (and this is precisely what the OEMs “hang their hat” on) is that they help with weight mitigation in your RV. Controlling the weight profile is important with RVs because the fuel (which can be very costly) is one of the more significant expenses that owners are faced with on a day-to-day basis. Anything that the manufacturers can do to pump up their numbers, by taking them down, they’re going to do. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost to the consumer. If you want to keep the weight off but add some durability to the items in your RV, there are ways (which we will address later.)
4. Why Does This Interior Look So…Different? - Your RV is home. You had to park it for a few days before getting inside and going over it in-depth. So, it’s been sitting and waiting. Waiting with a discomforting surprise. When you climb up the stairs into your unit and…what happened? The RV you purchased looks very little like the one you saw under the lights at the lot. The colors might be off. You might not like how the valances look balanced against the patterns of your furniture. Or, you might be saying,
“Where are the valances? I thought this had valances.”
The RV sales industry is no different than the automotive or any other retail establishment. They put a lot of money and time into how they set up the customers when they walk onto the sales floor. Companies pay millions of dollars for studies that tell them how to pry your hard-earned dollars out of purse/wallet. They use specific lighting, colors on the walls, styles of music pumping through the overhead speakers, and even go so far as to keep no clocks on the walls, so you don’t realize how much time you’ve spent with them. So, when your RV is looking so great under certain lighting, surrounded by a specific set of colors, there’s a reason for that. It’s also the reason why things can seem so drastically different when you get your RV home.
Brightening up your RV so that it looks like rig you saw at the dealership isn’t difficult and can add actual value to your recreational vehicle.
5. Behind the Times – There’s a genuine problem with RV discrimination out there in the world. Anything that is over a few years old, unless it is a vintage Airstream, is frowned upon by many in the RV world. Some campgrounds (and other RV gathering areas) practice something called the “10-year rule” which means that any RV over ten years old is not allowed to camp. Regardless of condition. Whether it’s wrong or right, it exists in the world. This hurts the value of your RV. What can you do?
One of the biggest things you can add to your RV (outside of the external aesthetic pieces) is technology. By keeping the tech up to date in your rig, the ticking time clock that is devaluation can be halted.
Now you know the “why” of value loss in your RV. We’ve even stated generally how to stop the ever-encroaching ghostly hand of depreciation from reaching into your value wallet. But, if you want to make a difference in your RV’s value, here are ten ways to keep, or increase, the tangible value of your RV:
10. We Don’t Mean to Butt In, but… - Toss the cigs. One of the biggest complaints we hear from potential buyers (and this applies to private and used sellers) is that they find RVs that they love, but they cannot purchase them due to the damage that has been wrought by years of smoking in the vehicle. Cigarette smoke is invasive and leeches into the very framework of the rig, so once you’ve turned it into a smoking RV, it will always be a smoking RV. Ditch the smokes and start replacing cloth implements like your ceiling liner and your shades if you want to add value and have any chance of selling your vehicle.
9. Tanks A Lot – The forgotten heroes of RV living, your tanks, could use some love. If you take the opportunity to upgrade your tanks (both black and fresh water) you could add a lot of value to your RV. A higher quality tank with larger capacity (in both cases) will make your rig that much more attractive to potential buyers. If nothing else it will make your life on the road much easier by upgrading your system in this way.
8. Put New Fixtures into the Mixture – Remember those pesky low-grade plastic faucets we spoke of earlier? There’s a quick fix to that problem. Upgrade the faucets to beautiful brushed nickel versions from RecPro, or at a minimum, high-quality ABS plastic faucets. Both will certainly be an improvement in the quality of faucet that you have in your RV, and you won’t have to worry about regularly replacing an inferior product!
7. Act Shady – For once in your life, act shady! Add a shade package to your RV that is. One of the first things you see when you see a person’s RV at a campground is the shades. A shade covers front to back every possible port. One of the other things you notice is the quality. If you keep the standard versions that came with the vehicle, it will show. It will show everything because cheap shades allow you to see into an RV. There’s no privacy there. Adding a shade package (especially one that includes blackout shades like those carried by RecPro) will add value to your RV and keep interested buyers looking.
6. Seal it Up – Oh, how important a seal is to an RV or trailer. Not only do well taken care of seals to look nice on the exterior of your rig, but they also keep the elements (especially water) from getting inside. If water gets inside, then you have water damage, mold, and expensive repairs, galore! By updating your seals (wiper, “D”-bulb, and felt-lined), you will instantly put value into your RV.
5. FIIIVE GOLDEN CLEANS! – Probably more than five. The point is, keep your recreational vehicle clean. Regular upkeep of your RV (in regards to cleaning) will prevent the build-up of many things that could adversely affect the health of your RV and will keep it looking good for any future sales opportunities that may come along. A clean RV is a sellable RV.
4. Don’t Let Your RV Get Tired – Well, do. If you have worn tires on your RV, then you need to get them replaced post haste. Your mobile home won’t be very mobile if the very implements that it depends on for travel are worn to the point of near failure. New tires are an expensive repair for a prospective buyer and could be the difference between a sale and keeping your RV for longer than you’d like.
3. Be Patient – How can having patience add value to your RV? It’s quite simple. You put your RV on the market in April. You think that you’ve been wise and posted it for sale when buyers are buying. May comes and goes, as does June. July, August, and September quickly tick away, and aside from a few nibbles, no one is buying. You begin to panic. You think by taking five-thousand off of the price you might attract a buyer before snowbird season hits. You get a bite; the buyer buys, you have money in hand. Five-thousand dollars lighter than it could have been. By having some patience in a tough market, you can get the price you want. If it’s not selling, maybe ask yourself why.
2. Have a Flair for Fashion – From the lighting profile in your RV to the sleek looking appliances that decorate your galley area, the way you decorate your rig makes all the difference in the world to buyers. Value is in the eye of the beholder, and if your RV has terrible lighting, for example, you’ll scare off potential buyers left and right. Attractive decorative lighting from RecPro is a quick and easy way to substantially increase the value of your recreational vehicle without a lot of financial or time investment.
1. Furniture for Sure! – The number one way is to upgrade your furniture. As was previously stated, RV furniture that comes directly from the factory is of average or below average quality. It’s bought en masse and as cheaply as possible and that’s so the manufacturers can pass the “savings” onto you. You know, long after the vehicle has left their factory. As this is a common problem that many recreational vehicle owners suffer, it adds value when you buy luxury furniture from RecPro and put it in your rig.
The added value, once you’ve put additional furniture in your rig, comes from a few places. The first is the inherent value of the furniture. If you put quality luxury furniture in the vehicle, the value of the items (while not the total of the original purchase price due to depreciation, etc.), will translate to the overall worth of the RV.
The second is the visual and physical appeal of the furniture, adding to the “soft” (intangible, yet real) value of the vehicle. The look of having a set of physically beautiful furniture, especially a set that is exceptionally comfortable, will add value in the consumer’s mind. Whether you’re a private seller, reseller, or dealer, adding luxury furniture to the RV is undoubtedly deserving of the number one spot in this top ten list.
There are a lot of reasons that value is quickly bled away from your RV. Whether you’re looking to sell your rig, or raise the appreciable value for your purposes, investing some time and money into your RV is a wise idea.

Jun 25th 2019 SD Shank

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