February 19, 2016
Are you looking to buy or sell an RV? Have you purchased a camper recently and want to know if you got a good deal? One of the quickest and easiest ways to help you determine the value of an RV is with the National Automobile Dealers Association’s value guide. In this article, we’ll take a look at the NADA value guide, how to use it, and what the values mean for your RV.
According to NADA.com, “...the National Automobile Dealers Association represents the interest of new car and truck dealers to the public, congress, and vehicle manufacturers.” Lobbying, negotiating with manufacturers, and offering training programs are a few of the services NADA provides to car dealerships as part of their goal of strengthening the dealership system.
One of the services that NADA offers is their used car guide, which provides regional car values for use by dealers, lenders, insurance companies, and government agencies. NADA offers these same values to the public, though without the regionalization. The values of the various cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles listed in the price guide are obtained using the data from over 1.5 million transactions each month, with data from a variety of sources including dealerships and classified ads. The idea is that by compiling so much data and updating it so often, the NADA guide can give the user an accurate and up-to-date value on a vehicle.
Using the NADA guides website to determine the value of your RV is pretty easy -- unless you don’t know very much about your RV. Even then, you can still use the site to at least get an idea of your RV’s worth.
The next page contains a few columns containing links to some common RV manufacturers. If you don’t see the make of your RV in this section, look further down the page for a scroll bar containing a more comprehensive list.
As you can see, this is a little more involved than it might be for a car. I can't just select "2012 Keystone Montana", I have to know the model number as well. This is pretty important, as two seemingly similar models may have values that are thousands of dollars apart.
This page should display three numbers:
Depending on the condition of your RV, the value probably lies somewhere between the Low Retail and Average Retail prices, though there are a few factors you should keep in mind when using the NADA guide to determine the value of your RV, such as regional price variation, which is not accounted for in the consumer version of the price guide, and mileage, which obviously can vary tremendously between vehicles and will affect the value accordingly. All things considered, the NADA price guide is a quick and easy to use tool that can give you a decent starting point in determining the value of a recreational vehicle.