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Depreciation and Damage: How RV Value Plummets With Wear and Tear

As time goes by and you use your RV more and more, like all vehicles, it will depreciate in value. As unfortunate as this is, our beloved rigs will become less and less desirable to others looking to purchase a used RV. Toss in a few dents and necessary repairs, and its value goes down even more. If you’re holding onto yours, depreciation only becomes an issue when the repair bills start coming in. Eventually, you’ll have what’s known as a junk RV.

What Is RV Depreciation?

All vehicles and trailers will begin to depreciate the very second they are taken off of the dealership’s lot. While we purchase them to be used, each minute and mile will detract from their value. However, unlike passenger vehicles, RVs typically take the road less traveled, and that road can be a damage-causing path. Dents, dings, and neglected repairs will cause RVs to depreciate faster. Depreciation is how much value an RV loses as time goes by.

What Factors Affect RV Depreciation?

Several factors can affect how quickly or slowly an RV depreciates. Some can be controlled, while others are completely out of your hands. With this in mind, recreational vehicles should never be seen as a financial investment. The more you use them, the quicker they’ll lose value. The purchase of an RV is an investment in adventure. So, what factors will affect RV depreciation?

  • Age – How old an RV is plays a big part in its depreciation. All things being equal, older ones will have lost more value than newer ones. RVs over 10 years old will have lost significantly more than a rig only a year or two old.
  • Mileage – With each click of the odometer, an RV will lose value, and this is especially true for the owners of older rigs who are looking to sell them. High-mileage RVs tend to have more mechanical problems, which lowers their value.
  • Condition – RVs that have been meticulously kept and given lots of TLC will depreciate a bit slower than those that haven’t. Noticeable cosmetic damage is the kiss of death when it comes to a rig’s resale value.
  • Popularity – An RV’s brand and model do play a part in how quickly they depreciate. Brands like Winnebago and Airstream will depreciate at slower rates as these two are known for being sturdy and long-lasting.

How Fast Do RVs Depreciate?

If your intention is to hold onto your rig until its wheels fall off, depreciation rates aren’t of that much importance. However, for those looking to sell theirs and upgrade, knowing when the selling sweet spot is can help them maximize profit.

  • First-year – After a year of use, an RV will lose about 20% of its value.
  • Year 2 – Two-year-old rigs haven’t lost much of their value and are worth approximately 77% of their purchase price.
  • Year 3 – At three years old, an RV will have lost about 28% of its value.
  • Five years – After half a decade of use, a rig will have lost approximately 37% of its value.
  • Year 10 – At a decade old, RVs become much more difficult to sell. They typically will have lost 55% to 60% or more of their original value.
  • 15 years – After 15 years, most rigs have lost close to 80% of their value. Unless a collectible brand, at this age, they can prove to be almost impossible to sell by traditional strategies.

If your rig has depreciated so much that it’s too costly to maintain, find yourself a junk RV buyer in Colorado. Specialized RV dealers will buy it, regardless of its condition.

How Do Damages Affect Depreciation?

Cosmetic damage can play a big part in the value of an RV. Add age and mileage, and its value can plummet fast. Buyers who see external or internal damage will immediately question the rig’s roadworthiness. Any type of damage to an RV, despite its age or mileage, could drop its resale value to less than much better-maintained rigs. Obviously, damaged RVs are incredibly difficult to sell. Private buyers and RV dealerships typically turn their noses to RVs with any kind of damage, no matter how minor.

Depreciation and Damage: When To Sell Your RV

All RVs will depreciate in value as the calendar pages flip. While most will retain much of their value up until the three-year mark, after that, they will begin to lose a significant portion of their original purchase price. By ten years old, despite mileage and condition, they begin to hit the unkind category of being a junk RV.

If yours has lost a significant amount of its value, you can still sell it, but not by traditional means. Contact a specialized junk RV dealer who purchases all rigs regardless of age, mileage, condition, or damage.