How to Get Rid of an Old Motorhome and Make Some Money

If you own an RV but it is no longer in working condition, you might be wondering how to get rid of an old motorhome, when obviously you won’t be able to sell it to anyone. You would want the eyesore gone as soon as possible, and you can’t leave a non-working vehicle parked in your driveway or on the street for too long, since many neighborhoods have restrictions on such matters. ​​

Read on to learn how to get rid of an old motorhome the right way. And you might be surprised to find out that you might make some money on the disposal, and the seemingly useless rig might even live a second life serving some other purposes that you would have never thought of.

How to Get Rid of an Old Motorhome (But You Won’t Make Any Money)

Below are the quickest ways for camper disposal, but you should not expect to make a sizable profit, or any sort of profit at all in the process. But they are convenient if you don’t have a lot of time to worry about the disposal, and you want the eyesore gone as soon as possible. In the next section, we will discuss how to get rid of old camper trailer and making some profit, but they are very time-consuming and laborious, and might not guarantee a good profit in a short time. 

Sell it for scrap

The easiest way on how to get rid of an old motorhome is to bring it to the local RV salvage yard or general scrap yard. Many salvage yards do buy old vehicles that can be dismantled to get scrap metal pieces. They will most likely give you a flat rate based on the estimated amount of scrap metal there is in your old motorhome. Note that this is not the best option for turning any sort of profit though. 

When you sell a standard road vehicle like a passenger car, an SUV or a pickup for scrap, you often get a price quote based on the weight of the vehicle. This means you would get more for a half-ton pickup truck than you would for a coupe. You might think that a big motorhome would be worth at least double that of a pickup truck, but you’ll likely only get around $500 as the average RV scrap price.

A motorhome is big and heavy, but it is fitted with a lot of fixtures and accessories made from materials that have no value to the crap yards. Such examples include laminated countertops, fiberglass walls, and porcelain toilets, which are just additional materials that they need to get rid of. So, not all salvage yards would be happy to take your motorhome, and if you do find one, do not expect more than a moderate flat rate with almost no room for negotiation.

how to get rid of an old rv
If you’re motorhome is not longer roadworthy, and you want to get rid of the eyesore right away, sell it for scrap. Photo: Vicki Smith / Getty Images

You might be surprised to find out that some charities do take old vehicles and even old motorhomes that are no longer working, though it depends on the shape your rig is in. There are even some non-profit organizations that will take vintage RVs to create a lodging property, after decommissioning them and removing a multitude of parts, including the tires and drivetrain. 

If you do your research, or if you have connections, you might even find some technical colleges or vocational schools that will take just about anything vehicle related, including recreational vehicles. They might scrap it and fix it themselves to serve as an educational project for students in the auto shop program, or repurpose it. 

If your camper is acceptable as a donation, you will be rid of your vehicle. You will need to transfer the title of your motorhome though, but the organization will be the party to handle all the paperwork. 

Some charities have the trailers and equipment needed to safely haul your motorhome away from your place, saving you a lot of time and effort taking it to a scrap yard. You will have to accept that you’re not going to make any extra cash though, but you can claim it as a charitable deduction on your tax return at the end of the year. The donation might just be a life saver in case you’re just hitting that next highest tax bracket this year.

Recycle or Repurpose it

If you have a big garden or a barn, you might be able to repurpose your old motorhome as a storage space, a separate playroom for your kids, a nice home for your furry friends, or as a hunting or fishing shed. Otherwise, if you have a hunter or fisherman friend or acquaintance, you can give it to them. It can be repurposed or upcycled in many ways so that your non-working motorhome can serve a second life as something useful.

How to Get Rid of an Old Motorhome and Make Some Profit

If you are industrious, or simply well connected there are a few different ways you can get rid of an old motorhome to get the most bang for your buck.

Try to sell it online to a private party

Try to sell your old camper on Craigslist, eBay or Facebook Marketplace or a community website to a private party first. There are many campers out there looking to buy a second hand rig to save some money, and if yours still runs well enough and the interior is in decent shape, but you want to upgrade to a more luxurious model, you might be able to sell your camper pretty quickly for a decent price.

You might have thought that Marketplace is only for used furniture, but nowadays people sell their old cars, vans and even motorhomes on the platform. And given Facebook’s huge user base, you might be able to reach many interested parties. Like Facebook Marketplace’s function for filtering results by location, Craigslist has regional and local boards for ads, so that you can connect with potential buyers who are reasonably close by.

Another great place to sell your old motorhome is RVUSA. This is a well known RV resource website, so its user base is selected. It allows you to put up an ad for sale, and has a lot of useful information to help you determine a fair price on your old RV. You can set up the ad to display it to people within a specific distance and state your relative location.

Even if your camper is not in working condition, if you’re lucky and if you wait long enough, you might find a buyer that would be willing to pay a bit more than what the second method would fetch you. Like with project cars, there are some budget first-time campers out there who are hunting for a project trailer for almost nothing and then renovate it, or existing owners who are looking for spare parts to repair or upgrade their motorhome.

There are also some people who are buying a piece of land to enjoy the great outdoors. They might be willing to buy your motorhome as a temporary cabin, which would cost typically less than building a cabin. This option is feasible only if the interior of your rig is in good condition, and all the amenities are in working order. Do reach out to RV communities, put up a post with an honest assessment of your rig’s condition, and maybe someone will have a lead on who you can sell it to. 

Look on AirBnb and VRBO for an RV-campground

You might have come across pretty quirky, creative and unique accommodations in the private lodging platforms like Airbnb or VRBO. There is a trend in the industry, where owners of a lovely piece of land near a natural attraction will decommission older recreational vehicles, especially models with distinctive aesthetics like the iconic Airstream, fix them up and offer them out as rental accommodations. 

You can browse these platforms to look for these auto-campgrounds. If you can find one that is reasonably near you, if you can still drive your rig there, they might be happy to buy it off you for a decent price.

Strip it down and sell the fixtures

If your old motorhome is still in a decent state and the interior components are in good shape, you might be able to make some profit by stripping it down yourself and selling the individual fixtures. This is more feasible if what you have is a popular vintage model, or one that has some unique fixtures that are highly sought-after by DIY RV enthusiasts.

This method is very labor-intensive and might require a handyman though, and you will have to judge whether the profit would be worth your personal man-hours. Count in the hours to clean and pretty them up as well. Still, you might be able to get  $50 for a full-size refrigerator, $30 for a three- or four-burner stove with an oven, $50 for a working inverter, or $20 for a functional water pump.

And once you’ve stripped out everything of value, you can then drive your motorhome to the scrap yard to get that extra flat-rate. Given that you have the time, if you go this route, you would get every penny out of your used motorhome that was possible.

Sell it as a trade-in to an RV dealership

Note that this method is only truly feasible if your old motorhome is still in working condition and minimally roadworthy. In the case that you are getting rid of your old rig to upgrade to a high-priced luxury model, the RV dealership salesperson would be more willing to take the old RV off your hands as a trade-in for the purchase of the expensive new rig, or might offer you a favorable deal to dispose of the old motorhome for you hassle-free.

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guide in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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