Searching for RVs to Buy on Wand'rly (2024)

Once you’ve decided on your budget and the type of RV that you want to buy, actually finding vehicles that fit into both categories can become quite the daunting task. We’ve found that there are three primary sources for locating and narrowing down your RV selection.


This is my preferred stop as Craigslist is free to both post classified ads as well as view and respond to them, so theoretically you’ll get the largest selection. Depending on where you live, you might have access to only a few Craigslist sites or a few dozen, as Craigslist has expanded over recent years from only including major cities to smaller cities like Johnstown, PA or Fargo, ND. A few tips on searching Craigslist:

  • Every Craigslist site’s homepage has a list of links on the righthand side of the page for all of the states and many popular US and Canadian cities. Click on the name of a state to see all of the cities in that state which Craiglist serves. You can start with the one closest to you, but we’ve found that having about a 300 – 500 mile radius of cities is much more realistic if you want to find some selection.
  • Every city has an “RV” section, but these not only include motorhomes and trailers, they also contain everything from ATVs to boats to personal aircraft. I’ve even seen a hovercraft listed. To help narrow down your selection, so that you don’t have to wade through every old dirtbike for sale, use the min/max fields at the top to put in a wide range for your budget. For example, I use a value of $9000 for the minimum field and $25,000 for the maximum field, though our actual budget is around $18,000. This narrows down your choices and makes the list more manageable, while giving you some room on either side of your wallet to play with.
  • When searching through multiple different cities, it can be a pain to click the RV link and then type in your min/max values again. If you know the name of the cities you want to look through, you can simply use this URL and replace the “morgantown” bit with whatever the name of your city is:

    Keep in mind though that not every city simply has their name listed in the URL, some cities (like Johnstown, PA and Altoona, PA) only take on a nearby cities name.

Also, remember that you want to actually go and look at any RV before you up and buy it just from an ad on the Internet.

Large Online RV Databases

RVzen, RV Trader Online and RVT are two examples. These sites list both RVs being sold by individuals as well as those being sold by dealers, and they often have a huge variety and plenty of pictures to go around. On the other hand, the RVs are often much more expensive than they would be if you were buying from an individual (as is the case with Craigslist, typically) and sometimes they don’t list the price at all, which is annoying and fishy in my mind. Plenty of options to sort by price, make/model or even class make these sites typically very easy to use, but I’ve also found that while their inventory is huge, many times they’re not kept up to date and so you’ll contact a lot of people who’ve already sold their RV weeks ago.

Local Dealer Websites

These sites are almost always incredibly bad. They typically look like they were built in the 90’s by a high school kid, rarely have an up-to-date inventory to display, and sometimes they just don’t work at all. However, the good part about them is that since they’re local, if you get an idea of the quality and price of the RVs they’re selling, you could theoretically take a drive out and check out the inventory for yourself. This could give you a chance to see multiple units in one place and even talk to a dealer who will likely know more than an individual selling their old RV. All of that said, however, I have yet to find even one of these sites that produced a single interesting RV.

Other Resources

What I’ve mentioned above is primarily for finding RVs online. Keep in mind that you could also turn to your local newspaper’s classifieds (though since newspapers charge to print classifieds, you’ll often get less results than Craigslist, however many people, especially older ones, don’t even realize Craigslist exists and therefore still go with the old print methods). Keep an eye out as you drive around your own city or hometown as well, as many people will sell their RVs the old fashioned way, by sticking a for sale sign on it and letting it sit in their driveway. There are also Penny Saver-style magazines that you can pick up for a couple of bucks at your local gas station, however most of these do have websites so it’s kind of redundant to pay cash for something you can’t search through when they already have a more powerful, online resource.

Table of Resources to Help you Find an RV with Pros and Cons

  • Dealing with individuals often means lower prices
  • Free and easy to use
  • Easy to contact sellers
  • Can’t sort by Class or Make/Model
  • Not always an extensive selection
Online RV Databases (example:
  • Largest selection
  • Easy to sort by price, make/model, class, etc.
  • Typically lots of pictures and information
  • More expensive than buying from individuals
  • Often the price isn’t listed, annoyingly
  • Inventory isn’t always up-to-date
Local Dealer Websites
  • If you see something you like, you can always drive right over to the actual lot
  • Poorly designed and often lacking functionality
  • Often very out-of-date
Local Newspaper Classifieds
  • Often have listings not found anywhere else
  • Like Craigslist, they’re being sold by individuals and are therefore often much cheaper than elsewhere
  • Usually have a very limited selection, if any
Searching for RVs to Buy  on  Wand'rly (2024)


Is it financially smart to buy an RV? ›

Is an RV a Financial Investment? The short answer is no. With the exception of some in-demand vintage models, the value of an RV depreciates over time. An RV is an investment in a lifestyle, but you can mitigate the expense by renting it out when not in use through a third-party rental site like Outdoorsy or RVshare.

What is the best day to buy an RV? ›

You may find that the best time to buy RVs is during the week. Dealerships tend to attract more customers on the weekends. Weekdays come with lower levels of competition, which means it will be easier to get one-on-one time with a salesperson.

How can I buy an RV without getting ripped off? ›

Being prepared to go to a dealership is the best way to make sure you're not getting ripped off. In most cases, you will know more about the RV than the salesperson. Stick to your guns and don't be swayed by traditional sales tactics. Forewarned is forearmed.

How do I determine the fair market value of my RV? ›

What is my RV Worth? Here Are 5 Ways to Find Out
  1. NADA RV Value website. This resource gives ranges for RV sale prices based on manufacturer, model and model year. ...
  2. ...
  3. Marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. ...
  4. Professional appraisal companies. ...
  5. Your local dealer.
Apr 15, 2021

How much under MSRP should I pay for an RV? ›

Most but not all RV's are marked up about 40 percent. Anything you can negotiate of around 35% is a good deal. Dealers will try to charge a freight charge but that's built into the msrp. You might negotiate a deal to below costs but the dealership deserves a modest profit.

Is it better to finance or pay cash for an RV? ›

Bill Westrom, creator and cofounder of Truth in Equity, agrees. “When you self-finance your RV you have greater control over its repayment and the associated interest costs.” However, it's important to remember that your house is the collateral. If you fall behind in payments, your home could go into foreclosure.

What type of RV holds value? ›

Which Motorhomes Hold Their Value? In general, Class B motorhomes hold their value better than Class A or C motorhomes. A Class B motorhome features a good mix of practical and luxury features, and these vehicles are a bit easier to drive as well.

Is it smart to buy an older RV? ›

There would be 3 reasons for buying an older RV. It won't cost as much as a new RV. It won't be as hard to fix when it breaks down (especially carbureted engines and engines made before 2000). If you don't plan on fixing them then don't worry about this.

Are used RVs worth it? ›

In addition to saving money, a used RV is more broken in than a new one. Things that are going to break in the first few years have been fixed. Also, the prior owner(s) may have completed upgrades, added features like newer technologies, or installed satellite TV or solar.

Is there a Kelley Blue Book for RVs? ›

There is no RV Blue Book value system for RV's, but you can use an online valuation tool like, or a service like to find the private sale value. There are many factors to determine your RV's worth, such as make, model, year, condition, features, and the current market condition.

Where is the best place to get the value of an RV? ›

National Automobile Dealers' Association (NADA)

NADA, or the National Automobile Dealers' Association, provides values for used RVs. They list prices and values for motorhomes, travel trailers, and even truck campers and park models.

What is my RV worth to sell? ›

A local RV mechanic or dealership might offer appraisal services, and multiple opinions is the best way to really understand how much your unit is worth. Keep in mind, these appraisals may cost you a couple hundred dollars. Therefore, this method is probably better if you're looking to sell or trade a high-end RV.

What is the downside of owning an RV? ›

What Are the Downsides of Owning an RV? Paying for Maintenance: There is the price of buying the RV, but there are other costs to be aware of, too. Proper maintenance is essential to getting the most out of your RV, and you can expect to spend money annually on repairs and preventative maintenance.

Is it worth buying an RV right now? ›

So, depending on your situation, it may be a better financial decision to wait a few more years before buying an RV. And if you do buy one now, only do so if you're able to absorb the financial loss in the event you need to get out of RV-ing while the resale market is adjusting post-pandemic.

Does owning an RV save money? ›

While RV living can be more affordable than traditional home ownership due to lower space and utility usage, owning an RV also comes with its own set of expenses, such as maintenance and repair costs, campsite fees, fuel costs, and insurance.

Is RV living cheaper than owning a home? ›

Cheaper lifestyle and cost savings

Living in an RV is more affordable and lets you save money on utilities, rent, and mortgage. However, you must prepare a budget for campgrounds and fuel, but many membership clubs allow you to save money on campsites if you plan ahead and use them frequently.

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