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Can You Scrap An RV Trailer?

If you’re getting ready to upgrade to a new RV, you might be looking to get rid of your old trailer. That comes with a lot of questions, specifically – how and where do I get rid of it? RVs aren’t like cars in that most people have and need one, so this can get tricky.

Yes, you can scrap an RV trailer. If you’re having trouble selling or recycling your old RV trailer, scrapping it is a good alternative. While you won’t get as much out of it as other methods, many scrap yards will still take an old trailer.

Here are a few options on how to get rid of your RV trailer.

The Scrapyard

Nobody likes to scrap the old trailer they have so many good memories in, but sometimes it’s just your best bet. Keep in mind, though, that not as many parts of trailers are reusable as those of cars and trucks. While you can recycle an old car seat or steering wheel, you can’t reuse fiberglass. This means that you might not be able to negotiate the price.

With cars and trucks, you’ll usually get a quote based on the weight. This isn’t the case with old trailers and RVs. You’ll often get a painfully low quote (think well below four digits), but it’s still money.

If this is your first thought, though, here are some potentially more rewarding alternatives.

Sell It!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking here. Obviously, that’s the first step you should take if your trailer is in good condition. But it can be surprisingly hard to get an actual value on RVs and trailers these days. After all, Kelly Blue Book doesn’t evaluate them anymore.

Luckily, there are alternatives that will help you gauge your RV trailer’s value. The National Automobile Dealer’s Association (NADA) can help you figure it out. Other alternatives are RVTrader or RVUSA.

Now that you know how much your trailer is worth, it’s time to try and sell it. Craigslist is a good, free, option. Ebay will help you drive up the price a bit if there are bids, and RVUSA also offers the ability to place ads for you.

If, however, you’re not getting bids, it’s time to move onto other alternatives.

Take It Apart!

If you’re mechanically inclined, a good alternative to selling or scrapping would be to take apart your RV or trailer yourself and sell the good parts. While this is certainly more time intensive, it’ll allow you to get a bit more money out of your old vehicle.

Extra pieces like slide-outs, stovetops, and pumps could get you between $20-50 apiece. This can get you some extra cash out of the parts you can easily pull. The nice part of this is that when you’re done, you can still scrap the ride. It’ll make it slightly less painful to drive your baby to the scrapyard for $500 when you know you got that much already from spare bits.


While this depends on the area, you can often find non-profits or technical schools that are willing to take donated RVs and trailers. While you won’t directly get cash for this, you can claim this as a donation on your next tax report.

The best part is that many of these groups will often handle the transfer of title and even transportation for you. That will take a nice bit of work off your plate and allow you to relax knowing your trailer is in good hands.

Repurpose, Or Let Someone Else Handle It

A growing trend recently has been to find a nice spot of land and repurpose old trailers as lodging. Perhaps there’s a wonderful spot of land with a lake and fishing area nearby? Or you know of a camping ground that purchases old trailers in lieu of building cabins?

If the interior of your trailer is still beautiful, this could be a great alternative. Most buyers who do this are going to remove anything that lets it move anyway, opting to make it pretty instead. After all, if they’ve already got the land, why would they want to move it?

This is popular with AirBnB and campground owners – meaning you could potentially even negotiate a time to visit your old trailer. It’s still recommended to take any particularly fancy additions and sell them separately – the buyer likely plans to fully refurbish it anyway.

Trade In Your Trailer

This is the best bet for people looking to upgrade to a much nicer RV. While your RV may not be worth too much on its own, it holds more value to people who sell them for a living. Using it to upgrade (or downsize) allows you to take a lot of the work from previous methods out of the equation.

Even if you’re not looking to get a new trailer, there’s another option with RV dealerships – assuming you have one nearby.

You can sell it on consignment, letting the dealership house and sell it for you. This will mean that you don’t get paid quite as much, but it also removes a great deal of work from your plate. Just be sure to expect a ~10% commission taken from your final price. In exchange for that cost, you don’t have to handle paperwork or sales, so it’s likely worth it.

Final Roundup

If you’re looking to get rid of your old trailer or RV, there are a lot of options. You can trade it in, sell it for scrap or parts, or even donate it. Each method has its own tradeoffs, though, so be sure to pick what’s best for you. And don’t be afraid to wait a bit for offers before giving up and scrapping it.

How Much Is An RV Worth As Scrap?

Not very much. Scrapyards don’t care how much you paid for your ride – only what they can resell. RVs and trailers tend to have a lot of parts that simply can’t be resold, cutting their value. You’ll often get a quote of around $500 for a 33’ RV.

How Do I Get The Best Value From My Old RV?

It’s generally best to get it appraised on sites like NADA, and then try to resell it to a third party. If that’s not viable, selling parts you pull yourself could help you get a bit more bang for your buck before scrapping it.

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