How To Get Rid of an Old RV

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RV’s and traveling do eventually come to an end. As with any mechanical item, you might want your RV gone because it doesn’t work or is too expensive to fix. Other reasons why include the inability to drive anymore, or maybe you want to upgrade your RV. Some families also receive an RV through inheritance and don’t personally need it.

Regardless of your reason, there is surely a way to get rid of it in a timely manner. Many people want to get rid of an RV quickly because their values don’t go up, and they need maintenance.

Many people do want old RV’s, even one that aren’t in great shape. You can readily get rid of an old RV by scrapping it as junk, selling it or giving it away via many sites. All of these depend on how much effort you want to give.

Sell your RV to a scrapyard

RVs have a good amount of metal that contributes to their structure and engine, and this is worth at least some money. Scrapyards also often work with intermediaries who are willing to come and tow your RV for you.

  1. Look in the phone book or Internet and search for people who buy junk vehicles. 
  2. Call one and negotiate a rate for picking up and disposing of your RV. It will often only be a few hundred dollars, but they are also towing it away.
  3. Unless they give instructions otherwise, make the RV as easy to access as possible by parking it somewhere a large tow truck can move it.
  4. The company should pay with cash on the spot when they arrive to take it away. There might be some paperwork processes regarding the title for the RV that they are experts on, including signing it over.

Donate your RV

Donating your RV has about the same process as selling it. There is a big difference though. Donating not only can make you feel good about giving to a charitable place, you also get a tax deduction.

This is a good idea if you are worried about owing excess amounts on your upcoming taxes, and if you feel good about a particular donation cause.

Places that accept RV donations normally attempt to fix the RV up for sale, give it to someone in need, or end up recycling it for cash themselves. The difference is that you are going to wait a while longer for your money in most cases, but it might be worth it!

  1. Research a place that takes donated RVs
  2. Have them come pick it up. They will likely send government paperwork about donations so that you understand how to get the most out of our donation. This often includes how to value your RV or write it off without getting in trouble.

Selling your old RV

This gets a little more complicated, but if you want more money for it, it’s definitely worth it. Selling your old RV might also not count as getting rid of it.

Depending on how poor of condition your RV is in, you might want to clean it out first. Also consider taking it to a mechanic, if it runs, to get an inspection done before. You can also leave the inspection part on the new owner, as they can pay for it instead.

The easiest way to sell an RV is to either put it in a highly visible place with a for sale sign, pending public way, or post it online. 

There are many websites online, including social media, that allow you to post an RV for sale. Most of them are either free to post or fairly inexpensive.

Take good photos of your RV on the inside and the outside. Get all the paperwork from maintenance ready. 

Selling your RV privately will require a bit more scheduling and time on your part, but can be worth getting some more cash out of it.

Trade in your RV

Will a dealer trade an RV for an RV? Of course. Dealers also do the paperwork for you.

The downside here is that a dealer will give you less money for the RV than if you sell yourself, but it’s also significantly less work.

The dealer will determine the value based on market conditions and the condition of your RV.

Part it out

This requires by far the most work and some mechanical expertise. You could tear your RV apart and sell it part by part. Auto salvage years or private buyers will pay with cash or check for parts that are brought in. Parting it out will also require time depending on your level of expertise. You will still likely need to sell or get rid of the frame itself.

Make it into a small house

RVs can be converted into something else. An RV is basically already a tiny home, and doesn’t necessarily need to move.

You’ll likely need to remove some parts of the RV interior, including the engine. Otherwise, an old RV can be used for temporary or permanent lodging. 

A tiny house is also sellable and worth far more than a scrap or private sell of just the vehicle.

Can I just leave my RV somewhere?

If you’ve exhausted all options and your RV is an old wreck, you might be tempted to leave it somewhere. This is generally illegal and likely to eventually get towed unless you find a way to get it to a place where no tow trucks go. You’ll likely be liable eventually for moving it and disposing, including any tickets you might get for having expired tabs or environmental issues.


Getting rid of your RV can be as simple as making a phone call and having some paperwork readily available. Donating the RV can also make you feel good and offset your tax liability a bit while having someone else do most of the work.

Selling might be “getting rid of”, but will definitely produce the most money for your old RV. Selling involves the most effort, including cleaning and potentially maintaining the RV while you wait.

Otherwise, we generally recommend doing something with the RV. The longer it waits, the less it is worth for anything besides scrapping. 

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