RV Blue Book Prices Should Include Wholesale Values

If You Do Not Know Wholesale, You Are Flying Blind In A Snowstorm

There is a lot of misleading information about RV values on the Internet today and it is time to clear up some things.

First of all it is very important to understand that any RV industry resource available for free on the Internet is designed to make you or keep you a retail RV customer. The online NADA prices do not even include wholesale values. The problem here is that profit paid equals instant depreciation and the preditory profits RV dealers are used to making is hurting RV buyers dramatically and becoming a big problem when the upside-down Rver tries to trade up.

A new manufacturer review book being offered for sale states that the Kelley Blue Book for RVs is not valid because it's values are always high. Well, I have been appraising RVs for over thirty years, ten years on the Internet, and I can tell you without a doubt that this is wrong. I can only imagine the value of the rest of the information they provide. This simple fact turned me off enough to not buy the book to review it.

Anytime you have the opportunity to get the opinion of the top two experts in a field, you should do it. In this case we have the professional edition of the NADA ( not available online) which includes list prices when new, used wholesale and used retail pricing and Kelley Blue Books for RVs (also not available online) which has the same value categories to evaluate your dream RV.

What you do have is a service designed to mislead RVers who want to price out there own RVs or one they want to buy. People who find this online pricing are usually thrilled to find it because legitimate RV information online is so hard to find and the confidence level in the truthfulness of RV dealers is at an all time low.

So what do you have? A service that commits the sin of ommission and provides the novice RVer the ability to over value their dream RV. What I mean by this is simple. First of all, you have no indication of what this pricing is based on, the new list price, and second, you have no wholesale prices.

Over the last five years I have watched the RV industry gear up to ravage the baby boomers. This includes increasing markups on new RVs and inflating the asking prices of used RVs to unbelievable levels.

The bottom line here is simple. Once a RVer sees what the pricing in both professional editions of the RV appraisal guides are based on, the list price, the value of the RV when it was new, they quickly realize there is no need to add for supposed options. They are already accounted for in the basis price, the list price, and therefore included in the basic pricing.

This is why many RV dealers try to take RV trade-ins at below book wholesale and guess what. You can not find RV wholesale pricing online except through my service.

Here is a big secret. Nobody pays for options to begin with! The discounts available for new RV buyers are tremendous. Most RVs today are sold below their base price unless it is one of the new generation of super expensive fifth wheels with option lists in the tens of thousands. It used to be hard to add more than about $5,000.00 in options to a well equipped fifth wheel. How much below base price can you buy a new RV?

I have seen many an amateaur RVer boldly mislead their fellows on the forums by stating you can get a 25-30% discount on a new RV. This would be OK thinking if RVs had one mark-up. Just since the first of January 2008, I have documented mark-ups on new RVs I have priced for people that vary from 25% to over 65%! Anyone who follows this advise will do well on the low end mark-up units but take a trouncing when their dream RV's mark-up is over 40-45% and most of them are.


Hi, my name is Dave Gricunas. I run rvguru.com my hub website for my growing group of online resources for RV buyers and sellers. I am an RV industry insider who crossed the desk to help RVers instead of hurting them. My online RV Value Reporting service has been available on the Internet for over ten years and I still may be the only RV insider willing to help RVers sort out the mess the RV industry wants you try to figure your way through. Good luck and pay me a visit. You will be glad you did.

Comments 40 comments

rvguru profile image

rvguru 8 years ago Author

Here is a point of proof. Today four out of the six used RV Value Reports I did had Kelley RV Blue Book values that were lower than NADA blue book prices. RV blue book pricing is a balance between the two major value guides. Always has been, always will be.

Dyan 8 years ago

Thank you for the info, just happened to a link to a link to this site. good reading.

jeff 7 years ago

I am a bit confused. Are you saying Kelly is a reliable source or an inaccurate average? I typically use NADA low retail without options if I am going to negotiate a deal with a dealer. Of course I am above wholesale, but realistically who ever gets to pay wholesale besides a dealer?

rvguru profile image

rvguru 7 years ago Author

Hi Jeff!

Confused is just where the RV industry wants to keep you. It allows them to make extraordinary profits. If you are using the retail pricing available online, you are undoubtedly paying more than you should.

We are in a very unique economic situation where the healthy dealers are picking the bones of their less fortunate colleagues and buying repo new RVs well below, make that obscenely below, invoice.

They are actually making huge profits selling RVs below wholesale. Anyone who has the ability to buy right now can get the deal of a lifetime. I am in touch with these lucky RVers daily. Many of them tell me the dealer they are negotiating with are literally handing them the coach's invoice sheet.

This NEVER happens unless they are making so much money, well, let's just say, it makes for an easy sale.

Tanya 7 years ago

We are upside down in our 2006 Sunova, and want to trade for something with bunks.

What should we do now that we were dumb enough to get in this perdicament?

rvguru 7 years ago

Hi Tanya!

You are not alone and you might not be able to do what you want. The banks have tightened the purse strings and the good old days where dealers had carte blanc and could roll your debt into the new RV loan are over. Now you usually need 20-30% down and spotless credit.

RVs depreciate 50% over five years as a rule of thumb. You should adjust your repayment of the Sunova to that standard and get the value to loan ratio where you can better manage a trade.

Give me a call, if you want to get more specific. 800-771-2587

RVDave => out

Go RVing!

Carol 7 years ago

Hi I am shopping a 2009JAYCO EAGlE SUPER LITE 28.5BHS FIFTH WHEEL. It was never sold so considered new. List price from this dealership was $38,972. Reduced to $28,995. Is $26,000 a good offer or should I go lower?? Thanks for your help, Carol

rvguru 7 years ago

Carol => the average value of a 2009 is substantially less than what you propose.

If you want to get more specific, give me a call 800-771-2587

=> Dave

tina 7 years ago

I bought a 2005 fifth wheel Palm aire freeport, but cant find anything on line about them, price wise, I paid 15000, but dont know if that is good or not. Thank you

Gloria 7 years ago


I have a 2005 Winnebago Voyage modle#WFF35D 22000 miles. I am looking to trade for a 2008 Winnebago Vectra or a Itasca Horizon. My 05 listed for $116,000 and the 08 list for $304,000-$317,ooo. Could you give an idea what would be a good trade amount?

Thank You Dave


Ray 7 years ago

Hi Dave-

I have been asked to become a partner on a 1986 HMC Diesel Pusher that has been setting for 10 years...engine will run but have to jump at starter relay, water damage inside coach, front doors are rusted in middle of doors and the coach has been in direct sunlight for the entire life of the vehicle.

You are asking why do I want to get involved? I have some background as a mechanic, but my funds are limited. With 15,000 dollars worth of my time the coach can become a serviceable vehicle and I think we could make use of it for 5 years or so...any ideas on what this thing is worth in its present (non reliable condition?)

Would I be better off finding a newer coach in this (depressed) market with the same features--and putting my energy and time in the newer, more reliable rvs?

your help is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

rvguru profile image

rvguru 7 years ago Author

tina => I cannot find any information about this fifth wheel. There are questions that need to be asked. Give me a call to go over things.

=> Dave

rvguru profile image

rvguru 7 years ago Author

Gloria => You need a RV Deal Analysis. You can call me to go over the details

=> Dave

rvguru profile image

rvguru 7 years ago Author

Hi Ray! Have you seen the movie "The Money Pit"? This has all the makings of a darn good sequel. There has to be a better candidate for your project out there somewhere. It will be well worth your time to keep looking. If you plan to spend $15,000.00 of your time, the unit should have the potential value to justify your hard work. This one is not even close.

=> Dave

Rebecca 7 years ago

Hi Dave,

I appreciate your time and do not even know if you can help. I am regretfully in a yucky divorce and trying to sell a 5th wheel in like new (literally) condition. Fleetwood Pride, 2004, VIN #4CA5B36284400355, All the bells and whistles...upgrade cabinets...leather, fireplaces. I just need to see what today's value is on it. I cannot find anywhere. I would appreciate any help. Sincerely, Rebecca

RVDave 7 years ago

Hi Rebecca => Sorry to read about your stress. I just had my second heart attack so I am way up on stressful things. To successfully market your Fifth Wheel you need to get better acquainted with it. 2004 Fleetwood Pride is just the beginning of a useful description. It narrows the field down to five possible units. There is also a model number. This information and more is available inside the unit usually in a kitchen cabinet. This has been required since 1996. There is also a manufacturer's sticker afixed to the road side front corner of the trailer. Some good information can be found there as well, if you can read it.

profile image

gnwm@aol.com 6 years ago

I am going to look at my first Puma 25RS travel trailer, Used 2007, and don't have a clue as to how to negotiate the price and/or if I can negotiate, and/or what is it really worth. It looks good from the pics I have seen, but not sure how to go about finding out the value of this trailer. Can you help me. Diana

Ed 6 years ago

I am looking at an 2006 monaco executive w/4 slides and a detroit 515hp. It has 4 slides and is 44' long. original msrp was 515k w/options. It is a super clean one owner. What's it worth? nada shows $267k with no options added. 04/15/2010.

Thanks, Ed

cesar s 6 years ago

I am trying to sell my 5th wheel but i don,t know how much its worth.need help to figure out what's its value is now.its a 1987 25ft Alpen lite DL.its like new no damage on the exterior and the interior is i excellent condition.everything works an i also upgraded with a cd player with new 200watts speakers and a new queen size mattress,i left the plastic on.it was giving to me by one of my neighbors.they were an elderly couple that took good care of it.they could no long travel do to health problems.its been in a shop 4 years.its hard times an i need to sell it.anyone have any solutions?

Jenna 6 years ago

Never had an RV but friends have one in W.Va. they want to sell..2002 31 ft Coachman/Leprechaun with 26k mi. and

1 slide..gas on a Ford chasis..says it's in very good condition..but never use it..Any suggestions..?? thx


jummmma seer 6 years ago

"Things we believe no one should waste: paper, knowledge, trees, words, time, and money." loved the store quote.

I love books! I don't live in the area but if I did would definitely pay them a visit.

profile image

mollie28 6 years ago

Hi, I am looking at a 1994 Jayco Eagle 265 rk 26' the dealer is asking 6,500.00 it appears to be in good condition for its age. I have checked all over the internet for something to tell me what this rv is worth. NADA is low. I don't know what amount to even start the deal with. Can you help?

Pam 6 years ago

I'm trying to decide if the $15,500. I was offered for my 2009 26 ft. Crossroads Cruiser (5th wheel) is reasonable. I cannot seem to find any help with this on line.

Tim  6 years ago

Hi I am looking at an Arctic Fox Camper 1150 year is 2006. I am looking at ones on 2 different rv lots. One is priced at 20,999 and the other is priced at 18,999. Now I know that both are way over priced but I am wondering what would be a fair dollar to offer?

RV shelter 6 years ago

An RV is a big purchase. If you don't have much experience with what an RV is worth, it would be strongly advised to do extensive research. Also, the time of year that an RV is purchased can also have an effect on the price.

tom walton 6 years ago

Hi Dave, I've been looking around at 5th wheels and found a 2005 Alpenlite 32' agusta limited for sale by a private party. There asking $35,000, and from looking around the internet at others for sale this sounds about right. What's your opinion?


nick 5 years ago

Hey Dave, I just wanted to say how much I as a proponent of honesty and integrity,appreciate your efforts to help people for the sake of just doing the right thing by looking out for your fellow man.I truly believe that if everyone was less greedy and more caring,without,ulterior motives all the B.S. that's happening right now wouldn't be.Keep it up your a shinning example of the right direction. Sincerely "Nitro" Nick Masters

Stan 5 years ago

I am looking at trading in my Yamaha Boat at a 2007 Damon Challenger. The unit has 6,000 miles and runs/drives like new. The asking price is $79995. I am so confused at what to offer. The dealer uses the "Four Square" sales model which is even more confusing. I am trying to get him to show hard numbers. Not an easy task. I own 24,000 on my boat. they are offering $16K, so I would be $8,000 upside down. They claim that a wholesaler will be taking boat and they will not be making any money. Now fully confused, I am not sure what to think.

earl 5 years ago

airsream values!!!$$$$$$ are way overpiced

DAVE WARNER 5 years ago

how do i find out the value of my 2006 Artic fox camper ?

Tiffany 4 years ago


We bought a 1996 Alpenlite 31 footer 5th Wheel about 2 years ago, but are planning to sell. We bought for $10,000 and owe $8,000. Put in new carpet with all oak cabinets and wood floor within kitchen. How much do you feel we can get for this. We plan on purchasing a travel trailer (used). Another question: on the travel trailer we would like a newer model with private door to bedroom but do not want to pay more than $18000.00. Is this possible and what travel trailer would you recommend?

profile image

nwbijou 4 years ago

I like to know how much would be good buy for

2001 monaco signature titan 500hp with 86616 miles

and need to change out windshield and 4 tires

Justin grant 4 years ago

hey dave i cant find the vin anywhere on my 2008 fleetwood travel tailer. It was letf to me by family that is now in prison. The vin is scratched off on the id tag on the front left of the unit and i cant find it anywhere else. Please Help!

Bill Ross 4 years ago

I am looking at a new (2011)Dutchmen Kodiak 241RVSL at a dealer for $19,999.00 Is this a good deal or not?

Kimberly 4 years ago

Hello RV Guru, wondering if you still monitor this site and if so, how do we find out the prices? I am selling a 1996 Avion by Fleetwood. Has great reputation and unit is clean and all working. Looks relatively new. I've got it priced just above NADA at $14,500. I can't locate Kelly info and as I am reading from you, your site will give a more accurate price point so I am fair to myself and fair to the buyer. Please help. thanks.

laura Mussio 3 years ago

Hi Dave, Im looking aty the NADA of this 2006 Seabreeze National they want 42,000 How do i find the whole sale invoice price. Thanks lmussio50@gmail.com

Genita 3 years ago

Hi Dave ! I'm looking into getting a 2008 fleetwood pace arrow 36d. I'm looking at the prices online and there listed for $90,000, is this a good price to pay for a discontinued model ? If not what is a fair price to pay?

Reneey 23 months ago

I'm selling a 2008 Wildwood 23ft 5th Wheel in excellent condition. New tires, and mattress pricing it at $13,950.00. Where can I find pricing on the WEB to see if I am pricing it right? I want to buy a Cougar lite 2015

28sGS fifth wheel priced at $36,995.00 supposedly reduced from $42K.

Any advice?

rvguru profile image

rvguru 23 months ago Author

Hi Reneey...you should contact me for a professional valuation...just google the name by my picture below...

Bobbie 23 months ago

Hi. I am looking at a 2002 class C 27ft Forest River Sun Seeker camper with 48,000 miles on it. They say it is in good condition with a lot of new replacements (mostly cosmetic). Before we travel 8 hours to look at it (private seller) is this a good deal? How many miles could we expect on this vehicle?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    RVDave The RVGuru

    RVDave The RVGuru
    RVDave The RVGuru
    Click to Rate This Article