Where to Find an RV Auction?

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

Where to Find an RV Auction?

There are lots of ways to buy an RV. You can purchase from a dealer or maybe find one on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or the classifieds section of a newspaper. You might even find the motorhome of your dreams in a driveway down the street with a “For Sale” sign on it.

Another possibility for getting a great deal on a camper is through an RV auction.

Whether virtual or in the “real world,” they offer a big selection, and sometimes at a great price.

What is an RV Auction?

Whether online or on-premises, an RV auction is an opportunity for a dealership, rental company, financial institution, fleet manager or some other third-party owner to try and move unwanted inventory.

It might be an older model that saw its better days a few decades ago or it could be one that’s gently used and was kicked to the curb, so to speak, only because of changing trends.

But one person’s garbage is another’s gold, right? By taking part in an RV auction, you might find nothing but junk, or you could discover a hidden gem that just needs a little polish.

What makes an RV auction unique is that there is competition among buyers. Other people will be placing bids, too, so it’s different from haggling one-on-one with a dealer or private owner.

Types of RV Auctions

For a long time, RV auctions were something you had to attend in person. These days they are popular online, too.

Attending one in person has its advantages. It gives you the chance to touch and feel the merchandise, to do a walk-through and kick a few tires if you want to.

With online auctions, there are a few different ways an RV can be listed. Some have a “reserve price,” which is the minimum price that the seller would accept. This is to try and weed out bids that are ridiculously low. Others have a “buy it now” feature, which means you can go and match the price without having to bid.

Where to Find RV Auctions Near Me

To find out when and where RV auctions will be held, just turn to the internet. An online search will bring up websites devoted to them as well as RV discussion groups and forums.

ADESA.com, for instance, is a good resource for physical auction events (it stands for Auto Dealers Exchange Services of America), and so is Autotrader’s website. Auctiontime.com and rvuniverse.com are just two of the many sites geared toward online RV auctions, and of course, there’s eBay, which has RVs and just about everything else you can imagine for sale to the top bidder.

Depending on where you live, you may have lots of opportunities to attend an RV auction in person, or you might have to travel a bit.

Factors to Consider for Online RV Auctions

Is it safe to buy an RV online? Like any purchase you make on the internet, there’s a certain amount of risk attached, and with an RV there’s certainly a sizable amount of money involved.

For the most part, you are going to have to trust the owner that the RV you’re bidding on is in the condition he or she says it is. You won’t actually know until you see it for yourself. It’s a good sign if the seller has a good rating from other purchasers, but buying an RV with a click or a tap is still a bit of a gamble.

Another factor to consider is how you will physically take ownership. It’s possible but not likely that the seller will arrange for delivery, so take into consideration the additional costs of having to hire someone to make the delivery or doing it yourself.

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Tips for Shopping at an RV Auction

If you’re attending an RV auction in person, get there early so you can scope out the inventory without having to fight a crowd.

Do as much research ahead of time so you’ll know as much as possible about the different kinds of RVs and their value.

If it’s an online auction, register as a user ahead of time if possible and spend some time on the site in advance so you’ll be familiar with how to navigate it.

Set yourself a limit in terms of budget, and try not to get distracted by vehicles that are beyond your price range or your specific needs.

When you are bidding, raise your bid in small increments.

Finally, know when to say no. If the bidding gets too intense or the price gets too high, the wisest thing may be to show restraint and save your money for another day.

Pro Tip: Here’s the best time to buy an RV.

Is An RV Auction For You?

If you’re in the market for RV, it’s good to know your options when it comes to auctions. It can be fun and exciting to go that route, and it just may steer you toward an awesome deal.

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