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What Is an RV Flipper?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the better part of two decades, you’re likely familiar with house flippers. They’ve become a popular part of the modern real estate market.

By buying older or rundown homes, fixing them up, and selling them for a profit, flippers make some cash for themselves. Meanwhile, they improve the quality of the housing stock. But can the same principle be applied to the RV community? Grab your tools, and we’ll take a closer look at the world of RV flippers. 

What Is an RV Flipper?

Simply, an RV flipper applies the same buy low, sell high formula that traditional house flippers use. This time, they use it for RVs, travel trailers, and fifth wheels. RV flippers find older, ugly, or damaged RVs. They often select ones that typical buyers wouldn’t be interested in.

The owners are usually desperate to get rid of them. Because of this, they can often acquire them for a relatively affordable price. Then, using their own skills and sometimes the help of subcontractors or mechanics, they improve the RV. This can range from simply updating interior finishes or fixing minor engine or systems problems to a wholesale gut-job rebuild. 

Finally, flippers resell the newly updated RV to traditional buyers, who pay a premium for a freshly redone RV. In an ideal world, everyone is happy. The former owner gets some cash or gets rid of a nuisance old RV, and the new owner receives a fashionable, like-new rig. The flipper makes a profit for their efforts in between. 

Two men posing in front of painted RV.
Make old, ugly RVs beautiful again as an RV flipper.

Is Flipping RVs Profitable? 

Yes! Or, at least that’s how it should work. Flippers need to keep an eye on three crucial monetary amounts to make money off a transaction. They have to consider the cost of buying the rig from the old owner, the cost of materials and services to upgrade it, and the value of similar rigs sold recently.

Profitable flippers know which rigs are the right ones to buy and flip and which have costly or difficult problems worth avoiding.

They also ensure they’re profitable by selecting appropriate materials and choosing the most valuable things to upgrade. Finally, they have a reliable sales strategy to make sure they not only can sell their flipped RV but sell at a price they need to make money. 

However, it may not be as easy as it sounds. As with house flipping, there are often unexpected issues or costs that pop up. These can quickly turn a slam dunk flip into a money pit nightmare.

Experienced and profitable flippers know how to avoid as many of these situations as possible and how to get themselves out with minimal losses when they do occur. 

Pro Tip: Want to buy an RV to flip? Use these 11 RV Buying Tips You MUST Know.

Can You Make A Living Flipping Campers?

Whether you can make a living flipping campers will depend largely on your lifestyle and motivation. There are a few things to consider, primarily the overall market for flipped trailers and RVs.

Do some research and speak with some actual flippers to find out what kind of profit you might reasonably expect for each of the flips you’d be doing. Then, consider how many you could do in a year, and compare that to your current salary.

It’s important not to be overly optimistic, especially if you’re just getting started. So, while it’s certainly possible to make a living as an RV flipper, it may be rarer and more difficult than you imagine to do so sustainably.

Pro Tip: If you’re buying a used RV to flip, this is How to Determine the Value of Used RVs.

RV being repaired.
Flipping RVs can be a lucrative business if done right.

Where Do You Find an RV Flipper?

If you’re looking to sell an old RV or have one flipped, your best place to start might be at any local RV dealership. They may be able to buy your rig, take care of the “flip” repairs you had in mind, or refer you to someone who can.

Another excellent resource is online RV groups or forums. Use the power of networking to see who has flipped an RV or knows someone who does. This is also a great way to learn about the quality of a flipper’s work or what kind of prices they offer. 

Is It Better to Flip an RV Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Flipping an RV isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. It’s true that doing it yourself can be a lucrative way to make extra money. You can also save yourself some cash fixing up an old rig. But those benefits don’t come cheap.

In addition to the knowledge required to make the repairs or subcontract them out, dedicate time to sourcing materials, as well as the process of acquiring and selling the rig. Using a professional RV flipper will add costs to the process. It will also provide the experience required to make the flip go as smoothly as possible. 

Is Renovating an RV Worth It?

Renovating an RV can be just as big of a project as fixing up a house in some cases. Plus, you don’t have to worry about moving the house around when you’re done! For some people, the stress, hassle, time, and money required to do so simply aren’t worth it. Those with the means to do so might be better off buying an already livable RV or trailer. 

But for those who are handy around the house, enjoy creating and designing, or want to enjoy a luxury rig without a luxury budget, an RV renovation may be just the ticket.

You may find yourself a new life as an RV flipper or find it’s the kind of project best left to the professionals! 

Have you ever considered being an RV flipper? Drop a comment below!

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