What You Need to Know About NADA RV Price Guides

People who buy, sell and trade recreational vehicles should take the time to learn the details about using NADA RV price guides because doing so is the only way to get a basic idea of the market value of any travel unit.

General Info About NADA RV Price Guides

General Information

There are a number of different RV pricing guides on the market, but the most popular is the one published by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).  It is also the one used by dealers when selling or trading a coach, and you can use it the same way.

To do this, you can either go to NADA.com to find the information you seek, or purchase a hard copy of the most recent guide.

The hard copy is handier to use because you can carry it with you and do on the spot research, but if you have a smart phone and can hook up to wifi, you can also access the NADA site.

However, it’s faster, more accurate and easier to use the hard copy version.

Those who wish specific historical information from a previous month and year can request it from the NADA for the cost of $40 per valuation, but you can see many prices from previous years right on the website and also in the hard copy handbook.

All pricing is in US dollars and is based on actual auction and sales figures, asking prices and a variety of other economic factors. 

Sales taxes are not included due to the fact that they can vary from state to state and county to county.

Prices Are Published Based on Location

The NADA publishes hard cover regional pricing guides for sellers, insurance companies, lenders and taxing authorities, but only national average pricing is posted online. The prices listed between the regional and national guides can vary by several hundred dollars.

Thus to find more exact prices for the area in which you live, it is a good idea to ask your insurance company or lender to provide more specific figures. This takes some time to do, but is worth the effort.

You should also be aware that the prices you see in the guide are for the coach only and do not include seller fees, taxes and the like.

Knowing Values Can Save You Money

It is important to understand that the values you see in the NADA guides are approximations. 

Private sellers who are overpricing their coaches will tell you that the figures you see in the guide don't matter, but they matter quite a bit.

While it's true that prices can often vary due to issues such as condition and popularity, there should never be thousands of dollars worth of difference between what the books show and the asking price for any coach.

For instance,

  • if a dealer is selling a used RV for $27,000 that has an average retail value of $16,000 and is in low average condition, he simply is trying to cheat you,
  • if he then offers you $8,000 for a your trade in that has an average retail of $15,000 and is in good condition, he is trying to cheat you a second time.

Making a profit is one thing, asking for a profit spread of $18,000 to close a deal is quite another.

Using an NADA Price Guide Is a Good Idea

Sellers can and do often manipulate the figures this way, but you cannot be cheated if you understand basic values.

All you have to do is look up the make, model and year of the RV you want to know about, check the options info and then look at the average and low retail prices.

It  only takes a few minutes to find the information you need, but doing this is time well spent.