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Can You Save Money Through Motorhome Auctions?

travel trailer outside - feature image for motorhome auctions
You can save a ton of money on your next RV by shopping online through motorhome auctions. Photo: Shutterstock

What You Need To Know About Motorhome Auctions

More Americans than ever are planning to get into the RV lifestyle. The record demand for motorhomes combined with a low supply of them has RV prices soaring to atmospheric levels right now.  However, there are still ways to get amazing deals on an RV without spending beyond your comfort level.  Motorhome auctions are at the top of our list for getting a bargain deal on an RV that will suit your family’s needs.  

How do motorhome auctions work?

Auctions sell used RVs for owners, financing companies, or anyone else who needs to sell an RV.  They set a minimum bid (called a reserve), and would-be buyers bid above that reserve amount.  These days, although bidders can inspect the vehicles in person, auction bidding is often done online. 

The person with the highest bid at the end of the auction gets the motorhome for whatever their bid was.  They owe the auction house for the RV and have to pay, then pick it up within a fixed period of time.  The auction house takes a fee and forwards the rest to the seller. 

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Where to find online motorhome auctions

All the auction houses have websites where they have fairly brief decriptions of the motorhomes they’ll have in upcoming auctions. It’s fun to peruse these before you attend to inspect an RV. Here’s a list of just some of the online auction house sites:

Register for the auction

You’ll need to register for the auction before you bid.  Some motorhome auctions ask for a credit card number or certified check that they can hold as proof that you will pay.

Always research before you bid

You can save thousands of dollars on an RV when you buy through an auction. However, it’s a good idea to do your research before bidding on a motorhome you like at an auction. 

  1. Find out the price for that motorhome through a dealer and through a private sale.
  2. Bring an RV inspector or at least someone with mechanical and RV knowledge. You don’t want to buy a problem RV.
  3. Join some online groups for your chosen make/model and find out about any problems with that RV.

Decide on the maximum amount you want to spend on the RV that you are interested in. Don’t fall in love with it or you could get bidding fever. (That means bidding above the amount you already decided the rig was worth.)

Buying an RV at an auction is exciting and can save you a lot of money.  However, you’ll be stuck with anything you win at an auction, so research is key, as is having an inspection done.  


RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.



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