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RV Disposal Guide: Methods To Remove or Recycle Your Old Rig

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

We’ve all seen it: an abandoned travel trailer or motorhome sitting out on someone’s land. On the one hand, this is a sad thing to see. After all, that rig could be taking people out on adventures, or at least providing a roof over their heads. On the other hand, it can make one a bit angry seeing such an eyesore, especially if it’s near their home or on a route they take regularly. In some cases, the city may even take notice and ask the owner to undertake RV disposal to remove the vehicle from sight.

But what if that abandoned RV is yours (or on your property, anyway)? Clearly, you should find a way to get rid of it, but depending on the condition of the rig, this could be difficult to do. It may or may not be drivable at this point, and it almost certainly needs new tires. Even if you could move it, where would you take it? 

Options for RV Disposal

These are all good questions, and if you’re asking yourself these questions, you certainly aren’t the first to be doing so. Most people have no idea how to dispose of an old RV. That’s why we’re here today. Below we’ve outlined some options for RV disposal so you can reclaim your space. 

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Option 1: Sell to a Private Party

Selling your RV to a private party is the most straightforward option for RV disposal. This approach is viable if the RV is in a condition that’s good enough to sell. Assess your RV: Is the interior in decent shape? Can the RV start and run? Do the appliances function? Even if some cleaning and minor replacements are necessary, it could be worth the effort to profit from the RV.

To enhance the appeal of your RV for disposal, consider deep cleaning both the interior and exterior, replacing cushion covers, updating the flooring, painting walls and cabinets, changing hardware, and getting new tires.

RV Disposal Option 2: Use It as a Trade-in

If your RV is in decent shape, using it as a trade-in is another RV disposal option. While not as profitable as a private sale, it’s a hassle-free way to dispose of your RV. It can also serve as a down payment for a newer model, allowing you to embark on new adventures.

For the best trade-in value, clean the rig and make necessary repairs. Knowing the RV’s worth beforehand and getting offers from several places is advisable.

Option 3: Find a Junk Dealer

When an RV is in poor condition and beyond the scope of easy repairs, finding a junk dealer can be a suitable RV disposal method. Many junk dealers are willing to take on old cars and RVs, attempting to sell them for a profit.

While selling to a junk dealer might not offer much cash, it’s a convenient option. Many dealers will tow the RV from your property, simplifying the disposal process for those with busy schedules.

RV Disposal Option 4: Sell to a Scrap Yard

If even a junk dealer can’t use your RV, your next option is to sell the thing for scrap. The easiest way to go about this is to head to your local scrap yard. Most are happy to take travel trailers and motorhomes, as they can use the metal in the vehicles. 

All that said, because RVs are made up of more than just metal, many scrap yards don’t offer a price based on weight. Instead, they have a flat rate that they offer for all RVs, regardless of the size. This will not be much (think in the hundreds rather than thousands), but it is something, and it’ll allow you to get the RV off your land. 

Option 5: Strip It Down Yourself

Want to get more out of your RV, but know it won’t sell as anything more than scrap and parts? Strip it down yourself and sell off the parts individually. 

If your RV is vintage, some people will pay a pretty penny for the unique appliances and parts inside of it. Even if it isn’t vintage, you should be able to get some money from the refrigerator, oven, stove, water pump, converter, and other appliances inside. After all, RVs are constantly breaking, and buying used parts to fix an RV is much cheaper than buying new, meaning there is definitely a market for used RV parts. 

Once you’ve gotten all of the valuable pieces out of the RV, you can still drive it to the scrap yard to get that aforementioned flat rate price out of it as well. 

RV Disposal Option 6: Give It Away

Perhaps you don’t care about making money off the RV and just want it off your land. Depending on what kind of shape the RV is in, you might be able to give it away to friends, family, or someone looking for a fun project.

If this sounds appealing to you, it is worth asking around to see who might be interested. Put the word out on social media, join some RVing groups and post there, and see if anyone in your circle of friends might be interested. There’s sure to be somebody willing to take an old RV off your hands. 

Option 7: Donate It for a Tax Break

Another fantastic option if you’re willing to give your RV away is to donate it to charity like KOA Care Camps. No, you won’t get cash for the donation, but you will be helping a good cause, and the RV will be picked up from your land at no cost to you. 

KOA Care Camps is a non-profit that runs camps for children with cancer so they can enjoy the great outdoors. All RV donations go to fulfill this mission and are 100% tax deductible, making this a great way to dispose of an old RV. 

Simplifying RV Disposal

In sum, disposing of an old RV is a straightforward process with multiple paths available. From selling to a private party, trading it in, finding a junk dealer, selling to a scrap yard, stripping it for parts, giving it away, or donating it for a good cause, you have plenty of options to consider. The key is to choose the route that best aligns with your circumstances and goals.

RV disposal doesn’t have to be a headache. With a bit of planning, you can efficiently clear your space and possibly help others or the environment in the process. Make your decision with confidence and move forward with clearing your land of that old RV.

1 thought on “RV Disposal Guide: Methods To Remove or Recycle Your Old Rig”

  1. good idea’s, I will try them. Selling my Aliner in Texas difficult, as everyone wants monster 45′ rigs.

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