This is not just a symptom of what happened during “the time we dare not speak of”! Being upside down on a trade has happened in lots of purchase areas and for as many years as there has been credit. But, when you have the perfect storm where:

  • Demand is up
  • Supply is down
  • There is a new segment of buyers with little knowledge
  • There are new salespeople with little knowledge
  • Money is cheap
  • And then things return to the “new normal”
And inevitably you end up with loans for units that are now booked at more than the trade-in value. In worst-case scenarios, you can buy a new unit for less money.  We have heard from campers and dealerships alike and no one likes this scenario. Certainly, the RV Manufacturing industry does not like the situation.

Does that mean all is lost? If you are that buyer or that salesperson trying to help that buyer is this a lost cause? Absolutely not!

Here are some tips on how to fix this situation and help others at the same time.

Step 1: Find out what your current payoff on your unit is.

Step 2: Find out what your best offer is on your unit as a trade in. (Remember that this can be impacted by what you are buying and what you are trading so try and compare apples to apples.)

Step 3: Subtract the trade-in offer from your loan balance. (Write this number down for later.)

Step 4: Go to and search for your unit and see what it is renting for. Remember to search locally if you are going to have it picked up at your location. Once you have a good idea of what it could rent for per day, then take the number I told you to save for later and then divide it by the average daily rate for the rental you just found.

The result:

The result will give you the number of days that you would need to rent your unit to get the balance paid down so that you can successfully trade. While this may not be your perfect solution, it is A solution that can help you get to where you want to be.

Another tip:

If you happen to have a 5th Wheel and don’t feel this is doable for you, because hey… who wants to allow someone you don’t know to drive your big truck? Check into the campground partner programs that are offered. can help you with that as well.

This is not an advertorial for RVShare. They just happen to be a reliable and vetted resource within The Hub. There are many other peer-to-peer businesses you can also check with. 

Final Tip:

Think about when you primarily use your unit. Perhaps you live in the Northeast. Consider taking your unit to the south, or where snowbirds flock in the winter! You can leave it with many campgrounds on revenue share agreements and it is only gone when you are not using it anyway.

We hope this has given you some encouragement and something to think about. There are many ways if you think creatively to solve what sometimes seems like unsolvable problems.

If you happen to be an RV salesperson and are reading this, we can tell you what we often hear. “Don’t push customers into the rental market.” This is one of those recommendations that statistically does not negatively impact our industry even though it sounds like it might. The truth is, when you help an upside-down customer, they will be so appreciative, that they will come back to you because you thought of them first. You will not have lost a sale, you will have just delayed one and truly helped to keep people camping successfully which should be everyone’s goal.

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