RV Barter and Trade

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

RV barter is one method to get a camper for trade or a motorhome for sale or trade.

The concept of bartering and trading for goods and services is not new. Before there was legal tender, there was always some form of bartering. It is still alive and well to this day. Some bartering allows for the exchange of goods relating to recreational vehicles (either buying or selling) between like-minded people.

It’s a useful way to reduce the cost of the RVing lifestyle by exchanging things, not always forms of money, for goods and services.

Barter Trade Meaning

The barter trade definition is essential as a form of exchange usually between two parties.

Defining the barter system beyond that isn’t that useful because of how it works and what deals can be struck depending on the parties involved.

For instance, a farmer might have agreed to the exchange of a sheep for something that they needed, like a new simple structure on their farm erected by a local builder. What someone is open to trading in barter is completely up to them.

Camper for Trade

When wanting something like an older camper, then looking for a camper for trade might be a good idea.

A camper owner might find that they’ve gotten older, travel little now, and have less need for their camper. Yet, they have a curious mind and would be interested to see what someone might offer in trade for their camper.

When not being too selective about exactly what camper you’re looking for, then search for previously owned campers being offered in trade can reduce or eliminate any purchase costs. If you also have something of value that’s either no longer needed or you don’t mind parting with it, then maybe a deal can be struck?

One possible source is the Campers Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook. Also, look at Craigslist barter and trade listings too.

Read Also: Are Pop Up Campers Allowed in National Parks

Trade for RV

It’s possible to think bigger and consider a trade for RV deal too.

Older RVs can be traded in for cash or in exchange for another automobile or RV. Sometimes, when planning to purchase a newer RV, then trading in the older one delivers some value (to reduce the amount needed to purchase the replacement motorhome). Conveniently, it also skips the need to advertise to sell the old RV too.

Also, when living in the older RV at the time, it’s beneficial to complete the trade-in and purchase together. Otherwise, you may sell your old RV and then be without a home until finding a good one to purchase as a replacement. That gap without a roof over your head can get expensive.

Renting an RV

Renting an RV reduces the cost of RV travel if only getting on the road once or twice a year.

When wanting to rent each year, it’s possible to purchase blocks of time to secure access to the RV or camper. This feels a little like owning it, but without all the RV maintenance and other ownership concerns.


Another benefit to renting an RV before bartering for one or purchasing one outright is that you can try one on for size (or several). Doing this can confirm if a Class C RV is too small for your family’s needs, or if a towable camper is insulated well enough to manage colder seasons in your neck of the woods.

Renting can save money by avoiding purchasing an RV, camper, or truck camper that would have turned out to have been unsuitable.

Motorhomes for Sale or Trade

If you see a sign on the roadside for “Motorhome for Sale or Trade” or it pops up during a scan of Craigslist barter trade listings, you might be onto a winner.

There are many thousands of RVs and motorhomes sitting on driveways taking up space. Many haven’t been driven in years. Maybe someone in the household is complaining about “that eyesore out there” and so there’s more urgency to get rid of it? Alternatively, the motorhome could be in storage costing dollars every month to keep it there.

It’s also possible that there are a few repairs to perform, and the owner doesn’t know what they’re doing. And as they rarely if ever use the RV now, they just can’t be bothered. In which case, they may be willing to trade a motorhome for a new toy like a barely used ATV, a cool automobile, or something else to quickly solve their problem.

Alternatively, they may just wish to sell for cash if they have a loan note out on it and need to clear that first. Do check that there are no outstanding liens on the motorhome before acquiring it though.

Trade Car for RV

When looking for an affordable RV and trying to spend as little as possible, you could trade your car for an RV directly. This might be ideal for someone who’s used an RV for a while, looking to cut their losses, and get back on four wheels again.

While a dealer isn’t as likely to do this type of trade deal, some private sellers will consider it. Some people feel like they’ll get ripped off if they sell or trade their car through a dealership because their prices reflect the profit they intend to make. Other people prefer dealing person to person and keeping businesses out of it. Whatever their reason, it can make for a smooth transaction.

Trade Boat for RV

Boat owners can find it’s become too expensive to own the boat, maintain it, and moor it in a marina. At a certain point, they may conclude that getting out on the open road with their family in an RV is a better choice.

The idea to trade a boat for an RV works because smaller boats don’t necessarily cost more than a relatively modern motorhome. Often, it can be a straight trade. This makes it a cleaner transaction without the need for heavy negotiations. When either party intensively dislikes any type of negotiation, then this might be a preferred transaction.

Search on Craigslist for trade boat for motorhome listings to find current ones.

Trade Land for RV

Similarly, people purchase land for many different reasons, but these can change over the years. If needing to relocate for work, or to get close to the in-law’s family, then selling the land becomes necessary before moving away.

A trade land for RV deal can allow them to downsize and relocate without an expensive cross-country removals service. Instead, once decluttering is complete, fewer life possessions can fit into an RV. Then making the road trip becomes a simple matter. When arriving at the new location and not finding some real estate to buy right away, they can live in an RV resort or campground in the RV to keep their living costs lower.  

For anyone who owns land that they don’t need any longer, finding a barter trade land deal could be a better option than looking for a land buyer. If you own land and want to switch to an RV, then consider this option.

Trade Motorcycle for RV

If you’ve previously been single and loved riding on your motorcycle but now you have a family and need more practical transportation for road trips, then a motorhome might be exactly right.

Some people miss being on two wheels and feeling the breeze running through their hair. If they’ve found the RV lifestyle not to be for them or they’ve recently split up from their partner, maybe they’d be open to a trade motorcycle for RV deal to make that happen?

Put up a ‘Will Trade for Motorhome’ Ad

If you’re keen to get a motorhome but are short on funds to make it happen, put up a ‘Will trade for motorhome’ listing on Craigslist, a Facebook Group, the local rag, or elsewhere.

These types of adverts are effective when not finding the motorhome you’re after, aren’t too picky, or are wishing to retain cash. Cash is king, so barter trade can preserve any savings for when they’re most needed.

Be prepared to receive some interesting offers for trade. For instance, a farmer may ask for assistance in fixing a piece of equipment or finishing off some outer walls, or mending fences. It all depends on what people need and want to ask for in trade for their motorhome.

Workamper or Campground Barter Trade

Some RV campgrounds or workamper arrangements provide the option to discount the costs of a weekly or monthly stay in exchange for putting in some hours on their behalf. The usual arrangement is a fixed number of hours in exchange for either a discounted plot or something else.

The benefit for the campground or workamper organization is that they get someone who is more reliable because they’re keen to maintain the arrangement. If they’ve previously had trouble finding dependable workers, or it’s an area that’s off the beaten path where skilled labor is hard to find, then there are several reasons for them to be open to it.

For you, it means giving up some of your free time (or time that could be devoted to other paying opportunities) to reduce your fixed outgoings. When a campground or resort can cost anywhere from $30-70 a night, knocking a few hundred-a-month off the cost adds up fast.

Useful Resources for Barter Junkies

To be a successful barter trader, it’s necessary to look around for new deals across a variety of sources.

It’s been suggested that the barter economy is worth over ten billion in the U.S. market alone. It’s also something that becomes more popular when money is tighter or jobs scarcer too.

Here are some websites to try out:

  • GoSwap.org – Organized swapping site featuring U.S. and international RVs, boats, land, businesses, and more. Straight swaps, owner financing, payment, and even Bitcoin are sometimes accepted by some sellers.
  • Local newspaper classifieds – i.e., KSL features trade and barter deals in Utah and elsewhere in the county.
  • RVillage.com – Their Barter Village has occasional new posts from people looking for camping spots, and to swap services. There are also organized get-togethers, RV campground discounts, and discussion groups.
  • RVTrader – Rent an RV or Sell one. Adding listings is quick and fast.
  • Craigslist – The ultimate classified listing site is still going strong. Drill down to barter trade in specific towns, cities, and states. Like these barter trade deals in St. Cloud, or these in barter listings in the windy city.

Also, consider trade clubs if you’re a business with services to offer. These clubs aim to exchange one business service for another. It’s a different approach to a successful barter that works for some business owners.

Closing Thoughts

As with any deals between people, buyers beware.

When a deal on a barter listing site sounds too good, don’t be fooled. Validate that the item is truly owned by the purported seller. If there are seller ratings or past reviews, pour over them.

Also, for RVs, verify whether there are any outstanding liens or other reasons to avoid them. When meeting people to make a trade, bring a friend with you for security. Also, always meet in a public place with security cameras, etc.

Related Articles

Is Buying an RV Lot a Good Investment?

How Big is One Acre of Land?

Are Pop Up Campers Allowed in National Parks

Do RVs Have VIN Numbers?

11 Best RV Camping Hacks for 2021