Do caravans lose value? (7 tips for a successful resale)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Do caravans lose value? We will discuss the lifespan of a used and new caravan, and give you a few essential tips for a successful resale.

Do caravans lose value?

Yes, caravans lose value and have a high depreciation rate. The devaluation of a caravan is more important during the first five years after its purchase. By year six, the value of the motorhome is about half of its net purchase price. You can see the table below for more details. 

The caravan’s age    % of the price that maintains     % of depreciation
Up to 1 year100%0%
More than 1 year, up to 2 84% 16%
More than 2 years, up to 3 67%33%
More than 3 years, up to 4 56%44%
More than 4 years, up to 5 47% 53%
More than 5 years, up to 6 39% 61%
More than 6 years, up to 7 34%66%
More than 7 years, up to 8 28%72%
More than 8 years, up to 9 24%76%
More than 9 years, up to 10 19%81%
More than 10 years, up to 11 17%83%
More than 11 years, up to 12 13%87%
More than 12 years 10%90%

The lifespan of a used and new caravan

As we know, there are new caravans and second-hand caravans. Of course, they don’t have the same lifespan. A new caravan enjoys a longer lifespan compared to a second-hand motorhome. This is because it is still in good condition. A new product is intact and has no defects. Therefore, it lasts better over the years. But like any other object, the caravan also has a so-called expiration date. 

In general, the average lifespan of a caravan is 20 to 25 years. But this duration is purely indicative. Everything also depends on its maintenance. It is not uncommon to see motorhomes that are around 30 years old, but still in excellent working order.

If there is a proper estimate according to its date of construction, you should also know that the campsite manager grants a lifespan. Indeed, the person, responsible for the management of the land, takes care of the environment of the site. Also, they do not accept mobile homes in poor condition!

With this in mind, the manager can request a renewal after a period of 10 years on average. This is the lifespan of a caravan house set up on a campsite.

The lifespan of a caravan varies depending on the situation. It may depend on the location of the mobile home in relation to its material of manufacture. Indeed, a mobile home made entirely of wood is not resistant to climatic aggressions, especially humidity. 

As such, the residence will not last when installed in rainy regions. But the lifespan of a mobile home depends above all on its maintenance. Although it’s new, if you don’t maintain it regularly, it will quickly bow out without reaching the average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. 

On the other hand, a static caravan, even if it is second hand, could have exceptional longevity when you take the time to maintain it.

Tips for maximizing the selling price of a used caravan

Even if the depreciation of your caravan is inevitable, there are tips to increase its resale value. The best way is to opt for regular and rigorous maintenance of your trailer, ideally at your dealership. Take care to keep your invoices as supporting evidence.

Pay particular attention to these aspects to maximize the selling price of your trailer:

  1. Mechanical maintenance is very important. If your caravan is motorized, its engine must be in good condition to hope for good resale value. Otherwise, it is mostly the turn signals, brakes and axles that need to be well maintained over time. 

Maintenance at the beginning and another maintenance at the end of the season are therefore recommended. If you do a lot of the road, mid-season maintenance is a good option.

  1. Maintaining your unit’s plumbing deserves special attention. Check that there are no cracks in the joints and the plumbing connections. As for the toilet and wastewater tanks in your trailer, they must be cleaned at least once a year with cleaning products specially designed for caravans.
  1. Another aspect to watch out for is the electrical maintenance of the household appliances in your unit. The electrical system, which is necessary for the proper functioning of household appliances, must be in perfect condition. 

A caravan with a working TV, air conditioner, stove, microwave, and refrigerator is essential to have a good resale price. Here too, rigorous maintenance is essential.

  1. Maintaining a good temperature with an air conditioner and heating system helps reduce condensation inside your trailer. Measure the humidity regularly to prevent condensation from causing mould.
  1. The general appearance of your caravan is really important to ensure its resale! There are specific cleaning products for your unit. Soft and environmentally friendly, these products extend the life of your trailer while minimizing the ecological footprint. 
  1. Do you notice rust on the frame of your caravan? Maintain it as you go. Also, carefully inspect the roof, gaskets and caulking. The same goes for the windows and the door of your trailer. The aesthetics and functionality of your unit go hand in hand, so don’t overlook any detail!
  1. Winterizing your caravan plays a major role in calculating its resale price. Make sure you take all the essential steps to properly winterize your trailer once the camping season is over.

If you need a helping hand, there are companies offering maintenance and support to you or to carry out the work. It is also recommended that you store your unit in a safe place during the winter to prevent theft and vandalism.

Final thoughts

Like any other vehicle, a caravan loses value in time. This doesn’t mean that they are not worth buying! A caravan can offer you a lifetime experience, and if you care for it well, you will still be able to resale it when the time comes.

Of course, there is always the option of renting a caravan, and we would recommend this for those families who do not have the budget or do not want to risk buying a caravan.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions on the content. 

FAQ on Do caravans lose value?

When to buy a caravan?

When to buy a caravan –  the caravan sells particularly well during the months of April, March and May.

How to choose the right caravan?

To choose the right caravan, it is also necessary to look at two important criteria: the authorized total vehicle weight (GVWR) and the authorized total weight. The GVWR indicates the actual maximum weight added that can reach your car and the caravan.

How to buy a used caravan?

To know everything about the past life of your future caravan, here are the good questions to ask your salesperson. There are three documents that the seller must give you: registration card, sales certificate and situation certificate … There is no technical inspection for caravans.

What is the best brand of caravans?

The best brands of caravans are the Bürstner, Fendt, Hobby, Tabbert, Dethleffs, Adria, Eriba, Knaus and LMC rank at the top of the list and have maintained their position for the past decade. When it comes to RVs, VW is still in the first place.


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