Appraising a Motor Home for Financing, Insurance or a Charitable Donation

Appraising a motor home or recreational vehicle for financing, insurance or a charitable donation qualifies as a necessity when requirements dictate. In addition to accuracy, an appraiser who prepares a valuation report for an RV should strive to present professional-looking documents that will impress a bank, insurance company or the IRS as being valid. There are other reasons that appraisals may be necessary such as in matters involving estates, bankruptcy, purchase & sale, damage claims or equitable distribution.

Appraising and donating a motor home, trailer or other recreational vehicle to charity is both worthwhile and financially beneficial to you. A motor home or travel trailer can enhance many lives through the service they provide. The tax deduction that is enjoyed by the donor is, of course, another good reason for considering such a gift. The St. Lucie Appraisal Company provides fair market valuation appraisals in all 50 states for many useful purposes such as estate dissolution, equitable distribution, damage claims as well as for donations. Knowledge of motor homes and recreational vehicles is one key requirement but another essential necessity that an appraiser of RVs needs is a database of past sales of comparable items. Whether the appraisal is going to the IRS, an insurance company or a magistrate, it must be documented by sources for the information contained therein. In the case of a tax deductible donation in excess of $5,000.00, you must have a written appraisal in which the appraiser will complete an IRS Form 8283 for you.

Hire an Experienced Motor Home and RV Appraiser

Due to changes in IRS reporting requirements, a motor home or recreational vehicle can no longer be appraised by the dealer where it was purchased unless the item will be donated within two months of when it was acquired. If the vehicle is worth less than $5000.00, then usually you don’t need to hire an appraiser to value it for you. Like most automobiles, motor homes and recreational vehicles can be evaluated by year, make, model and condition. Other factors that should be considered are whether RVs have been upgraded or customized.

Insuring a motor home or recreational vehicle is usually a straightforward process unless upgrades or custom work was done. Claims, however, are a different story. Obtaining a fair settlement for a wrecked, stolen or total loss RV can be a nightmare because insurance companies are far less accommodating paying claims then they are in collecting premiums. An appraisal based on real world comparables is a necessity in these cases.

Obtaining financing from a bank or credit union for the purchase of a motor home or recreational vehicle often requires the borrower to have it appraised. RVs depreciate over time so lenders are careful about financing used RVs. The Kelly Blue Book and NADA RV evaluation guides don’t address upgrades and customization. Many motor homes have been refurbished to a degree that will extend their lifespans by many years. Banks and credit unions, when searching through their guide books can’t help but fail to realize these and decline to offer adequate loans. Hiring a licensed appraiser is a means to obtaining the necessary financing.

The St. Lucie Appraisal Company has provided valuation appraisals for motor homes and recreational vehicles since 1981. We are licensed appraisers and provide service in all 50 states. The cost of a fair market value appraisal depends upon the research necessary to make an accurate determination. However, with the extensive database of past sales at our disposal, we can most often provide an appraisal of a motor home or recreational vehicle for $325.00.


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