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What Are RV Salvage Yards and What Are They Good For?

What Are RV Salvage Yards and What Are They Good For?

Do you need RV parts for an older model RV but don’t want to spend a ton of money buying new? An RV salvage yard could help you save money, be eco-friendly, and support small businesses. Let’s find out more about what these salvage yards are and how they can help you.

What Is an RV Salvage Yard?

An RV salvage yard, or RV junkyard, is where old and broken RVs go to die. Salvage yards are full of broken-down and wrecked recreational vehicles. They’re the perfect place for finding parts to repair or upgrade your RV. You can purchase most items at a salvage yard at a steep discount. 

What Kind of RVs End Up at a Salvage Yard?

You‘ll find all types of RVs at RV salvage yards. These junkyards house motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-ups, and more. The rigs that end up in salvage yards may be broken down, wrecked, totaled, burned, or in various states of decay and disrepair. But that doesn’t mean that all of the components in the RVs are bad. 

RV Parts You Can Find at a Junkyard

Salvage yards are great places to go shopping for hard-to-find RV parts. If you have a newer RV that you need a specific part for, a RV salvage yard may not be right for you. However, a junkyard might be the perfect place for you if you have an older RV. You can find interior RV parts, engine parts, and parts for your RV’s components. 

Why Should You Check Out an RV Salvage Yard?

Even if you don’t need any specific RV parts, a trip to a salvage yard is an adventure in itself. If you find yourself near an RV junkyard, go check it out! Here are some of the top reasons to make the trip.

Inside An RV Junkyard For Parts

Cheap Prices

You’re not going to find better prices on RV parts than at a salvage yard. The prices are low because the RVs aren’t in use, and they aren’t going anywhere.

Pro Tip: Typically the buyer is responsible for removing the parts themselves, so bring your tools

Another reason the prices are so low is because you can haggle. Be prepared to negotiate at a salvage yard. You might be surprised how low the lot owner is willing to go.

Eco-Friendly

Reduce, reuse, recycle. That’s what you’re doing when you go “shopping” at a junkyard. 

The RVs that end up in these lots are sitting there wasting away, but many of them have components and parts that work perfectly fine. Besides saving yourself some money, you’re reducing your environmental footprint. Purchasing used RV parts prevents unnecessary manufacturing, processing, and shipping.

Support Local Businesses

RV salvage yards are usually locally owned small businesses. By purchasing from a small business, you’re supporting the local economy instead of big corporations. 

It Can Be an Adventure

Shopping at a junkyard is truly like a treasure hunt. You just never know what you’re going to find! Even if you don’t need a specific part, a day spent at a junkyard can be like a day at an amusement park for some people. 

Cons of Shopping at a Salvage Yard

Shopping at junkyards can be a lot of fun, but it isn’t without downsides. Let’s see some of the cons so you can arrive prepared.

Not a Lot of Options for Newer RVs

Most of the RVs at salvage yards are older models. If you have a newer RV that you need parts for, you might be out of luck here. There aren’t many options for engine or mechanical parts for newer RVs, but if you’re looking for vintage fixtures or older parts, you’re in luck. 

Negotiation Needed

There are no set prices at an RV salvage yard. You won’t see price tags on anything, so be prepared to haggle. Know what the part is worth and factor in how difficult it is to remove, if applicable. 

Hunting Takes Time

Shopping at a salvage yard isn’t like shopping at a store. There aren’t neat and clean aisles and shelves. Instead, you’ll be rummaging through old RVs in an outdoor setting. You may come across bugs or rodents, and hunting for a specific part will take time. 

If you take a trip to a salvage yard, be prepared to spend several hours rummaging around. The lot owner might have a general idea of a specific RV model, but you can expect to be on your own for the most part. 

Is Shopping at an RV Salvage Yard Worth It? 

If you’re looking for an older part, prefer to purchase used, or just love a good treasure hunt, shopping at a salvage yard is definitely worth it. Finding a bargain, having a unique adventure, and saving yourself thousands of dollars is always a good idea.

Have you ever visited an RV salvage yard? Drop a comment below and tell us about your experience.

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Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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robert gardner

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

After going deer hunting with my Travel Supreme I needed the lower left half of my front cap. Any parts that were knocked off were destroyed by the semi-trucks following me so I had nothing for the collision repair shop to work from. Contacted Colaw RV (https://colawrvparts.com/) and they had a front cap on their lot. By using their salvage parts it saved the shop from having to try to recreate the damaged area. I am a definite believer in salvage yards and most especially Colaw. Their price and shipping was reasonable .

John Read

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Nice article, but it would've been more complete if you include a link to RV salvage yards. (https://rtrvg.com/blog/2017/07/22/used-rv-parts-and-salvage-yards-by-state/)

Mark

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Thank you John for the Link :~)

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