If you thought that owning an RV was out of reach, let me assure you there are several totally legit ways that you can actually get a free RV. And, it’s easier than you think. In fact, two of the methods in this article will show you how you can get a free RV in great condition.
So, I’m sure you are asking yourself all sorts of questions but mostly – How Can I Get a Free RV? So, we came up with six totally legit ways to help you figure out How To Get A Free RV:
- Relocate an RV for an RV Rental Company
- Use Facebook
- Use Craigslist
- Look Through RV Classifieds
- Canvass Your Community for RVs No Longer In Use
- Win an RV
In this article, we will go through the details of each of these methods for finding a free RV.
Are All Free RVs Junk?
This is the first question that crosses my mind when I think about a free RV. Surely, they must be full of mold, rodents, and god knows what else. Well, surprisingly, this is not always the case. Yes, there are plenty of old abandoned RVs that are in horrible condition and probably not worth the time and effort to try to repair them.
But there are also lots of RVs that are not in use but are in good enough condition to be repaired or remodeled. You may need to haul them from where you find them but it might be worth it for a free RV that you can bring back to life. And if you are a DIY kind of person, why not at least get the RV for free before you tear it apart and renovate it. You might even be able to get some of your RV remodeling materials free too and we will cover that a little further down in the article.
So, let’s dive into each of the six best ways to find a free RV.
1. Relocate RVs for an RV Rental Company
Every year thousands and thousands of people rent RVs. Some rent round trip, which just means they rent from and return to the same location. But thousands of people also rent an RV for a one-way trip. This is especially true if they are traveling a long distance. For example, someone may want to rent an RV for a week or two to travel from New York to Florida. In this case, they might choose to fly home so they don’t use up their valuable vacation time doubling back on their road trip.
So, how does the RV Rental company get the RV back to the starting location? They can spend lots of money and tow or truck the RV back or they can load it on a train and ship it back. Or they can hire a driver and pay for all of their expenses while they drive the RV back to its point of origin. (And then they have to pay to get the driver back to his or her point of origin). The point is all of these methods to return the RV to the original rental location cost the RV Rental company a lot of money.
So, RV Rental companies allow individuals to drive RVs back to their point of origin. And in exchange, the driver gets to use the RV to camp or sightsee for the duration of the trip. Drivers are usually expected to drive 2-3 hours a day which leaves plenty of time for recreating along the way. This is a great way to use an RV in perfect working condition for free. And, even though you don’t get to keep the RV you can do this as often as you like! It’s a great way to get a free RV and hit the road! Thrifty Nomads wrote a really great article on this subject. It’s definitely worth a read if you want to get more info.
One of the best ways to relocate RVs is through a company called Transfercar. They match drivers to RVs that need to be transferred for big RV Rental Companies like Jucy, Apollo, and El Monte. Check out the video below from Transfercar.
2. Use Facebook to Find a Free RV
Facebook has two awesome ways that you can find a free RV. The first is through a Facebook group called FREE/CHEAP Campers and Mobile Homes. It’s amazing to me that there is a Facebook group for free RVs but there is! So, join the group and check it regularly and you might just find what you are looking for. There are free RVs and cheap RVs for sale within the group. You can read the posts to find a free or really cheap RV.
The second way to use Facebook to find a free, or really cheap, RV is through Facebook Marketplace. We actually found an RV on Facebook Marketplace. There are plenty of inexpensive RVs listed and every now and then a free one is listed too. So, check often and be ready to go look at it as soon as you see one on Marketplace.
3. Use Craigslist to Find a Free RV
There are some very good strategies for using Craigslist to find a free RV. You can search for someone giving away an RV, or you can place an ad stating that you are looking for a free RV. Let’s dive into these two options a bit deeper.
You can search your local Craigslist ads for free RVs. But if you are willing to travel further you might want to search Nationwide. If you want to search nationwide on Craigslist just use these two links. site:craigslist.org/zip/ motorhome or site:craigslist.org/zip/ rv. Here are two important things to note about the links if you need to copy and paste them for some reason.
- Do not put www or https before them – just keep it the way it is.
- Notice that there is a space between the forward slash and motorhome and also RV. If that space isn’t there the link will not work. I have no idea why but that’s the only way it works.
The search will result in several pages of free motorhomes and RVs and motorhome or RV related items. Just be patient and keep checking every day or two and eventually you will find a free RV.
Place an Ad on Craigslist
You can also use Craigslist to place an ad stating that you are looking for a free RV and you will remove it from the owner’s property. Many owners don’t have the money to pay for someone to remove their RV from their property so you could be solving this problem for them.
Another good strategy is to trade a skill or service for the RV. Technically it’s not free this way but no money is leaving your pocket so it’s pretty free.
A Strategy To Get Free Remodeling Materials on Craigslist
Once you find a free RV you will almost certainly need to renovate it so use Craigslist to find free or very cheap building products such as insulation, flooring, countertops, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies and more!
4. Search RV Classifieds
I have been on RV classifieds many times and I have seen RVs advertised for free. They are usually in need of some work but again, they are available for the taking. Some specific RV Classifieds are RVTrader.com, and RVT.com but these aren’t the best classifieds to find free RVs. Some better sites are Classifiedads.com, pennysaverusa.com, oodle.com, rvsfsbo.com or your local newspaper classifieds. It takes some time and effort to find free RVs in these classifieds but if you are patient and persistent you can find them.
5. Canvass Your Community
I can’t tell you how many RVs I have seen just sitting unused in someone’s yard. You can just tell by looking at them that they aren’t being used. They usually have flat tires and grass that is two feet tall around them. And they look old and in a state of disrepair. When you find an RV like this just knock on the owner’s door and let them know you are looking for an RV to renovate. Ask them if they are looking to get rid of their RV in exchange for you getting it off of their property.
The reason many RVs are sitting on people’s property is that they don’t know how to get rid of them or don’t have the money to tow them away. This could be a golden opportunity for you to get an RV for free! So, keep your eyes open because your free RV could be sitting right around the corner!
6. Win an RV
The final way you can get a free RV is to win one in a contest. It’s highly unlikely that you will win but think about it. Every year millions of people enter HGTV’s contest to win a free house. So, maybe you can get lucky and win an RV! Companies like UltraContest and Sweepstakes Advantage scour the internet for RV contests so you can easily enter to win an RV. Also, big companies like Airstream and KOA hold contests occasionally and give away free RVs. And don’t forget to check your local RV Dealerships for contests and giveaways too!
1. What is the best type of RV to find for free?
Before finding a free RV you should decide which type of RV you want. Your choices are the kind you drive or the type that you tow. Examples RVs you drive are Class A, B, and C. Some examples of the kind you tow are travel trailers, 5th wheels or popup campers. For more information about which type of RV is the best for you, check out our article called Class C RV vs 5th Wheel – Which is Better and Why? This article covers the pros and cons for drivable versus towable RVs. Another great article to learn more about owning an RV is The Pros and Cons of Owning an RV.
2. Where Can I Park My RV While I Remodel It?
You should definitely consider this before you find a free RV to renovate. Most folks plan to park the RV on their property or in their driveway but there are quite a few things to take into consideration first. For example, there may be local ordinances or Homeowners Association rules about where you can, and can not, park an RV. Or your neighbors may have an objection. This issue comes up so often that I wrote an article about it called Can I Park an RV in My Driveway? Check it out for lots of info on this topic.
3. Can I Find and Convert a School Bus Into an RV?
Another option that has become very popular is converting school buses into RVs, also known as skoolies. And yes, you can find school buses for free that you can convert into an RV too! There are a couple of really good resources on Amazon for converting school buses that I recommend. They are Bus Conversion Floor Plans by Ben Rosander, Select and Convert Your Bus into a Motorhome on a Shoestring by Ben Rosander, and How to Build Low Cost Motorhomes by Louis C McClure. You can learn a lot from all three of these books.
There are many ways to find a free RV or school bus with some persistence and perseverance. And although finding a free RV is not for everyone, at least those who want to find a free RV or school bus have plenty of good options available.
Do you know of any other ways to find a free RV? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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I am an avid RVer and full-time blogger who loves camping, fishing, hiking, and biking. I started RVBlogger.com to share my lifetime of experience and knowledge about all things outdoors.