What Is an RV Graveyard?

RVs don’t live forever. But where exactly do they go to die? Many give up the ghost and spend their final moments in RV graveyards. At these salvage yards, you can find reasonably priced parts for your own rig. Let’s look closer at the final resting place of many RVs.

What Is an RV Graveyard?

All good things must come to an end. This is true even for your beloved fifth wheel or motorcoach. But what happens to an RV when it can no longer provide you with safe lodging at a campground?

Many go to various RV salvage businesses around the country. These graveyards house worn-out rigs that can be “parted out,” much like junkyards sell car parts. 

How Does a Motorhome End Up at an RV Graveyard?

Many rigs end up at an RV graveyard after getting totaled in an accident, natural disaster, or fire. Insurance companies find it more cost-effective to give customers the full value of their RV than try to fix it. New rig owners can pick through the RVs at a graveyard, harvesting working parts, appliances, and equipment to replace broken parts in RVs that are still on the road.

Many times, these salvage businesses purchase unusable RVs and bring them to their graveyards. They strip off workable parts and motors and store them in their warehouses.

Then, they place the skeletons on their property and let others pick those clean, too. People take things like doors, slides, awnings, and more.

Can You Shop at an RV Salvage Yard?

Many large RV graveyards don’t allow shoppers to travel around their property but handle their business online or by phone. RVers looking for specific parts must email the salvage yard with their queries, providing pictures with specific measurements, RV models, and years.

The staff knows what’s on their lot and will pick through their inventory. Customers get a picture with accompanying measurements, plus a bill. You can request the graveyard mail your purchase to you or pick it up.

Can You Buy Entire Motorhomes at an RV Graveyard?

On occasion, an RV graveyard receives a working coach or travel trailer. They put these RVs up for sale on their websites, allowing buyers to purchase otherwise expensive vehicles at lower prices. The salvage company can usually tell buyers what will need repair, as they’ve already gone through the RV.

How to Find an RV Graveyard Near You

There are numerous RV graveyards across the U.S., but two of the largest lie on either side of the country. You’ll find Arizona RV Salvage in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, and Visone RV Parts is in East Bernstadt, Ky. You can also utilize a great resource by Rich, the RV Guy. He has accumulated a list, state by state, of RV salvage yards throughout the U.S.

Is Visiting an RV Graveyard Worth the Scavenger Hunt?

You may find yourself hunting through an RV graveyard, looking for a specific part for your RV. Or maybe it’s too grim a prospect for you.

At the very least, RV graveyards are a great way to recycle many of the working parts in RVs. And saving money on a perfectly good generator, door, heater, or refrigerator can help with your budget.

RV graveyards fill a need for recycled parts and equipment while getting unsafe vehicles off the roads. These salvage businesses offer constantly changing inventory at rock-bottom prices. If you’re looking for spare parts, would you consider starting at an RV graveyard?

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