Travel trailers rarely age gracefully. The weathering elements that naturally break down and recycle old materials can do a number on them.
Because of the accompanying oxidation that yellows the surface and rodents looking for homes, a sitting camper trailer can deteriorate quickly.
If you have one of these unfortunate campers, I’m sure that you are well aware of what an eyesore they can be. In fact, that’s probably what brought you here.
If you want to get rid of an old trailer, here are the most popular ways of accomplishing that task.
Great Ways To Get Rid Of Your Travel Trailer
Warning – As with any home made before the 1970s, many older camper ceilings contain asbestos. If you are getting rid of an old camper, make sure that you take the proper steps to protect yourself and others from the asbestos.
If you don’t, you could be at risk for fines, lawsuits, and of course, the potential health related issues from the asbestos.
Donate it to the fire department.
There is a possibility that regulations and safety concerns might prevent this option. When firefighters practice putting out fires, they need to be careful not to release toxic fumes into the air.
If it does work out, you might be able to get rid of your camper trailer for free. Obviously, this is only a good option if the trailer no longer holds any value from a financial perspective.
If you want to go green and maybe make a little in the process, this is probably the option for you. Trailer materials are roughly 75% wood, so you won’t earn much, but every little bit helps.
The remaining 25% is made of metal, pipes, wires, etc. that can be salvaged and sold as scrap.
Donate it to charity.
This is ideal. That is, it is ideal if your trailer is in decent shape. First, it helps people. Second, they will give you a receipt for its value that you can use as a write off.
That is almost as good as cash when tax season comes around.
Third, as a rule, charities have all the forms and paperwork prepared, sometimes online, so that simplifies and speeds up the process. Here are a few popular charities that take campers:
- VehiclesforVerterans – If you are in the United States, this might be a good option for you. There are an estimated 50,000 homeless veterans, and they need shelter. Don’t worry if transportation is an issue. The VFV will arrange the pick up, and it won’t cost you a cent.
- Cars2Charities – At Cars2Charities, you can choose which cause your gift will support; animal rescues, medical aid, homelessness, veterans, human services, and more. There is also a personal incentive for you. The C2C improves the value of donations by enhancing the way they look and sound. They also perform mechanical repairs to improve the resale value if it increases the value of the donations enough to be worth it. And that increased value counts towards your write-off. Nice!
- WheelsforWishes – This charity is for kids with life-threatening illnesses. It is part of the well-known Make-A-Wish foundation that helps hurting children to experience their dreams. To date, they have fulfilled over 9,000 wishes and counting; the proceeds from your old trailer might just be enough to fulfill one more wish.
Sell It For Parts
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so count your camper out yet. There are many people out there that love the satisfaction of a good restoration project. There are also conversion projects such as skoolies (school bus conversions) that are always finding uses for parts from dilapidated trailers. You can find these handy people through several popular sites:
- Craigslist – What first started out as a small classified site for San Francisco has blossomed into a popular resource for all of North America.
- Freecycle – Freecycle is a well-known international nonprofit network with nearly 10 million members. If you’re looking for something, you’ll probably find it. It makes it a great place to offload something, such as a trailer, that someone else will find very useful.
- Ebay – Ebay is one of the first stops for many people. It’s a great place to find very specific items that nobody else has. If you want to sell a hard to find part from your trailer, I would consider listing it there. One downside is that Ebay will charge you for the transaction. Also, if you are new to their website, they artificially slow down your payment in an effort to prevent scammers from taking advantage of their customers.
The local junk yard is a good option if there are parts worth saving and you don’t want to remove them yourself. If the junkyard is going to pick it up for you, make sure to transfer the title and registration first. You don’t want to be liable for any accidents that might happen on the road.
Take it to the dump, hire a trash hauler, or rent a dumpster.
There are a few services that you can use to solve and trash this unsightly issue.
One step below the junkyard is the city dump. Some things just aren’t worth saving. If the wood is rotten, there is more rust than metal, and the wiring is chewed to shreds, take that sad heap to the dump. Nobody wants it. It typically costs $100 – $200 to get rid of a whole trailer, but it will be gone.
It will cost you a bit of extra money to have someone haul it for you. That might be worth it; especially if you don’t have access to a vehicle capable of transporting the camper.
Rent a dumpster
I don’t recommend this option because it requires a lot of effort and has a higher cost than other more convenient options. If you break the trailer down into pieces, you can chuck the debris into a dumpster and have it hauled away.
You will still need to pay the costs of dumping the scrap at the dump for both the trash hauler and dumpster options.
I am a well traveled Marine Corps veteran that enjoys the outdoor and nomadic lifestyle that RV living provides. I am also a member of the National RV Inspectors Association (NRVIA.org). As the founder of Camperguide.org my goal is to provide you with well researched information so that you can enjoy the best of the RV lifestyle.