Essential Scrapping Your Motorhome Information

There is one type of vehicle that is likely to survive the test of time. When new these self contained “live in vans “are likely to do serious mileages, maybe traveling the length and breast of Europe, part of a traveling dream for a holiday or even in retirement. But as they get older, they are more likely to be used for weekends and day away vans.

old beige high roof campervan

As they have an extended use of being more than just day to day transport, most owners tend to invest the money to keep them going and on the road, so some live on to be a substantial age and can have a good residual value.

But when the end of the road does arrive, you may think scrapping one of these motorhome's or camper vans would follow exactly the same process as a scrapping a car, unfortunately there are more regulations to follow as set out by the environmental agency.

Every motorhome, will contain what is called “living quarters”, obviously this is where the owner spends their time, whilst not driving. These living quarters contain many of the things we all do in our actual homes, including a gas cooker, a fridge, foam seating, kitchen and bathroom components. Many auto breaker yards may not be set up to dispose of these items or have the correct training.

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For example, a fridge in a motorhome can only be disposed of in exactly the same the one in our house would have to be. A scrap yard owner can’t just strip it down and melt the metals inside. Legally, it needs to be taken to an authorized disposal site because of the gasses inside, but they can’t do it as a member of public, it can now only be done as a commercial disposal and it will cost them.

Dismantling gas items also has an element of danger, old degraded rubber pipes, or connections may not be safe. There can also be 240v wiring within the van, so normal electrical components can be used. An inverter connected to the battery gives this extra voltage.

The internal padding may be made of plastic. This would have given a strong easy washable interior, which can deal with different temperatures and weather conditions. But plastics can only be recycled as per EU instruction also. It is unlikely that these panels would have a resale value or demand.

on holiday motorhome

Foam seating may be of a different grade to that in car seats, although should be fireproof to be in the van in the first place. The woodwork within the RV living area should be easier to dispose of.

Bolt On Living Area

There are some motor homes, where the living area is bolted on the chassis of the van and can be separated, so it becomes an independent unit. If the reason for the camper van to be scrapped is to do with mechanical issues or generally on the vehicle side. It may be possible for the living area to be re-used on another van. Then there may be more value to the breaker yard, when receiving in the vehicle.

Panel vans, where the interior is more integral to the body shell, may be less desirable.

If You Are Intending To Scrap Your Motor Home?

You have to take into account the real cost to the salvage or scrap car operator. What is likelihood of being able to sell the individual components, have they passed their best buy date? That there will be more costs to the breaker in disposing items, they may not normally handle. If the van is not mobile, high roofs and wide body shells may make it hard to collect the vehicle, especially if it is heavy.

How Can I Get The Most Money For My Scrap Motorhome?

Consider selling loose items separately, to other campers or online such as Ebay etc. Smaller items will be easier to handle and post and may add up to more than you think, if the demand is there.

There is an army of DIY van converters out there, where ordinary vans are converted to a day camper, recreational vehicle or motorhome from the remnants of others. Have a look on Ebay and try to establish the parts demand and what price they are actually going for. (not always the same as what is being asked).

Seats that convert into beds can raise a good price for certain models and space saver components are also being looked for, especially those that can convert to any van.

Consider taking your fridge and cooker to the tip yourself as a member of the public, saving the commercial cost to the business you want to sell to. Of course if it has plenty life left, may you could sell these items also. It may make it more desirable for the scrap vehicle operator to buy.

old valuable vw campervan

Some Exceptions To The Rule

There are some older camper vans that have a part in history and in any condition, may still have some extra value, rather than being scrapped. The first VW Camper has got to be top of the list. Enthusiasts are likely to still want to buy, even in awful conditions. Some old Bedford vans and MK1 Transit campers also have some value. Of course if you own one of these, you are unlikely to looking to scrap one.