Donating Your RV To Charity
What You Need To Know

You might believe that your old RV that has seen better days is better off sold, although it might not be worth that much.  For you that could well be true.

How to donate your RV to charityFor s501(c)(3) charities, however, an RV donation and the subsequent funds raised by selling it at auction could help your favorite charity, church or educational institution.

You may already know that the IRS allows car donations to qualifying charities and that you may be able to claim a nice tax deduction for your troubles.  What you may not know is that most vehicles tend to qualify and they do not have to be in working order either (see junk car donations).

That means that donated boats, RVs, SUVs, motorbikes, vintage or classic cars or even old farm machinery are the order of the day.  Non-working vehicles can be sold on the open market for their breakage or scrap value.

The IRS permits vehicle donations to such charities and the good news is that they do not need to be in great condition or working order. You may also donate junk boats, RVs, SUVs, motorcycles, farm machinery or even old classic cars. At the very least, your donation can be sold for parts or its scrap metal value.

This information can be found in the official IRS publication 4303, A Donor’s Guide To Vehicle Donations.

Below, we have asked some of the most important questions that donors have when considering an RV donation. For more general questions and answers, see our FAQ.

1. Documents Required To Donate an RV?

What documents you need to donate a junk car to charityNo matter what the condition of your vehicle, you have to prove that you are the legitimate owner and that you have the right to donate it.

For that, you need a copy of the title documents which must be passed to your chosen charity. You cannot make a donation without them. Unfortunately, the rules governing RV registration and titles differ greatly from state to state in the US.

Therefore, we recommend consulting our state by state guide to car donation where you will find the necessary links to your local DMV office.

2. What’s Your Old RV Worth?

What's your used car worth?The value of your RV will be determined when it is sold by the charity. For older RVs, book values have little relevance and should be ignored.

In most cases, however, you can assume that your donation is likely to raise less than $500. The value, however, is important as it this figure that determines what information must be supplied to the IRS in order for you to successfully claim a tax deductible car donation (see section 3).

3. How Much Tax Can You Deduct?

What's the maximum tax deduction you can claim?The IRS permits you to claim a tax deduction when you donate your RV.

Firstly, the charity or organization to which you donate must be officially registered with the IRS. That is, it is eligible to receive tax deductible donations. You can check the tax exempt status of such charities, elsewhere on this website.

Secondly, you should note that the amount raised by your charity will determine what information or ‘reporting requirements’ you need to provide to the IRS.

We have summarized these as follows:

To Claim Up To $250

You need to provide the following information:

  • Name and address of the charity
  • The date of donation
  • The place of donation
  • A fair description of the RV

Claims Between $250 and $500

  • All of the above, and
  • A written acknowledgement from the charity that must include the name of the charity, a description (but not value) of your RV, and one of the following:
    ■ a statement that no goods or services were provided by the charity in return for the contribution, if that was the case,
    ■ a description and good faith estimate of the value of goods or services, if any, that the charity provided in return for the contribution, or
    ■ a statement that goods or services that the charity provided in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, if that was the case.

Claims Above $500

  • All of the above, and
  • If the deduction you are claiming for a donated RV is greater than $500, you must complete Section A of Form 8283 (NONCASH CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS).

Note that the amount you actually save will depend upon the level of tax you normally pay.

4. Where To Donate Your RV?

Where can you donate a junker?According to the IRS, RV donations can be made anywhere in the United States including Hawaii and Alaska.

If you cannot personally deliver your RV, many charities will arrange to visit you and collect it provided the costs of doing so are not greater than the likely sales prices.

Check out state-by-state RV donation guide for more information about donating your used RV wherever you are. On these pages you will find everything you need to know relating to RV titles and transfers and, in particular, what you need to do as a seller or donor of an RV in your state.

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