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Old 08-09-2015, 07:48 PM   #1
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Salvage Titles ?

we looked at a motorhome that has a salvage title ? damage is lower part of front cap below headlights and a few bay doors runs and drives like new
inside is like new all damage is fiberglass repair/ replace and paint has
anyone bought a salvage title rv ? if so how hard was it to get a rebuilt
title to get tags ect. thanks john
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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I think that is a State specific question. I know that here in Alabama you have to have the mh completely repaired then certified by an approved examiner. It is quite the process and rather expensive. Then after certification a title application is submitted to the board for change from salvage. It takes a while. It can be done but is very time consuming and costly. Meantime you cannot use it because it isn't licensed and there is no guarantee that you will get that license.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:06 PM   #3
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One other thing to consider: a salvage title is only issued if the insurance company has decided that it cannot be fixed or it costs more to fix than value. If it was simply fiberglass repair and paint it is strange that they would write it off. I would really look deeper at that coach.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:09 PM   #4
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Wow, Mel, is your commentary based on DMV policies or on your opinion? ....or is what you're telling us based on the transition from a salvage title to a regular title?

If I buy a vehicle with a salvage title and keep the salvage title designation, I can get a tag for as long as I own it. ..........right?
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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We almost bought a salvage title RV. Carfax claimed it was from hail damage. Owner said it was from a crack in the fiberglass roof which he repaired. Price was right, approx. $50,000 under NADA.

The big issue was trying to get full coverage insurance in Pennsylvania. Tried every insurance company we could think of and all said they would not insure it. Three of them actually said they would insure it at first only to find out later they would not. Good thing we did not buy right away and find out we could not insure it.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:49 PM   #6
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i would be titling it in ga. the coach has a new mexico salvage title
right now.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:58 PM   #7
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My experience is with a fifth wheel we had. Insurance company totalled it after severe water damage while we were gone. A friend wanted to buy it with a salvage title. We had to buy it back from the insurance company in order to sell it to the guy. Our friend thought he could fix it and get a title change. Then he found out Alabama's laws concerning the title change necessary to be able to get a tag/license for it. He put a lot of money in it and his labor and thought it was enough to finish the process. The inspector thought different and ruled it unsafe for the road due to possible electrical problems. Note the word possible. He had to prove the wiring was safe which meant showing him the braking wiring for one thing. Second inspection and a $1200 fee later and he still could not satisfy them. He asked for another inspector, well, Alabama only had two qualified inspectors. The other was 260 miles away and of course he can't haul it up there since he had no tag. He had to pay for that one to drive down to Montgomery and his expenses and his fee. He had gone this far so what's one more dig to his wallet. In the end he got his title and license- 11 months later.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:03 PM   #8
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PS: in Alabama you can't drive around with a salvage title/tag. You also cannot get insurance which is required in Alabama.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:08 PM   #9
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In some states its easy, while in others there are hoops to jump through and approvals to obtain. Best you should go talk to a senior person at a DMV office in Georgia and learn the procedure first hand. My Dad used to buy totaled cars and restore them with no problems at all, but that was years ago and a different state.

Insurance companies total vehicles for financial reasons, not because they cannot be fixed properly. Sometimes all the damage is cosmetic, e.g. hail or vandalism. At $100+ per hour of shop time, repair costs can quickly get huge, whereas somebody willing to work for a less money, or DIY, can make the repairs cost effective.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
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With all the motorhomes, trailers and 5th wheels on the market why even chance.. life is way too short... but, that's just my thought on it.. If I ever see a savage title I say thanks but no thanks..
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:45 PM   #11
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Lots of misunderstood terms out there, "Salvage Title", "Flood Title", "Rebuilt Title", there are others. The big thing to check with a vehicle is to make sure that it has gone through the rebuilding/repairing/fixing process and then been issued a title that allows it to be used like any other vehicle. I've done it several times with cars. The last one, our 2000 Saturn LW2 with 98k miles was damaged in 2012. Front end damage, bumper, grill, lower valence, and left fog light broken. Otherwise perfectly drivable, no air bag deployment, not even any paint work needed. Car was in great condition mechanically, and cosmetically. The insurance totaled it! Reasons? #1, it had "close" to 100k miles, which is a decision point for most insurance companies. Reason # 2 and this was the kicker. GM had discontinued the Saturn line, and they couldn't find a new fog light! I bought it back for next to nothing, replaced the bolt on parts, still couldn't find a fog light, just removed the other one! Took it down to the state, 10 minutes of paperwork, took paperwork to licensing bureau, and on the road again.

Oh, another thing, generally insurance companies will discount a value on a "rebuilt" title vehicle from 20% to as much as 40% if it is damaged again.

Just make sure that it is currently licensed, and that the price has been discounted AT LEAST 20% (I'd shoot for as close to 40% as you can get) when you purchase it. Ask you insurance company how much they will discount the value in the event of a loss.

I've never had a problem getting insurance for a "rebuilt title" vehicle, but maybe I've just been lucky.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:56 PM   #12
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It totally depends on what state you are in.
in the 80s I used to work building salvage vehicles. Back then once they were inspected the next titles you got was a regular title.
What changed all that was people that didn't want to fix vehicles completly or even in a safe manner to be road worthy.
So now you have all these branded titles.
Sadly Some states like Ohio have discovered that issuing a salvage tiltle for anything other then a normal sale with generate more fees and dollars for the State.
I absolutely refuse to judge a vehicle less valuable because of the paperwork.
Either it is fixed correctly or not. That is what is important.
I say the steel body of a vehicle is not poured in a mold like a piece of glass.
If you replace EVERY damaged part correctly, why does the title have to say "Reconstructed Vehicle"
I absolutely refuse to judge a vehicle less valuable because of the paperwork.

Some states just look to see if the VIN matches the paperwork and other states Really look at the vehicle.

Ohio's inspection includes every receipt for all replacement parts.
If any used parts were bought those MUST include the VIN number for the source vehicle.
This inspection is done by the state patrol and they are REALLY looking for stolen parts. If you replace more than 50% of the body panels you will get a
"Self Assembled vehicle title" and they will assign it a New VIN number, and attack a new VIN PLATE.
I have seen some very cobbled vehicles put together to avoid the self assembled title rule.

Ohio is like many other states, You Can NOT get plates of any kind for a vehicle that has a current salvage title.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:11 PM   #13
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I once looked at a 2006 Fleetwood Evolution that had been repaired, with a salvage title. The rebuilder was asking $66,000, and it appeared like new. Then I talked to my insurance company_, that killed that dream.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:16 PM   #14
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The biggest hurdle in Texas is securing financing options with a rebuilt title. Conventional vehicle loans may be hard to find if your credit isn't stout enough to secure another form of loan. Insurance is not a problem but declared value may be depending on the circumstances.

Personal recent experience was a friend who had two remodel/update companies declare bankruptcy while his coach was in their possession and before the update(s) could be completed. End result was his insurance company "totaled" it due to mostly interior issues.. flooring wasn't complete, audio/video equipment missing or not installed, dash needed reassembly, etc. All of the vehicle systems, engine, trans, generator, aquahot, ac/heatpumps, plumbing, refer (new), tires, etc were perfect and low mileage. Since he had grown weary of the delays, endless hassles, and knew of a close friend that wanted the MH, he accepted the insurance company's settlement offer and purchased the MH for the residual value. He then sold it to his friend as is.

The new owner completed the repairs in two months and is currently enjoying a very high end coach for pennies on the dollar invested. He recently received a blue (unrestricted) clear Texas title. Obviously your experience may vary.
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